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One Year Anniversary Celebration! We take an exclusive world first look at Taiwan’s Weather Girls and close in on the secrets to their popularity!

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“Weather Girls” is a net program produced by Taiwan Internet Broadcaster, Next TV. Cute Tawainese girls present the weather in Monthly themes and costumes, occasionally mixing in Japanese which makes for a highly popular program.

This time, we caught up with the “Weather Girls” this August as they celebrate their one year anniversary, getting a world first exclusive interview. We were successful in getting an interview with the programs original creator and current director, Lester, and also took a Behind the Scenes look to give you a close up on the Taiwanese approach to “Kawaii”!!

“Introducing Cute Taiwanese Girls” – The motivation behind “Weather Girls”

getnews : Congratulations on your one year anniversary!

Lester : In the beginning, I wanted to make a program that featured cute girls from Taiwan. I wanted to introduce many different girls, in an easy, watchable daily approach. Taking this into account, I thought a weather report in this style would work.

getnews : What was your motivation in coming up with, and creating such a unique weather report?

Lester : In the beginning, I wanted to make a program that featured cute girls from Taiwan. I wanted to introduce many different girls, in an easy, watchable daily approach. Taking this into account, I thought a weather report in this style would work.

getnews : So the real objective wasn’t to make a weather program.

Lester : That’s correct. Come on, are you really watching our program for news about the weather!?

getnews : Honestly, you’re right. We’re not watching the weather, our eyes are fixed on the girls!

Lester : I thought so! (Laughing). 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.

Expressing “Kawaii” in Taiwan by featuring Japan

getnews : Even if you don’t have Japanese weather reports in your program, there are many “Weather Girls” fans in Japan. The reason we think “Weather Girls” has popularity in Japan, is the use of the girl’s occasional Japanese within the program. Why did you think to include Japanese language in a program that reports on the weather in Taiwan and the US?

Lester : The Japanese language used in the program is not intended for the Japanese audience, rather, it let’s us show the girls in cute way.

getnews : Can you explain?

Lester : June’s theme was “Graduation Season”, which I think is an easy to understand example. I think this theme was an great opportunity to show the girls “Kawaii” in a Japanese style, so we dressed the girls in costumes with a Japanese school uniform motif. We filmed at Shih Chien University, which has an atmosphere similar to that of Japanese university. We created the visuals, so the rest was just to add in depth by using Japanese telops and have the girls speak in Japanese…… I think we created and used a Japanese “Kawaii” image to show the girls in an even more attractive way.

getnews : As a Japanese person, it makes me feel happy that Japanese “Kawaii” is accepted in such a positive way for Taiwanese people too.

Lester : It wasn’t the intention to target the Japanese audience directly, but if it makes Japanese viewers happy, and increases the “Weather Girls” popularity and support, that makes us really happy as well.

Totally original Costumes and Music

getnews : You mentioned that you made costumes styled like Japanese school uniforms. Are each month’s costumes original?

Lester : It’s not just the costumes. The music, and everything in the visuals are completely original.

getnews : That’s brilliant detail!

Lester : Yes. If we want to have costumes specific and accurate to our monthly themes, we cannot rely on retail outfits. For example, our “WG❤EARTH” theme in May, we had green short pants and gloves designed to look like grass. We used the same materials for each, meaning it’s impossible to replicate these details with retail or ready made costumes.

getnews : How much time is required to put together your monthly themes?

Lester : Approximately two weeks. While the production team prepares the costumes and props for filming, we have the girls learning their specific dialogue and dances. The dance moves are prepared and filmed in advance, and given to the girls in movie format so they can memorize them before filming for the program. We prepare so we only have to make minimal corrections on the day of filming the real thing.

getnews : How do you get the girls to memorize their dialogue?

Lester : The girls have no problem with English. When it’s Japanese, we give the Japanese language script to one of the girls who can speak Japanese. For the girls who don’t speak Japanese, we have the script re-written in Bopomofo or Pinyin so they can learn it.

Monthly themes that are not just Cute and Sexy

WeatherGirls 911 movie(ニコニコ動画)
http://www.nicovideo.jp/watch/sm1312065908

getnews : How do you decide the monthly themes?

