Horikita Maki is one of my favorite J-actresses but I don’t post about her much since she hasn’t done a J-dorama I’ve liked in years. Her last dorama I watched all the way through was Atashinchi no Danshi back in 2009, and only because it had so many hot guys in it (Mukai Osamu, Kaname Jun, Yamamoto Yusuke) because otherwise the story is rather a mess. I liked Last Friends so when I heard she was starring in an Asano Taeko-penned dorama in Innocent Love I got all excited, and then the story just melted my brain from the angst and I had to call it quits. I forgot that Japan loves to go all dark just because it can. Since her breakout role in Nobuta wo Produce, Maki has been starring in a steady diet of doramas and movies (she did the movie version of Byakuyakyo, the dorama version starring Ayase Haruka and Yamada Takayuki) but it wasn’t until 2012’s headlining of the NHK morning daily Umechan Sensei (Dr. Plum) that she really hit a resurgence in her career. I guess when over 20% of the population in Japan is watching you in the mornings, you know you’ve got a widespread fan base. Up next for Maki is a movie with Nishikido Ryo as she continues to roll through the stable of hot talented young actors in her age group. I’ve been hoarding a bunch of new photoshoots she did recently so thought it was a good time to share. I love her with longer hair but those who only remember her from Hana Kimi is probably double takes with how feminine and alluring she looks these days. The girl has a to-die-for facial bone structure. Sniffles, little Nobuta has grown up so nicely.