W-inds (stylized as w-inds.) is a Japanese Boy Band trio that came together in 2000, and officially debuted in 2001. The members of the group are Ryohei Chiba, Keita Tachibana, and Ryuichi Ogata. They went on a hiatus in 2012, but have made a comeback in 2013.
W-inds started out as your standard fare trio of Teen Idol Singers, headed by Keita as the lead singer, who passed the Starlight Auditions hosted by management Vision Factory, and with Ryohei and Ryuichi, two boys who passed an audition at their dance school in Hokkaido, as his dancers. Soon, Ryohei and Ryuichi began providing back-up vocals and raps to their songs. Beginning their career with bubblegum pop, they transitioned to mature ballads around the 2004 era, came back with dance music around 2009, and have now seemed to dabble into contemporary R&B. From 2001 to 2008, they also had their own radio show, titled W-inds' Windy Street.
During the peak of their career, W-inds enjoyed popularity throughout Asia, especially in Taiwan, where the tickets for the Taiwan leg of their 2004 concert sold out in just 23 minutes. In addition to that, they were the only Japanese artists to perform at the Mnet Korean Music Festival in 2006.
They are pretty much known for their 2003 hit, "Super Lover ~I need you tonight~", and to anime fans, they're known for providing one of the ending theme songs to Katekyō Hitman Reborn!.
Tropes that apply to W-inds. includes:
- A Wild Rapper Appears!: G-Dragon from Big Bang appeared as a guest rapper on "Rain is Fallin'."
- Anime Theme Song: Keita's debut solo single, "Michishirube", was used as the first Ending Theme for Katekyō Hitman Reborn! and "Ame Ato" was the ending song from episodes 77 to 89.
- Audience Participation Song: W-inds will often perform their debut song, "Forever Memories", during the encore, and have the audience participate in singing the chorus.
- Break Up Song: "Yakusoku no Kakera", "Past Tense", "Hanamuke"
- The Cameo: Early on in their career, W-inds made a cameo appearance in Nurse no Oshigoto: The Movie.
- Real Person Cameo: The members of W-inds were side characters in the 2002 manga Tokyo Style Bakudan.
- Cover Version: "Yume de Aeru no ni ~Sometimes I Cry" is a cover of Eric Benet's song of the same name.
- Deadpan Snarker: Ryuichi's good at snarking, but Ryohei takes the cake.
- Early-Bird Cameo: Prior to W-inds even being formed, Ryohei and Keita made appearances on television. Ryohei appeared on a variety show (courtesy of his Stage Mom) which had a segment on "cute boys", and Keita was a contestant at the 2000 Asayan Idol Contest.
- Family Business: Keita's youngest sister, Mio, is also signed onto the same label as him.
- Gratuitous English: In a lot of their songs, there's at least one English word in it. Who can forget, "Hi, baby! Don't you know me? I need super lover tonight!"
- Happily Married: Keita married Aya Matsuura in 2012, whom he had been dating since 2001 (when they were 15-16!).
- Host Club: The music video for "Super Lover ~I need you tonight~" oozes this.
- Intercourse with You: "Let's Get it On" is basically about a one-night stand with car imagery.
- Large Ham: Ryuichi can be this the most often. Case in point: one of the commercials W-inds did for Bourbon Gum has him crying out dramatically for his teddy bear left in the rain.
- Long-Haired Pretty Boy: Ryuichi had long hair since debut for the longest time. Ryohei also had long hair from 2007 to 2008.
- Meaningful Name: W-inds owes their name to the heavy winds that "brought them together", as Ryohei and Ryuichi were from Hokkaido, known for being extremely windy.
- New Sound Album: Another World and Move Like This had heavy dance tracks as their lead singles, a big departure from the last couple of years where W-inds experimented with ballads. Timeless shows a bit of a return to the ballads.
- One Head Taller: Keita towers over both Ryuichi and Ryohei, who are at the same height.
- The Quiet One: Ryohei is rarely the one who talks during interviews.
- Power Trio: There are three members in W-inds, and they all seem to be on good terms with each other.
- Singing Voice Dissonance: Keita sounds like your average man when he's talking, and his voice is at a lower pitch than Ryohei's. However, he's famous for his 5-8 octave range voice, and listen to him belt out "Sometimes I Cry."
- Stage Names: The closest to a "stage name" W-inds have had is going on a First-Name Basis, but otherwise this is averted. Hilariously, this was discussed about on a fan mail segment: a fan asked them what they call each other, and they jokingly made up names for each other.
- Unplugged Version: During their first concert, W-inds performed "Give Your Heart" on acoustic instruments (except for Keita, who played it on a keyboard). Also, in one behind-the-scenes videos of their concert rehearsals, Keita is seen singing and playing "TRIAL" on guitar.
- Vocal Range Exceeded: "Forever Memories" was recorded when Keita's voice was beginning to break. When he performed it live some months later, he couldn't hit the high notes. From then on, when the song was performed, the octave changed to fit Keita's vocal range better.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Averted. In a video diary that was taken when Keita was 16 or 17, he went to a Haunted House and was not fazed by anything at all.