Meet The Queen Of Akihabara. She Loves Nerds Like You.

Know what makes Halko Momoi so damn cool? It's not only that she changed her first name's spelling because of 2001's HAL 9000 and the Nintendo game maker, Hal. It's not only that she does voice acting for a bunch of games and anime or that she records saccharine music.

No, Halko Momoi is so damn cool because a few years back, venerated Japanese model maker Tamiya released a motorised Momoi model racer. With a fluorescent orange chassis. Oh, she also put a PowerGlove and a VirtualBoy in a music video. That's pretty effing cool.

When asked this summer by Asia Pacific Arts to sum up her career, Halko replied, "Internet...otaku...and music!"

As the internet spread in the late 1990s, Halko got her start writing in print mags after her website caught an editor's eye. She went on interviews, and as she told J!-Ent magazine in 2007, she went on interviews, and for magazine articles, she rode the train simulators Tokyo train drivers learn and even got to meet Marvin Minsky.

As the decade hurdled towards the end of the century, Halko, then a college student, became a "sidewalk idol", singing songs in Akihabara for anyone who would listen. And people did.

Internet...otaku...and music!""

While still a college student, she released her debut single, "Mail Me". The tune was used in the cult classic Suicide Club, about groups of Japanese schoolgirls mysteriously committing suicide.

Halko began working in a host of anime, starting with The SoulTaker and Final Fantasy: Unlimited, going on to voice a wide array of characters, such as the Pokémon Wynaut in the 2002 anime Pokémon Heroes. She continued to appear in anime after anime—recently, Steins; Gate.

The Tokyo-native also did voice work for many games, notably the Radiant Mythology titles.

When she wasn't voice acting, she was either cosplaying or releasing single. One group she co-fronted, Under17, also released tunes for bishojo (beautiful girl) computer games. Now, 33, Halko is dubbed the "Queen of Akihabara". She continues to voice act in anime and games, record, cosplay, do her radio show, co-produce new idol groups and exist throughout otakudom. It's no surprise that her autobiography is titled Akihabara-LOVE. She's the queen alright. All hail the queen!

Culture Smash is a daily dose of things topical, interesting and sometimes even awesome—game related and beyond.
(Top photo: Avex)


    too bad Final Fantasy Unlimited was terrible... i mean seriously, it was a kids anime...

      I hate to break it to you, but most anime is for kids.

        Never watched Death Note/Last Exile/Trigun/Cowboy Bebop/Durarara/Beserk/Blood: TLV/Eva/Ghost In the Shell etc etc etc?

        And don't qualify your incredibly stupid comment by saying "Hey, I said 'most'" because you could use that same argument with video/computer games.

          And you just fell for one of the most obvious trolls ever =P

          *golf claps all around*

            If there was a law against feeding trolls (especially when you're in a bad mood) then my g/f would never make me dinner.

        As an animator myself it always depresses me to see this ignorance in the community - hey slappy, its an artform just like any other with multiple audiences. The medium goes from kiddy cartoons to intense drama and psychological thrillers, educate yourself and youll discover what the possibilities truly are. Or be a troll. Whatever works for you.

      FFU had a ton of really cool ideas plus all the cool callbacks to the games. I kind of feel they shifted the weight of the plot to rest on the kids' shoulders and lightened the whole tone of it to made it more palatable to a wider audience (i.e. children,) but it's actually a very dark story with a very tragic ending. It'd have worked much better if they had Kuro as the protagonist.

    What happened to that new editor AU Kotaku hired to delete Brian's posts like these?

      I don't see a problem with this article. It's not one of Bashcrafts one-sentence monologues for a change.

        Or one of Plunkett's "Hey guys, check out this cool image I found" posts...

          He is getting better, but still fails tho.

      Tips for posting?

      - Complaing about lenght of article
      - Personally attack the author
      - Write off the entire US staff for good measure
      - Ask why article is 'news'
      - Extol the master race AU office

      Did I miss anything?

        You missed:

        -Why is this post not catering exactly to my needs and interests? Everyone else's interests are lame, anyway.

    "No, Halko Momoi is so damn cool because a few years back, venerated Japanese model maker Tamiya released a motorised Momoi model racer. With a fluorescent orange chassis."

    She is cool because some company made a thing?

      Or she put a couple of gadgets into a music video one time.

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