May 15, 2024

Tubi in Japanese

Tubi has three anime channels and two Kdrama channels but nothing specific to Jdrama.

All the more confounding, Tubi doesn't have country or language filters. Combing through the Recently Added, Foreign Films, and Foreign TV categories can be an frustrating process.

It's often faster to do a global searches for "Japan" and "Japanese" or look up specific titles, actors, or directors.

The Tubi search engine is fuzzy so the results will also be all over the map. And be forewarned that Tubi licenses just about anything as long as it's cheap and available. That means everything from art house to grindhouse to documentaries and travelogues.

I've curated a list of Tubi titles I thought were worth a second glance. I hope to update this list on a semi-regular basis.

  • Blue Thermal (2022) follows Tamaki Tsuru as she learns to fly gliders in the college soaring club. This anime movie makes the common mistake of trying to cram in too many plot points from the manga, but the subject matter was compelling enough to keep me interested.
  • Cats of Japan (2020) is a cute travel documentary about cats lounging around and being cool. The kind of show to watch when you want to just kick back and relax.
  • Detective Dobu (1991) is an Edo period Columbo, whose slovenly and bumbling ways disguise his keen mind and relentless drive to catch the criminal (although Columbo never drank as much as Dobu does, if at all). The series covers the same material as the earlier made-for-television movies, also on Tubi.
  • Crisis: Special Security Squad (2017) Shun Oguri heads a secret team of specialists tackling threats the regular cops can't handle.
  • The Great War of Archimedes (2019) The first six minutes documents the sinking of the battleship Yamato. The rest of the movie is a political drama about how Admiral Yamamoto tried to scuttle the project in favor of building more carriers. Also see my longer review.
  • Kamen Rider Zero-One (2020) This comedy action series in the long-running Kamen Rider franchise could be a Terminator prequel. Enjoyable in small doses as practically every episode is the same and not all that different. It gets old fast if you don't pace yourself.
  • The Life of Bangaku (2002) is an Edo period action comedy starring acclaimed actor Koji Yakusho as an expert swordsman who is simply too honest and principled for his own good. Directed by Kon Ichikawa.
  • Shogun's Samurai (1978) was broadcast in Japan as The Yagyuu Conspiracy. Sonny Chiba stars as the historical figure Yagyuu Jubei. Together with their father, a high-ranking government official, Yagyuu and his brother carry out a palace coup in order to install Iemitsu as the third Tokugawa shogun.
  • Zankuro (2001) Ken Watanabe plays a retainer of the shogun during the Edo period. Despite his position in the low aristocracy, his expenses constantly outstrip his stipend, leaving him to moonlight as a bodyguard or executioner or private detective or anything else to make ends meet.

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