Last time, I introduced some classic romance movies of the 2000s that you might have seen before. This time, I’m going to introduce several movies that were just released that you might not have heard of. Personally I’ve seen several of these films and though they might fall under the genre of “typical romance movie,” they were still enjoyable (and still made me cry).
1. Midnight Sun (タイヨウの歌、2006)
Kaoru Amane, 16 years old, did not attend school but instead sang herself away every night after dark at a square in front of a train station with a guitar in her hands. She led a lifestyle opposite the norm, sleeping during the day and active at night. Kaoru was suffering from xeroderma pigmentosum (XP), an illness, which also might be described as the allergy to the sun, and was not allowed to be exposed to sunlight. The only motivation in her life was singing, which also was the only connection to the outside world. One day, an incident drastically changes her life…
2. The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (時をかける少女、2006)
The power to travel through time… It can be used for the good of humanity, or just selfishly abused. While many may fantasize about obtaining such a power, it has become nothing less than reality for otherwise-normal schoolgirl Konno Makoto.
After a fated event, her life takes a turn for the extraordinary. Though she initially uses her power to literally “leap” into the past and change little things in order to make her life easier, she soon has to face the fact that changing the past can have drastic consequences.
3. We Were There (僕らがいた、2011)
“We Were There” follows the 10 year romance between Motoharu Yano (Toma Ikuta) and Nanami Takahashi (Yuriko Yoshitaka). During their high school days, Motoharu Yano was the most popular boy in school, but can’t get over the death of his girlfriend from a car crash. Nanami Takahashi falls in love with Motoharu Yano and must deals with his inability to let go of the past.
4. Hanamizuki (ハナミズキ、2010)
Hanamizuki (ハナミズキ Hanamizuki) is a 2010 Japanese romance drama film inspired by the lyrics of a love song of the same name by Yō Hitoto. The film is directed by Nobuhiro Doi, and its script was written by Noriko Yoshida. The film spans the ten-year period from 1996 to 2006, and it stars Yui Aragaki as Sae, a high school student who later grows into a young adult. Toma Ikuta also stars in this film, playing the role of Kouhei, Sae’s boyfriend and an aspiring fisherman.
5. 5 Centimeters per Second (秒速５センチメートル、2007)
Takaki and Akari are two classmates in elementary school. During their time together they have become close friends. Their relationship is tested when Akari moves to another city because of her parents’ jobs. Both of them struggle to keep their friendship alive, as time and distance slowly pulls them apart. When Takaki finds out that he is moving further away, he decides to visit Akari one last time.
6. Hidamari no Kanojo (陽だまりの彼女、2013)
A new salesman named Kosuke Okuda (Jun Matsumoto) happens to meet Mao Watarai (Juri Ueno), a friend from his middle school days. Back then, Mao was called stupid and bullied, but now she is an attractive woman. Kosuke and Mao fall in love and decide to marry, but Mao has a secret…
7. Dakishimetai (抱きしめたい、2014)
Set in Abashiri, Hokkaido. Tsukasa (Keiko Kitagawa) got into a severe car accident when she was a high school student. She still suffers from the aftereffects of that accident, with memory impairment and needing to use a wheelchair. Nevertheless, she tries to live life to the fullest. Tsukasa then falls in love with taxi driver Masaki (Ryo Nishikido), who likes playing basketball. Even though they have various difficulties, they try to make a happy family together, but they encounter another serious situation.
8. Love Com/Lovely Complex (ラブ★コン、2006)
Koizumi Risa an unusually tall high school girl, meets the “vertically challenged” young man Otani Atsushi. They find common ground in height anxieties and interests.
9. L-DK (2014)
Aoi Nishimori’s (Ayame Gouriki) parents moved to another city for work, but Aoi didn’t want to transfer to a new high school. She stays behind and lives in an apartment by herself. Shusei Kugayama (Kento Yamazaki) moves in next to Aoi’s apartment. Shusei is a very popular student at their high school. Due to a mistake, Aoi makes the sprinkler go off in his room. Until Shusei’s room is fixed, he stays with Aoi.
10. Love Begins From Today (今日、恋が始めます、2012)
Hibino Tsubaki (Takei Emi) is a young teenage girl with a talent for styling other people’s hair. Yet, Tsubaki suffers from low self-esteem and isn’t very comfortable styling her own hair. She also has a tendency to dress old-fashioned. She’s teased at high school because of this. One day, popular male student Tsubaki Kyota (Matsuzaka Tori) targets Tsubaki for teasing. Tsubaki Kyota holds sway over the entire classroom and is quite a playboy. Inexplicably they fall in love. Meanwhile, Tsubaki Kyota has commitment issues…
Which one will you watch? Try them all!