With its most famous idol groups being popular with both young girls and middle-aged men, Japan’s idol culture is a curious thing, There’s a juxtaposition at work here, with the young girls in these groups cultivating an image of purity and innocence while at the same time prancing around in bikinis and mini-skirts that so bewitch adult males.

Haruka Momokawa, one of Japan’s hottest new idols, has got this art down to a T, putting her adorably youthful look to coquettish use despite already being the ripe old age of 20.

Despite being leader of the idol group Ru:Run, which formed just at the start of this year, Momokawa is relatively new to the idol scene. Even so, although her youthful good looks might lead you to think otherwise, she’s actually just turned 20 years old!

Her latest DVD, Last Teen ~Precious Memories~, closes the door on Momokawa’s last summer as a teenager, depicting the idol just before her birthday on November 1, frolicking under the sun in bikinis and swimsuits.

Her appeal is described as “loli-cute” by fans, and with her dimples and petite body she seems to be in high demand, with multiple photo books, DVDs and magazine appearances to her name already.

While these kinds of photo books and DVDs may seem quite sleazy to a Western audience, they’re standard fare for idols here in Japan to issue. There’s a whole range of idols to cater to every taste, from petite and youthful like this fresh-faced 20-year-old, to fuller-sized girls and ripped men, and companies are keen to cash in on them as long as there’s an audience to buy up their goods.

The key to many idols’ success is a carefully calculated brand of sexualized innocence, which Haruka expertly demonstrates in a Pocky Day video clip posted to her Twitter account.

But she can do more than just pose! Recently she has also become a regular actress on the Ultraman series airing on TV Tokyo, helping protect the Earth as gorgeous scientist Rui Takada. Ultraman’s birthplace is the M78 nebula which is 3 million light years away from Earth, leading some hardcore fans to start calling Momokawa “the most beautiful woman in 3 million light years”.

Going forward, Momokawa looks set to move on from repetitive bikini photo shoots, with her profile set to skyrocket following her appearance in the Ultraman X movie next year. You can keep an eye on her via her Twitter or Instagram—go quickly now so that you can tell everyone you liked her before she was mainstream cool.

Source: Biglobe and Twitter
Header Image: @momokawaharuka on Twitter