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"Flowers grow and die, humans die but they live on in the hearts of those who love them"
This Shojo series from the 1970s hooked up a whole generation of Japanese, Latin American and European girls. Both the anime and manga are now considered to be classics.
The story itself began as a novel written by Kyouko Mizuki (real name, Keiko Nagita) in 1975, as a way to deal with the deaths of her parents. Mizuki then joined forces with the artist Yumiko Igarashi (the older cousin of Satsuki Igarashi from CLAMP fame) and the two started publishing the story as a manga, which ran in the Nakayoshi magazine from 1975 to 1979, was gathered in 9 volumes, and even won the first Kodansha Manga Aware for shoujo manga in 1977. An 115 episodes anime series ran from 1976 to 1979, with Minori Matsushima (aka Dororo and Sayaka Yumi) as the protagonist.
The plot is about the life and times of Candace "Candy" White, a beautiful blond girl growing up in the first two decades of the 20th century, through her adoption; her convoluted love life, first with sweet Anthony, who meets a tragic death, and then with rebellious Terry; her friends (Miss Pony, Annie, Anthony's cousins Stear and Archie, Patty, Albert, Frannie) and enemies (especially the Reagan siblings Eliza and Neil), her bonds with a wise and somewhat older man named Albert, and her final determination of being a capable and independent woman no matter what.
The series provides examples of:
- Adaptational Villainy: While Eliza and Neil were quite the assholes in the original novel, they weren't as bad as in the manga and especially the anime.
- 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 Girl Posse and all.
- Beauty, Brains, and Brawn: Annie is the Beauty, Patty is the Brains, Candy is the Brawn
- Beta Couple: Patty and Stear, to a degree Archie and Annie.
- Big Fancy House: All the mansions.
- Bishonen: Every guy character is this.
- 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.
- Broken Bird: Frannie, Candy's nurse friend
- Break the Cutie: Poor Candy can't be happy for two episodes straight.
- Bungling Inventor: Stear
- Children Are Innocent: Excluding Eliza and Neal, 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.
- Creator Backlash: Mizuki and Igarashi have fought legally between each other so much over ownership of the series that they've come to hate it.
- Screwed by the Lawyers: The anime became this as the end result of the legal battles.
- Creator Breakdown: Mizuki, as said above, lost her parents when young. She wrote the original Candy novel to deal with her feelings about families and love, basing it in the imaginary "Ardley" family that she came up with as a kid after her dad's death.
- Door Step Baby (Both Annie and Candy)
- Earn Your Happy Ending
- Evil Matriarch: Ruth Legan and Aunt Elroy
- Flower Motifs: So many roses!
- Girlish Pigtails: Candy and (in many extent) Susanna.
- Go Out with a Smile: Stear is smiling as his plane is shot down and crashes
- Heroic Bastard: Terry: his father is an English lord, his mother is a much younger American actress.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Susanna is crippled after pulling a Diving Save on Terry and being crushed to almost death by a lamp.
- Hospital Hottie: Candy wants to be a nurse, and thus she enrolls in a medical school.
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Candy, in regards to Susanna and Terry
- Jerkass <--> Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Terry bounces in and out of these two tropes.
- 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 <- -> Laser-Guided Karma: While Eliza tends to get away with the shit she pulls, the few time she doesn't manage to do so are cathartic. And OTOH, Neil is less able to dodge consequences.
- Love Martyr: Candy skirts the line sometimes, in regards to Terry.
- Man in a Kilt: There are several attractive male characters of Scottish ascendence, what do you think?
- Mommy Issues: Terry. Oh, Terry.
- Meganekko: Patty and Flammy. Stear is a male one.
- Melodrama: Sometimes to nauseating extremes.
- The Messiah: Candy is able to reach for pretty much everyone in the series, except for the Regans and Great-Aunt Elroy.
- Missing Mom: Eleanor, 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 dissapears, 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.
- Mysterious Protector: Uncle William, the never seen leader of the Andree clan, almost always takes Candy's side, but never shows up. Or so we think.
- 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.
- Plucky Girl: When Candy breaks down, she gets up as soon as she can.
- 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.
- Rich Bitch: Eliza, her mother Ruth and her Girl Posse at school (specially Louisa).
- 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.
- Smug Snake: Eliza and Neil, Aunt Elroy when at her worst.
- 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. 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.
- The Three Faces of Eve: Candy is the Crone/Seductress, Patty is the Mother, Annie is the Child/Maiden.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: Candy and Annie, though Candy is a Tomboy with a Girly Streak.
- Troubled but Cute: Terry.
- Tsundere: Candy (Type B). She's sweet, kind-hearted, compassionate...unless when she's around Terry.
- The White Prince: Anthony, Archie, Stear, Albert.
- What Beautiful Eyes!: Anthony, on Candy: "Her eyes... her pretty Green Eyes!"
- Youthful Freckles