The Magibon Phenomenon

I’m baffled by the Magibon phenomenon.

If you haven’t heard of her, Magibon is one of the most popular vloggers on YouTube. She’s currently the 75th most subscribed user of all time and is dominating the People & Blogs section, with four of her videos placing in the top 15 for the past month.

Magibon doesn’t do anything in her videos. She just stares, blinks, and smiles at the camera. Occasionally she’ll say something in badly accented Japanese, like “pizza is delicious” or “I am studying Japanese.” Magibon looks 16, but claims to be 21, and is actually white, not Japanese. She’s very cute, has huge eyes, and resembles an anime character.

Despite doing nothing in her videos, Magibon has somehow amassed millions of pageviews and has spawned a huge following of fans, haters, and imitators. She’s even been invited to appear on TV in Japan.

This is Magibon’s most popular video, with over 2.4 million pageviews. It’s 30 seconds of her doing nothing.

Some of her fans have created loving tribute videos. This one is set to “Hey There Delilah” and features a Magibon montage.

The people who hate her have created parody videos. This one is by Jason Tobin, the actor who played Virgil in Better Luck Tomorrow and was also in Tokyo Drift. Make sure to fast forward to 1:00 to see Fake Magibon (Jason’s real-life girlfriend) getting beaten up by Jason.

A creepy Magibon fan site came online fairly recently at It claims to have been created by an obsessive fan named Frank and features a grainy black & white video of a masked man clutching at a wall with Magibon projected on it. Some people speculated that Frank and Magibon were part of an elaborate marketing campaign for a Japanese horror movie, but it turned that Frank was just a viral hoax created by a digital media artist named Danung.

Magibon has become so popular in Japan that Gyao (a Japanese internet/TV broadcasting company) invited her to come to Tokyo to work with them. Their YouTube message says something along the lines of “We saw your comment on YouTube about wanting to visit Japan. If you are interested in appearing on Gyao, we would like to make a Magibon show. We’ll await your reply on YouTube.”

Magibon responded saying she’d love to go anytime.

It’s amazing that this girl is getting offers to fly to Japan, just for posting some videos of herself doing absolutely nothing. It’s yet another YouTube miracle, up there with Esmee Denters (the talented singer who uploaded videos of herself singing and got signed to Justin Timberlake’s record label, which she announced through a video of herself singing together with Justin Timberlake) and Tay Zonday (the guy who wrote Chocolate Rain, performed it on Jimmy Kimmel, and got tapped to star in a commercial for Cherry Chocolate Dr. Pepper).

The power of YouTube is truly amazing.


#1 mike on 02.18.08 at 3:56 am


this girl seriously drives me insane. about ten seconds of watching her stare at the camera blinking was all i could stand.

i wouldn’t mind a free trip to japan, but if that’s what i’d have to do to get it, i’ll pass.

#2 roaf on 02.18.08 at 5:50 am

Jeez. Her popularity is inexplicable.
That Jason Tobin video is right on!

I suppose you’ve got to give the girl credit for the the astute assumption that she can get popular with anime fans simply by having big eyes.

Right. That’s it. I’m getting a video camera and making a cute puppet that speaks Japanese!

#3 Bill on 02.19.08 at 8:49 am

I think she’s funny! In the first video, it seemed as though she were struggling to keep a straight face.

I agree with your estimation of her age–certainly not 21. As the father of several teenage girls, I would place her at 15. It’s the eyes.

There is an innocence about her that is refreshing to many, apparently, and maddening to others.

#4 reza on 02.19.08 at 3:35 pm

wow, 5 stars on these drawings! that’s impressive.

I’ve moved back to MV after 3.5 years in kirkland. I’ve never met you f2f. Let’s do lunch one day.

#5 milowent on 02.21.08 at 10:33 am

great summary of the magibon craziness. thanks.

#6 ti on 02.22.08 at 12:05 pm

i’m usually not a fan of comedy involving violence against women. but that was hilarious.


“i dont know how to say it in japanese

#7 Anon on 03.12.08 at 5:39 pm

She’s 21. In a roundabout way, I know her.

#8 aware on 04.03.08 at 5:41 pm

Maybe this will help your confusion…or whatever it is…

from her blog:
” 幸せになりたいです。

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are
endowed, by their Creator, with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life,
Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”


Those wise men understood a lot.

After 20 years of living, I understand that each of those things is nothing when the other
two aren’t present.

I think that Life is a gift.
Many people fought hard for Liberty, and many people work hard to preserve it.
But, Happiness is pursued by each individual.
Life is the story of the universe. Liberty is the story of humans. Pursuit of Happiness is
the story of each person.

I can’t bear to have a boring life from start to finish. I want to do something brave. I
want to go far away from my hometown. I feel like there are good things in my heart, so if I have to say something important in the future, I want many people to listen.

