Manga: Ai Shite Night

Yakko, Go, Hashizo and Juliano!

Ai Shite Night (愛してナイト, Aishite Naito, lit. "Love Night" or "Night for Loving") is a shōjo manga created in the early 1980s by Kaoru Tada, better known as the author of Itazura Na Kiss. An anime version of the story in 42 episodes was also produced in 1983-84 by Toei Animation, and features episodes supervised by Shingo Araki, the deceased character designer who worked on many other Toei series, such as Cutey Honey, Majokko Meg-chan and Saint Seiya.The anime adaptation proved so successful in Italy that the Italia 1 channel produced a live action sequel, consisting of no less than four seasons, between 1986 and 1988.

"Ai Shite Night" is set in Osaka, and tells the story of Yaeko "Yakko" Mitamura, an 18 year old Girl Next Door who divides her time in between her father Shige's Okonomiyaki restaurant and her evening college classes. One day Yakko casually meets a little boy, Hideki aka "Hashizo", and his odd cat Juliano. Hashizo lost both of his parents when he was still a baby and has been brought up by his elder brother Go Kato, who is the lead singer of the emerging rock band "Bee Hive". When Yakko meets Go and his friend and "Bee Hive" member Satomi Okawa, an unexpected series of events and a tangled romance unfolds.

Whereas the main narrative of "Ai Shite Night" is essentially based on a love story, interesting and innovative elements were introduced by Kaoru Tada, most notably the portrayal of the Japanese music scene in the early '80s. In creating characters such as Go, Satomi and their band "Bee Hive", Tada was inspired by successful bands of the time such as "The Stalin", "Novela", "Primadonna" and "44 Magnum". Tada also plays with sexual provocation and ambiguity, mainly embodied by the character of "Kiss Relish" vocalist Kazuma "Sheila" Kataoka, although these elements were considerably toned down in the anime version of the story.

This series contains examples of:

  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Yakko is blonde in the manga, but has brown hair in the anime except for the OP.
  • Anime Hair: And HOW. This is a manga of The '80s, after all. Particularly noticeble are Go's blond and red hair as well as Satomi's lilac long hair.
  • Armor-Piercing Slap: Yakko slaps Go when he tries to flirt with her after they crash into each other. She then apologizes.
  • Bishōnen: Hashizo, a pint-sized edition.
  • Bowdlerize: As mentioned, the anime toned down the sexual themes. It's not just about Sheila; the anime rendition of Satomi's first scene cuts out the allusions to him apparently working in a gay bar. (It's not necessarily the case, but Yakko seems to believe it quite firmly at first.)
  • Cats Are Mean: Juliano, but only towards ladies.
  • Crash-Into Hello: How Yakko and Go meet in the anime.
  • Curtains Match The Windows: Hashizo
  • Dub Name Change: In Western releases; it was The '80s after all.
  • Fangirl: Meiko and Isuzu
  • First Boy Wins: Toyed with in the anime. Storyline-wise Yakko has known Satomi from before Go comes into the picture, but doesn't end up with him. OTOH, one the first guy that we viewers get to see is actually Go, since the second scene of the TV series has him and Hashizo getting ready for their daily routine and Satomi doesn't appear until a little later. In the manga, however, it's averted. Satomi appears first, Go shows up in the next scene
  • From the Mouths of Babes
  • Girl Next Door: Yakko
  • Gratuitous English: Part of the title and some of Go's lyrics in English.
  • He-Man Woman Hater: Juliano.. the cat. Played for Laughs, of course.
  • Inter Generational Friendship: Hashizo (no older than 6) and Yakko (18). Also Hashizo and Yakko's dad (in his 40's), in quite the contrast with Shige's more skittish treatment of Go.
  • Irony: Gou is voiced by popular singer Isao Sasaki yet his songs are sung by the late Ai Takano who was known for singing Juspion's opening theme
  • Ladykiller in Love: Go has The Casanova fame, but when he falls for Yakko... he falls HARD.
  • Lethal Chef: Yakko lives in an okonomiyaki restaurant, and yet she can barely handle making them.
  • Long Distance Relationship: By the end of the anime, this trope is discussed when Go has to leave to the USA for a 6-month-long tour with Bee Hive. They agree on it, and Go promises to marry Yakko as soon as he returns for her and Hashizo.
  • Non-Singing Voice: Ironically enough Gou, his songs were sung by the late Ai Takano, DESPITE being voiced by the very well-known singer Isao Sasaki
  • Overprotective Dad: Shige Mitamura, though it's kinda understandable since he's raised Yakko alone after his wife died.
  • Precocious Crush: Hashizo toward Yakko.
  • Promotion to Parent: Go, for Hashizo.
    • Heroic Bastard: Actually, Hashizo's mom was Mr. Katou's mistress. (Go's mom, Yoko, still lives but they're very distanced.) Go still took him in and they live together in a tiny apartment.
  • Puppy Love: The love triangle between Hashizou, Kaoru and Gonta.
  • Rich Suitor, Poor Suitor: Go is middle class, Satomi is rich. They both love Yakko. Yakko picks Go.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Go and Satomi.
  • Shorttank: Yakko is a slightly older version.
  • Take-That Kiss: Sorta pulled by Go.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: Kazuma aka Sheila. Also Camp Straight, since he's Happily Married to Relish's manager Marino and they have a daughter together.