Three months after making a contentious remark about baseball, long-serving talent Mirei Gundo is set to graduate from Vtuber agency Nijisanji.
Gundo’s original comments came in a series of tweets posted in March 2023, as she sought to understand the intricacies of the sport.
Among these, one tweet caused significant controversy, leading to a suspension from the agency.
The incendiary comment in question pertained to the possible outcomes if a strong pitcher were to throw the ball directly at an opponent’s head or body.
This suggestion stirred up a storm of discontent among Japanese fans, resulting in Gundo’s suspension.
Gundo’s Tenure at Nijisanji Ends
Following the suspension, Gundo has maintained silence on her social media channels and has refrained from streaming. Now, three months later, her time with Nijisanji is drawing to a close.
The official announcement of Gundo’s departure was made on the agency’s Twitter account.
The translated statement reads: “We would like to report that upon mutual agreement, Mirei Gundo will graduate from Nijisanji on June 21, 2023. The graduation stream is scheduled to be held at 11 PM on June 21, 2023.”
Shutdown of Gundo’s Online Presence
Post-graduation, all of Gundo’s associated social media channels, including her YouTube channel and fan club, will cease operations from June 22, 2023.
Furthermore, all sales of merchandise and voice content will also stop on the same day. Fans have until June 31, 2023, to send letters.
The Impact of Gundo’s Departure
The graduation of Mirei Gundo is a significant loss for Nijisanji, as she has been one of their longest-serving members.
Since her debut in January 2019, alongside Yuzuki Roa, the duo known as Mireroa has become a beloved part of the agency.
For Western fans, Gundo’s departure over a controversial tweet – for which she later apologized – may seem an excessive response.
However, in Japan, where baseball is a national sport and a massive part of the country’s sports culture, the reaction was considerably different.
Potential Sponsorship Implications
Nijisanji hosts an annual Vtuber Baseball Championship, known as Nijisanji Koshien, sponsored by Konami.
The game used for the tournament, Power Pros, officially licensed by the Nippon Professional Baseball League and the Japan Professional Baseball Players Association, is extremely popular.
Gundo’s reinstatement may have posed a risk to the sponsorship agreement between Nijisanji and Konami.
Ongoing Controversies at Nijisanji
Mirei Gundo is not the first Vtuber to exit Nijisanji this year under controversial circumstances. Earlier in March 2023, ex-Nijisanji EN member Zaion Lanza also had her contract terminated following offensive remarks.
These incidents spotlight an ongoing trend of controversies at the Vtuber agency.