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Melon Kinenbi (メロン記念日; Melon Anniversary) was a Japanese pop group under Hello! Project. During its tenure, Melon Kinenbi was the most stable of the groups in Hello! Project, with a lineup that remained unchanged throughout their ten year run.

Melon Kinenbi experimented with various musical styles over the years, ranging from bubblegum pop to rock. The band occasionally worked as dancers for other Hello! Project artists (See the music video for Goto Maki's single "Yaruki! IT'S EASY").

The entire group officially graduated from Hello! Project on March 31, 2009, along with the rest of the Elder Club.

In February 2010, Melon Kinenbi announced that they decided to disband.



Melon Kinenbi, October 2018

Melon Kinenbi, February 2010

Melon Kinenbi, June 2008

Melon Kinenbi, December 2006


In May of 1999, application details were included with Morning Musume’s 5th single "Manatsu no Kousen" for the 2nd Morning Musume & Heike Michiyo Protegee Audition.

The second interviews were held in June, and 3,687 people had sent in their applications. In August, four people were selected as winners: Saito Hitomi, Murata Megumi, Otani Masae, and Shibata Ayumi.

In December, the group’s name was decided as "Melon Kinenbi."

They participated in their first concert, Hello! Project Happy New Year 2000, as back up dancers for Miyoshi Chinatsu's performance of Love, Yes I Do.


On February 19th, Melon Kinenbi made their debut with "Amai Anata no Aji," a single produced by Tsunku. At the time of its release, the group was lacking in popularity. The major criticisms for the group were that the members did not have distinct personalities, and that the group did not have a distinct style. Sales struggled as well, which prompted rumors of disbandment.

Later on, the group would establish different concepts for each member. Saito was labeled as the sexy one, Murata as the cute/dreamy one, Otani as the tomboy, and Shibata as the natural beauty. The caracteristic of the group was that each girl possesses a unique character, as evidenced in one of the remarks made by all the members: “If it weren’t for this unit, we wouldn’t have interacted with each other (because we are so different)”. The combination of different personalities created a dynamic that made the group interesting.

In June, they released their second single, Kokuhaku Kinenbi, with music and lyrics written by Tsunku. He said that he wanted Melon Kinenbi to follow the similar image as Morning Musume for this [release]. I created this song with the image of the summer holiday season. It is about a girl who met a boy at her part-time job and innocently fell in love with him.

Tsunku said in an interview in 2013: "at the time of their debut, Melon Kinenbi may have been the group with the poorest sense of rhythm in the entire history of Hello! Project. Some of them couldn’t even sidestep on time. In that sense, Shibata was the perfect center for the group — while she learned to vocalize better in the later days of the group, in the beginning she couldn’t sing to save her life. It’s not that she was a bad singer perfect per se… she just couldn’t put any feeling into it. But that was kind of their appeal then. They were like everyone’s favorite “talentless idols” and that’s what made them great. We were already using Pro Tools at the time, meaning we could fix pitch issues if we wanted to, but with their debut song, “Amai Anata no Aji” I purposefully avoided editing Shibata’s vocals much. I wanted it to have that “Tsukasa Ito feel.”"[1]

— You left it sloppy on purpose.

Tsunku♂: It was just too adorable to pass on. Ootani was a good singer, so I’d use her vocals as a support and leave untouched the Shibata lines where she didn’t quite reach the right notes.

On August 29, Melon Kinenbi participated in the Yunotsu LOVE² Oosawagi Hello! Project 2000 event.


Melon Kinenbi released their third single, Denwa Matteimasu, in March.

In October, the group released their fourth single, "This is Unmei." Thanks to the success of the single, the rumors of disbandment ceased, and the group regained its energy. The number of fans increased, but it was not enough to hold solo concerts yet, so the group appeared as guests for other groups under Hello! Project. When Matsuura Aya appeared on NHK’s "Kohaku Uta Gassen", the unit appeared as her background dancers.


