Tokimeki Tonight Library

Ikeno Koi

Ikeno Koi (池野恋) is the amazing writer and artist who created the world of Tokimeki Tonight. She was born on April 16th, 1959 in Iwate prefecture, and made her debut as a manga artist in 1979 with Happy End Monogatari. She continued to publish many stories in Shueisha's Ribon magazine until about 1999, and has since worked chiefly in Cookie, Shueisha's shōjo magazine for older readers. Some of her other popular works include Nurse Angel Ririka SOS (story by Akimoto Yasushi) and Heroine ni naritai.

Most recently, she drew the series Wakamurasaki (story by Kurokata Kaoru), a fictionalized account of Murasaki Shikibu's youth. She has also published short stories in Comic Iwate, a local magazine for manga artists from Iwate prefecture. She still resides in Iwate, and is married with two children.

Below, I've compiled a list of her published work outside of Tokimeki and its various spin-offs.

cover of Chotto otogibanashi

Chotto otogibanashi (1980)

A collection of five early one-shots. This was out of print, but available now as an ebook.

Chotto otogibanashi (1980, Ribon July issue)

The story of a girl who dreams of becoming a children's book author, who meets a devil and an angel. It has comedic moments, but also dramatic moments that reminded me of the later parts of the Ranze arc.

Happy end monogatari (1979, Ribon new year's special issue)

Ikeno's debut. It's the story of a guy who gets stalked by a girl who thinks they're in love with each other, and agrees to date her when her father tells her she doesn't have long to live. Very comical.

Doyō no gogo wa hōzue tsuite (1979, Ribon summer special issue)

A romantic story about a girl who fall in love with a guy who called her number accidentally. I think this is the most shojo manga/Otome-tique story I've read by Ikeno; the emphasis on romance, the quirky way the hero and heroine meet, and the tragic past of the hero really reminded me of Tabuchi Yumiko.

Telepathy ni goyōjin! (1979, Ribon November issue)

A historical romantic comedy about a Meiji-period young man who falls in love with an young aristocratic girl and studies telepathy in order to tell her how he feels. It's very comedic, and you can tell Ikeno incorporated fantastical elements in her stories from very early on.

Tonari no one pattern (1980, Ribon March issue)

The story of a girl who lives next to a father and son family who are trying to develop a time machine.

M.Y-sama ni sasagu (1979, Ribon May special issue)

Ikeno's second published manga after her debut. Never included in a tankōbon.

Shōbu ari! (1980, Ribon October issue)

A short story about a girl who falls in love with a boy who studies kendo. Never included in a tankōbon.

cover of Mai-chan non stop

Mai-chan non stop (1981)

A tankōbon collecting all three chapters of Ikeno's first series, Mai-chan non stop, as well as a one-shot. This is out of print.

Mai-chan non stop (1981, Ribon January-March issues)

Mai travels to Tokyo to find Shū, a childhood friend she promised to marry when they grew up, but when she finds Shū, it turns out he has joined the yakuza. Will Mai succeed in capturing Shū's heart, and will his yakuza gang be able to remain pacifists when a rival gang starts invading their territory?

Ojama-mushi 1/2 (1981, Ribon July issue)

High school girl Saka has a best friend, Natsumi, who doesn't seem interested in boys at all. But when a French exchange student moves in with Saka's family, it seems that both Saka and Natsumi start developing special feelings for him... but are those feelings love?

cover of Mechanko kyoshitsu

Mechanko kyōshitsu (1982, Ribon September 1981-January 1982)

A tankōbon collecting all five chapters of Ikeno's second series. It's a school comedy about a high school girl and her big sister, who is shy and very traditionally feminine, but also incredibly strong and convinced that she will never be able to marry because of this un-womanly feature. The protagonist tries to set her sister up with her teacher, while also dealing with issues of her own.

This was out of print, but available now as an ebook.

cover of Heroine ni naritai

Heroine ni naritai (1991)

A tankōbon collecting all three chapters Heroine ni naritai and a one-shot. The original tankōbon is out of print, but it's available now as an ebook.

