Mana Ashida (芦田 愛菜, often called "Mana-chan") is a Japanese child actress and Tarento from Nishinomiya, Hyogo Prefecture. She first acted Asahi Broadcasting Corporation's ABC Short Movie 2, though she rose to prominence only after she starred in the popular television drama Mother as Reina Michiki, the young child abused by her mother. She later became the youngest lead star in Japanese drama history when she starred in the special drama Sayonara Bokutachi no Youchien. She also has the record of the youngest lead actor in a television serial drama when she acted in the serial drama Marumo no Okite on the spring of 2011. She is currently represented by JobbyKids.
In addition to television dramas, Mana Ashida also starred in films such as Confessions and Usagi Drop.
She made her singing debut in the spring of 2011, when she and co-actor Suzuki Fuku sang the theme song for the drama Marumo no Okite, which they starred in.
Mana Ashida made her debut appearance in Asahi Broadcasting Corporation's ABC Short Movie 2. Bokenmama in 2009.
However, she came into the spotlight after she starred in the award-winning television drama Mother. Mana Ashida won awards such as the Best Supporting Actress at the 14th Nikkan Sports Drama Grand Prix and the Special Award at the 4th Tokyo Drama Awards for her role in this television drama.
She later became the youngest lead actress in a Japanese television drama at the age of 6 in the special television drama-cum-movie Sayonara Bokutachi no Youchien in 2011. In addition, she also became the youngest lead star in a drama series when she starred in the television drama Marumo no Okite. This popular television series received an average viewership ratings of 23.9% for the series' last episode.
On 2 August 2011, it was announced that Mana Ashida will be co-hosting the NTV variety and talk show Meringue no Kimochi. She will be co-hosting the show with the show's long-time host Hisamoto Masami and Ito Asako. This makes her the youngest regular host of a talk or variety show.
Mana Ashida made her first film debut when she starred in the live-action film adaptation of the manga Hanbun no Tsuki ga Noboru Sora in 2010. She also starred in the popular film Kokuhaku as Manami Moriguchi. In addition to acting, Mana Ashida also did voice-over roles for foreign films. She is the voice of Agnes in the Japanese version of the film Despicable Me, and the voice of the young Fang Deng in the Japanese version of Aftershock.
She later starred in the film Inu to Anata no Monogatari as Mana.