Candy Candy Manga Rambling Part V: In which there can be one and only one ending

I don’t know how many times I’ve chanced upon comments about readers expressing their disappointments over the ending of the Candy Candy manga.

“That’s it? Where’s the happy ending?”
“Oh well, Candy Candy is not really centered around romance, so it makes sense when…”
“The main plot is about growing up, about overcoming adversity, about never giving up.”
“While there’s a bit of romance, the actual message is…”
And so on and so forth.

So the argument here is that Candy Candy is not a romance story, and supposedly that’s propagated by the less-than-satisfying ending, an ending that many claim as open and ambiguous.

However…

If the main theme is NOT romance, then shouldn’t it end on a much subdued note and the last panel appear like this?

Ninety DaysWhere Candy is by herself, reminiscing over the past and sighing in gratefulness for everything she has experienced. And now she’s ready to face tomorrow, whatever tomorrow might bring. Wiping her tears, she smiles wistfully at the sky before her lips stretch wider and wider into a hopeful grin. The end.

BUT…

We all know it doesn’t end like that. It ends on a high note. She doesn’t end up alone. Someone is there with her. Albert. A man who has been her everything. Her friend, her knight, and her prince.

That sounds like the perfect ending of a true, classic romance novel to me, don’t you think?

So why some people still insist Candy Candy is not a romance story, the ending is unclear and not final, and Albert is not the male protagonist?

Continue reading ->

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12 thoughts on “Candy Candy Manga Rambling Part V: In which there can be one and only one ending

  1. Hello Beautiful Illusion!
    Thank you for this long interesting post! At least a moment to write a bit!

    The story of Candy Candy is also about growing up, about overcoming adversity, about never giving up but, for me and like you think the main plot is a romance between two main characters Candy and Albert who are presents all along the story. In the manga, the end is crystal clear for me and the circle is buckled, the story began with POTH and finished with him. In the anime, well I have to speak of it? 😦 No because the end has completely failed! In CCFS, I think Mizuki didn’t want to disappoint Terry’s fans, it’s why she used “Anohito” but all main hints drive us to Albert! She had let just a few disputable clues for Terry. And when you read “That gentle voice”,”That smile I love so much” and above all “outstretched arms” seriously you think about who? 😉

    And what is an epilogue? huh? If it is not to give us some teasers! And what we can find in the epilogue of novels? Almost all about the correspondence between Albert and Candy, 😀 If we read carefully their letters, there is a courtship, a flirt between them. It’s subtle but yet, obvious for me, at least now!
    The problem is that most of fans had unfortunately seen only the anime version, I was one of them, and to be honest this version had completely frustrated me, the end had not convinced me at all but, I’ve since changed my opinion when I’ve read the manga which is my favorite version. The relationship between Candy and Albert is so much more beautiful in manga!

    About your chronicle I would discuss two particular points:

    1) timelines: here mine
    – the little note sent by Terry “I haven’t changed” I’m not convinced it was so late and in any case not a year and a half after Suzanna’s death like lots of fans think, what hint says that? We don’t know! Why wait so long after her death? Several months I could have understood but 18 months!!! So about ten years after their breakup!? No way! Maybe he wrote it a year and a half after their breakup? Think about their breakup was in fall 1915 (November or so) then he could write his letter 18 months later, in May 1917, and what were in May? Candy’s birthday of course and the second anniversary of their first and only one kiss, during the May festival! Terry could be overwhelmed thinking of these retrospections and write this letter! This would have been enough to push him to write this letter as a bottle thrown into the sea, a gesture of despair. She did not respond because she would have received the letter shortly before Suzanna’s one, which reminded Candy of her promise not to contact him. Terry then left New York completely hopeless and “landed” in Rockstown!
    – Albert asks her his badge and confesses he is her POTH when he was sure of her feelings to him (spring 1919)
    – Candy initiates her correspondence with Albert, beginning of courtship in secret
    – Candy’s birthday in Chicago (May 1919)
    – Albert invites Candy in Lakewood (summer 1918) then he gives back her diary to be sure he is not her second choice
    – Candy writes an imaginary letter to Anthony to share with him some things had transpired between Albert and her in Lakewood
    – later Candy gives back her diary to Albert as a proof that Terry was in her past in the same time she writes her unsent letter to Terry
    – Albert’s trip to Sao Paulo (autumn-winter 1919)
    – Spring or summer 1920 Albert asks Candy to marry him and they meet strong opposition of family, perhaps they leave US to marry at foreign? Or not, after all he is the patriarch. But I don’t think he waits because of his age, as you said, and because Albert is a man of action and he has a strong will. Wedding in 1920 or 1921?
    – they leave US to live in UK on river Avon after great depression of 1929 his wealth decreases (Lakewood is sale) ; remember that he had had developed business in Europe and in particular in England (when Candy was in London) or to be near their children who study in London as they did? Who knows?

