Candy Candy Manga Rambling Part VII: Deconstructing The Rockstown’s Arc

Ah, the Rockstown’s Arc. The part of the story that takes Candy to an inconspicuous, sleepy, little town, somewhere in the Midwest, as one of the most gripping storylines in the manga unravels. It sets both Albertfans and Terryfans with hopeful expectations but ends up leaving them completely bereft, gaping in a state of bewilderment. Wondering. How will it all end?

I’ve lost count on how many times I re-read the Rockstown’s chapter; I remember I had done quite a thorough analysis when I was writing Ninety Days. Though I must say in those instances my perception had pretty much remained the same. In the most recent round of reading, however, I found myself flooded with different feels as I discovered ‘new’ things, which made the experience rather umm…. tempestuous.

To put it simply, here’s how I describe the chapter:

Candy constantly pines, Terry finally grows up, and Albert stops being the Wise One for once.

Eh? Uhm… What??!!!

No really. That’s the gist of the Rockstown’s Arc. And you’ll see why soon.

Regardless of their OTP preference, reading this particular storyline, most readers will reach the conclusion: it’s the end of Candy and Terry. True. The arc provides complete closure between them, in such an unambiguous, clear-cut, semi-tragic way that it banishes any chance for a possible reunion. It’s the final nail in the coffin.

Aside from that, astute readers will also notice that the narrative reveals Candy’s true feelings, something that have been kept neutral and vague for the most part (while the majority of the readers can readily perceive Albert’s burgeoning (somewhat non fraternal) feelings toward Candy from his words and gestures). It clearly shows not only that Candy has moved on from Terry but also the change in Candy’s feeling, as she realizes, once more, that love ends and begins again, just as it happened with Anthony, and then Terry, and finally now it’s happening again with Albert.

General readers will stop here and move on to the next chapter, or to other things, to real life. BUT…

There’s a small group of self-proclaimed seasoned readers like me, who stubbornly refuse to put the book down, relentlessly fishing for clues and subtexts, probing deeper and reading between the lines, scrutinizing and analyzing every nuanced details. Oh admit it. You’re probably one too if you’re reading this post 😉

Before I continue, I do want to remind you that I don’t like to sugar coat things and prefer to say them as they are. And I tend to analyze from all the possible angles, which may evolve into a radical inference that’s not easily accepted. Because of this I won’t be surprised if you find yourself in disagreement with me. That’s fine. We all have our own preferences and ways of thinking and thus can all have differing opinions.

Nevertheless, the translations I did in this post were based on the original Japanese texts of the manga. I tried to preserve the meaning and tone to the best of my ability, presenting them in such a way so that they don’t read awkward in English. And in no way did I make any attempt to tamper with the original story.

With the ‘disclaimer’ part out of the way, you’re free to proceed…CC

Continue reading ->


16 thoughts on “Candy Candy Manga Rambling Part VII: Deconstructing The Rockstown’s Arc

  1. Hello Beautiful Illusion!
    Thank you for your brilliant and insightful analysis!
    It isn’t very easy for me to elaborate my thoughts in English since it isn’t my mother tongue but, I’ll try to do my best to explain.

