Weather Girls

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Not to be confused with The Weather Girls.
For other uses, see Weather girl.
Weather Girls
Weather Girls - 2013-07-07 - Shibuya (011).jpg
Marui City, Shibuya, Tokyo, 7 July 2013.
FLTR: Mia, Hijon, Mini, Yumi, NueNue, Dara and Esse.
Background information
Origin Taiwan Taiwan
Genres J-Pop
Years active
  • • As weathercasters:
  • 2010–2012
  • • As idol group:
  • 2012–present
Labels Japan Pony Canyon
Website (See below)
Members
  • Hijon
  • Esse
  • Ria
  • Mia
  • Mini
  • Yumi
  • NueNue
Past members Dara

Weather Girls (Japanese: ウェザーガールズ Uezā Gāruzu?, Chinese: 天氣女孩; pinyin: Tiānqì Nǚhái) is a group of Japanese idols from Taiwan. Originally, the group was formed in 2010 and acted as weather forecasters on television and the internet for Taiwan and the United States.[1] After attracting attention in Japan, seven of its members, one for each day of the week, were selected to debut as an idol group in Japan in late 2012. They are the first Taiwanese girl group to come to Japan.[2][3]

The incumbent members are Hijon for Monday, Esse for Tuesday, Ria for Wednesday, Mia for Thursday, Mini for Friday, Yumi for Saturday and NueNue for Sunday. Former Wednesday Girl, Dara, vacated her membership in late 2013.

In Japan, the group is under Pony Canyon and is represented by Ritz Productions. Jeff Miyahara is the producer of the group.[2] So far, the group has released, inter alia, six singles and one album.

History[edit]

2010–2012: weathercasters[edit]

Desiring to produce a daily program featuring charming Taiwanese girls, Next TV Broadcasting Limited originated an idea of creating a daily weather forecast program to be distributed through television and the internet, with a group of cute young girls doing cosplay and dancing whilst reporting forecasts.[1][4]

On 1 August 2010, Next TV formed a group called "Weather Girls", consisting of seven girls. The number of the members was later increased to fourteen and, eventually, thirty four.[1][4] Their duties were to report weather forecasts or, actually, to "keep eyes glued on TV sets", but not to serve as meteorologists.[5] Each day of the week was hosted by a different girl who would, during the report, introduce herself, dance in costume and deliver a short message to viewers in an adorable manner.[1][2][6]

The program theme was changed every month. For example, in the graduation season theme, the weather reports were filmed at Shih Chien University,[4] whilst the girls dressed up in Japanese school uniforms and spoke in Japanese.[1] The themes of Chinese New Year, company internship, environmentalism, flight attendants, ninja and tokusatsu had also been used.[4][7] Furthermore, the costumes, music and visuals were changed in each theme.[4]

As the forecasts were for Taiwan and the United States, the girls spoke in English, Mandarin and Japanese. Lester, creator of the program, said the Japanese versions were not originally intended for Japanese audience, but merely an expression of Japanese style of cuteness.[4] On television, the forecasts were broadcast daily during the afternoon, evening, and late news.[5]

Regarding the idea of producing the program, Lester said:[4]

"The weather report was just a means for us to get a daily program together, with the opportunity to show off different girls each day. Currently, we only report on the weather in Taiwan and America, but in the near future we want to add the Japanese weather so we can increase our audience, and maybe even add Thailand and other places around the world."

Sunday Girl NueNue, one of the members later selected to form an idol group in Japan, stated that "we all learn about it a bit in school [...], though I still don't know too much about weather forecasting." According to her, the idea of Next TV was to "make weather fun" since "weather reports are usually dull because it's just someone telling you that it's going to be sunny or it's going to rain, etc."[5]

The program became highly popular,[4] especially in Japan where it was introduced by many Japanese programs in April 2012.[1][2][8] The program was terminated and the group was dissolved after some of its members became an idol group in Japan.

