Candy Candy Manga Rambling Part IV: William Albert Andrew (Ardlay): A Tale of the Runaway Heir

If by some miraculous power I were granted an opportunity to rewrite Candy Candy, I would write the story from the male protagonist POV and re-title it “A Tale of the Runaway Heir”.

Cheesy much?

Maybe. But what could be a more fitting title than that?

All things considered, that’s what the story is about if we see it from the hero’s vantage point. It’s about Albert, a reluctant heir of the Andrews, running away from his destiny.

Ninety Days

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12 thoughts on “Candy Candy Manga Rambling Part IV: William Albert Andrew (Ardlay): A Tale of the Runaway Heir

  1. Hello you, dear Beautiful Illusion … what a post! It’s long and exciting me too much I can’t help throwing a comment soon after I read it. I have yet to read it thoroughly, though. So, I think you should bear with my comments as your post is not only long, it also covers many elements and very extensive.

    Runaway prince? 🙂 yes, it’s cheesy, my friend, but couldn’t be more true, I must say. I always think, this whole Candy Candy story is not exactly a story of a little girl finding her true love, or even her prince. No. Since the beginning, both the girl and the prince share the stage evenly. Only it is told by the girl’s POV. It doesn’t seem so if one only reads the manga, even more if she only cares about the anime. In old novel and CCFS, we can get to know him further and fall in love with his character deeper.

    To me, it’s crystal clear how vital a role of William Albert Ardley is. I could omit the existence of Anthony and/or Terry from CC story, it doesn’t change the essence of the story. Less dramatic and less interesting, yes. But the story still makes sense. A whole different case with character WAA. Any role of his makes our Candy survive the story. The prince, the one who gives her a dream that tomorrow would be better and she keeps his badge as her amulet for as long as the story goes. Then, Uncle William. His decision to adopt her couldn’t come on a better timing. Otherwise, she’s sold to Mexico and something bad could’ve happened to her before being rescued. Vagabond Albert, oh well … without him, our heroine would die drowning on the age of 14, or severely wounded at 17 being attacked by Tongo the lion.

    CC is their story altogether, how two person who come from a very different upbringing constantly cross their paths for a decade and more, and only to be united at the perfect time when they both are ready. The more I read and understand the story, the more I think it is ultimately a very beautiful love story. How Albert and Candy fill each other missing parts, they both really are soul mates. Sigh.

    And finally! Someone shares my sentiment about the probability of Albert falling in love with Candy long before he was amnesia. Sure, like you said, at the beginning he would be in denial and he wouldn’t allow himself to fall in love with Candy CONSCIOUSLY. And I do think at that stage, he had not reached the point of no return. That’s why he’s trying to “run away” from her.

    Many of Candy-Albert fans think it’s improper to Albert fall in love with Candy before the amnesiac period. I say, it’s not really like that. Being an avid fan of another manga pairing, Maya x Masumi of Garasu no Kamen, I don’t find it weird for a 20 something young man to fall in love with a 14-16 year old girl.

    That being said, yes, I somewhat suspect Albert started to see Candy differently in London. She’s 15, and at that era, 15 year old girl was considered more mature that it is now. And she’s beautiful. Very beautiful. What makes Albert so different then with the other boys who seemingly can’t resist Candy’s charms, heh? He’s much older, yes, but he’s only 23 or 26 ( in manga or in CCFS). The only reason he couldn’t allow himself to fall in love with her is he knows the truth, that he is actually The William Albert Ardley.

    I believe his trip to Africa had been well planned. My guess, it’s kinda his last trip as a free man before taking his role as the patriarch. It might be his negotiation with George and Aunt Elroy as we know he keeps delaying his public presentation. Of course, to be attracted to his Candy had never been on his agenda. So I agree on your point that he uses this trip to forget Candy before the feeling growing further. He thought he could do that. He thought what he felt to her was only infatuation. He didn’t realise that the seeds had been planted many years ago ( as Candy Bert said.).

