Aki Maeda

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At only five feet tall, the petite and young Japanese actress Aki Maeda, born on July 11, 1985 in Tokyo, Japan, has already made quite a name for herself in Japanese cinema, particularly for her portrayal of Noriko Nakagawa in the violent and controversial film Battle Royale in 2000, and its sequel, Battle Royale II: Requiem, in 2003.

Aki Maeda is also well-known as the younger sister (by almost two years) of famous Japanese actress and model Ai Maeda, who is noted for her McDonald’s commercials as a young child, for her performance as Shiori Kitano in Battle Royale II: Requiem and for voicing Kino in the amine series Kino’s Journey.

Aki Maeda got her start in acting in Gakkô no kaidan 3 (School Ghost Story 3) in 1997 as Mayuko Fujii, when she was only 12, and shortly thereafter appeared in the Gakkô no kaidan video series and T.V. version. In 1999, she appeared as young Ayana in Gamera 3: Iris kakusei.

However, her most famous role—as Noriko Nakagawa—came the following year in 2000’s Battle Royale (Japanese name: Batoru rowaiaru). The premise of the film was considered by viewers and critics as highly controversial, featuring a group of ninth-grade Japanese students captured by the government, forced to live on a small island and kill each other. Aki Maeda reprised the role three years later in the sequel, Battle Royale II: Requiem (Batoru rowaiaru II: Chinkonka).

Also, it should be noted that Aka Maeda was originally slated to voice the character Anzu Mazaki in Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters, but the part went instead to Maki Saito, who did the voice work for Anzu in all Yu-Gi-Oh! episodes.

The young actress has also embarked on a side career in music as a singer and a drummer, and was involved in the release of a number of albums and singles. Albums include Winter Tales, Boys be (original soundtrack, 2000), and in 2005, we are PARAN MAUM and Linda Linda Linda (original soundtrack), the latter two of which she was Paran Maum’s drummer. Aki Maeda’s most popular singles include “Gomen ne” (1999), “Genki no SHOWER” (2000), and “Daijobu” (2000).

Aki Maeda’s Full Filmography

  • Mizu ni suma hana (2006)
  • Harami: Shiroi kyôfu (2005)
  • Shiawase nara te o tatakô (2005)—Mai
  • The Last Love Song on This Little Planet (Saishû heiki kanojo, 2005)—Chise
  • Linda Linda Linda (2005)—Kyoko Yamada, drummer
  • Out of This World (Kono yo no sotoe—Club Shinchugun, 2004)—Ryoko Yoda
  • Battle Royale II: Requiem (Batoru rowaiaru II: Chinkonka, 2003)—Noriko Nakagawa
  • The Cat Returns (Neko no ongaeshi, 2002)—Yuki (voice)
  • Genji: A Thousand-Year Love (Sennon no koi—Hikaru Genji monogatari, 2001)—Kataiko
  • Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack (Gojira, Mosura, Kingu Gidorâ: Daikaijû sôkôgeki, 2001)
  • High School Girl’s Friend (Jo gakusei no tomo, 2001)—Mina Onda
  • Battle Royale (Batoru rowaiaru—Noriko Nakagawa
  • The Boy Who Saw the Wind (Kaze o mita shonen, 2000)—Maria
  • Gamera 3: Iris kakusei (1999)—young Ayana
  • Gakkô no kaiden G (TV, 1998)—Ayumi
  • Gakkô no kaiden 3 (1997)—Mayuko Fujii

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