films seen
33
average score
3.62*
nationality
Japan - 67 years old
status
Alive and kicking
more info

Very few male directors manage to capture the female psyche like Ryuichi Hiroki does. His best work is raw and honest, while keeping a very humane and respectful approach. No doubt one of Japan's prime drama directors.

Rare treats

It's Only Talk

by Ryuichi Hiroki
Also known as
Yawarakai Seikatsu
Specifics
Japan [2005] - 126m
Genre
Drama
More info on
rating
4.5*/5.0*
toplist position
It's Only Talk poster

Hiroki delivers one of the most natural, confident and empathic dramas I've ever laid eyes on. On the outside it appears to be a simple film, but underneath lies a wealth of emotions

The good stuff

Your Friends

by Ryuichi Hiroki
Also known as
Kimi no Tomodachi
Specifics
Japan [2008] - 125m
Genre
Drama
More info on
rating
4.0*/5.0*
Your Friends poster

It's not a wildly original film but it introduces enough elements to differentiate itself from other Japanese dramas while keeping the usual traits firmly in place.

Love on Sunday: Last Words

by Ryuichi Hiroki
Also known as
Koi Suru Nichiyobi Watashi. Koishita
Specifics
Japan [2007] - 97m
Genre
Drama
More info on
rating
4.0*/5.0*
Love on Sunday: Last Words poster

For Western audiences the themes of Last Words may be quite sad and depressing, but Nagisa's acceptance of her nearing death paints a very different picture.

M

by Ryuichi Hiroki
Specifics
Japan [2007] - 110m
Genre
Drama
More info on
rating
4.0*/5.0*
M poster

If you want another character drama, M might prove to be a too big a challenge and there are plenty of other Hiroki films you could and should be watching instead.

Love on Sunday

by Manabu Asô, Ryuichi Hiroki
Also known as
Koi Suru Nichiyobi
Specifics
Japan [2006] - 89m
Genre
Drama
More info on
rating
4.0*/5.0*
Love on Sunday poster

Like most of Hiroki's films, this is small and delicate, but still manages to pack a punch. It's a very sweet, laid-back tale about moving away to a bigger city, saying goodbye to your childhood and your best friends. Things get a little trickier when secret crushes need to be confessed, but that drama is light and the mood is breezy. Very nice.

L'Amant

by Ryuichi Hiroki
Specifics
Japan [2004] - 92m
Genre
Drama
More info on
rating
4.0*/5.0*
L'Amant poster

Locomotive Teacher

by Ryuichi Hiroki
Also known as
Kikansha Sensei
Specifics
Japan [2004] - 123m
Genre
Drama
More info on
rating
4.0*/5.0*
Locomotive Teacher poster

I became transfixed by the soothing island atmosphere, the laid-back pacing and the nice surroundings.

Vibrator

by Ryuichi Hiroki
Specifics
Japan [2003] - 95m
Genre
Drama
More info on
rating
4.0*/5.0*
Vibrator poster

Strobe Edge

by Ryuichi Hiroki
Also known as
Sutorobo Ejji
Specifics
Japan [2015] - 115m
Genre
Romance
More info on
rating
4.0*/5.0*
toplist position
Strobe Edge poster

In many ways, Strobe Edge is a typical manga adaptation as much as it is a typical romance. But Hiroki builds upon that to make a sweet, cute and genuine little love story.

New Type: Just For Your Love

by Ryuichi Hiroki
Also known as
New Type: Tada Ai no Tame Ni
Specifics
Japan [2008] - 90m
Genre
Drama, Fantasy
More info on
rating
4.0*/5.0*
toplist position
New Type: Just For Your Love poster

Hiroki made a pretty brave move here, incorporating new elements from other genres into his movies without changing anything of his trademark style.

The Egoists

by Ryuichi Hiroki
Also known as
Keibetsu
Specifics
Japan [2011] - 125m
Genre
Drama
More info on
rating
4.0*/5.0*
toplist position
The Egoists poster

Keibetsu turns out to be another strong addition to Hiroki's oeuvre. It's not his best film to date, but it's nice to see him try out new stuff, even when it's not all that radical.

