5 Best Japanese Horror Dramas (2023)

Previously in another article I talked about Japanese horror cinema, which has become known worldwide in recent years, especially since The Ring and Ju-On. Even those with no special interest in Japan know of some of its scariest movies.

Horror stories have been told in Japan since Edo and Meiji periods, with numerous terrifying folk tales and ghost stories. Already then the word Yokai existed to refer to spirits and monsters from another world (like ogres or demons). And before the movies appeared, there were already horror stories in Kabuki and Noh plays (forms of traditional Japanese theater). So with that long tradition, it’s no wonder that there are so many Japanese horror movies out there that are true gems for horror lovers. There are also several anime that touch this genre.However, contrary to what you might think, there are not many Japanese horror dramas for the moment.

But the fact that there are not many series does not mean that the ones that exist aren’t good. This year with the covid-19 many Halloween parties have been canceled, and it’s probably not a good idea to go from house to house with strangers to collect treats. But a good alternative may be to spend Halloween night at home watching scary movies and series.If this is what you are thinking, and you are looking for recommendations on which movies or series to watch,here are 5 best Japanese horror dramas to spend a spooky Halloween,including mystery and psychological thriller series!

1. JU-ON: Origins

5 Best Japanese Horror Dramas (1)

I talked about Ju-On in the article about the best Japanese horror movies, since it’s an essential saga and a classic among fans of Japanese horror. This year Netflix Japan has made an original series based on this saga of films and itand has had a good acceptance, quickly becomingone of the most watched series in recent months.

The Netflix series is a bit far from the original films, but they have one factor in common: the haunted house and the curse. Years ago there was a brutal and horrible murder in the house.The spirit of a woman seeking vengeance remains in the house and coursing every person that enter the house.

2. Crow’s Blood

5 Best Japanese Horror Dramas (2)

It has been 20 years since the first Dolly clone sheep was born and science has evolved, reaching the point of being able to regenerate human organs. This is a breakthrough for humanity and offers many possibilities, but it also comes at a price. Death is part of life, but when we lose someone we love and are not ready to say goodbye, can we regenerate their bodies and bring them back to life? Are humans trying to play God and recreate life or be immortal?

A mysterious new student named Maki Togawa arrives at International Dolly Girls College. Shortly after her arrival, strange and horrible things begin to happen, which seem to be related to Maki. Kaoru Isozaki, another college student, discovers that Maki was killed in a hit and run but her father, Dr. Akihito Seto revived her with an experimental regenerative procedure developed by an American scientist. But Dr. Seto was unaware of the side effects and ended up turning Maki into patient zero of a new contagious virus that is easily transmitted through kissing.At first this virus seems positive, since it allows women to regenerate as many times as necessary, but it has a horrible side effect.


3. Re:Mind

5 Best Japanese Horror Dramas (3)

Eleven classmates from high school wake up to find themselves sitting at a long table in a large dining room in an old European-style room, their feet chained to the floor so they can’t run. They discover that what is happening to them could be related to the disappearance months before of another classmate, named Miho. They start to think about how to get away from there, but then the girls start to disappear one by one. While they fear for their lives and suspect that one of them might be behind what is happening, they also realize that they share a checkered past with Miho.

4. Death Note

5 Best Japanese Horror Dramas (4)

Death Note is a famous manga that after its success was adapted to anime and then to live action. Although it is a short manga if we compare it with other successful series such as Naruto or One Piece, its popularity hasn’t been extinguished, which has made it have various adaptations, both in movies and in dramas. Netflix made its own adaptation with foreign actors, but the film wasn’t very well received by fans who didn’t like at all. However, the Japanese adaptations were well received by fans.

Light Yagami is one of the best students in all of Japan, but he thinks that this life is boring and the world a rotten place full of bad people. One day he finds an abandoned notebook whose cover is written “Death Note”. According to the instructions on the back of the notebook cover, if you write the first and last name of a person whose face you know, that person will die of a heart attack. At first Light doesn’t believe it to be true, but almost out of boredom he decides to try it one day and discover that it’s real. It’s then that Light decides to become the God of the new world who plans to build and kill all the “rotten” people. Later he meets Ryuk, a shinigami (Japanese god of death) who dropped his Death Note to the Earth because he was bored. As Light begins to kill more people the police start to worry, and Light catches the attention of a famous detective who calls himself “L”.Will L manage to stop Light, or will Light end up killing L? The battle between two geniuses from Japan has begun.

You can currently find the series on Hulu.


5 Best Japanese Horror Dramas (5)

Yuka Minami looks like a normal college student but she has a special ability: she can see other people’s deaths. One day Yuka’s friend dies suddenly and something strange surrounds her death. There are 10,000 yen bills lying around her friend’s lifeless body and the bills have black spots.Since then, more people around Yuka die mysteriously.Yuka will join Detective Takeshi Wakamoto to try to solve who is behind these mysterious deaths.

