Who is Sally Amaki, and why did she go viral?

If you have a Twitter account chances are earlier in the month you saw a quote or video featuring idol Sally Amaki, making it’s way onto your timeline. Amaki is a member of 22/7, a “digital voice actress idol group” which was made in collaboration between Aniplex and the mastermind behind the “48” groups Yasushi Akimoto.

Amaki is a Los Angeles native, and speaks perfect fluent English. This came as a shock to many of her Japanese fans, who at the time had absolutely no idea she was bilingual.

The buzz surrounding Amaki continued to grow from “SHOWROOM”, a streaming mobile/app service usually used by Japanese talents and idols. Amaki began to answer more questions from her fans in English, showcasing a very different personality compared to the typical “prim and proper” idol one. 

When asked about what she misses about America she mentioned the iconic Taco Tuesday tradition, Chiptole, and Girl Scout Cookies. Perhaps Amaki can introduce Japan to these beloved foods. She also expressed her love for dank memes and the LGBT community both abroad and in Japan.

Amaki has released a statement introducing herself to the media, and thanking fans for the warm reception she has received.

My Name is Sally Amaki and I was born and raised in Los Angeles, California until I decided to move to Japan by myself to pursue my dreams of becoming a voice actor.

The character I play is called Sakura Fujima whose character was designed by Kantoku (known for Hentai Ouji to Warawanai Neko). Please support by baby!She’s precious.

The reason I decided to corn to Japan to become a voice actor. Words cannot explain how much anime helped me in my life and I feel like it;s my time to give back what I’ve received. I took this audition in hopes of becoming a person that would make someone’s day better just with the power of my voice.

I first started a section in my showroom where I would talk in English for 10 minutes because I felt like people who couldn’t speak Japanese were hesitant to comment. I really wanted to interact with everyone so that was my way of welcoming them in to come and talk to me. I’m so touched by all the support that everyone is giving me.

To be honest I’m just an ordinary girl fangirling over cute idols and fictional characters on the internet so I don’t like calling people my “fans” because they seem more like an internet friend to me. I feel like I understand them more than I understand how to live the idol life.

22/7 (nanabun no nijiyuuni) just debuted on September 20th and it feels surreal to be able to sell out debut single on iTunes worldwide! This would not have happened without the support of everybody and I couldn’t than you all enough for this oppertunity.

I’m really nervous about the idol life and while I’m not sure if I can act the part correctly, I’ll try my best so I hope everybody can continue to support 22/7 until the very end!

Thank you so much for all the love!

For more information on 22/7 check out their official website and twitter account.

  • Comments

    • hasawa

      “Amaki Sally, seiyuu for idol anime 22/7, seemed like a normal girl until
      livestream viewers found out that she speaks fluent English”
      NEWFLASH // Being a bilingual speaking English gives you superpowers!!
      English speakers whose English is not their native language, ASSEMBLE!!!

      • hasawa

        Next time someone asks me why so many people are done with idol culture
        I’ll pull out this story of a girl who got her 15min of fame bc she was
        speaking English….
        I mean, it’s ENGLISH, the easiest, most spoken
        language in the world. I deadass stg ppl are so desperate to find
        sometihng to get entertained/excited about in this industry that has
        never been THAT dull before, they set their standards THIS low….

        • In Japan people hyped Yamapi for his elementary level English. He even got his own show about it lol but he can really only hold a basic conversation with a heavy accent.

          • .

            he was born in japan and has only known japanese all his life. i think it’s a little different.. but since you hate johnny’s i know how it is.

            • Okay…Jin Akanishi was born and raised in Japan and he speaks really good English. Also I don’t know where you get the idea that I hate Johnny’s but whatever.

        • naoyama

          I’m not one for idols to begin with, but I do understand how this idol garnering attention for her ability to speak English fluently can be seen as annoying. Because as a bilingual English Japanese person, English being my native tongue, I know first hand how some people react when they find out that “OMG You speak English!” But for someone in the entertainment business, it is something desirable. Enough to reasonably thrust an unknown idol into the spotlight? Probably not. But then again a lot of things go viral nowadays for good reason.

