Such has been the success of my original post that I felt obliged to do a sequel as there was some idols that didn’t make it to the Top 10. Look at this as my Top 11-20 Japanese idols so here we go:
11. Yukie Nakama
Mention the name of Yankumi and you’ll instantly think of Yukie Nakama in the Gokusen series. 29 year old Yukie Nakama will always be synonymous with the role of the tough on the outside but sweet on the inside teacher who makes a difference for a delinquent class of male troublemakers in a rough school. But Yankumi isn’t the only memorable role she’s done over the years. She starred in the hilarious detective drama Trick alongside Abe Hiroshi whom she shared great chemistry with over the course of 3 seasons and 2 movies. Let’s not forget she’s also dabbled in some movies such as the controversial Love & Pop and the great Shinobi:Heart Under Blade. I’ve always loved watching Yukie in doramas and movies whether it’s light hearted or serious stuff but I always seem to prefer her in comedies. Even though some of her roles might make her look unpretty, in real life Yukie is a beautiful woman.
12. Kyoko Fukada
This pretty 26 year old actress, model and singer has a long list of doramas to her resume ever since her debut way back in 1997 but I suppose I first noticed her in the 2007 comedy Yame Onna Kabe Onna with Misaki Ito set in a department store. I just fell for her bubbly personality and stunning looks. Movie fans will recognise her as the loli from the excellent Kamikaze Girls or more recently as the sexy villainess Doronjo in Yatterman.You could do no wrong than to check her role in the comedy drama Karei Naru Spy that ran over the Summer.
13. Misaki Ito
32 year old Misaki Ito has looks to die for and with her tall height makes her a desirable object of desire for many Japanese men. Misaki has taken a variety of different roles over the years but it was the outstanding 2006 drama Densha Otoko where I first noticed her. Although she’s good in serious drama it was her pairing up with Kyoko Fukada in Yama Onna Kabe Onna as the flat chested sales person Megumi who’s paranoid about the size of her bust compared to her colleague Marie that really endeared her to me. She’s done a couple of movies but nothing that’s memorable apart from Ju-On The Grudge.
14. Erika Sawajiri
It’s a shame that this young lady’s attitude has destroyed her once promising career but she let fame go right to her head and now she’s left with nothing………apart from a rich husband!!! 23 year old Erika starred in my all time favorite J-dorama One Litre Of Tears and another tearjerker called Taiyo No Uta. Her acting was fantastic in both of them but especially in One Litre Of Tears. She had a music career that could have been great as I loved her singing in Taiyo No Uta and the theme song to the dorama Mop Girl called Destination Nowhere. I bought both her singles. Who knows what caused her to implode in that infamous press conference for the movie Closed Note in 2007 but it’s possible that we might have seen the last of her since her agency fired her last week and she lost an important comeback role in Space Battleship Yamato to Meisa Kuroki. Which agency would take somebody on with a difficult personality? It’s a shame but it’s her own fault.
15. Haruka Kinami
23 year old Haruka Kinami wasn’t a leading actress until lately. She was usually cast in a supporting role until the 2009 dorama Zeni Geba and since then her profile has increased even more with a good role in chapter 2 of the popular movie trilogy 20th Century Boys. Haruka caught my eye in the dorama Dance Drill in 2006 when her ‘fake’ miserable character hid the fact that she so desperately wanted to join the cheerleading team. There was something about her that I liked. Most people wouldn’t even call her drop dead gorgeous – maybe average at best but I really like this girl a lot. I think she’s pretty and I hope she gets more leading roles in the future.
16. Keiko Kitagawa
Keiko first came into prominence as Sailor Mars in the live action Sailor Moon series back in 2003. I thought she was brilliant as Rei. Since that time, the 23 year old has gone on to even star in a Hollywood movie – The Fast & The Furious 3 Tokyo Drift. She hasn’t been acting in that many doramas, only 4 in fact and I need to see her in Mop Girl and Buzzer Beat very soon. I’m assuming that Keiko has been diverting her energies to passing her university degree and taking on roles in movies over the past couple of years. With her university days now finished, I hope we’ll see a lot more of her on the TV.
17. Ayaka Komatsu
Beautiful Ayaka is another 23 year old idol who started out in the Sailor Moon live action dorama with Keiko Kitagawa as Sailor Venus and actually got reunited with Keiko again in Buzzer Beat. Along with her acting career, Ayaka is also a popular gravure idol. One of her memorable roles is as the abused girlfriend of Arashi idol – Jun Matsumoto’s character in the controversial My Love My Sister movie. She has yet to attain a leading role in a dorama but I think it’s only a matter of time before that takes place.
18. Yu Kashii
Most people will recognise Yu Kashii from her role in the Death Note movie but I became a fan of her when I saw the classic high school movie Linda Linda Linda back in 2005. She was amazing in that movie. The 22 year old is married to the Japanese actor Joe Odagiri. Some other great acting roles of hers has been in the dorama Yukan Club as the man-hating Noriko and in the comedy My Boss My Hero. Lately I saw her in the disaster movie 252:Signal Of Life. She’s a very attractive girl.
19. Eiko Koike
It was in the violent apartment movie 2LDK that I first clapped eyes on this stunning woman and ever since I’ve tried my best to catch whatever movie/dorama she’s been in. She’s another actress who’s a very popular gravure idol in Japan thanks to her prized assets!! She’s unlikely to be given a leading role in a dorama or movie as I don’t think she’s got the pulling power to get ratings. The 28 year old is married to pro-wrestler Sakata Wataru.
and finally at no.20 we have:
20. Mayuko Iwasa
22 year old Mayuko has been busy in a number of doramas since 2004 and has starred in some of the more popular ones such as Nodame Cantabile, Galcir, Liar Game and Hana no Kimi and it was in Galcir that I noticed her first as a member of the ParaPara group that was at the centre of the storyline. I think she’s a versatile actress able to do serious and comedy roles and of course she’s also very pretty. Yet another actress who’s gone onto the gravure scene.