Japan is the land of art, culture and wonder. As much as Japanese entertainment industry invest in high budget films like The Tale of Princess Kaguya, there are mamy low budget films that need our attention. Today, we present to you a list of Top 10 Low Budget Japanese Movies. So without a further chitchat, let's get it.
1. Siblings Of The Cape (2018)
Written, directed and edited by Shinzo Katayama, Siblings of the Cape brings to us the story of two siblings in a pinch. Yoshio is a physically disabled man living in a shabby place with his severely autistic sister Mariko. One day Mariko comes home with bills and signs of sexual dalliance which sparks an idea in now unemployed Yoshio to take advantage of his sister's current encounter. Mariko turns into a new leaf and the siblings lives change drastically. The film was made with the budget of ¥3 million and it was garnered with much critical acclamations.
2. Jesus (2018)
Directed, edited and written by then 22 years old debut director Hiroshi Okuyama, Jesus tells the story of young Yura who moves to countryside to live with his old grandmother and transfers into a Christian missionary school nearby. He has to attend daily prayers,something quite unknown to him. He starts questioning the existence of God and a tiny Jesus appears to answer his questions and fulfill his wishes. However, this magic comes with an expiry date and it makes Yura question the existence of God all over again. This film was shot in such a modest budget when Okuyama was still in college. Jesus was praised in international film festivals and won the New Directors Award in 66th San Sebastian International Film Festival.
3. It Feels So Good (2019)
Experienced scriptwriter Haruhiko Arai takes the director's wheel for the first time to make a film on Kazufumi Shiraishi's 2012 novel of the same name. The novel is about the post 2011 earthquake in Japan and questions what one would do to live their last days under an impending apocalypse- or especially who would they spend their last days with? The film adaptation shows Naoko, a bride to be in few days reuniting with her former lover for just one night. However, that leads to a realisation that one night together with each other is not enough. With just two actors as the cast, It Feels So Good traverses on the realm of fundamental human instincts when "the end" is near.
4. Melancholic (2018)
Director Seiji Tanaka made his debut with Melancholic in 2018 when he was still working full time to make ends meet. With just a modest budget of ¥3 million, Melancholic was critically acclaimed around the globe and made Tanaka won Best Director prize from Tokyo International Film Festival and an entry to all other international film festivals. Melancholic tells the story of Kazuhiko, a Tokyo University graduate, is an unemployed and socially awkward guy who gets a part time job in a local bathhouse. His life turns upside down when he gets to know that thos bathhouse becomes a site of bloodbath and execution. With its dark and grueling storytelling, Melancholic is a must watch for a movie buff.
5. One Cut Of The Dead (2018)
Made with the micro budget of ¥3 million, this film was shot in the span of eight days. It was at first just a performance workshop which was later turned into a film. One Cut of the Dead is a reinvention of zombie genre film directed by Shinchirou Ueda. The film shows the experience of a film crew experiencing real zombie attacks in an abandoned WWII Japanese facility. With its ingenuine plot One Cut of the Dead is very appealing to watch.
6. Cold Fish (2010)
Cold Fish is Sion Sono's one of the most well known films which boasts off a low budget production and top notch plot development. The film tells the story of a fish shop owner living a passive life who one day gets entangled with a murderous couple and their wrongdoings.
7. Love Exposure (2008)
Now regarded as one of the best and most influential films ever made, this Sion Sono film is bizzare but beautiful. The film tells the story of teenager Yu who meets Yoko, while working as an "up-skirt" photographer. He immediately falls in love with her and his attempts to court her are tangled with cross dressing which convinces Yoko that she's a lesbian. Yu suffers from guilt due to his Catholic upbringing.
8. Dark Water (2002)
Another masterpiece by the director of Ring(1998), Dark Water lives up to its name and doesn't fail to send chill down one's spine. This film boasts off a grueling horror plot which makes one sit on the edge of seat. It is a story about a divorced young mother struggling to live with her daughter in a new apartment when strange occurrences disturb their lives.
9. Versus (2000)
Directed by Ryuhei Kitamura, Versus was made with the budget of 10000 USD. It tells the story of a group of gangsters, an unknown woman and a refugee convicted person meeting in the forest of resurrection. This forest is the 444th gate to the other side. Hell breaks on them when those who were killed and buried in the forest come back from the dead.
10. Lost In Translation (2003)
Well, Sofia Coppola's Lost in Translation is not exactly a Japanese film if you consider it's cast and crew. However, this film is set in Tokyo where two lone drifters of life runs into each other. Bob is an American actor who comes to Tokyo to shoot an ad film and meets Charlotte, a woman who's left behind by her photographer husband. They end up becoming friends.