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Kitagawa Keiko: From Sailor Mars to Stardom
By Jaclyn Ngan Posted in Tokusatsu Hero on April 20, 2015
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Hino Rei (left) and Sailor Mars (right)
Hino Rei (left) and Sailor Mars (right) Kitagawa Keiko as Hino Rei (left) and Sailor Mars (right)

Kitagawa Keiko

It is without a doubt that Sailor Mars would immediately come to mind whenever fans hear the phrase “Akuryo Taisan!”

Due to the overwhelming popularity of the anime and musical versions of Takeuchi Naoko’s best-selling manga, Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon, Toei and Chubu-Nippon Publishing decided to produce a live action drama series to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the franchise. Out of millions of girls who share the same dream of donning the Sailor Senshi costumes, Kitagawa Keiko was one out of five lucky girls to have lived that dream.

Like any other girls her age, Kitagawa was just an ordinary high school student struggling to keep her grades up in order to earn a place in a prestigious university in order to make her parents proud. Unfortunately, things weren’t going well for the young lady as her grades were not improving despite her effort and hard work. She soon turned her attention towards the entertainment industry for a change of pace.

With her parents’ approval, as well as on a condition that if her grades will ever improve, Kitagawa soon earned a job as a model for the teen fashion magazine, Seventeen, as well as landing a role as Sailor Mars/Hino Rei in Toei’s Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon the moment she was scouted by her previous agency. (Kitagawa is currently tied to Stardust Promotion.)

nazotoki Kitagawa and her co-star, Sakurai Sho, in Nazotoki wa Dinner no Ato de with Singapore city in the background.

What did not occur to Kitagawa was that her role as Sailor Mars was going to lead her towards a bright future in the industry. In 2007, she was appointed the female lead of the TV Asahi Friday night drama, Mop Girl. From there on, she has been constantly casted either as a female lead or the heroine in several drama series and movies. Singaporeans will recognize her as the actress who portrayed Hosho Reiko in Nazotoki wa Dinner no Ato de (officially titled After Dinner Mysteries in Singapore) and her visit to Singapore to promote the movie in recent years.

While Tokusatsu series produced by Toei have been dubbed as the gateway to stardom, Kitagawa Keiko is so far the one and only actress to have achieved success and recognition as one of the most renowned actresses in Japan. Will there or will there be not another girl who will have the same achievement as her in the upcoming future?

Did You Know?

1) Kitagawa passed the auditions for Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon by carving a potato stamp instead of demonstrating skills demanded by Toei such as singing, dancing and ballet.
2) Kitagawa is a Meiji University graduate in economics. According to the actress, she decided to secure a certificate should her acting career remains stagnant.
3) Kitagawa is able to speak decent English as evidently shown during her visit to Singapore to promote Nazotoki wa Dinner no Ato de.

Kitagawa Keiko PGSM Takeuchi Naoko

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