2012: debut as idol group in Japan[edit]

Debut in Japan[edit]

After having appeared on Japanese programs in April 2012, the group attracted much attention in Japan. Seven of its members who were most skilled in singing and dancing were then chosen to debut in Japan as an idol group, also titled "Weather Girls". They are the first Taiwanese girl group to come to Japan.[2][3][6]

The news of Weather Girls debut was officially announced on 8 August 2012.[3] In Japan, the group is under Pony Canyon[6] and is represented by Ritz Productions. Jeff Miyahara is the producer of the group.[2] A Pony Canyon representative said that "Weather Girls [...] have been born out of Taiwanese culture where so many creators have been influenced by Japanese culture, like games and anime. On top of that, a performance that involves dancing while announcing the weather is fresh and interesting, so the girls have individuality."[9] Saturday Girl Yumi, leader of the group, stated that they wish to appear on Kōhaku Uta Gassen (紅白歌合戦), an annual music show having been broadcast since 1951, and to become weather forecasters in Japan as well.[2]

The group held their debut performance at the A-Nation festival on 10 August 2012.[10]

For their Japanese career, the seven girls were required to take Japanese courses, in addition to dance lessons and performance rehearsals. Their language studies were broadcast on television once a week.[6] The group has also been fixed guests on the show @TV Akihabara (@TV秋葉原) since 23 September 2012. The show, which airs every Sunday, aims to educate viewers on different forms of Japanese culture.[11]

First single, "Koi no Tenki Yohō"[edit]

The first single of Weather Girls, "Koi no Tenki Yohō", was announced in September 2012. The music video of the title track was officially released on 30 September 2012.[2][12] The music video published on YouTube has attracted more than one million views.[13]

On 17 October 2012, the single was physically released in two editions, regular and limited. Both editions have a CD containing the title track and the B-side, "Loving Pass – Koi no Password", but the limited edition also has a special DVD containing the music video and a video of the girls introducing themselves.[14]

2013: first Japanese album[edit]

Weather Girls perform at their first album debut, Marui City, Shibuya, Tokyo, 7 July 2013.

In 2013, Weather Girls saw additional developments in Japan. The group released three singles and one full-length album. The group also enjoyed opportunities to regularly appear on television, as its first television show and first television drama started to be aired. In addition, the girls decided to take a tough national examination to become licensed weather forecasters in Japan and took the whole year to prepare themselves for it. However, at the end of the year, Wednesday Girl Dara lost her membership in the group after her contract was terminated by her agency.

Second and third singles, "Koi wa Tokimeki Chūihō" and "Koi no Love – Sunshine"[edit]

The second single of Weather Girls, "Koi wa Tokimeki Chūihō", was announced on 25 December 2012 and was physically released on 6 February 2013.[15] The music video of the song "Koi wa Tokimeki Chūihō" was released on 31 January 2013.

The group's third single, "Koi no Love – Sunshine", was released on 5 June 2013.[16] The music video of the title track was released on 25 April 2013. The concept costumes for this single are sailor swimsuits designed by Junko Isogai from Dexi.[17]

Weathercaster licence exam[edit]

On 17 May 2013, it was revealed that the group will take Japanese National Weather Forecasting Licence Examination to become legitimate weather forecasters in the country, in addition to their idol careers. The examination has been held biannually since 1994, reportedly with a five percent pass rate.[18]

For the sake of the examination, the group took meteorological classes where a licensed weather forecaster gave lectures and the fans were allowed to be present.[18] These classes were called Absolutely Pass! (絶対合格!). The group took the examination in January 2014. The last class took place on 9 May 2014 at Pony Canyon Headquarters in Tokyo.[19]

First Japanese album, Weather Girls[edit]

The first album of Weather Girls, called Weather Girls,[20] was announced on 17 May 2013 and was released on 3 July 2013.[18] The eponymous album contained six new songs and four hit songs from the previous singles.[18][21] The songs varied from dance-pop to ballad.[21]

