13 Best Japanese High School Romance Movies | AlphaGirl Reviews (2023)

I may not review movies on this blog but I do watch a lot of Japanese movies. The Japanese offer not only the best anime but also bring you some remarkable teen romance movies. In fact, every Friday night is movie night for me and I watch one movie before retiring to bed. Since I don’t know how exactly to get information on good Japanese movies (nope google hardly helps) I simply follow the trend and watch fan-made videos of Japanese movies on YouTube. Through these videos, I get an idea if I want to watch the movie or not.

And once again, I am grateful to these FMV’s that I discovered some really good Japanese high school movies. These teen movies are available in almost every genre but my focus here is on romantic movies.

These movies are not out and out romantic. These movies have comedy, drama, and some important life lessons. Barely two hours long, these movies are entertaining and even memorable. Have a look at my most favourite and the best Japanese movies on teen romance. I have attached a fan-made video with some movies so you get an idea of how I select movies to watch.

Warning: Every video is full of spoilers. If you do not like spoilers then just stick to the description and skip the videos.

There is something special about first love, isn’t it? These Japanese teen romance movies will help you relive those beautiful days of school and innocent love.

1. Kimi ni Todoke (From Me To You) (2010)

13 Best Japanese High School Romance Movies | AlphaGirl Reviews (1)

Image Courtesy: Asian Wiki

Synopsis: Let’s start this list with my most favourite Japanese movie. Kuronuma Sawako is known in her school as ‘Sadako’ the ghost girl character from the horror movie ‘Ring’. Her resemblance to the character is such that her schoolmates avoid talking to her fearing that making eye contact with her could kill them. One day the school’s popular boy Kazehaya Shouta loses his way to school and Sawako helps him out. This brief interaction with the reclusive Sawako makes him notice her and he slowly falls in love with her.

Kimi Ni Todoke is one of the few movies that I have watched multiple times because it is such a feel-good movie. The budding romance between two unlikely students is heart-warming to watch. I personally fell in love with late actor Miura Haruma after watching this. This movie is not just about love but also about friendship. Meeting Kazehaya changes Sawako’s life as she is finally able to make friends and be a normal student.

Here is the title song from the movie with lots of spoilers in it.

2. Harumatsu Bokura (Waiting for Spring) (2018)

13 Best Japanese High School Romance Movies | AlphaGirl Reviews (2)

Image Courtesy: Binged

Synopsis: Haruno Mizuki has transferred to a new school hoping to change her shy and reserved personality and make new friends. Sadly, she is unable to overcome her shyness and remains lonely in school until she unwittingly makes friends with four of the most popular boys in school who willingly accept Mizuki as a part of their group.

This is another movie that I have watched more than once. What I love best about this movie is the casting and the bromance. Of course, Mitsuki’s romance with the good-looking Asakura is endearing too. This movie is about self-exploration and bonding with friends who accept you the way you are.

Have a look at one of my most favorite fan-made videos focusing on Asakura and Mitsuki’s love story.

3. Kyou no Kira-kun (Today’s Kir-kun/Closest To Heaven) (2017)

13 Best Japanese High School Romance Movies | AlphaGirl Reviews (3)

Image Courtesy: Asian Wiki

(Video) 15 BEST School Japanese Dramas That'll Make You Wish You Were Back In School Again! [ft HappySqueak]

Synopsis: Okamura Ninon is an awkward teenager who is bullied at school. To keep people from messing with her she overgrows her bangs and keeps the company of no one but her lovebirds. One day, her classmates bully her when Kira Yuiji beats up those bullies and stands by her. Thereafter, she learns that Kira suffers from a heart condition and has barely a year to live. She then snips off her bangs and vouches to be by his side for the rest of the year. What starts as a surprising friendship slowly turns into a blossoming love.

This movie is about the meeting of two opposite personalities and the kind of changes they bring in each other’s life. Actors Taishi Nakagawa and Iitoya Marie look too cute together in this movie. Watch this movie for some honest, innocent, and sincere love.

Watch this beautiful video focusing on Ninon and Kira’s love story.

4. L.DK: Two Loves Under One Roof (2019)

13 Best Japanese High School Romance Movies | AlphaGirl Reviews (4)

Image Courtesy: Asian Wiki

Synopsis: Aoi Nishimori confronts the school’s popular boy, Shusei Kugayama for rejecting her friend. In a turn of events, she instead starts sharing a room with him and the two teens start living together. Slowly they fall in love but decide to keep it a secret at school till they graduate. But their plans are in jeopardy as his relative Reon discovers their secret.

This one is the sequel to the original L.DK that came out in 2014. Of the two movies, I like this one better mainly because of the perfect casting. The three leads are apt for their respective roles and manage to have decent comic timing. It is a fun movie that is great to watch when you have nothing better to do over the weekend. This movie is for those who like the Japanese drama ‘Itazura Na Kiss’ or the Korean drama ‘Playful Kiss’. The storyline is similar where the popular guy falls for the average Jane because he sees what no one else sees in her and fights the world to be with her.

