Friday, September 18, 2009

Sora Aoi

Life and career

Early life

Sora Aoi was born November 11, 1983 in Tokyo. As a student she worked at various part-time jobs in the food-service industry, such as pizza parlours, pubs and sushi bars.[3] While in her third year in high school, Aoi was scouted in Shibuya by a talent agency for gravure modelling.[4] When asked how her stage name was chosen, Aoi explained, "My agency asked what color I liked. I said blue ("ao" in Japanese). He also asked what I like in general. I said sky ("Sora" in Japanese). So, he chose Sora Aoi (means "Blue Sky" in Japanese)."[5]

Aoi made her debut as a nude model in November 2001. Her "big eyes[,] cute smile,"[6] "young girl's face and... large breasts"[7] quickly made her a popular magazine model.[8] Her bust was at first reported as a metric F-cup, but had become a G-cup within a year of her acting debut.[8]

Aoi made two adult movies, Summer Break and Twinkle Twinkle which were supposedly aired on a subscription porn TV service, although details have not been confirmed yet.[citation needed] She then signed with the Kuki Inc. group, one of Japan's largest producers of pornography at the time,[9] which includes the Samantha and Alice Japan companies.

Documentary-influenced AVs

Critics have often pointed out the documentary format employed in many Japanese adult videos,[10] Aoi's second AV, her first for the MAX- A company's Samantha label, follows this format, pursuing the common theme of the actress' sexual initiation taking place on tape. By witnessing the actress' sexual awakening as it is occurring, the on-screen sexual activity is given added meaning to the video audience.[11] This video, The Blue Sky: Sora Aoi, makes use of the sexual awakening theme by purportedly showing Aoi using a sex toy for the first time in her life.[12] Facial, released in August 2002, employed hand-held camera techniques to get a "realistic and wild" effect.[13] The story has Aoi having sexual encounters in a hotel hot spring. xcity.jp's reviewer commented at the time that Aoi was "getting wilder and wilder in each video."[14] Another of Aoi's videos in the documentary format is the August 2003 entry in the Bubbly Heaven series. This video series has popular AV actresses learning soapland techniques from professionals, and then demonstrating their new skills for the video audience.[15]

Fictional AVs

Though the mock-documentary format is popular in Japanese adult videos, purely fictional films in various genres also remain popular. 50/50 (December 2002) tells the story of a woman who works at a restaurant and a cabaret club in order to earn rent money for the apartment in which she and her boyfriend live.[16] The story gave Aoi a chance to wear a French maid costume, and to engage in sex with three different actors. xcity.jp reviewer "Bug" comments that the film is given a "sweet" quality by Aoi's frequent kissing of the actors during these scenes.[17] Sola-Graph, released in January 2003, was Aoi's fourth appearance for the Samantha label.[18] The video has Aoi engaging in sex with several prominent AV actors. Vegetables and fruit are involved in some of the encounters.[17] Aoi's last partner in the video is Taka Kato, a legend in the Japanese AV world, whose ability to make women ejaculate through his manual dexterity has earned him the nickname, "Goldfinger".[19] Typically for Kato, female ejaculation is featured in the final scene.[17]

In February 2003's Wet and Tender, Aoi plays the role of a prostitute pursued by both her boyfriend and a stalker until she is rescued by one of her regular customers, whom she then rewards with free sex.[20][21] The April 2003 release, Sexy Fruit, had Aoi as an aspiring celebrity who gives sexual favors for singing and acting lessons.[22] Little Sister's Secret of May 2003 made use of a story in the incest genre.[7] The sex scenes include paizuri with her boyfriend, face-sitting for her school teacher, and a sexual encounter with her brother-in-law. Aoi acted out a variety of emotions as demanded by her role in this drama, which the Kuki Group calls her best video.[23] Sexy Butt of the following month had Aoi in love with a TV stuntman.[24] She fantasizes being manually satisfied by this actor, and has sexual encounters with a screenwriter, and a man who owes a large debt. Despite the video's title, Aoi's posterior region was not given much emphasis in this video.[25]

