New Japanese Shows to Watch on Netflix Right Now | Guidable - Your Guide to a Sustainable, Wellbeing-centred Life in Japan

New Japanese Shows to Watch on Netflix Right Now

By Margherita Jan 19, 2023

Craving some new Japanese shows on Netflix you can easily start watching right away? Keep on reading for the best Japanese new shows on Netflix to watch in January.

Our Four Recommended New Japanese Shows on Netflix Now


Source: Youtube

“Hatsukoi” (First love) is one of the new Japanese dramas on Netflix, creating a buzz right now. The show tells the (first) love story of the main characters Yae and Harumichi:

After getting together in high school and growing together in the city of Sapporo their lives take a different direction, and they grow apart. Will their fates cross again?

The story takes place in the present in Sapporo and goes back and forth with flashbacks of the protagonists’ life as we trace back their youth and the beginning and development of their love story.

The song “Hatsukoi” by Hikaru Utada, released in 2018, from which the drama takes its name, is a recurring theme that stays with the viewer throughout the whole series. Hatsukoi is a beautiful story about destined love that transcends place and time. It is very much aligned with the Japanese idea of “aka ito”, according to which two lovers are destined together and are bonded together by the “red thread” of faith that, no matter what will eventually bring them together someday.

Number of seasons: 1 – 9 episodes

Average episode length: 1 hour

Alice in Borderland

Source: Youtube

Alice in Borderland is a thriller survival drama produced by Netflix that is based on a manga written by Haro Aso.

The protagonist, Arisu (Alice), and his two best friends find themselves stuck in a parallel Tokyo: here, a system based on temporary expiring visas forces “players” to keep participating and competing in survival games – the visa gets renewed if they can make it out of the games alive.

The first season came out at the end of 2020 and had great success in Japan and abroad. The second season just came out with new 8 episodes, around 45-60 minutes each. While the first season is mostly centered around survival games, witty, clever and super entertaining to follow, the second season definitely aims at developing the storyline and relations between the different characters. 

If you are into sci-fi dramas this is the one for you: bear in mind that the second season might be less entertaining if you are exclusively looking for action.

Number of seasons: 2 – 8 episodes each

Average episode length: 45 minutes



Photo credit: Wikipedia | The image is used as the primary means of visual identification of the article topic.

I.W.G.P. aka “Ikebukuro West Gate Park”, is a drama that aired on TV from April 14 to June 23, 2000, and had a huge success among the public. The script was written by Kankuro Kudo, and the cast includes (now) famous actors such as Yomoya Nagase as the main character, Makoto, and Yosuke Kubozuka as the character called “the King”. Makoto is a 21-year-old boy living in Ikebukuro, a neighbourhood in the northern area of Tokyo, known for its juvenile crime. Makoto becomes friends with “the King”, the leader of the local youth gang called “the G-Boys” along which he becomes known for his cool head and ability to get things done. 

The situation gets increasingly tense in the neighbourhood when a series of homicides start happening and Makoto starts searching for the culprit while discovering and uncovering what happens around Ikebukuro.

The acclaimed drama has finally been distributed on Netflix and this is your chance to take a look at this 90s vibe piece of mystery drama. 

Number of seasons: 1 – 12 episodes

Average episode length: 45 minutes

Bicycling Mellow Love

Source: Youtube (Japanese only)

Bicycling Mellow Love is an example of a pure-and-genuine Japanese love story. 

The main character, Tomoko, is a 30-year-old girl from Tokyo, living and working for a traditional Japanese company in Gifu. Tomoko is not good at socialising and is unable to express her own opinions clearly: she can’t refuse invitations from colleagues she is not interested in, and she is not able to stand up for herself even when she is subtly harassed by her boss. This changes when she meets Ryohei, who runs a bicycle shop nearby and fixes her bicycle by chance on the street.

Ryohei is handsome but looks intimidating with his tough style and rough way of speaking. Tomoko initially fears him because of his tough attitude, but his kindness slowly wins her over, and she becomes attracted to him.

The plot is certainly not one of the most innovative nor suspenseful ones, but it is a light romance perfect for switching off after a long day at work.

Number of seasons: 1 – Ongoing

Average episode length: 25 minutes

New Japanese Shows to Binge-Watch on Netflix

You have plenty to choose from new and old releases, from love to action and mystery, from this month’s new Japanese shows on Netflix. 

Grab a snack, sit back and binge-watch some of the new Japanese TV shows on Netflix right now.

More reads: 

Read about Japanese streaming services.

TVer, dTV and Other Japanese Streaming Sites

Do you love Japanese comedy?

What Is Manzai? The Japanese Art of Comedy