31 Best Japanese TV Series to Watch on Netflix

If you love Japanese Dramas, watch 31 best binge-worthy Japanese TV series on Netflix now

Are you looking for a great new show to watch on Netflix? If so, check out the fantastic variety of Japanese TV series on the streaming service.

If you’re searching for a new show, Netflix is an excellent source of entertainment. Plus, you can find plenty of J-Dramas and shows to watch to learn Japanese. The platform also offers many exclusive original shows.

You can, of course, enjoy it on other online streaming channels. But the most notable streaming service for Japanese TV series is Netflix.

From classic anime to engaging dramas, there is something for everyone.

Beware of addiction to these TV dramas!


How can watching TV Series on Netflix improve your Japanese?

Learning Japanese can be a challenging but rewarding experience that can open up many new opportunities and experiences.

If you’re consistent and motivated, watching videos, TV shows, and Japanese movies on Netflix can be an enjoyable and practical approach to studying the language.

  • Start with subtitles: Begin by watching Japanese Videos with English or other language subtitles. This will help you understand the story and get accustomed to hearing Japanese. Try watching with or without Japanese subtitles as you become more comfortable with the language.
  • Pay attention to pronunciation: Pronunciation is vital for learning any language. Japanese has a few unique features, such as long and short vowels and pitch accents. Pay attention to how words are pronounced and try to imitate the sounds.
  • Focus on keywords and phrases: As you watch the videos, try to pick out keywords and phrases that are repeated frequently. These are often important for understanding the story and valuable for building vocabulary.
  • Practice speaking: As you become more comfortable with the language, try to practice speaking along with the characters in the videos. This can help you understand how the words sound in conversation and enhance your pronunciation. As a result, one can improve Japanese through movies and TV shows.

31 Must-Watch Japanese Television Shows on Netflix Right Now

Many great Japanese television shows are available on Netflix across genres. With so many great TV shows, there’s something for everyone.

Here is a list of 31 popular Japanese TV series on Netflix and a brief description.

Netflix TV series from Japan

1. Alice in Borderland (今際の国のアリス, 2020-2022) | Episodes – 16

It is based on a manga series of the same name. It follows the story of a young man named Arisu, who is transported to a parallel world where he must participate in deadly games to survive.

Alice in Borderland is a thrilling, action-packed series combining science, fiction, survival, and psychological drama. It has received positive reviews for its engaging story, compelling characters, and high-stakes action.

If you enjoy dystopian and edge-of-your-seat suspense, you may enjoy Alice in Borderland.

Watching Alice in Borderland can be a fun and effective way to learn Japanese, especially if you are motivated and consistent with your patience.

2. Doctor X – Surgeon Michiko Daimon (ドクターX〜外科医・大門未知子〜, 2012-19) | Episodes – 60

It follows the story of Dr. Michiko Daimon, a talented and dedicated surgeon working at a Tokyo University hospital.

Despite facing challenges and discrimination as a woman in a male-dominated field, Dr. Daimon is determined to succeed and prove herself as a skilled and capable surgeon.

Doctor X – Surgeon Michiko Daimon is a medical drama combining mystery, suspense, and romance elements. It has received positive reviews for its powerful performances, engaging storylines, and realistic portrayal of the medical profession.

You may enjoy Doctor X- Surgeon Michiko Daimon if you enjoy medical dramas and complex character development.

3. First Love (初恋, 2022) | Episodes – 9

First Love is a Japanese TV series that is available on Netflix. It is a romantic drama that follows the story of a young woman named Kae and a young man named Hiroki, who meet and fall in love while dealing with their struggles.

This Japanese TV show on Netflix is a heart-warming and emotional series exploring love, loss, and self-discovery themes.

It has received positive reviews for its convincing performances, engaging storylines, and authentic portrayal of relationships. If you enjoy romantic dramas and character-driven stories, you may enjoy First Love.

4. Midnight Diner (深夜食堂, 2009-2019) | Episodes – 50

It is based on the manga series “Shinya Shokudo” by Yarō Abe. It follows the story of a small diner open from midnight to 7 am.

The Meshiya is a late-night diner run by a solitary chef, known as “the master,” who serves a diverse clientele.

The series is known for depicting the characters’ daily lives and challenges, along with the master chef’s talent in connecting with customers through his dishes.

5. Mr. Hiiragi’s Homeroom (3年A組-今から皆さんは、人質です-, 2019) | Episodes – 10

It is based on the manga series “Hiiragi-san Chi no Ookina Yume” by Rina Yagami. It follows the story of a high school student named Asumi, assigned to the homeroom of a strict but kind-hearted teacher named Hiiragi.

