Wakana Aoi

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Wakana Aoi
Native name葵 わかな
Born (1998-06-30) June 30, 1998 (age 20)
Kanagawa, Japan
OccupationActress
Years active2009–present
AgentStardust Promotion
Height1.58 m (5 ft 2 in)
WebsiteOfficial website

Wakana Aoi (葵 わかな, Aoi Wakana, born June 30, 1998 in Kanagawa) is a Japanese actress and former idol. In March 2017, she landed the lead role in NHK's 97th Asadora, Warotenka, which aired from October 2017 to March 2018.[1][2]

Career[edit]

2009–2012: Early career[edit]

Aoi was scouted in Harajuku, Tokyo, in her fifth year of elementary school. She had been taking photos to send with her audition documents at the time.[3][4] She made her television debut in 2009 through a FamilyMart commercial and made her acting debut in the TV series Samurai High School.[5][6] Her next appearance came in January 2010, where she played young Mamako Ino in an episode of the TV series Angel Bank.[3] The following month, she played Caroline Izumi in TV Asahi's 2 hour long television special Kasai Chōsakan Renjirō Kurenai. She reprised her role as Caroline Izumi in November 2010, January 2012, and November 2012. Her character then returned to America.

2013–present[edit]

In December 2012, Aoi was chosen to be a member of the new idol group Otome Shinto, along with Chika Arakawa, Yurika Takahashi, and Ayame Tajiri.[7][8] The group made their CD debut two months later with the single "Mousou☆Koukan Nikki".[9] Aoi left the group in July 2014 to focus on acting.[10][11]

In 2013, she played small roles in Aibō Season 11 and Taberu Dake. Later that year, she played young Mao Waratai in Takahiro Miki's fantasy romance film Girl in the Sunny Place.[12] The film received positive reviews and Aoi gained attention for her performance.[13][14][15][16] The following year, she played a supporting role in the adventure film Samurai Pirates, portraying the main character's classmate.[17] Next, she played small roles in the TV series Divine Retribution: Punisher of Darkness, Aoi Honō, Binta!, and Woman won't allow it. Aoi gained attention for her appearances in commercials for Tokio Marine Nichido and Yamazaki Biscuits.[18] In March 2014, she placed 3rd place in the 35th Kodansha Advertising Awards for the category "New Talent".[19]

In 2015, she played supporting roles in films Kuchibiru ni uta o and Tsumi no Yohaku, and in the TV series Omotesando Koukou Gasshoubu!.[20] In March 2016, she starred alongside Yoko Moriguchi in the TV series Joyu Ochi.[21] The following month, she starred in the horror film Horror no Tenshi.[22] She was named the new "CM queen" in November.[22]

In March 2017, she landed the lead role in NHK's 97th Asadora Warotenka, portraying Ten Fujioka. Warotenka is set during the late Meiji era to post-World War II period. Her character was modelled after Sei Yoshimoto, the founder of entertainment conglomerate Yoshimoto Kogyo.[1][2] On December 12, 2017, she hosted the year-end music program Waga Kokoro no Osaka Melody.[23] From April to June 2018, Aoi played nurse Miwa Hanabusa in the TBS medical drama series Black Pean, appearing alongside Kazunari Ninomiya and Ryoma Takeuchi.[24] Her performance earned her a Television Drama Academy Award nomination.[25]

Aoi will make her stage debut in February 2019 at the Tokyo International Forum, as Juliet in the musical version of Romeo and Juliet.[26]

Personal life[edit]

Aoi was born in Kanagawa, Japan.[4] In January 2017, Aoi was accepted to Keio University. She is studying policy studies.[27]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Director Notes Ref.
2013 Girl in the Sunny Place young Mao Watarai Takahiro Miki [12]
2014 Samurai Pirates Aiko Miyamoto Kenichi Ōmori [28]
2015 Kuchibiru ni uta o Chinatsu Sekiya Takahiro Miki [29]
Assassination Classroom Ayaka Saitō Eiichirō Hasumi [30]
Tsumi no Yohaku Nanao Sasagawa Yuki Otsuka [31]
2016 Horror no Tenshi Herself Toshikazu Nagae [32]
[33]
2017 Survival Family Yui Suzuki Shinobu Yaguchi [34]
The Time of Backlights Mikoto Keiichi Kobayashi Lead role with Mahiro Takasugi [35]
[36]
2018 Midnight Bus Akina Takamiya Masao Takeshita [37]
Ramen Kuitee! Kojima Yūki Kumagai [38]
[39]
Ao-Natsu Rio Takeshi Furusawa Lead role with Hayato Sano [40]