    – Well, the Rockstown’s Arc ! When I think in the anime it was the quite opposite situation! 🙄
    Albert’s sudden departure, following the ultimatum Candy received from her landlady, yes, it was sudden and perhaps it was why he took a wrong decision in a hurry to preserve Candy. Think about it, when Albert recovered his memory he must have been very shocked and upset to discover that he was in love with his adoptive daughter, I can’t imagine his struggles then! 😯 😮 How to handle that situation?!
    I think he was on the verge to tell her about his recovery and leave her but, when he came back home he found Candy sprawled on the top of a pile of newspapers, those which talked about Terry and she had cried a lot. So, he decided to stay with her, firstly because she was too weak to be on her own then, and he wanted to support her. Secondly because he appreciated his warm life with her. And the more he stayed with her, the more it was difficult for him to leave the woman he loved. But, the ultimatum has pushed him to leave. I think he wanted to suppress his strong feelings for her for months and it would have been easier to forget far away from her.
    But, I figure out he had to feel very bad to have let her alone so, when he learnt Terry was in Rockstown he decided to lead back Candy to Terry thinking he could reunite them and made them both happy, don’t forget Terry was his friend too! Therefore your third possible reason makes sense to me.
    Yet, I think Albert had underestimated the feelings of Candy for him, perhaps he was even thinking he was her second choice, a choice by spite, and he must have been astonished to know she hadn’t wanted to talk to Terry and to stay with him! On the contrary, Candy had frantically chasing him all over the town by showing a drawing of him! Typically the attitude of a woman in love! 😀
    Candy needed missing Albert to realize she was in love with him, “absence makes the heart grow fonder”, indeed ! In French we say « l’absence est à l’amour ce qu’est le vent au feu, il éteint le petit et ravive le grand » that means “absence is to love what wind is to fire, it extinguishes the small and rekindles the great”.

    What would’ve happened if she were to meet Albert again? A love confession, absolutely! 😀 ❤
    The departure of Albert and what happened in Rockstown have revealed the true colors of Candy’s love for Albert!

    – About Terry:
    For me, Candy had understood Terry had already chosen Suzanna on the hospital roof when Terry was walking with Suzanna in his arms. I don’t think he was in love with Suzanna but, I think he was deeply touched by this fragile girl who has risked her life for him, who has lost her leg in the process. For me, it is not only guilt, indeed! Perhaps he even discovered the deepness of her love to him? Terry and Suzanna were more similar with the same interest; they lived in the same world; they more matched!
    Yet, Terry was a complex character with his turmoil, his contradictions, he was a tormented soul. All his life he has been rejected and he was an illegitimate child. Still, he was a Shakespearian actor; he had a sense of tragedy: to choice love or duty? Candy or Suzanna? That is the question! 😉
    Terry had certainly loved Candy but not unconditionally and not in the way she deserved to be.
    Remember, this scene in the manga (Volume 6 p 57) it was the beginning of the World War I. Terry said to himself : “I shouldn’t have left you in England….. If possible, I want to cross the Atlantic again and… Candy, now I’ve chosen my life. I cannot go back! … May nothing happen to England till we meet again.” It seems to me he put his career before Candy and he had already let her a farewell note in London! He had never tried to contact her after his departure, he had no news of her for months and he said he loved her? If he was afraid his letters were intercepted in St Paul College, at least why he hadn’t contact Miss Pony to have some news? It was possible since he had paid them a visit! Inconsistent Terry! He’s chosen his life; he cannot go back these are his own words! It speaks volumes for me! Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to say Terry was a bad guy, he was only humane with his imperfections and his struggles but, for me, he simply didn’t deserve Candy’s love! He failed twice!

    Well, I stop here, I wrote already too much but I have so many things to say. I hope I was clear enough. and sorry for my awkward English! 😳

    • Hi Candy Bert 🙂 Guess we’re playing on the same playgrounds 😉

      I can’t agree with you more. I posted my comment then I read yours … Gosh! We think the same things. On Albert, on Terry.

      I do love that expression in french! Absence is to love what wind is to fire. It extinguishes the small, it enkindles the great. Just exactly what happened to Candy. She had been taking Albert for granted.

      And about Terry. Great minds think alike. I just say amen to all your words above.

      See you around then, my friend!

      • Hi Reeka!
        Please to see you here, my friend! 😀
        I read your comment and indeed, we think alike! 😉
        About French expression in fact, it’s a quote of Bussy-Rabutin. There is another quote I like too because it illustrates exactly Candy-Albert relationship:
        “L’absence n’est-elle pas, pour qui aime, la plus certaine, la plus efficace, la plus vivace, la plus indestructible, la plus fidèle des présences ?”. – Marcel Proust –
        That means: “Absence isn’t it for who loves, the surest, the most effective, the most vivid, the most indestructible, the most faithful of presences?” And it is true for Candy missing Albert as the reverse. Sigh… ❤

    • Hi there, Candy Bert.
      I’m sorry for taking so long to reply to your comment. But here I am.
      First of all, thank you for taking the time to read my long rambling, and I’m glad you found it rather insightful.
      Your English is fine, and you have nothing to worry. I understand everything perfectly. You conveyed your thoughts well.