Japanese TV shows on Netflix

The series is known for its heart-warming portrayal of the relationship between Asumi and Hiiragi and the characters’ personal growth and development.

6. I am Mita, Your Housekeeper (家政婦のミタ, 2011) | Episodes – 11

“I am Mita, Your Housekeeper” is a 2011 Japanese television drama series. The Netflix TV show won many awards, including “Best Drama” at the 71st Television Drama Academy Awards.

It is based on the manga series “Mita, Kōshin no Jijō” by Yuki Nakaji. It follows the story of Mita, a housekeeper hired by a single parent named Koshin to help care for his three young children.

7. From Today It’s My Turn (今日から俺は!!, 2018) | Episodes – 10

It is based on the manga series “Kyojo” by Kaoru Shintani. This follows the narrative of Kyojo, a student in high school who excels in solving mathematical problems.

A group of young geniuses recruits it to compete in a prestigious international math competition.

The series is known for portraying the character’s struggles and triumphs as they work together to prepare for the competition and achieve their dreams.

8. Kakegurui (賭ケグルイ, 2017-2019) | Episodes – 24

“Kakegurui” is a Japanese manga series written by Homura Kawamoto and illustrated by Toru Naomura. 

The series follows Yumeko Jabami, a transfer student at the prestigious Hyakkaou Private Academy, a school for the children of the wealthy and powerful.

At the academy, students gamble for their social standing, and Yumeko becomes embroiled in the high-stakes world of gambling at the school.

The series has been well-received by audiences and has a strong following. It is known for its suspenseful, dramatic storytelling and unique and colorful art style.

9. Bloom Into You (やがて君になる, 2015-2019) | Episodes – 8

“Bloom Into You” (also known as “Yagate Kimi ni Naru”) is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Nio Nakatani.

The series follows Yuu Koito, a high school student who has never experienced romantic attraction. When she meets and becomes close with fellow Touko Nanami, the student council president, Yuu, questions her feelings and identity. 

The series is a slice-of-life romance story exploring love, identity, and acceptance themes. It has received positive reviews for its relatable characters and touching portrayal of relationships.

10. Good morning Call (グッドモーニング・コール, 1997-2002) | Episodes – 27

“Good Morning, Call” is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Yuiko Kamura.

The series follows the lives of high school students Nao and Hisashi, who live together in an apartment after a mix-up with the rental office.

Netflix Japanese TV series

The series is a romantic comedy that follows the pair as they navigate their new living arrangement and growing feelings for each other. It has received positive reviews for its charming depiction of young love.

11. BeyBlade (爆転シュート ベイブレード, 2001-2005) | Episodes – 154

“Beyblade” is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Takao Aoki. It was adapted into an anime television series from 2001 to 2002 and several sequels and spin-offs.

The series follows the story of a young boy named Tyson who becomes a member of the Beyblade team, a group of friends who compete in the sport of Beyblade using spinning tops called Beyblades.

The series is known for its action-packed battles and colorful characters. As a result, it has gained a large following among children and adults alike.

It has been released on home video and has been broadcast in various countries around the world.

12. Death Note (デスノート, 2006-2007) | Episodes – 37

“Death Note” is a Japanese manga series written by Tsugumi Ohba and illustrated by Takeshi Obata. 

The series follows the story of Light Yagami, a high school student who discovers a mysterious notebook that allows him to kill anyone by writing their name in the book. 

The series is a psychological thriller that explores justice, morality, and the consequences of power. It has gained a large following and has been released in various countries worldwide.

13. Attack on Titan (進撃の巨人, 2013-2015) | Episodes – 96

“Attack on Titan” (also known as “Shingeki no Kyojin”) is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Hajime Isayama. 

The series is set in a world where humanity lives inside walled cities to protect itself from giant humanoid creatures called Titans, who eat humans. 

The plot centers on Eren Yeager, a young man determined to avenge his mother’s death by the Titans. So he joins the Survey Corps, an elite group of soldiers who venture beyond the walls to battle them.

The series is known for its action-packed battles and dark and intense storytelling and has gained a large following worldwide.

14. Devilman Crybaby (デビルマン クライベイビー, 2018) | Episodes – 10

“Devilman Crybaby” is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Go Nagai. 

The series narrates the tale of Akira Fudo, a benevolent man possessed by a demon who can transform into the formidable Devilman. 