On Valentine's Day they released their fifth single, Saa! Koibito ni Narou, followed by their sixth single, Natsu no Yoru wa Danger!, in June, and their seventh single, Kousui, in October.

When the group was formed, Murata was appointed leader since she was the oldest among the members. But after some discussions among the members, Saito took over as leader in October 2002 with the release of "Kousui." This change was officially announced during the single’s release events.

In December 2002, Melon Kinenbi held their first concert, Melon Kinenbi First Concert ~Korega Kinenbi~.


In January, Melon Kinenbi released their eight single, Akai Freesia. This was their first single to rank within the top 10 on the Oricon charts. It is also their best selling single! They followed up the release with their debut album 1st Anniversary, followed by the singles Chance of LOVE in May, MI DA RA Matenrou in September, and Kawaii Kare in December.


In June they released their Twelvth single, Namida no Taiyou. A cover of Emy Jackson song of the same name, released in 1965. Later this year, they released Champagne no Koi followed by their second album.

Aside from their singing career, one of the other projects by the group was the comedy drama "Cyborg Shibata," which gained enough popularity to run for three seasons. The members participated in some musicals as well, both as the main and guest performers. They also held unique regular events called "MELON LOUNGE" at small venues, where each member would take turns becoming a DJ by selecting their own music and playing for the crowd. Some of the guest musicians who appeared on "MELON LOUNGE" included famous rock bands such as Dohatsuten and Beat Crusaders.


On February 9, the group released their last song produced by Tsunku, "Nikutai wa Shoujiki na EROS." Afterwards, different artists such as Sharam Q, Something ELse, and Shindo Atsushi participated in producing the songs for the unit.


In the summer of 2006, Melon Kinenbi released their next single, Onegai Miwaku no Target / Crazy Happy!, which was counted as an indies single, only available at the Hello! Project Official Shops and the Melon Kinenbi Concert 2006 "MEL-ON TARGET".


In March, they released their 15th single, Unforgettable. It was the first of Melon Kinenbi's singles to be produced by Sharam Q member Taisei.

From May 15-20, Melon Kinenbi participated in the stage play "Watashi wo Dosei ni Tsuretette! 〜RPG Fly Me To The Saturn〜".[2]

In September, they released their 16th single, Onegai Miwaku no Target ~Mango-Pudding Mix~. It is a newer version of their indies release "Onegai Miwaku no Target", released the previous year.


In March, they released the single Charisma・Kirei. This was the final single Melon Kinenbi released as part of Hello! Project, before their official graduation at the end of March 2009 along with the rest of the Elder Club.

From April 30 to May 6, Melon Kinenbi appeared in the stage play "Kaba".[3]

From August 8-10, they appeared in the sequel to their spring play "Kaba", titled "Kaba 2". This play also featured Miyoshi Erika.[4]

From November 19-23, Saito Hitomi, Murata Megumi, and Otani Masae all appeared in the stage play "Family of the Dead".[5]

In 2008, the unit started having a monthly live show called "MELON GREETING."


From March 14-22, they appeared in the third installment of the Kaba series of plays, titled "Kaba 3", featuring Miyoshi Erika for the second time as well as a newcomer, Okai Asuna.[6]

On March 31, the entire group officially graduated from Hello! Project along with the rest of the Elder Club. Starting the following day, the fan club also no longer belonged to Hello! Project and became independently operated by changing its name to "Melon Kinenbu" (Club for Melon Kinenbi).

After their graduation, they collaborated with other Japanese punk-rock groups for several limited-release indie singles. These singles were available at Tower Records.

From July 1-5, they starred in the stage play "UNO:R".[7]


On February 19, two days after the release of MELON'S NOT DEAD, the group announced during their 10-year anniversary live "Seitan 3654 Nichi Kanshasai" that they would disband after the conclusion of their tour in May.

