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15 Funniest and Most Touching Japanese Movies (8-15)

Updated on March 28, 2015

#8 Love Exposure

Synopsis

This four hour film follows a teenage devout Catholic named Yu Honda, who tries his best to commit a sin because confessing it is the only way he can talk to his father, who in turn has become a devout Catholic priest after the death of Yu’s mother. After resorting to fighting, stealing, and taking photos of girls’ underskirts, Yu gets into a weird love triangle involving another devout Catholic teenage girl, a psychotic teenage girl, and a case of cross-dressing and mistaken identity.

Click here for 10 Funniest and Heartwarming Chinese Movies in Recent Times.

Funny and Heartwarming Moments

  • The part where Yu, a devout catholic, has to make up and fabricate sins just to get a chance to talk to his father goes right for the feels, and made even better by his father knowing that his son is good that he automatically sees through the fabrications.
  • There are a lot of funny scenes during Yu’s attempt to sin, including a martial arts and acrobatic-laden training scene when training how to stealthily take photos of women’s underskirts. The methods he uses are also very creative, involving cameras attached to ropes, and even dressing up as a girl himself.

#9 Tampopo

Synopsis

Dubbed as the first “Ramen Western,” Tampopo centers around a truck driver who stops by a small family-run noodle shop and decides to help get it out of a financial slump. The story is also peppered with various vignettes about love and food.

Funny and Heartwarming Elements

  • Some of the funniest scenes come from the vignettes, including the story of a gangster who enjoys sexual relations along with good food, and one about an old woman who terrorizes a shopkeeper by squeezing his wares.
  • The film, despite the weird sensual elements peppered throughout, is still focused on the family running the noodle house and their passion for their business. The climax of the film features the entire family and the truck driver testing out a new dish that they believe will save the establishment and bring in new customers.

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#10 Key of Life

Synopsis

After a slipping accident in a bathhouse, a gangster hitman gets amnesia. Seeing an opportunity to change his luck (and not knowing that the unconscious man is a hitman,) a struggling actor trades his keys (and identity) with the amnesiac man. Further muddling the situation is a desperate middle aged woman seeking a husband, who meets the amnesiac hitman and tries to get him to marry her.

Funny and Heartwarming Elements

  • The comedy mostly comes from the two protagonists adjusting to their new identities – the hitman failing at acting as an action star (even though in his real identity, such action scenes would be second nature) and the struggling actor using his acting skills to pass himself off as a dangerous gangster.
  • Massive Spoiler Alert warning: the most heartwarming element in the film comes from the hitman himself, who in the end is revealed to be such a successful and wealthy hitman who leaves no evidence not because he’s so good at killing his targets, but because he actually helps his targets escape and lead new lives under a different identity.

#11 Fine, Totally Fine

Synopsis

Fine, totally Fine focuses on two best friends who are turning thirty but still single. They resolve to find a girl to marry, but as luck turns out, they meet and fall in love with the same girl.

Funny and Heartwarming Elements

  • The heartwarming elements come from the two best friends, who at their age are already mature enough to accept each other’ quirks and failings, but said friendship is tested when they try to compete – with hilarious results – for the affections of the same girl.
  • The funny elements in the film concern the two friends again, but this time their repeated pranks and jokes against each other. Especially since one of them is very passionate about building the world’s scariest haunted house.

#12 Chips

Synopsis

Chips centers on the lives of 2 men born on the same day but live completely different lives; one who is a star professional baseball player and the other a petty home burglar. Their fates cross when the burglar and a suicidal woman enter the home of the professional baseball player.

Funny and Heartwarming Elements

  • The comedic moments come from the burglar, who may be a career criminal but not a very good one. Most of his attempts to burglarize home are either interrupted by some freak accident or by his own ineptness.
  • The heartwarming elements also come from said burglar, who by the end of the film might have a change of heart as he tries to prove that his life is not bound by fate, that if he tries hard enough, he can achieve greatness. Of course, whether he is successful or not will only be known by watching the film in its entirety.

#13 Waterboys

Synopsis

Waterboys is about a group of boys who, through various errors in judgement and their fondness for girls, end up forming a swimming team and competing in what they deem is a girl’s sport: synchronized swimming. With the help of a dolphin trainer they become famous all over the country.

Funny and Heartwarming Elements

  • The boys initially started out trying for the swim team because the instructor is very attractive, but when the instructor goes on leave, they are left with nothing to do and it is revealed that majority of them only joined out of a desire for the instructor, so they are left with only four members.
  • The boys soon hired a dolphin instructor to train them, but only wanting the money, the instructor left them to practice dancing via a Dance Dance Revolution game. However, he is surprised to see the boys actually learned how to dance in perfect rhythm using the game

#14 Summertime Machine Blues

Synopsis

Summer Time Machine Blues follows a group of teenagers from a Sci-Fi Club and Photography Club, who accidentally find a real time machine and use it to solve their problems with a broken air condition remote controller. Only planning to steal a copy of the remote control before it was broken, they end up causing problems in the time stream.

Funny and Heartwarming Elements

The premise itself is funny, in that they now have access to all of time and history, but decide to use it to solve a trivial problem: a broken remote control for an air condition. Of course, even more hilarity ensues after they end up bumbling their way all over time.

#15 Yoshino's Barber Shop

Synopsis

A small town on the countryside has all the young boys forced to have the same “Yoshino-gari” hairstyle, which is basically a type of bowl-head haircut. Their way of life is soon turned upside down when an aggressive young transfer kid from Tokyo comes to town sporting bleached and spiky hair.

Funny and Heartwarming Elements

The heartwarming element of the film comes courtesy of the group of boys with bowlhead haircuts learning to accept the outsider into their group. The film examines friendship, tradition, and change as the outsider learns how to conform while the bowlhead haircut sporting boys start to question the role of tradition and whether they really need to conform to it.

This is part 2 of the 15 Funniest and Most Touching Japanese Movies (1-7). Click here for the part 1.

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