Oppaira's Best & Worst Actresses of 2020

Published : January 31st, 2021 Written by Oppaira

For the past couple of weeks I've had posts about the best videos of the year, something I have done for a while now. This time around we're taking a look at who my favourite actresses of the year were. At the same time I'll be taking a look at some actresses who just didn't do that well this year as well as a few I'll be paying special attention to. With that said let's get into it.


Best Actresses


5. Minori Hatsune

Minori redebuted as I was becoming a fan of her and I decided to give her a chance and see where the cards fell. At the beginning of her redebut things were a little slow, but once studios got over the "new actress" phase with her things really started picking up. In fact, the middle of the year for Minori was really amazing. A flurry of great videos including one that made my top 25 of the year. I've really been enjoying Minori both physically and as a performer. Physically I've quite enjoyed what the maturity has done to her, even as she's 37 now she looks fantastic. Not even just her pretty face but her entire body, and I've really been noticing her curves. More than that though, her performances have really started to shine again. Some great performances in a variety of roles did her well throughout the year.

There was one downside to her year which was when she switched from Idea Pocket to Attackers. Let's just say that Attackers videos tend to feel quite similar compared to Idea Pocket videos and I found myself wishing she hadn't swapped. Some of her Attackers videos were good but I was definitely much more interested while she was at Idea Pocket, especially when playing more dominant roles. I found her to be surprisingly good in the dominant role and I just wanted to see more and more of it. I have no doubt that she would have been way higher on the list had she stayed at Idea Pocket just because her IP content was insanely good, and I always hate that. I really can't understate how good that period was, four straight great videos, that's hard to do as an exclusive actress.

At the end of the day Minori still had a great year. There's a very significant reason she's only number 5 but I found myself enjoying the hell out of her and I can only hope there's more where that came from. I'm definitely not as excited for this year with her being an Attackers exclusive but who knows where the year will take her. Maybe she'll go back to IP, maybe Attackers will utilize her better, maybe she'll transfer to a studio like Moodyz (which she worked for before). All I can say is that I want to watch her and hopefully her content is good.


4. Akari Mitani

Akari is an actress I have a love hate relationship with. On the one hand I would call her the least attractive on the list, but I'll be damned if Akari isn't one of the best performers out there. Truly, she has blossomed into a fantastic actress that I can't ignore. I think I'm also coming around on her attractiveness the more I watch her, but that's a different story.

In 2019 she had three entries in my top 25 and despite only one entry in 2020 the fact of the matter is she has plenty of great videos. What's insane is the sheer percentage of her videos that are great. I don't watch as much Akari as I really should, at least not according to how I rate her videos. I mean seriously she really has slam dunks left, right, and center. There's just so much good content between her great performing and the variety she gets as a freelancer that it's impossible not to find amazing content of her. The best part is that Akari still has a lot left in the tank too, you can see her improving year after year and she already has over three hundred titles to her name.

I'm absolutely looking forward to more Akari, especially as I come to enjoy her more and more. One thing I really hope happens in 2021 is more Hasumitani. Hasumitani, a combination of Akari Mitani and Kurea Hasumi's last names, is a name the two used in one video last year. It's very reminiscent of Hibihata and considering how good Hibihata is I can only hope Hasumitani can come to rival them. Especially knowing the two are friends and enjoy working together there's just so much potential. I'm getting a bit ahead of myself but the bottom line is that Akari is the real deal and I'm excited to see how good she can become.


3. Yui Hatano

Yui Hatano is, for me, a really interesting actress. I find I actually don't watch a lot of solo Yui videos, in fact I watched twice as many duo/group videos last year. It's kind of an interesting phenomenon that she's so much better with other actresses. I find it also extends a lot further than just her relationship with Hibiki, she's just good with everyone, and it really goes to show why Yui is one of the best. Yui absolutely snuck into a top spot this year but when I think about how good she can be and her career, it's not exactly shocking she's on the list.

