Maki Horikita started her acting career in 2003 as a U-15 idol and has since starred in a number of Japanese television dramas, TV and magazine ads, and films. Her breakthrough portrayals were her role as Nobuko Kotani, a shy and emotionally turmoiled character from the 2005 Japanese television drama, Nobuta. O Produce and her role as Mizuki Ashiya, a girl who pretended to be a boy from the 2007 Japanese television drama, Hanazakari no Kimitachi E.
Currently, Horikita is reportedly the fifth highest-paid product spokeswoman in Japan, commanding a fee of 31 million yen ($403,000) for each deal.
Horikita Maki was born the eldest of three girls on 6 October 1988 in Kiyose, Tokyo, Japan. She was boyish during her childhood days, like in middle school, she enjoyed playing basketball and baseball with her friends on holidays. While she was in junior high, she preferred to play Dragon Ball Z with the boys more than playing with the girls. This was because with the girls, she couldn’t play the princess the way she wanted in the princess make-believe games.
When she attended as a guest on KAT-TUN's variety show, Cartoon KAT-TUN, she stated that she loved imitating her mother when she was young.
In her junior high years, she served as student council vice-president and basketball club vice-captain. She was also described as the “Boss of 3-C” in a number of various writings, in recognition of her status as class leader. As she became more active in the entertainment industry, she put her club and council activities on hold. Being unable to meet her many commitments and after much deliberation, she finally withdrew from her school activities, plainly concentrating on her studies and career.
After completing her senior high education, she passed the entrance examination for Chuo University, known for its Law school, but it is uncertain whether she will study Law.
Later in 2003, Horikita started to model for various advertisements and star in TV dramas and films in supporting roles. Her first photobooks featured her as a mild-themed gravure model. However, her career in the said modeling field was indeed short-lived since she gradually dropped gravure-themed modeling when she started to get busy with TV appearances.
Her well-known commercials are her advertisements for Fujifilm (wherein she appeared alongside Japanese idol Nagase Tomoya) and Lotte (particularly for its sub-brands Ghana and Airs). Her current advertisements for the said chocolate brand are its Ice Yogurt and Shasha.
Horikita has appeared in numerous men's and teenage magazines, most of them featuring her on the cover.
Currently, Horikita is a constantly praised U-20 Japanese idol, her rise to fame seemingly gradual but certain.
In 2005, she gained much recognition from her back-to-back TV dramas, Densha Otoko and Nobuta. O Produce.
Her exemplary portrayal in Nobuta. O Produce as the shy Nobuko Kotani, bagged her a Best Supporting Actress award in a Japanese award-giving body. On the other hand, the chemistry between her character, Nobuko, commonly called as Nobuta, and Kusano Akira, played by Japanese male idol Yamashita Tomohisa, was recognized as well, leading both of them to star in another drama, Kurosagi. Horikita bagged her second Best Supporting Actress award from the same award-giving body for her performance in this drama.
Came 2007, her role as Ashiya Mizuki in the Japanese adaptation of the gender-bender manga Hanazakari No Kimitachi e earned her a Best Actress award, her first one to date. After filming the series, she has been attending press conferences for her three projects: the Taiga drama, Atsuhime; the suspense movie where she plays the lead character who has a multiple personality disorder, Tokyo Shounen and the sequel of her breakthrough movie, Always: Sunset on Third Street.
All her exceptional work paid off when Horikita was chosen by Vogue Nippon as one of its eleven Women of the Year (award) for 2007. Recipients of this same award include Ayase Haruka and Anna Tsuchiya.
Horikita is also one of the six young female hosts of the radio show, GIRLS LOCKS!, a sub-portion of the Japanese radio program, SCHOOL OF LOCKS!. She usually gives her letter-senders a call as a form of reply and gives book recommendations to her listeners. Her stint is at ten in the evening, every third or fourth week of the month. Other hosts of this radio show include Yui Aragaki and Erika Toda.
She has also debuted as an anime seiyu for a Doraemon animated movie, Nobita and the Green Giant Legend 2008 as the young princess of the "Green Planet," who transfers all of Earth's plants there because of the Earth's advancing environmental destruction.
On January 20, 2008, she did a public 'after-recording' at a studio in Meguro, Tokyo for the Doraemon movie, along with other guest voice actors. She already has done a voice recording for a video game series, Professor Layton Series since 2006, but she said it's harder to get used to dubbing in the animation, than it is for the game. She was asked who, in the Doraemon series, is her favorite type of a boy. She replied that she has a lot in common with Nobita; a similar interest in sleeping, string figures, and shooting (as seen in western movies).
2003 COSMIC RESCUE
2004 Sekai no Chuushin de Ai wo Sakebu
Shibuya Ghost Story
Shibuya Ghost Story 2
Ghost Story New Mimifcro
J-Horror Theater Prophecy
Always Sanchōme no Yūhi
2006 Ketai Daka
Haru No Ibasho
2007 One Missed Call: Final
Always Zoku Sanchōme no Yūhi
Koisuru Nichiyoubi ~Watashi.Koishita
Nobita and the Green Giant Legend 2008
Title Character Role type Year Network
Densha ?? Supporting 2003 ??
