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15 Funniest and Most Touching Japanese Movies (1-7)

Updated on March 24, 2016

Click here for Funniest and Most Touching Japanese Movies (8-15).

While Japanese films aren’t on the same level as Hollywood’s recent tentpole blockbusters when it comes to CG and special effects (either by choice or by necessity), one thing they can do better is inspire emotions. They can inspire dread and sadness in their horror and drama films, and get you pumped up with their action and martial arts films. If you prefer more positive emotions, they also have some of the funniest and most touching films in the world. Here are 15 funniest and most touching Japanese movies that you might want to check out:

#1 Funky Forest

Synopsis

Funky Forest is a 2 and a half hour collection of short stories and sketches that are loosely related. The stories vary greatly in theme and content, mixing stand up comedy, music, dance, and even animation in order to build an experience that don’t always make sense, but is engrossing nonetheless.

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Funny and Heartwarming Elements

  • Many of the scenes in Funky Forest rely on subtlety and nuanced delivery, so words cannot properly explain why certain scenes are heartwarming or funny. One segment to watch out for is the Hot Spring Vixens – a trio of beautiful but strange “saleswomen” who pass the time by telling short stories to each other.
  • The film also contains a heartwarming slacker romance story that could work as a standalone film: the story of Notti and Takefumi, a pair of platonic friends who actually love and dream about each other.

#2 The Happiness of the Katakuris

Synopsis

Based on the South Korean film The Quiet Family, The Happiness of the Katakuris is a horror-comedy film about a four-generation family of failures. The film uses a mixed media approach that contains live action, claymation, and musical numbers.

Funny and Heartwarming Elements

The Happiness of the Katakuris is a comedy of errors, as the titular family only wants to live a quiet life while running a guest hotel, only for their plans to go awry when guests start to die inside their hotel either through suicide or murder, worsened by the fact that their daughter has brought home a convict hunted by the police, and made even worse by the sudden eruption of a nearby volcano.

#3 My Life Changed When I went to a Sex Parlor

Synopsis

The movie is a rom-com that follows a loser who, upon visiting a sex parlor, meets a pretty and kind prostitute that he wants to marry. However, the problem is that he’s too socially inept to make a move not to mention he’s not the only want who has the hots for the prostitute.

Funny and Heartwarming Elements

  • Cynics might balk at the premise, but the treatment of the prostitute character is heartwarming as it kind of deprioritizes the sex aspect of her work and instead focuses on her naïvete and positivity.
  • The film is full of slapstick and situational comedy, and if you’re conservative, you will be glad to know that it doesn’t feature any risqué or even nude scenes.

#4 The Japanese Wife Next Door

Synopsis

The Japanese Wife Next Door is a “pink” comedy film (a softcore adult movie) that follows the story of a man who unknowingly marries a beautiful, kind, yet sexually unsatiable woman. Their marriage works out until the man becomes impotent, so his new bride starts to seduce his father, his grandfather, and even his sister.

Funny and Heartwarming Elements

  • At first blush, most people would be turned off from the film due to the number of sex scenes, but stick with it (or skip it) and you will appreciate the story and the protagonist’s struggle between keeping the woman he loves or giving in to the insecurity and jealousy.
  • The film also has a lot of situational comedy, though you need to have an open mind as most of them rely on sexual tension between the characters.

#5 Why Don't You Play in Hell?

Synopsis

Why Don't You Play in Hell? follows a yakuza boss, his aspiring actress daughter, the rival gangster who is in love with said daughter, and a group of wannabe filmmakers stuck in the middle.

Funny and Heartwarming Elements

  • The film has characters who are very passionate about certain things: one of the Yakuza bosses loves his wife so much that he’ll put a massive gang war on hold just to help their daughter become an actress, the other Yakuza boss is so smitten with his rival’s daughter that he’s willing to turn a gangwar into a mockery just to please her, and a group of indie filmmakers want to create a great film so much that they are literally willing to kill and die for it.
  • The film finds the perfect balance between action, drama, and irreverent comedy. Many of the violent over-the-top action sequences are framed by ridiculous premises. A large part of the comedy comes from one of the Yakuza bosses, who is so infatuated with his enemy’s daughter that he’ll act like a simpleton just to impress her, all the while his underlings struggle to pull him back into reality.
  • The group of filmmakers (called the “F**k Bombers”, funnily enough) also have heartwarming moments as you get to see them give everything for their dreams, even if life didn’t exactly give them any breaks.

#6 Tokyo Godfathers

Synopsis

Tokyo Godfathers is an animated Christmas film that follows three homeless people who discover an abandoned newborn while sifting through garbage. The baby is holding a note asking the finder to take good care of her, and along with the baby is a bag that contains clues to her parent’s identity. The trio then resolve to find the baby’s parents.

Funny and Heartwarming Elements

The film, being a Christmas-themed one, is full of heartwarming elements, not the least of it is the trio of homeless people seeking to help a baby reunite with its parents when they could have just left it alone. For their kind hearts, they are rewarded in the end with a winning lottery ticket. The events that happened in between would spoil too much, but this is the kind of film you need to watch if you want to regain your trust in humankind.

#7 Bunny Drop

Synopsis

Based on the same-titled manga and anime series, Bunny Drop centers on Daikichi, who is an unmarried office worker forced to care for Rin, his dead grandfather’s six year old illegitimate child.

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Funny and Heartwarming Elements

  • In the film, Daikichi shows a lot of selfless compassion for Rin (who is technically his aunt, despite being a few decades younger) as he chose to raise her himself despite knowing that it will hinder his chances of finding a girl to settle down with. All of it because he doesn’t want the girl to end up being sent to a foster home.
  • While technically a drama film, there are a lot of funny moments brought by the situation that the unexperienced father Daikichi unknowingly walked into, this includes the part where he allowed the scared Rin to sleep beside him, only to wake up to a wet bed.

That is part one of the funniest and most touching Japanese movies. That should keep you going for several days but if you want more, go ahead and look for the next part.

Click here for Funniest and Most Touching Japanese Movies (8-15).

If you have comments, questions and suggestions, drop us a line in the comment section or PM me.

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