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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Sometimes I do crave a cheesy, cracky Asian Drama

It has been a long while since I’ve watched a Taiwanese drama, or any non-animated TV series for that matter. Nothing had managed to grab me. Not even the highly acclaimed, award-winning Downtown Abbey, Outlander, and Once Upon a Time. The interest and excitement were simply not there, that I didn’t bother to continue watching past the first two episodes.

That had been the case for a few years until last week. By pure accident, I discovered that Taiwanese actor Roy Chiu has teamed up with his previous leading lady from 小資女孩向前衝 (Office Girls), Alice Ke, in a new romantic comedy 必娶女人 (Marry Me or Not). When that happened, I literally squealed like a rabid fangirl. You don’t understand. I adored them to bits in the 2011 SETTV drama Office Girls, and I’ve been waiting for them to collaborate again for a long time, very long time. So obviously I just had to check out their new series.

A few promo stills with the pair looking stunning and oh so perfect together followed by a gorgeous MV clip that made me hum the tune for the entire day, and the deal was sealed.

3 episodes in, and I’m swooning from all the prettiness and sparkles.

Not only that Marry Me or Not has lived up to my expectations, but it has the potential to surpass Office Girls. It offers so much more, as it doesn’t shy away from showcasing Roy and Alice amazing onscreen chemistry, packing each episode with smile and sigh inducing scenes right from the start. And if the teasers for the upcoming episode 4 are anything to go by, there will be plenty of delicious scenes that will crank up the heat by more than a few notches ahead–something Office Girls fans were deprived of.

Marry Me or Not is definitely not another Office Girls. And the romance arc is not built upon the all too familiar, overused hate-turn-to-love trope either even though the synopsis might mislead one to think that way. On the contrary it distances itself from the cookie cutter cutesy Asian drama/shoujo manga/anime yet without losing the amusing quirks and wits that are unique to Asian shows.

The heroine is not the goody goody, self sacrificing, always-smiling-no-matter-what-dreadful-things-happen-to-her kind of woman–yep, I hear you, she’s not  like Candy 😉

Rather, she’s a cunning, manipulative, selfish woman, who will do anything and stop at nothing to get what she wants, a literal b–ch in every sense of the word–umm an Eliza perhaps 😀 Yet I can’t help but root for her–the heroine not Eliza, just so that you won’t misunderstand me. That’s because everything is an act, a mask to hide how vulnerable she truly is.

Yes. Many things in the series are not what they seem.

The hero isn’t immune to this condition either. While he projects the image of a capable, confident divorce lawyer who has sworn off love to perfection, inside he’s actually a softie, an eternal romantic longing for a true love, whose own naiveté and idealism turned him into a cynic.

I’m loving this setting, a departure from the done-to-death trope of alpha male meets a damsel in distress, well, sort of. The woman has more control and more experienced than the man, creating an interesting dynamic that can be both endearing and hilarious.

And I’m waiting for more hilarity to ensue when the heroine finally finds out that the hero, the man she thought her rival’s fiance and has been seducing, is actually her rival’s older brother.

But along with that I know there will be drama and loads of angst… With the BFF-turns-enemies-then-frenemies/rivals setup for the heroine and the second female lead as the underlying main conflict, drama is bound to come. And there’s also the second male lead, the very reason the besties became enemies, who has yet to make an appearance–and when he does finally appear onscreen, he will undoubtedly stir in troubles for the OTP, which spells angst for the hero.

I’m looking forward to that very moment. Roy displaying his many comical and silly expressions is cute and adorable, but an angsty Roy with his patented smoldering stare is simply impossible to resist.

I’m hopeful that since the series had finished filming it won’t be marred by lackluster filler episodes that achieve nothing but frustrate and irritate viewers. So far the pace has been kept constant and fast, and if the 15 episodes specified in the wiki is correct, I have nothing to worry about.

The one drawback, which has become a source of anxiety, Marry Me or Not is a currently airing drama in Taiwan. That means I have to wait one whole week for a new episode. One week is way too long!!! Yes it’s that good. After all, it managed what other series failed to do: hooked me completely to a point that I’m counting the days for a the new episode to air.

If you’re curious, check it out yourself, MV of the ending theme… I’m warning you though, the sparkles and prettiness might make you dizzy 😀

PS – that one scene with half of Roy’s face covered with shaving cream as he’s trying to smear it over Alice’s face does that remind you of one particular scene in Ninety Days? LOL. That makes you wonder whether the writers actually read Ninety Days, does it? 😉

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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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.