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Manga / Candy Candy

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"Flowers grow and die, humans die, but they live on in the hearts of those who love them."
Anthony Brown

Candy Candy is a 9-volume manga, serialized in the magazine Nakayoshi from 1975 to 1979, written by Kyouko Mizuki and illustrated by Yumiko Igarashi based on an original story written by Mizuki. This Shōjo series from the 1970s hooked up a whole generation of Japanese, Latin American and European girls. The anime ran from 1976 to 1979 on TV Asahi, at a total of 115 episodes. There was an English dub made, but the show's greatest success in North America was in French on the SRC network in Canada, where it ran on Saturday mornings for years.

The story is about the life and times of Candace "Candy" White, a beautiful blonde girl growing up in the first two decades of the 20th century, through her adoption; her convoluted love life, first with sweet Anthony Brown, and then with rebellious Terry Granchester; her friends and enemies, and her final determination of being a capable and independent woman.

The franchise also became known for the extremely bitter legal battles of the late 90s and early 2000s between Igarashi and Mizuki over credits and royalties. By the end of the legal battle, both Igarashi and Mizuki were required to approve any future Candy Candy products and projects. The led to an actual anime sequel being cancelled due to the souring of Igarashi and Mizuki's professional relationship, nearly all merchandise ceasing, and all licenses for overseas productions ceasing. This also turned Igarashi and Mizuki into unintentional copyright trolls.

Not to be confused with Honey Honey, another old-school shojo which is instead extremely silly (but does have the same lead voice actress), the Axe Cop villain by this name, or the Kyary Pamyu Pamyu song.

Candy Candy provides examples of:

