By MIZUTAMARI BOND / Special to The Yomiuri Chukosei ShimbunKanta: Hi, this is Kanta from MIZUTAMARI BOND. The subject for today’s column is: “How two guys from Aoyama Gakuin University became YouTubers.”
Tommy: We met through the university’s comedy club, and I think we formed our duo in the summer of our sophomore year. We performed comedy skits, although we didn’t practice at all. Even when we booked a room for rehearsals, we just said things like, “We don’t feel like doing anything.” Both of us were somewhat coy about working hard, and we’d just chat.
Kanta: We even said we’d be worse if we practiced too much.
Tommy: Then one time, I realized we naturally tried to make each other laugh when talking casually, more so than when we put on comedy skits. We searched for places where we could utilize this dynamic.
Kanta: Incidentally, I was studying visual media back then. YouTube also became a hot topic around this time. In any case, we asked each other, “Should we do this?” and borrowed a camcorder.
Tommy: Back then, you were guaranteed to be labeled a weirdo if you became a YouTuber as a university sophomore. We couldn’t give up easily; if we quit halfway through, it’d definitely go down as a dark moment for us.
Kanta: And when I thought of things from my parents’ perspective, I found it hard to tell them, “I am going to be a comedian because that’s what I want.” So I felt like I needed to achieve something while I was still a university student.
Tommy: Just in case, we had a tacit agreement that we’d quit if things didn’t work out by the time we started job hunting.
Kanta: But we uploaded videos every day, and we began getting more and more viewers, kind of like climbing stairs step by step ...
Tommy: That’s right. The process of us becoming watched by a lot of people is slightly different from regular patterns. We’ll talk about that another time.
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MIZUTAMARI BOND is a YouTube duo that believes in the importance of new ideas. They upload videos every day covering a variety of themes, such as experiments, myth-testing and surprise videos.
This article is a translation of the YouTube column that appeared last Friday in The Yomiuri Chukosei Shimbun, a weekly paper for junior high and high school students. The original Japanese text and the translation will be carried alongside each other in the paper on the final Friday of every month.Speech