Tokimeki Tonight Library

Anime

The anime series of Tokimeki ran from October 7, 1982 to September 22, 1983 for 34 episodes. It was directed by Sasagawa Hiroshi of Tatsunoko Production, and the character designs were done by Takahashi Magoichi, which is the pseudonym of Takahashi Shinya, who also worked on various incarnations of the Space Battleship Yamato anime. It was produced by Toho and Group Tac, who co-produced Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water with Gainax, and also produced such famous series as Touch and the first series of Lupin III.

Background

Interviews with Ikeno make it clear that Tokimeki Tonight was a series created to run alongside a TV anime from the very beginning. Ribon's circulation was an impressive 1,3 million copies at the start of the 80s, and there's no doubt that the Ribon editorial staff was looking for ways to maintain this high, or to go even higher. So a TV anime made perfect sense: get a Ribon series on TV, where anyone could stumble upon it, and get them to pick up the magazine in order to read the manga version of their beloved anime.

This strategy might also have been inspired by the explosive popularity of Candy Candy back in the late 70s. The Candy anime ran for 115 episodes between 1976 and 1979, and the manga was published in Ribon's rival, Nakayoshi, and pushed the magazine's circulation to 1,8 million. Nakayoshi also had the popular manga and anime Ohayō! Spank, which ran on TV between 1981 and 1982 for 63 episodes, and had a successful merchandising line. Ribon was definitely behind Nakayoshi when it came to TV anime and merchandising.

I don't know why Ikeno was picked to draw this series, as she had only done two short serializations at the time; maybe they thought her comedic style would work well as an anime? At any rate, Tokimeki the manga was developed alongside an anime series.

Funny thing is, it both worked and it didn't? I can't find any information on the anime's ratings, but it was cut short after one year and only 34 episodes. It didn't do horribly, but it didn't do great, either, and some of the toys produced for the series (the Tokimeki Ranze doll, see the merchandise section for details) were notoriously unpopular with kids. But the manga version of Tokimeki was a massive success, climbing to the top of Ribon in record time, and Ribon's circulation rose to more than two million by the end of the 80s, with no help from any anime. So the Tokimeki anime wasn't a hit, but the project was a net success for Ribon.

Influences on the manga

Because the anime was being developed and broadcast simultaneously with the manga, Ikeno has mentioned in interviews that she was influenced by the anime to create or include certain characters and plot points in the manga. Some things she has mentioned are:

Music

Both of the theme songs used in the Tokimeki anime, in particular the ending theme and accompanying animation, have become cult classics. They were released on vinyl back in the day, as were a soundtrack album.

Opening theme

A fun tune with an unforgettable cuica intro (I always thought it sounded like a flock of monkeys), which I often see described as "tropical city pop". The second verse of the song was used for the opening, and the lyrics first describe the love triangle between Ranze, Shun, and Yōko, and then go on to talk about how the singer is so in love, she wants to spend the night staring into her lover's eyes.

The writer of the song, Furuta Yoshiaki, might be very familiar to fans of classic anime: he wrote both of the iconic opening themes for Perman, as well as the opening of the classic Studio Pierrot magical girl anime Persia, the Magic Fairy. (Persia is a Shueisha property like Tokimeki, since it's based on the Aomuma Takako manga Persia ga suki! from Shueisha's Margaret magazine, which might be why Furuta worked on both.) Ōmura Masa'aki (who tragically passed away in 1997 at age 46) wrote and arranged many idol songs in the 70s and 80s, including hit songs for famous names such as Yamaguchi Momoe and Matsuda Seiko.

Kamo Harumi made her debut with the Tokimeki themes. She never became very famous, and it's difficult to find information about her, but according to the website Shōjo zankoku ezu (which collects information on B-grade idols from the 70s and 80s), she changed her name several times to "re-debut" during the 80s and 90s. So maybe she's still making music today under a different name.

The opening sequence is barely animated, but the vivid colors and the pink throbbing heart (which dissolves into flying bats at the intro and many small hearts at the fade out) have always left an impression on me. You can still find parodies of it in places such as Youtube and Nico Nico Doga.

OP OP OP OP OP
OP OP OP OP OP

Ending theme

Another fun, upbeat disco-y tune, this ending is infamous for its very Engrish title that makes all listeners think of of lube, the unique lyrics about girls in love being magicians, and the fact that Ranze dances around wearing nothing but her father's cape. It's animated much more than the opening is, I'd say with much love and care, and looks very stylish and striking with the red of the cape and the blue of Ranze's hair and eyes against the stark, black background. Because of this, and its erotic nature, it's a parody favorite for fanart and fan videos.

ed ed ed ed ed
ed ed ed ed ed

For the last episode of the series, a version was made with all the main characters (even Shun and Tamasaburō) dressed only in a cape. The second verse of the song was used in this version.

ed ed ed ed ed
ed ed ed ed ed

Thank you to retrosofa for all the screencaps in this section!

