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.
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.
In December, the group’s name was decided as "Melon Kinenbi."
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.”"
— 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.
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".
From May 15-20, Melon Kinenbi participated in the stage play "Watashi wo Dosei ni Tsuretette! 〜RPG Fly Me To The Saturn〜".
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".
In 2008, the unit started having a monthly live show called "MELON GREETING."
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".
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.
~Up Front Agency
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~".
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
- [2007.12.12] Melon Juice
- Best Albums
- Major Singles
- [2000.02.19] Amai Anata no Aji
- [2000.06.28] Kokuhaku Kinenbi
- [2001.03.07] Denwa Matteimasu
- [2001.10.11] This is Unmei
- [2002.02.14] Saa! Koibito ni Narou
- [2002.06.19] Natsu no Yoru wa Danger!
- [2002.10.23] Kousui
- [2003.01.29] Akai Freesia
- [2003.05.08] Chance of LOVE
- [2003.09.10] MI DA RA Matenrou
- [2003.12.03] Kawaii Kare
- [2004.06.09] Namida no Taiyou
- [2004.10.27] Champagne no Koi
- [2005.02.09] Nikutai wa Shoujiki na EROS
- [2007.03.28] Unforgettable
- [2007.09.05] Onegai Miwaku no Target ~Mango-Pudding Mix~
- [2008.03.19] Charisma・Kirei
- Indies Singles
- [2006.06.10] Onegai Miwaku no Target / Crazy Happy!
- [2009.06.24] DON'T SAY GOOD-BYE
- [2009.07.22] Pinchi wa Chance - Baka ni Narou ze!
- [2009.08.12] sweet suicide summer story
- [2009.10.21] Seishun-on-the-Road
- [2009.12.30] Melon Tea
- 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
- [2000.02.19] Majutsushi Orphen Revenge OST Part 2
- [2002.05.22] Folk Songs 2
- [2002.09.04] The Douyou Pops 4 Aki no Uta Shuu
- [2002.12.04] Shinsaku Douyou Pops 1
- [2003.05.21] FS4 FOLK SONGS 4
- Compilation Albums
- [2001.12.19] Petit Best 2 ~3・7・10~ (#9 This is Unmei)
- [2002.12.18] Petit Best 3 (#12 Kousui)
- [2003.12.17] Petit Best 4 (#10 Chance of Love)
- [2004.12.15] Petit Best 5 (#6 Namida no Taiyou)
- [2005.12.21] Petit Best 6 (#9 Nikutai Shoujiki na EROS)
- [2006.12.20] Petit Best 7 (#7 Onegai Miwaku no Target)
- [2007.12.12] Petit Best 8 (#7 Onegai Miwaku no Target ~Mango-Pudding Mix~)
- [2008.12.10] Petit Best 9 (#7 Charisma, Kirei)
- [2014.01.01] Hello! Project no Zenkyoku kara Atsumechaimashita! Vol. 1 (#15 Kokuhaku Kinenbi)
- [2014.01.01] Hello! Project no Zenkyoku kara Atsumechaimashita! Vol. 2 (#16 GIVE ME UP)
- [2014.07.09] Hello! Project no Zenkyoku kara Atsumechaimashita! Vol. 3 (#8 Fuwafuwafuu)
- Music Video Collections
- [2002.11.27] Melon Kinenbi Single M Clips ①
- [2003.12.03] Melon Kinenbi Single V Clips ②
- [2007.05.09] Melon Kinenbi Single V Clips ③
- Concert DVDs
- [2003.05.08] Melon Kinenbi Live Tour 2003 Haru ~1st Anniversary~
- [2004.02.11] Melon Kinenbi ~03' Christmas Special Chou Shibu Melon~
- [2004.11.26] Melon Kinenbi Live Tour 2004 Natsu ~Gokujou Melon~
- [2005.xx.xx] Natsumi Abe '05 Revue & Concert "How Are You, Miss Murata?" in Nippon Seinen-kan (Abe Natsumi)
- [2005.06.02] Melon Kinenbi Nippon Seinenkan Kouen '2005 Revue & Concert "Murata-sa~n, Gokii?"(Fanclub release)
- [2006.03.15] Melon Kinenbi Concert Tour 2005 Fuyu "Kyou mo Melon Ashita mo Melon, Christmas wa Musk Melon de!"
