The popular spring anime Oshi no Ko is inspired by the true story of a child actor.
According to a recent video, Oshi no Ko’s Kana Arima is directly inspired by former Japanese child star Mana Ashida, known for playing the younger version of Rinko Kikuchi’s Mako in Pacific Rim. Kana is a child actress who is taken advantage of by her mother and agent, something that the real-life Ashida also has to deal with, as a scandal involving her mother has severely disrupted her career. Ashida’s mother famously attracted a lot of negative attention for taking advantage of her child’s success and forcing her to drop out of school to take acting classes.
Similarities Between Arima and Ashida
The video highlights another similarity between the fictional Arima and the real-life Ashida, as their careers plummet as they grow older. Ashida started her career at the age of 3, appearing in the Japanese TV series Looking Up at the Half Moon, and would go on to star in several popular titles in her youth. However, as her age advanced, her popularity dwindled, with the 18-year-old performer now not at the peak she had ever seen. This is reflected in Oshi no Ko’s Arima, who past fans consider gone and she is looking for a chance to return to the limelight.
Oshi no Ko is a scathing satire of the Japanese entertainment industry, criticizing everything from the idol scene to film and television production. The series is heavily inspired by real life, focusing on the dark and sometimes violent side of the industry. This is reflected in Ai Hoshino’s death, a traumatic event that causes the main story to focus on her two children, Aquamarine and Ruby Hoshino. Arima is a major supporting character who forges a strong, and possibly romantic, connection with the male twins, Aqua.
Aka Akasaka’s Oshi no Ko is a hit
Studio Doga Kobo’s adaptation of Aka Akasaka’s manga took the industry by storm, quickly becoming one of the hottest products in anime. It rose to the top of My Anime Lists’ best anime list of all time in its first episode before being dethroned by Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. It focuses on a variety of genres, including comedy, music, romance, mystery, and even fantasy, thanks to its use of the phrase reincarnation into another life.
Oshi no Ko is available to watch on HIDIVE, with the manga accessible through Shueisha MANGA Plus. The next episode will premiere on May 10, 2023.