Sally Amaki moved to Japan to become a voice actress, and she achieved her dreams. Now, she’s the voice of Sakura in 22/7, a new virtual idol group. But even outside of her character, she’s gaining a dedicated fan base. That’s because fans discovered two sides to her: a sweet Japanese idol and a goofy, outgoing American!
Best of Both Worlds
Sally, like other idols, uses the streaming video app SHOWROOM to connect with her fans. Viewers can tune in and ask questions, which gave her a great chance to chat with her new Japanese fan base.
But one day she noticed something: she had several American viewers, but none asked any questions. Realizing they might feel out of place because they don’t speak Japanese, she spent ten minutes chatting to her viewers in English. And that’s all it took to make her overseas fans feel welcome!
Fans love Sally not only because of her warmth and enthusiasm, but also because they’re entertained by what seem to be two separate personalities. To her Japanese fans, she’s the typical sweet and cheerful Japanese idol. But in a split second she can swap out to exuberant English discussion of her favorite music and her love of Taco Tuesday.
Is That Weird?
While Sally’s behavior might seem to some like she’s shifting through personalities, it’s really just a cultural difference. She’s adept at speaking to fans across international lines, reaching out in whichever way will make each one most comfortable. For Japanese fans, that’s the respectful and ambitious idol; for Americans, it’s more casual and friendly.
Sally’s uniqueness and exuberance makes her a special part of 22/7, a “virtual” idol group featuring singers and artists working together to create new characters. The group premiered earlier this autumn, and already has an album out. In future, fans can expect live shows, radio performances, and even an anime!