Taking a closer look at Kiko Mizuhara’s popularity

Nose piercing, exposed chest, crotch shot. One way or another, the pictures that Kiko Mizuhara uploads on her Instagram account always attract attention.

“It’s art.” – That’s all Kiko has to say to those who refer to her crotch shot as indecent. But that reaction brought the public discussion to the boil.

Even though she graces the covers of fashion magazines all the time, a lot of hate on her surfaces on the World Wide Web.

An isolated existence with a “bossy image”?

Mizuhara has had successful appearances in CMs of major companies like Shiseido (Maquillage), Morinaga Seika (DARS), Panasonic (Panasonic Beauty), etc. Her appearances in movies and drama are also increasing.

In the highly anticipated movie “Attack on Titan” which hit the big screen on 1 August, she has been cast to play the heroine Mikasa. As a model, she is very popular with women in their 20s and her reputation among creators is very good as well.

Mizuhara’s debut as an actress was in the 2010 movie adaption of Haruki Murakami’s novel “Norwegian Wood”. Only two years later, she appeared in Kyouko Okazaki’s manga live action flick “Helter Skelter”, playing the role of Kozue Yoshikawa who uses her natural charms to rival fellow model Lilico (Erika Sawajiri), who on the contrary established her place in the industry with full-body plastic surgery.

Many look up to this type of person. However, there is also a big share of those that do not. Especially Mizuhara, who, not necessarily because of her actual personality, has a “bossy image”. On top of that, with her father being American and her mother being Korean, she stands in a different light than your typical Japanese person, as visible on her Instagram profile, etc.

These circumstances are probably the main cause of this equal share of popularity and unpopularity. Even among people who have worked with Mizuhara, some have noted that she’s “arrogant” or “selfish” while others argue that “it’s just that her manner of speaking and facial expressions are straightforward”.

A turning point as an actress? What does she look like objectively?

Although it seems like no one can deny her fame as an actress (and her widespread presence), there are a lot of things that she’s being criticized for. For example, when she played Oda Nobunaga’s sister Oichi in last year’s drama “Nobunaga Concerto”, people found that “a kimono doesn’t suit her” or “her facial features don’t fit the historical setting”.

Even if that was a miscast, her touching performance (when her character had to put a lid on her feelings for her childhood friend of a different social status and marry into the Azaishi household) was often overlooked.

In her first action flick, “Attack on Titan”, she plays the role of Mikasa, a beautiful soldier who is a skilled fighter and popular character among fans. With the trailer made public, many readers of the manga have expressed dissatisfaction with the addition of characters that weren’t in the original work.

At the same time, “Attack on Titan” fans disapproved of Mizuhara being in the movie. However, as history shows, manga adaptions attract criticism, no matter who plays in them and how well they perform.

Judging her acting skills without wearing rose-colored glasses is something to look forward to.

No matter what, it is undeniable that Kiko Mizuhara’s visuals and aura have the power to charm the masses. The success of this highly anticipated movie and evaluation by its wide audience will surely have a huge impact on her as an actress.


Note: This article is a loose translation. There are some changes and some passages that I left out on purpose.