films seen
15
average score
4.09*
nationality
Japan - 55 years old
status
Alive and kicking
more info

One of Japan's hidden gems. Tanaka's work is quirky, stylish and refined, with a strong focus on atmosphere and rhythm, not so much on structure and plot. His oeuvre has little to no weak entries, which is quite unique.

Beyond exceptional

Blessing Bell

by Hiroyuki Tanaka
Also known as
Kofuku no Kane
Specifics
Japan [2002] - 87 mins
Genre
Comedy, Drama
More info on
rating
5.0*/5.0*
toplist position
Blessing Bell poster

Tanaka's gentle and loving approach and Terajima's superb portrayal of his character take you along on an amazing trip, full of endearing, funny and warm moments.

Rare treats

Monday

by Hiroyuki Tanaka
Specifics
Japan [2000] - 100 mins
Genre
Comedy
More info on
rating
4.5*/5.0*
toplist position
Monday poster

Monday is entertainment in the purest sense of the word.

Miss Zombie

by Hiroyuki Tanaka
Specifics
Japan [2013] - 85 mins
Genre
Drama, Horror
More info on
rating
4.5*/5.0*
toplist position
Miss Zombie poster

Once it picks up steam it never falls back, propelling itself to an inevitable climax that left me perplexed and impressed.

Chasuke's Journey

by Hiroyuki Tanaka
Also known as
Ten no Chasuke
Specifics
Japan [2015] - 106 mins
Genre
Comedy, Drama
More info on
rating
4.5*/5.0*
toplist position
Chasuke's Journey poster

It seems Tanaka is back where he belongs, after going through some rougher patches in the late 00's. Chasuke's Journey is visually stunning, well acted, original and most of all unique.

Bunny Drop

by Hiroyuki Tanaka
Also known as
Usagi Drop
Specifics
Japan [2011] - 113 mins
Genre
Drama
More info on
rating
4.5*/5.0*
toplist position
Bunny Drop poster

Bunny Drop is a lovely film with lots to smile about. Wonderfully acted, creatively visualized and aptly scored, you can't really go wrong with this one.

Postman Blues

by Hiroyuki Tanaka
Also known as
Posutoman Burusu
Specifics
Japan [1997] - 110 mins
Genre
Comedy, Drama
More info on
rating
4.5*/5.0*
toplist position
Postman Blues poster

It was more than 10 years since I first watched this film and so I wasn't quite sure if it would still hold up after all this time.

The good stuff

Mr. Long

by Hiroyuki Tanaka
Also known as
Ryu San
Specifics
Japan, Taiwan [2017] - 129 mins
Genre
Drama, Crime
More info on
rating
4.0*/5.0*
toplist position
Mr. Long poster

Another quality Tanaka film. More in line with Bunny Drop, combining drama and comedy to great effect. Mr. Long also introduces some crime elements, though they are very limited. Well shot, perfectly acted, dramatically impeccable. It's not as unique as some of his other films, but well worth a watch.

Drive

by Hiroyuki Tanaka
Specifics
Japan [2002] - 102 mins
Genre
Comedy, Crime
More info on
rating
4.0*/5.0*
toplist position
Drive poster

Trademark Tanaka film. Drive is quirky and frivolous, not held back by rigid plot conventions and sporting a killer cast that knows how to deal with the dry comedy on display. The film has aged a little, but it still feels fresh and easygoing. Tanaka is one of Japan's hidden gems, Drive may not be his best film, but it's still better than most of its peers.

Dancing Mary

by Hiroyuki Tanaka
Specifics
Japan [2019] - 105 mins
Genre
Comedy, Fantasy
More info on
rating
4.0*/5.0*
Dancing Mary poster

Dancing Mary is a superb blend of so many genres that it's nearly impossible to categorize. Fantasy, horror, crime, comedy and drama seamlessly mix together to tell a beautiful story about a long-lost romance that ended in tragedy. The cinematography is beautiful, the editing is excellent. Add a great score and a fine cast and you have another Tanaka masterpiece.

Kanikosen

by Hiroyuki Tanaka
Also known as
The Crab Cannery Ship
Specifics
Japan [2009] - 109 mins
Genre
Drama
More info on
rating
4.0*/5.0*
Kanikosen poster

Kanikosen is a solid come-back for Tanaka. Visually impressive, boasting a superb setting and a strong cast.

Hold Up Down

by Hiroyuki Tanaka
Also known as
Hôrudo Appu Daun
Specifics
Japan [2005] - 96 mins
Genre
Comedy
More info on
rating
4.0*/5.0*
Hold Up Down poster

Dead Run

by Hiroyuki Tanaka
Also known as
Shissô
Specifics
Japan [2005] - 124 mins
Genre
Drama
More info on
rating
4.0*/5.0*
Dead Run poster

Hard Luck Hero

by Hiroyuki Tanaka
Specifics
Japan [2003] - 79 mins
Genre
Comedy, Action, Crime
More info on
rating
4.0*/5.0*
Hard Luck Hero poster

Solid pieces

Unlucky Monkey

by Hiroyuki Tanaka
Also known as
Anrakki Monki
Specifics
Japan [1998] - 106 mins
Genre
Comedy, Action
More info on
rating
3.5*/5.0*
Unlucky Monkey poster

Worthy but flawed

D.A.N.G.A.N. Runner

by Hiroyuki Tanaka
Also known as
Dangan Ranna
Specifics
Japan [1996] - 82 mins
Genre
Comedy, Action, Crime
More info on
rating
2.5*/5.0*
D.A.N.G.A.N. Runner poster