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Why Mitsuki From Invasion Looks So Familiar

Over the course of the first season of Apple TV's epic science fiction series "Invasion" (which has already been renewed for a second), an alien invasion slowly unfolds through strange phenomena touching the lives of several different people around the world. These characters are the show's focus, as it builds out their stories and encourages audiences to become invested. A standout among them is Mitsuki, an intelligent young communications specialist working for the Japanese space agency and secretly dating the famous female astronaut Hinata (Rinko Kikuchi), who is in serious danger on her trip to the International Space Station.

If Mitsuki looks familiar, that's because she's played by Japanese-Australian actress Shioli Kutsuna, who's been acting in Japanese productions since she was a teen and has more recently entered Hollywood's orbit. In 2021, she was named one of Forbes Japan's 30 under 30, so she is certainly one to watch, though you probably already have watched her. Here's where you likely recognize her from.

She got her start on TV in Japan

The Australian-born Shioli Kutsuna got her start in entertainment young: At 13, she won a beauty pageant in Japan and soon after, got an agent and moved there. Within a few years she was acting in various Japanese TV series, she told Japan Times. When talking about her career up to "Invasion," Kutsuna told Rose and Ivy Journal, "I've always prioritized my instincts and went with my gut rather than overthinking too much about the pros or cons when deciding on a project."

One of Kutsuna's most recognizable roles in Japanese media is Ran Mori, a kind girl skilled in karate, who's the childhood friend of high school detective Shinichi Kudo. Beginning in 2011, she played Ran Mori in two live action movies and a series based on the "Detective Conan" manga, which feature Shinichi as the main character. Also in 2011, she played Asuda Yui on "I'm Mita, Your Housekeeper," the most popular TV show in Japan that year. The one season series centers on a grieving family who hires a fastidious, but mysteriously closed off housekeeper after the death of the mother. Kutsuna's character is the eldest child, a high school student who feels responsible for her mother's suicide.

Being bilingual got her into Japanese-American dramas

After several years of acting in Japan, Shioli Kutsuna began dipping her toes into the American film industry with the American-Japanese 2017 film "Oh Lucy!" The indie drama stars Shinobu Terajima as the lonely office worker Setsuko who relishes her American persona of Lucy when she takes an English class from John ("Penny Dreadful" star Josh Hartnett). Things get complicated when Setsuko follows her niece, Mika (Kutsuna), and John to Los Angeles. Based on the short film by its director, Atsuko Hirayanagi, and with Will Ferrell and Adam McKay among its producers, "Oh Lucy!" premiered at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival.

Then with Netflix's 2018 crime thriller "The Outsider," the script flipped for Kutsuna, instead centering on an American in Japan. Leading the film is Jared Leto as the ex-US Marine Nick Lowell, who spends a decade in a Japanese prison following World War II and then joins a yakuza clan, working his way up the ranks. Kutsuna plays Miyu, the younger sister of Nick's yakuza mentor (Tadanobu Asano), who quickly grows closer to Nick. The film wasn't received particularly well by critics — it has a dismal 17% on Rotten Tomatoes — but it certainly put Kutsuna on a broader stage.

Kutsuna took down Juggernaut in Deadpool 2

In 2018, Shioli Kutsuna did her first Hollywood blockbuster, with her small role as the teenage X-Men member Yukio in "Deadpool 2." Wade, aka Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds), first meets her at the X-Mansion, when she's introduced as the girlfriend of the returning moody teen Negasonic Teenage Warhead. Yukio's pink hair prompts Wade to call her "Pinkie Pie from My Little Pony." Most notably, the pair of them make up the first LGBTQ+ relationship shown in a Marvel movie.

Later, when Yukio and Negasonic Teenage Warhead back up Colossus (Stefan Kapicic) in the final battle against Juggernaut (also Ryan Reynolds), Yukio shows her power when she charges up a heavy chain with electricity and uses it to tie up Juggernaut. She returns in the mid-credit scene, when she and Negasonic Teenage Warhead fix the time travel device for Wade — allowing him to save Vanessa (Morena Baccarin) — despite believing it's a bad idea.

That may not be the last we see of Yukio, as co-screenwriter and executive producer Rhett Reese told Comic Book Resources: "Shioli's amazing. I really think we have to do her more justice going forward — not as though we did her injustice, but she just didn't have a lot of screen time. I'd love to explore the Yukio character more." Although Reese's involvement is unknown, "Deadpool 3" is on the horizon, gearing up to officially join the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and likely to start filming this year.

She played a murder suspect in an international caper

Netflix cast Shioli Kutsuna again for the 2019 comedy "Murder Mystery," which stars Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston as an American couple on vacation in Europe, who become murder suspects amidst the complicated affairs of a rich family. It all goes awry after billionaire Charles Cavendish (Luke Evans) invites them to his uncle's yacht, where the exorbitantly rich uncle is murdered in a fashion straight out of "Clue" — the room goes dark, a gunshot rings out in the chaos, and the light returns only to reveal that he's been stabbed with a fancy dagger.

Among the cast of suspects is Kutsuna's Suzi Nakamura. She's the ex-fiancée of Cavendish, but also the bride of his uncle, Malcolm Quince (Terence Stamp), who's murdered just before he signs over all his money to Suzi. The part certainly put Kutsuna in front of a huge audience, because upon its release, "Murder Mystery" had the biggest opening weekend of any Netflix film, according to Variety. Hopefully, this solves the mystery as to why Mitsuki from "Invasion" looks so familiar.