Life and career
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. While in her third year in high school, Aoi was scouted in Shibuya by a talent agency for gravure modelling. 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)."
Aoi made her debut as a nude model in November 2001. Her "big eyes[,] cute smile," "young girl's face and... large breasts" quickly made her a popular magazine model. Her bust was at first reported as a metric F-cup, but had become a G-cup within a year of her acting debut.
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. She then signed with the Kuki Inc. group, one of Japan's largest producers of pornography at the time, which includes the Samantha and Alice Japan companies.
Critics have often pointed out the documentary format employed in many Japanese adult videos, 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. 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. Facial, released in August 2002, employed hand-held camera techniques to get a "realistic and wild" effect. 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." 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.
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. 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. Sola-Graph, released in January 2003, was Aoi's fourth appearance for the Samantha label. The video has Aoi engaging in sex with several prominent AV actors. Vegetables and fruit are involved in some of the encounters. 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". Typically for Kato, female ejaculation is featured in the final scene.
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. The April 2003 release, Sexy Fruit, had Aoi as an aspiring celebrity who gives sexual favors for singing and acting lessons. Little Sister's Secret of May 2003 made use of a story in the incest genre. 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. Sexy Butt of the following month had Aoi in love with a TV stuntman. 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.
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. The video included costume-play, with yukata, and singing. 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.
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. 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. 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. The film was ranked the fourth best pink film release of the year.
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, and she was the most-searched AV idol. Aoi's popularity enabled her to enter mainstream entertainment, including television and radio, and singing on some punk rock albums. 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.
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. 
By 2006, Aoi was appearing regularly on television, including often appearing on variety shows and acting in several dramas including the popular 2007 J-dorama detective show Galileo (ガリレオ). 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..
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.
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.
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. Their relationship ended in January 2009 as reported in their blogs according to Tokyograph News.