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.

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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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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

Not-so-new News: New Volume of Rose of Versailles

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This is old news from last year, but this may be of interest to some of you.
Do you know a new volume of Rose of Versailles was published last year? 40 years since the last volume was published. 40 friggin years!!!

It proves that miracles do happen.

Who knows? Perhaps Mizuki and Igarashi would finally bury their petty feud and reconcile to work on a brand new volume of CC, one that will put all questions to rest. And Miuchi would crawl out her dark cave of wonders and publish a new chapter of GnK. Yeah… we can only hope.

PS – I’m still alive. Well… just barely, as I’m drowning in the hustle and bustle of RL. Let’s hope things would improve by next week. Once again, I truly appreciate you patience.

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Earlier this month, we reported to you about how a new volume of the popular girls’ manga The Rose of Versailles was coming out, after more than 40 years since the last volume was published in May of 1974. Now, that’s certainly a long time to wait for a comic, and just as promised at the end of our previous article, we were at the front of the line to get our hands on the new volume when it was released this Monday. We didn’t want to be kept waiting any longer than necessary, after all, to take a look at the newest addition to the series. And how was the new volume? See our impressions and pictures below to find out. Oh, and we’ll also take a look at a collaboration between the manga and a fashion magazine as well!

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News & Update: 3 Year Anniversary & Things to Come

I can’t believe that it was three years ago when I began blogging here on wordpress. It surely has been quite an experience, complete with its ups and downs, and a few periods of stagnation in between. But for the most part, the experience has been quite rewarding. And I’ve never regretted my decision to dip into the exciting world of blogging.

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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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News & Updates

Hello!

My apology for the lack of updates.

Some of you might already know about my 1-month hiatus that’s about to expire soon (has it been a month already?). I was away during that time and unable to update or answer any messages. Originally, I planned to leave you with some treats of small updates. Alas, due to the hustle and bustle of preparing for my trip and some last minute things that came up at work (figures), I wasn’t able to finish them before I left. I did start writing the posts, but since I was constantly traveling I couldn’t continue working on them.

But do not fret!

Now that I’m back and is slowly adjusting to real life, once again, I’ll be able to resume working on those posts. But please bear with me as it’ll take some time before I’d be able to regain my usual writing pace. Nonetheless, I do plan to publish the post I was working on right before my trip by EOW. So keep your eyes peeled for that.

Lastly, thank you so much for those of you who have shared your thoughts and written comments on my posts, in particular in the survey about Albert’s background. All of them are very interesting, not to mention quite insightful. I’ll be sure to reply to each one of them and share my very own thought.

In the mean time, keep on smiling 😀

And enjoy these beautiful images from the Candy Candy Art Book.

The three loves intended for Candy, as described by Mizuki in her essay and beautifully depicted by Igarashi.

CC-3LiTo paraphrase Mizuki, the three loves are:

The sweet innocent first love that ends abruptly in a tragedy. The thrilling passionate second love that burns and consumes before it fizzles. And the quiet love that blows gently, subtle like a calming, steady breeze that never ceases.

Anthony, Terry, and Albert.

Candy Candy Manga Rambling Part II: Prince on the Hill – Beginning and the End?

WAAC-1iPrince 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.

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Candy Candy Manga vs Anime Part 1: Annie, Pony Home, and Prince on the Hill

CC-Manga-collage-wpiWhen 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).

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