Bunshun, a prominent Japanese magazine, conducts polls each year to determine the most popular female actors. Haruka Ayase, 36, a previous gravure idol, topped the ranking for the second year in a row, and she won by a large margin. While several newbies came into the Top 15 for the first time, veteran performers kept their ground to keep the top slots.
Annual Bunshun Survey
The survey lasted for 24 days, from June 4 to June 27. There were a total of 7,580 voters. About 63 percent of voters were women and only 37 percent were men.
The most essential criteria influencing success or failure for Japanese female actors in the highest tier differ slightly from how male stars attain professional recognition.
Using Pedigree as a Foundation
Almost every single one of the Top 15 entrants has modeled at some time in their career. Some, on the other hand, have more classic live theater experiences.
Yuki Amami’s reputation may be traced back to her time as a member of the renowned Takarazuka Review, a Kansai-based all-female musical theater ensemble formed in 1913.
A handful of these Japanese “A-Listers” benefit by having a renowned spouse in the same profession, as Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt did in the past, or by the phenomenon of “Bennifer,” the relationship of Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez, which has lately been renewed.
Erika Toda (#14), who just married Tori Matsuzaka, is one such example. Tori Matsuzaka came in the eighth position in the list of Japan’s Top 15 Male Actors.
Yui Aragaki (#4) and Gen Hoshino are power couples. Aragaki had previously appeared alongside Hoshino in the Television show The Full-Time Wife Escapist.
Keiko Kitagawa (#6) appeared in The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift. Many fans loved her performance in this film. She just married DAIGO, a rock musician. He was originally known as DaigoStardust and is a well-known Japanese singer-songwriter and member of the rock band Breakerz.
However, several of these performers have found success on their own and are still unmarried.
Top 15 Female Actors
15. Kyoko Fukuda
Fukuda, also known as “Fukakyon” in Japanese, has a large following in the country. More than 3.7 million people have followed her on Instagram.
Fukuda’s popularity has dipped somewhat from last year’s poll, however, she is still popular. However, on May 26, it was revealed that she will take a sabbatical from performing because of maladjustment disorder, known in Japanese as tekio shogai. This revelation shocked the Japanese people.
14. Erika Toda
Toda was in 7th position last year. In December 2020 suddenly she married Tori Matsuzaka, a 32-year-old Japanese actor who is placed #8 on the list of popular male actors. In Japanese, this form of unexpected marriage is known as dengkikon, and it received a lot of focus in the Japanese media.
13. Takako Matsu
This relative newcomer has been a fan favorite for more than two decades, but he fell to 13th place after failing to make the Top 50 last year. In the April drama ” Omameda Towako and Her Three Ex-husbands” she showed an outstanding performance that was loved by many fans.
12. Suzu Hirose
Suzu Hirose, one of the Top 15’s youngest members, lost four places (she was ranked 8th last year) to end in a respectable 12th position for 2021. Hirose starred in the mini-series Nemesis in the spring of this year. She was also named the CM Queen for 2020, a competition in which celebrities are rated based on how many times they appear in ads on television. About 3 million people have followed her on Instagram.
11. Satomi Ishihara
In October 2020, Satomi Ishihara announced her marriage, has also dropped a few ranks but is still popular. The fact that she recently debuted with short hair has sparked a lot of interest in the Japanese press.
Her official webpage has further information.
Kaya Kiyohara, the newest member of this elite group, jumped from 18th to 10th place. She made her acting debut in the NHK series TV book Asa ga Kita. She portrayed a protagonist who aspires to be a weather forecaster in the serial TV book Okaeri Mone, which aired in the first half of 2021.
Kiyohara has about 452k followers on her Insta account.
9. Sayuri Yoshinaga
Sayuri Yoshinaga, the list’s oldest member, moved from the twentieth position in 2020 to ninth place in 2021. Her ascension into the Top 10 was aided by the ardent support of long-time supporters. Yoshinaga is renowned for her acting as well as her active involvement in numerous peace campaigns. She hasn’t been seen much recently, but in May, her new film A Morning of Farewell was released to critical acclaim after a two-year sabbatical.
She married Taro Okada, a 48-year-old guy who is significantly younger than her.
Kasumi Arimura has been on a roll since breaking into the Top 10 apparently out of nowhere. She currently has over 4 million followers on her official Instagram account.
Tao Tsuchiya, who finished fifth last year, finished seventh this year. In the spring, she joined as the host of Shibuya no Oto, a new show on national broadcaster NHK that promotes the freshest talent among Japan’s aspiring singers and composers. Tsuchiya had a big break there. In addition, she has already acted in two films this year. Recently she wrote a book named How to Repel a Dove which is based on a novel by Naoki Prize-winning writer Masago Sato.
Tsuchiya’s Instagram account has a little more than 2 million followers.
Keiko Kitagawa, a previous model who was rated 18th last year , has climbed to 6th this year. She married musician DAIGO. It’s tough to comprehend how she finds the time to accomplish everything, especially when her first kid is born in the fall of 2020. Kitagawa starred in First Love (), a film based on the Naoki Prize-winning book, in February. For the 1st time in the last 3 years, she had a leading part in a film. In August, God of Kinema, another new movie featuring Keiko Kitagawa was released.
Yuki Amami, who finished third last year, fell two spots but still made the top five. She appeared in season 4 of the critically acclaimed drama Emergency Investigation Room () this summer. She had a devoted fan following from the very beginning of her career.
Her official website has a lot more information.
Yui Aragaki came in the fourth position for two years in a row. On May 19 she announced her marriage with singer Gen Hoshino.
She has about 1 million followers on her Instagram account.
Aragaki has starred in 15 ads for Nisshin’s famed Cup Ramen. This work is available on her own YouTube channel, Yui TV.
Masami Nagasawa, a former model, has climbed eight places since last year. She made her debut in the April drama series Dragon Cherry Blossom with Hiroshi Abe (Japan’s top male actor). Nagasawa will reprise her role as the protagonist in Masquerade Night, which will be published in September, after her performance in Masquerade Hotel.
Rena Nonen, a former model who chose her stage name to “Non” in the summer of 2016, has been in second place for the past two years. Despite this, Japan’s closed-off television business ignores her. According to her agency, the lingering misunderstanding isn’t preventing her from working. Non, on the other hand, is now can only work in the film industry, which covers narration work.
She conducts a monthly live program on the internet called Non: Live to Watch at Home since May 2020. Non is a truly multi-talented individual. Non will release a new film called Ribbon in 2022, which she scripted, produced, and acted in.
https://nondesu.jp/ is her official webpage.
Haruka Ayase, who began her career as a daring gravure idol in 2000, has gone a long way from her days as a pin-up model. She is a singer and actress who has appeared in films and television shows.
Her outstanding performance in the January drama Heaven and Hell helped her to gain the first position. Furthermore, she had a substantial lead against Non, who was placed second.
Ayase is featured as a man and a woman who switches roles in Heaven and Hell. Her performance along with Issei Takahashi has moved the heart of many viewers.
Though the language barrier prevents many Japanese performers from establishing a large international fanbase. Nowadays they are translating a few of their works. We will get to see a new list with many new faces every year.
Also read about: Top 5 Japanese Male Voice Actors With The Sexiest Voice