  • Adaptation Expansion: 3-volume novel series -> 9-volume long manga -> 115 episode TV series.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Terry is very popular in school, in the acting scene, and in the fandom.
  • Alpha Bitch: Eliza, at St. Paul's School. Complete with a two-student Girl Posse (Beta Bitch Louisa and an unnamed fat girl).
  • An Arm and a Leg:
    • What happened to Susanna after her almost Heroic Sacrifice, and ended up ruining her career.
    • A former war nurse that Candy befriends while in Mary Jane's Nursing School. She shows Candy her orthopedic leg and explains that she lost her leg while trying to shield one of her patients from falling debris.
  • Anachronism Stew: Despite the series taking place in the early 20th century, many characters are drawn wearing outfits or accessories, such as flared pants, summer dresses that go up to the thigh, or tinted glasses, that are much more in line with 70s fashion.
    • Several male characters sport quite long hair... in early 20th century America...
  • Beauty, Brains, and Brawn: Annie is the Beauty, Patty is the Brains, Candy is the Brawn.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Candy (Tsundere) and Terry (Jerk with a Heart of Gold). They both always annoy and tease each other, but soon they like each other more and more.
  • Blind Without 'Em: Patty and Stear. One adorably hilarious scene has both of them losing their glasses during a ball and trying to dance without them on anyway.
  • Boarding School: A big part of the action happens in one, the high-class St. Paul School in England. There Candy meets up with Terry (whom she actually met during her journey to England), befriends Patty, is bullied by Eliza and her Girl Posse, finds Annie and Albert again, etc.; all of this has a HUGE influence in her Character Development.
  • Broken Bird: Frannie, Candy's nurse companion. She's harsh and brutally honest, but has a deeply wounded heart due to her past.
  • Break the Cutie: Poor Candy can't be happy for two episodes straight.
  • Bungling Inventor: Stear
  • Children Are Innocent: Excluding Eliza and Neil, of course.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Susanna, Eliza to some degree
  • Coming of Age Story: It covers Candy's whole life since she was taken in by Miss Pony and Sister Maria as a baby, until she's at least in her twenties.
  • Cool Old Guy: Mr. McDermott
  • Cool Old Lady: Miss Pony, Marsha O'Brien. Mary Jane is a Stern Teacher version.
  • Creator Provincialism:
    • Averted really hard: Despite being an original Japanese manga, not only does the whole plot take place in the U.S. and England, there is not a single Japanese character to help the Japanese audience empathize with the plot. This makes sense due to the setting (1910-1920).
    • The closest to this trope would be the very subtle use of the very Japanese "Cherry Blossoms" trope. Specially when you know what it means for the Japanese: a reflection on how brief life is... which is used to great effect as Cool Old Guy McDermott passes away while sitting underneath a blooming cherry tree.
  • The Cameo: Candy, Anne, Alistair, Archie and Terry make a cameo in The Sword of Paros, which was also ilustrated by Yumiko Igarashi.
  • Dissonant Serenity: Frannie's little sister is happily playing as her father is kicked out of the saloon and ranting against his wife.
  • Distant Finale: The novel Candy Candy Final Story shows Candy happily married to someone, but doesn't reveal who.
  • Distracted from Death: When Candy is working as a nurse, she strikes an Inter Generational Friendship with an old man in a wheelchair, Mr. McDermott. At the end of the episode she's giving him a ride but leaves for some moments, and when she returns McDermott has passed away. Cue to the poor girl begging him "Please Wake Up" and having an Heroic BSoD...
  • Driven to Suicide: Candy has to talk Susanna down from throwing herself off a rooftop in the middle of a severe Heroic BSoD.
  • Doorstop Baby (Both Annie and Candy)
  • "Double, Double" Title: Candy Candy.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending:
    • Candy must work HARD to get her happiness back.
    • The Epistolary Novel Candy Candy Final Story concludes with Candy living happily with the man she loves...But it doesn't specify who that person is.
  • Evil Matriarch: Ruth Regan and Aunt Elroy. Ruth is more overly malicious and it's thanks to her that Eliza and Neil are the way they are; Aunt Elroy is a honor-obsessed Grumpy Old Woman with more overall influence on the family.
  • Flower Motifs: So many roses!
  • Freudian Excuse: Terry.
  • Girlish Pigtails: Candy and (at many extent) Susanna.
  • Go Out with a Smile: Stear is smiling as his plane is shot down and crashes
  • Hate Sink: The Regans are definitely designed so you want to get in there and strangle them to death. Yes: Mom, daughter, son. All of them! (Though only the latter two are more prominent)
  • Heroic Bastard: Terry, son of an English lord and an American actress.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Susanna is crippled after pulling a Diving Save on Terry and being crushed to almost death by a lamp. It gets lampshaded:
    Candy': "She loves him so much that she was willing to die for him...!"
  • Hospital Hottie: Candy wants to be a nurse, and thus she enrolls in a medical school.
