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22/7 Idol Uta Kawase Goes on Hiatus After Reporting Stalking Incidents to Police

posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda
Kawase has been dealing with stalking near home, workplace since mid-June

The official website for the 22/7 idol project announced on Thursday that Uta Kawase, who plays the character Nicole Saito, will go on a short hiatus due to her being stalked near her home and workplace since mid-June. She has reported the stalking to the police.

The project's website noted that although Kawase has not suffered physical harm, she is dealing with great mental trauma. Due to her hiatus, Kawase will not be able to attend the group's "Nananiji Natsu Matsuri 2023" concert tour, which is scheduled throughout July.

The project's website released a statement in June last year regarding recent stalking problems affecting the group's members. The management stated that certain fans have been engaging in stalking behavior against members and infringing their privacy.

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.

The group began releasing animated music videos in 2017, and their first character videos debuted in English in May 2018.

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.

The group held an audition for new members in 2021, the second audition since the initial recruitment in October 2016.

Source: Source: 22/7 Project's website via Otakomu

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