- [2007.01.01] Melon Kinenbi Live House Tour 2006 ~Shakunetsu Tengoku IN YOKOHAMA BLITZ~(Fanclub release)
- [2007.03.28] Melon Kinenbi Concert Tour 2006 Fuyu "FRUITY KILLER TUNE"
- [2007.04.25] Hello☆Pro On Stage! 2007 ｢Rock desu yo!｣
- [2007.09.04] Melon Kinenbi Live House Tour 2007 ~LOCK ON!~(Fanclub release)
- [2007.12.29] Melon Kinenbi Concert Tour 2007 Fuyu "100% Melon Juice"(Fanclub release)
- [2008.09.06] Melon Kinenbi Live House Tour 2008 "Yojigen Jack!!" (Fanclub release)
- [2009.08.16] Melon Kinenbi Live Tour 2009 "Gaisen"(Fanclub release)
- [2010.07.14] Melon Kinenbi FINAL STAGE "MELON'S NOT DEAD"
- [2002.12.04] Cyborg Shibata (Idol wo Sagase Vol. 1)
- [2002.12.04] Cyborg Shibata (Idol wo Sagase Vol. 2)
- [2003.12.06] Event V 2 Shot de Koibito Kibun! (Fanclub release)
- [2004.09.29] Shin Cyborg Shibata!!
- [2005.09.28] Tatakae!! Cyborg Shibata San
- [2010.06.30] Melon Kinenbi Monogatari ~Decade of MELON KINEN-BI~ (Fanclub release)
-  Morning Musume no Heso
- [2000-2001] TOP 50 Karaoke & Clip (CS Dai-ichi Kosho Star Karaoke) (TOP50カラオケ&クリップ、CS第一興商スターカラオケ）
- [2000-2007] Hello! Morning
- [2000-2002] Idol wo Sagase
-  Majokko Rikachan no Magical Biyuuden (魔女っ娘。梨華ちゃんのマジカル美勇伝)
-  Tensai Terebikun Max (天才てれびくんMax)
-  Musume Dokyu (娘Dokyu)
-  Neru (音流) (TV Tokyo) Shibata, Saito, Murata
-  Neru (音流) (TV Tokyo)
-  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)
-  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)
-  Melon Kinenbi Interview (Motteco Bookstore)
-  LOVE Century ~Yume wa Minakerya Hajimaranai~
-  Sougen no Hito
-  Okaeri (おかえり)
-  Girl's Knight
-  Edo Kara Chakushin!? ~Timeslip to Kengai!~ - (without Shibata Ayumi)
-  Watashi wo Dosei ni Tsuretette! 〜RPG Fly Me To The Saturn〜 (私を土星に連れてって！)
-  Gekidan Tonocho Tonocho' vol. 5 〜Uchuu ni Touch〜 (Guest performance)
-  Kaba (かば)
-  Kaba 2 (かば2)
-  Kaba 3 (かば3)
-  UNO:R
-  Melon Kinenbi Monogatari ~Decade of MELON KINEN-BI~ (メロン記念日物語〜Decade of MELON KINEN-BI〜)
-  July Hello! Project Fan Club Gentei Event
- [2003.09.30] Melon Kinenbi in Hello! Project 2003 Natsu (メロン記念日 in Hello! Project 2003夏)
- [2004.03.13] Melon Kinenbi in Hello! Project 2004 Winter (メロン記念日 in Hello! Project 2004 Winter)
- [2004.06.09] Taiyou to Kajitsu (太陽と果実)
- [2004.09.29] Melon Kinenbi in Hello! Project 2004 Summer (メロン記念日 in Hello! Project 2004 summer)
- [2005.10.25] Goto Maki + Melon Kinenbi Hello! Project 2005 Natsu no Kayou Show '05 Selection! Collection! (後藤真希+メロン記念日Hello!Project2005夏の歌謡ショー―05’セレクション!コレクション!) (With Goto Maki)
- 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.
Total Sales Count
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