When Nintendo launched Mario Kart Wii in Japan, it roped in some of the country's biggest celebrities for the ad campaign. Among them, was Aki Hoshino.
In a country obsessed with youth, the 33 year-old Hoshino is older than most pin-up models. She's noted for her bubbly personality and her hourglass figure. Rumor has it that she has had her chest enhanced — however, she denies she has ever gotten implants. A "doctor" once did a full body scan of Hoshino and verified this on television. Some woman also squeezed her breasts and said they were real. Experts!
This is an early modeling photo of Hoshino. Yes, something is obviously different. Rather, somethings.
Even when she was appearing in Nintendo ads, at PSP sudoku game promotions or in a Capcom bikini game, Hoshino has always been thin with a small waist as evident by this pin-up photo (above) from a few years back.
Or even a little too thin as this stock photo shows.
But her most recent pin-ups (below) show that the model has gotten worryingly thin — by which we mean bones and skin collapsing onto nothingness.
This comes as Hoshino's mainstream career appears to be slowing. She appeared on popular daily variety show Waratte Iitomo until late 2008. Many of her regular TV gigs on major networks like Fuji TV ended last year.
Also, she entered in a relationship with a 19 year-old horse jockey. The two met during a horse racing shows Hoshino hosts — rather, hosted. According to website Japan Today, the relationship caused the young jockey's trainer to become outraged about unwanted media attention and publicly criticize Hoshino. The relationship also apparently caused either the show's producers or the network itself to pressure Hoshino out of the show.
This isn't to say Hoshino isn't getting any work or that her career is over by any stretch. She continues to do public appearances to promote, say, Hollywood films as well as releasing pin-up photos.
Her push to drop weight could be connected with her appearance at the Spring Tokyo Girls Collection fashion event earlier this March.
This could be part of a larger national trend in Japan the Washington Post covered in which young Japanese women aim to become skinnier and skinnier than ever before.