    2) Candy’s letter to Anthony: it isn’t so sad because there are some sentences of hope mainly at the end. She quoted Albert about the context of Rosemary and Vincent Brown marriage (strong opposition from family) I think she had understood Albert will fight for their love “What makes us happy is neither birth nor money but it is to live with the person you love”, and he could deny the name of Ardley anytime if necessary! So it is hope! She said “while there is life, there is hope”.
    And again, the end is full of hope and cheerfulness for me: “What awaits me tomorrow which is blank and unwritten (hope). I don’t know why, but I look forward (she’s cheerful) to it, no matter what it may be. I can’t see you again in this life but, I have nothing to be ashamed of me when I see you again someday and I’ll steadly look forward and get on with my life (she’s cheerful).
    As promised with a smile on my face! 😀
    Anthony… please watch over me tenderly.
    Sweet Candy in bloom” (both senses Candy or flower, a beautiful vision of her)

    Big hugs ❤

    • Hello there, Candy Bert.

      First of all, thank you for taking the time to read another long and tortuous post from me.

      I wasn’t sure if the main message of the post was clearly conveyed. I touched on a lot of things, but they all point toward one thing. The ending, one that so many people can’t agree on.

      It’s hard to believe but there are a LOT of people, who only read the manga, that are quite unhappy with the ending. This is especially true for first time readers. As I mentioned in the post, first time reader simply can’t recognize Albert as the protagonist because of the way Mizuki told the story, and this was exactly what I experienced the first time I read the manga, without having the chance to watch the anime first. You’re right about POTH. The story begins with him and ends with him, which I talked about at length in another post. But again if you read the manga the first time, and if you’re not as interested with Albert as a character, which I believe to be the case due to the limited exposition of his character, it’s hard to draw the connection, especially when you’re only given two pages. You just can’t feel the romance. And thus the impact falls short.

      In your case, you watched the anime first, so in a way you already knew the backstory for Albert, and you knew Albert must be an important character somehow as he was the one who was shown with Candy in the end. Similarly, only when I read the story the second time I realized what the story was really about. But as I mentioned in another post, unfortunately, not everyone would be willing to invest their times to re-read 9 volumes of manga. Only a true fan would. It even took me more than a decade before I was willing to give the series another try–and that was provoked by another series I was reading, Garasu no Kamen, which is strongly influenced by Daddy Long Legs. Only then I realized that CC was just another version of Daddy Long Legs. Oops sorry for going off on a tangent and ended up telling you my own experience.

      I agree with you that Mizuki put all the letter in the epilogue in purpose to imply that this is what will happen in the future. It’s ridiculous if people can’t see that.

      Exactly! The manga is the only version that fans should rely on. If you haven’t read the manga, you’re not a true fan. It’s as simple as that 😀

      For that same reason, when we read both adaptations of the novels, we should not read them as separate entities from the manga despite what Mizuki said. If you think about it, they’re all interconnected somehow. The manga serves as the base while the novels fill in the gaps and holes. The old novel gives us a peek into the near future, within a year or two after the end of the manga, and CCFS gives us a glimpse into the far future, decades later. Once you take all these and combine them together, you’ll get the big picture–and you’ll see that the ending in the manga is absolute. There’s no change. Albert and Candy stay together.

      Thank you for sharing your own version of the timeline. Again, because of the vague and brief information, we can only speculate.

      I don’t think Terry’s letter came that early, and I also don’t believe Susanna died that late. The missing time stamp on all the letters can surely mislead us. Mizuki really likes to torment us, doesn’t she? 😉

      If Terry sent the letter to Candy prior to Rockstown, Candy would’ve known that Terry was pining for her and he was miserable. But she was visibly shocked to see Terry’s condition in Rockstown and only then realized that he couldn’t move on. Also for Terry to send the letter to Candy after he pretty much chucked her would completely demean his character. Despite Terry’s lack of maturity, he isn’t the kind of person who will ever back off from his words–it’s the same kind of conviction that made him leave St. Paul. And the other thing that will surely stop him from sending a letter like that is his pride. And pride is also the reason why he didn’t attempt to find Candy in Rockstown–he realized Candy had moved on and it hurt him that she didn’t even bother to say hi to him. And he wouldn’t be the one who would come to her. But after Susanna’s death, which could happen within a year or so (as far as I know there’s nothing in CCFS that implies Susanna died more 10 years later after the NY incident, and there’s no mention of the cause of her death too. It’s possible that she died because of the flu outbreak that took place between 1918-1920 so she could’ve died around that time), he’s finally free to do whatever he wants–he’s done his duty and has stayed by Susanna’s side.

      One correction with your timeline:

      Albert’s trip to Sao Paulo takes place right after her birthday. It’s actually rather clear in the letter. He left the party early and sent a postcard from Sao Paulo.