    The the theory that he might be involved in a romantic situation with Candy’s doppelgänger, the nurse he worked with in Africa. I could agree with this theory, though like you, I refuse to believe he’s actually being intimate with her. He went to Africa not to run away, he knew he had to come home soon, and a risk of having an off spring from a casual relationship is a big no. On this whole Africa scene, I also do believe, he was on his way coming home toward America ( by train taking Italy route to reach London) when the accident happened. Was it written somewhere that he really volunteered to the war? If yes, I must miss it somehow. I’ve thought it’s only his and people’s assumptions before knowing his true identity. I have two theories why he left Africa. Either it’s because of the war and he had to come back really soon ( forced by Aunt Elroy and George), or he learnt about Candy running away from St Paul and he worried her much.

    I read it somewhere a long time ago that one of many reasons people get amnesiac is to erase a certain memory they refuse to have. Of course people don’t get amnesiac out of the blue, it mostly involves an accident that cause part of the brain damages. But it was said so .. that in some cases, those patients had certain memory they don’t want to exist. When I did read CC again years ago after abandoning it for so long, I remembered this article I had read.

    For the case of Albert having falling in love with Candy before being amnesia, I found it very romantic that even when he gets amnesia, he falls in love with the same person. His heart keeps falling to the woman he’s trying not to fall with. If it’s not a true love, I don’t know what it is. 🙂

    Geez, I’m talking longer that I planned to. Hahahaha. I guess I have to end it here for now. Sure I’ll come back soon.

    • Hello Reeka.
      This is by no means a proper reply to your well articulated comment.
      But I want to address your question about Albert volunteering in the war.
      Even though it’s not explicitly stated in the manga or the novels, there’s one scene in the manga that alludes to this.
      The scene is actually a fragment of Albert’s memory as he begins to recall certain things.
      I updated the post to clarify this specific part.
      Thanks again for taking the time to read my post. And you did it quickly too!
      I’ll reply to your comment as soon as I can.

  2. Hello Beautiful Illusion!

    Wow !!! I’m impressed! This is such a great analysis, I love it, many thanks for sharing with us and for having quoted me ! 😀 I have had to re-read thoroughly to assimilate all what you said! 😆
    Well, so many things to say! Albert is indeed a very deep and complex character yet interesting and mesmerizing for me, and I have to say he is my favorite one, even more than Candy now.

    The traits you exposed make total sense to me, let’s see some points:
    – The relationship with his sister: no doubt he was very attached to her, he admired her deeply, he said to Candy how she was very sweet but with such strength of character (we can say as Candy). She had protected him in their family, against the elders like aunt Elroy. She had had a mother role too. And he had built his female model from her, I agree.
    – With his father: yes, he was too busy but perhaps he has unconsciously seen his wife through Albert since she died after his birth and somewhat he avoided him; maybe Albert could have felt guilty for his mother’s death? Who knows? Albert talked of his father when he had explained George’s history to Candy; the only male model he saw frequently, a man who was probably in love with Rosemary, and one sided love! As an example to follow maybe George, who was also a master in masking his feelings, could have somewhat conduct him to learn to repress feelings well, in adding his strict education.
    – Their encounter in London, as you, I thought he felt a sort of attraction for her in London without understand well what it meant, a weird sensation (I would call that “the germination stage”) or as you said perhaps in his dreams, but he was his guardian so he couldn’t allow him to go further and denied it, I’m convinced he was not saying himself, “I’m in love with Candy”. The romance between Candy and Terry was an “unconscious opportunity” to forbid his feeling to flourish; he thought Terry could take care of her. Anyway, a man of twenty three (or twenty six in CCFS) who loves a girl of fifteen doesn’t shock me at all if it is true love. The real matter is their adoptive boundary and his real identity.
    – Amnesiac Albert, without knowing who he was, he could allow him more easily to fall for her. It was interesting and romantic as Reeka said because he couldn’t remind what were his references, his history, his values, his woman model… so he couldn’t compare Candy with his sister then, but he madly, deeply fell for her, probably like Mr Darcy said, before he knew it he had begun! (BTW I’m a fan of Pride & Prejudice). I thought he could have begun to realize that when Candy has left to New York, the way he looked at her through the window while she was leaving and his thoughts then (he coped with the fact he could not recover his memory if it means to live with Candy and share with her good moments), are a hint for me. Yet he had had to understand the intention of Terry to keep her with him (one way ticket) and absence magnifies or reveals feelings. And just after the breakup he could let him go loving her totally because she became free, suddenly, so why not to conquer Candy after the healing process of her broken heart? But we know he recovered his memory then and all was becoming complex.
    – Africa: I join POV of Reeka for the motives of the trip. But I think he could be in love or at least he could have thought to be in love with this nurse, as you said. He was a man after all, in Africa far from the rigid rules of high society, near nature, in an environment where needs are more essential, survive, find food and water, heal people… perhaps he could have let him go more easily with this woman who was an adult version of Candy without adoptive boundary. And then he left Africa, for the reasons, I see different possibilities:
    – She broke up or she died and he left Africa.
    – He realized he was not as in love as he thought, something tell him they were no predestined, and he broke up and left Africa.
    – The war was reaching the entire world, even Africa.
    – It was simply the end of his involvement as it was scheduled.
    – He had missed Candy too much, for sure more than two years without have seen her! It is the possibility I prefer! 😉
    However I haven’t notice Albert was wearing an uniform when he was in the train. Why he wanted to join the allies? It is a question to meditate! I hope it wasn’t a suicide mission! 😦 Perhaps he had the same feeling, the same “call” of Alistair to defend justice (his idealistic side) just sooner than his nephew?! Now I’m puzzled!