As I mentioned, I think part of what makes Yui so good is how popular she is. Everyone knows her and everyone wants to work with her so I find her content is quite varied. That comes from many different angles, whether it's her doing group videos or lesbian to the variety of studios she works for. I find as a result there's just always something she's doing I'm excited to watch, and evidently also something that's quite good as well. Looking through her content of the year that's pretty much exactly what happened. Just good pairing after another. I guess it's easy when your friends are Hibiki Otsuki, Kurea Hasumi, Yu Shinoda, Eri Akira, Mao Kurata, Aika, Yuri Satomi, etc. Getting to work regularly with actresses like that is going to have that effect. I think that always puts her in the running for a top spot.

I think my biggest hope for next year is to see better solo content. I find a lot of her solo content to be kind of lacking, especially the regular videos for Max-A. I would really love to see her do some solo Chijo Heaven content because that studio produced some great content, including two of my top 25 videos starring Yui. That being said I still expect to watch a good amount of Yui. There's a reason many consider her the greatest of all time and her career is still going strong a decade later. She may not be someone you think about at first because she's basically always this good but she really is deserving of recognition.


2. Yuri Honma

Yuri is really the most surprising actress for me this year. She's someone I've known about for ages but never really paid any attention to. Early in the year I set out to watch some of my favourites every month and before I knew it Yuri was on that list. By the end of the year I had seen more Yuri than anyone except the first place actress. So to say Yuri had a breakout year wouldn't do justice to just how good it was.

The biggest thing for me with Yuri is that she's really good at just naturally making sex look great. Too many actresses are lazy and just go through the motions; they can act submissive, moan a bit, and call it a day. I find it might more enjoyable when the actress gets into it and looks like she's enjoying herself. That's probably a factor of being a westerner but I think it's also a factor of how it sets them apart from everyone else. That's really the biggest thing, I find actresses that don't act in a generic way to be more enjoyable, regardless of how they manage to do it. Yuri has probably the best moaning in the business being this more slow and passionate type rather than the high-pitched whining most actresses end up doing. I find that alone makes her come across a lot different from other actresses.

I think the biggest factor is really just the career resurgence she had in 2020. 2019 was a year with very few Yuri videos and then 2020 had her working overtime. Several videos per month and quality videos at that. She worked at all sorts of major studios including Madonna, Fitch, Moodyz, Honnaka, E-Body, etc. and with a lot of great costars, including Mao Kurata, Kyoko Maki, Ruka Inaba, Yuria Yoshine, Arisa Hanyu, Mako Oda, and many more. It's just crazy thinking about how she turned her career around seemingly overnight and it rivals others in recent years like Eimi Fukada and Mio Kimijima. If you had asked me in 2019 about her I would have double checked she was even still active and in 2020 it was impossible to ignore her. I'm really excited for what this year has in store for her and it looks like it's already off to a great start.


1. Kurea Hasumi

Kurea is one of the biggest names in all of JAV, and has been for quite some time now. However, Kurea wasn't always at the top. No, not that it took her a while to get there, but that she had what I would call "blunder period" for her. 2017 was particularly unkind to her, she had a lot of content that just wasn't good and it felt like the best of her was in the past. 2019 was way better for her but 2020 has really shown all her fans just how good she truly is. Kurea's 2020 was extremely impressive, probably the best of her career. Hell, it was probably one of the best years of any actress in JAV period.

One of the big things of the year for her was how studios understood how to utilize her. I think Kurea is one of the best dominant actresses, if not the best dominant actress. It makes certain themes and plots much better for her, especially when compared to her contemporaries. Yes, it does often mean her variety isn't quite there but at the same time I think fans actually don't mind (I certainly don't). People can complain about using numbers to argue my point but the numbers don't lie: I've seen more videos of Kurea in 2020 than any other actress and she had the most top 10 entries at an insane five! That really goes to show why Kurea was my most watched actress, she dominated this year. In fact, I watched four times as many videos this year of her, quite unexpected.