      I don’t dismiss how torn Albert must’ve felt when he was living with Candy, hanging between doing the right thing and nurturing his growing feelings for her. He probably thought he’d be able to control and hide them from her. And I understand why Albert had to leave Candy in haste, as the ultimatum didn’t really give him time or other option for that matter (I do wonder whether he had intended to tell her in person, as the fact that he came back to the apartment seems to suggest that. But when he found her asleep, he let her be and wrote a note instead). However, unlike Terry, Albert doesn’t come across to me as one who would act on impulse. He must’ve mulled about the pros and cons for some time first before making the decision to lead Candy to Terry. So I don’t think it was a rash decision on his part. Yet it’s not the right decision either as it was built on a false assumption about Candy’s feelings. And there right here is the root of the problem, the crucial mistake he made. Instead of asking Candy about Terry, he jumped straight into conclusion and subsequently made the decision that only further worsened the situation, causing Candy to misunderstand his intention completely, as she didn’t think he returned her feelings.

      As for Candy, I think we all in agreement that she had taken Albert for granted, and only once he was gone she realized how precious he was to her. I love the French version of the phrase; it sounds so romantic. French is truly the language of love 🙂

      I have nothing else to add about Terry. I agree with all your points. He needs to heal first and learns to love himself and be happy before he can do the same to others. Otherwise he’ll continue to fail.

      No worries about writing long comments. I enjoy reading them. I find reading thoughts from different perspectives can open up more possibilities and scenarios I hadn’t thought before. And, please don’t apologize. Once again, your English is perfect as it is. So please don’t hesitate to express and share your opinion here.

  2. Hi, Beautiful Illusion! ( I’ve made up my mind, I’ll call you this way so other readers who reads my comments won’t be confused about “Forever”) 😉

    Ah, Rockstown is indeed an interesting part in CC, right. A major turning point, a revelation of many truths.

    First, about Albert.
    Yes, I agree, the ever so wise Albert the wanderer lost most of his wisdoms and disciplines after being amnesiac and living together with Candy. I think, once he recovered his memory, he felt terribly guilty to have fallen in love with Candy, the supposedly his adoptive daughter.

    And having an uncontrollable desire to keep living with her after regaining his memory and make it a secret to her is one of his mistake. He’s aware of it and the guilt eats him up. Yes, Albert is not perfect after all. He’s confused and tormented by the love he feels for Candy. Like you said, he probably is aware of Candy’s feeling to him, but I bet he’s still uncertain about the nature of her growing attachment to him.

    Albert is a complex character. He’s gentle, yet the strongest among other male characters. He looks calm, but we know he hides many inner struggles inside since childhood. He seems to be no one, only a mere wanderer, a homeless. Yet, he’s a man with a world in his hands. Thus, I think a lot of factors played their role in why Albert intentionally misleads Candy to Rockstown.

    He loves her. He knows she has developed a strong attachment to him, that she’s very fond of him. He knows they can’t continue on living together because now that his memory recovered, he can’t afford to be the one who tarnish her reputation. He should be the one who protects her, provides a shelter to her, and makes her happy. Not the other way around. And on the other side, despite her obvious fondness to him, he did witness her miserable days, weeks of heartbroken, and from newspapers and magazines he also knows that Terry himself is not in a better shape.

    Terry is not the only dark clouds for Albert. Don’t forget her dear Aunt Elroy. He’s the patriarch, but at that time his presentation haven’t yet formalised, and he just got back from his long MIA. He needs to gather everything in order first, makes a right approach to her aunt seeing Candy in different point of view. He can’t risk Candy again by doing an impulsive action.

