Japanese Film Club // Watching Welcome Back, Mr. Mcdonald!


One of the major factors in getting me into learning this language was my love of movies, especially many Japanese ones. So I’d love to share that with others, and have all of us help each other find some new things to watch and get in extra listening practice. I envision this functioning pretty similarly to the book clubs, with a regularly rotating pick voted on, watched in a given period, then discussed. Details are still subject to change

Movie Proposals

Nominations for voting are always open! No restrictions on nominations until when/if they become needed. Use the below template when posting a nomination please.

Proposal Template

Copy this template into a new post when proposing a movie.

# Film title

(Rough) Genre:
Trailer Link (if possible):
Known content warnings: (Please spoiler tag where relevant – because these can spoil the film you don’t have to research everything, but just do your best to help mark these for fellow members. Even guesses that a movie suggests the likelihood of a certain type of content can be good to help those who need it do their own research)

Add summary here.

## Personal Opinion
Insert anything you want to say about why you suggested this movie!

Current Proposals

Current and past club threads


JustWatch - An aggregator for streaming availability, both through subscriptions or individual rentals.

Subtitle Hider - A means of blocking hardcoded English subs. IIRC only the black one worked for me when I tried it.

jpdb.io difficulty list - Difficulty estimates based on machine learning.

Natively - Difficult estimates based on comparative ratings by learners.

Recommended Streaming Services

Criterion Channel - Excellent collection of more “artsy” / older films, from Japan and elsewhere globally. Subscription required, only available in the US and Canada. No Japanese subs, tends to hardcode English.

Tubi - Sometimes good for hard to find movies, entirely free with interspersed ads. Likely to be hardcoded English subs as well IIRC. Serves a wider area: US, Canada, Mexico, some of Central America, India, Australia


We have an associated discord server to organize watching the picks together.

  • I am interested in joining
  • I might be interested in joining
  • I am not interested in joining
  • I am interested in polls
0 voters

Love this idea! We actually had something of a movie watch club over on Natively organized by @eefara after the 告白 book club finished. I…still have not finished the movie. Whoops. :sweat_smile:

I think 2 weeks to watch a pick makes sense, and maybe a poll each time to see who is listening ‘raw’, with jp subs, with translated subs, etc. Similar to how in book clubs we ask if you’re reading an ebook or physical.

Re: adult content and triggering content – in some of the book clubs we have a field for ‘known content warnings’ or something like that. For nominations here it might help to include that in the template I think.


That’s a cool site I didn’t know, it looks very handy for this idea.

Sounds good to me! I only have Netflix when it comes to streaming services, though I might be able to add Amazon from a sibling, I’ll ask them. If there’s a pick I can join (and is available in my region) I certainly will :wink: .


Thanks! I think everything you suggested is a good idea.

I was going to suggest Tubi but it turns out it’s not currently available anywhere in Europe :\ . Well for anyone in countries it’s available in or willing to use a VPN, it’s great. Totally free, just uses ads which can be circumvented and has a ton of things on it that are hard to find elsewhere.


I’d be interested in maybe joining. :raised_hand: I’m always on the lookout to improve my listening. Honestly time is usually the biggest factor for me; I don’t watch much in any language, so shows/movies tend to get shifted to the bottom of the pile. But if there were a club to prioritize it in my mind for me… Very possible. :thinking:


It’d be cool if there was a simulwatch thing, like on discord, but it is harder with streaming and stuff.

Also, it’d probably help to get people interested if they’re (like me) more likely to just show up and watch a movie rather than worry about where to watch it, even if it seems like a small thing.


I love the idea, but the problem for me is availability. I basically have only access to what Netflix offers, plus a couple more movies on a local streaming service. Back in the day of video clubs I could rent almost any movie I wanted, but now it’s significantly harder to get my hands on stuff I want to watch, rather than the stuff a streaming service selects for me. :frowning:
I think I have some Takeshi Kitano films on dvd though,and I’d be happy to rewatch those with you all. Or anything else I can get my hands on.


Yeah, it sounds fun. The question is how to make that work – Discord is technically possible though definitely skirting some copyright lines, which is a very cool thing to do but I do wonder if we ever have to worry about that kind of thing getting cracked down on. Discord is certainly monitoring what people do, as everyone is these days :unamused:

I very much miss good video stores, yeah. If you’re willing to pay to rent, often the availability isn’t that bad online? A lot of things will be available SOMEWHERE for like $3 or something. Of course, I say this as an American and I have no idea where you’re located. Either way, it being such a common thing for people to have, I expect some Netflix picks might be popular… though I think their selection is pretty disappointing generally and hope we can find more solutions for people, heh. Though, credit to them for subtitle availability.

Takeshi Kitano is excellent and I’d love to do some of his movies. I’ve got Kikujiro on bluray myself. Would love to have more.


I’d be surprised, honestly.

It has to be a pretty big discord userbase.

Plus, didn’t they just add watch parties or something? It’s YouTube, I think, but we all know YouTube isn’t all legal.

Plus plus, if someone has the movie and streams it it’s legal or something, no?


