Umino, Kuraoka leave in November; Takeda leaves in December
The official website for the 22/7 idol project announced on Thursday that Ruri Umino, Mizuha Kuraoka, and Aina Takeda are leaving the 22/7 idol unit. Umino and Kuraoka will leave at the end of November, and Takeda will leave at the end of December.
Umino, who plays Jun Toda, expressed that she would like to devote herself to voice acting opportunities.
Kuraoka, who plays Miyako Kōno, stated that she wishes to restart and find the place where she can be most like herself. She is not sure what her future holds or if this is the right decision, but she wants to take a step forward.
Takeda, who plays Tsubomi Hiiragi, went on hiatus in January in order to concentrate on her academic studies. She returned from her hiatus in March. She revealed that she had been thinking about the future during that time, and had decided to graduate from 22/7 shortly after returning. Her dream had been to become a model that who could be active in variety shows.
Their last live performance together with the group will be the “22/7 ANNIVERSARY LIVE 2021″ event on November 14.
The project announced earlier this month that the idol group is auditioning for new members. This marks the project’s second audition in five years since the initial recruitment in October 2016.
The 22/7 anime premiered in January 2020. The series had 12 episodes, plus a 13th “extra episode” titled “8+3=?” featuring all 11 main cast members. Aniplex of America streamed the show as it aired in Japan on FunimationNow. The anime debuted on Crunchyroll in February 2020.
AKB48 founder and producer Yasushi Akimoto is producing the titular “dimension-crossing” idol group. The group based on the concept of “idols who cross dimensions” has eight anime idol characters, with their respective voice actresses performing as idols in the real world. Sony Music Records and Aniplex received 10,325 applications for the idol group and held five rounds of auditions.
Group members Umino and Moe Suzuhana were diagnosed with the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in May. Six of the group’s members tested negative for COVID-19 after they were in close contact with Umino and Suzuhana.