The idol singer formerly shamed for being in a relationship is now happily married!

Life isn’t easy for idol singers, and in Minami Minegishi’s case, the road was a hard one. The 29-year-old celebrity was a member of the original cast of hit idol group AKB48, and, though she had a successful run, her career was marred in 2013, when a tabloid caught photos of her staying the night in a man’s apartment. Since idol singers are strictly forbidden from dating, the scandal forced her to shave her head in atonement and be demoted to “trainee”, but she soon made a full comeback as a popular AKB48 member and ultimately continued to star in the hit idol group for seven more years. She ended up being the original member who remained in the group the longest, leaving only in 2021.

Now, Minegishi has found happiness without shame: she’s just announced that she is happily married! Minegishi married YouTube star Testuya, the leader of the YouTuber group Tokai On Air, which is a comedy channel featuring pranks, contests, and absurd challenges. With the theme of “We’ll do the things you wanted to do as a kid but couldn’t,” their channel is one of YouTube’s top Japanese-language channels with 6.6 million subscribers. Tetsuya is known for his openness about his personal life, as well as what some might consider “brutal honesty”, which has gotten him and his channel in trouble on occasion, but which has, by the same token, earned him plenty of respect.

▼ Tetsuya, asked to say the word “pizza” 10,000 times

Minegishi and Tetsuya initially admitted to having a relationship via Twitter in September 2021 after a tabloid brought it to light, and now, on August 15, the two jointly announced their marriage with separate tweets on their respective Twitter accounts. Each post included a letter to their fans as well as an adorable photo of the two of them posing in front of a pretty building in orange formalwear, representing Testuya’s Tokai On Air member color.

Tetsuya’s letter, in keeping with his personality, gushes about Minegishi, who was “someone on TV I admired when I was a high school freshman.” He explains that when he first met her he was so nervous he couldn’t even talk to her, but gradually, as they went out to eat together at the invitation of friends, he got to know the sensitive, ordinary side of her, and began to admire her as a woman as well as a celebrity. He went on to thank his fans for all the well wishes and for their support.

“I’d like to use my marriage as a new startline to devote myself to daily growth and progress, both as a YouTuber and a husband. Both of us work in an uncertain industry, but I hope we can support each other and work together to create a happy family. It would make me happy if you could continue to look after us warmly as a couple.”

Minegishi’s letter was similarly emotional, explaining how Tetsuya always cheers her up and gets her to look on the bright side. He made her look forward to every day, she said, and she realized she wanted to be with him forever. “In the past and when I’m weakest, his kindness and big heart always accepted me, and I feel like that alone gives me more strength than I had before,” she wrote.

She went on to thank her fans for helping her become who she is today and to have the courage to make such an announcement, and, like Testuya, asked them to continue watching over them.

The tweets garnered responses from fellow Japanese celebrities who congratulated the two, as well as fans who sent them warm wishes:

“Mii-chan, congratulations!! You’re always cute, but this photo is extra cute. I hope you have a long and happy life with Tetsuya!”
“Woooooah!!! Congratulations!!
“Congratulations! You are both glowing. I wish you lasting happiness!”
“I’m so happy! So so happy! Congratulations!”
“Congratulations! Both of your messages are so beautiful.”

We’re glad the two of them were able to find happiness, and that Minegishi finally feels free enough and brave enough to be open about her love life and her marriage with Tetsuya. We wish them only the best!

Source: Twitter/@chan___31, Twitter/@TO_TESTUYA via My Game News Flash
Top image: Pakutaso

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