Akira must use his new powers to protect the human world from other demons who seek to destroy it. 

The series is an action-packed and dark exploration of themes like good and evil, identity, and the nature of humanity. It has received praise for its unique and thought-provoking storytelling and bold and experimental animation style.

15. Your Lie in April (四月は君の嘘, 2014-2015) | Episodes – 22

“Your Lie in April” (also known as “Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso”) is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Naoshi Arakawa.

The series follows the story of Kousei Arima, a talented young pianist who struggles to move on from the death of his mother. This famous pianist was his primary instructor.

When he meets Kaori Miyazono, a free-spirited violinist, Kousei rediscovers his love of music and finds the strength to move on.

Netflix Japanese TV shows

The drama series explores themes of loss, healing, and the power of music. It has received critical acclaim for its emotional and nuanced portrayal of its characters and their relationships. This is a perfect J-series if you want to learn Japanese through music.

16. Fullmetal Alchemist (鋼の錬金術師, 2003-2004) | Episodes – 51

“Fullmetal Alchemist” is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Hiromu Arakawa. It has been adapted into two anime television series and multiple Japanese films, video games, and other media.

The series tracks two brothers, Edward and Alphonse Elric, as they employ alchemy to recover their damaged bodies after a botched experiment and uncover the Philosopher’s Stone. 

The series is set in a world where alchemy, the science of transmuting matter, is a common practice. 

It is known for its complex and detailed plot, well-developed characters, and family, loss, and redemption themes. As a result, the series has gained a large and dedicated following worldwide.

17. Erased (鋼の錬金術師, 2016) | Episodes – 12

“Erased” (also known as “Boku dake ga Inai Machi”) is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Kei Sanbe. 

The show is about Satoru Fujinuma, who can time-travel a few minutes before a dangerous situation and stop it from happening. Satoru travels for 18 years in the past to investigate a series of hometown murders and prevent their recurrence.

The mystery thriller series explores time travel, fate, and redemption themes. It has received praise for its well-crafted plot and emotional depth.

18. Sword Art Online ( ソードアート・オンライン, 2012) | Episodes – 26

“Sword Art Online” (SAO) is a Japanese light novel series written by Reki Kawahara and illustrated by Abec.

The series is set in the future, where a virtual reality massively multiplayer online role-playing game (VRMMORPG) called “Sword Art Online” (SAO) has become popular. 

Players can fully immerse themselves in the game using a virtual reality headset and haptic gloves. However, when the game’s creator prevents players from logging out, they must fight at the top of the 100 floors to escape. 

The series follows the main character Kirito as he navigates the dangers of the game and forms relationships with other players. The series is known for its action-packed battles and strong character development and has gained a large following worldwide.

19. Sailor Moon (美少女戦士セーラームーン), 1991-1997 | Episodes – 52

“Sailor Moon” (also known as “Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon”) is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Naoko Takeuchi. 

The series chronicles the adventures of Usagi Tsukino, a sentimental and inept middle schooler who learns she is the reborn Moon Kingdom, princess and can transform into the superheroine Sailor Moon.

Usagi fights with a team of other Sailor Guardians to protect the Earth from evil forces and search for the Legendary Silver Crystal.

The series is a classic magical girl story known for its solid and empowered female characters. It has gained a large and devoted following worldwide.

20. One Punch Man (ワンパンマン, 2015-2019) | Episodes – 25

“One Punch Man” is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by One.

The show is about Saitama, a superhero who can easily defeat enemies with just one punch. However, he feels dissatisfied and uninterested in his abilities.

Netflix Japanese drama series

As he searches for a worthy opponent, Saitama becomes involved in the struggles of other heroes and fights against various supervillains. 

The comedy series pokes fun at the conventions of the superhero genre and explores themes of power, identity, and the search for meaning. It has gained a large and devoted following worldwide.

21. Japan Sinks: People of Hope (日本沈没ー希望のひと, 2021) | Episodes – 10

“Japan Sinks: People of Hope” is a Japanese drama TV series aired in 2020. It is based on the novel “Japan Sinks” by Sakyo Komatsu, which was first published in 1973 and has since been adapted into several forms of media.

The series is set in modern-day Japan and shows a family’s struggle for survival amidst devastating earthquakes and tsunamis that wreak havoc and cause devastation.

The main characters include Ayumu Mutou, a teenage girl who is a skilled diver; her older brother, Go Mutou, a former competitive swimmer; and Mari Mutoh, a government official leading the rescue efforts in the disaster’s aftermath.

