about Tokimeki Tonight

Tokimeki Tonight was serialized in the shōjo manga magazine Ribon between 1982 and 1994, with a concluding chapter being published in 1999. It's a comedic fantasy epic about three generations of heroines: Etō Ranze, the daughter of a werewolf and a vampire; Ichihashi Narumi, the girlfriend of Ranze's brother Rinze; and Aira, Ranze's daughter.

special anime issue 1 from November 1982 special anime issue 2 from February 1983
Anime special issues from 1982 and 1983

The manga is notable for being created with the purpose of "media mix", i.e. it was already decided before the start of the series that a TV anime version would be produced and broadcast along with the manga. (This is also how Sailor Moon originally came to be.) The anime ran for a year and 34 episodes while the manga became so successful that it continued long after the end of the anime, remaining one of the top series in Ribon for its decade-long run.

Shueisha has announced that the manga has sold more than 30 million copies by 2018, making it one of the top-selling, most beloved shōjo manga in history.

Please see below for more historical information about the series, and the individual pages for the heroines (Ranze, Narumi, and Aira) for details about plot and characters. The rest of the site deals with the various biproducts to the series, such as the anime, a fanbook, various spin-offs, and so on, and also contains a large collection of color pages and furoku among other things.

Timeline

The history of Tokimeki Tonight spans several decades, and side stories and sequels continue to be published to this day.

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Event

06.1982Tokimeki Tonight begins serialization in Ribon (July issue), with what would later become known as the Ranze arc
10.1982Tokimeki Tonight anime begins airing on Nippon Television
09.1983The anime ends with 34 episodes broadcast
04.1987Ranze arc concludes (May issue)
08.1987A side story featuring Ranze is published in Ribon (September issue)
11.1987A side story featuring Ranze is published in Ribon (December issue)
01.1988Serialization of the Narumi arc begins in Ribon (February issue)
05.1990Narumi arc concludes (June issue)
07.1990First part of Futaba side story is published in Ribon (August issue)
08.1990Futaba side story concludes (September issue)
12.1990Heroine ni naritai begins serialization in Ribon (January 1991 issue)
02.1991Heroine ni naritai concludes (March issue)
06.1991Serialization of the Aira arc begins in Ribon (July issue)
09.1994Aira arc concludes (October issue)
12.1994Nurse Angel Ririka SOS begins serialization in Ribon (January 1995 issue)
07.1995Nurse Angel Ririka SOS anime begins airing on TV Tokyo
03.1996Nurse Angel Ririka SOS anime ends with 35 episodes broadcast
05.1996Nurse Angel Ririka SOS manga concludes (July issue)
11.1996Oshiete Nanoka begins serialization in Ribon (December issue)
02.1998Oshiete Nanoka concludes (March issue)
10.1999The concluding chapter of Tokimeki Tonight, Hoshi no yukue, is published in an autumn extra issue of Ribon "aki no bikkuri zōkango"
10.2000Romantic Album fanbook is published
2002Tokimeki Midnight, a spin-off to Tokimeki Tonight, begins serialization in Cookie and Cookie BOX (early spring issue)
03.2009Tokimeki Midnight concludes in Cookie BOX (spring issue)
07.2009Itsumo tokimeite sequel to Tokimeki Tonight is published in Cookie (September issue)
08.2009Itsumo tokimeite sequel to Tokimeki Midnight is published in Cookie (October issue)
08.2013Makabe Shun no jijyō, a collection of side stories to Tokimeki Tonight, is published as a tankōbon
04.2015Etō Mōri no kakekochi, a second collection of side stories, is published as a tankōbon

Note: Japanese magazines go on sale weeks or even months before the official publication date, so a July issue of Ribon magazine always goes on sale in early June, and so on.

Historical background

The early 80s, when Tokimeki began serialization, is considered a turning point in the history of Ribon magazine. During the 1970s Ribon had marked itself as a leading shōjo manga magazine, with dramatic hit series by Ichijō Yukari (Designer, Suna no shiro), influential comedies (Kinoko ♥ Kinoko, Watashi wa shijimi!), and the "otome-tique" artists (Mutsu A-ko, Tatekake Hideoko, and Tabuchi Yumiko) broadening the magazine's appeal to a much wider audience than before, making it popular among high school and even university students, as well as male readers.

furoku by Mutsu A-ko and Tachikake Hideko furoku by Tabuchi Yumiko
Examples of "fancy" furoku from Ribon (Shōjo Magazines Furoku Collection)

The furoku that came with Ribon at this time were also considered influential, and books such as 2007's definitive Shōjo Magazines Furoku Collection spend a significant number of pages on the "fancy goods" style* paper stationary furoku by the Otome-tique artists of the time. These furoku were highly fashionable, and helped mark Ribon as a magazine worthy of being read by fashion-conscious high school girls.

* "Fancy goods" is a Japanese term describing merchandise such as those created by Sanrio, particularly in the 70s and 80s when "fancy shops" selling these goods were popular across the nation.

Many of the new artists who made their debut at this time, including Ikeno, show influences of the Otome-tique artists. Particularly, Ikeno has mentioned Mutsu A-ko as a huge influence and the reason she decided to send her first manuscript to Ribon. However, by the time that Tokimeki had become popular, Ribon's tone had changed almost completely: Tokimeki itself was a comedic fantasy series featuring middle schoolers, not anything like the dramatic love stories between adults that Ichijō Yukari preferred to write or the atmospheric and fashionable slice-of-life stories that the Otome-tique writers favored. The other hit series at the time, Honda Keiko's Tsuki no yoru, hoshi no asa, was also about middle schoolers, and featured a more "wish fulfilment" type of story about a girl who is pretty and smart and excels at sports, with whom all the boys fall in love, and who just happens to be cast as the heroine in a major movie. Both Tokimeki and Tsuki no yoru starred younger characters and were clearly aimed at younger audiences and the Ribon manga of the 70s.

This was a conscious decision on the part of the Ribon editorial staff. While Ribon had a respectable circulation of 1.3 million in the late 70s, its rival Nakayoshi was the leading magazine at the time with a 1.8 million circulation, largely thanks to the explosive popularity of the Candy Candy anime and manga. Candy Candy is a sprawling epic in the tradition of classic English-language children's literature (Anne of Green Gables, Daddy-Long-Legs, and Alcott have all been cited as inspiration for Candy Candy), and very much targeted at a grade and middle school audience. Utsunomiya Hiroko, Ribon's furoku editor of this time, has revealed in an interview that the Tokimeki anime was (at least partly) funded by Shueisha's advertising budget, and that this done as a strategy to counter Candy Candy and Nakayoshi's popularity by creating a popular anime which manga version ran in Ribon, thereby capturing Candy Candy's substantial younger audience.

Although the anime version of Tokimeki never became a huge hit, the general strategy of appealing to a younger audience proved to be beneficial for Ribon: by the end of the 80s Ribon had a circulation of two million, and in 1994, it broke an all-time record for shōjo magazines with 2.55 million. Between 1982 and 1994, when Tokimeki was running in Ribon, Nakayoshi did not once surpass Ribon's circularion — not even with its global mega hits Sailor Moon. Not all of this was thanks for Tokimeki, of course. Later on in the serialization, its popularity was surpassed by explosively popular series with major anime adaptations such as Marmalade Boy, Kodocha, and Akazukin Chacha, as well as series by notable artists such as Yazawa Ai. But all through the 80s Tokimeki was one of Ribon's top series (if not the top series), and it contributed hugely to Ribon's rise to the undisbuted number one shōjo manga magazine of Japan.