Kurea's an actress I think most people are familiar with, she's certainly no stranger to me. I would, however, say that I do recall her blunder period and how I just ignored her. The time of forgettable Kurea is over. Both Panking and I thought she was the best actress of the year and at the rate she's going I wouldn't be surprised if that was true in 2021 as well.



Worst Actresses


5. Nanami Matsumoto

Nanami in 2019 was really great, I loved her a lot, but 2020 wasn't particularly good for her. She starred in a lot of videos that just didn't interest me at all, so much that was just very generic. Even among the few I thought would be good I was just thoroughly unimpressed by her. Of my top dozen videos of hers from 2019 forward, only two are from 2020, which really paints the picture for her. I think that's also reminiscent of how I feel about Nanami in general as I expect myself to like her more than I really do. She's got a lot of great qualities: she's cute, she's got nice large breasts, and some good thiccness to her. Hell, she can even be quite a good performer too. But when her videos just don't live up to expectations then it's so hard to watch. I know one video that let me down was one where she played a vlogger and it just wasn't what I had hoped for and that was one of the more exciting videos. I'm pretty hopeful that Nanami can bounce back, she's got a lot of good things going for her, and I look forward to seeing a much better year from her.


4. Marina Shiraishi

When Marina Shiraishi came back at the start of the year I was really excited. She was gone all of 2019 and I really missed watching her. I think what made it feel bad was that she hadn't retired and was active on social media. Seeing posts from her regularly always wondering if she would come back or retire was torture. Coming back and seeing her transfer out of SOD I had really high hopes and then... well, her year speaks for itself. Madonna was definitely a step down from SOD. I think a big reason is just how one-note Madonna is. With all the videos being about her as a mature lady in some generic cheating scenario it just wasn't interesting. Cheating with her boss, cheating with her stepson, cheating with the mover - it's all just too much of the same. I wouldn't really say it was terrible but I found my desire to watch Marina fade quite quickly last year. I'd love to be able to watch more of her next year but I just don't have hopes for Madonna content panning out. Especially when I'll want to watch a different Madonna exclusive I like more, Asahi Mizuno, I'll probably just watch a couple of her releases.


3. Rena Fukiishi

Rena Fukiishi has historically been one of my favourite actresses. In fact, I've put her as high as 4th on my all-time list. 2020 wasn't a good year for Rena, not by any stretch. Pretty much all of that comes from her exclusively doing uncensored. Uncensored content just doesn't compare to censored content, plain and simple. It's one thing when you have uncensored as part of your repertoire because it gives people more opportunities to enjoy you. In fact, I can enjoy the occasional uncensored video just because it's different. But like Marina Shiraishi, too much of the same, especially when it's always mediocre, doesn't do it for me. I think the worst part is that because she's still technically active I feel compelled to watch her, yet I'm just always disappointed in doing so. Ultimately I watch more old censored content of hers than uncensored. I think I honestly could have been happy with Rena's career had she simply retired instead of turning to uncensored, she had plenty of great content especially when she produced over 150 videos in a single year. At any rate, Rena has gone from one of my most frequently watched to someone I rarely watch and that's probably what 2021 will have in store for her if she keeps this up.


2. Mako Oda

Mako is another actress I have a love hate relationship with. One one hand I think she's quite attractive physically: busty, thicc, and fairly pretty with a nice look where she's young yet mature at the same time. On the other hand, I find Mako as a performer just really doesn't cut it. I don't know why I expect anything out of her in the first place, even her better videos pale in comparison to others. She manages to take great concepts and just put her average performer charm and make them so flat. I think a big reason why I keep coming back to Mako is because she's amazing physically but maybe it's time to accept that her body isn't enough. Especially with the number of actresses I'm keeping track of these days it's just hard to want to watch someone when my expectations are a bad video. I guess we'll see what 2021 has in store for her but it doesn't look appetizing yet.