Original Soundtrack

cover of original soundtrack LP record

Label: Victor
Product code: JBX-25010 (LP), VICL-23061 (CD)
Format: LP and CD

This album was originally released on vinyl, and reissued in CD format in 1999 (in a two-CD set with the movie soundtrack of Kimagure Orange Road, probably because both were old, Shueisha manga-based Victor properties). It includes both the full and TV (short) versions of the opening and ending themes, as well as 17 pieces of background music and two songs sung by the voice actors of Ranze and Shun! You can listen to a snippets of this album at the Amazon page for the CD version.

Track list:

  1. Tokimeki Tonight (TV version) by Kamo Hiromi
  2. Makai no melody
  3. Kanashiki hoshizora
  4. The Funny Spy
  5. Dracula no sakebi
  6. Super Love Lotion by Kamo Hiromu
  7. Konban / Tonight
  8. Koi wa excellent
  9. My Fair Gal
  10. Rain Drops
  11. Fuwafuwa Randevois by Hara Eriko (Ranze)
  12. Shiokaze no barcarola by Mizushima Yū (Shun)
  13. Twist & Kiss
  14. Lost Love Nocturne
  15. Tokimeki Walking
  16. Magical Mystery Zone
  17. Tokimeki Tonight by Kamo Harumi
  18. Tsukikage no yōsei
  19. Triangle Race
  20. Wolf Woman Rock
  21. Runrun Street
  22. Tokimeki Lullaby
  23. Super Love Lotion (TV version) by Kamo Harumi

Tokimeki Tonight / Super Love Lotion

cover of opening/ending themes LP

Label: Victor
Product code: KV-3027
Format: EP

This single was only ever released on vinyl, and seems to have become a collector's item.

Track list:

  1. A-side: Tokimeki Tonight
  2. B-side: Super Love Lotion

Episode list

No.

Title

Summary

01 The secret of the étranger
エトランゼの秘密
Ranze falls in love with Shun, and bites someone for the first time.
02 The gate to Makai
魔界への扉
Ranze goes to Makai to be changed into a human.
03 Danger in the bathroom
バスルームの危機
Ranze changes into a bird so she can spend time with Shun.
04 A small friendship
小さな友情
Rinze runs way from home and meets Shun.
05 Ranze goes to Makai
ランゼ魔界へ行く
Mōri and Shiira are summoned by the king of Makai, and is told that he has a prince in the human world.
06 Romance in the foggy night
霧の夜のロマンス
Mōri and Shiira start looking for the prince, and Mōri tells Ranze about how he fell in love with Shiira.
07 The culture festival of horror
恐怖の文化祭
Ranze brings monsters from Makai to the school festival.
08 Action camera of love
恋のアクションカメラ
Ranze has a date with Shun, but Yōko butts in.
09 Tamasaburo's love
玉三郎の恋
Yōko's father Tamasaburo fakes being sick so he can be taken care of by Shun's mother Hanae, who is a nurse.
10 The invisible girl Miere
透明少女ミエール
An invisible girl moves into Ranze's room, and falls in love with Shun.
11 The birthday on full moon
満月の誕生日
It's Rinze's birthday, and Shun comes to the party. But it's a full moon!
12 Ranze's wish
うふッ!?ランゼのお願い
Ranze meets Santa, who turns out to be a real Santa from Makai.
13 The white lovers
白い恋人達
Ranze's class go skiing, and Shun teaches Ranze how to ski.
14 I saw it! Ranze is a raccoon dog
見た!ランゼはたぬき
After Shiira bit Ranze, she starts growing wolf ears and a tail whenever she looks at something round.
15 Sorry I'm naked
裸でごめんなさい
Yōko sees Ranze's wolf ears, and tries to expose her as a racoon dog.
16 The youthful runner of love
恋の青春ランナー
A boy falls in love with Ranze, and thinks that she'll be his girlfriend if she wins over Shun at the school marathon.
17 The flirtatious magician
浮気な魔術師
After Ranze recovers from a fever, she gains the ability to control other people's minds.
18 The title match of love
恋のタイトルマッチ
Prince Aron comes to the human world, and fights Shun at the boxing gym.
19 The sentimental great giant
センチメンタル大巨人
Shiira brings a giant from Makai to get engaged to Ranze, but he falls in love with Yōko instead.
20 Big confusion! The many Ranzes
大混乱!ランゼがいっぱい
A pocket mirror Aron gave Ranze can create copies of anyone who looks into it.
21 Love letter from E.T.
E.T.からのラブレター
Shun receives a love letter from someone called E.T.
22 Exciting! Pajamas game
ドキドキ!パジャマゲーム
Shun acts as a bodyguard when Yōko is home alone, but Ranze and Kunihiko crash her place.
23 The love story of Sand
サンドの恋の物語
Sand comes to the human world and falls in love with Hanae.
24 Passionate love! The great Makai war
熱愛!魔界大戦
Aron becomes jealous of Shun, and sends Ranze, Shun, and Yōko to Makai.
25 Transformation revealed: kill Shun
見られた変身・俊を殺して
Shun witnesses Ranze transforming, and Ranze has to choose between moving back to Makai and killing Shun.
26 Execution fleet! Space Wars
処刑戦艦!スペースウォーズ
Shun follows Ranze to Makai, but the king wants to execute him.
27 Smash! Shun vs. Rocky
激突・ロッキーVS俊
Shun has a boxing match with Rocky Aoki.
28 Delinquent angel: love hunter
つっぱりエンジェル恋のハンター
Yōko uses a cupid to try to get Shun to fall in love with her.
29 Shock! An encounter with the future
ショック!未来との遭遇
Ranze finds doors to the past and the future in the Etō mansion basement.
30 The prince's order for assassination
王子からの暗殺指令
Aron commands Mōri to kill Shun, so he can have Ranze to himself.
31 The migratory bird returns
帰ってきた渡り鳥
The gang is kidnapped by the mob.
32 Adventure! Island of lovers
冒険!恋人たちの島
The gang goes to the beach.
33 Tokimeki folk tales
まんがときめき昔話
Ranze goes to a museum and fantasizes about living in the stone ages.
34 Fall in love! The love triangle
恋して!愛して!三角関係
Shiira has a dream about Ranze marrying the other prince.