The survivors face harsh realities like greed, desperation, and violence while struggling to find food, water, and shelter after the devastating event.

Along the way, they encounter other groups of survivors, some of whom offer help and support while others threaten their safety.

22. Fishbowl Wives (金魚妻, 2022) | Episodes – 8

“Fishbowl Wives,” a 2022 Japanese TV series, has caught buzz lately. This Japanese TV series on Netflix is based on a novel by Sato Tomohiro and stars actors Aoi Yu, Arata Mackenyu, and Koseki Yuta.

The story follows three homemakers living in a high-end apartment complex and their relationships with their husbands and neighbors.

The series explores themes such as love, marriage, family, and social status in modern Japanese society. The series received positive reviews for its convincing performances, engaging plot, and beautiful cinematography.

23. Neon Genesis Evangelion (新世紀エヴァンゲリオン, 1995-1996) | Episodes – 26

Neon Genesis Evangelion is a Japanese anime TV series produced by Gainax and directed by Hideaki Anno. The series aired in 1995 and quickly gained a cult following because of its complex characters, psychological themes, and mecha action.

The story’s setting is a post-apocalyptic world where teens are enlisted to operate giant mecha called Evangelions to combat monstrous creatures called Angels.

The protagonist, Shinji Ikari, is a reluctant pilot who struggles with his insecurities and emotional traumas while facing the daunting task of saving the world.

The series delves deeply into themes of identity, existentialism, and the nature of humanity and has been praised for its character development and intricate storytelling. Thus, it has become a cultural phenomenon, spawning multiple films, manga adaptations, and merchandise.

Evangelion has been highly influential in the anime industry and is a major inspiration for many subsequent works. It continues to be beloved by fans worldwide and remains a genre classic. One can also watch this anime to improve Japanese.

24. The Many Faces of Ito (伊藤くん A to E, 2017) | Episodes – 8

“The Many Faces of Ito” is a Japanese romantic comedy-drama TV series aired in 2017. It follows the love lives of several young people in Tokyo, all connected in various ways to a mysterious man named Rio Ito. The main cast has Fumino Kimura, Nozomi Sasaki, Mirai Shida, and Elaiza Ikeda.

New Japanese tv series on Netflix

The story is told from distinct characters’ perspectives, and each episode focuses on a different love story. Besides, Rio Ito is a recurring character who appears in each episode, often as a friend or confidant to the other characters.

Rio’s past is unveiled throughout the series, showing he has suffered emotional wounds and shares a hidden link with other characters.

25. Followers (フォロワ, 2020) | Episodes – 9

Followers is a Japanese television drama series released on Netflix in 2020. The show was created by Mika Ninagawa and featured a cast of famous Japanese actors and actresses, including Miki Nakatani, Elaiza Ikeda, and KOM_I.

The series follows the lives of several women living in Tokyo, each with their own aspirations and struggles. The main character is a famous photographer, Limi Nara, known for her provocative and glamorous images. She takes on a young, aspiring actress named Natsume Hyakuta as her protege, and the two become close friends.

The show probes themes of identity, authenticity, and the pursuit of success in a world dominated by social media and superficiality. It also touches on privacy, fame, and the challenges of maintaining genuine relationships in a hyper-connected society.

26. Million Yen Women (100万円の女たち, 2017) | Episodes – 12

Million Yen Women is a 2017 Japanese TV drama series. It is based on a manga by Shunju Aono. It features a cast of famous Japanese actors and actresses, including Yojiro Noda, Rena Matsui, and Miwako Wagatsuma.

The series follows the story of Shin Michima, a struggling novelist who lives alone in a small house. One day, five mysterious women visit him, each offering to pay him one million yen monthly to allow them to live with him. The catch is that he cannot ask questions about their past or reasons for being there.

As the story unfolds, Shin becomes increasingly curious about the women’s backgrounds and struggles to maintain his writer’s block while dealing with their unpredictable behavior.

The show explores themes of identity, secrets, the human need for connection, and the challenges of artistic creation in a world that values commercial success.

28. Samurai Gourmet (野武士のグルメ, 2017) | Episodes – 12

Samurai Gourmet is a Japanese television series released on Netflix in 2017. The show is based on a manga by Masayuki Kusumi. It features the veteran Japanese actor Naoto Takenaka as the main character, Takeshi Kasumi.

The series follows Kasumi, a recently retired salaryman, as he embarks on a culinary journey through his hometown of Tokyo. He discovers new dishes and restaurants, and his love for food rekindles his passion. As he eats, a samurai appears to offer guidance and insights into the samurai ways.

