Momoi Haruko, born December 14 1977, was the singer for UNDER17
which produces many catchy upbeat dempa
songs for anime
. She also does voice work for shows such as Popotan
and is known for her absurdly cute voice. The voice, which is awesome simply due to the fact that she can do it without using any sort digital effects, is very childlike but not incredibly high pitched (unlike Kaneda Tomoko
's voice, of Azumanga Daioh
fame) and is thus easier on the ears. Her most successful job as of now has been voicework for Magical Nurse Witch Komugi-chan, or Nurse Komugi Magikarte
as it is listed on the Animenfo
database. This OVA
series has since become incredibly popular with fans all over Japan, poking fun at the otaku
community, 2chan BBS
, and even parodying Excel Saga
, which was already a parody
to begin with. Being the clever girl that she is, she has very eagerly and shamelessly exploited
this by going all over and promoting Komugi on TV and radio, doing photoshoots for the Komugi artbook, and even going so far as cosplaying frequently as her character at live events. This was a very effective tactic, and since then, she has gained much more popularity among fans, as well as milked them for most of their money.
Her group UNDER17 had their first major live concert at Club Citta in December 2003. Outside of Japan, Halko had also began gaining much popularity, and in summer of 2004, UNDER17 was invited to perform at AnimeExpo which is a convention held annually in the United States (although it was sadly cancelled due to her getting intense migraines days before the event). Despite UNDER17's increasing fame, she and her guitarist had a dispute and split up recently on September 27th, 2004. However, this did not mark the end of her music career. In November 2004, Halko gained a lot of admiration from fans when instead of cancelling an UNDER17 performance that had been scheduled before the breakup, she just went and performed it solo. Now that's dedication!
In April 2005, she got her own radio show URAMOMOI which airs on Radio Osaka 1314kHz on Monday midnights. On this show, she revealed many of her new songs that she has been working on since UNDER17's split, such as LOVE.EXE, which she wrote and composed herself, as well as a few new singles she co-produced with MANZO.
She has done voice work for the following anime:
Ai yori aoshi: Chika Minazuki
Bottle Fairy: Tama-chan
Final Fantasy Unlimited: Ai Hayakawa
Kujibiki Unbalance: Enomoto Shinobu
Nurse Komugi Magikarte: Nakahara Komugi
Paranoia Agent: Maromi
Ragnarok: The Animation: Maaya
Ryusei Sentai Musumet: Saotome Kou
UFO Princess Valkyrie: Maru
As for her singing, I won't say much about the quality of the songs (mostly super-happy jpop) since it's purely subjective, but if you do have a soft spot for cute voices set to addictive electronica, make it a priority to invest some time into UNDER17. These make for some seriously great music for long road trips. Her biggest single, Mail Me, has also been covered by the fictional girl pop group Dessart, featured in the Japanese film Suicide Club where the song is said to contain subliminal messages that will make you want to kill yourself.
Also, Halko, a nickname she gave herself supposedly inspired by HAL 9000 (what a nerd), has her own website at http://www.momoi.com where she posts news and pictures.