Here you go, the first update. A short rambling on our favorite subject. Umm… Okay, maybe that’s not completely true. To some of you, this may be a brand new article you’ve never read before, but to some of you, … Continue reading
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.
If the main theme is NOT romance, then shouldn’t it end on a much subdued note and the last panel appear like this?
Where 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.
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?
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”.
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.
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…
Prince on the Hill. If you’re a Candy Candy fan you must know about this iconic character from the series. He’s the handsome teenage boy, whom a six-year-old Candy met on Pony Hill. He represents the image of a prince charming little girls dreaming to meet someday, an unattainable childhood dream, a fantasy, at least that’s what we are led to believe by Mizuki until we find out the truth when we reach the last few pages of the manga.
Throughout the story, Prince on the Hill appears in person only twice. In the first and last chapters. Evidently, his appearance marks the beginning and the end.
When I decided to commence yet another round of reading the manga (while watching the anime), I didn’t think I would be heavily invested in the efforts nor did I think I would make any new observation/finding, considering how familiar I am with the story.
Let’s just say I couldn’t be more wrong. But this is what makes it interesting and gives me that little pull and tug to continue reading and watching (and scrutinizing and analyzing).
The topic of the family name has been discussed and debated to death by various CC fan groups in the internet, and no one seems to agree on one thing. Thus we end up with a variety of names, from Andrew to Ardley to Andrey to Audrey to Ardlay.
As most of you know already, I’ve been using Andrew in all my fics, posts, etc.
Guess what? I made a mistake. It’s not Andrew. Somehow, a while back when I just joined the fandom, I chose Andrew and have used it ever since.
But… Why didn’t I think to check the source material, i.e. the Japanese manga?
So which name is the correct one?
Much to my annoyance and disappointment, it’s not Andrew for sure 😦
Instead the correct name is…
Here’s my first attempt to translate the CC manga from the original Japanese tankoubon. I picked the final scene from the manga since the English version seems a bit off.
(Lucy – I’m not sure if this is the scene you were talking about in your comment. I hope it is)
Still not convinced of the ending of the Candy Candy manga?
Look at the image above. Who do you see?
Albert and Candy. Together. 😀
There’s no doubt he’s the main male protagonist in Candy Candy, and no one can convince me otherwise.
When we read the manga, we (and almost all the characters in the manga, except for George and Aunt Elroy) mostly know him as Albert. It’s only at the end of the story we learn his full identity, that he’s in fact, the mysterious and powerful patriarch: William Albert Andrew.
The image above shows his appearance in chronological order as depicted by Mizuki/Igarashi in the manga (from right to left):
Prince on the Hill (I’ve referred to him as Prince of the Hill in my writings, but the literal translation from Japanese is the Prince on the Hill), Albert the vagabond, Albert the caring friend, Albert the amnesiac man, Albert, and finally he’s full identity as William Albert Andrew the Patriarch of the Andrews.
I believe each phase of his character’s exposition represents/relates to six major developments in the story, all of which have direct impact on the main female protagonist, Candy.