    Beautiful Illusion, you say Albert possibly implicitly rejects Candy by sending her to Rockstown, to be reunited with Terry. I can accept this theory. Not as a single theory, though. But as a mixed of every possible reasons why Albert do so. I see it as his selfless love to her. Because he’s aware that forcing his relationship with her at that moment won’t do any good. Candy and Terry somewhat still have unfinished business, Albert is still in legal relationship with her and to reveal every truth to her seems frightening and he’s not sure whether she can’t accept it or not.

    So he makes an act that he thinks would make Candy suffer the least. He thinks she can’t easily forget him after reuniting with Terry and she doesn’t need to fight a battle with his aunt. Everybody’s happy, but him. He and Candy are actually quite similar in characteristics. They like making everybody’s life easier, even to achieve it needs to sacrifice their own happiness.

    So yeah. Albert is the one to blame on for Rockstown scene. I believe he himself shocked with the output of Candy’s Rockstown trip. In my imagination, he must have a man following Candy silently in Rocktown and gives report to him.

    Now, about Terry.
    Oh .. I’ve been long disappointed with him. Probably it began when I saw his reaction when Susanna tells him she has been hiding Candy’s letter to him and confesses her love to Terry. He doesn’t do any necessary actions to stop Susanna’s illusion. We know how Terry behaves in St Paul. He never hesitates to be rude to someone, even if it’s a girl/woman. Why he can’t do blatant rejection to Susanna if he really means it?

    And my heart shatter every time I remember the scene on NY’s hospital rooftop. He’s clearly shocked to see Candy there, but his attitude to Candy at that very moment is unforgiven to me. He acts like she’s nothing! He leaves her alone there and enters the hospital with Susanna in his arms. Can’t he say something to Candy? Saying thank you and asking her to go inside with them?? Oh, I’m so angry with Terry for this. Not to mention that he speaks nothing about the accident beforehand. Leading Candy into a false hope to stay long in NY and be happy at last. How cruel is that? May I add an irritating scene? Terry visits Susanna everyday in hospital bringing her a bouquet of flowers. Has it ever crossed his mind to bring one for Candy when he picks her up at NY train station? 😦

    Yes, Beautiful Illusion, I am with you. This man doesn’t know how to love someone. He’s trying hard not to be like his father, yet he’s following his steps. I share your sentiment, that Terry has a feeling to Susanna. How little it is. And it’s not impossible. Susanna is very beautiful, tender, and very feminine. She’s not an evil like many Terryfans picture her.

    So yeah, at Rockstown, it’s the end of immature Terry. He’s starting to grow up and become a man he should be. To be not like his father.

    Rockstown is the end of Terry’s misery and the beginning of Albert’s struggle. And the story shifted from Candy’s adolescent to her adulthood.

    Beautiful Illusion, I agree with you about Neil. LOL. Same thing happens to Eliza. Her trap to Candy and Terry leads Candy’s way to Albert.

    • I’m currently scanning my inbox for all the comments to which I haven’t replied, and I found yours.

      I didn’t realize you were having a dilemma on how to address me :D. Beautiful Illusion is fine, Reeka dearest 😀

      Very thorough analysis on Albert. I truly enjoyed reading them. We’ll see if I can find something new when I do a deep dive into his mind–which is rough term for psychoanalysis. But for now I think you managed to capture all the relevant points.
      In a nutshell, Rockstown is about mistakes and consequences. Candy’s mistake for taking Albert for granted, Albert’s mistake for deceiving Candy, and Terry’s mistake for being a noble idiot.

      Hmm… you don’t like Terry much, don’t you? 😀
      Terry is actually another complex character to understand. I can empathize with him, but I agree with you what he did to Candy in NY was downright cruel. Oh I so believe he has feelings for Susanna. Otherwise, regardless of how noble he is, he probably would think twice before committing himself to another woman when he was supposed to be already in a relationship with another. At the least he should make an effort to talk to Candy first.