  • Idiot Ball: Candy is rather naive, yet rarely displays active stupidity. However, the time when she and Terry sneak outside the dorms to meet up with each other on the grounds of having supposedly received letters from one another, without actually checking on any sources AND despite clearly knowing the school's incredibly strict rules completely reeks of this trope. Eliza sure must've been thrilled to see her plan to get them expelled succeed even better and easier than even she'd expected.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Candy, in regards to Susanna and Terry. Ironically, Susanna was ultimately willing to do this for Candy and Terry, to the point of trying to remove herself out of the picture permanently, but Terry chose to stay by her side.
  • Jerkass: Eliza and Neil.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Terry.
  • Just a Kid: The reason why Albert isn't allowed to fully lead the Andree clan, and has to assume the "Uncle William" persona
  • Karma Houdini: Does Eliza ever get whatever her just comeuppance is? Probably not.
    • Well, at least her and her family's schemes failed in the end and they were shamed by Albert...Considering that Albert is the head of the Andree family, whose social status is quite higher than the Regans', probably yes. And double if you think that he might be the closest to Candy's True Love; if you adhere to that theory, then Eliza, Neil, and Ruth are all spectacularly screwed.
  • Laser-Guided Karma:
    • In the Boarding School arc, when Eliza finds out that Candy is the boy she had danced with in the School Festival despite being supposed to be grounded, she tries to rat her out her to the nuns. However, Candy manages to return to the punishment cellar in time with Terry's help — and the sisters not only let go of Candy, but they get Eliza grounded for "lying".
      • Additionally, when Candy returns to class after Eliza's machinations to get her expelled fail thanks to Terry's "third option", Eliza objects in front of all the girls. What follows is Sister Grace not only verbally smaking Eliza and grounding her for a whole week, but also showing Eliza the proof of her own involvement (the fake letter she wrote to trick Terry and Candy into compromising positions). Again, this takes place in front of all the girls, meaning half the school is now clearly aware of Eliza's deals.
    • Earlier, in episode 9, Eliza and Neil lock Candy in an abandoned room during a party. Cue the three Andree boys not only rescuing her, but dolling her up in a Pimped-Out Dress and then making a great entrance in said party, leaving the Regan siblings visibly stunned and angry. And it's GLORIOUS
  • Love Martyr: Candy skirts the line sometimes, in regards to Terry.
  • Man in a Kilt: There are several attractive male characters of Scottish ascendance, what do you think?
  • Melodrama: Sometimes to nauseating extremes.
  • Missing Mom: Eleanor Baker, Terry's estranged mother.
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • If something good happens to Candy, expect something terrible happening to her in the next episode, or maybe even just minutes later. The best example is when Candy and Anthony go for a horse ride, enjoying each other's company and sharing a true idyllic moment... then Anthony's horse gets its leg caught on a fox trap, and the horse's violent reaction throws Anthony out of his chair, breaking his neck in the fall and dying on the spot. The scene gets even more shocking as the color palette fades to sepia and the music disappears, leaving only the sound of the wind blowing, while Candy stares at Anthony's corpse with a broken expression of absolute horror on her face. It only went downhill from there.
    • The opening sequence is also a good example of this trope. It starts pretty upbeat, with Candy saying that she doesn't mind her appearance and likes herself the way she is but then the music hits a much sadder tone, while the lyrics have Candy admitting that despite what she just stated she still feels lonely at times.
  • Mysterious Protector: Uncle William, the actual leader of the Andree clan, almost always takes Candy's side but never shows up. He's much more present than believed since "Uncle William" is the alias of Albert, with Aunt Elroy as the only one who knows.
  • Non-Human Sidekick: Clint the white-furred and almost human-like smart raccoon that is at the beginning Annie's pet, and then after Annie is adopted he becomes Candy's pet companion. Noticeable in that Clint is also a Canon Foreigner exclusive to the anime.
    • Also Mienna the San Bernard dog that is seen living in the Orphanage of Miss Pony after her original owner, Mr. McDermott, passes away. When Albert lived in a mansion in the forest had many animals around him, the most notorious a little skunk in his shoulder.
  • Orphanage of Love: Pony's Home.
  • Orphan's Plot Trinket: Candy's locket, given to him by her "Prince from the Hill". She thought said Prince was Anthony... but it was actually Albert.
  • Prince Charming: The mysterious "Prince from the Hill".
  • Plucky Girl: When Candy breaks down, she gets up as soon as she can and refuses to stay down.
  • Rebellious Princess: Candy, after being officially adopted into the Andree clan, fights her damn hardest to be herself at any costs. Anthony briefly tried his hand at this in the anime as well.
