Apology and a Quiz :D

I know I mentioned I would try to post something before the week ends. Unfortunately, I’ve been quite tied up with many different things this week and that had left with me with not much time to devote on the blog. But I still plan to update All I Want soon, hopefully by tonight or tomorrow. As for Forever and a Day, you need to wait a little longer for that. I need more time to refine it, so please bear with me. This should be the last part of A Not So Ordinary Day. After this we’ll switch to Candy and what she’s up to, being stuck with Aunt Elroy, in Lakewood 😉

In the mean time, let’s play a simple guessing game. Take a look a the picture below. Does it look familiar?

Well, I’m sure you know who they are 😉

Can you tell from which scene is this?

If you claim yourself to be an avid fan of the manga, you should be able to answer this quickly 😀

Bonus points for those who could tell what’s so special about the image.


PS – I captured another error with Reverie. Apparently if you try to leave a comment on the restricted section, your comment will be blocked and displayed incorrectly. I’ll try to rectify this ASAP, but this may take a long time. As a temporary fix to the problem, I’ll repost your comments somewhere else and answer your questions there. I’m not sure yet whether I should do this on Reverie or here though.


Candy Candy Manga Rambling Part VII: A Long Period of Courtship?

If you read my letter 2 rambling, you know that I think Albert is courting Candy through their correspondence. How long do you think their courtship lasts? Going back to the final scene of the manga, we see Albert presenting … Continue reading


Anime/Manga Recommendation: Meiji Hiiro Kitan and Meiji Melancholia

Another article in less than a week?

Is this for real? Yes it is, since you’ve all been so understanding and supportive 😀

You surely don’t want to miss this if you’ve been wondering about another series that has protagonists similar to Albert and Candy in Candy Candy. Yes, there’s Love So Life, and maybe Emma too to an extent. But I might have just found another one with a storyline that is more compelling than the other two. Well, I certainly think so 😀

Meiji Hiiro Kitan (明治緋色綺譚) and its sequel, Meiji Melancholia (明治メランコリア) are manga by Rikachi (リカチ). The two titles are serialized in Be Love, a manga magazine aimed for adult women (yes, such a thing exists :D).

The series was completely out of my radar until about a month ago, when one leisure browsing on a stressful night led to a stumble upon this hidden gem.

The art, as you can see from the cover images below, is very appealing. Rikachi sensei is obviously an amazing artist.

However, I must admit that it wasn’t the pretty art that first drew me to the series. Rather it was the two leads, Tsugaru and Suzuko, and that even upon a quick glance at the synopsis below, I just couldn’t stop imagining Albert & Candy in the same setting and scenario.

Synopsis from Aerandria Scans:
It’s the middle of the Meiji Era and our heroine, little Suzu, is sold to the red lights district. However, the rich heir of a dry goods store, Tsugaru, buys her freedom for no apparent reason. She is deeply grateful for being saved, but she doesn’t understand why he paid so much money for her and the only explanation he offers is “we have a bond.”

She tries to unravel the mystery of his feelings and gradually grows from a little girl to a young woman, always by his side. A gentle and slow-paced love story set in the Meiji Era.


Tsugaru & Suzuko

From the synopsis you could probably tell this is yet another age-gap romance. The kind of trope that satisfies my guilty pleasure craving 😀

Actually, this isn’t the only series of this particular breed of romance manga I’m following. There are a few, but none had truly grabbed me as Meiji Hiiro Kitan had.

No doubt this manga has become my new obsession–which isn’t a bad thing, considering how this could spark more inspirations, in the same way an impulsive reread of Garasu no Kamen had reintroduced me to Candy Candy, which later had galvanized me into writing my first CC fic, and a brisk liaison with Emma had led me to pen Awakening.

As it turns out, the tradition still holds. I’ve regained a renewed determination to continue my ongoing stories, and I owe it all to Meiji.

So… Have I managed to rouse your curiosity yet?

If you’re slightly interested and want to know more about the series, or you’re just plain curious about Albert & Candy from the Meiji Era, read along 😀

Continue reading ->



Candy Candy Manga Rambling Part VI: The End of the Manga = The Beginning of a Courtship?

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


Happy New Year!

Candy Candy, Igarashi Yumiko, Nakayoshi 1979 Yes. It’s the new year, and I’m alive. Not doing well though as I’m still recovering from a severe case of cold, very very slowly I might add that I’ve not returned to work … Continue reading


Reverie Update: Letter 2 – Albert’s Reply to Candy

Happy weekend everyone!

Finally, there’s no more issue with login and registration for Reverie reported.


You know what that means? We can go back to the fun stuff.


Sorry for the spill of enthusiasm there. But I’m just happy everything seems to be in perfect order.


I have a treat for you. A real update this time.

Yep. Letter 2 has been posted and can be found here. It’s a short one, so I was able to finish working on it within a day.

In addition, I also did some minor editing and refinement on letter 1 and 10. Plus I replaced the images with the correct ones for Letter 1.

Letter 1, if you haven’t read it yet, picks up right after the final scene in the manga. Well, I’m using the words right after very loosely here, since the actual timing when Candy wrote the first letter is unknown–yet from the content, I can tell it must have happened not too long after Albert’s POTH revelation on Pony Hill since the letter is pretty much filled with her candid thoughts and profound feelings about that, something that manga readers can only entertain a guess upon. Perhaps she wrote it the night after the revelation?