For some people pursuit of Happiness is building a family, or becoming rich, or curing a

I don’t know what my happiness is. But, I strongly believe that I can only find it through
brave, spontaneous living.

Living like that might be impossible for me. There are so many things holding me back. It’s not so much present circumstances as all the things that have happened to me in the past,
that now cause me to fail at everything I try.

I think about this every day, but it’s really hard for me to write it here. I hate to show
weakness. However, weakness is a part of who I am as much as strength is. It’s better if
everyone understands this.

If I can become stronger, I’ll have a better shot at Happiness.

I’m still holding on to Life. And, I’ll never loosen my grip on Liberty. So, I’ll continue
to pursue Happiness a little while longer.

だから大目に見続けてください! orz

あなたも幸せを追求してください。(^_^)vv(^_~) ”

Of course, the haters will continue to claim she’s 12 years old and retarded, for their own reason.

That is their own problem, ignorence is its own reward.

#9 hl on 04.13.08 at 9:49 am

I’m inspired by her “doing nothing.” She’s like a real-life Haruhi!

#10 Harry on 05.20.08 at 7:58 pm

Her appeal is in that simple and pleasant way that she has, now considered old-fashioned. Many people shy away from the brutal attitudes that are fashionable now, and probably they see in Magibon a little of that sweetness that they can’t find anywhere else. The Japanese are mad about her because she touches some nerve for them that is in their deepest psyche. Well they are right, and Magibon has begun to realize that her gentle personality provides something that has been missing for many years. She has huge numbers of haters, but that just proves how far our nation has gone away from its once friendly and sympathetic national personality. Maybe Magibon and the Japanese people can give it back to us.

#11 AD on 09.03.08 at 2:16 am

Have you seen now some weirdos on Youtube made a video in praise of her, and the video is going nuts. The song is pretty catchy….

#12 John_Cage on 09.19.08 at 1:53 pm

Magibon is a Goddess amongst men (and women). You either worship her and be envious of her grea powers.

#13 Noone on 11.11.08 at 6:18 pm

I don’t blame her for putting up these videos. It’s the idiots who come back day after day to idolize her as she does nothing that bugs me. You can find her cute and all but seriously, this shit gets old fast so its unlikely that any regular joe is gonna wanna come back for a 2nd helping of 30 seconds of an online staring contest.

#14 MArk on 11.20.08 at 1:08 pm

good summary. found about about Magibon thing today only. personally i just think shes an average girl who made a few homemade vlog entries for her own fun like millions of others do. i cant see she ever expected it to go where it did.
So now shes realising some of her dreams ( Japan trip, TV etc by the way the TV show is on utube also and you can clearly see how nervous she was there and how she is not really an attention seeking brat) now because of it then good luck to her, we all need that sometimes and by the words towards the end of the blog translation above , almost very sad that things have obviously not gone well for her in the past, i think this may just have given her what she needed. Good luck to her and to anyone else thats gets even a little bit of their dream.

#15 มาจิบอน: สาวน้อยผู้สร้างตำนานฝรั่งแอ๊บแบ๊วแห่งยูทูบว์ « Nham Magazine on 11.25.08 at 5:58 pm

[…] – Magibon, Mririan/Magibon FAQ, The Magibon Phenomenon, […]

#16 Julia on 12.21.08 at 11:05 am

I really don’t care if she’s 21 or 12.
What is the point of making a video where your just sitting there,blinking in front of a video camera, the whole what? like 30 seconds?
It might just be my opinion, but i think its Retarded and a Waste of Time.

for the people that say “You either worship her and be envious of her great powers.” or “There is an innocence about her that is refreshing to many, apparently, and maddening to others.”
it’s just REALLY annoying to see her waste her time there, and people actually “worshiping” her about it. I mean come on, WHAT IS THE POINT?!
I admit, she may be pretty. So why not be a model instead of just posting these really stupid videos??

#17 mark schilling on 01.23.09 at 2:40 am

explains all that one needs to know about magibon. Magibon’s fame derive from misinformation. As long as one knows all the facts, one would be bothered by all of this

#18 t484t on 03.05.09 at 8:32 pm


#19 ma257zda on 03.05.09 at 8:32 pm


#20 amii and ellie on 03.19.09 at 5:03 am

yes, magibon is nasty¬!!!
shes a horrid little WEEABOO.




I LOVE YOU JAPAN! JAPAN! JAPAN! JAPAAAA…. *gets shot* oh shit. byee!

#21 lily on 03.25.09 at 8:02 pm

geeesh people……stop watching this stuff…….dont you have better things in life to do!?

i have to get the word out there, and now im going to do something that will benefit my health, go run a mile! :p

#22 why on 04.07.09 at 12:52 am

you’re all retards, whether you love her or hate her. especially you who get uptight about it all.. jeez. internet arguments. i really gotta laugh at this whole thing.

then smoke some pot and laugh more.

