Are You Learning Japanese, Chinese? We Selected 5 Must-Watch Movies On Netflix For Each Language

Learning 101 Nov 13, 2020

If you don't know yet, Netflix has been expanding their Asian movie collections for a while now as part of an attempt to global popularity. Some movies from China and Japan have even been o n Netflix's Top 10 most-watched list of all genres.

So, if you are learning Japanese or Chinese and want to expand your language skills while still getting a break from all the boring textbooks and homework, check these movies out today to and choose a few for your perfect cheat night! 🎞

And of course, if you want to learn even more from these movies rather than just watching one and... leaving it there, use GlotDojo, a Chrome extension specially designed for Netflix to turn on dual subtitles, look up a difficult word's meaning directly from the subtitles without switching tabs, custom playback speed, repeat subtitle with just one key, and do many more things with your movie.

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Best Chinese Movies On Netflix

A Sun

A Sun. Credit: Courtesy Variety

A Sun is a melodrama that tells the story of two sons. A-Hao, a top student poised to attend the med school of his choice, and A-Ho, a rebellious kid whose involvement with a bad crowd lands him in a juvenile detention centre. However, despite being portrayed as the ideal child, A-Hao, too, has some dark secrets that he keeps from everyone.

The Wandering Earth

The Wandering Earth. Credit: China Media Capital

China's third highest-grossing film of all time and the biggest sci-fi blockbuster, The Wandering Earth is  based on a novella by China's first Hugo Award winner, Liu Cixin. It's 2061 and the sun is dying, so the world unites to propel Earth to the nearest solar system by using enormous thrusters. In the meantime, people live in underground cities to survive the centuries-long voyage.

When a gravitational spike on Jupiter disables many of the planet's thrusters and threatens to pull Earth into its orbit, a rescue mission team sets out to repair the giant engines and save the human race.

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This Is Not What I Expected

This rom-com follows the relationship between Lu Jin, a wealthy CEO of a company specialising in hotel acquisitions, and Gu Shengnan, an eccentric sous-chef at the Rosebud Hotel. Lu is unsatisfied with everything he encounters when he first arrives until he tastes Gu's near-perfect meal. Although the two meet under rocky circumstances with plenty of wacky shenanigans along the way, their mutual love for delicacies ultimately brings them together.

A Love So Beautiful

When Xiao Xi and Jiang Chen are high school friends and neighbors who grew up together. Xiao Xi is happy-go-lucky and doesn’t like to study much but she has a talent for drawing. Jiang Chen is popular for his good looks and high grades. How will the realities of life shape the friendships and love of these young adults?

Cities Of Last Things

This film chronicles three incidents in protagonist Zhang Dong Ling's life in three eras, three seasons and three nights, but all in the same city in a non-chronological structure. In a dystopian tale unfolding in reverse chronology, the man with his complicated past takes revenge on the individuals who wronged him decades ago.

Best Japanese Movies On Netflix

Mischievous Kiss

It is based on the Japanese manga Itazura Na Kiss written by Tada Kaoru. Kotoko Aihara  isn't very intelligent and lacks ability in school. She is in class F, the least intelligent class in her grade. Despite this, she has been in love with the school's most handsome and most intelligent guy, Naoki Irie (Yuki Furukawa), ever since she saw him give a speech at the high school entrance ceremony.

Rilakkuma and Kaoru

This stop-motion animation is a heart-warming tribute to one of Japan’s most beloved characters, Rilakkuma. Kaoru, an office worker in her thirties, lives with her pet chick and two bears, one of which is Rilakkuma. While Kaoru may not have too much in common with her fluffy roommates, the animals try their best to cheer her up when she’s down and help out around the house, even if they don’t always see eye to eye.


Originally a BBC Two production, Netflix’s “Giri/Haji” (available for streaming now) translates as “duty/shame”. 'Giri/Haji' makes for a surprisingly authentic thriller based on Japan’s notorious mafia-like gangs. Following the killing of a yakuza boss’s nephew, Japanese detective Kenzo Mori travels to London to track down his brother, Yuto. With dialogue both in English and Japanese, this eight-part series weaves a riveting tale of deceit, corruption and brotherhood.

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Midnight Dinner

Midnight Dinner. Credit: Courtesy Netflix

When Tokyoites finish their day and head home, the chef and owner of fictional Meishiya, a shinya shokudo (midnight diner) in Shinjuku, starts his day. Known only as 'Master’, his small, homely izakaya is open from midnight until 7am. During each episode, Master stands behind his horseshoe-shaped counter; he's wise and enigmatic, like a local Yoda, offering support and words of wisdom for the characters in need.


Erased is an adaptation of the same name (Boku dake ga Inai Machi). The story is about Satoru Fujinuma, as an adult and as a child. After a series of ill-fated and grief-stricken events (one being the murder of his mother), he uses his new-found ability to go jump back in time to prevent this murder from occurring.

The opportunity is forced upon him because he is the unlucky prime suspect. He comes to realise that the murderer has been around since his childhood, kidnapping children and murdering them. It's a great Japanese-style thriller that surely will get on your nerves.

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