    Hello dear Reeka! I share many points with you but I’m not sure Albert left Africa because of Candy’s escape. He learnt Candy had escaped from London probably by receiving a letter from George with her diary, it had probably taken months to reach him but not more than one year, so there is a problem in time lines because Candy left London in autumn 1913 and Albert came back in Chicago in autumn 1915 (Italy was involved in the world war I only on 23 May 1915, perhaps he had been injured in this train explosion in the end of summer). Unless Mizuki (or I) has made a mistake! Plus, George had had to reassure him she was safe in Pony Home or at nursing school. What do you think?

    Well, it’s time to conclude, my comment is already too big! 😆
    A Tale of the Runaway Heir: a good choice! The first time he tried to escape but he failed was because of Candy when he was amnesiac (just the last scene of the manga in your post!) but I suppose you will talk about that in the second part! 😉
    I have a question to submit, has Albert allowed himself to fall completely for Candy if he wasn’t amnesiac? Anyway, thank you Mizuki for this brilliant idea!
    Big hugs❤

    • Let me try to answer your question. I think it’s not something he could control. As you can tell from my analysis, he’s already on the verge of falling. A slight nudge is just what he needed. But I doubt he would ever admit it. Not to himself, much less to Candy. So most likely his idealist side would fight it till the end of time.
      BUT
      It would be a different story if Candy somehow managed to “provoke” him in a ummm… not so innocent way. Let’s just say he’s doomed. In the end, he’s still human 😀

  3. Reeka and Candy Bert,

    I forgot to mention something very important regarding Albert’s stay in Africa that supports my hypothesis about his motivation to leave London, and I revised the post to add this.

    Albert actually stopped informing George (and his family) of his whereabouts at some point when he was in Africa. I wasn’t sure of the timing of this decision, but it’s possible he did it after some period of living in Africa, perhaps after the letter he sent to Candy. This seems to suggest that he’s actually considering to leave his family for good, which is consistent with what I thought is happening to him in London, that he reached “a fork in the road”, and seeing Candy somehow inspired him to take a chance, his very last chance at seizing his own fate, the advice he’d given Candy in Lakewood.

    It’s possible that he had already planned for the trip and had obtained Aunt Elroy’s approval, but the purpose for the trip had changed not long after he met Candy again in London. So it’s all about timing.

    And no, I don’t believe’ he knew anything about Candy running away from St. Paul. By this time, he most likely had already cut contact with George.