      I don’t think that Rockstown marks the start of Albert’s struggle. Albert’s struggle began much earlier–the second he came to the realization that he was William Albert Andrew. BUT it even went further than that… as I presented in the Runaway Heir. It began in London.

      LOL. Thank goodness for the villains. Without them there’s no Albert and Candy. 😉

  3. Edit:

    On Albert.
    Typo on second to last paragraph.

    “He thinks she CAN easily forget him after reuniting with Terry and ….”


  4. Hello, cordial greetings
    Le felicito por su blog es muy interesante.
    En particular el análisis de Rockstown’s Arc es amplio y con gran merito por que lo realiza a partir de la versión original en japonés.
    Los aspectos que más me interesaron de su reflexión son las tres razones por las cuales Albert dirigió a Candy a Rockstown y en concreto la tercera razón ( voy a ser paciente y esperar su post referente a este tema)
    No estoy de acuerdo con usted de culpar totalmente a Albert por el sufrimiento de Candy, hay circunstancias en la vida que se tienen que enfrentar aunque nos causen un profundo dolor, de eso se trata la madurez y esta se logra enfrentando con fortaleza las adversidades, y esto lo sabe Albert. Y en lo personal considero que las personas que realmente nos aman, son las que nos ayudan a madurar.
    En lo que si estamos totalmente de acuerdo es que no hay ambigüedad en el mensaje de Rockstown.

    • Hola!
      Gracias por tus amables palabras.
      I hope you don’t mind if I continue my reply in English. I only took elementary Spanish, and I wouldn’t want to give you a headache with my awful Spanish 🙂

      Rockstown is certainly one crucial arc for the story. At a glance it seems to be a simple plot, but when you dig deeper, you’ll learn that there are many things that can be inferred from it, not only for Candy and Terry, but also Albert, even though he’s completely absent in the storyline. I don’t think Albert’s reasoning for sending Candy is as simple as the manga made it out to be. Yes, I plan to delve into this further as a part of my attempt to probe deeper into his mind. Thank you for your interest on the topic. I’ll begin translating some relevant scenes from the manga this weekend. So hopefully, I’ll be able to post soon after. And I agree with what you said, that through adversity, maturity can be fostered, and both Albert and Candy certainly had experienced this.

  5. First of all, congrats for this analysis in depth to one of the most controversial chapters in Candy Manga. This is, my impression was the same as you, where I wanted to get, Rockstown!!

    The first time I read it, my impression was that her feelings changed a lot to Albert and, yes for me she was deeply in love with him. For the first time she feels the pain and sorrow of his departure, not as a big Brother, a Friend or a Roommate, this Time was different, as you exposed in this post. And some time later and rereading, I kept the same impression, despite the translation, must say!
    She is devastated by his absence….and all the Time remembering the day by day, all the things they shared together, she spent more time with him than with Anthony or Terry 😉 and she didn´t say it out loud even she didn´t realize how her Feelings already changed.

    I totally agree the end of Candy and Terry as a couple, and she´s ready to move forward a next chapter in her life, and it was a very decent way to bring Terry some kind of dignity after all.

    The final nail in the coffin (I enjoyed so much that phrase!!)
    Why did Albert send Candy straight to Terry? Well, IMO i´m with your thought, she wanted to make her happy even not by his side…

    Although we saw a tiny glimpse of hope in Albert, when he discovered that Candy kept the Prince Brooch, but she´s not ready yet to let Terry memory go behind.
    Also I agree with the possibility of a Test to Candy, not only in her feelings, but also in the way she´s taking her own Life, and yes it shows up also Albert ´s insecurities.
    Hmm, well, we can see now an Albert in despair…because of Candy and also because the situations he has been trough (remember that he is taking his place as the Head of Andrew Family too).

    Rejection to Candy? …Hard to admit, I´m such an Albertfan, but it might be…indeed; this option could be a good plot for a Fanfic. If you make another post explaining this, it would be great and we appreciate it so much!!
    So, let´s move to Rockstown incident, whe Terry matures and finally makes up his Mind…and even I´m Albertfan ( I said it few lines above ) well, I felt sorry and empathy for Terry.

