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 motorized 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.
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 singles. 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!
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(Top photo: Avex)