Tokimeki Tonight Library

Aira

Aira is the daughter of Ranze and Shun. When she was born, she was holding a mysterious crystal in her hand; according to Moevius, she is also the great witch of legend, who will grow up to learn one-hundred spells and save the world when she meets the person who shares her destiny. Her arc starts when she is still a kindergartener, and we follow her as she grows into a high school girl. With 38 chapters, the Aira arc is the second-longest arc in Tokimeki -- but its story was sadly cut short in 1994, to make room for Ikeno's next series Nurse Angel Ririka SOS. Five years later, Ikeno went back to finish the story as she had intended in the 150-page long sequel, Hoshi no yukue.

Story

Part one: Kairi

Narumi's heart condition returns when Aira is a kindergartener, but she is saved by Aira and Rinze. Aira meets a mysterious boy called Kairi in her dreams, and it turns out that he was also born holding a mysterious crystal. The two kids grow closer as they go through many adventures, but Kairi's family moves away. Aira begins practicing to become a great witch under Moevius, and one night, she meets Kairi again in a dream -- but he tells her that he's trapped with his family in a prison that is not of this world. Who is Kairi, why were he and Aira born holding the same crystal, who trapped his family and why, and can Aira save Kairi and his family from the mysterious prison? The Aira arc is very comedic, and in many ways mimics the beginning of the Ranze arc: Yōko's daughter Mumu is in love with Shun's son Taku, and acts exactly the way Yōko used to; Aron's son Leon is in love with Aira and acts exactly the way Aron used to; and there is a large focus on the kindergarten and school lives of the characters and the wacky hijinks they get involved in. There are many cameos from old fan favorites, including Narumi and Rinze, George and Sari, and even the old King (Shun and Aron's father).

Part two: Shinjō

After parting ways with Kairi, Aira grows up and attends middle school. She meets Shinjō Akemi, who is the football trainer at Taku's high school, and at first they despise each other, but Aira falls in love with Shinjō when she finds out he is actually kind and caring, and loves nature enough to work at a flower shop. However, because Aira is prophesized to become the greatest witch in history, Moevius tells her she can't fall in love or date anyone: witches much be single, or their magic will weaken. Aira refuses to give up on love, which only makes Moevius try to sabotage her relationship with Shinjō. This arc also focuses on the budding romance between Taku and Coco, but unfortunately does not resolve the plot threads set up in the Kairi storyline.

Part three: Hoshi no yukue

The Kairi storyline is wrapped up in this concluding chapter to Tokimeki. Aira enters high school and is still in love with Shinjō, but starts seeing Kairi in her dreams again. It turns out that Shinjō is an orphan who has no memory of his childhood, and when Aira enters the gate to the past in order to find out what happened when Shinjō was a child, she discovers that Shinjō is actually Kairi — a version of Kairi who was sent into the past when he was about to drown, and this is why Shinjō is older than Kairi. When Aira returns to the present, Shinjō regains his memories as Kairi, and together they must try to fight the end of the world that Aira was prophecized to stop when she was born. The Hoshi no yukue tankōbon also includes four short sequels detailing what happened to the other characters after the end of the series, focusing on Mumu and Leon; Narumi and Rinze's family; Mana and Chipple; and Futaba and Kōta.

Characters

Makabe Aira
Makabe Aira
真壁愛良

Ranze and Shun's daughter. Is prophecized to become the greatest witch in history.

Minakami Kairi
Minakami Kairi
水上開陸

Aira's childhood friend, whose family turns out to have a dark past connected to Makai.

Shinjō Akimi
Shinjō Akimi
新庄彬水

The coach of Taku's football team, who Aira falls in love with in middle school.

Kamiya Mumu
Kamiya Mumu
神谷夢々

Yōko's daughter and Aira's childhood friend. Takes after her mother and is very spoiled. In love with Taku.

Kamiya Fū
Kamiya Fū
神谷風

Yōko's son and Mumu's twin brother. Is very kind-hearted, and in love with Aira.

Poteto
Poteto
ポテト

Yōko Dog's grandson, and Aira's pet and best friend. Can speak and is very rational and intelligent.

Makabe Taku
Makabe Taku
真壁 卓

Aira's brother, and Ranze and Shun's son. Takes after his father and is bad at expressing his emotions.

Coco
Coco Tina Warrencer
ココ=ティナ=ウォーレンサー

Aron's daughter and the princess of Makai. Moves in with the Makabe family.

Leon
Leon Paddock Warrencer
レオン=パドック=ウォーレンサー

Aron's son and the prince of Makai. Follows his sister and moves in with the Makabe family.

Note: There are some foreign/Makai names where I've made up the spelling, because it's not made clear in the text.

Side story: "Poteto no Merry Christmas"

This is a sweet short Christmas story featuring Poteto, Aira's pet dog. Santa grants him a wish and he becomes human for a day on Christmas Eve, and he meets a cute girl and they go on a date. At the end of the day they part ways and Poteto thinks he'll never see the girl again, but then...

There is a short amusing scene where Potato, in human form, meets Mumu, and she mistakes him for Fū. It makes sense — Fū is Yōko's son, and Poteto is the grandson of Yōko-dog!

Contemporaries

The serialization of Tokimeki in Ribon coincides with a period in Ribon's publication history when many, many popular and influential shojo series were being serialized as well. The Aira arc, in particular, ran alongside many incredibly popular series, many of which were also turned into TV anime and helped push Ribon's circulation to a shojo manga magazine record high of 2,55 million.Tokimeki was no longer the top series in Ribon at this point, but it was still considered a hit and had color title pages every month, as well as being featured in furoku and reader presents, showing that it held its own against the other hugely popular series at the time. Here is a selection.

Availablity

Ribon Mascot Comics tankōbon (1992-1995, 2000)

The Aira arc covers volume 23 to 30 of the original tankōbon release of the manga, and is concluded in an extra volume, Hoshi no yukue. The tankōbon edition is out of print, but was made available as ebooks in 2013, e.g. at eBookJapan and the Amazon Kindle store.

Covers of vol. 23-30 and Hoshi no yukue

Shueisha bunko (2000)

Volumes 12-16 of the bunko edition includes the entire run of the Aira arc, including Hoshi no yukue.

Covers of bunko edition vol. 12-16

Italian edition

The entire series of Tokimeki was released in Italian from the publisher Star Comics under the title Batticuore Notturno -- Ransie La Strega (and is still called that even when Ranze is no longer the protagonist!). The Italian edition seems to follow the original Japanese tankōbon release, meaning vol. 22-30 cover Aira's story, and a separate volume called Nei pressi di una stella covers Hoshi no yukue. According to amazon.it these are out of print, but probably available used.

Covers of Italian edition vol. 23-30 and Hoshi no yukue

Indinesian edition

Tokimeki was published in Indonesia by Elex Media Komputindo Publisher under the title Throbbing Tonight. The Indonesian edition follows the Japanese tankōbon release, meaning vol. 23-30 cover the Aira arc, and even uses the same images for its covers.

Covers of Indonesian edition

Thank you so much to Dio for scans and information about the Indonesian version!