      And this means that the Lakewood trip has to take place after Sao Paulo. After the postcard, Albert sent a long letter to Candy from Sao Paulo to which he apologizes for leaving in the middle of the party. It’s then followed by a short letter from Candy ‘demanding’ him to come and talk to her in person. And after that there’s no more letter from him only a letter from Candy expressing her ‘gratitude’ for his surprised visit and their trip to Lakewood.

      I don’t think they’re in a courtship yet at this point, and that’s why Candy wrote that imaginary letter to Anthony. She’s happy she’s much closer to Albert, expecting something more but nothing has happened so far–meaning Albert hasn’t confessed to her. Instead he returned her diary. So she was a bit discouraged by that and began to doubt Albert’s feeling for her. But she’s still hopeful somewhat, but not as she was before, feeling a bit uncertain about the future (“What awaits me tomorrow which is blank and unwritten?”)–she doesn’t know what to expect, and you can also sense her frustration when she says, “I have learnt there is a fate makes it impossible to see someone although the person is still alive,” which seems to imply to her relationship with Albert, how difficult it is for them to meet.

      “I have learnt there is a fate makes it impossible to see someone although the person is still alive.
      Accumulating these encounters and separations we carry on living.
      And yet, if I’m alive I can foster a hope —.
      Your last smile gives me strength.
      I know you will forgive me everything.
      Anthony, thank you …
      I was happy to meet you.
      Anthony, Stair — and those whom I’ll meet in the future, all the memories whether sad or happy, they are food for my heart and soul, and I’ll live the life I want to live.
      What awaits me tomorrow which is blank and unwritten?
      I don’t know why, but I look forward to it no matter what it may be.
      I can’t see you again in this life but, so that I don’t have to be ashamed of myself when I see you some day, I’ll steadily look forward and get on with my life.
      As promised, with a smile on my face!
      Anthony … please watch over me tenderly
      Sweet Candy in bloom
      Candy.”

      I do agree with you wholeheartedly that they’re not going to wait. Albert for sure won’t. He has waited long enough–and I do think he plans to marry her as soon as possible–just like Jervis in DDL. His first move is to ask her to go on a trip with him (in the letter I posted and translated which isn’t included in CCFS), and she already said yes. In a sense, this is his way of asking her to be with him. 😀

      But somehow this wasn’t enough for Candy, and seeing the troubles Archie and Annie’s had to go through only discourages her further. Albert soon picks up on this and clarifies the situation right away. And thus they begin their courtship in secret before he whisks her off to a once in a lifetime trip to an exotic destination (it’s possible the only reason why he doesn’t take her on a trip right away is because he’s waiting for her adoption to be resolved), and very likely they’re already married by the time they return to Chicago. I do think that they sort of eloped. It’s not because Albert is afraid of the backlash from his family–he doesn’t care as he’s the patriarch like you said–but it’s his way to protect Candy as she’ll become the target of gossip, scathing remarks, and hostile treatments by his family. But once she becomes his wife, no one will dare to do anything to her–as he’ll guard her with his life, and she’ll come with him wherever he goes.

      Ooops I’ve gone overboard again with my reply. Sorry about that. The point is that there are many possible scenarios but the ending will always be the same, no matter what. 😀

      ETA: you can ignore my ramble about Susanna’s death here and read my comment to Reeka instead.

    • Hello, ladies!

      Gaahhh .. I have so many things to say and discuss, and yet I don’t think I have enough time to do it all. I promise, I’ll come back ASAP. I know I shouldn’t have read an update from CC fandom websites if I don’t have adequate time to spend. 😦

      Beautiful Illusion, I love this post. I smiled when I read it. The epilogue is just too lovely, so much so I eventually come to a point that I don’t care about the ambiguity of the novel anymore. It’s not ambiguous at all, after all, to me. 🙂

      I’ll talk about your post later because I’m sure the length of my comment could compete with your post. LOL

      I just want to give my POV regarding Terry’s letter to Candy.

      I’m with Candy Bert. I believe it’s sent 1.5 years after the break up. I had thought it sent after Susanna’s death, but after several time reading it, something seemed not right. He said ” Candy … how are you? it’s been a year …”. A year from which event? It must be a year of something they experienced together. I don’t believe it’s Susanna’s death. Terry couldn’t be so sure Candy was fully aware when Susanna died. And to start a letter like that … I could say Terry was either too self-absorbed or plainly stupid if he indeed referred to Susanna’s death. He should’ve mentioned it to Candy.