Other genres

In contrast to these urban-drama stories, some of Aoi's videos are in a more adventurous porno-science-fiction genre. Her October 2002 release for Alice Japan, Cosmic Girl, was an "erotic comedy" in which she played a super-heroine battling, and having sex with, aliens from the Vibe-star.[26] The video included costume-play, with yukata, and singing.[27] Her July 2003 video, Splash, has Aoi living in the near future, at which time humanity is enslaved by the "Ocean Species". Inter-species sexual encounters follow.[28]

Popularity and mainstream recognition

For her work in adult videos during her first year, Aoi won the "Best Breasts Award" at the AV Grand Prix awards ceremony of 2003.[8] The same year, Aoi starred in the theatrically released pink film High School Teacher (2003). In this film she played two roles, the title character, and a girl who had committed suicide the year before the high school teacher arrived.[29] For her role in another pink film, Tsumugi (制服美少女 先生あたしを抱いて Seifuku bishōjo: Sensei atashi wo daite?), Aoi was given a Best Actress Award at the 2004 Pink Grand Prix ceremony.[30] The film was ranked the fourth best pink film release of the year.[31]

While continuing to perform in hardcore AVs, Aoi appeared in the first video release of the Shuffle company's new label Believe. Entitled The Naked Body, this June 2003 release was an "image video," which has nude modeling but no sex. Naked / Sora Aoi #2 was Aoi's second "image video" for this company. This February 2004 release had Aoi modeling in Guam. By this time Aoi had become one of the most popular AV idols in Japan. Her name was the second-most popular Internet search on a female celebrity in Japan for 2005,[32] and she was the most-searched AV idol.[33] Aoi's popularity enabled her to enter mainstream entertainment, including television and radio,[32] and singing on some punk rock albums.[citation needed] Her popularity even extended to South Korea, where the Korean hip-hop group, Epik High used one of her nude pictures to promote their concerts during their underground days. They were caught by the police, and publicly apologized to her years after.[34]

Aoi continued to work for Alice Japan and Max-A's Samantha label until November 2004, when she moved to the newly formed studio, S1 No. 1 Style, part of the large Hokuto Corporation. Her first video for S1, Sell Debut, directed by Hideto Aki, was released November 11, 2004. She has remained at S1, but has appeared in only six or fewer original videos per year since the beginning of 2006. One of her S1 videos, Hyper Risky Mosaic - Special Bath House Tsubaki (ハイパーギリギリモザイク 特殊浴場 TSUBAKI 貸切入浴料1億円), with 11 other S1 actresses won the First Place Award at the 2007 AV Open contest.[35] [36]

Current life

By 2006, Aoi was appearing regularly on television, including often appearing on variety shows and acting in several dramas[32] including the popular 2007 J-dorama detective show Galileo (ガリレオ)[37]. and the 2006 midnight-drama Shimokita GLORY DAYS (下北GLORY DAYS) along with fellow S1 actresses Yuma Asami and Honoka where she plays the character "Nozomi Ichimonji" in the manga based series about a ronin student moving to Tokyo and sharing a house with several beautiful women.[38].

She also had a part (non-nude) in a mainstream Thai-teen movie, Hormones (Pid Term Yai, Hua Jai Waa Wun), released in March 2008. She plays a Japanese tourist who brings one character to the brink of infidelity to his girlfriend. Director Songyos Sugmakanan was criticized for using an AV star in a movie aimed at teens and Aoi was originally not included in promotional materials for the film. Sugmakanan defended his choice of Aoi as "the average Thai man's dream" and described Aoi as "terrific" and "very professional". Hormones won the Jury's Special Prize at the fourth Asian Marine Film Festival in Japan which journalist Wise Kwai ascribed to Aoi's presence.[39]

Aoi made her debut in another Asian entertainment market when she appeared in a Korean TV drama Korean Classroom in May 2009. The four part series follows three Japanese girls traveling to Korea and co-stars fellow AV Idols Mihiro and Rio (Tina Yuzuki). Aoi was subsequently scheduled to appear on several Korean variety shows while in Korea to promote the series.[40]

According to a December, 2006 issue of Friday magazine, Aoi was having a love affair with renowned owarai (comedic) artist Jiro Hachimitsu. Aoi and Hachimitsu were reportedly living together at the time.[32] Their relationship ended in January 2009 as reported in their blogs according to Tokyograph News.

