Tokimeki Tonight (ときめきトゥナイト, lit. Heart-Throbbing Tonight) is a shojo manga series by Koi Ikeno which ran in Ribon magazine from 1982 to 1994, with 30 volumes. The plotline spans 3 generations of the Etou family, starting with Ranze Eto and continuing on with her brother Rinze and her daughter Aira. Years after the original manga was published, a reimaging of the series called Tokimeki Midnight was published in the magazine Cookie Box with 9 volumes.
This series is about a girl named Ranze Eto, a girl who looked like an Ordinary High-School Student, but her family is something that came straight out of The Addams Family. You see, her father is a vampire and her mother is a werewolf. And it also turns out that Ranze has special powers of her own: for example, whenever she bites anything, she can change herself into a carbon copy of that object, whether it's another person or an inanimate object such as a piece of bread. Only by sneezing can she return to her normal self.
On her first day of school, Ranze meets a handsome guy named Shun Makabe. The chief problem with this is that Ranze's parents will not allow her to date a human (and in fact have already arranged a marriage for her with a boy in the demon kingdom) - although there may be much more to Shun than meets the eye. On top of this, Ranze also has a bitter rival in the pretty but spiteful Yoko Kamiya, the daughter of a yakuza boss, who is also in love with Shun (and has been for a while) and doesn't take kindly to Ranze intruding on her turf.
The manga was adapted by Toho, with Group TAC as animation studio, into an anime that ran at 34 episodes on Nippon Television from October 7, 1982 to September 22, 1983 and was directed by Tatsunoko Production veteran Hiroshi Sasagawa, famous for Gatchaman and the Time Bokan series. The anime was frequently preempted for baseball broadcasts and quickly fell into obscurity in Japan, but is much loved in Italy and the Middle East.
This series contains examples of:
- Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: Seldom used as a nice little throwaway gag. Mori Eto (a vampire by birth)'s family tree shows that one of his relatives is... Christopher Lee. Also, one panel that shows a vampire village in Magic World has Vlad Tepes as one of the inhabitants (among other references such as Graf Orlok and... Frank N. Furter!?).
- Betty and Veronica: Ranze's the Betty and Yoko's the Veronica.
- Bowdlerization: Amusingly inverted in the case of the Italian version of the anime, called Ransie la strega (Ransie the Witch). This version directly referred to the Demon/Magic World as Hell, the ruler of that kingdom as Satan thus implying that Shun really was Satan's son and all the creatures who sometimes visited the Eto household as coming from the depths of Hell. Yes, even Santa Claus.
- Dub Name Change: In the Italian version, Shun is renamed Paul, and Yoko becomes Liza (pronounced "Leeza" as in Gibbons, not Minnelli). Ranze is Ransie, not having her name changed as much as having the spelling/pronunciation changed slightly.
- Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Ranze.
- Fur Against Fang: Played with. Mori and Sheera clearly love each other, but they fight at the drop of a hat. Heck, the very first pages of the manga show Sheera flinging furniture and other stuff at her husband!
- Gecko Ending: The anime, though it's justified since the manga only finished in 1994. In this one, Shun turns out to be the long lost prince of the Demon World, but he denies it and says the birthmark proving this is merely a mole. The Etous are kicked out of the Demon World until they can bring the prince back. And when Ranze's about to personally talk to Shun, Yoko interrupts... and the story ends there.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: The anime ending sequence gets away with Ranze being completely nude save for a vampire-like cape (probably thanks to the Barbie Doll Anatomy) and with having a song that screams "Intercourse with You". And this is an anime from The '80s!
- Gorgeous Gorgon: Fira, the chosen bride for the Magic World prince Aron, appears to be a cute blonde girl... but piss her off and she turns into a snake-haired fury with a petrifying gaze! Ranze and her friends sometimes use her ability to their advantage.
- Hybrid Overkill Avoidance
- Ill Girl: Narumi as a child.
- Informed Ability: Mori's job as a struggling writer. After his novel becomes a smashing hit and gets turned into a live-action film, his writing job is almost never mentioned again, and Sheera one time even lampshades this!
- Meaningful Name: Ransie/Ranze's family name in the Italian version is Lupescu (despite it still being shown as "Eto" onscreen). "Lupescu" is derived from the Latin word for "wolf", and Ranze's mother is a werewolf.
- Monster Mash: What the Magic world appears to be. It is divided into tribes of various species such as vampires, werewolves, witches and so on.
- Ordinary High-School Student: Ranze, at least in appearance.
- Our Vampires Are Different: As stated above, Ranze can change herself into anyone (and anything) she has bitten.
- Shinigami: The first one that appears, named Georges, has to claim Ill Girl Narumi's soul due to a heart failure. Rinze, who's fallen in love with her (at 5!), with the help of his sister convinces him not to do so and save the little girl. Later on, Georges becomes an ally of the Etos and a semi-regular character (and a bit of a goofball too).
- Small, Annoying Creature / Team Pet: Pek the parrot.
- Sneeze Cut : episode 12 Santa Claus does this.
- Standing in the Hall: episode 11 Ranze (with 1 bucket) and Shun (with 2 buckets) do this together
- Swallowed Whole: Ranze accidentally shapeshifts herself into a piece of bread during a race and is swallowed by her rival, Yoko. She manages to morph back and escape through Yoko's mouth in the next chapter.
- Talking the Monster to Death: Ranze does this to the Meioh, ruler of the Dark World and real Big Bad of the manga, just after he disintegrated the King of Magic World.
- The Ugly Guy's Hot Daughter: Yoko and her father, who looks not unlike a shaved gorilla.
- Unlucky Childhood Friend: Yoko.
- Victorious Childhood Friend: Narumi, in the manga.
- Werewolf: Sheera.
- Yakuza Princess: Yoko again, whose father is a yakuza boss.