Sola Aoi, star of adult films like Oral Infection and Perverted Neighbor, already captured the imagination of China with her ample talents, but is looking to do the same with her singing voice.
The Tokyo native's popularity exploded in China during the past few years as her adult videos made the internet rounds. The shapely porn star was even roped in last year to hawk Chinese PC game "Warrior Online" just as the country began cracking down on sexy game promotions. Earlier that year, Chinese netizens began using proxy software so they could follow Sola on Twitter as the website is banned in China.
China isn't the only country where the actress has a following. In South Korea, she also promotes massively massively multiplayer online game Dragona and has made appearances in Korean television dramas and even appeared (fully clothed!) in mainstream Thai romantic comedy Hormones.
The actress is readying her Chinese singing debut. Aoi is recording a Chinese-language ballad called "Sweater" and working with a dialogue coach in hopes of nailing the Mandarian pronunciation. It's not yet decided whether Aoi, who also does mainstream work in Japan, will release the track in Japan. Aoi previously released a single in Japan in 2007, revealing that her true skills might reside elsewhere.
Still, many Japanese celebrities are popular throughout Asia, but they're largely passive, with only a few of them actually attempt to reach out, tweet in foreign languages like Sola does. She created an account on Chinese portal site sina.com, where she posts messages in Chinese to her nearly one million followers.
Japanese entertainment industry is used to foreigners coming to Japan, whether they be Hollywood stars selling blue jeans or Korean popstars recording tunes. Japanese stars do go abroad, but not with the same gusto or savvy that Aoi has been plugging away with.
Culture Smash is a daily dose of things topical, interesting and sometimes even awesome — game related and beyond.