Her Granddaughter

by Ryuichi Hiroki
Also known as
Otoko no Issho
Specifics
Japan [2014] - 119m
Genre
Drama, Romance
More info on
rating
4.0*/5.0*
toplist position
Her Granddaughter poster

Her Granddaughter is a beautiful, serene and heart-warming little drama with no false notes, no overt sentimentality and no obvious tear-jerking.

Yellow Elephant

by Ryuichi Hiroki
Also known as
Kiiroi Zo
Specifics
Japan [2012] - 131m
Genre
Drama
More info on
rating
4.0*/5.0*
toplist position
Yellow Elephant poster

Thanks to its slightly magical touches and its strong shifts between feel-good and drama, Yellow Elephant rises above the majority of other Japanese dramas out there.

Girlfriend: Someone Please Stop the World

by Ryuichi Hiroki
Specifics
Japan [2004] - 104m
Genre
Drama
More info on
rating
4.0*/5.0*
toplist position
Girlfriend: Someone Please Stop the World poster

Girlfriend: Someone Please Stop The World is a solid, smart drama that serves as a good entry point to his oeuvre. The film showcases his talent and houses many of his trademark elements.

Ride or Die

by Ryuichi Hiroki
Also known as
Kanojo
Specifics
Japan [2021] - 142m
Genre
Romance, Thriller
More info on
rating
4.0*/5.0*
Ride or Die poster

Hiroki's adaptation of the Gunjō manga is a tricky project. It's quite long, it doesn't feature the most accessible leads, it's rather blunt and it's set up in such a way that the intensity of the film decreases. But the performances are superb, Hiroki's lens is perfect and the core relationship intrigues from start to finish. The reception has been rough, then again that's no surprise when you release a film like this on a global platform like Netflix.

Solid pieces

It's Boring Here, Pick Me Up

by Ryuichi Hiroki
Also known as
Koko wa Taikutsu Mukae ni Kite
Specifics
Japan [2018] - 98m
Genre
Drama
More info on
rating
3.5*/5.0*
It's Boring Here, Pick Me Up poster

Celebration of youth. A typical Hiroki drama, that languishes in the mundane, but manages to hit several deeper themes along the way. The actors are great, Hiroki's style is fitting and the light-hearted tone makes this a very easy watch. Not one of his best films, but a very fine drama that will effortlessly appeal to Hiroki fans.

Side Job

by Ryuichi Hiroki
Also known as
Kanojo no Jinsei wa Machigaijanai
Specifics
Japan [2017] - 120m
Genre
Drama
More info on
rating
3.5*/5.0*
Side Job poster

Solid drama from Ryuichi Hiroki, where he returns to the Fukushima disaster area to see how many people are still struggling with the aftermath. It's a little too disjoined for its own good, but there some poignants moments and surprising insights that make this worth the while.

The Miracles of the Namiya General Store

by Ryuichi Hiroki
Also known as
Namiya Zakkaten no Kiseki
Specifics
Japan [2017] - 129m
Genre
Drama
More info on
rating
3.5*/5.0*
The Miracles of the Namiya General Store poster

Sweet and endearing drama with a slightly fantastical touch. The film is beautifully shot and feels like a warm blanket, an ideal watch for a warm and summery day. It gets a little too dramatic at times and personally I prefer Hiroki's more serious work, but this is two hours well spent.

Natsumi's Firefly

by Ryuichi Hiroki
Also known as
Natsumi no Hotaru
Specifics
Japan [2016] - 108m
Genre
Drama
More info on
rating
3.5*/5.0*
Natsumi's Firefly poster

A very solid but slightly unremarkable Hiroki. I liked the first half best, as the drama is very light and the narrative is almost fleeting. The second half is a little too heavy-handed in comparison, but Hiroki's base quality is definitely there. A few beautiful scenes, good acting and a complete lack of forced sentiment make this an easy recommend for fans of Japanese drama.