With the theme of clouds, the concept art of the album was described as follows: "Weather Girls, wearing fluffy marshmallow clouds, come to Japan riding on 'bomb anticyclone'".[22] The concept costumes, the cloud outfits, were also designed by Junko Isogai from Dexi.[23]

From their debut to the end of July 2013, the group had made a total of one hundred and one public performances.[24] On 11 August 2013, the group performed at the A-Nation festival again.[25]

Fourth single, "Hey Boy – Weishenme?", as well as first TV show and drama[edit]

On 19 August 2013, it was announced that the fourth single of Weather Girls, titled "Hey Boy – Weishenme?",[26] will be released in autumn 2013.[27] The release date was later announced to be 20 November 2013.[28]

The title track served as the ending theme of Attack Shimasukedo Nani Ka?, a new television show hosted by Weather Girls.[27][29] The show started to be broadcast by several networks on 19 October 2013.[30]

On 6 September 2013, Secret Chores Group, a thirty one episode science fiction, action and dramedy series produced by Next TV, started airing in Japan. Set in 2030, the story was about a group of six girls charged with secret investigative missions, played by the members of Weather Girls, except Mia.[31]

Dismissal of Wednesday Girl Dara[edit]

On 1 October 2013, Dara was removed from the group. Ritz Productions released a statement on 15 October 2013, saying the removal was due to her repeated abandonment of work, despite its successive warnings and encouragement.[26]

2014: new member and first Chinese album[edit]

In 2014, the group obtained a new member before releasing two singles and appearing on a television drama in Japan. The girls were appointed anti-piracy ambassadors by a Japanese copyright protection organisation. They also started to be promoted in their homeland where they are to release a Chinese album.

New Wednesday Girl and fifth single, "Tomorrow World"[edit]

On 24 January 2014, a Taiwanese girl, Ria, was selected to replace Dara as Wednesday Girl. At the same time, it was announced that the fifth single of Weather Girls, "Tomorrow World", will be released on 5 March 2014. Participation of Ria started from this single.[32][33]

The title track, "Tomorrow World", was deemed to be a new aspect of Weather Girls, as it was the group's first medium tempo song. Besides, its lyrics were about graduation season after which a new world of the graduated would begin, and convey the significance of friendship, whilst most of their earlier released songs concern natural seasons and romantic love.[34][35]

The music video of "Tomorrow World" was premiered on 17 February 2014. It was shot on the rooftop of a five hundred metre tall building in Taipei with certain landmark buildings in the background, including Taipei 101 and Taipei City Hall.[36]

Anti-piracy ambassadors and video game characters[edit]

On 27 January 2014, the Content Overseas Distribution Association or CODA, a Japanese private organisation supported by the Japanese and Taiwanese governments and having the objective to promote copyright protection at regional level in Asia, appointed Weather Girls as Japanese–Taiwanese Goodwill Ambassadors to promote anti-piracy campaigns in both countries. The appointment ceremony was held on 22 February 2014 at the Spot Hushan art museum, Huashan 1914 Creative Park, Taipei, where the girls were given the titles "Japanese–Taiwanese Copyright Protection Commanders" (日台著作権保護隊長).[37][38]

On 28 January 2014, International Games System released a dance video game, We Dancing Online 3, featuring Weather Girls as new characters as well as their hit song "Koi no Tenki Yohō". The game also included the costumes and scenes appearing in their music videos.[39][40]

Further radio and TV shows[edit]

On 4 April 2014, the group became regular cast on Kosaka Daimaō No Idol Club, a radio show hosted by comedian Daimaō Kosaka (古坂大魔王) and broadcast every Friday by Nippon Broadcasting System.[41]

On 7 April 2014, Nagoya Broadcasting Network started airing Tetsuko no Sodatekata, a television drama in which Weather Girls appeared as a group of railway idols called "Railway Girls" (鉄道ガールズ).[42][43] Directed by Tomoyuki Furumaya, the drama was adapted from the 2014 seinen manga of the same name written by Hiroshi Kawasumi.[44]