      So, yeah … I think he writes it a year after that snowy night in NY. I might guess it’s sometime when he considers to get himself away of Susanna, when he’s on the edge of his break down. It’s the first year after his painful break up from the girl he adores so much. Thus, it makes sense he remembers her. However, he keeps wavering ( because deep down he knows he should walk his talk and take care Susanna as he promised to Candy), & he decides to go away from all. Then, he ends up in Rockstown. That particular day, although he’s not sure, he thinks Candy sees him on his rock bottom, acting poorly, getting drunk, and abandoning Susanna. He thinks he sees Candy crying over him. Then, he somewhat gets his sanity back and feels ashamed. He returns to Broadway, and sends Candy a letter to ask how she is now and tells her that he’s not changed.

      The timeline seems suitable to the time Candy lives with Albert ( CCFS changes it to be approximately 2 years and so).

      Recently, I’ve gained a quite provoking thought that when terry said ” I haven’t changed”, it’s not necessarily his love to her that hasn’t changed. It could be him as a person named Terry who Candy knew back in school years. A young man with a love for acting, with a dream to be a famous broadway actor. It makes sense to me that Terry would feel troubled and guilty to see an image of Candy crying over his poor self. So he writes just to tell her that “I’m still Terry you know”.

      ** I don’t know if I write down my thought properly … I hope you both understand my explanation 🙂 **

      And one more thing before I sign out.

      About Susanna’s death. If Susanna is at the same age with Candy, I believe she dies at age 25-28. 5-10 years after Candy-Terry’s break up.

      On her obituary, it says she writes several plays. We know it is 1920s and it takes a very long time to type, revise, re-type, and finalise a script. Let’s say she writes 4-6 plays. I bet it takes more than 5 years. And I think she starts writing not long after Terry coming back to her. To see Terry back with renewed spirit somehow motivates her to live her life to the fullest.

      Okay, I really have to go now.

      TTYL.

      Hugs.

      • Hello dear Reeka. I was wondering where you were. 😉

        It seems both of you and Candy Bert might’ve missed the point that this post is NOT about CCFS or the epilogue or the novel at all. I only used them to support my argument about the ending–the MANGA ENDING, the ending that a lot of people claim to be ambiguous.

        Still, let’s talk about Terry’s letter and Susanna’s death.

        First here’s the relevant CCFS excerpt:

        “— It’s long time ago when I saw the obituary of Susanna Marlowe.
        I also only once read it but the article burnt into my brain.
        Susanna died …
        At that time, I slumped down into the sofa as if I’d lost all my strength.
        I choked and could not stop crying.
        There was a photo of Susanna in the obituary, smiling in a wheel chair.
        It seems she worked as a narrator and even wrote dramas, some of which were performed, the article said.
        — Relationship between Terrus Graham is as is well known. He has been living with her all the time and also supported her fighting against her illness. But it is said Susana didn’t marry him although she had been engaged to him.
        Terrus hasn’t released his statement yet
        — Candy How are you doing? … It has been a year.
        I have decided to get in touch with you after one year, but another half year has passed while I was wavering. I take the plunge and post this. — I haven’t changed at all. I’m not sure if this letter will reach you. But I wanted to let you know it by any means.
        T .G.”

        ———–
        It’s possible like you said Reeka that Susanna died 10 years later–based on the assumption that she wrote full length screenplays that could take years to produce as you said. However, I don’t think she wrote that type of plays at all. The only thing mentioned in CCFS is that she wrote dramas–but it doesn’t specify which kind. There are different kinds of stage plays: long ones and short ones. What is more likely for her to do is to write short skits that serve as a prelude to the featured performance (such as Hamlet, etc.), and this shouldn’t take too long to write compared to a two-hour screenplay–it’s even possible she wrote these plays based on something she had drafted prior to her accident. This way, she could easily write 2-3 short plays in a year time frame. So yeah… I’m not convinced she died when she was in her late 20s.

        But I do agree with you and Candy Bert that it’s possible for Terry to write the letter before Susanna’s death. BUT I don’t think he sent it before Rockstown or in between Rockstown and the NY incident. Here’s why:

        1. I don’t know if it’s a translation error but I can’t tell whether it’s 1 or 1.5 year.
        In the letter he writes: “It has been a year. I have decided to get in touch with you after one year, but another half year has passed while I was wavering.” If it’s truly 1 year — then this possibly coincides with the Rockstown incident. It’s possible he wrote the letter when he was completely drunk, having lost touch of reality. But once again, I don’t get the vibe from Candy that she’s aware of his struggle, that he couldn’t move on if that’s what he intended to tell her in the letter. She should realize this if she had indeed read the letter prior to Rockstown.
        If it’s 1.5 year — then this will happen later after Rockstown, so it’s possible he’s talking about something else in the letter, not his feelings, as I elaborate in no. 3 below.

        2. He writes: “I’m not sure if this letter will reach you.” This imparts uncertainty, as though he’s not sure where Candy lives (or still lives in the Magnolia Apartment), which further confirms that the letter must’ve been sent much later after NY (and possibly Rockstown) because during that time he knew exactly where she lived, with Albert in the Magnolia Apartment.

