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Why We Are OFK's Itsumi Sounds So Familiar

Described as an "interactive making-of-the-band series," "We Are OFK" offers up a tale that will no doubt feel familiar to any struggling artist. The indie adventure title documents the creation and rise of real-world indie pop group OFK. The action unfolds across five animated episodes and accompanying interactive music videos, using lyrics, text messages, and emojis to detail the aspirations and struggles of four friends hellbent on breaking into the "cutthroat music scene of LA."


Keyboardist Itsumi Saito, who finds herself adjusting to a new neighborhood in the aftermath of a major breakup, serves as the driving force of the narrative. Between a soul-sucking commute and working a full-time job, Itsumi manages to find time to pursue her dreams and forge fruitful connections along the way. Visual artist Carter Flores, producer Jey Zhang, and lead vocalist Luca Le Fae join her on this wild journey, each brought to life via fully-voiced dialogue. The cast list boasts several film, TV, and video game stars. Ally Maki, who voices Itsumi, may be one of the biggest names on the roster. Here's where you might have seen (or heard) Maki before.

Maki made viewers question their choices in Wrecked

While Maki has an extensive list of film and TV credits dating back to 2002 (via IMDb), her breakout role on the small screen did not arrive until 2016. For three seasons, the actress portrayed Jess Kato, one of the main characters on TBS' "Wrecked." Billed as a parody of "Lost," "Wrecked" delivers a familiar premise centered on the survivors of a plane crash and their struggle to survive on an uninhabited island. Jess finds herself stranded alongside her boyfriend, Todd, an already strained relationship further tested by a succession of do-or-die moments.


"I think the coolest thing about the show is it's putting you in the highest stakes situation ... So I think what's great about 'Wrecked' is it brings the worst out of people [and] brings the best out of people, because you have to reevaluate your life and your priorities there," Maki told Tell-Tale TV in an interview. "For Jess, I think that was a huge revelation for her of like, 'Wow. Here I am, stranded on an island, about to die. Is this who I want to spend the rest of my life with?'"

Maki featured in "Wrecked" until its final episode aired in October 2018. Earlier that year, she made her Marvel Cinematic Universe debut as Roxxon Corporation environmental engineer Doctor Mina Hess in the short-lived series "Cloak & Dagger."


Maki made history in Toy Story 4

Though primarily an on-screen performer, Maki has used her voice to bring multiple characters to life over the years in productions like "Robot Chicken," single-player narrative adventure "Beyond Blue," and Marvel's "Hit-Monkey." Perhaps her most high profile voiceover part hit the big screen in 2019 when she portrayed Giggle McDimples in "Toy Story 4." With a 97% on Rotten Tomatoes, "Toy Story 4" is easily one of Maki's highest rated projects, a success story to which she made a sizable contribution — despite playing what director Josh Cooley (via The Rafu Shimpo) described as "the smallest toy in the 'Toy Story' universe."


"To be the first Asian American female within this universe is so incredible," Maki stated (per Geeks of Doom). "To be a woman of color in this universe is incredible. To be the new character in 'Toy Story 4,' I mean it is just mind-blowing to me on every level ... I found a lot of confidence and a lot of identity through just being in this film. It is basically saying someone like you matters."

Maki played Ikumi in Dear White People

2017 through 2019 proved a busy period for Maki. Beyond appearing in "Toy Story 4" and filming multiple seasons of "Wrecked" and "Cloak & Dagger," the actress also tackled the part of Winchester University student Ikumi in hit Netflix dramedy "Dear White People." Another highly-rated outing, "Dear White People" boasts a 95% on Rotten Tomatoes. Though Ikumi popped up inconsistently throughout the show's run, Maki saw the jaunt as one piece of a major turning point in her career, especially in an industry that had shoehorned her into the role of sidekick for the white lead.


"I felt like I wasn't important because all people viewed me as was an accessory. They were essentially saying, 'You don't matter. You're a sidekick. You're there to facilitate someone else's story and their dreams,'" Maki shared with NBC News. In contrast to many of the previous roles she had been offered, "Dear White People" felt like a crucial shift in the right direction. "I remember reading the sides and thinking, 'Oh, this is exactly what I would say in real life,'" she continued, stressing the importance of positive representation. "These are exactly things that would come out of my mouth as an Asian-American woman."