“I am delighted,” gushed the 20-year-old actress, attired in a shimmering, low-cut evening gown that gave the assembled crowd numerous chances to view her 90-centimeter miracles.
The light-hearted event, in its fifth year and held in a theater within the love hotel area of Tokyo’s Shibuya district, was a mix of ceremonies and competitions for the top 15 female performers from the lineup of adult channels on satellite broadcaster Sky PerfecTV!, which provides numerous fetish, bondage, and adult animation programming.
As a quick Internet search will reveal, Asuka, representing Rainbow Channel, is recognized as one of Japan’s budding AV talents. The selection then of Cherry Bomb’s Haruka Ito as Best New Actress from a field of nominees that included Asuka was likely considered something of an upset. Ito, for whom the event’s guide describes as “very pure” and with a shining smile, was incredibly appreciative. “This is not just mine,” said the newcomer, “it’s the result of the support of everyone.”
Industry insiders estimate that today there are hundreds of companies making more than 3,000 porn features a year in Japan with a market value of ¥100 billion. Though the productions can be completed in a matter of days, this is a substantial figure considering data from The Motion Picture Producers Association of Japan reported that 418 regular Japanese films were released in theaters last year.
Yuma Asami, who last year took the Most Appearances crown, made a guest showing to present the award to this year’s winner, 40-year-old Chisato Shoda (Dynamite TV), who is known for her maternal roles in incest-themed features.
“Simply, I am surprised,” beamed the actress most likely to make a pass at her on-screen son. Perhaps an unpleasant omen to her fans, however, was her apprehensive agreement with the MC when he suggested that her number of films had actually been decreasing lately.
Aside from the simple math that tabulated Shoda’s win, the trophies were determined through a combination of organizational committee and online voting by fans, which took into account the roughly 10,000 programs broadcast in 2008.
Other winners included Emiko Koike (Power Plat’s), 33, who was voted Best Mature Actress, the title Shoda claimed in 2007. Paradise TV was represented by Momo Kaede, who took the Best Program prize for her contributions to the channel’s “Nude Sign Language News,” which sees the actress delivering news segments via sign language and disrobing in between motions. Asuka finished the evening double-fisted, also walking away with the award for Best Production in HD (high definition), in which the idol starred as a sex worker (“Kirara’s Amazing Technique: Soap Pro”).
The evening’s proceedings started with three tests of skill, for which the ladies were dressed in sneakers, pink shorts and white tank tops and placed within a mock classroom. Audience applause determined the winner of each examination.
In the erotic reading competition, the crowd selected Anje Hoshi (Channel Ruby) for having skillfully conveyed the tale of a nurse who assisted a male patient in relieving excess sexual tension. Midnight Blue’s Kotono won a game of charades, which tested the ability to visually describe such random items as a banana, a condom, and lotion. Kaho Kasumi (Manzox Channel), who last summer participated in Paradise TV’s 24-hour AIDS telethon by selling adult products live on the air, took the “air sex” contest by showing great interest in the MC’s microphone as he held it in his crotch area.
Yet for being deemed the most kinky performer in the three battles, Kasumi’s “penalty” was to dazzle the crowd by stripping down from her competition uni behind a transparent screen and emerge in a black, skin-fitting bunny suit and fishnet stockings. “The costume is a bit snug,” said Kasumi, who then added that she would do her best to continue with her erotic ways in the future.
Just before the ceremony concluded with the usual panty-toss to the audience by the participating girls, last year’s Best Actress recipient, Rio, took the stage to offer some words of encouragement to the new AV queen.
“After I won I had such a great year and received tremendous support from my fans,” Rio told Asuka, gripping the translucent statue. “I hope you will use this as an opportunity to further excel in your career.”
Note: This report originally appeared in the Japan Times on April 5, 2009. The event will be broadcast on Sky PerfecTV!’s channel 200 three times daily, starting at 11:30 p.m., between April 11 to 17.