Staff state Takatsuji’s numerous unannounced absences led to decision
The official website for the 22/7 idol project announced on Monday that group member Urara Takatsuji has officially left the group on Monday.
The announcement explained that Takatsuji had been absent from work without prior notification many times before, often with no way to contact her, and causing interruption to the group’s activity schedule. The staff debated the situation, and after consulting with Takatsuji, decided that it would be better for the group to continue activity without her. The Buzzwave agency has also terminated its contract with Takatsuji. The agency additionally deactivated her Twitter, Instagram, and SHOWROOM accounts.
Takatsuji plays the character Yuki Tojo in the group. Takatsuji previously went on hiatus in February 2020 due to her poor health.
Ruri Umino, Mizuha Kuraoka, and Aina Takeda recently announced their departures from the group, with Umino and Kuraoka leaving at the end of November, and Takeda leaving at the end of December.
The project announced in September 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 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.
Image via Seigura