Meet Rock M. Sakura, a San Francisco drag queen with a love for Japanese anime and K-pop who is now, officially, only the second Bay Area queen ever to be cast on Rupaul's Drag Race. In 12 years. Out of 150-something queens who have been on the show. The second one.
First things first, the name Rock M. Sakura is a play on the vintage 1980s toy, Rockem Sockem Robots, and so it's pronounced "SOCK-ur-a." As Ms. Sakura tells Entertainment Weekly, "People say 'suh-kurr-a,' which sounds more like 'suck,' and I love self-deprecating. I love when people mispronounce my name because I hate being alive."
Rock M. Sakura has been doing drag in San Francisco for about five years, performing at venues like BootieSF, Oasis, and The Edge. In explaining herself, she says, "I always say that I was not raised by my parents, I was raised by television and video games,” and she cites influences including Utada Hikaru, Perfume, and fashion runways. “I used to dance at the bus stop to the Naruto opening, and I do J-Pop and K-Pop numbers [now]. More than anything, I want to be a J-Pop anime idol because of the joy they bring to people’s lives."
"The city that I come from, we love everything that is weird, that is different, that is expressive. We love telling stories. We have people of all different walks of life, and we always represent that in our drag," Sakura says in her official intro video.
It's clear that this queen has some imagination and a sense of humor, and hopefully she's not going to be voted off in Episode 1 or 2 — or, like Honey Mahogany (SF's only other representative on the show in Season 5) knocked off the show for wearing a sequined kaftan/dress she borrowed from Juanita More.
She explains in her EW interview, "I will ruin my drag for a good number. I do one to Utada’s ‘Simple and Clean,’ and I reveal sponges for my boobs and I start cleaning the audience. I spray them with Gatorade in a bottle, then I do a wig reveal and there’s a mop on my head. I put it in a bucket and then I mop the floor."
Rock M. Sakura also had a presence on YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok before the Drag Race casting agents found her. Below is a video in which she and another local queen, Mama Celeste, do a taste test of various meatballs from local restaurant The Meatball Bar. (You're welcome for the free plug, Meatball Bar!)
Also here she is with another anime-styled drag queen, Erika Klash (Dragula Season 2), discussing the 10 most "dragalicious" Pokemon.
And here she is dancing around Japantown on TikTok...
Here she is doing a Janet Jackson number at Oasis last March:
Also, she's flexible!
Rupaul's Drag Race Season 12 premieres Friday, February 28 at 8 p.m. on VH1, and you can see photos and interviews with all the new queens here.
And Mama Ru herself, as we learned yesterday, will be hosting Saturday Night Live on February 8.