Japanese TV series on Netflix

The show is a mix of comedy, drama, and food and has been praised for its charming depiction of Japanese cuisine and culture. It offers a nostalgic and heartwarming look at the joys of food and the importance of savoring life’s simple pleasures.

28. Atelier (アンダーウェア, 2015) | Episodes – 13

Atelier is a 2015 Japanese TV series on Netflix. The show features a cast of well-known Japanese actors and actresses, including Mirei Kiritani, Mao Daichi, and Ryo Ryusei.

Atelier is about Mayuko Tokita, a young woman who dreams of becoming a lingerie designer. Instead, she lands a job at the prestigious Emotion Lingerie company, where the strict but talented Mayumi Nanjo mentors her.

As Mayuko struggles to adapt to the company’s rigid rules, she must also navigate office politics and personal relationships.

Atelier explores themes of creativity, ambition, and the challenges of working in a highly competitive industry. It also touches on issues of gender roles and the struggles faced by women in the workplace.

The show has been praised for its engaging characters, stylish production design, and nuanced exploration of the world of lingerie design.

29. Terrace House (テラスハウス, 2012-2020) | Episodes – 200+

Terrace House is a Japanese reality TV show that premiered on Fuji TV in 2012 and is currently available on Netflix. The show follows the lives of six young adults who live together in a house and interact with each other while pursuing their individual goals and dreams.

Unlike most reality shows, it focuses on everyday life and relationships rather than manufactured drama or contests. As a result, it has become famous for its mild and non-aggressive take on reality TV, presenting a genuine view of Japanese society and culture.

The show has been filmed in various locations in Japan and Hawaii and has had multiple spin-offs and adaptations. It has been praised for its diverse cast, relatable stories, and emphasis on mutual respect and communication.

It has also been credited with revitalizing the reality tv genre by taking a more authentic and human approach to storytelling.

30. Ju-On Origins (呪怨:呪いの家, 2020) | Episodes – 6

Ju-On Origins is a Japanese horror web TV series that premiered on Netflix in 2020. The show is based on the Ju-On franchise, including several Japanese horror films and the American remake, The Grudge.

Ju-On Origins delves into the cursed house’s history. The series is set in the 1980s and follows paranormal researcher Haruka Honjo as she investigates a string of mysterious deaths in the cursed place.

As she learns more about the house’s past and previous residents, she discovers a complex network of secrets and tragic events linked to the curse.

The show is known for its slow-burning tension, unsettling atmosphere, and its use of non-linear storytelling to reveal the interconnectedness of the characters and events.

It has a cast of relatively unknown actors who deliver strong acting that brings the terror and trauma of the characters.

31. Switched (宇宙を駆けるよだか, 2018) | Episodes – 6

The 2018 Japanese drama “Switched” is available to stream on Netflix. The show is based on a manga of the same name as Shiki Kawabata. It features a cast of notable Japanese actors and actresses, including Tomohiro Kamiyama, Kaya Kiyohara, and Daiki Shigeoka.

The series follows the story of a high school student named Ayumi Kohinata, constantly bullied by her classmates. Then, one day, she wakes up to find that she has switched bodies with her famous and confident classmate, Zenko Umine.

Ayumi is adjusting to her new life as Zenko and discovering her past bullies’ hidden secrets and vulnerabilities.

Final Words on Netflix’s Top Japanese TV Series

best Japanese shows on Netflix

These 31 Japanese TV shows on Netflix cover a variety of genres. It offers a rich and immersive learning experience for those interested in learning Japanese.

While viewing these series can be helpful for language learning, more is needed to learn the language from scratch, considering Japanese is a tricky language.

You must combine with other language-learning resources and activities to achieve meaningful fluency in Japanese.

For example, studying grammar and vocabulary, practicing speaking and listening skills, and using podcasts and apps for Japanese learning. And you can also seek opportunities to use the language in real-life situations.

This list of the best Japanese TV series on Netflix streaming today provides a crucial starting point. This can assist you in diving deep into Japanese cinema!

Do you have any recommended Japanese flicks on Netflix that should be added to the list? Share your ideas in the comments below.

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Vikash Gupta
Vikash Gupta

I’m a linguist, lifelong learner, educator, blogger, and fun-loving guy. I write at studyfrenchspanish.com, languagenext.com, joyofkorean.com, joyofchinese.com, joyofjapanese.com.

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