Maria Ozawa

Life and career

Ozawa was born in Hokkaido, Japan on January 8, 1986. Her mother is Japanese and her father is French-Canadian[2]. Since she attended an international school from Primary School to High School, she claims that her English reading and writing ability is better than her Japanese.[3] While at school, she played hockey every day, and often went to karaoke after class.[3] [4] Ozawa had her first sexual experience at the age of 13,[3] and learned the "48 sexual positions" through a book that she bought herself.[3]

In 2002, while still in high school, Ozawa appeared in a short (30 second) Japanese TV commercial for DARS Chocolate with the two members of the Japanese pop group KinKi Kids. The commercial has her sharing chocolate with one of the duo while secretly holding hands with the other.[5]

AV debut and S1

She first encountered AVs (adult videos) by watching several tapes that belonged to a friend's brother.[3] Unlike most AV actresses, Ozawa was not scouted. Instead, she was introduced to the AV industry through a friend that was working in AVs.[3] Ozawa was interested in the industry, and researched companies until she found B-open, a model agent which she liked. She applied for an interview with the company and was accepted.[4] She started modeling as Miyabi for the pornographic site Shirouto-Teien.com in June 2005, which resulted in several sets of photographs and a short hardcore gonzo video released in CD-R and DVD-R formats.[6]

She was then signed by S1 No. 1 Style, an AV studio that produces light hardcore pornography, premiering for them as Maria Ozawa on October 7, 2005 with the video New Face – Number One Style (新人xギリモザ ナンバーワンスタイル) directed by Hideto Aki.[7] Ozawa remembers that she was so nervous during the filming of her first AV that she could not look the male actor in the face.[3] At S1, Ozawa subsequently appeared in one original video per month until February 2007. She was involved in several S1 compilation videos including the company’s entry in the 2006 AV Open, a competition between Japanese porn studios for the best selling video. The S1 video Hyper – Barely There Mosaic (ハイパーギリギリモザイク), featuring Maria Ozawa along with other AV idols Sora Aoi, Yua Aida, Yuma Asami, and Honoka (plus a short preview for Rin Aoki), won first place.[8]

DAS and other studios

Maria Ozawa and S1 parted ways in early 2007.[9] Along with Rin Suzuka, Reina Matsushima and Rin Aoki, she moved from the safe, but popular S1 to a new startup company, Dasdas (DAS).[10] On April 25, 2007, Dasdas released the first videos of the company, one of which (Beautiful Eurasian News Anchor Maria Ozawa Desiring Nakadashi Rape) featured Maria Ozawa. Dasdas videos contain scenes of rape, creampie, urolagnia, enema and physical torture, themes not featured in the light hardcore style of her S1 videos. Her first "interracial" title Multiple Black Rape (黒人輪姦) was released from Dasdas in May 2008.

By the end of 2007, she signed (not exclusively) with Attackers (アタッカーズ), an established AV studio that specializes in thematic rape pornography.[11] In June 2008 she changed studios once again, going to the small start-up studio Ran-maru[12] [13] which released her first video with them on July 19, 2008. Ran-maru, along with Ozawa's previous studios, S1, Dasdas and Attackers, are all part of Japan's largest group of AV companies, the Hokuto Corporation.

The latter part of 2008 has seen Ozawa in a variety of videos from different producers including her first exclusively lesbian (Rezu - レズ) video (W Cast Premium Lesbian) for LADYxLADY, a division of the Japanese porn conglomerate Soft On Demand (SOD). In a more drastic career move, Ozawa decided to appear in her first "uncensored" movies which do not have the mosaic pixelation which is used to obscure the genitals in all standard Japanese porn videos. Four uncensored 45-minute videos of Ozawa and a single male actor were released online at XVN in September 2008.[14] The material from the first two videos was edited for a 90 minute DVD (Tora-Tora Platinum Vol.49 Maria Ozawa) released September 26, 2008,[15] and the second two videos were combined as Tora-Tora Platinum Vol. 52 Maria Ozawa (December 31, 2008).[16]