        3. As you said Reeka, when he says “I haven’t changed”, I agree with you that there’s the possibility that he’s not talking about his love to Candy. This makes sense. No where in the letter does he refer to his feelings at all. So more than likely, he sent the letter to Candy after Rockstown (after his mom told him that Candy was really there in Rockstown) to assure her that he’s okay and he’s still the same man with the same big aspiration. I actually think this scenario fits and works well with my timeline. It showcases Terry’s determination and character growth.

        On the other hand, I don’t think it’s absurd at all for him to write the letter after Susanna’s death. Again, there’s no time reference, so we can’t tell for sure.

        Another thought I have is about this sentence “Candy… How are you doing?” I don’t see this as being presumptuous of him at all to write, several years after Susanna’s death. By this time Albert is already known as the eminent patriarch, and there’s a chance Terry finds out about this too. And it’s possible that he hears about Candy and Albert from the news, about the scandal of them living together, etc. So Terry was trying to show his concern to Candy, and let her know that he still cares about her a lot. I’m not so sure about this scenario though since in the beginning of the letter he seems to refer to his earlier encounter with Candy… And we all know the last time they really met in person was in NY. Except if he was referring to Rockstown.

        As you can see, the problem here is that with vague details and missing time reference, it’s really difficult to know exactly what really happens. That Mizuki. She’s probably having her last laugh, seeing how obsessed her fans are over her writing.

        ETA: Oops I forgot to say that I’m looking forward to reading your comment on the post. You know how I enjoy doing that 😉

    • You know… after re-reading my post again. I noticed that I didn’t mention anything about Susanna or how her death is related to Terry’s letter. And now I remember why. I don’t think it’s relevant to Albert and Candy’s relationship at all. By the time she died, Albert and Candy are most likely already married. So in a way, I did assume that Terry sent the letter before Susanna’s death. 🙂

    • Ahhh I caught another mistake. This is probably because I wrote my reply when my brain was half asleep last night.
      Sheesh…

      It’s in regard to this paragraph, in particular the part where I crossed out:

      I don’t think they’re in a courtship yet at this point, and that’s why Candy wrote that imaginary letter to Anthony. She’s happy she’s much closer to Albert, expecting something more but nothing has happened so far–meaning Albert hasn’t confessed to her. Instead he returned her diary. So she was a bit discouraged by that and began to doubt Albert’s feeling for her. But she’s still hopeful somewhat, but not as she was before, feeling a bit uncertain about the future (“What awaits me tomorrow which is blank and unwritten?”)–she doesn’t know what to expect, and you can also sense her frustration when she says, “I have learnt there is a fate makes it impossible to see someone although the person is still alive,” which seems to imply to her relationship with Albert, how difficult it is for them to meet.

      In the timeline in my post she wrote the letter to Anthony when Albert and her already in a courtship. So her doubt mostly stems from seeing what happened to Annie and Archie. Not from her uncertainty about Albert’s feelings for her. Sorry about the inconsistency and causing the confusion.

      Cheers 😀

      • Hello Beautiful Illusion!

        First of all, I’m sorry to have been a little out of topic when I spoke about CCFS! 😦
        You’ve write so many things in one post! 😆 I don’t have enough time right now to write too much but I just want to say yes, there are so many possibilities since we have no time references so you’re right we can only speculate and we have tre right to have our own interpretation, after all! But sorry for my mistake, Albert invites Candy in Lakewood (summer 1920) so, yes after his trip in Sao Paulo of course! You see we both were inconsistent and have made confusion! 😀

        Just one thing about Candy’s letter to Anthony, these sentence “I have learnt there is a fate makes it impossible to see someone although the person is still alive,” could imply to her relationship with Terry too! I think that because of the place ot her sentence just after have talking ot Terry even if she didn’t name him we all know the person she has met in London was Terry. In fact both possibilities make sense.

        You have a nice day! 😀

        PS: I’ll answer to your questions of your last post “News & Update: 3 Year Anniversary & Things to Come” ASAP, but for now I wish you a Happy 3th Anniversary and all my congrattulations for your beautiful and interesting work and keep going! ❤

        • LOL. No worries, Candy Bert and Reeka. I know both of you are always so excited talking about CCFS. I don’t blame you 😀
          But I was worried earlier, thinking that I might’ve conveyed the wrong message. I’m glad that wasn’t the case…

          I don’t have much time now as I’m at work, unlike two days ago when I had a day off and thus had time to reply to comments and write a post. 😦

          But I’ll try to get back to you both as soon as I can.

          Once again, thank you for your kind words. Looking forward to ‘chat’ more with you guys.

          Hugs and kisses ❤

        • Ermmm… I had planned to reply to this much earlier but somehow never got a chance to do so. My apology.

