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Gougai! Gougai!

HOLY SHIT PEOPLE, IT'S NOT BAD ENOUGH WE'RE GETTING AN UTENA EXHIBITION RIGHT NOW

THEY. ARE. MAKING. A. NEW. MUSICAL. NEXT. YEAR. START LOSING YOUR SHIT RIGHT NOW

#1 | Back to Top04-30-2007 08:36:30 PM

Teapot
Sensei of Sense
From: San Diego, CA
Registered: 02-20-2007
Posts: 198
Website

Similarities between SKU and Candy Candy

I've been wanting to write this out for a while now-- Candy Candy was the reason I became interested in Utena in the first place... I haven't really seen any place on the internet that's actually pointed out all the similarities between SKU and Candy-- of course, by the end they are vastly different from each other, but it's really interesting how they build upon a similar premise-- and similarities between certain characters, as well. There's going to be a lot of spoiler content for Candy Candy, of course, but since it's been out of print for the past 15 years or so I don't really think that matters so much.

Noteworthy notes will be highlighted in bold.

Candy Candy was the story of a young, orphan girl named Candice White, who lived at an orphanage with her best friend Annie. However, when the two of them were age 6 or so, Annie was adopted by a wealthy family, and Candy was left all alone. She wrote many letters to Annie, but Annie never sent any replies. However, one day, Candy receives a letter from Annie. Candy, so happy to finally be acknowledged by her friend again, goes to read it on top of the hill where the two often used to play. But candy opens the letter only to read that Annie never wanted to see her or write to her ever again, because she was ashamed of what her friends would think if they found out she had lived at an orphanage.
This sudden unfortunate news came as a shock to Candy, who had placed all her happiness in the hope that she and Annie would be friends forever, and she began to cry. However, as she was crying over the loss of her friend, a mysterious young man appeared before her wearing an unusual costume (it was actually formal Scottish attire). When Candy saw him, she momentarily forgot her sadness, and asked him if he was an alien, and laughed at his clothes. He told her she was much prettier when she smiled.
The young man soon disappeared without a trace, except for a brooch (bearing a family crest) he had left behind. Candy believes that this man is her prince, and she vows to one day return the brooch to him.
Years pass, and the brooch is the only proof that Candy has of her meeting the prince. Not long after she turns 12 years old, she is adopted by a wealthy family called the Leagans, who want a playmate for their daughter Eliza. Eliza and her older brother, Neil, end up not being very kind to her at all. Rather, they cause a lot of trouble for her.
On one occasion, after the two siblings had been especially cruel to Candy, she runs away from the Leagan estate, crying, and ends up in their neighbor's property. Candy comes across a gate covered in roses, adorned with a crest similar to the one on the prince's brooch, and there is a young man that looks exactly like her prince standing by it. He tells her that she should smile, and Candy is convinced it's the prince from her past. Actually, the boy is named Anthony, and he is part of the Andley family. His hobby is tending his rose garden.
Things happen, and Candy meets Anthony's brothers, and yes, there is even a ballroom scene where they dance and it's all sparkly. Anthony isn't really Candy's prince, but he thinks he may know who it is. For Candy's birthday, Anthony makes a special kind of white rose as her gift. He says that he made it especially with her in mind.
And after one especially cruel prank by Eliza, Candy ends up being punished to sleep in the stables, rather than having her own room. Upset over this, she runs away, and meets a guy named Albert, who lives in the forest (possibly a thief) and is friends with all the animals. She becomes good friends with him.
Noticeably, Eliza is growing exceedingly jealous of Candy, because she, too, has a personal interest in Anthony. She and her brother Neil come up with a plan to finally get rid of Candy by framing her as a thief-- and she does indeed get kicked out of the household. However, Anthony sends a letter to his Uncle William as a plea for help, and he adopts her.
So, Candy is adopted by the mysterious man known as Uncle William and becomes a part of the Andley family. At Candy's official welcoming ceremony, the family goes on a traditional fox-hunt. Unfortunately, due to business, Uncle William does not participate. By this point in the story (about 200-300 pages in), Candy and Anthony are sweethearts, and he promises to catch a fox for her. But as he is riding his horse, it jumps over a hedge into a trap, and Anthony falls off of the horse... he breaks his neck and dies instantly.