For the 2009 AV GrandPrix three studios (DAS, Moodyz, and M's Video Group) all selected videos starring Ozawa as their entries in the contest. The DAS compilation The Queen of DAS won the Best Violence Video Award and the M's Video Group entry Oral Venus took one of the Special Awards in the Featured Actress Video category.[17]

In January 2009, Ozawa returned to DAS to film Shemale Orgy Gangbang Rape (集団ニューハーフ輪姦乱交レイプ小澤マリア) with three transsexual actresses and in March 2009 made her debut in the Japanese porn genre of tentacle rape with Monster Swallowing Ecstasy Maria Ozawa (触獣丸呑みアクメ 小澤マリア) for SOD.

Other activities

Besides adult videos, she has appeared in V-Cinema films, a photobook and several glamour ("gravure") videos. In 2007, she played the character Anita (アニータ) on the popular Japanese TV drama Tokumei Kakarichō Tadano Hitoshi (特命係長・只野仁) on TV Asahi.[18] In addition, Ozawa was on a 2007 episode of the Japanese variety show Megami no hatena ("The Goddess of What Is That") on Nihon TV as part of a series with AV actresses telling why they went into AV work.[19][20] She has also appeared on Japanese MTV with the hip hop artist SEAMO, who is also a fan,[2] and in the 2007 music video Summer Time in the D.S.C. with the Yokohama hip hop group DS455.[21]

Ozawa could be seen in 2007 performing twice at the Shinjuku striptease bar "Shinjuku New Art". She took dance lessons to prepare but was still very nervous. She danced in a variety of outfits including appearing as a belly-dancer, a geisha and a cowgirl. Three videos were released of her performance and a behind-the-scenes interview.[22]

She followed up on her Shinjuku experience by starring in a cabaret show in Macao. The show, called "Tokyo Nights", ran at the Rockza night club in the Grand Lisboa Hotel from August 16 to September 6, 2008 and featured Ozawa and several other Japanese performers. The shows received mixed reviews. Promotional materials show her with a (temporary) tattoo.[23]

In 2008, Ozawa acted in her first mainstream movie, Invitation Only, billed as "Taiwan's First-Ever Slasher Horror".[24] The film is produced by Three Dots Entertainment in Taipei, Taiwan and co-stars Julianne Chu. Ozawa plays a supermodel and has dialog in English and Japanese. Her professionalism impressed her co-workers and her role was expanded to include further scenes. The film was released in Taiwan in August 2008.[25][26][27] Ozawa, who is very popular in Taiwan, also did a photoshoot for the Taiwan version of FHM magazine in May 2009.[28]

Personal life

Her hobbies include cooking and watching AVs on her flatscreen television set.[4] She also enjoys playing video games, and owns a pink Nintendo DS Lite,[29] and a pink PlayStation 2 console.[30] Ozawa has been fairly open about her private life granting several interviews and keeping a very detailed text and picture blog of her life and activities dating back to October 2005.[31]

During a 2007 interview, Ozawa reported that her interest in the AV industry remains high, and her video cabinet contains nothing but AVs. She makes a good living from the industry, living in a mansion (a high-class apartment) with a US$1,682-per-month rent, and earning a minimum of $8,000 per month.[4] However, while she says that she would quit the industry only if she is forced to do something else, she would try to prevent a friend from beginning work in the AV industry.[4] Ozawa's family and friends are against her chosen profession in spite of her apparent pride in her work. When she brought several of her videos home to show her parents, they refused to watch them and told her to get out.[4]

In mid-2008, it was reported in the Japanese tabloid newspapers Shūkan Bunshun and Tokyo Sports that Ozawa was dating J-pop star Koki Tanaka from the group KAT-TUN. According to the reports, Ozawa neither confirmed or denied the rumours, saying only "If I’m dating someone I will stay devoted to him! I have a rule against sex friends. It’s not a good thing, plus having one boyfriend is enough"

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