As for letter 2… Let me say that once again it includes more details (of which I wasn’t aware previously) pertaining to the scene at the end of the manga. The main context of this letter is Albert’s reply to Candy. He answers all her questions (and the readers’ as well) and more.

Apparently, our debonair hero decided to pull off one last runaway stint… Well, sort of…

And he’s insecure and also jealous?  Hmmm… 😕


Continue reading->


Letter 10 – Albert’s Letter to Candy: Scottish Countrymen, What?!!!

Hello everyone,

I don’t have much time now as it’s my bedtime and tomorrow is the usual workday. And I’m half asleep while I’m typing this. (So please pardon any mistake in advance)

But I decided to sneak in bearing more treat for you before I turn in for the night 😀

Another update in less than a week?

Yep. I feel bad for the severe lack of updates. So you could take this as a compensation.

It took me a while to finish translating this particular letter. And that was simply because I had no time. If that hadn’t be the case, I would’ve been able to translate more letter.

I know I didn’t do the translation in the right order. But I will in the next update, starting with letter 2 and so on. As for letter 11 and a portion of letter 10, they were already translated a while back to be included in the manga rambling post.


Letter 10. A very engaging letter I must say. A long one that contains a lot of interesting details.

Did you know that the Andrews weren’t ‘actually’ of noble blood?

And Albert was quite bitter… very bitter–poor man…

But he certainly was smooth in the end when he asked Candy to come with him on a trip 😀

Well, those are some of the details revealed in the letter. I’ll write a separate post to talk more about this.

In the mean time, enjoy reading it–but you can ignore the images as I haven’t uploaded the correct ones (and there’s no note). I’ll do that and add the notes once I have more time.

PS – Shortly, I’ll send the password through email to those who had requested it.


A Heartfelt Thank You and Presenting the Brand Spanking New Den

Thank you all for your kind words of condolences. I’m deeply touched by your thoughtfulness and compassion. To know I’m surrounded by such caring friends gives me another reason to be grateful. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

❤ ❤ ❤

I know I’ve been very quiet lately. Besides having been in a less cheerful mood from the recent sad happenings, I’ve also been busy both at work and at home. Historically speaking, September has always been a hectic month for me and our family, so the sharp spike in activities is sort of expected. The month strikes the beginning of several countdowns. Countdown to Thanksgiving. Countdown to Christmas. Countdown to the holiday season. And countdown to the New Year–do you know that there are less than 100 days remaining before we say farewell to 2015 for good?

BUT there’s another reason why I’ve been inactive as of late. Unfortunately, it’s not writing. Instead I’ve allocated the majority of my free time working on something that doesn’t require a lot of writing yet is still quite demanding to accomplish.

Before I tell you what it is–have you noticed anything new with the site? So? What do you think? How do you like the bright and airy layout? After having been cooped up in the dark for three years, I finally decided to come out to play in the light 😉

If you recall from my anniversary post, this is one of the changes I’m working on to improve the site. A new layout is just what the site needed. Yet it’s not the only thing–there’s more.

Do you remember how I contemplated about moving the site out of the public domain so that I could share more things in a private setting and bringing the fanfics back? Well, I’ve come up with a plan that essentially will allow me to do both and more.

The current Beautiful Illusion site will stay as it has been for the last three years as a personal, fandom-centric blog, but some of its original materials, which include all my fiction and non-fiction writings, will be relocated to another place–to The Den. Those of you who attempted to access the translations last week might have discovered the existence of the new place.

What is the den? The den is a new site that will host all my works and other materials I want to share with you. Just as the name implies, It’s like the cozy den or reading nook in your house, a place where you run to after a long, stressful day at work, a place for you to relax and enjoy reading without any interruption. Unlike this blog, it will be free from my whimsical and long ramblings, so that you can immerse yourself in the content, and I’m trying to make it as intuitive as possible so that you could navigate your way around the site with ease.

Eventually, it’s also going to serve as a repository for all my writings, something that this blog has failed to achieve even though it was its original purpose. That means soon you can read all my fics in The Den, in addition to AO3 and FF.net. However, the fics will not be available in this blog anymore–but I’ll continue to give links for the updates as I’ve been doing.

So yeah… Now you know. This is the other reason why I’ve been quiet.

The place is still a work in progress, but it’s up and running. And you’re welcome to take a peek anytime 😉

If you’re curious, why don’t you come by now and check it out yourself. And while you’re at it, you can see if there’s anything I missed, or if you have other suggestions to make it even better. Ultimately, the place is for you to enjoy so I want to make sure everything there is to your liking.

🐻 Go to The Den 🐻

Lastly, I’m leaving you with a drawing by one of my Albert-Candy favorite artists oekakicandy. As I mentioned before, I don’t typically post fanart here, but I’m willing to make another exception. Oekaki’s works have always managed to enchant me. Although the strokes are not as refined and polished as works by other artists and the drawings look more like sketches, oekaki never fails to depict Albert and Candy’s image to perfection, from Albert’s gentle yet playful nature to Candy’s sweet spirit. And I truly adore the one below to bits. It’s the perfect visual for a scene in the future chapter of All I Want, when they’re in Paris 😀

Albert & Candy by oekakicandy

PS – Yes, I know, I still OWE you replies and updates. I haven’t forgotten them. I’ll work on the replies first and the updates later, once my mind is less cluttered, and I can write properly.


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.


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.


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 ->


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

Continue reading ->