          LOL. Yeah. We both made mistakes because we were so giddy talking about Albert & Candy that we missed some of the facts.

          I agree that the phrase could relate to Terry too. I just thought it was a bit ermmm… out of place and inappropriate for her to express her regret and longing (?) over her past love when she was supposedly madly in love with Albert. Then again it could be just her reminiscing the past, not lamenting over it and definitely not an expression of yearning. Mizuki likes to play with us, doesn’t she?

          I know this is very late in coming but you have a great day too 🙂

  2. Hello, Beautiful Illusion!

    At last .. I have some time to sit down in front of my computer and let my mind wander about CC world 🙂

    Yes, I’m fully aware that this post isn’t supposed to discuss CCFS 😉 , but I couldn’t help pointing about Terry’s letter, because most people believe it’s sent after Susanna’s death as a clue for Terry-Candy reunion. ** rolling my eyes**

    The ending of Candy Candy story.

    Even in my younger years, when I first finished reading volume 9, I knew Candy ended up with Albert. Yes, I was disappointed with how it’s ended, but NOT with whom Candy ended up with. I accepted the idea Candy returned to her first love, the POTH. After all, Albert is the only character who appears constantly in the story, from beginning to the end. And I tell you, I was not an Albert fan at that time. Was I a Terry fan? Not really. Well, at one point in my life, I did hope they could be reunited. -__-

    How come people think CC is not a love story? All the pillars of this story are about her feeling to certain boys. Wherever she goes, she meets someone. Early years in Pony Home, she meets POTH. Lakewood, she’s attracted to Anthony. In London, she has Terry. Returning to America, in Chicago she lives with Albert and it’s changing the nature of their relationship. Going back to Pony’s home, she meets her prince once again :). How is it not about romance? **wink**

    I’ve told you before that I think Mizuki somewhat rushed the story. She didn’t give enough moments to Albert and Candy having lovey dovey scenes. Not all people could see the subtle messages. Not all people could instantly understand the magnitude of Albert’s leaving – Candy’s loneliness – Rockstown scenes. And many people, they didn’t even know the existence of CC old novel where Mizuki tells a lot about Albert and the progress of his relationship with Candy after the end of the manga.

    Having said that, I think I could understand those who think that the message of CC story is about perseverance, never give up, and always positive. Like Cinderella’s mother says, ” always be kind and have courage”, for whatever life treats you. Well, it’s indeed one of messages that Mizuki deliver in the story. Though I may say, it’s not only about Candy’s perseverance, but also Albert’s. It’s their story together, coming from a very different up bringing, they’ve found comfort in each other from the first encounter.

    This is what I feel sad about … many people couldn’t see how wonderfully created this William Albert Andrew is. Ones who read manga and the novels must admit that WAA is the male protagonist.

    Beautiful Illusion, from the five essential elements you mention above, I want to highlight on the romantic tension. I couldn’t see it clearly on scenes before Albert being amnesia. However, yes … there’s some moments we could see the longing in Albert’s eyes when they live together in Magnolia. Especially on the fourth picture, when Albert put the supposedly sleeping Candy in bed and he couldn’t help caressing her locks. The way Igarashi draws this scene is meticulously beautiful. It’s clearly showing Albert’s inner turmoil. He wants to show her his love, to wash away her sadness and gives her all happiness she deserves ( unlike Terry, who could only wish her ones). But on the other side, he knows it’s not the right moment. Sigh. I L-O-V-E this drawing so much!

    Oh and I know how you love the last picture on that point, where Candy looking at Albert with those loving gaze full of admiration while sitting on the tree. This is where Igarashi shows us the longing in Candy’s eyes.

    About the last volume’s cover … Gosh, I wish I could own the first edition of the japanese version. Do you own it? I envy you if you do. 🙂

    Oooo I see, now I know the origin of Candy-Albert wearing formal dress and suits poster. I really like that picture. Seems like it’s their picture on their engagement or wedding day. :). It’s definitely “the ending” poster, while the one picturing little Candy and her prince is “the beginning” poster. 🙂 — Thank you so much for sharing it, my friend!

    Now about the Novels ( both the old, and CCFS).

    I agree with you, we should treat the novel as a supplementary, an epilogue to be precise. When I say I love the novels, both the old one and CCFS, it’s the added information Mizuki gives, particularly on Albert’s side, that I love. It makes me know Albert better. And to be noted, Mizuki does not do this to other supporting characters. Wonder why, heh?

    Personally, I don’t care much to the change of some scenes in the novels, compared to the manga. Like Mizuki changes the age gap between Albert and Candy ( which I could understand her reason behind that) and how Mizuki changes the details on some scenes, like in CCFS she makes Albert changing Candy’s drench clothes to his shirt ( she might do some research that someone could get pneumonia by wearing such a soaked dress for hours) and how she also changes Terry’s harmonica with piano. Come to think about the latter, don’t you think the change somehow disadvantage Terry’s part? 🙂 She makes Terry not having a precious keepsake from Candy that reminds him of the good old days. But like I’ve said, I don’t care much about the changes.