Keitai Deka Zenigata Mai Zenigata Mai Leading 2003 TBS
Doubutsu no Oisha-san ?? Supporting 2003 ??
Division 1 - Stage 8 ("Houkago") Michida Mayuko Supporting 2004 Fuji TV
Kaidan Shin Mimibukuro ?? Supporting 2004 TBS
Ningen no Shoumei Kouri Sayaka Supporting 2004 Fuji TV
Densha Otoko Yamada Aoi Supporting 2005 Fuji TV
Nobuta. O Produce Kotani Nobuko Supporting 2005 NTV
Tsubasa No Oreta Tenshitachi Yuna/Komine Nanako Leading 2006 Fuji TV
Kurosagi Yoshikawa Tsurara Supporting 2006 TBS
Densha Otoko DX~Saigo No Seizen Yamada Aoi Supporting 2006 Fuji TV
Teppan Shoujo Akane Kagura Akane Leading 2006 TBS
Seito Shokun! Kimura Juria Supporting 2007 TV Asahi
Hanazakari no Kimitachi e Ashiya Mizuki Leading 2007 Fuji TV
Deru Toko Demasho! Kamei Shizuka Leading 2007 Fuji TV
Koi no Karasawagi (Namaiki No Onna) ?? Leading 2007 NTV
Atsuhime Kazunomiya Chikako Supporting 2008 NHK
Tokyo Daikushu Nurse Leading 2008 NTV
* Nintendo GBA - Fire Emblem (2003)
* Nissinbo - Cotton Feel (2004)
* Fujifilm - Fujicolor (2004)
* Try@HOME - (2005)
* Lotte - Airs (2005)
* Suntory - Nacchan (2005)
* Lotte - Ghana (2006)
* Lotte - Ice Yogurt (2007)
* Shiseido - Seabreeze Deo & Water (2007)
* Lotte - Shasha (2007)
* KONAKA - KONAKA (2007)
* BUMP OF CHICKEN- Namida no Furusato PV
* Remioromen - Sangatsu Kokonoka PV (2005)
* Janne Da Arc - Furimukeba PV (2006)
* GOING UNDER GROUND - Hatsu Koi (2008)
* Bijomegane 2
* NS Eyes
* Miss x Matc
* Layton Kyoju Series (Voice of Luke)
* 47th Television Academy Awards: Best Supporting Actress (Nobuta. O Produce)
* 49th Television Academy Awards: Best Supporting Actress (Kurosagi)
* 29th Japan Academy Awards: Best Newcomer (Always -Sunset on Third Street)
* MTV Student Voice Awards 2006: Best Teen Actress
* Japanese U-20 Scholar Idol Ranking 2007: Placed #4
* Beauty Week Award 2007: Most Stylish Hairstyle for Short Hair division
* 54th Television Academy Awards: Best Actress (Hanazakari no Kimitachi E)
* Vogue Nippon - Women of the Year 2007: One of the eleven recipients
* When she was young, she wanted to become Sailor Moon, a female ninja, a policewoman, and a rich person.
* On her days off, she generally spends it indoors. If outdoors, she can be spotted shopping with friends or going to the karaoke.
* She treasures her family and enjoys spending time with them. Their family is well accustomed with cooking.
* She can quickly sleep anywhere in any given condition, i.e. standing on a public shuttle train.
* In middle school, she had a boyfriend of three years. “They’d split up time and time again, but they usually worked out their differences and it continued like this for three years," according to acquaintances.
* She has a weird fetish for insects.
* She’s highly capable of reading the questioner’s mind, making her see through the answers in multiple-choice tests. She has mentioned that she can score 40 points on multiple-choice questions alone. (A good proportion of the correct answers in the national language test are “u” ("c" in Western culture), according to her).
* She likes the band EXILE very much. According to her official blog, she even had a miniature flag for EXILE during the band's summer concert.
* She’s under the same agency as Kuroki Meisa and is good friends with her. A year and a half since graduating from middle school, they were on living terms at the agency’s dormitories. (from SPA!) She is highly appreciative of Meisa’s leading stage roles in “Atami Satsujin Jiken (Atami Murder Case)” and “Azumi".
* Because of the shadow patterns that fall on her face and the ambience that results, she has made countless appearances as the lead of horror films.
* She is very comfortable with fellow Hana Kimi actor, Ikuta Toma. In fact, as of July 2007, Ikuta has guested twice in her radio show.
* She was once rumoured to have been dating Kazuya Kamenashi of J-Pop Idol Group KAT-TUN, her co-star from the 2005 hit drama "Nobuta. O Produce"  but apparently Kamenashi is only a friend with whom she chats with on her cell phone.
* The first time she ate Toro (a kind of Japanese Sushi) was during a Sushi Battle between fellow actors of Nobuto wo Produce, Kamenashi Kazuya, Yamashita Tomohisa and Toda Erika. This involved each person choosing a piece of sushi from a large plate, one piece of which had a large dollop of wasabi in it. Maki Horikita lost the battle because she ate the wasabi and was speechless for several seconds.