I haven’t found any Japanese movies to rent in my little corner of Europe unfortunately. Here we have subscription based streaming services that also offer a meagre selection for renting (more money!), but it’s mostly blockbusters and newish Hollywood releases. I keep wishing to be proven wrong, but I have found nothing yet. Anyway, if I can join you I will - and if not, I’ll just read your posts and enjoy the movies vicariously.


Interesting idea. I feel like discord watch parties could work, but there is the factor of timezones and whatever else, not everyone can attend. Of course, they can watch on their own, but the people who would struggle to get the movie and can’t attend a watch party may have difficulty.

But at the end of the day, we can always leave links to official sources, and people can acquire the movie however they so please. Illegal or not, if we don’t know, we won’t know. I can’t imagine everyone in the book clubs is actually buying the book.


Yeah. I have some thoughts but ultimately I don’t want us to get too bogged down in these questions. Availability as simply a personal factor in voting seems the easiest way to cover it. If something is literally not available for sale to someone it’s pretty hard to make the moral argument that a European doesn’t deserve to watch it or something lol, but these aren’t my forums so for the club’s own security I want to mostly steer conversation to the legal means and leave people to their own devices.

I think a watch party of sorts is at best gray area – it has its challenges but if the interest is there it’s something I wouldn’t fully count out… either way I’m not sure I’d be willing to run that too so people are free to do as they want. If there’s ever a club associated discord or anything of the sort it feels most prudent to make the invite easily accessible here and leave anything else for discussion there.

When we get properly going, JustWatch is going to be the best tool for people to check, but I plan to share some of the best services I know of to find a variety of Japanese films. Sadly so many are US/Canada centric, but I’ll definitely be taking suggestions if anyone in another region has them. It says something about the poor state of our treatment of this art form that availability is such an immediate question on everyone’s mind. I have no delusions of changing that, but it does make me even more determined to share all the interesting things that fall between the cracks when I can and do my tiny part to try to keep the conversations about movies going.

My assumption is that by polls picking things a majority (well, or plurality) of people have access to this will sort itself out, though the more I think about it, I could see, say, a consistent group who have access to X service sort of boxing out those in a region without repeatedly, or something. As with any new club, some of this will have to be trialed and nothing is set in stone. It’s hard to immediately solve, but in the VN club for example we found once that two almost entirely separate groups were split on a vote, so we broke the club into two temporarily. This might not be quite so equal, but it could be smart to look out for patterns like that here too. It’s my hope that anyone who wants to participate will be able to at least sometimes, and picks are going to cycle relatively rapidly (leaning 2 weeks with no one voicing opposition to that yet?).


For what it’s worth, I watch wrestling shows all the time (I’d never be able to afford to watch so many PPVs and shows from different companies all with their own streaming service if I wasn’t splitting the cost with my friends :sweat_smile:) in discord servers with friends streaming them, and we’ve never had any issues with discord cracking down on us for it.

One of those servers also regularly does a movie night, and we’ve never had issues there, either. I’m totally in agreement that someone organizing a movie watch party at a particular time makes it more likely for me to watch it rather than trying to arrange to see it on my own time. Basically the only movies I’ve watched in the past few years have been during these streams. For me, it’s not so much an issue of access to the content as it is just having a mental block with starting movies for some reason, so it helps to have a set time that I can set aside room for in my mental schedule for my day.

Granted, neither of those discord servers are exceptionally large, and they’re not really widely advertised anywhere, but one of them has well over 200 people in it, and we’ve still yet to have problems there.

The WK forum probably wouldn’t approve of it, but if the organization of that side of things is happening on discord instead, WK isn’t responsible for what goes on there :wink:.


You know, actually, better idea. I’m easily suggestable, like to try to help people more than I have the will to stick to my insistence about making someone else do it, and to steer the discussion in this thread back to the other details – the easiest way to do this is to simply make a discord server, it can prove on its own what the level of interest is by if people actually show up, and within it we can settle any necessary discussion about how it will work. See you there maybe!


Back in the U.S., my local library in Kansas had a nice selection of foreign movies including many Japanese DVDs for loan, and that’s how I got to see a lot of nice movies especially classic films before leaving for Japan (and it was all free).

Some libraries also have online perks so you can borrow ebooks and even movies to stream on a particular site.

Technically as long as you have a library card and a password, you can access it from anywhere. Unfortunately I’ve been away for too long that my card became inactive so I don’t have access anymore. But in case your local library has these services, I thought you should be aware!


So I looked into this and my library has access to something called Hoopla and they have an ok selection of Japanese films:

127 in total it says.


Then there’s the JFF, which occasionally has films streaming (though not if you’re actually in Japan).


Mine has a service called Kanopy, which is honestly pretty good for movies in general and definitely worth seeking out for anyone whose library has it, though it doesn’t seem like their Japanese selection specifically is very large.


Yeah! That’s the website/server thing I remember using!


Mine also has Kanopy but I’d originally disregarded it as the library blurb said it was PBS and independent films :sweat_smile: That said, I’ve so far found 2 films with the same description (for the wrong film) so browsing it for Japanese titles seems like it’d be a bit frustrating. Ex:

edit: Emergency PTA meeting is based on the book 贖罪 by 湊かなえ based on the opening credits so now I’m even more confused