    Terry couldn´t move on or at least try because he was so tormented by his Parent Issues, his own background and the way he manages them. OMG!!! What a revelation! This makes a complete different twist to Terry and Susana Perception. He chose her; no one forced him, nor Susana´s Mother, nor even Susana or her handicap. He did it; He had feelings towards her, a strong attraction. But finally the villain aura over Susana has felt. Perhaps Terry needed to hit rock bottom.
    And their love was doomed before Susana came in and when she did, Terry accepted her as part of his new life in NY.

    Yep, it´s remarkable how she walk away from the theater and her thoughts are in search for Albert :3

    Thank you so much for make it clear…each translation I read, brings a different interpretation, if this was in past or she is still in love, depending who did it, a Terry or an Albertfan.

    Later we witnessed one of the saddest stages in Candy´s Life, she is by herself for first time as an adult, longing, waiting and suffering in silence but also for Albert those could be rough times, and yes, despite my worship to the Character, he acted cowardly.

    Neil and George might be considering as cupids in the last arc of Candy Candy.
    I´ve got in my list of to do´s as a topic, the silent but effective loyal George.
    P.S. One more time, I thank you from the bottom of my heart that you took the time to make a new translation, scan the Manga with your notes and make it clearer to your readers the most accurate meaning of this beautiful Story.

    • Thank you for the kind words, Lucy. Rockstown is certainly an interesting topic that can spur on lots of thoughts and discussion, perhaps also debate 😀

      Yes, this is the first time Mizuki actually exposed Candy’s true feelings to the readers. Prior to this, we can only speculate, and it’s difficult to say. For every shared moment she had with Albert there was another moment when she would either brood over Terry or ‘run to him’.

      After the NY incident, even though it was slim, the chance for Candy to reunite with Terry was still there. However, the instant I saw her crying herself to sleep over Albert I know it’s over. And when she just walked away from the make-shift theater after watching Terry’s performance in Rockstown and went straight to thinking about Albert, I know then she has truly moved on. And Terry realized this as well, and this was one of the reasons why he hadn’t chased her.

      It’s hard to believe, is it? That Susanna wasn’t actually a villain. But she wasn’t. I blame the poor quality of the translations that misled many people to arrive at this conclusion. I really do want to talk about this more. Maybe next time. But there’s clear evidence that supports the notion that Terry has feelings for Susanna. Again… it’s not something he could control, as it was all provoked by the circumstances. He spent more time with Susanna than Candy. By the same token, Candy spent more time with Albert than Terry. So just like I said in the post, Candy and Terry were set to fall from the beginning.

      Lucy, rest assured, when I’m translating, I care more about preserving the tone and message without changing the nuances–at times this is very hard to accomplish, so you need not worry about the accuracy. If it were truly written in Japanese that Candy is still in love with Terry, by all means that’s what I would write in English. 😀

      Like I mentioned to Reeka, Rockstwons is about mistakes and consequences. So yeah… they have to pay the price for their mistakes. Albert for his cowardliness, and Candy for having taken him for granted. Both of them were at faults.

      Funny is it? That Neil, who despised Albert with the fire of a thousand suns, actually ended up playing cupid for him and Candy. LOL. And what’s even funny is that since Albert is technically his uncle, Neil has to call Candy, Auntie, once she’s married to Albert. 😀

      I look forward to your thoughts on George.

      Lastly, you’re welcome. I’m glad you found the translations and my notes helpful. I’ll try to do my best to deliver what I can to the fandom, and to spread the love of Albert & Candy ❤

  6. One quick Note: Please let us know when you get up to this part in Anime and discuss what we, as viewers, could watch instead of Rockstown incident, I can´t wait for your POV about it.

    Please take care from the Allergies 🙂

    • Heh! I must admit that I haven’t been so good with keeping up with anime watching. I’m currently stuck in the episode where Terry appears… So it’ll be a long while before I get to that part. I’ll be sure to talk about that once I get there.

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