Lester : In October we have Double Ten Day and in February we have the Chinese New Year, which are important events for Taiwanese people. In December, obviously we have Christmas, and other worldwide events throughout the year, which become themes for us. While focusing on these events, we think about how the “Weather Girls” can express their own flavor, cuteness and sexiness. When we don’t have major events on, we try our own ideas out. March’s theme was “Let’s GO!”, which was actually a continuation on February’s theme. Everyone tends to over eat and drink at Chinese New Year parties, so “Let’s GO!” was a theme for everybody to work out. During the program, we had the girls work out, but there was really a message from me to each of the girls as well.

getnews : So the message was “Don’t get fat” then!

Lester : Yes. However, I think at times the themes need to stray from just cute or sexy and focus on worldwide problems too. For example, last September the theme was Sexy Flight Attendants, but as it was exactly 10 years since the incidents of 9/11 in the US, on September 11 we did away with the sexy dance, changed our music and had a special tribute program in memory of those lost during the disasters.

getnews : In May, you included messages for Japanese at the end of each program.

Lester : During this terrible time in Japan that is still continuing, we really thought hard about what we could do to help and think about those struck by the disaster. We decided messages of hope delivered in “Weather Girls” style would best, and had each Weather Girl send a message of support to those in Japan.

getnews : Taiwan has been really supportive of Japan during this time of disaster, and to have the girl’s messages on top of that was great.

Lester : For Taiwan, Japan is a really close and intimate nation. If our messages can help to bring a little happiness in a time of need, and cheer people up, we would feel really honored.

A team of 14 Weather Girls!

噂のお天気系女子WeatherGirlsに台湾まで会いに行ってきてみた。(ニコニコ動画)
http://www.nicovideo.jp/watch/sm1312066690

getnews : Getting back to the program…… June’s “Graduation Season” and July’s “Weather Girls Co., Ltd”, had a meaningful connection. On July 1st you introduced a new Friday Girl NueNue. When we saw this we realized what “Graduation” was intended to mean! When we thought all of the girls from the previous month will be replaced, we were quite surprised.

Lester : Yes, it seems that we surprised a lot of people. On our Facebook page, we had quite a lot of enquiries from established fans. In July we explained straight away that “The girls haven’t been replaced, we have increased our cast!”. However, even now we get requests from fans of former Weather Girls to come back. We apologize for surprising or shocking everyone.

getnews : So the girls aren’t being replaced, but increased. So that means there will be 14 Weather Girls.

Lester : That’s correct. It will be a team of 14. But to tell the truth we have been constantly interchanging the girls. Only Mini and Umi have been with us for the whole year. So that doesn’t necessarily mean we will always have the same 14 girls we have now. However, as we have had a lot of support for the 7 girls who were with us until the end of June, they will continue to appear on the program. As August will be “Weather Girls” one year anniversary, more girls will appear than usual and the theme will be a special one. So look forward to it and stay tuned!

Live Appearances!? “Weather Girls” to gain momentum

getnews : So, celebrations as “Weather Girls” enters its second year, but what are the plans for the future?

Lester : Well, as I said before we produce the program with weather reports for Taiwan and America, and have languages like English and Japanese used, but we really want to broaden the concept worldwide. One way we can achieve this is to have not just Taiwanese Weather Girls, but make it interesting with girls from other countries. At the same time, we want to plan activities that are not just limited to the program. For example, in the future…… maybe like AKB48 in Japan, we could introduce many girls, and have each of them show their individuality in different ways and in different areas. So keep your hopes high!

getnews : Definitely, we’ll be looking forward to “Weather Girls” progress in the future!

Weather Girl | 壹電視 Next TV
http://www.nexttv.com.tw/weather/
WeatherGirls (Facebook page)
http://www.facebook.com/WRGirls/
WeatherGirls (Twitter)
http://twitter.com/#!/WRgirls/

Monday Girl : Hi-Jon

Tuesday Girl : Esse

Tuesday Girl : Angel

Wednesday Girl : Mimi

Friday Girl : Mini

Friday Girl : NueNue

Saturday Girl : Umi

オリジナル記事(日本語):祝一周年! 台湾のお天気お姉さん『Weather Girls』 世界初の独占取材でその人気の秘密に迫る!

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