    What I care most is the collection of Albert and Candy’s letters. True that Candy is always cheerful, but the way she writes to Albert is definitely intimate. At least, we don’t see her treating others like the way she regards Albert in those letters. And some people bring up the issue, why it seems like Candy having those letters on her hands, particularly on CCFS when all is gathered on the epilogue. A brilliant idea to tell us, the owners of those letters now are living together. 🙂

    About the last letter Candy writes to Albert. I love it and I am still not bored to read it again and again. To me, she sounds like a woman in love. From the moment I read about how grateful she is to be abandoned by her parents in Pony’s Home, so that she could meet Albert ( I believe here she refers her first encounter with POTH, the beginning of all ), I couldn’t be more sure that Anohito is Albert.

    And to finish the epilogue and the whole story, on CCFS, Anohito coming home. 🙂 I laugh when someone insists he is Terry. It looks ODD that out of no where Terry appears on the last paragraphs of the story when for some moment we’re reading the epilogue, we don’t see his name at all.

    …..

    Geez, apparently it’s still not enough time for me to share to you what I think about the ending of the manga. I still haven’t covered the timeline, but I guess it’s not that important to you. LOL. No worries, I will talk about it, still.

    I know I am still missing some points here and there, I’ll re-read this post again and see if I can add another points. I have to sign out now. I’ll continue it very soon.

    Oh, before I forget, thank you for this post. I adore you for writing such a long post, yet you managed to keep it entertaining and not losing your focus. I sure can not do that. :). I must say, I’m pleased you’re active in writing again. A blog like yours is what we have to share this beautiful story and spread the obvious facts ( about the ending) to the world. Once again, thank you.

    Hugs.

    • My dear Reeka you can never fail to impress me with your comments. Sometimes I wonder whether I should ask you if you’d be interested to become a guest writer in my blog. You definitely have the potential. And no, I’m not exaggerating. It’s the truth. Well, I’ll let you mull over it for some time. If you’re interested, shoot me an email, will you?

      In fact this offer applies to all my readers. If anyone of you is interested, let me know.

      Having said that, I’ll shift to the main topic. To CC.

      Terry’s letter. Since it’s undated, anybody could say whatever they want. But I agree with you, it provides no clue to a Candy-Terry reunion. What it could implies, regardless of the time when it was sent, is that Terry is harboring a one sided longing for Candy. Nonetheless, since the content of the letter is vague, it could be interpreted as something else entirely, that has no connotation with romance but more of a friendship gesture.

      This is one of the things that I just can’t appreciate from Mizuki’s writing. Her pandering to the other fanbase is too obvious, and as a writer what she did wasn’t something she should be proud of.

      About CC being a romance… Of course, everyone who ever read the manga deep down knew that romance was the main theme, but they didn’t want to accept it when the ending failed to meet their expectations–they expected something more like hugs and kisses and… Terry 😉

      Then again, as I already talked it about many times, we can’t blame the readers when they’re led by the author herself to believe that Albert can be many things to Candy but not as her lover.

      I don’t think it’s because of the lack of lovey dovey scenes, as you said. There are many stories that don’t show those type of scenes yet still manage to convey the mutual love between the protagonists clearly. The problem with CC is in its exposition. In a way, if you think about it, the story is mostly told from Candy’s POV, and we know Candy is not exactly the most perceptive character in the story–she obviously couldn’t tell how Albert truly felt about her as she had no idea about how Stear and Archie’s feelings for her either. I don’t think Candy realized she was in love with Albert until that time when he left her. Prior to that we’re led to think that she was still pretty much hung up on Terry–and that was exactly how Albert interpreted her behavior and actions.

      Furthermore, Mizuki never explicitly affirms that Albert is the real protagonist in the story. On the contrary, he has been portrayed as a side character from the beginning until nearly the end of the story, and this is the crux of the problem that sparks confusion among readers. Although there are hints scattered throughout the amnesia’s arc, they’re too subtle–and by this time readers are too wary to invest on anything new. Some struggle to accept the possibility of Albert as the protagonist while others simply refuse it, holding on to the false hope that Terry would magically and miraculously return in the final chapter to reunite with Candy.

