Lack of Taco Tuesday in Japan is also a sore point for California-born performer.

Japanese idol producer Yasushi Akimoto’s 22/7 project is picking up steam. Announced late last year, 22/7 (pronounced “Nanabun no Nijuni,” meaning “Twenty-two Sevenths”) is a mixed media project in which Akimoto (producer of AKB48 and its associated sister acts) is teaming up with a number of anime character designers to create a hybrid anime/real-life idol unit, in which human idol singers voice anime characters who are also idols.

▼ 22/7’s anime characters

10,325 hopefuls have applied for the vocal roles, and so far eight of the group’s eventual 12 members have been selected, one of whom is new voice actress Sally Amaki, who will be voicing the character Sakura Fujima, seen second from right in the above image.

In her official 22/7 self-introduction video, Amaki seems like an archetypical, though still typical, Japanese idol. She’s got a perky smile, clean-cut appearance, and so much earnest commitment to doing her best as an idol/voice actress that she’s moved to tears to have been chosen to join the group.

But it turns out that Amaki also has something that most idols don’t have: native English-speaking ability.

Amaki was actually born in Los Angeles, and English (complete with Southern California diction and rhythm) is her first language. “I can’t talk in English for a very long time,” she insists, though, “because then, my like, inner, my inner, ghetto Sally is gonna come out, and that can’t happen. Like I need to keep my image as like a Japanese cute idol.”

Amaki’s unique cultural background also means she can speak, from experience, on such American gastronomic traditions as Taco Tuesdays and Girl Scout Cookies, both of which, to her lament, Japan’s culinary scene lacks.

▼ This marks the first time a Japanese idol singer has spoken the phrase “They don’t have no Chipotle!”

22/7 is yet to release its first song, and as such no concrete plans have been announced to market the group outside Japan. But with idol units increasingly making the rounds of overseas anime conventions and Japanese pop culture events, Amaki’s ability to directly communicate and connect with English-speaking fans could definitely help 22/7 build an international fanbase.

Sources: 22/7.com, Twitter/@nise_shi
Featured image: Twitter/@nise_shi

Follow Casey on Twitter, where the comfort food from L.A. he wishes was more common in Japan is banh mi.