The announcement on the disbandment of Melon Kinenbi
:As always, thank you for supporting Melon Kinenbi.
Today, during the stage of Melon Kinenbi’s 10th ANNIVERSARY LIVE ’3654 days since birth’ which was held at SHIBUYA-AX’, the members announced that Melon Kinenbi is going to disband.
Keeping their idol status for 10 years, the members gave their united statement, “We would like to end Melon Kinenbi’s activity at this 10-year milestone”, and after numerous discussions and assistance from the staff, it was decided we would be announcing it publicly today.
This March’s stage performance, “Melon Kinenbi Story” (12 performances at the Ikebukuro Theater Green, all tickets SOLD OUT) and the final tour in April~May are the group’s final activities until official disbanding.
Furthermore, February 21st (Sunday) the Osaka performances which were planned (Nanba HATCH noon performance 15:00 START/night performance 19:00 START) will be held without any changes.
Please keep supporting them until the end.

~Up Front Agency

Comment from members
Thank you, as always, for your warm support!
On February 19th, 2010, we’ve reached Melon Kinenbi’s 10-year anniversary of existence!! The Melon road had both mountains and valleys to cross, but together with our wotamodachi [wotamodachi = wota (fan)+tomodachi (friend)], the staff, and our families who have supported us during good times and bad, we were able to build up a 10-year history. And all that without a member change!!
Before we reached the 10-year point, the four of us talked thoroughly about the future. The result was, “10 years is a good turning point, where we should get new challenges in our real life”, so we firmly decided to disband the group.
We think that there will people who will be shocked, thinking, “Oh no, so it’s really happened now…” , but we promise we will keep running in Melon-style until the very end. Everyone! Please keep running with us with all your energy!!
February 19th, 2010

~Melon Members

From March 17-22, Melon Kinenbi appeared in a special stage play documenting their ten years together, "Melon Kinenbi Monogatari ~Decade of MELON KINEN-BI~".[8]

In April, they released a best-of album, URA MELON, with all of their singles' B-sides, as well as a DVD of their 10th anniversary live held in February. This was the group's last music release before ceasing activities at their last performance at Nakano Sun Plaza on May 3rd.

After June 30, their fan club ceased operation.

Shibata made her major solo debut under Universal Music in 2011. After that,she was without a contract from June to November 2013, but signed to another label and continued her acitvities from 2014 until her hiatus in 2016 due to her pregnancy. Otani is active as a live-centered singer. Saito retired from the entertainment industry, and is a local radio personalityin Niigata. Murata stayed with Up-Front Agency and changed her stage name, but after the earthquake she withdrew from the entertainment industry due to the destruction of her hometown.


On April 17, the four members of Melon Kinenbi reunited for the first time since breaking up in order to raise funds to donate to victims of the 2011 Touhoku earthquake and tsunami.


On December 31, Melon Kinenbi reunited to perform at the Hello! Project COUNTDOWN PARTY 2013 ~GOOD BYE & HELLO!~ concert.


On October 21, Melon Kinenbi reunited to perform at the Hello! Project 20th Anniversary!! Hello! Project Hallo! Fes 2018 concert.


Studio Albums
Mini Albums
Best Albums

Major Singles
Indies Singles
Other Singles
  • [2000.04.19] Garage Opening Theme Song Shuu Vol. 4
  • [2002.09.01] A.R.I.G.A.T.O.U

Other Albums
Compilation Albums

Music Video Collections
Concert DVDs



  • [2007] Neru (音流) (TV Tokyo) Shibata, Saito, Murata
  • [2008] Neru (音流) (TV Tokyo)
  • [2009] Atashi-tachi no Momoiro Kinenbi (あたしたちの桃色日記) (BS11 Digital) (Episode #1 Shibata & Saito, Episode #5 Otani, Murata


  • Netway "Takuhai Jouhou Service Tottoco" (ネットウェイ「宅配情報サービス Tottoco」)