    Ah… I’m loving this engaging discussion we’re having. Lots of interesting thoughts. Keep them coming all 😀

  4. Just a short response before bedtime (2am here, I know I’m very late 😆 ), actually he had cut ties with his family but I thought he had received Candy’s diary in Africa, as you said it’s all about timing. You think that Albert might’ve fallen in love but why not with the nurse?
    I’m always under the shock to discover that Albert might have join the Allies!!! What could have happened? Indeed, something equally impactful and powerful and I’m scratching my head! I’m amazed to see I continue to learn astonishing things about him! Ah! Albert! Sigh!!!

    • 2am? Wow I hope you don’t need to wake up early tomorrow.

      Why not with the nurse you ask? It’s because she looked like Candy too much. Assuming he began to have some kind of feelings for Candy, he would feel weird to date someone who looked like her. His conscience would accuse him of using the nurse as a substitute. So no, I don’t think he could let himself fall in love with the nurse while his mind was full of Candy.

      Oh the diary… one interesting topic that had been debated quite heatedly among Albertfans.

      The way I see it, there are several possibilities:

      One is as you said, he received the diary in Africa. But if this is the case, doesn’t that mean that the diary should be with him with his other belongings when he was transferred to the hospital in Chicago? And being an amnesiac man, the diary would be a valuable asset that could give clues about his identity, and it might be confiscated when he was being investigated. If not then the diary would remain with him all along, even during the time when he lived with Candy–a possibility that I never truly considered but it makes sense somewhat. It could be the other reason (hidden reason) why he decided to stay with Candy–he learned about her from the diary and he became curious. But why didn’t he tell Candy about the diary? Oh right if he did then Candy would find out who he was, and the story would take on a completely different route. Imagine what would Candy do if she knew Albert was Uncle William, yet Albert didn’t remember anything about it. Interesting…

      However, there’s also the possibility that he sent the diary back to George before he cut contacts.

      The other possibility is that he never received the diary since George had lost contact of him, and only after he recovered his memory and went to find George in Chicago he got a hold of the diary and (probably) read it, which gave him the impression that Candy would never love someone else as she had loved Terry.

      This is one of the things Mizuki left vague in the novels. Too many possibilities. Not sure if she actually thought this out thoroughly. It seems that this could be one of the plot holes.

      • Hello Ladies,

        No worries it’s a day off! 😀
        For the nurse, yes I got it when I was in bed but too late, perhaps I was too drowsy! 😆

        Well, from this excerpt Reeka let: “It was certainly not surprising that I was suspected who was unidentified and was in dirty clothes” He was unidentified yet a soldier had identification plate (I don’t know the appropriate term in English) around his neck, you will say he might have lost it in the explosion. But dirty clothes, if it was an uniform even dirty it wasn’t suspect! And he could have boarded the train as a stowaway, not easy to do but perhaps someone had helped him to hide. What if, it was just an interpretation of the mangaka, Igarashi, to draw an uniform? I have to say I feel really uneasy not to say more with an enlisted Albert! Anyway he had taken a huge risk to travel like this even if he wasn’t a soldier! 😦 The question rest why? Why he had been so reckless?

        About diary, I think he could have send back to George just before cut ties to secure
        it. Wild living conditions in Africa for a wanderer may have pushed him to don’t want keep it with him.

        • Why had he been so reckless?
          Who knows?
          But for him to act like that suggests that he’s not in the right condition to make a proper decision–it’s very likely he was distracted or distressed about something. Not sure what though. It could be something that happened in Africa. OR sudden guilt and worry over his family and CANDY OR combination of many things. Thousands of possibilities.
          This is the part where it’s a huge gaping black hole. A part that forces readers to use their imaginations.

  5. Hello Beautiful Illusion and Candy Bert,

    I really have a lot to discuss, but right now I’m short on time and can’t afford to organise my thoughts clearly :). However, I want to briefly talk about Albert joining the war.

    I’ve just checked to the CCFS spoiler I have. And I got confused about the timing. Let’s discuss!

