I’ve seen just about all the “classic” live-action Japanese movies: easily half of Kurosawa’s filmography; every Japanese Godzilla movie; Hausu; both Lady Snowblood movies; Shogun’s Samurai; Legend of the Eight Samurai; Makai Tensho; The Great Yokai War; Tampopo; Branded to Kill; the Hanzo the Razor series; plenty of Sentai/Kamen Rider movies.
But I’m still interested in exploring more live-action films that shaped Japanese culture in the Showa and Heisei eras. I’ve been trying, in particular, to track down the 1959 version of 里見八犬伝 and the トラック野郎 series. More than that, I’m always looking for anything from those decades that helped shape Japanese pop culture. I’m most interested in things that nobody has ever localized. I don’t like feeling like I’m reinventing the wheel, you know?
I also know that it’s easy to find almost every anime ever, and I’ve seen plenty. But I prefer live-action for listening practice. I’m trying to improve my phonology, so it helps to see real lips moving. Moreover, I don’t think I’m a snob or anything, but I’d rather learn more about Japanese pop culture than one gets from watching nothing but animation.
I saw the トラック野郎 series for rent on amazon.co.jp, but you can’t rent there unless you have a Japanese bank account. I’d like to visit Japan someday, but I’ll probably forget to swing by a bank. So I don’t think this is an option.
So far, the only way that I’ve been able to legally find Japanese movies is to look for physical media on amazon.co.jp or eBay. But searching for the right movie is a nightmare (especially on eBay) and the shipping fees really add up. I’ve thought about doing the VPN trick, but I don’t even know how to find out which movies Netflix streams in other countries.
Is there any way that I can legally stream Japanese movies as someone who’s never been there? Or at least some option that’s cheaper than blind-buying DVDs one by one and hoping they have subtitles and/or are good movies?