You can find some of these titles in Hulu Japan.Try the free trial month of Hulu and discover this movies and many more!

5 Best Japanese Horror Dramas (6)5 Best Japanese Horror Dramas (7)

(Video) TOP 5: Japanese Horror Movies

I hope you enjoyed my terrifying list! 👻 🎃 If you are looking for more recommendations, like movies or anime, check these articles too.

15 Best Japanese Horror Movies Let’s have a spooky Halloween with the most terrifying Japanese horror movies jw-webmagazine.com

4 Scariest Japanese Urban Legends Let’s celebrate Halloween with some of the most terrifying legends of Japanese folklore jw-webmagazine.com

Yokai: The Japanese Folklore Monsters From terrifying ogre to friendly one-eye umbrellas, the most popular Japanese monsters jw-webmagazine.com

(Video) Top 5 Scariest Japanese Horror Movies

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Which Jdrama is best? ›

10 Best Japanese Dramas for Fans New To The Genre (& Where To Stream Them)
  • 'Midnight Diner' ...
  • Long Vacation. ...
  • Legal High. ...
  • The Full-Time Wife Escapist. ...
  • 'Great Teacher Onizuka' ...
  • 'I Will Not Work Overtime, Period!' Office Drama, Romance, Comedy. ...
  • 'Rookies' Sports, High-School, Comedy. ...
  • 'My Boss, My Hero' High-School, Yakuza, Comedy.
29 Apr 2022

What is Japanese horror called? ›

The term yōkai was first used to refer to any supernatural phenomenon and was brought to common use by the Meiji period scholar Inoue Enryo. Kaidan stories became popular in Japan during this period after the invention of printing technologies, allowing the spread of the written stories.

Does Japan make good horror movies? ›

Honestly, each decade of Japanese cinema has multiple masterpieces in the horror genre, from Kwaidan and House to Jigoku and The Suicide Club, but here we present a more succinct list of the most important. These movies are so influential, that many of them were remade into American movies.

Why are Japanese horror movies scarier? ›

The short answer, is because Asian horror tends to prioritise building and maintaining an atmosphere, rather than the Western style of jump scares.

What is Japanese drama called? ›

Japanese dramas, also known as dorama (ドラマ), or terebi dorama (テレビドラマ from the English “television drama“), are Japanese TV series regularly broadcasted on the country's major television networks.

Which country dramas are most popular? ›

India has the best drama in the world.

Which country has the best horror movies? ›

Spain comes up with the best horror movies every year. Their horror movies aren't just about jumpscares or sheer weirdness but the concepts are beautifully fleshed out. The theme of a horror movie is one of the most under-rated and overlooked aspect of the viewing experience.

Where can I watch Japanese horror movies? ›

5 blood-curdling Japanese horror movies to watch on Netflix and Amazon Prime Video
  • Roommate (2013) – Netflix. ...
  • Noroi: The Curse (2005) – Available to buy on Amazon Prime Video. ...
  • One Missed Call (2004) – Available to buy on Amazon Prime Video. ...
  • Reincarnation (2005) – Available to buy on Amazon Prime Video.
9 Apr 2022

Is the ring based on a true story? ›

The story of The Ring is actually based on a real Japenese ghost story dating back to the 16th century. As with most films, “based on a true story” means a slight push in sales.

Is run a good horror movie? ›

This is a rather disturbing psychological thriller, and one of the must-see films of 2020 (if you're into thrillers). Kiera Allan brilliantly carries the film, and Sarah Paulsen is superb as the mother, Diane. I thought 'Run' was excellent.

What makes a psychological horror? ›

Psychological horror is a subgenre of horror and psychological fiction with a particular focus on mental, emotional, and psychological states to frighten, disturb, or unsettle its audience.

Why is Japanese horror so effective? ›

The psychological staying power of introducing a vengeful spirit that is tied to an everyday object such as a house or a videotape is the true crux of Japanese Horror. It's likely far easier to say some random slasher isn't real than it is to believe that the shadow in the corner of the room isn't a ghost.

What is the strongest yokai? ›

The short, comical, elderly nurarihyon is actually the most powerful and elite of all the yokai in the world. He travels in an ornate palanquin carried by human or yokai servants, often visiting red light districts, but occasionally stopping at mountain villas as well.

What is Japanese spirit called? ›

Yōkai are often referred to as Japanese spirits or East Asian ghosts, like the Hanako-san legend or the story of the "Slit-mouthed girl", both of which hail from Japanese legend.

Is Netflix popular in Japan? ›

According to a report published by GEM Partners in February 2022, Netflix was the leading subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) service in Japan in 2021, holding a market share of more than 23 percent.

How large is Japan? ›

Does Netflix have Japanese dramas? ›

If we are going to talk about Japanese series on Netflix, Midgnight Diner: Tokyo Stories must be at the top of the list. The series is based on the Japanese Shinya shokudō (深夜食堂) manga by Yaro Abe and has become quite popular outside of Japan as well.

