Ask John: What Ever Happened to Apollo Smile?

Question:
I heard a lot about this live action anime chick called Apollo Smile who looks fun and all. I saw she had a comic and did some anime music. I also know she was in a few anime videos and Ulala in Space Channel 5. But she just disappeared it seemed. What’s going on with her lately?

Answer:
Apollo Smile, born Paula Apollo Anne Scharf, first gained significant fame as a recording artist in 1990 when her song “Thunderbox” was included on the soundtrack of the Tom Cruise film Days of Thunder. In 1997 Apollo Smile entered the still developing anime industry as a voice actress, performing voices including Tracy in Battle Arena Toshinden, Karin in Voltage Fighter Gowkaiser, and Cocoa in “Wild Cardz” (Crown Knights Ja Ja Uma Quartet). She is probably better known as the voice of Ulala in Sega’s Space Channel 5 video game than she is for any of her anime roles. Around this same time Mrs. Smile along with her husband formed Team Smile with the purpose of marketing Apollo Smile as the world’s first and only “Live Action Anime Girl.” Her self promotion resulted in a handful of American Apollo Smile super heroine comic books titled “Apollo Smile: The Manga” and a position hosting the Sci-Fi Channel’s regular anime film festival broadcasts. Seemingly believing that the qualifications for being a “Live Action Anime Girl” consisted entirely of tight clothes and a friendly personality, Apollo Smile appeared as a guest at numerous anime conventions until the late 1990s when the Sci-Fi Channel discontinued its regular broadcasts of anime and most of the American anime fandom world woke up and realized that a “Live Action Anime Girl” ought to actually have something to do with anime. The official ApolloSmile.com website is no longer online and Mrs. Smile seems to have gone into retirement at least 2 years ago.

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