          Honestly I’m sick and tired of how people in Japan initially react when they find out I’m fluent in English. “Oh my! Your English is really good!” Is nothing but an insult to me, though I know their comment isn’t meant to be demeaning. I was born and raised in NY. Of course I’m fluent. So to give them an idea of how that comment feels, I started replying with “Hey ____, your Japanese is really good!” Most of them realized what I was trying to get across and apologized because they didn’t like being treated the same way either.

        • Ryuzaki Raiga

          “English, the easiest, most spoken language in the world” since when english is easy???

      • DT

        People just love being able to relate to the idols. The English speaking factor is a big draw because it’s pretty rare for idols to speak English. It doesn’t happen too often in K-pop which has quite a few English speakers, and it’s even rarer in J-pop where there’s virtually none. I think her biggest appeal, though, isn’t that she speaks English, but that she acts like a full blown SoCal girl which greatly culture clashes with the expectations of what an idol usually is like. I don’t know anyone in either K-pop or J-pop that acts in a similar fashion, even among the Americans in K-pop, so she has a rather unique gap moe appeal.

        Is it a 15 minutes of fame type situation? Most likely. It’s not like there’s any particular interest in the actual group from either Japan or internationally so it probably won’t last that long, but it’s entertaining nonetheless.

        Honestly though, I don’t really know why you would expect idols, of all places, to be a genre for innovation or creativity. There are other avenues for that, idols aren’t one of them.

        • hasawa

          To answer your last sentence, i found tiny bits of creativity in few idols bands, sure we can’t expect anything grounbreaking, but there is sometimes nice surprises. Anyway, it will still be better than some random girl who happens to be fluent in English. Besides, I don’t think she clashes anyhow with idol culture though…

          • PigeonPop

            Perhaps not with idol culture in the larger sense, but she absolutely does clash with the idol seiyuu scene where the fans and detractors are even more rabid and less tolerant. The ingredients are already there for a complete otaku brouhaha, but it’s been averted so far thanks to 2ch’s general lack of English proficiency and matome blogs being busy fanning the flames of other properties (the current targets being mainly Love Live, Touken Ranbu, Idolm@ster Side M and their respective seiyuus). This can easily change the moment the 22/7 anime starts airing.

            It’s all about the critical lens of the poster. You are looking at it through weaboo critique and idol culture at large. I’m looking at it through the specific category of idol VAs and domestic reaction on 2ch and elsewhere, where the concern is not about being impressed or not.

            • hasawa

              “It’s all about the critical lens of the poster. You are looking at it
              through weaboo critique and idol culture at large.”
              Well, I was just speaking for myself and from my own perpsective though. But I believe you about that
              “she absolutely does clash the idol seiyu scene where the fans and detractors are even more rabid and less tolerant.”
              You mean, not tolerant like the silly weaboos out here who can’t grasp negative opinions about their faves? Got it already lol

              • PigeonPop

                Not really. By less tolerant, I meant less tolerant of mistakes (e.g., botching a line when appearing on radio programming) or saying something “controversial” as the anti-fan threads of VAs on 2ch / matome blogs can and will spin virtually anything into an uproar.

          • H

            There are other Western-born idols who don’t get the attention she’s been getting. I think it’s more because she’s clearly fluent in internet anime nerd culture than it is because she’s fluent in English. She even said something like, “Can I be considered a weeaboo if I’m actually Japanese?”

            I think this is the Western fan equivalent of the “gap” that many Japanese idol fans like. She’s conventionally very cute and then acts like an absolute fucking weirdo (I mean that in the best way).

        • Puppy Power!!!