      But, as we all know it from experience, if anyone bothers to re-read the story, everything will become clear. I believe this is the only way you could truly understand the story–by reading it more than once. Once you do that, the novels will be the nice icing on the cake 😀

      You know I think Igarashi has done a superb job depicting Albert and his inner struggle. I really do. It’s easy to portray couple in love when they’re so lovey dovey with each other–cough, Candy and Terry cough–but to attempt to convey the same message without the use of such scenes requires skill–and Igarashi surely managed to do so with flying colors. I don’t understand why some people insist she was against Albert and Candy. True all the claims were made by Mizuki (about how Igarashi seems to focus on Candy-Terry, etc), who, let’s not forget, is not exactly Igarashi’s best buddy. So it all comes down to what we choose to believe. To me personally, Igarashi is a fellow avid Albert-Candy fan 😉

      Yes, I’m one of the lucky, proud owners of the first edition tankoubon. It’s a treasure. 😀

      I agree with you the novels reveal more about Albert. However, while it’s true that the existence of the novels makes Albertfans fall for him more, evidently, it’s not the case for all the fans. Preference trumps over truth. And some people opt to dwell in the dark with their sweet delusions rather than having their blinders removed. Hence it becomes a moot point whether a reader reads the novel or not. Because in the end, one believes what one wants to believe even though the novels clearly imply an ending of Albert and Candy as a couple.

      Oh I completely agree with you that the changes from the manga is trivial in the novels. In fact, IMO anyone who recently read the manga should skip the first two volumes/books and jump straight to the final volume.

      What is interesting to note, however, is the place where Mizuki stops the narration–it ends with Candy leaving St. Paul. And you know what details she managed to exclude by doing that–BINGO!!! The amnesia and rockstown’s arcs! The major turning point that marks the beginning of the romance between Albert & Candy. I think Mizuki trapped herself into a corner. Think about it, if Mizuki had included this part in the novel, she would’ve been forced to reveal Albert & Candy’s blossoming romance, something that she could do in the manga but not in the novels for sure.

      The story from the novel that isn’t a recount of the past is actually presented in the 11 letters between Albert and Candy. And this is the REAL story, what the novel is all about. Unbelievable, isn’t it! From all the hundreds of pages, only the last chapter that’s truly meaningful. In the manga, we can’t tell that the story is about Albert and Candy. But here in this very last chapter of the novel, it’s clear that it’s a story about a runaway heir and his soulmate 😀

      In the old novel, the last letter contains Candy’s eager reply to Albert after he asked her to come with him on a trip. That already hints toward them spending more time together, in private, just the two of them 😀
      In CCFS, Mizuki gives an extra hint, and that is the replaying of the final scene in the manga. Even a rabid Candy Terry fan couldn’t deny the resemblance of the final scene in CCFS to the one int he manga–so how could they possibly think that the man is Terry? Surely they’re in denial. And yes… Terry is not a factor in the final chapter of the novel–as far as I’m concerned Mizuki indicates it clearly that his story with Candy ends in volume two of the novels. After that, it’s the beginning of Albert & Candy’s chapter.

      LOL, Reeka. Please do share everything with us. The ending and the timeline. I want to read all, and I’m sure other feel the same way. We love reading your insightful thoughts.

      Once again, thank you for writing a long, detailed comment. I enjoyed reading it from beginning to end. Please keep it up. And thank you for the kind and encouraging words. I’ll try my best to keep delivering entertaining posts.

      Hugs ❤

      PS- eagerly waiting for the continuation of this 😀
      PS – Oh my! I didn’t realize I wrote this long. See what I told you? Because you wrote such a thought provoking comment that I couldn’t help but feel compelled to respond back. LOL.

  3. My dear Beautiful Illusion, I really appreciate your thoughts about whether Candy Candy it´s a love story or not and can´t help agree with you, It´s one of the most touching Works I´ve ever read or watch in my whole Life, I´m a fan since I was five years old.

    In my experience I can count with the Anime, which was my first approach to Candy, many years later and with a pinch of salt some random translations of CCFS and since 2 years ago the Manga on line.

    Regardless of the poorly translated Anime ad its “abrupt” Ending, you could realize that the story begins with POTH and close with him and our female protagonist, and how their destiny entwines throughout the 162 episodes. Maybe lack of a passionate kiss or even the classical wedding scene would satisfied the Fans in America or in Europe (I say that, because most of the complains come from this two Continents, I don´t know how the anime Ending was received in Asia). Yes, we are totally absorbed by Walt Disney´s Stories, but the mention you did about Jane Austen´s Books can fit in this kind of romance. True love also can be subtle.

    You describes entirely the Story not mentioned Anthony or Terry and this works by itself!!! It won´t happened if you´ll try it speaking only about Candy and Terry or Candy or Anthony relationship; none of them are the male protagonist 😉

    I was been thinking few months ago, that if we use the logic, manga, anime, novel (old one or CCFS) complete each other, with more details, some fixes, some parts omitted, but at the end the results remains the same.

    At last, I would like to mention, despite CCFS´ tidbits, there isn´t any dramatic twist; even with the ambiguity style or the “new and mysterious character named Anohito”, which is a waste of time try to guess who can be…

    Well finally I thank you for your Manga Pictures, it made my Day!!!!

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