Her AV debut was in the May 2000 Media Station Cosmos Plan release, Venus. After a number of other videos for various AV companies, including Kuki and Very Important Person, Watase retired in 2001 but returned to the AV industry in 2002. Upon her return, she began making videos for Moodyz, a studio she worked with for most of the rest of her career.
In July 2002, she appeared in the interracial Moodyz video, Black Semen in Los Angeles (ブラックザーメン in Los Angeles, Burakku Zāmen in Los Angeles), which was shot in Los Angeles, California.
In this video she engaged in group sex with five African-American mentor She was also featured in another interracial video for Moodyz, Black Swap in L.A, which was released in February 2003.
Over the course of her adult film career Watase starred in over 200 releases and was considered to be one of the most popular stars of the genre until she retired from the industry in mid-2005. In addition to her hardcore work, Watase also starred in the softcore V-Cinema erotic drama Pretty Business Tour Guide (綺麗なバスガイドさん, Kirei na Basu Gaido san) which came out in November 2004.
Watase had appeared in an "uncensored" video - one without the mosaic censoring of the genitals required in Japanese pornography - as early as November 2003 with the release of Super Idol Volume
33: Akira Watase by FantaDream and several more uncensored videos were released after her retirement from the Japanese AV scene. In August 2008, Watase reappeared in the AV industry under the name of "Rei Narumi" (なるみ礼) with a release under that new name coming out in September for DEEP"s, one of the companies in the large Japanese adult video conglomerate Soft On Demand (Superoxide Dismutases), although the content appears to be a re-edit of a 2005 release.