The story gets pretty depressing from there, but that's when it begins to stray from the SKU-esque premise. However, Candy does transfer to a high school in England and a lot of drama ensues from there. You can relate a lot of the characters encountered to the SKU characters, though they are more simple. And, the story lacks a lot of the symbolism and moral meaning that SKU has, but even still there are some obvious similarities.

Simply put=
Candy is Utena.
Anthony is Anthy.
Eliza is Nanami.

Touga is... well, I'd say it's a combination of Neil and Terry (Candy's 2nd love in England). Neil is Eliza's older brother and causes lots of trouble for Candy, but by the end of the story, he's in love with her and almost marries her. If you're more in the Touga/Utena camp, though, you may relate Touga to Terry, being the 'dangerous boy' on the campus (neither was really dangerous, but Touga was a heart-breaker and Terry broke all the rules) that falls in love with the heroine, but never ends up with her... who does some bad things, though he's not a bad person, and ends up trapped within a boundary of mediocrity he can't escape from (for Touga, it's the fangirls, and with Terry, it's Susanna, who is a huge crowd of fangirls smushed into one).

Akio is William/Albert/Prince on the Hill. Take the evilness out of Akio, and you get William. At the end of the story, Candy finally finds out Albert's true identity-- both her prince, her love, and her mysterious uncle. Gee.

That's about it. But I thought it was interesting-- I was (and still am) a big fan of Candy Candy, and it's what initially attracted me to SKU.


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#2 | Back to Top05-01-2007 11:50:49 PM

satyreyes
no, definitely no cons
From: New Orleans, Louisiana
Registered: 10-16-2006
Posts: 10328
Website

Re: Similarities between SKU and Candy Candy

Hee hee!  This was an awesome post.  I've never heard of Candy Candy and I don't know anything about it, but the correspondences you highlight do seem to strain coincidence.  (The rose gardener named Anthony in particular was a little much emot-biggrin)

I certainly wouldn't put it past Ikuhara and Saito to sneak a homage or two to Candy Candy into Utena if they knew of it.  It's important to remember, though, that Utena is in some ways a fairly clichéd show.  It's peerless in its execution of the clichés, but "prince on white horse comforts crying girl" is not exactly cutting-edge.  Back when I ran duels for my anime club, one of the duels was a cliché guessing game: I name an Utena cliché, and you tell me what other anime uses the same trope.  You can see the surprisingly detailed target cliches in this thread.

Is Candy Candy as good as Utena?  Should I read it?

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#3 | Back to Top05-02-2007 12:47:40 AM

Teapot
Sensei of Sense
From: San Diego, CA
Registered: 02-20-2007
Posts: 198
Website

Re: Similarities between SKU and Candy Candy

Well, the thing is, Candy Candy was one of, if not THE most popular shoujo anime from the 70's, and a survey taken in Japan last year still lists it as #8 of all-time favorite classic anime, even though it's out of print due to copyright issues between the artist and the author. So, it's been a big inspiration for many shoujo series following its creation (aka 1974-present).

As far as how Candy Candy compares to SKU on a whole, well, Candy Candy does seem a lot more juvenile/straightforward. But if you tried to read more into it, I'm sure you could. Not nearly on the same level as SKU, though. But it's notably one of the few shoujo stories where the girl finds true love and then it's torn apart, and no matter how hard Candy tries to repair her life, she can't fix it-- instead, she has to learn to move on. It's very moving, but very depressing.. I remember when I first read it, I was 13-14 years old, and it kept making me cry at all the sad parts because in the Candy Candy world, miracles never happen to those who deserve them... and Terry. Terry is a good enough reason to read the series, for me. Same with Uncle William. Those two guys are awesome. It's really, really hard to find the series now. The manga set goes upwards of $150 on Yahoo Japan auctions. And the anime isn't as good... too much filler and watering-down of tragic scenes for me. But you can find it subtitled on Youtube, if you really want to see it.


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