    “To Africa, where I longed for —.
    However it was all the same because I was protected by the Ardray that I didn’t have any problem to live and get a job everywhere I went.
    Right — I might not able to do anything by myself.
    The thought had been torturing me all the time.
    I tackled my own troubles in the days of Africa.
    It was because I had decided to try to live without relying on anyone, that I broke off contacts with Georges and left Africa. There was restlessness in the air before the war also in Africa. That atmosphere might have incited me.
    Ardray’s business had been stable; I thought it didn’t matter even if I disappeared for a while.
    What a selfish arrogance! I knew it made people upset. Now, I’m greatly ashamed of myself for my immaturity.
    It might be what I exactly deserved that I got involved in that train accident. There was a spy on the train. It was certainly not surprising that I was suspected who was unidentified and was in dirty clothes.
    Chi – ca – go —.
    The single word. The city name which was retained in my memory saved me. It paved the way to you. ”

    To me, the excerpt sounds like :

    – He did plan to go to Africa. So, the family might know. And believe it is what happened, he couldn’t be so reckless to go to the far away land without notice ( even now, to me going to Africa is not an easy idea as many places are still dangerous.). Remember, he cares about Aunt Elroy and George. And how he was touched to see George shed tears when found him on Pony Hills after running away from Lakewood.

    – Apparently he cut ties with George and Aunt Elroy in Africa. The exact timing is a bit unclear to me. However, it should give him some times there to communicate with George because like Candy Bert, I believe he got Candy’s diary in Africa ( so it means he knew Candy running away from St Paul). — Why? Because if not in Africa, when he got the diary and read it? If it’s after his memory back, … hmmm I am not sure he will read it. He’s already head over heels falling in love with her. I don’t think he wants to know Candy’s feeling to Terry.

    That, if we assume Albert as a wise man :). But we know, he’s human after all. Remember the Rockstown scene? It shows his selfless love, yet his impulsive decision. I can see a scenario like this :

    He recovers his memory. He goes visiting George. George tells him all the news while he was missing, including the news about Candy and her diary. An impulsive man inside him can’t help but read the diary – with his current situation, he knows he shouldn’t, but his curiosity gets the better of him. And boom …! Reading Candy’s diary makes him do what he does about Rockstown’s scene.

    – YES, he possibly goes to join the allies. As much as I wanted to deny it, after reading the excerpt over and over again, it sounds like he does. BUT, I don’t think it’s a suicide mission. He plans to come home safe. He might not enlist as a soldier like Stear. Maybe as a helping hand in Red Cross, like what he does in Africa.

    He said ” Ardray’s business had been stable; I thought it didn’t matter even if I disappeared for a while.
    What a selfish arrogance! I knew it made people upset. Now, I’m greatly ashamed of myself for my immaturity.”

    ———-

    Gosh … Albert!! yeah … what he was thinking???

    But again … no matter what he does, he will find his way to Candy :). Remember that Candy also had a thought to volunteer to the war? That red string thread tied between them never let them apart too far and too long.

    I really gotta go now. LOL.

    See you guys again soon.

    • LOL. Reeka. We posted the comment around the same time, and our thoughts are aligned. “Great minds think alike after all” 😀

      Yes, exactly as I remember it. Albert cut contacts with George while he was still in Africa. As for the diary, it’s up for debate. But I’m a firm believer he received it much later after he recovered his memory. The fact that he’s madly in love with Candy gave him even more reason for him to read her diary. After the one time she talked about Terry to him, after the NY incident, she never said anything about Terry and tried her best to hide her sadness from Albert. But Albert sensed her sorrow, and he caught her crying too. So he read the diary to learn more about Candy, to gauge her love for Terry–and this could certainly impel him to make the decision about leading her to Terry as you said.

      As for Albert volunteering in the war, based on those specific manga panels, it doesn’t look like the group he’s with is red cross volunteers. As far as I know the organization during world war I is mostly comprised of women, nurses specifically. And the men were encouraged to enlist in military instead, considering the number of soldiers that were needed then. Regardless, I don’t think Albert was naive enough to think there was no risk. He knew the risk of being in the war zone: he could be killed, yet he went ahead with that.

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