Which is the most famous drama in the world? ›

Top 50 Drama TV Series
  1. House of the Dragon (2022– ) TV-MA | Action, Adventure, Drama. ...
  2. The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power (2022– ) ...
  3. The Midnight Club (2022– ) ...
  4. She-Hulk: Attorney at Law (2022) ...
  5. Andor (2022– ) ...
  6. The Walking Dead (2010–2022) ...
  7. Game of Thrones (2011–2019) ...
  8. American Horror Story (2011– )

Which drama is most popular in the world 2022? ›

'Extraordinary Attorney Woo' was Netflix's best and top-ranked 2022 K-dramas. One of 2022's best K-dramas is Extraordinary Attorney Woo starring Park Eun-bin in the lead role of Woo Young-woo. The 'Slice of Life' K-drama warmed fans' hearts with its emotional stories of Korea's first attorney on the autism spectrum.

Who is No 1 drama in Pakistan? ›

1. Sang e Mah – Top Pakistani Drama in 2022.

Which is better Jdrama or Kdrama? ›

Korean dramas run for 16-20 episodes with some filler episodes in between., but most dramas are engaging. Japanese dramas, on the other hand, only run for 10-12 episodes where the action never slows down. 2. Japanese dramas are mostly based on mangas, whereas, they are slowly becoming more common in Korean dramas.

Which is the most romantic Japanese drama? ›

Itazura Na Kiss is one of the most popular Japanese romantic dramas in recent years. Based on the also popular manga with the same name. The story begins the day that high school student Aihara Kotoko gives a love letter to her high school classmate Irie Naoki.

Is there such thing as J drama? ›

J-dramas are easy to get sucked into, especially because they're so different in format from most Western shows. And they're a fantastic way to gain some insight into Japanese culture, language, and locales in Japan. One nice thing about Japanese dramas? They're usually only one season long and about 10-12 episodes.

Does Netflix have Japanese dramas? ›

If we are going to talk about Japanese series on Netflix, Midgnight Diner: Tokyo Stories must be at the top of the list. The series is based on the Japanese Shinya shokudō (深夜食堂) manga by Yaro Abe and has become quite popular outside of Japan as well.

Do Japanese like Kdrama? ›

According to a survey conducted in Japan in 2019, around 21.2 percent of respondents considered K-dramas to be very popular within Japan.

Is Korean drama better than Chinese? ›

Kdramas have mostly lighter plots compared to cdramas. They also tend to focus more on the aesthetics and put so much emphasis on the emotional aspect. Sometimes this is where the story starts to get boring. Maybe because I have watched so many dramas that I find kdramas nowadays to be so predictable.

Where can I watch J dramas? ›

10 Very Best Sites to Watch Great J-Drama!
  • AsianCrush.
  • Viki.
  • Midnight Pulp.
  • Netflix.
  • Amazon Prime.
  • KissAsian.
  • DramaNice.
  • ViewAsian.
13 Aug 2021

Who needs true love Japanese? ›

"Who Needs True Love?" is a ten-episode dramedy about six romantically-challenged men and women. Jun Sakurazawa has zero experience with romance, zero experience with men. Love? Who needs it.

Where can I watch mischievous kiss? ›

Mischievous Kiss: Love in Tokyo, a romantic comedy series starring Miki Honoka, Yuki Furukawa, and Yuki Yamada is available to stream now. Watch it on Prime Video on your Roku device.

What are Korean dramas called? ›

Korean dramas (Korean: 한국 드라마; RR: Hanguk deurama), more popularly known as K-dramas, are television series in the Korean language, made in South Korea.

Does Japan have dramas? ›

All major TV networks in Japan produce a variety of drama series including romance, comedy, detective stories, horror, jidaigeki, thriller, and many others. Single episode, or "tanpatsu" dramas that are usually two hours in length are also broadcast.

What is AC drama? ›

Chinese television dramas (Simplified Chinese: 中国电视连续剧), sometimes colloquially known as C-dramas, are television dramas originating from China or the Greater China region. China produces more television dramas than any other country.

Are Japanese dramas worth watching? ›

Japanese dramas can be exciting, heartwarming, or hilarious. And in some cases, they're all that rolled into one! I've watched more Japanese drama TV shows than is probably healthy, and today I'll share 20 of my favorites with you.

Is Netflix popular in Japan? ›

According to a report published by GEM Partners in February 2022, Netflix was the leading subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) service in Japan in 2021, holding a market share of more than 23 percent.

Is Netflix Japan any good? ›

Netflix's Japanese content catalog is one of the best in the world, giving you access to fantastic anime, movies and TV shows you'd struggle to find anywhere else. But because Netflix has a different content library for each country, Japanese Netflix won't be readily available to you if you're outside Japan.


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