#23 Magibon?! « Bullcrap!! on 04.14.09 at 1:58 am

[…] : Magibon’s Youtube vlog Blogs on Magibon: – Magibon’s Evil Cuteness jessblog – The Magibon Phenomenon « Internet […]

#24 มาจิบอน: สาวน้อยผู้สร้างตำนานฝรั่งแอ๊บแบ๊วแห่งยูทูบว์ | นิตยสารแหนม on 08.05.09 at 3:39 pm

[…] – Magibon, Mririan/Magibon FAQ, The Magibon Phenomenon, […]

#25 johnny on 12.14.09 at 1:32 pm


#26 Andyk on 01.01.10 at 4:16 pm

she is a must beautiful woman i have ever seen. I would like to get to know her.

#27 Anthony on 02.08.10 at 7:04 pm

Dear Aware,
My first question is if that was what Magibon was trying to say. My second is whether you believe you can put yourself in her shoes. Many would say that is impossible because she cloaks herself in her quiet and often annoying videos, but if she did write what you posted, then actually the statement that it is impossible is an understatement. I don’t know enough to say I trully know her, but what you have provided is just an image of the average well minded girl with regular passions, and regular goals and ambitions. I believe that as people we judge people too easily by what they see on their cover, whether it is clothes, skin, race, religion, intellect, or even age, which here is clearly shown. I think of the many things Ive pondered about this often mysterious girl, what you gives me an idea of what may be in the mind of this ‘Magibon’. I think her silence confirms the fault in how easily judge people by the image we see, and how we interpret it through ourselves without stepping into the shoes of another, opening the pages of their book. I see a girl with dreams, who wants to do better things, but others a pointless child without desires, hopes, goals, etc. just by her silence. I wish I could be more clear on what I’m trying to say but I think you get the idea. (Please reply)

#28 yort on 09.07.10 at 6:31 am

I can’t understand why people learning Japanese as a second, third or so-on language feel the need to talk in that horrible high-pitched voice.

It doesn’t make them sound more like a native speaker and it makes me want to vomit.

And why in the world is she gaining popularity in Japan? All she does is speak Japanese and then post it on youtube. How talented she is.

#29 jimmy on 01.22.11 at 1:38 am


#30 Darrick Evenson on 06.14.11 at 6:55 pm

The TRUTH About Magibon!!!!

She grew up in Penn. but she spent a few years in Florida working as a stripper in Orlando and she went by the stripper name of “Heidi”. She is 25, but looks maybe 14 or 15. Many girls stop growing at about 12 to 15. She is one. She was married to a guy in the Marines at 18 she met at a strip club, but he died in Iraq in 2005. So, she moved back home to live with her mother because she could not work anymore because she was so shaken up by the death of her husband. They were only married a few months before he died. They only lived together about a month, but she really loved him. As a stripper she found she would make more money by wearing pig-tails and talking in a little girl voice. Her voice is normal. But this inspired her to do the little-girl-cutie motif. Acting like a little girl got her MORE MONEY!!!

Once she got a webcam she noticed that if she tilted her head at the camera the lense distored her features; causing her eyes to grow and her face and chin to shrink, giving her the appearance of a very young half-Asian girl. She decided to “go” with this, to post of few things on YouTube as a lark, speaking a few Japanese phrases she learned watching Anime. Later, she met a Japanese exchange student in her home town in Penn., who helped her with simple Japanese phrases. This is who gave her the idea of becoming a singer in Japan. Hell, if Jimmy Osmond can sell millions of records in Japan just for being “cute” (in a freckled/buck-tooth sort of way), why not Magibon?

Her real name is Margaret, but she goes by “Maggie” (a common nickname for Margaret). She still uses her dead husband’s last name, which is still her legal name. I won’t tell you what it is, to protect her privacy.

Her front teeth are terribly crooked. She’s received a lot of negative reactions and she is quite sensitive about her teeth. She wants to get them all removed and replaced by dental implants, but that is very expensive. She wants to do a record in Japanese so she’ll get enough money to get the dental implants and also enough money to take her through college where she wants to become a Dentist. She’s been in Japan for almost three years now, but Japanese is a very difficult language for Westerners to learn. It takes many years to reach fluency.

Magibon has not dated men since her husband was killed, and tells her friends she doesn’t know if she could ever fall in love again because her husband’s death was so painful for her.

Even though Magibon used to be a stripper in Orlando, she did not want to appear nude in Playboy in Japan because she thinks it would hurt her chances to become a singer in Japan and taken seriously there. But, believe me, her body is fantastic!!!!

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