“Kawaii” means cute or lovely in Japanese. Japanese pop culture and its iconic fashion are very famous around the world. A short film called “Graduation” is the story of three high school students, Echo, the student council president, Nona, a gangster, and Joi, a mysterious geek (Otaku). “Graduation” was screened at the Sacramento International Film Festival and received acclaim from critics.
Like the popular cartoon The Powerpuff Girls, each student in “Graduation” is represented by their own color. Echo (Joanna Cho) is red, Nona (Michelle Park) is blue, and Joi (Yui Shibata) is yellow. Yui Shibata, who played Joi in this film, was born and raised in Japan. Her incredible comedy skill moved casting directors, and she was cast as this charming, mysterious high schooler. Joi is very quiet but she has a kind heart and her inner power is gigantic. Quite often, the Japanese people are known to be reserved and quiet, but they can also be pretty tough and strong. Joi doesn’t speak much, but she offers a water bottle to Echo who was just knocked down and had a nervous breakdown. Joi comforts her, which demonstrates her kindness and empathy. Yui played this character Joi with deadpan humor, but she also adeptly portrayed the character's huge inner power. Audiences enjoy both the humor and heart in this character.
This film is well designed, with beautiful color combinations. Joi’s yellow glasses are cute, and add a little spice to this film. Don’t forget to check out her nice socks. It’s fun to explore “kawaii” Asian fashion.
Japan is famous for anime culture, and young Japanese girls are so becoming in their cute outfits. Yui is an authentic Japanese girl who went to high school in Japan. She also studied acting in the USA at Palomar College and California State University in Fullerton, where she received her BA in Theater Arts. She knows both Japanese and American cultures very well.
Yui became a well known theater-based actor in San Diego and Orange County in California, and then she moved to Los Angeles where she signed a contract with the Avant Artists agency in order to find more TV and film jobs. Since then, she has booked many comical and dynamic roles.
Yui established her acting career in the USA, and she is very popular among Japanese pop culture fans. However, we cannot just categorize her as a cute actor who came from Japan. She is a symbol of Asian actors and specializes as a crazy otaku comedienne. Her distinguished comedy skill makes audiences crack up even before she speaks.
She has just finished filming a new movie in which she has a lead role. She said this new part is very different from Joi in “Graduation” by being very energetic and powerful, yet quirky and crazy in a very good way.
We anxiously await her next work!