Wolf Girl and Black Prince

by Ryuichi Hiroki
Also known as
Ohkami Shôjo to Kuro Ohji
Specifics
Japan [2016] - 116m
Genre
Comedy, Drama, Romance
More info on
rating
3.5*/5.0*
Wolf Girl and Black Prince poster

Kabukichô Love Hotel

by Ryuichi Hiroki
Also known as
Sayonara Kabukichô
Specifics
Japan [2014] - 135m
Genre
Drama, Romance
More info on
rating
3.5*/5.0*
Kabukichô Love Hotel poster

Crying 100 Times: Every Raindrop Falls

by Ryuichi Hiroki
Also known as
100 Kai Nakukoto
Specifics
Japan [2013] - 116m
Genre
Drama, Romance
More info on
rating
3.5*/5.0*
Crying 100 Times: Every Raindrop Falls poster

Nobody's Perfect

by Ryuichi Hiroki
Also known as
Daijôbu 3 Kumi
Specifics
Japan [2013] - 118m
Genre
Drama
More info on
rating
3.5*/5.0*
Nobody's Perfect poster

River

by Ryuichi Hiroki
Specifics
Japan [2011] - 89m
Genre
Drama
More info on
rating
3.5*/5.0*
River poster

Bokura wa Aruku, Tada Soredake

by Ryuichi Hiroki
Specifics
Japan [2009] - 74m
Genre
Comedy
More info on
rating
3.5*/5.0*
Bokura wa Aruku, Tada Soredake poster

Hiroki and Ando combining forces means instant quality. Sadly neither of the two goes beyond to make this film truly special, but what remains is a very warm and touching drama with a few stand-out scenes. Ando's acting chops and Hiroki's aptitude for drama are unmistakable, an easy recommend if you're in the mood for a Japanese drama.

Tokyo Garbage Girl

by Ryuichi Hiroki
Also known as
Tôkyô Gomi Onna
Specifics
Japan [2000] - 88m
Genre
Comedy, Romance, Adventure
More info on
rating
3.5*/5.0*
Tokyo Garbage Girl poster

The inoffensive

Marmalade Boy

by Ryuichi Hiroki
Also known as
Mamaredo Boi
Specifics
Japan [2018] - 127m
Genre
Romance
More info on
rating
3.0*/5.0*
Marmalade Boy poster

Not of one Hiroki's best. There are moments where his talent shines through, but the story is a bit too convoluted and the theme is handled in a way that seems to reference the manga a bit too literally. Overall it's not a bad film with a couple of worthwhile scenes, but Hiroki has shown he can do better.

Policeman and Me

by Ryuichi Hiroki
Also known as
P to JK
Specifics
Japan [2017] - 124m
Genre
Comedy, Romance
More info on
rating
3.0*/5.0*
Policeman and Me poster

The Lightning Tree

by Ryuichi Hiroki
Also known as
Raiou
Specifics
Japan [2010] - 133m
Genre
Romance
More info on
rating
3.0*/5.0*
The Lightning Tree poster

April Bride

by Ryuichi Hiroki
Also known as
Yomei 1-Kagetsu no Hanayome
Specifics
Japan [2009] - 129m
Genre
Drama
More info on
rating
3.0*/5.0*
April Bride poster

Female

by Ryuichi Hiroki, Suzuki Matsuo, Miwa Nishikawa, Tetsuo Shinohara, Shinya Tsukamoto
Also known as
Fîmeiru
Specifics
Japan [2005] - 118m
Genre
Drama
More info on
rating
3.0*/5.0*
Female poster

I Am an S+M Writer

by Ryuichi Hiroki
Also known as
Futei no Kisetsu
Specifics
Japan [2000] - 88m
Genre
Comedy, Drama
More info on
rating
3.0*/5.0*
I Am an S+M Writer poster

Worthy but flawed

The Many Faces of Ito

by Ryuichi Hiroki
Also known as
Ito kun A to E
Specifics
Japan [2018] - 126m
Genre
Comedy
More info on
rating
2.5*/5.0*
The Many Faces of Ito poster

A rather poor Ryuichi Hiroki film. It lacks his knack for properly fleshing out characters and it looks a little too slick. Not too surprising since this is the film-sequel of a popular J-Drama, but still I expected more from him. It's not a terrible film, just that Hiroki could've done a lot better with this material.