Here is a spoilery glimpse into the life of the two young love birds.

5. Kimi no Suizo wo Tabetai (I Want To Eat Your Pancreas) (2017)

13 Best Japanese High School Romance Movies | AlphaGirl Reviews (5)

Image Courtesy: Asian Wiki

Synopsis: Yamauchi Sakura suffers from a pancreatic disease that allows her only another year to live. She hides her condition from her schoolmates but is accidentally discovered by her reclusive classmate, Shiga Haruki. Now exposed, she befriends Haruki and with him, she decides to implement her to-do list in the last few days of her life.

This is a real tear-jerker but only towards the end. The ending is so shocking that you may be left gaping at the screen in disbelief. Sakura and Haruki like each other but circumstances are such that they cannot express their feelings or even act upon them.This movie is to be watched only for young actors Hamabe Minami and Kitamura Takumi. The two play their part exceedingly well and light up the screen with their innocent charm.

Watch Sakura and Haruki fall in love.

6. Koizora (Sky of Love) (2007)

13 Best Japanese High School Romance Movies | AlphaGirl Reviews (6)

Image Courtesy: Wikipedia

Synopsis: Tahara Mika is a high-school student who one day receives a call from an unknown caller who keeps her engaged in his talks. After talking for a few days, they decide to meet. When Mika meets her mysterious caller she is left aghast to know that her secret admirer is the blonde-haired boy, Sakurai Hiroki who she is scared of because of his bad reputation. But it is too late to back out as they both have fallen in love that will never allow them to be the same again.

(Video) One in a Hundred Thousand - Full Story 💖High School Love Story💖Japanese Movie💖Love Story 💖_NAYU TYTA

Another tearjerker starring my favorite, Miura Haruma. This movie is a depiction of everything that can go wrong with a teen love affair.But since the two lovers share a deep bond life brings them together one last time. Koizora deals with a fatal ailment so please keep some tissues handy when watching it. This movie has love, hatred, revenge, drama, and everything to keep you engaged with our characters.

Watch Mika and Hiroki’s painful love story in short.

7. Kimi wa Tsukiyo ni Hikari Kagayaku (You Shine In The Moonlight) (2019)

13 Best Japanese High School Romance Movies | AlphaGirl Reviews (7)

Image Courtesy: Asian Wiki

Synopsis: Watarase Mamizu suffers from a unique fatal condition known as the ‘luminescence disease’ which makes the patient shine under the moonlight. This shine that the patient emits gets brighter as they reach closer to their death. Okada Takuya is Mamizu’s classmate who is entrusted with the responsibility of visiting Mamizu in the hospital to give her class notes. When Mamizu meets him she strikes a friendship with him and since she is not permitted to leave the hospital she asks him to complete the tasks mentioned in her bucket list on her behalf. As Takuya goes about completing each task not only does he start to learn more about himself and his life, he also falls in love with the effervescent Mamizu.

The last tearjerker-fatal disease movie on this list. This movie does not offer something different or new except for Mamizu’s weird health condition. But what makes it special is Nagano Mei and Kitamura Takumi’s acting and on-screen chemistry. It is a fun one-time watch movie. And with this, I just realized I have three Kitamura Takumi movies on this list. Jeez! I think I am secretly crushing on this young actor.

Here is Mamizu and Takuya’s love story.

8. Hirunaka no Ryuusei (Day Time Shooting Star) (2017)

13 Best Japanese High School Romance Movies | AlphaGirl Reviews (8)

Image Courtesy: Asian Wiki

Synopsis: Yosano Suzume transfers to a new school in Tokyo. She loses her way to her accommodation when a young attractive man named Shishio helps her out. She falls in love with him and continues to be so even after discovering the fact that he is her homeroom teacher. In school, she becomes friends with the unsociable Mamura who feel uncomfortable around girls. But Suzume’s chirpy nature appeals to him and he eventually falls for her.

A love triangle with pretty people involved makes a good watch, doesn’t it? I loved this movie because of actress Nagano Mei. She was splendid as the cute Suzume or as Shishio calls her ‘chunchun’. The movie has its flaws script-wise but I enjoyed it nonetheless.

Here is the video that made me watch the movie. Warning: It contains the entire story in short. So watch it only if you do not mind spoilers.

9. Watashi ni xx Shinasai (Missions of Love) (2018)

13 Best Japanese High School Romance Movies | AlphaGirl Reviews (9)

Image Courtesy: Asianwiki

Synopsis: Short-story writer Himuro Yukina is popular for writing online romances. Her readers expect her to take the romance level in her stories a notch higher, which leaves Yukina in a fix because she has never experienced romance in her life to be able to write a steamy realistic love affair. One day, she witnesses Kitami Shigure, a popular guy in school, turn down a girl and keep a score in his diary. She gets her hand on his diary and then threatens to expose him if he does not follow her orders of enacting certain love gestures that happen between couples so she gets a real feeling of love and is able to write those feelings in her story.

