Shoko Nakagawa (中川 翔子 Nakagawa Shōko, born May 5, 1985 in Tokyo) is a Japanese idol, tarento, actress, voice actress, illustrator, and singer. She is best known as the presenter of Pokémon Sunday. She is the daughter of Katsuhiko Nakagawa, a celebrity in Japan in the 1980s.
She is represented by the Watanabe Entertainment talent agency. Her nickname is Shokotan (しょこたん) (In the blog by Mika Kaneda, who appeared with her on “Ōsama no Brunch”, she is called Shokotasu).
Born to entertainer Katsuhiko Nakagawa as Shiyōko Nakagawa (中川 しようこ Nakagawa Shiyōko, her name was not registered in a koseki as Shoko (しょうこ Shōko) as she had been using for most of her life), she was raised by her mother in Nakano (Katsuhiko Nakagawa died in 1994). She made her entertainment debut in 2001, winning the Grand Prix award at the Popolo Girl Audition and representing the Jackie Chan talent agency. Later, on the “Yume-Ga-Oka Residence” programme on SKY PerfecTV!, she was given a Jackie Chan photobook by Midorikawa Shobō, who were guests on the show. She commented “I thought he was an enemy of Bruce Lee’s”, apparently referring to Enter the Dragon. In 2002, she was chosen as Miss Shōnen Magazine. She appeared in a brief section of “Kangaeru Hito” (“People who think”) on the Fuji TV network in 2004 and showed her ability as an illustrator; this won her a regular place on the later version of the programme which started with minor changes in early 2005, “Kangaeru Hitokoma” (“Thinking about one frame [of a cartoon strip]“). For one year starting in May 2005, she appeared as a regular on the TBS programme “Ōsama no Brunch”, which made her well-known among the general public. In July 2006, she released her debut single “Brilliant Dream”. It entered the Oricon chart at number 29, with initial sales of 6313 copies. Nakagawa performed at Anime Expo 2008 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
Nakagawa is a fan of the Super Sentai series, and in particular looks up to the character Yūri/Time Pink of Mirai Sentai Timeranger. At the time, she stood in line all night to watch the live Timeranger show at Kōrakuen Fairground (now Tokyo Dome City Attractions) in the front row. In 2004, she achieved a longstanding ambition by putting in a guest appearance in the 38th episode of Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger (she had previously appeared as a child in Chikyuu Sentai Fiveman). She has always wanted to become the next Pink Ranger, and has gone out for auditions four times, but failed each time because “she does not have good athletic ability”. She has said that she was drawn to the entertainment world out of admiration not for her father but for Mika Katsumura, who played the role of Yūri, and that during gravure work she uses Katsumura’s photobooks and DVDs as a guide. She later appeared with Katsumura on Men B, and the two are now as friendly as if they were sisters. She is also a fan of the Metal Hero Series and Heisei Kamen Rider Series, particularly the series written by Yasuko Kobayashi, and sees Shigeki Hosokawa who played the titular character of Kamen Rider Hibiki as an ideal man. She is also fond of fellow entertainer and gravure idol Natsuki Katō for playing the first female Kamen Rider Kamen Rider Femme (both share a love of anime, tokusatsu, and video games).
Nakagawa is also a fan of Bruce Lee, and has a wide knowledge of kung fu films. She has studied Cantonese, and visited Hong Kong many times with her mother (However, she confessed on TV that in fact she soon gave up Cantonese, and hardly speaks it at all, although she keeps it on her profile.) She got to know Jackie Chan when she met him by chance at a restaurant he runs. Jackie Chan now keeps a picture she drew on display at his offices in Hong Kong. She has her own tracksuit and nunchaku she made herself, which are decorated with pink fur.
Nakagawa is skilled as a manga cartoonist and illustrator. She worships CLAMP and Kazuo Umezu, and wants to become a manga artist. On the Fuji TV show Kangaeru Hitokoma, on which she is a semi-regular guest, she showed this side of herself by drawing in the style of Kazuo Umezu. Some of her work was shown on the May 11, 2006 edition of Downtown Deluxe on the Nippon TV network, and was much praised. As of 2006, her manga “SHOCOTAN * QUEST” is being serialised on her official website. The fact that even after becoming a celebrity she has not given up on drawing led to her being selected as a member of the judging panel in the “Jump Damashii” section of the Shūeisha publication Weekly Shōnen Jump, starting from Jump number 13 of 2006.
Nakagawa does not like cooking. In a special version of Koi no Apron (TV Asahi) in August 2005, she disappointed the judges with her cabbage roll. She appeared on Koi no Apron again in November, this time making cream puffs and coffee jelly, but gave another poor showing, with the lowest ranking of any of the Apron Girls for that day. In July 2006, Nakagawa confessed to having a weak digestion, but managed to keep the situation light-hearted with jokes, while wearing a serious expression on her face.
Nakagawa is also enthusiastic about the Wikipedia Project. In a blog entry dated November 25, 2006 she praised the free online encyclopedia for its articles, especially those related to the otaku culture. She is especially fond of the collaborative writing aspect the project incorporates and has even jokingly said she wanted to jumble her own article.
Nakagawa is also known for loving cosplay, and buys up many clothes at auction, (particularly costumes for Neon Genesis Evangelion, the Final Fantasy series and Sailor Moon).
On the May 30, 2006 airing of Kasupe!, in the section entitled Fuji Ginkō Geinōjin Satei-Gakari (フジ銀行 芸能人査定係), “Fuji Bank Celebrity Evaluator”, it was discovered that she liked the manga Kachō Shima Kōsaku, eliciting a comment from the host, Sayaka Aoki, that she had pretty “grown-up tastes”.
On Private Lesson – Tadashii Wada Akiko no Tsukurikata (個人授業(プライベートレッスン)～正しい和田アキ子の作り方～), “Private Lesson – The Right Way to Make an Akiko Wada”, shown on October 4, 2006, when she appeared as a tutor, she entered dressed as Haruhi Suzumiya from The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, dancing to the end theme from that anime. Immersed in the role of Haruhi, she expounded passionately on “otaku studies” in a disrespectful tone, bewildering her student, Akiko Wada, from start to finish. She showed off her cosplay versions of Misato from Evangelion (which she filmed herself), Doremi from Ojamajo Doremi, and Vegeta from Dragon Ball, and to finish, got Wada to join in, with Wada playing Rei to her Asuka, and even gave acting directions.
Her official blog, Shokotan * Blog opened in 2004, and by April 2006 it had received a total of 100 million hits. On February 2, 2008, the daily Japanese newspaper Mainichi Shimbun reported that her blog had been accessed 1 billion times. There are very many otaku-style entries, and she updates it extremely regularly: in the month of April 2005, there were 600 updates, and on January 28, 2006, there were 70 updates, a record number for a single day. She has become known as the “New Queen of the Blogs”, after the original “Queen of the Blog”, Kaori Manabe.
The blog sometimes took liberties with copyright, but as of 2006, these entries have been deleted.
From September 2004, posters on 2 Channel took note of her otaku-style interests. She started to use board slang in her blog, including ASCII art imitating Raizon Naitō.
After her appearance on a telethon, the number of accesses to her blog increased, leading to continual trackback spamming. The trackback function was suspended. At present, fans can only send her messages in real time via her mobile phone guestbook.
At present she keeps ten cats as pets. She also has four turtles; a school of Clione, a planarian and a Corydoras.
In 2009, she appeared in a series of commercials for Norton AntiVirus.