  • [2002-2004] Hyper Night Melon Kinenbi no "Meronpa" (ハイパーナイト・メロン記念日の「めろんぱ」) (CBC Radio)
  • [2002-2005] Colorful Pleasure (FM-FUJI)
  • [2004-2005] Mijouku! Soujouku!! Seijoku!!! Kanjouku!!!! (未熟! 早熟!! 成熟!!! 完熟!!!!) (NRN)
  • [2004-2005] Hello Pro Yanen (ABC Radio)
  • [2004-2006] Young Town Douyoubi (MBS Radio)
  • [2005-2006] Melon (LOL) (メロン(笑)) (NRN)
  • [2005-2008] TOKYO→NIIGATA MUSIC CONVOY (FM Port)
  • [2007] DJ Tomoaki's Radio Show!(Shimokita FM)
  • [2008-2009] song 4 anniversary (Music Bird)
  • [2008-2009] Melon Kinenbi Gyu!! tto Night (メロン記念日のぎゅっ!!とナイト) (FM Port)
  • [2009-2010] Melon Kinenbi Gyu!! tto Night 2 (メロン記念日のぎゅっ!!とナイト2) (FM Port


  • [2005-2006] The Moving Radio Korette Yappari Melon Kibun (The moving Radio これってやっぱりメロン気分, Hello! Project on FLETS)
  • [2009] Melon Kinenbi Interview (Motteco Bookstore)



  • [2006] Edo Kara Chakushin!? ~Timeslip to Kengai!~ - (without Shibata Ayumi)
  • [2007] Watashi wo Dosei ni Tsuretette! 〜RPG Fly Me To The Saturn〜 (私を土星に連れてって!)
  • [2007] Gekidan Tonocho Tonocho' vol. 5 〜Uchuu ni Touch〜 (Guest performance)
  • [2008] Kaba (かば)
  • [2008] Kaba 2 (かば2)
  • [2009] Kaba 3 (かば3)
  • [2009] UNO:R
  • [2010] Melon Kinenbi Monogatari ~Decade of MELON KINEN-BI~ (メロン記念日物語〜Decade of MELON KINEN-BI〜)


  • [2005] July Hello! Project Fan Club Gentei Event

Music Videos[]





  • Because of Melon Kinenbi’s long history, including the survival of an unpopular phase, the fans tend to be older and more dedicated to the group. The members are aware of this fact, and nowadays those fans are sometimes fondly referred to as “(w)otomodachi” (in katakana) on their blog posts.
  • As for positioning on stage, around the beginning, Shibata Ayumi and Otani Masae stood at the front. Particularly in "Kousui" and some other songs, Shibata took the center stage and sang the main part, while the rest of the members sang the chorus part. Towards the end of their career, the distribution of singing parts became more well-balanced.
  • As for the common question of "Which day is Melon Kinenbi (Melon Anniversary)?", the members usually answer, "February 19" (the date for the release of their debut single). There were occasions where the answer used to be, "Everyday is Melon Kinenbi."
  • After the break-up, Murata Megumi initially remained under UP-FRONT, but left the industry on March 31, 2011, due to the effects of the 2011 Touhoku earthquake and tsunami on her hometown. Shibata Ayumi changed agencies and became a solo artist. Otani Masae also continued working as a singer, and is now an indie solo artist. Saito Hitomi left the industry immediately after the breakup and got married in 2010, then divorced in 2011, and is now working as a talento and radio host. She re-married in 2015.
  • Melon Kinenbi was the first idol group ever to have the kinds of live shows where everyone was always that fired-up. It was due to Melon Kinenbi that moshing and crowd-surfing was banned at Hello! Project concerts.[10]

Total Sales Count[]

Year Year Sales Total Sales
2000 17,180 17,180
2001 19,650 36,830
2002 68,679 105,509
2003 140,042 245,551
2004 52,612 298,163
2005 13,643 311,806
2006 9,556 321,362
2007 27,017 348,379
2008 3,657 352,036
2009 5,083 357,119
2010 5,941 363,060


External Links[]