1. Yumi Kazama

Yumi Kazama was at one point one of my top 10 actresses but recent years haven't been kind to her. I'm not talking about her body, although she has let herself go a little, no I'm talking about her performing. Yumi just hasn't had the same pep in her step that I remember her having when she was younger. I guess that's not unsurprising with how long she's been around, I mean she's been in the business since the 90s. It's not even just this year, I've been feeling that way about her for some time now, and she's dropped on my lists considerably. I find there's usually one good video a year from her but this year was particularly lacking for me. Even videos that I thought had a lot of potential just didn't live up to it, largely from her performing. Seeing her wife-swapping (with Yuri Honma no less), the hot female boss, or the escaped convict just didn't turn out well. As much as I do like Yumi all this mediocrity just makes me not want to watch her anymore and it's a shame. I don't expect to not watch her anymore but I'll be a lot more cautious about what I watch, or probably stick to older videos from her prime.


I've Got My Eye On You


I thought it would also be cool, in addition to the best and worst, to quickly go over some names that I'll be paying close attention to in 2021. I'll be skipping over anyone I've already spoken about but here are a few names that for one reason or another I've got my eye on.


Asahi Mizuno

Asahi made her redebut to JAV late in 2020. Unfortunately, she made that debut as a Madonna exclusive. I'm pretty lukewarm about Madonna these days but at the same time Asahi is one of my all-time favourites. She was obviously out of practice when she came back, both physically and as a performer, but I don't doubt she'll make it back to where she was before. That being said it will probably take some time and some of her earlier videos won't be to the quality I know she's capable. Especially when combined with the mediocrity of Madonna it just won't amount to great stuff. As I mentioned during my bit on Marina Shiraishi, I do like Asahi more than Marina, so I'm more inclined to watch Asahi Madonna videos than I was for Marina. It's still hard to tell where she'll land but for sure I'll be paying attention and likely watching some stuff.


Chitose Saegusa

Chitose is another of my all-time favourites, in fact she's been as high as in my top five. I was pretty stoked when she redebuted but so far I just haven't been as interested in her as I thought I would be. I don't know what it is, maybe a shift in my preferences since she was last active, but I just haven't found the same joy in watching her videos. She's had some decent videos so far and her performing isn't bad but there's just a certain something missing that would make her content exceptional. That being said, I'm still excited to see what the new year has in store for her. She's freelancing and has a lot of opportunities to produce good content. Especially when series like Oppai's Girlfriend's Elder Sister and Wanz Factory's 10 Min are things she hasn't done (that quite frankly I don't know why she hasn't) I think the potential for some really good things are there.

Note: Chitose Saegusa is currently going by the name Chitose Yuki.


Yu Shinoda

Yu is someone I interestingly found myself enjoying quite a lot this past year. I say interestingly because I find I don't enjoy her ass as much as I ought to but I still find myself watching a lot of her. Yeah sure, a good amount of that is because she gets around and works with some great costars: one of her top 25 costarred Hibihata, the other costarred Kurea Hasumi. Even still, I found myself watching more solo Yu content than I would have guessed I would have. I've always meant to watch Yu more than I have in the past and I think having a good year helped. The good videos with other actresses (especially working multiple times with Kurea) was probably a big reason why. Anyway, she's graced pretty well as she's preparing to enter her 30s later this year and despite her thin figure (to the point you might ask if she's eating enough) I've still been a fan. She's already got an office lady title costarring Waka Misono that looks like it will be great and I expect more of that great content from her as the year goes on.


Nao Jinguuji

Nao is an actress I really took note of this year. I'd seen her before and not been too impressed but I was wrong about her. My descent into Nao started with a gif showing off her ass, which is quite nice I must say. I wound up watching over half a dozen videos of hers and being quite impressed by her with one even making my top 25. One thing I've noticed with Nao is that her dual exclusive with Moodyz and Madonna works out really well. I don't know what's going on at Madonna but they seem to recognize a need to put her in more interesting titles. I would guess it's because they have to compete with Moodyz, probably most fans are only watching her once a month at most, so if the Madonna content was all the same they'd ignore it. As a fan it excites me a lot to see her get a much wider range of content. Anyway, considering I only really got into her later on in the year and managed to watch her fairly regularly, I'd expect no less this year.