The group is also featured in We Are Coming, a comedy show directed by George Chang (張兆志) and broadcast in Taiwan every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 25 April 2014 by Gala Television.[45][46][47][48] The show had gained very high ratings but it was announced on 4 July 2014 that the show will be terminated at the end of July 2014. The announcement came immediately after the concurrent resignation of some of the crew and cast members, including producer Sun Lexin (孫樂欣) and actor Tai Zhiyuan (邰智源).[49][50]

Sixth single, "Like You – Anyway"[edit]

On 7 April 2014, the sixth single of the group, "Like You – Anyway", was announced. The single was later released on 4 June 2014. The title track was used as the ending theme of the drama Tetsuko no Sodatekata.[8][51] Premiered on 1 May 2014, the music video of "Like You – Anyway" was shot at a Pony Canyon studio in Chigasaki, Kanagawa.[52] The theme of the single is summer vacation. Instead of matching uniforms as in the previous singles, the concept outfit for this single is casual summer dresses consisting of white tops and colourful shorts and skirts.[52]

The single included as the B-side "Wei Wo Jaiyou",[53] a Chinese song recorded in 2013.[54] "Wei Wo Jaiyou" served as the official theme song for the Super Basketball League tenth season and its music video was published on 7 November 2013.[55][56]

To celebrate their sixth single, the group held an activity in which its members successfully published one hundred articles on their Ameba blog within one day, 3 June 2014. They are the first Taiwanese artists carrying out such activity and the first Taiwanese people succeeding therein.[57][58]

First Chinese album[edit]

On 10 February 2014, it was reported that the group is to release a Chinese album in Taiwan.[54]

On 4 July 2014, Weather Girls premiered a Chinese song called "Wo Shi Boss" (我是Boss; "I'm Boss") at Taoyuan International Baseball Stadium where Brother Elephants and Lamigo Monkeys launched their baseball match series called Bao Wen Pa (豹紋趴) and Weather Girls served as the ceremonial first pitchers.[59][60] The song is a theme song for sports competitions broadcast by CSTV's Boss Sports Channel (博斯運動頻道) and is produced by Chen Guohua (陳國華).[61]

Controversy[edit]

Due to success of Weather Girls, the Mainland China Guangdong Television set up a group of weather reporting girls called "Pinkopie" (苹果派 Píngguǒ Pài; "Apple Pie") to produce a like program in December 2011.[62] In January 2012, Next TV responded to the Chinese group with a press release describing the program as "plagiarism" and condemning the Chinese authority for its lack of copyright protection laws.[62]

Members[edit]

Current[edit]

# Stage name Birth name Date of birth In charge of Position
Romanised
officially
Japanese
(rōmaji)
Chinese
(pinyin)
Pinyin Chinese Day Element Colour
1 Hijon ハイジャン
Haijan
嗨獎
Hāijiǎng
Zhèng Yítíng 鄭宜婷 27 September Monday Lightning Green
2 Esse エース
Ēsu
愛絲
Àisī
Liú Huìyīng 劉慧英 18 August Tuesday Rain Orange
3 Ria リア
Ria
芮雅
Ruìyǎ
Lín Wénjié 林彣潔 8 October Wednesday Cloud Red
4 Mia ミア
Mia
蜜亞
Mìyà
Zhuāng Xīnyí 莊心怡 12 June Thursday Sun Blue
5 Mini ミニ
Mini
米尼
Mǐní
Lín Yíhuì 林怡慧 30 June Friday Snow Pink
6 Yumi ユミ
Yumi
由美
Yóuměi
Lín Cǎiwēi 林采薇 5 March Saturday Fog Purple Leader[2]
7 NueNue ニューニュー
Nyūnyū
妞妞
Niūniū
Zhào Jìngyí 趙靜儀 4 October Sunday Wind Yellow

Former[edit]

