During the summer of 2013, when millions of viewers tuned in every morning to catch the latest installment of NHK’s “Amachan,” the show’s sprightly 19-year-old star, Rena Nonen, seemed destined for big things. But her breakout role quickly became a cautionary tale about the perils of the entertainment industry.

While some of the show’s support cast (notably Mayu Matsuoka and Kasumi Arimura) graduated to major screen roles, Nonen got tangled in a dispute with her talent agency, which had reportedly been paying her a monthly stipend of just ¥50,000 while she was making “Amachan.” Even after her contract expired in 2016, the agency insisted that she couldn’t work under her own name, so she chose a new one: Non. (Presumably no French speakers were present at the time.)

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