A while ago, a friend gave me the link to a special post of a Japanese blog, in which it shows some famous artworks of the manga artist, Yumiko Igarashi, in her art museum (いがらしゆみこ美術館). For those who haven’t heard of her, she was the illustrator of the manga version of Candy Candy. I was told that she designed the characters of Candy Candy too. Of all the illustrations shown on this post, the one below caught my attention at once.
These manga scenes (magnified to roughly ten times larger approximately?) were two significant episodes in Candy’s life. The one on the right shows the time when Candy was desperately chasing the fast moving train because she wanted to say goodbye to Terry, who was leaving Chicago with his crew. The other drawing was the instant when Candy shockingly realized who Albert really was. She had been with her enigmatic benefactor all along without knowing it.
These two illustrations being displayed side by side in a corner actually conveys a vivid contrast between Terry and Albert. Both were important to Candy, no doubt, and yet do you remember how many times Candy had chased after Terry but failed? Please read Second farewell for details. Ultimately, it was a hopeless pursuit; Terry chose Susanna over Candy in the end, despite himself. On the other hand, no matter how far apart Albert and Candy were, somehow they would cross paths again.
Have you ever questioned why Albert didn’t reveal his identity to Candy sooner? After regaining his past memory, he could have told her the truth. Couldn’t he trust her that his secret would be safe with her? After all, she was good at pretending (for a long time their neighbors actually believed they were siblings).
However, not only Albert continued to live incognito with Candy, but he had deliberately hidden his recovery from her, which was a mystery to Candy, as explained in Love Triangle (Part 7). Nevertheless, Candy didn’t ask Albert why until after knowing that he was her prince. Albert wrote a very long letter to explain himself, as shown in the spoilers below:
… I got a terrible headache and lost my consciousness.
When I came to — I was my former self again.
Albert … William Albert Ardray.
I should have told you at once, but I couldn’t.
I’m still feeling sorry about it.
Candy, also I didn’t want to get away from that heart-warming life.
I knew I would lose my freedom for once and for all, if I returned to the Ardray and took up the head of the family. And I knew it was too selfish to still want it…
Interestingly, while Albert continued the heartwarming life with Candy, living on the outskirts of Chicago, he did resume part of his former life. His men, dressed in black suits, came every day to pick up their young boss for work. In other words, Albert didn’t inform Candy of his recovery at once not because he refused to return to his real self, but because he didn’t want to leave Candy’s side nor lose her as a friend. First of all, obviously, Candy was still grieving for her loss of Terry, so Albert possibly wanted to keep her company.
But there were more to that. In the manga, we can see more than once that Albert was aware that he had no reason to live together with Candy anymore once he recovered from amnesia, and he didn’t seem particularly excited about that. Hence, his recovery would mark the end of the living arrangement with Candy, unless he revealed the secret behind the adoption to her. In that case, he could invite her to go “home” with him, but Albert chose not to do that. In his earlier letter to Candy when he said he didn’t blame her for being angry, he said he had intended to watch over her as a friend after the adoption, not guardian. Hence, by not telling her his true identity, he could keep their friendship.
In addition, I guess he didn’t know what to do with his feelings for her yet. He probably hadn’t realized that he had fallen in love with her until he regained his past memory. Her smiling face was the first image that had popped up in his mind at that very moment. That’s plausibly the major reason why he couldn’t relate their legal relationship to her. Even months later, when he decided to leave Candy on a snowy night, he still kept his identity a secret from her. In his departure letter, he said he could finally let her know that he had recovered for a while already.
After that night, Albert seemed to be intentionally avoiding Candy for two months or longer (based on the manga). Why didn’t he leave a way (a mailing address for example) for her to contact him? Or, he could at least show up once in a while to keep in touch with her, but he had disappeared completely, except sending her a parcel from a remote town called Rockstown. The plot in Candy Candy Final Story (CCFS) is similar. For many nights, Candy couldn’t sleep very well, worrying about Albert, even though she knew he had recovered.
What had made Albert resolve to vanish in Candy’s life? This was seemingly against his nature. He was always there for her when she needed him, right? What had happened to him? I strongly believe Albert was in hiding, dealing with his conflicting emotions. His head was telling him loud and clear who Candy was, but his heart couldn’t quite handle this fact.
On the other hand, as much as Candy missed Albert and wanted to find him (in Candy’s letter to Miss Eleanor Baker, Candy said she had gone to Rockstown to find a missing person), there was no way she could track him down unless he was ready to meet with her again. That’s why Candy said the following in her recollection at present (from CCFS spoilers):
But I must be grateful for Neal.
Because of his caprice, Georges disobeyed Granduncle’s orders.
While fate had been against Candy and Terry at every turn, fate had been in Albert’s favor. The invisible threads that tied Candy and Albert together essentially led her back to him. They reunited in Lakewood, and both were shocked for different reasons. What do you think? 🙂 Please read Part 2 for more.