From the synopsis, you must have rightly guessed that this is the most different movie on the list. It is not your regular romance. It is a girl who meets a boy and blackmails him to teach her how to love. It may look like an adult movie but it is not. There are seemingly steamy scenes but trust me it does not lead anywhere. Watch this movie only for something different.

(Video) The Professor Dirtily Uses Students in the Last Days of His Life

10. RE:Life (2017)

13 Best Japanese High School Romance Movies | AlphaGirl Reviews (10)

Image Courtesy: Netflix

Synopsis: Kaizaki Arata is a 27-year-old man who is unhappy in his life as he fails to secure a good job for himself. One night, a mysterious man appears in front of him and offers him a chance to become 10 years younger and redo his life. After contemplating over the offer he takes the magic pill the mysterious man offered him and finds himself 10 years younger. Instead of looking for a job he now has to study in high school and experience younger days afresh.

The plot of this movie is interesting as any time travel movie. Nakagawa Taishi easily transforms from the frustrated Arata to the young and hopeful teen Arata. The movie tends to drag a bit in parts but overall it is worth watching.

Do not miss Arata and Chizuru’s love story in this movie.

11. Peach Girl (2017)

13 Best Japanese High School Romance Movies | AlphaGirl Reviews (11)

Image Courtesy: IMDB

Synopsis: Adachi Momo is a high school girl who is extremely conscious of her tanned skin. She has a crush on her classmate Kazuya Toujigamori but does not have the confidence to approach him or confess her feelings. When the school’s most popular boy Okayasu Kairi sees Momo he falls in love with her and approaches her directly. But she has eyes only for Toji. Her friend Kashiwagi Sae seems sweet to her on the outside but is secretly jealous of Momo and does everything to keep her away from Toji.

This is a typical high school story with common teen struggles and problems. The female lead actress Yamamoto Mizuki is the reason why I enjoyed the movie so much. It has some hilarious scenarios along with some important life lessons for teens. It is a good entertaining movie with a good cast.

Here is the love triangle you see in the movie. Full of spoilers.

12. Bokura no Gohan wa Ashita de Matteru (Our Meal For Tomorrow) (2017)

13 Best Japanese High School Romance Movies | AlphaGirl Reviews (12)

Image Courtesy: IMDB

Synopsis: Uemura Koharu is a young and bright girl who has a crush on the reserved Hayama Ryota. To get close to him, she asks him to help her with a sack race. Even though they lose the race Koharu is not sad as she asks him out and he agrees to it. They date for a few years till one day Koharu suddenly asks to break up with Ryota without giving any plausible reason. Heartbroken Ryota goes on in life sulking about the breakup and unable to get over Koharu.

The movie starts with some sweet romance between our leads and everything seems to be going well and smooth when suddenly things change. And then there is brooding and longing by our male lead who neither wants to accept the breakup nor wants to move on. If you like slow movies, then you might like this movie. Our leads are both talented and so the movie worth watching.

Here is Koharu and Ryota’s sweet love story.

(Video) Hot Summer Nights | Official Trailer HD | A24

13. Sensei! Suki ni Natte mo Ii Desuka? (My Teacher) (2017)

13 Best Japanese High School Romance Movies | AlphaGirl Reviews (13)

Image Courtesy: Asian Wiki

Synopsis: Hibiki is a high school student who has never experienced love before. One morning, during her school’s assembly she happens to make eye contact with her teacher Kosaku Ito who, like her, is yawning. Her heart flutters at that moment and she starts feeling differently for him. Thereafter, she tries to control her feelings but each time Ito is in front of her she feels attracted to him. One day, she confesses her feelings for him and seeks his permission to like him if she manages to score high marks in his subject. Ito tries to discourage her infatuation with him but her sincerity towards him seems to move his heart much against his own will.

I find it difficult to explain why I like this movie when I do not approve of its main plot. I’m aware that one cannot truly control who one falls in love with. However, I believe that some relations should be off-limits when it comes to love stories. And I feel a teacher-student romance is one of the few topics that should not be encouraged or even promoted. It should be kept out of romantic angles. But this is a Japanese movie and you can count on Japan to give you some of the most shocking romances out there. And they have an unusual fixation with teacher-student romance because it is quite common in mangas, dramas, and their movies too.

The only reason I gave this movie a try was that I did not want to miss watching Ikuta Toma and Hirose Suzu together in a movie. And I wasn’t disappointed. The two actors were so good in their respective roles that their age gap did not bother me at all. Yes, I cringed hard at their kiss scene but by then I was totally invested in the movie and wanted to see it to its end.

Overall, I enjoyed the movie. The objectionable (perhaps only for me) plot was handled well by the writers. They did not focus on the couple romancing but more on the process of falling in love which makes it an interesting watch.

These were all my favorite Japanese romance high school movies. Most of these movies are live adaptations of popular Japanese mangas. And though, I wish to explore more Japanese movies belonging to a variety of genres, for now, I am happy with high school movies. If you have a personal favorite J-high school movie then do let me know I would love to give it a shot.

Lastly, if you like these fan-made videos, then do subscribe to the respective channels because these video creators put in a lot of effort, time, and hard work to make such beautifully edited videos.

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