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Network Notes Ref.
2009 Samurai High School young Ai Nagasawa AX Episode: "Gakuen Aki no Jin Ijime Manbiki Futodoki Senban" [2]
[6]
2010 Angel Bank young Mamako Ino EX Episode: "Kachi 0-yen no Onna!! Riko Shufu no Sai Shushoku" [3]
2010–2012 Kasai Chōsakan Renjirō Kurenai Caroline Izumi EX Main cast (4 episodes), TV Special
2011 Barairo no Seisen young Sara Nakanishi EX Episode: "Stage.4"
2012 Yōkoso! Higashi Ikebukuro Himawari Sō Herself AX Main cast (12 episodes) [41]
2013 Aibō Season 11 Natsu Takamura EX Episode: "Valentine Keikaku"
Taberu Dake Kazusa Domon TX 2 episodes
2014 Divine Retribution: Punisher of Darkness Kanako Murata CX
Shitemiru Terebi! Kyōkun no Susume Herself CX 19 episodes
Aoi Honō Hiroyuki's sister TX Episode: "Gakuen ka? SF ka?"
100% Takarazuka Herself (guest) NOTTV 1 Episode: "6" [42]
Binta! Aiko Takatsu YTV, AX 2 episodes
Woman won't allow it. Mayu Misawa TBS Episode: "Case 07" [43]
[44]
2015 Kageri Yuku Natsu Mio Wowow [45]
Tsūkai TV Sukatto Japan Herself CX 6 episodes[46][47][48][49]
LIFE! Jinsei ni Sasageru Conte Herself (guest) NHK 2 episodes
Omotesando Kōkō Gasshōbu! Kyoko Hasumi TBS [50]
Itsumo Majika ni Ayaka Hayase IMAGICA BS Main cast, TV special [51]
2016 Money no Tenshi Madoka Sugawara YTV, AX Main cast [52]
Joyu Ochi Rui Kiyoshima BS Asahi Lead role [21]
2016–2017 Vocaburider Herself ETV, NHK Radio 2 16 episodes
2016 Mae! Kagura Hime Sakiko Kodama NHK BS P Lead role [53]
[54]
2017 Kin no Tono Suzu Hoshino CBC [55]
Survival Family Yui Suzuki BS Eiga [56]
Konya mo LL Episode 2 Hikari Tokyo MX Lead role with Boys Republic's Suwoong [57]
& Bishōjo: Next Girl meets Tokyo Misako CX Episode 3: "Akihabara×AM5:42" [58]
2017–2018 Warotenka Ten Fujioka NHK Lead role, Asadora [1]
[2]
2017 17th Waga Kokoro no Osaka Melody Main host NHK G Music program [23]
68th NHK Kōhaku Uta Gassen Guest NHK Music program [59]
2018 Black Pean Miwa Hanabusa TBS [60]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Work Result Ref.
2014 Kodansha Advertising Awards New Talent 3rd Place [19]
2016 Television Drama Academy Awards Best Supporting Actress Money no Tenshi Nominated [61]
2017 Nikkan Sports Drama Grand Prix Best Actress (Winter) Warotenka 2nd Place [62]
Nikkan Sports Drama Grand Prix Best Actress (Final) 9th Place [63]
2018 Television Drama Academy Awards Best Actress 4th Place [64]
Nikkan Sports Drama Grand Prix Best Supporting Actress (Spring) Black Pean 2nd Place [65]
Television Drama Academy Awards Best Supporting Actress 2nd Place [25]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]