Mao Kurata

Mao is one of those actresses I just never got into. Everyone has some of them, those actresses that are well known with widespread appeal you just never really enjoyed. I've seen Mao before, I've enjoyed content from her before, and yet I had barely seen any of her videos. 2020 was really the year where I started to enjoy her. I saw a handful of pretty good videos from her, including one that made my top 10. Granted that most of the content I saw was her with other actresses but even in that top 10 duo with Kurea Hasumi I was quite impressed by Mao. I'm not quite ready to go crazy with her like a lot of other actresses I watch but I would say I'll probably make an effort to actually watch some of her stuff, especially solo content, in 2021.


With that I conclude my post on the best and worst actresses of the year. Do you agree with the choices I've made? Who were your best and worst actresses of the year? Let us know in the comment section below! Until next time.

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Zredd7 3 years ago
I watch a lot of JAV. It’s difficult to understand due to lack of Eng Sub. I agree with you about Yui Hatano. She is a very versatile actress with many different genres. Some of her Shota ones were iffy. Her performance in RBD-859 bullet of vengeance was one of her better ones. Sad ending but she was very believable. One actress I think deserves some recognition is Nanami Kawakami. Her small chest and pouty lips are amazing. She expresses with her eyes on par with any actress out there. Attackers produces most of her work but she seems to shine in the slave/submissive style. I wish some of her work would be on Zenra.Still, Nao Junguuji is getting better each year. Now, if somehow JAV would completely dispense with that mosaic rule, JAV would shy rocket in popularity.
ZENRA 3 years ago

We're working on it! And totally agreed on Nao. I hope she remains in the industry a long time (and also hopefully branches out more with her roles).

Slamdunx 3 years ago
For me Akari Mitani has perhaps THE best body out of anyone currently active in JAV. Everything about it borders on perfection. I know her breasts might be a tad small for some, but it's perfectly shaped and fits her body to a tee. Her legs are wonderfully long and contoured, her feet and hands are charmingly cute and feminine, her ass is of course rightly celebrated by most JAV fans and her skin is flawless and appears as if illuminated from within. Perhaps the thing I appreciate the most about her is that it appears she hasn't had any work done, whereas we know how many actresses have had "touch ups". She is of course a magnificent and versatile performer on top of it all, but for some reason she always seems to be underappreciated. Perhaps the thing holding her back as is pointed out in this piece is her face, which people seem to be mixed on, but that's odd since she's pretty close to being objectively striking, not to mention she has many cute expressions. I think it might have something to do with her teeth being slightly crooked, which imbues her smile with a slight goofiness, but I've always found that to be oddly charming and unique. I certainly hope she never feels the need to change it.Perhaps people and the author can explain to me what it is they don't like about Akari's face.
Oppaira 3 years ago

For me the biggest thing is her eyes. I find eyes to be the most attractive part of a person and hers just don't do it for me. I can't really describe why but looking at her face I just don't get the same feeling I do when compared to someone like Ai Sayama or Julia (whom I have done extensive reviews for on ZENRA). You also pointed out her small boobs, something that doesn't turn me off but I wouldn't be OPPAIra if I didn't wish they were several sizes bigger. Her butt is fairly nice, I don't think I would put it in my top 10 but I suspect it would make a top 25 list.

Slamdunx 3 years ago
Fair enough on all accounts. It's all subjective, of course, but as long as you can articulate your argument eloquently and respectfully - which you do - it's always fun to read different perspectives. I love her eyes again, but then I also agree with you that her ass is maybe not Top 10, but probably Top 20, I would say. It's her sum total put together that makes me feel she's the most "complete" JAV performer out there at the moment.Anyways, thanks for the reply and for the fun convo. Always enjoy reading your work and comments. Keep up the great work.
ZENRA 3 years ago

Akari Mitani--for a JAV star at least--is also on the tall side (166 cm). Something else to consider as a major plus.

