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Why Kimiko From The Boys Looks And Sounds So Familiar

Audiences have seen enough superhero movies and shows to know that the people behind the masks are just that — people. Like all people, superheroes aren't perfect: Batman can be somewhat overzealous in his war on crime, Iron Man's longstanding drinking problem gets in the way of saving the world, and the Incredibles deal with family tensions as often as supervillains. Yet at the end of the day, capes or no capes, these characters stand for justice and provide (generally) positive role models.

Superheroes in The Boys are people, too, but ... they're just the worst kind of people. They're the kind of people who abuse performance-enhancing drugs, bow to corporate greed, and refuse to heed the timeless mantra "with great power comes great responsibility." The great power, they have in spades. The great responsibility? Not so much. That's why the titular Boys exist: to remove these "heroes" from a world that would be better off without them.

Characters on both sides of the conflict are portrayed by some recognizable faces, like Simon Pegg and Karl Urban, but Karen Fukuhara isn't quite a household name yet. She plays Kimiko Miyashiro, A.K.A. the Female, a super-strong mute woman with a tragic past. Here's where you've seen and heard her before.

Fukuhara wielded a mystical blade in Suicide Squad

The Boys wasn't Fukuhara's first fling with violent, superpowered stories or characters with tragic pasts. In 2016's Suicide Squad, she plays Katana, who wields, well, a katana. Unlike other swords of its ilk, though, the Soultaker Blade stores the souls of those killed by it, among which is the soul of her late husband. As field leader of the Suicide Squad Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman) explains, Katana often speaks to her husband's soul through Soultaker Blade.

Katana joins the team because she's Flag's bodyguard, but she's as instrumental as the rest when push comes to shove. As a trained martial artist and master of the sword, she brings a unique flair and deadly fighting style to the group. More a woman of action than of words, her relative lack of dialogue doesn't stop Fukuhara from making a stylish impression in the role. After all, the Female is completely mute, and she's one of The Boys' most engaging characters.

Fukuhara starred in the supernatural thriller Stray

Katana's Soultaker Blade may give off supernatural vibes, but Fukuhara herself wields supernatural abilities in the 2019 fantasy crime thriller Stray. While the film didn't receive too much attention, The Hollywood Reporter praised its "strong performances," one of which was deliverd by Fukuhara.

Fukuhara's Nori, a troubled and deeply vulnerable teenager, helps homicide detective Stella Murphy (Christine Woods) solve a murder that boggles the mind. Though the fact that there are mysteries and secrets galore to uncover certainly helps keep things spicy, it's Fukuhara and Woods' on-screen chemistry that really grounds Stray. Between the discovery of Nori's strange powers and the slow revelation of Murphy's disturbing past, their relationship grows increasingly complicated, making the movie more than worth the watch.

Fukuhara has lent her voice talents to myriad projects

Aside from appearing on screen in live-action roles, Fukuhara is also a gifted voice actress. It's a strange irony of the industry that such a gifted vocal performer would be cast in so many silent or near-silent roles, but here we are. 

In She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, the critically acclaimed reboot of the 1980s action figure-selling hit She-Ra: Princess of Power, she voices Glimmer. Loyal but with a rebellious streak, Glimmer transforms from princess to commander to queen to leader over the show's five seasons, and it's in large part because of Fukuhara that the transformation is so believable.

Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts marks another critically acclaimed animated series Fukuhara calls herself a part of, boasting a coveted 100% score on Rotten Tomatoes. Adapted from a 2015 webcomic, the show's environment is plagued by mutated animals of all shapes and sizes. Fukuhara plays the titular Kipo Oak, a young girl in search of her father despite the perils of the post-apocalyptic world. The series will conclude with a third season in October 2020.

Craig of the Creek presents a unique challenge for Fukuhara as a voice actress, as she's tasked with voicing more than one character. She mainly voices Alexis and the Sewer Queen, two very different characters, with occasional performances in supporting roles, as well. Switching between all those characters and keep them distinct is a laudable feat indeed.

Wherever Fukuhara's seen or heard next, she's sure to keep on killing it — whether figuratively or ... otherwise.