If you are an anime fan looking for films to fulfill your hunger for a wide range of themes, premises, creative world-building, and tones inspired by the anime world, the following list might be just for you. These Southeast Asian ‘Netflix’ films have crossover appeal to the anime industry and manifest the beauty of world cinema.
Bad Genius (2017)
Bad Genius is a Thai movie and it is basically about a super-intelligent school girl named Lin. What makes her different from other straight A-students is that she is a pro at creating. She helps her classmate cheat and made it a business to earn good money. This movie took something as boring as “talking a test at school” and made it feel like a heist movie.
The suspense and plot will keep you on the edge of your seat the whole time. From the way, it is shot to the transition to the music to the sound design makes the audience feel what exactly the character is undergoing. This movie is a good alternative for anime like Lupin the Third, Death Parade, Eden of the East, and Garden of Sinners.
Watch Bad Genius on Netflix
Crossroad: One Two Jaga (2018)
This thematic piece from Malaysia takes a realistic approach in showcasing the society, corruption, and politics in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and neighboring Indonesia. As far as the plot goes, it essentially is just a series of events pulled through several groups of people and each one of those groups weaves in and out of each other’s storyline.
It weaves together two of Malaysia’s most touchy subjects: Corruption in the police department and the exploitation faced by migrant workers. It does a good job of conveying that the world isn’t black and white. Apart from a good action movie it involves mockery on social bads. It will prove to be a good alternative for anime like B: The Beginning, Tokyo Godfather, Grave of Fireflies, Psycho-Pass, and Mobile Police Patlabor 2: The Movie1993.
Watch Crossroads: One Two Jaga on Netflix
This is a Vietnamese action-thriller that centers on an ex-gangster that is now living as a single mother. She uses her skillset from the past to collect debts for a local bookie to make ends meet and trying to live very quietly. But when her daughter gets kidnapped no one can stop her from finding what she thinks is the one good thing she’s done in her life. It might sound cliché, but the different layers added to this recycled plot made it not only a box-office hit but also the Oscar International featurette.
This movie builds up the love between mother and daughter quickly and it kicks into gear with waves of fast-paced martial arts, versatile performances, and appealing visuals. . This movie is a good alternative for anime like Michiko e Hatchin, Tekken: Blood Vengeance, and Rurouni Kenshin.
Watch Furie on Netflix
It is a part Pilipino thriller and part a social commentary that revolves around a young girl named Maya who is being taught by her father: How to defend herself in the countryside but one day she shoots a Philippines’ eagle, a native species protected by the law. On the other hand, there is a police officer who is now being diverted from an investigation involving some missing farmers and set to find the killer of the eagle.
Will the officer be able to find the killer? It beautifully executes cinematography and provides stunning views of the countryside. There is less focus on the plot than there is on the behavior and development of the characters. It will prove to be a good alternative for anime like Perfect Blue and Paranoia Agent.
Watch Birdshot on Netflix