Sola Aoi (蒼井そら, Aoi Sora?) (also known as Sora Aoi) (a stage name; her real name is unknown) is a Japanese AV idol, nude model, and media personality. In addition to being a multiple award winning actress in the AV field, she has also attained mainstream media recognition.
Life and career
Sola Aoi was born on 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 as she studied with the intent of becoming a pre-school teacher.
While in her third year in high school, Aoi was scouted in Shibuya by a talent agency for glamour modelling. She decided to enter the Adult entertainment industry with the aim of eventually working in TV and other parts of the entertainment industry, stating that “There was also a possibility of going into TV and other parts of the entertainment industry. If there was only the AV industry, I couldn’t do it.”
When asked how her stage name was chosen, Aoi explained, “My agency asked what color I liked. I said blue (“aoi” in Japanese). He also asked what I like in general. I said sky (“Sora” in Japanese). So, he chose Aoi Sora (means “Blue Sky” in Japanese).”
Aoi made her debut as a nude model in November 2001, then made her debut in adult videos (AV) at age eighteen in July 2002, with Happy Go Lucky! for the Alice Japan studio, part of the Kuki Inc. group which also included the Max-A company and was one of Japan’s largest producers of pornography at the time.
While continuing to perform in hardcore AVs, Aoi also 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 features no sex. From July to December 2003, Aoi had a role in the TV Asahi J-dorama Tokumei Kakarichō Tadano Hitoshi.
Into mainstream entertainment
For her role in the pink film, Tsumugi (制服美少女 先生あたしを抱いて, Seifuku bishōjo: Sensei atashi wo daite?), released to theatres in July 2004, 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. In November 2004, Aoi left Alice Japan and Max-A to move 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. 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. Aoi’s popularity enabled her to enter mainstream entertainment, including television and radio. Along with another AV idol, Akiho Yoshizawa, Aoi appeared in the late-night TV Tokyo manga-based production Jōō (嬢王?) which aired in 12 episodes from October to December 2005. Aoi later returned in a special guest appearance for the 2009 sequel to the show Jōō Virgin (嬢王 Virgin?).
Aoi starred in the October 2004 release of the manga-based theatrical thriller Stop the Bitch Campaign: Hell Version. According to one reviewer of the June 2007 DVD release of the film: “The acting proves that Sora Aoi is no Dame Judi Dench but she is winsome enough to make you believe and care for her.”
In another venue, Aoi was one of several AV actresses asked by a small Japanese publisher to take photographs of themselves “if the cameras their boyfriends or undetestable stalkers”. The result, Polgasun Aoisora, was warmly received by a reviewer for the journal European Photography, who wrote “It would appear that in Polgasun she is trying to swap the wretchedness and banality of the pornography genre for intimacy and authenticity.”
By 2006, Aoi was appearing regularly on television, often appearing on variety shows and acting in several dramas including the 2006 midnight-drama Shimokita GLORY DAYS (下北GLORY DAYS) along with fellow S1 actresses Yuma Asami and Honoka and singer-actress Aya Sugimoto. Aoi 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. In 2007 she was part of the cast for the popular J-dorama detective show Galileo (ガリレオ).
Aoi has remained at S1, but has appeared in only six or fewer original adult 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.
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.
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. 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.
In late April 2010, Aoi’s Twitter account was discovered by many Chinese netizens. The social networking site is often inaccessible in China. Fans of the AV model began distributing software allowing them to bypass the censorship of Twitter. Following the 2010 Yushu earthquake in Qinghai Province, China, Sola Aoi announced that she would raise funds to donate to the earthquake victims. This was received by a mixed response by Chinese netizens online, with some praising her actions, others finding it controversial. In November 2010, she opened a microblog on Sina Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter that’s accessible in China. She posts in Japanese, English and Chinese.
She starred as a zombie-killing stripper in the May 2010 horror film Big Tits Zombie, a film adaption of the cult manga Kyonyū Dragon.
In April 2011, Aoi had a starring role in the Indonesian horror movie Suster Keramas 2 (Shampooing Nurse 2 or Evil Nurse 2), making her the third Japanese AV actress to appear (fully clothed) in Indonesian films recently following Rin Sakuragi, who was in the original Suster Keramas, and Maria Ozawa (known in Indonesia as Miyabi) in the 2009 film Kidnapping Miyabi. The earlier films, although very successful, engendered protests from conservative Muslim groups in Indonesia, so Aoi’s trip to Indonesia and participation in the film were kept secret. Aoi said that working in Indonesia gave her pause but she wanted to expand her mainstream career and that she was “really looking forward to coming into contact with foreigners and engaging in communication.”
Aoi is also a member of the idol group Ebisu Muscats as the sub-leader.
Debut in South Korea
In May 5, 2012, it was reported that Aoi will be debuting in South Korea as a singer and actress. She will also cast in a future Korean movie, titled Vacance.