Merchandise

It's difficult to find information on what sort of toys and merchandise were produced to tie in with the Tokimeki anime. I know that dolls, various stationary, coloring books, chopsticks, origami and much more was produced, and you can see a fun selection at these great Italian sites.

Ranze no Oshare Bag

Sometimes you can be lucky to find old toys for sale on Japanese auction sites, such as this "oshare bag" collection of "beauty products" for children in a cute yellow case (pictures from an action page that is no longer available):

Ranze no oshare bag Ranze no oshare bag Ranze no oshare bag
Ranze no oshare bag Ranze no oshare bag Ranze no oshare bag

Ranze mask

The "oshare bag" above is a rare item I've only seen once, but this "mask" is something I see all the time on Japanese auction sites. It looks absolutely nothing like Ranze, but the sticker at the top apparently makes it clear that this was supposed to be Tokimeki anime merchandise.

Ranze mask

A bit of background: I'm not sure how it is now, but back in the 80s and 90s, stalls selling this type of celluloid masks were a staple at Shrine festivals. There would be rows and rows of masks, as you can see examples of in this google image search, most of them resembling popular anime characters such as Doraemon or Anpanman, or Tokusatsu heroes like Ultraman.

Straw

straw straw

Plastic cup

plastic cup plastic cup

Chopsticks and chopsticks case

Chopsticks Chopsticks Chopsticks

Ranze dolls

Toy maker Takara (later Takara-Tomy, or simply Tomy outside of Japan) was a sponsor of the anime, and since Takara's flagship toys are fashion dolls a la Barbie, three types of dolls modeled after Ranze were released in 1982:

Availability

Japanese complete series DVD box

cover of Japanese DVD box

The entire series was made available in Japan on DVD in 2009, and is still available new. I do not own it, but according to product descriptions at the official Toho site, the DVD box contains the following:

I do not own the illustration cards included in the DVD, but the Italian Tokimeki fansite at onlyshojo has scans uploaded. They're the last four images on the page, and very pretty!

The "odekake pouch" is a reader present item from the October 1986 issue of Ribon. I never thought I'd own it, but retrosofa was as kind as to pass it down to me! You can see a photo of the pouch as well as a scan of the box it came in below. It's made from fabric that seems water-resistant, and the ribbon in Ranze's hair is an actual ribbon. I've seen pictures of the original reader present, which had a print of minor characters on the back, but this version doesn't have that -- that's my only gripe with this "reprint" version. Otherwise, it's adorable and I feel very privileged to own it!

Ranze odekake pouch Ranze odekake pouch box

The booklet also contains a hand-written message from Ikeno Koi, which retrosofa was as kind as to scan for me. Thank you so much! It's adorable.

Ranze odekake pouch

Italian DVD boxes

The anime was also released in Italy in 2008, in two boxed sets. They seem to be still available new, and they contain both Italian and Japanese audio, as well as clean, no credits versions of the OP and ED themes. However, the ending of the last episode has been cut, and they do not contain the eyecatch animations. The Italian release is also less than half the price of the Japanese edition. Retrosofa has written a more detailed comparison of the Japanese and Italian iditions which you might want to check out before you decide!

cover of Japanese DVD box

Arabic DVD box

An Arabic dub of the anime has also been released on DVD, in a complete box set. I believe the dubbed version that aired on Arabic TV was officially licensed, but that the DVD release is unofficial. I do not speak Arabic so I can't tell you any details, but I've found it for sale online for very cheap. I've been told that vintage anime is very popular in Arab countries, and that Tokimeki is no exception, which I think is very cool!

Fan translation

A fan translation of a part of the anime is available online.