Heroine ni naritai (Ribon January 1990-March 1991 issues)

This is a short series that ran in Ribon between the Narumi and Aira arcs of Tokimeki. This is my favorite work by Ikeno outside of the Ranze arc of Tokimeki: it's a collection of three self-contained short stories about three best friends, who each struggle with their personal issues as well as to find love. There are no fantasy elements to this story, which is rare for Ikeno, but all her characters are so well-developed and likeable even when she only has about 40 pages to develop them, and you can't help but become engrossed in their personal struggles. More than any other work, I think this series shows Ikeno's skills as a manga writer. The art is also great.

Kimagure time machine (1982, Ribon April issue)

An old one-shot that wasn't included in any of her previous tankōbon. It's a romantic comedy about the heroine's father, a scientist, creating a time machine and bringing an Edo-period samurai to the modern world.

Nurse Angel Ririka SOS (1995-1996)

A series based on an anime developed by Akimoto Yasushi. It's the story of Moriya Ririka, a fourth-grader who becomes Nurse Angel in order search out the "flower of life" and save the world from the evil Dark Jokers. This was out of print, but available now as an ebook.

cover of Ririka SOS 1-3

Oshiete Nanoka (1996-1998)

This is Ikeno's only original long-running series outside of Tokimeki and its spin-offs. It's the story of four siblings who find out they have a secret connection to a fantasy world. This was out of print, but available now as an ebook.

cover of Oshiete Nanoka 1-4

cover of Usotsuki na season

Usotsuki na season (1999)

A tankōbon collecting the series Usotsuki na season and a one-shot. This was out of print, but available now as an ebook.

Usotsuki na season (1998-1999)

A four-chapter series about a girl who can see ghosts, and the supernatural troubles she solves at her new school while making new friends.

Manatsu no door (1998)

A short one-shot about a girl who is dying of a heart disease and has a mysterious experience during surgery.

Misty Boy (2001)

A tankōbon collecting the series of the same name. I do not own this yet — details coming soon! This is out of print.

cover of Tokimeki tanpenshu

Tokimeki tanpenshū (2009)

A collection of older one-shots published to commemorate Ikeno's 30th anniversary. The earliest one-shot was originally published in 1985, while Ikeno was still drawing the Ranze arc of Tokimeki, and the latest was published in 2001, after the end of Tokimeki. It also includes a 10-page interview with Ikeno. The original tankōbon is out of print, but it's available now as an ebook.

Summaries coming soon!

Utatane no Roze (2009, Ribon fantasy special issue)

A short story about a cute boy vampire. Never included in a tankōbon.

cover of If no frame

if no frame (2010)

A tankōbon collecting all five chapters of the if no frame series and two one-shot sequels to Tokimeki Tonight and Tokimeki Midnight. The original tankōbon is out of print, but it's available now as an ebook.

if no frame (2010)

A series of interconnected short stories about five girls and women who wander into a mysterious room with five mysterious men, and look into the "frame of if" which shows them their possible futures.

Itsumo tokimeite (2009)

Please refer to the Ranze page and the Tokimeki Midnight page for more info.

Comic Iwate (2011-2013)

Comic Iwate is a magazine that the prefecture of Iwate publishes once a year, featuring manga by artists from Iwate, or manga about Iwate. Three issues have been published so far, in 2011, 2012, and 2014. The 2014 edition is also available online at Comic Iwate WEB. I have only read the web version, which includes a short story by Ikeno about two boys who ride the Galactic Railroad, inspired by Miyazawa Kenji (who lived all his life in Iwate). I'm told her other two stories are also inspired by Miyazawa Kenji and feature the same pair of boys.

cover of Comic Iwate 1-3

cover of Wakamurasaki

Wakamurasaki (2013)

A series of one-shots set in the Heian era of Japan, featuring a young Murasaki Shikibu (the author of The Tale of Genji). The story was written by Kurokata Kaoru. This is available both in print and as an ebook.

Summaries coming soon!

cover of Wakamurasaki

Tokimeki manga-michi (2016)

Ikeno has started a biographical series about her life as a manga artist in the digital edition of Cookie magazine. Each chapter is only 16 pages, and Cookie comes out every other month, so this will probably take some time getting collected into a tankōbon, but so far the chapters have been very cute and illuminating.

Jigsaw puzzle ga daisuki (2018)

Ikeno wrote a four-page essay comic about her hobby (puzzles) for the January 2018 issue of cooking magazine Lettuce Club, which is also available as an ebook.