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
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 😀
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 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… 😕
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.
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).