          Americans like any Asian idol that is from the west and speaks english
          The self love is so stupid
          The only reason some kpop idols like Amber are liked in the west, even if they dont look good or have mediocre skills, is because she speaks eng and is ‘so relatable’ while idols who fit asian standards personality wise are called fake and annoying. They want the stars to look asian but not behave asian but shit on western music

      • Guest

        I do get your point but considering she was born and raised in California, English likely IS her native language. That along with her personality is what makes her relatable (or fascinating, depending on whose perspective you are talking from) to a lot of people.

        • hasawa

          Yes exactly that’s why I’m sceptical about ppl being fascinated by an native American…speaking English! lol
          Anyway don’t mind me, I’m just a bit tired by the whole gimmicky-ness Internet phenomenons and ppl blindly buying that shit. I just wanna get entertained by things with more substance y’know?? 🙃

      • cabeijo

        yeah, that’s the writer’s fault.
        her relatable attitude was what make me say
        “sign me in”

      • anne

        The reason why she’s popular in the Western fandom isn’t just because she speaks English. English was what got people’s attention, but what made people stay was her personality. People are able to relate to her on a personal level with her because she quotes memes and discusses popular Internet culture that a lot of people who are often on Anime Twitter/Tumblr are familiar with.

        You already have English native celebrities like Sumire, Mackenyu, Alissa Yagi, Crystal Kay, Rei Yasuda, etc. and while people appreciate they speak English, I don’t think they’ve been as fascinated with them as they have been Sally. Sally participates in online anime culture regularly and used to be a cosplayer in the Western fandom, so people in the West see themselves in her and relate to her more.

    • Dalooshe

      Sally guurl, your personality is what’s fun!! Seriously she gives off this instantly ”we’ve been friends forever” vibe :))

    • cheng xiao’s forehead

      wells she’s certainly fun. there are other idols that speak english but it never got to this point because they werent as funny or relatable. i can see why people like her and i dont get why some people are so mad over something so harmless lol

      • hasawa

        It’s not about getting mad, it’s about starting to be annoyed by this “harmless stuff” getting attention to be forgotten the next one, while the scene keeps on being ridiculously boring.
        But maybe the first mistake is to expect something with some consistancy and originality comes from the idol scene in the first place lel

        • cheng xiao’s forehead


          idk why youre taking things so seriously lol

          • hasawa

            So edgy.

    • yurisakura

      Hope she finds more success! Amazing she can pursue her dream like this!

    • PigeonPop

      As mentioned in the article 22/7 is an Aniplex-backed group with other rookie idol VA hopefuls. An anime series showcasing them have already been announced as well.

      The various Idolm@sters, Love Live, UtaPri etc. have demonstrated time and time again that the idol seiyuu scene is truly bottom barrel and brings out the worst of both worlds. Sally seems to be fully aware of what she’s getting into, but I’m still quite worried for her.

    • ʕ→ᴥ←ʔ

      haha, she seems really cool.

    • She made me laugh, I like her.

    • risa

      Apparently, she used to attend Anime Expo as a cosplayer and quite a
      few people remember her from her Instagram days before she joined the

      I’m rooting for her but I’m really worried she
      might get herself into trouble since she’s said some really cringy
      things (i.e. having a “ghetto” name) and often takes advantage of the
      fact that her management doesn’t speak English that well.

    • silly rabbit.

      Her reaction and answer to her fan asking her if she pirates anime made me burst out laughing! She seems fun.

    • Paddy Alfan

      The English speaking fans can hyped her up for all I care

      But how about her local fans? You know. The ones that probably spent the most money on idoling stuff?

    • AkaneHaga

      Olympic is near here come your translater

    • Stefff

      Just another stealth marketing campaign by Aniplex.

    • AGirlHasNoName

      as a fellow fangirl, I checked the girl groups she was spazzing about.. and wow.. thanks to this girl i’m now a Keyakizaka46 fan… thanks guuuurl

    • Still striving for relevancy..

      awww she is so cute!

    • lymli

      it’s a miracuru a japanese that can speak english for real, ok, I think she’s cool, since it’s western and have no that fake shyness in japanese idols who always bows and ask sorry for evertyhing