By MIZUTAMARI BOND / Special to The Yomiuri Chukosei ShimbunTommy: I’m Tommy of MIZUTAMARI BOND.
Kanta: I’m Kanta. Our topic this time is our relationship with viewers of our YouTube videos.
Tommy: It hasn’t changed for the past four years, has it? We’ve been keeping on challenging [ourselves to do] what other people cannot do and making it into videos. Thankfully, people who watch them are increasing, so there’s more energy, and we can do more things. But our stance hasn’t changed.
Kanta: Some people may think that, since there are more viewers, we’ve become more distant from them. But I think the good thing about us YouTubers is that we are close to viewers. So we put in considerable effort when we hold live events.
Tommy: You could also say, as the scale of our events has become bigger, we can be closer to the audience. In the beginning, we held a talk show at a tiny venue in Shinjuku with a capacity of about 100 people. In the following year, we toured across the whole country. That means we became closer to people who couldn’t come to Tokyo.
Kanta: Last year, we held three big events in Kobe, Nagoya and Shinagawa in Tokyo. We also did three high-five events. The scale of our events became bigger, and we were able to meet the largest number of our fans.
Tommy: In Shinagawa, we gave three shows in one day at a venue holding about 1,800 people, and we also did talk sessions before and between the shows. We had a minute-by-minute schedule. For the talk sessions, we put props we had used on display and asked a moving company to bring in furniture from our home and put it onstage so that the venue felt like a lounge. I think it was a good idea to make the audience feel closer to us.
Kanta: We wouldn’t have survived talking in front of 1,800 people for an hour and a half under normal circumstances, but we had help from the power of our fans in a way. We also became able to come up with our own ways to entertain everyone, like doing a comedy skit. I feel we’re also making improvement ourselves through those events.
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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 English translation are carried alongside each other in The Yomiuri Chukosei Shimbun paper on the final Friday of every month.Speech