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Candy Candy

As a child living in Japan in the mid-to-late 1970s, I was exposed to Candy Candy. For the uninitiated, Candy Candy is a Japanese novel, manga, and anime series. Candy Candy made her first appearance in April 1975, in a novel written by Japanese writer Kyoko Mizuki. When Mizuki and manga artist Yumiko Igarashi joined forces, the Japanese magazine Nakayoshi became interested in the property. Candy Candy was serialized as a manga series in Nakayoshi for four years; the manga won the first Kodansha Manga Award for shojo in 1977. Toei Animation also adapted the property into an anime series; there are also a couple of Candy Candy films that were never released outside of Japan. Candy Candy became so popular in Japan that different types of toys were produced and sold.

Candy Candy is a love story, which starts when Candice "Candy" White (later Candice "Candy" White Ardlay) is six years old and living in an orphanage (Pony's Home) near Lake Michigan. The story follows her as she deals with drama and heartache while growing up; at the end of the story, Candy is a former nurse during the World War I era.

During the series, Candy had two love interests: Anthony Brown (who is killed after falling off his horse during a fox hunt) and Terruce "Terry" Grantchester. There was the "Prince of the Hill," a man she met as a young girl on Pony's Hill (and both of Candy's love interests had a physical resemblance to the "Prince of the Hill"). The identity of the "Prince of the Hill" was a mystery that wasn't solved until the end of the series.

Candy Candy received some exposure outside of Japan. The property reached international fame in the early-to-mid 1980s in such places as Europe, Southeast Asia, and Latin America. The anime even aired briefly in the United States and Canada in the early 1980s.

However, in the 1990s, controversy arose over who owned the rights to the Candy Candy franchise. Yumiko Igarashi tried to claim complete ownership to Candy Candy in order to collect the royalties, and began producing new material without the consent of Kyoko Mizuki or Toei. In 1998, Mizuki filed a lawsuit. In her suit, she didn't ask for full copyright ownership, but asked to have it be recognized that both Mizuki and Igarashi have the same rights of ownership to the property. In 1999, the case was ruled in favor of Mizuki, and was upheld in other lawsuits in 2000 and 2001. Igarashi then sued Toei, and the animation company ceased airing the show on Japanese television; however, the case ended up falling through.

The only DVDs available for Candy Candy are all illegal and unlicensed. Illegal and unlicensed DVD releases have been reported in France, Korea, Chile and Taiwan. Unfortunately, with all the various rights issues involved, it seems highly unlikely that the Candy Candy anime series will be issued in the United States anytime in the near future.

Title
Episodes
Release Year(s)
Director
Studio
N.A. Licensor
Candy Candy1151976-1979Tetsuo ImazawaToei AnimationN/A
Candy Candy: The Call of Spring/The May FestivalN/A1978Noboru ShiroyamaToei AnimationN/A
Candy Candy’s Summer VacationN/A1978Yukio KazamaToei AnimationN/A
Candy Candy The MovieN/A1992Tetsuo ImazawaToei AnimationN/A

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