# Stage name Birth name Date of birth In charge of Active period Grounds for retirement
Romanised
officially
Japanese Pinyin Chinese Day Element Colour
1 Dara ダラ Zhuō Xījié 卓昔潔 7 September Wednesday Cloud Red 2010–2013 Contract termination owing to repeated abandonment of work[26]

Discography[edit]

Singles[edit]

# Title Release date[28] Positions on Oricon Weekly Media[28]
Editions Formats Catalogue numbers
1 "Koi no Tenki Yohō"
恋の天気予報
"Weather Forecast of Love"
17 October 2012 First day: #29 (17 October 2012)
Last day: #12 (21 October 2012)[63]
Regular,
Limited
CD,
CD+DVD
PCCA-70344
PCCA-03702
2 "Koi wa Tokimeki Chūihō"
恋はトキメキ注意報
"Heartbeat Storm Warning is Love"
6 February 2013 Last day: #35 (6 February 2013)[63] PCCA-70360
PCCA-03774
3 "Koi no Love – Sunshine"
恋のラブ♥サンシャイン Koi no Rabu – Sanshain
"Love of Love – Sunshine"
5 June 2013 First day: #18 (4 June 2013)[64]
Last day: #27 (13 June 2013)[63]
PCCA-70370
PCCA-03834
4 "Hey Boy – Weishenme?"
Hey Boy~為什麼?Hey Boy – Wèishénme?
Hey Boy~ウェイシェンモ? Hey Boy – Ueishenmo?
"Hey Boy – For What Reason?"
20 November 2013 Last day: #54 (20 November 2013)[63] Regular,
Limited 1,
Limited 2
CD,
CD+DVD,
CD+DVD
PCCA-03950
PCCA-03939
PCCA-03949
5 "Tomorrow World" 5 March 2014 First day: #29 (5 March 2014)
Last day: #44 (12 March 2014)[63]
PCCA-4001
PCCA-3995
PCCA-3996
6 "Like You – Anyway" 4 June 2014 #44 (16 June 2014)[65] PCCA-70408
PCCA-4034
PCCA-4035

Albums[edit]

# Title Release date Position on Oricon Weekly Medium
Format Catalogue number
1 Weather Girls 3 July 2013 #67[66] CD PCCA-3859

Videography[edit]

# Title Release date Medium
Format Catalogue number
1 Weather Girls TV Vol. 1 20 March 2013 DVD PCBP-52242
2 Clips 3 September 2014 Blu-ray PCXP-50244

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

# Title Release
Year Country
1 The Wonderful Wedding[67]
大囍臨門 Dà Xǐ Lín Mén
2015 Taiwan

Television drama[edit]

# Title Broadcasting
Start End Network Country
1 Secret Chores Group[31]
雜務特勤組 Záwù Tèqín Zǔ
ザツムトッキングミ Zatsumutokkingumi
6 September 2013 4 April 2014 C-POP TV Japan
2 Tetsuko no Sodatekata[44]
鉄子の育て方
"How to Train a Lady of Steel"
7 April 2014 23 June 2014 Nagoya TV

Television shows[edit]

# Title Broadcasting
Start End Network Country
1 Attack Shimasukedo Nani Ka?[27]
アタックしますけど何か? Atakku Shimasukedo Nani Ka?
"I'll Attack, But With What?"
19 October 2013 21 December 2013 Nagoya TV Japan
21 October 2013 23 December 2013 Tokyo MX
2 We Are Coming[45][48]
我們都來了 Wǒmen Dōu Láile
25 April 2014 26 July 2014 GTV Taiwan

Radio show[edit]

# Title Broadcasting
Start End Network Country
1 Kosaka Daimaō no Idol Club[68]
古坂大魔王のアイドル倶楽部 Kosaka Daimaō no Aidoru Kurabu
"Daimaō Kosaka's Idol Club"
4 April 2014 NBS Japan

Video game[edit]

References[edit]

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Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]