  • Repetitive Name: Candy Candy.
  • The Reveal: Great-Uncle William, whose identity was the best-kept secret through the whole series, is revealed to be Albert.
  • Rich Bitch: Eliza, her brother Neil, their mother Ruth, and Eliza's Girl Posse at school (specially Louisa).
  • Sailor Fuku: When Candy went to the English Boarding School, she and the other female students wore one-piece dresses that, as mentioned in the Sailor Fuku page itself, were most likely inspired by both the fuku and the "rational dress" codes from these Edwardian Era days.
  • Say My Name: Candy and Annie reunited: "Candy, oh Candy! Annie! Annie! Candyyy! Annieee!!" Etc.
  • Scarpia Ultimatum: How Neil shot his tiny last chance of redemption, almost at the end of the series...
  • Shorttank: Candy is very tomboyish, but uses pigtails and doesn't mind dresses.
  • Shrinking Violet: Annie. Also Patty and Susanna, to a lesser degree.
    • Annie's shyness is pretty much pathological, and at least partially motivated due to believing herself to be The Unfavorite when compared to Candy, which comes to the surface when Archie says he likes Candy despite Annie's feelings for him. It takes her quite a while to come into terms with all of it.
  • Smug Snake: Eliza and Neil, and their mother Ruth. And Aunt Elroy when at her worst.
  • Spell My Name With An S: The family name of the rich clan Candy gets involved with. Is it Andrew? Andree? Ardley? Audrey?
    • Also the family name of Eliza and Neil... Is it Legan? Reagan?
    • Miss Pony's name. In the anime, in an episode in which we see her burial cross (don't worry, she doesn't actually die), it is spelled as "Ponny"
    • Susanna's name is sometimes spelled as just "Susana".
  • Step Servant: At age 12, Candy is "adopted" by the Leagan family to be a companion to eldest daughter Eliza and later ends up as a maid. The children, Eliza and Neal, tease her and order her about, and their mother isn't any nicer.
    • It later crosses into Rags to Royalty. When Candy gets adopted for real, it's by the Andrees... a clan that's far richer and more uptown than the Legans. In fact, the Legan family is a branch clan to the Andrees and they owe respect to their leaders, Aunt Elroy and Grandfather William, and since William is the one who gave the order to adopt Candy they can't question it. (But they can be still assholes to Candy behind William's back.)
  • Stern Teacher: Mary Jane from the medicine school, Sister Grace from St. Paul (bordering on Sadist Teacher, actually).
  • Sweet Polly Oliver: Candy is grounded during a School Festival, but Uncle William sends her a boy costume and a girl one as a gift and Patty manages to smuggle it inside the room she's locked inside. When Candy goes out in her male disguise, she fools half the school and even flirts with Eliza before she comes back to her room.
  • Take a Third Option: Used twice.
    • Between throwing Candy under the bus to save himself as they're tricked into meeting at night secretly (which is grounds for expulsion from the Boarding School and taking all the blame and being kicked out/suspended (alongside not helping Candy), Terry decides to call out his father who refuses to help Candy, and willingly drops out of school to pursue his acting career.
    • And in the backstory, Albert's creation of the "Uncle William" persona allows him to escape from either leading the clan despite the opposition of the tyrannical elder members or running away from his responsibilities as leader.
  • Technician Versus Performer: Discussed in the Hospital Arc. Candy, Frannie and the other prospect nurses are talking about nursing techniques and behavior towards patients: Candy shows Performer traits as she believes that you gotta approach the patients and help them feel good, while Frannie goes Technician and points out that the most popular nurse isn't automatically the best one and that they must be pragmatic as well.
  • The Three Faces of Adam: The three young men who are more influential in Candy's life fit fairly well. Anthony Brown is the Hunter (sheltered and kind, loves Candy for being free-spirited, secretly wants to see the world but dies before he can do so); Terry Grandchester is the Lord (Troubled, but Cute, rebellious, good-hearted but immature); and Albert is the Prophet (Big Brother Mentor, kind, world-weary, wise and the secret leader of the Andree Clan).
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl:
    • Candy is the tomboy, and Annie is the girly girl.
    • And Candy switches to the girly girl when with Frannie.
  • Tomboy with a Girly Streak: For all her tomboy traits, Candy is very motherly to the Pony Home kids and has no problems with dresses as long as they're not super elaborate.
  • Town Girls: With Candy as the Butch, Annie as the Femme, and Patty as the Neither.
  • Troubled, but Cute: Terry.
  • Tsundere: Candy (Type B). She's sweet, kind-hearted, compassionate...unless she's around Terry.
  • World War I: It starts at the second part of the series, with serious consequences for characters like Frannie and Stear.
  • What Beautiful Eyes!: Anthony, on Candy: "Her eyes... her pretty green eyes!"
  • Youthful Freckles: Candy. Terry often calls her "Freckled Girl" to tease her.