Tokai On Air Member Reflects on Disbandment Turmoil, Saying It Might Truly Be the End for 7.05 Million Subscribers | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Tokai On Air Member Reflects on Disbandment Turmoil, Saying It Might Truly Be the End for 7.05 Million Subscribers

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The activities of “Tokai On Air,” a popular video creator with over 7 million channel subscribers, are once again gaining momentum. Leader Tetsuya revealed that his wife, Minami Minegishi, is pregnant with their first child, and Shibayu, who is also focusing on music activities, announced his marriage to fellow video creator Makochi.

Tokai On Air had been on hiatus until March of this year due to the “commotion” caused by Shibayu, his wife Ayanan, and Tetsuya last October. In his new book, “Tokai On Air’s Videos Become 6.4 Times More Fun: REBORN: Mushigake’s Broadcasting Club,” member Mushigake wrote about what has happened since the riot in the form of a “vacation report. We asked him about his true feelings now.

Mushimegane responded to the interview. A sense of fulfillment radiated from his expression.

—Many fans thought that Tokai On Air might come to an end, but how did you feel as a member?

“We have been active for ten years. During that time, we sometimes wondered, How will it end? When the scandal happened, I thought, this is also a possible scenario. There was a bit of a reality that it might really be the end. I was anxious,” said Mushimegane.

—At that time, it was widely covered in online news as well.

“I remember feeling like I didn’t want Tokai On Air to be known in this sensational way to people who still didn’t know us. I wished they could have discovered us through something like ‘Hey, Tokai On Air has some funny videos,’ rather than having our name recognized through this news.

It was disappointing and frustrating to think that people might now have a first impression of us as those people who caused a controversy. We’ve been pretty good at maneuvering through things until now. We’re not saints or anything, but we’ve managed things fairly well. Still, there was a fear that this incident could put us in the category of troublemakers or something similar,” Mushimegane commented.

—So you decided to take a break from that point. Was the decision reached smoothly?

“I haven’t talked about this much, but while we didn’t individually consult each member, the atmosphere was like, ‘Let’s apologize’ and ‘Let’s take a break.’ I really didn’t like that. I hadn’t done anything wrong, so I wondered why I had to take a break. It was quite frustrating for me. But well, looking back, I think it was a good decision to take a break, a mature decision.”

—Did the other members take the situation more seriously?

“I thought the other members were people who could apologize even though they hadn’t done anything wrong. I felt like I wasn’t ready to think that way. I was still like a child.”

—During your break, you enjoyed activities like mahjong, building Gunpla, and reading. You’ve always been known for having many hobbies, but did you notice any changes compared to before your break?

“I felt that having more time also gave me more peace of mind. With mahjong, for example, I used to always aim to win, but during the break, my mindset shifted to thinking that it’s okay as long as I end up on the positive side overall. As for Gunpla, which typically takes an ordinary salaryman about three months to build a ‘Perfect Grade (PG),’ I was able to complete one. It had been sitting at home for a while, and I had thought, ‘I probably won’t assemble this anymore.’ With the extra time, I took the time to finish it meticulously.

For manga, I asked people I met about their favorite works and bought and read them. The ones I found interesting were Heiwa no Kuni no Shimazaki e and Hikari ga Shinda Natsu.”

—Were there any benefits to taking a break?

“The biggest benefit was that when we resumed, I could pseudo-experience the feeling of starting again. People often say to return to your roots, but usually it’s just words or a mindset you convince yourself of. However, this time, I truly felt like I was returning to my roots. Just uploading videos gave me a sense of excitement. It was a coincidental outcome, but I remembered how I felt at the beginning, and that was really good.

Also, I used to think of myself as someone with very strong mental resilience, but during the break, I realized that I’m actually quite frustrated. It was good to realize early on that I might be the type of person who can unexpectedly end up like this.”

The latest volume, which chronicles marriage, hiatus, and resumption, is receiving great reviews!

—It sounds like it was also an opportunity for self-reflection.

“At that time, we spent days together talking as a group. What were we doing during those gatherings? Nothing, really. Just being there together was important.

But on the flip side, I found myself getting frustrated when I attended, and since I couldn’t contribute meaningfully, there were times when I decided not to go anymore. It made me realize that maybe this is just part of my personality.”

—It’s said that Toshimitsu submitted his marriage registration in the midst of all the turmoil.

“Yeah, that’s right. We were having a serious discussion, and suddenly he said, ‘I gotta go handle something real quick,’ and left. It didn’t make any sense to leave at that moment (laughs).”

Toshimitsu’s mysterious behavior has now become a joke. Overcoming the crisis on the brink of dissolution, it seems like they’ve become even stronger, emerging as top runners in the YouTube world.

  • PHOTO Yasuyoshi Okada

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