Decades before the era of VTubers, one anime idol made waves in the media mix world. Creamy Mami, despite her odd name, was a massive hit. And thanks to her, a lot of what we consider to be anime idol culture became popular.
Not only that, she’s back after almost 40 years, performing with the stars she made possible! Here’s the scoop on why Magical Angel Creamy Mami is more relevant than ever.
An Enchanting Character Vehicle
We may not know the names behind our favorite VTubers, but we know we love them. Their personality, talent, and charisma shine through the facerig. Nowadays a rare few actually reveal their name (Kizuna AI’s Nozomi Kasuga being a rare example), but Creamy Mami had the best of both worlds. Not only was she a fictional star, her voice also got to sample that stardom.
Takako Ohta got the role thanks to a talent competition. Her appearance in Creamy Mami was intended to launch her music career. It absolutely did — but Ohta did far more than just sing for Mami as intended. She also voice Mami, as well as her 10-year-old self, Yuu. She may not have done much more in terms of anime, but she definitely showed her talent.
An Early Media Mix Title
Nowdays, just about every anime projects that exists is a media mix title by default. Popular characters become VTubers, stars appear as their characters in person, and there are (of course) games and spinoffs. Creamy Mami was an early, basic version of this. But it would go on to set a standard for that mentality.
While Ohta was not required to hide behind Mami’s face, she and her character shared a career trajectory. Mami’s debut song, “Delicate ni Sukishite” (also the anime’s OP), was Ohta’s debut song. It may not be as nuanced and detailed as modern initiatives, but synchronizing real and fictional musical events was an early step into that blurring of lines.
Now Playing Alongside VTubers
Everything eventually loops back on itself. Now, Mami is performing alongside VTubers!
Next month, the retro idol will join stars of Hololive and PriPara for a virtual concert. It’s been cool to see Mami return to popularity in recent years. Now, it’s even cooler to see her share a stage (albeit virtual) with the same idols she herself inspired. What will come of it? Maybe she’ll finally officially become the VTuber she was always meant to be.
If you haven’t seen Magical Angel Creamy Mami, be sure to give it a watch on RetroCrush. And keep an eye on KUROxOBI -VIRTUAL IDOL POWER 2021- to see your favorite digital stars in action!