The Japanese cartoon Kiss me Licia (original title "Ai shite night") by Shingo Araki, taken from the manga of the same name by Kaoru Tada, arrives in Italy in 1984, enjoying extraordinary success (Kiss me Licia was one of the most followed anime) . The secret of this success lies in having well blended ingredients such as music (rock a la Duran Duran), sentiment, innovation, tradition and a good dose of lightness! Even the soundtrack "Kiss me Licia", sung by Cristina D'Avena, had a great following: it was one of the best-selling songs. In Italy, a fairly faithful TV version of Kiss me Licia has even been released, entitled Love me Licia. In the television series Licia was in fact played by Cristina D'Avena. Love me Licia also obtained a huge consensus from the public, so much so that three other series followed: "Licia Dolce Licia"; "Teneramente Licia" and the last in 1988, "Balliamo e Cantiamo con Licia", for a total of over one hundred episodes.
Licia (YAEKO in the original manga) is a young girl of about seventeen, with a gentle temperament and affable manners, who, in addition to studying, helps her father Marrabbio in running his traditional restaurant, the Mambo. One day the young woman meets little Andrea (YASHIZOU) and her cat Giuliano while they try to shelter from the rain; then Licia offers the child her umbrella and proposes to accompany him home. But after learning from Andrea he would be left alone to wait for his brother Mirko (university student and singer in a rock band: the Beehive), he invites him and Giuliano to Mambo, to taste the succulent steaks of Marrabbio (SHIGE-SAN).The latter grumbles at first, but as a grumbler with a tender heart, he immediately becomes fond of the child and invites him to return often to the restaurant he owns: since Andrea is often alone to wait for Mirko's return (who, only by himself , took care of his little brother even at the cost of great sacrifices). In fact, in the story it is said that Mirko's mother died when he was still a child, so his father remarried what would be Andrea's mother. The latter, however, after the death of her husband entrusts the child (still newborn) to Mirko (GOO) to leave for Europe in search of fortune (an episode is dedicated to the return of the beautiful and elegant lady who, eager to make up for lost time, he would like to take his son with him to Paris and thus guarantee him a comfortable life. However, little Andrea will choose to stay with Mirko, Licia and Marrabbio, whose loving care makes him completely happy). But let's pick up the thread of the story from a key passage: Licia likes Andrea so much that he chooses her as the ideal girlfriend for Mirko, so he devises all possible ways to make them meet; the rest comes by itself ... In fact, a few days after meeting Andrea, Licia collides with Mirko, whose attitude towards the girl is so rude - Mirko allows himself to browse through Licia's books without her permission - that the young woman slaps him and runs away with a heart full of embarrassment ... Mirko for his part is so surprised by this gesture and by the young unknown who dedicates a song to her.
Even Licia, however, thinks it intensely, completely unaware that the boy is Andrea's brother, as well as a dear friend of Satomi (who plays keyboards in Beehive), with whom Licia believes she is in love (and with whom she is sincerely reciprocated!). Later it happens that Andrea invites Licia to a Beehive concert: here the circle closes and the plot becomes considerably complicated! Licia finds out who Andrea's brother is, so that Satomi and Mirko are great friends. She also feels very confused because of the unexpected feelings she has for him. Satomi also notices Licia's confusion and Mirko's evident attraction for the girl, so he decides to speak openly with his friend, who offers him a fair love competition: which of the two would have won Licia's heart would have been happy for each other, without giving up their friendship. A series of vicissitudes will follow through which Licia understands that she is in love with Mirko, therefore that she feels sincere brotherly affection for Satomi. Satomi finally yields to the closed court of the beautiful Marika (Meiko), whose father, a wealthy industrialist, finances the Beehive concerts. Apart from that, the love between Licia and Mirko has to overcome other great obstacles: among these Marrabbio, who does not want a hat for his daughter and, worse than ever, singer of a rock band! But the one who really puts a spanner in the works is the manager of Beehive and very subtly urges Licia to give up Mirko, so as not to hinder him in his singing career. Therefore Licia pretends to be with someone else and leaves Mirko, who, sadly, lets himself fall into a dark insanity, not giving a damn about everything, including the band. However, these difficulties are soon overcome, especially when Marika discovers the manager's intrigue and together with Satomi tells the truth to Mirko. He therefore goes to Lycia and declares his absolute love to her: everything in her absence is meaningless, because without having her near he cannot live! So finally Licia and Mirko are reunited under the approval of Marrabbio, who can only give in to the strength and sincerity of their love! Kiss me Licia ends with Licia waiting for Mirko's return from the American tour, in order to finally get married.
Other characters to remember are Emanuela, a friend of Licia's heart, who after having a crush on Mirko, will end up marrying the very shy and disorderly Toni (also a member of the band); Lisa, Andrea's playmate; grandfather Sam and Lauro, friends of Marrabbio and regular visitors to Mambo. (Click on Italia 1)