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.

Anime/Manga Recommendation: Alpen Rose

In case you’re not sure what to do this coming weekend, may I suggest a vintage series called Alpen Rose (アルペンローゼ) .

Well, maybe it’s not as vintage as our favorites (CC and GNK). The series was released in mid 1980s, first as a manga then adapted into an anime.

Still, if you fancy a tear jerker shoujo romance series, set in a historical era with a convoluted plot and a touch of mystery, plus an amnesiac heroine who also becomes a nurse, this one just may fit the bill 😀

The synopsis from tv trope:

Lundi Cortot is a boy who lives in Switzerland with his aunt and uncle in 1932, few years before World War II; in these days, he and his family find a little girl in a dandelion plain, and they take her in alongside her cockatoo Printemps. Since she can’t remember anything about her past, they rename her Jeudi and raise her for a while until she’s taken in by a nearby store (manga) or a nursery school (anime).

Fast forward to 1939, few after the Austrian Anschluss and a little before Switzerland declares its neutrality. Lundi and Jeudi are already teenagers, but Jeudi is still amnesiac; her only clue about her identity is a song that repeats itself in her memories, whose name is apparently Alpen Rose. And then, a strange man named Count Germont appears and attempts to kidnap Jeudi! When she refuses to become his mistress and is pretty much locked in the castle as a maid, Lundi rescues her and they run away from home, setting out in a journey to find the answers to all of their questions, as well as falling in love in the process…

The complete 20-episode series of the anime adaptation, fully subbed in English can be found here

The manga is comprised of 9 volumes, just like CC. But I don’t think all the manga chapters are available in English. If you’re interested, you can find some of the chapters here

For any other details related to the series you can refer wikipedia

PS – No worries. Another chapter of Forever and a Day is cooking in the pot right now 😉

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.

MeijiM

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 😀

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Yumiko Igarashi’s Other (Less Known) Works: Recent Works

Are you aware that there is a long list of manga created by our very own Yumiko Igarashi other than Candy Candy, Georgie, and Mayme Angel? You can find the complete list here Quite impressive isn’t it? And versatile too. … Continue reading

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?

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

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

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

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

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

Eh? Uhm… What??!!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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