Jab hum 3 years ago
I love Akari Mitani's smile during sex scenes. I don't know whether she actually enjoys herself or not but her acting is top notch
Slamdunx 3 years ago
I think you can pretty much tell when someone is enjoying themselves, and it usually means they're fully present in the moment. If you seem the eyes drifting for even a split second, or a reaction that doesn't seem connected with what they're doing, or a reaction you've seen replicated many times before, but not necessarily in the same context, it usually means that mentally they're not fully there. Not to come across too crude, but I think it's almost impossible to fake an entire emotional register when there's a cock inside of you. If the woman really doesn't wanna be there, you can usually tell by a degree of strain on their part to sell some semblance of positive emotion. There are some good actresses in JAV - for JAV - but these are not professional actors. Even with the professional actors you can often tell when they're not fully invested in a role. There's a difference between faking emotion and actualizing a character. If the emotion isn't authentic, meaning it isn't coming from the trial and error process of them having pieced together the character mentally and emotionally, you can often tell - even with great actors. Some JAV performers do have acting backgrounds, but even they were unlikely longtime professional actors that honed their craft in a competitive environment for years and years. In short, if a performer like Akari looks like she's enjoying herself, it's quite reasonable to assume that she actually is. I've on occasion seen even a natural born performer like Yuma Asami's eyes gloss over - that's closer to the end of her career when she probably was more concerned with her health and likely uncomfortable with some of the more hardcore stuff she was doing, like bukkake's - so I think one can "definitely tell" when they're in the moment, and when they're not.
ZENRA 3 years ago

Some actresses are also just really good at acting. They can be ice cold when the cameras are off, but instantly transform into whatever the role requires—even when impaled. I’m sure if they’re literally engaging in a pleasurable act, that helps them quite a bit. It’s like riding a bicycle with the wind pushing from behind.

cacao 3 years ago
Marina Shiraishi and Nanami Matsumoto in the worst actresses section, we are in the worst timeline
ZENRA 3 years ago

I think we're doing OK.

Jab hum 3 years ago
Chitose starter slowly but the Uber Eats release was solid and then her release with Yuri Honma was really good.I share similar sentiments about Yuri Honma. The best thing is that she hasn't stopped yet. Her latest release by Fitch is amongst her best.My disappointing actress has been Honoka Tsuji. She looked great earlier but she has had an alarming weight loss to the point that she now looks malnutritioned.
Oppaira 3 years ago

I thought her Uber Eats release was pretty good too but Chitose is much better than that. I didn't care for her release with Yuri Honma, they're both miles better than that. Chitose was one of my favourite performers when she retired and I just haven't seen her get back to quite that level (although she's still solid the se days).

I'll definitely be checking out Yuri's Fitch release, it looks quite good and I've already seen three Yuri videos this year.

I haven't minded Honoka myself. She had some decent stuff in the year and managed to make my top 25. I know what you mean from the weight loss, she has some excess skin on her midsection, but I generally haven't been turned off by it. Marina Yuzuki had the same thing.

Jab hum 3 years ago
Yeah chitose has always been one of my favourites. No one plays a dominating role better than her. Not even Kurea Hasumi.
Oppaira 3 years ago

I disagree, Kurea Hasumi is better than Chitose, and by a good margin too.

Jab hum 3 years ago
Well let's agree to disagree. Kurea hasumi is great but her fake tits are not. Choose with her big naturals and stout body just looks more natural in those dominating roles. Case in point DVDES 851 one of the best performance of Chitose
Oppaira 3 years ago

I generally don't agree that body should have any bearing on performance. I too greatly prefer Chitose's boobs but that isn't a reason to say she's a better performer. I even agree with you that DVDES-851 is fantastic, in fact it's my favourite Chitose video, but that's also not a reason to say she's better than Kurea as a performer. By comparison I have 4 Kurea videos I rate as good as DVDES-851 or better, most notably my favourite video of 2020.

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