Recently the famous Korean survival drama Squid Games has intrigued people to see more movies and dramas in this genre. While romance and funny are great to watch, who doesn’t love great tension and suspense films to see? We have a variety of famous movies and dramas made by great filmmakers with a lot of tension and thriller, which makes us curious about what will happen and who all are going to survive. Let’s see the top 10 Japanese movies and dramas based on survival and mind games.
1. Battle Royale
Battle Royale or Batoru Rowaiaru is a Japanese action-thriller film released in the year 2000. The story is about a group of junior high school students forced to fight to the death by the Japanese totalitarian government. They get sent to a desert island where they get a map, food, and some weapons. The intense violence in the film made it controversial and was banned by many countries. The film was preparing for a sequel when, unfortunately the director Fukasaku died of prostate cancer after only shooting one scene, and his son eventually took over directorial duties.
2. Liar Game: The Final Stage
Liar Game: The Final Stage is a Japanese film released in 2010. It is a continuation of the popular drama series Liar Game. It is one of the most talked about Japanese dramas of 2007. Erika Toda plays the main character of Nao Kanzaki, a naive college student who gets ¥100 million to play a mysterious game. After a month, she has to return the money, but not before she meets an opponent who can steal her money or vice versa.
Gantz is a Japanese manga series. The story is of two college students, Masaru and Kei, who died in a train accident and get taken to another planet. On this planet they are given a handful of futuristic items, weaponry, and equipment to find and kill aliens. They get the opportunity to revive or bring the life of a chosen person if they receive 100 points.
Kaiji-The Ultimate Gambler is a Japanese live-action film released in the year 2009. This film is about Kaiji Itō, who is in desperate financial straits. Already struggling financially, his roommate also leaves him in considerable debt. After which, he reluctantly accepts the challenge of a series of risky games played on a cruise ship and starts with a complex game of rock, paper, and scissors.
5. As The Gods Will
As the Gods Will (Kami-Sama no Iu Tōri) is a Japanese supernatural horror film released in 2014. Like Squid Game, Takashi Miike’s As the Gods Will is based on a kid 's game . The film is about Shun Takahata, an ordinary high school student living a boring life until one day he and his classmates get forced to play a game of death. Not knowing the master planner behind the games, the only option is to keep winning to stay alive. The first game in the classroom is Daruma-San ga koronda, the Japanese version of Red Light, Green Light Yet, but unlike the typical game in this, if one who gets caught moving, their head gets blown off.
6. Alice In Borderland
Alice in Borderland is a Japanese science fiction thriller drama released in 2020. The series stars Tao Tsuchiya and Kento Yamazaki, who get caught up in an abandoned Tokyo. They are forced to compete in dangerous games to survive, and the game's difficulty level and type are determined by playing cards. This thriller drama was a massive sensation on Netflix and appeared in the top 10 lists in more than 50 countries. The viewers were hooked right from the start, and a second season was confirmed just two weeks after the first release.
7. The Incite Mill
The Incite Mill is a Japanese psychological thriller film released in 2010 based on a novel of the same name. The story is about ten strangers who gather at a complex after they hear about a short-term job paying 112,000 Yen ($1,236) per hour. They are locked in the remote underground complex and get forced to take part in murderous games. They are informed that if nothing happens in seven days, they can all go home with ¥18 million. However, by the second day, one of them is already dead.
Kakegurui – Compulsive Gambler is a Japanese film released in 2019. The film is about Hyakkaou Private Academy, a prestigious institution in which the privileged people study and established 122 years ago. In this academy, students are ranked on their gambling winnings, and the winners get fame and fortune and get to dominate the losers. The one who fails to rack up debt and will be compelled to work for free. A new student is transferred here and quickly shows she is a gambling maniac who loves high stakes.
9. Cinderella Game
Cinderella Game is a Japanese drama released in 2016. The story is about Sana Haitani, played by Kasumi Yamaya, a member of an idol group. She pursues this dream of her deceased older sister, who had always wanted to be a top idol. Her group unfortunately disbanded. Later she is abducted and brought to a deserted island along with other idol females and has to engage in a battle of card games. If she wins the card battle, she can become a top idol, but if she loses, she dies.
10. The Werewolf Game: The Villagers Side
The Werewolf Games: The Villagers side is a Japanese horror and thriller film released in 2013. The story is about Airi Nishina, a high school student who gets kidnapped on the way home from school. With her nine students are also kidnapped and they get forced to play the Jinroh Games. They get told that in this game, they are all villagers, and two hidden werewolves must be found and killed by 9 pm, and failing to do so, they will all die.