Yuri Anime: Candy Boy

January 11th, 2008

Note: I did not like Candy Boy. Not the short original episode, not the longer version, not the first “full-length” ONA – or any of the episodes that followed. If you liked, loved, zOMG! Candy Boy and will be made upset by someone who found it to be a total bore, please be aware that I found it to be a *total bore.* Stultifyingly dull – and ever more so with each episode. If you want to read further, by all means, but no matter how many people tell me it was good, it will not change *my* opinion. Thank you for understanding the concept of a “review.”


I had a hard time coming up with a first line for today’s review. So, here’s a few choices – pick the one you prefer.

1) Does it sound weird if I tell you that I want to sleep with my sister? It sounds weird to me.

2) Incest in Yuri and Yaoi – why is it so popular?

3) What is WRONG with you people?

These opening lines all lead to the same place – Candy Boy was a fabulous indicator of LF-ness. The best thing about it was that it short, 8 minutes or so, so I didn’t waste much of my life on it.

The “story” – as we’ll refer to it for discussion’s sake – is that there are two sisters, Yukino and Kanade, who love each other very, very, *very* much. When one thinks that the other likes another (non-related) girl, she gets all upset, but tries to let her sister go. The other sister was actually hanging out with the third girl because that girl wanted to get close to the *other* sister. How ironic! How O. Henry! Oh, the humanity!

In the end, they run into each other’s arms and as the scene fades they are all love-love. Phew. That’s over. As with so many incestuous couples in anime, I like to think they stay together forever, thus removing them from the gene pool.

The story is a joke, the animation is shown through a Vaseline lens, the scenes choppy and the dialogue is disjointed. I kept waiting to learn that the anime was really a piecing together of animated scenes from some mediocre h-game. It’s sold as a “romantic school comedy” which completely befuddles me. And poor Nabatame Hitomi, who got stuck voicing Kanade in it. Meh, I guess it’s a paycheck.

Seriously, what is it with incest in Yuri and Yaoi? Am I alone in finding it to be a complete buzzkill? I already know I’m weird for liking my Yuri characters to be adult, competent women who actually like and desire one another. Am I to suppose that I am a complete freak for wanting them to not be related, too? (This is me rolling my eyes.)

I was hanging out at NYAF with the Drama Queen folks and picked up one of their BL books that looked pretty cool. Nice art with two men who looked almost like actual males…. Started to read it and was instantly hit by the massively abusive relationships – not just rape, but emotional and verbal abuse, too. Then Isabel said, “Oh that one’s great – they’re uncle and nephew” and I closed it right there and then. Yep – great. Abusive family relations, how sexy. Ugh.


Art – 4
Story – 2
Characters – 3
Yuri – 6
Service – 8

Overall – 3

Can y’all do me a favor? I’d like every single person who wrote in to tell me how fabulous Candy Boy was, to go to the nearest mirror right now. Take a good look at the face you see there and slap yourself as hard as you can. Thanks. I appreciate that. I had already seen it by the time you all emailed me, so at least I had no expectations. Thank heavens.

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58 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    I had the exact same issue with this little piece as you. Everyone had been singing its praises, but the two characters are related? I suspend my belief in reality quite often for fiction, but is it possible to suspend a suspension? Incest is the absolute worst.

  2. Kazu-kun says:

    Well, some people think homosexuality is the “absolute worst”, but that doesn’t mean they’re right, does it?. In the end it’s only a matter of opinions, which most of the time have more to do with personal preconceptions rather than any racional thinking. The same can be said about incest.

    And yeah, I really liked Candy Boy. It was nice little piece of Yuri anime

    BTW Erica, the older sister is called Yukino, not Saki.

  3. Kazu – thanks for the name correction. I don’t say incest is bad. I couldn’t care less if people sleep with family members and I certainly don’t think it’s any more immoral than anything else. What I do say is that as far as anime and manga goes, it makes a story that might be good, suck.

  4. Oh, but let me clarify. Even if they weren’t sisters, Candy Boy would still suck.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Candy Boy was 8 minutes which made it have absolutely no depth. I can understand liking it for the little entertainment it can provide but calling it spectacular and amazing is just beyond me.

  6. Skotti says:

    I’m really sorry you felt that way. My girlfriend and I really enjoyed it. She’s the one who pointed it out to me as I’ve been wracking my connection looking for some sweet, happily ever after Yuri.

    It was sweet, and very charming, the incest thing was easily ignored. Especially since my little brother is big in the fan fiction community, and it’s just as popular there (case in point, Fred & George Weasley).

    I guess in a nutshell, as nothing but an 8 minute piece of video marzipan, it did it’s job.

  7. JazzCat says:

    I wonder: did you know beforehand what the subject matter was of Candy Boy? If so, why did you watch and even review it? I personally don’t like guro, for instance… but if anyone else likes it, go ahead and watch it. As long as I don’t have to.

  8. Dragonkitty says:

    Incest is gross, and I’m from Alabama.

  9. Anonymous says:

    You really should review more crap, you know; your writing is at its best when you’re really tearing something apart.

    Oh, and I just have to ask – what’s the other sexual fetish that you cannot tolerate even a little?

  10. yourhead says:

    Is it just me or I am the only one who feels that, sister love is a sinful relationship?

  11. skotti – I found it hard to ignore the only plot point of the story. :-)

    jazzcat – Good question. If I hear of/read/learn about a series that has some Yuri in it, I do my very best to watch or read it, because this is my self-chosen area of expertise. I can’t read or watch everything, but I try my best to capture as much as possible.

    anonymous – Pedophilia. I kind of assume that was obvious through my continued excoriation of pedophiles. While incest just bores me as a plot point, pedophilia fills me with murderous rage. I’d like to take a knife and hot tar to people who eroticize children.

    yourhead – I’m sure you are not alone, but I can’t say I do. For me “sin” only has one category – sins against humanity. Torture, rape, war, *these* are sins. Sleeping with your sister? Who cares.

  12. JazzCat says:

    I already know I’m weird for liking my Yuri characters to be adult, competent women who actually like and desire one another.

    This doesn’t quite gel with your obsession for Marimite, which is pretty much about school girls. Admittedly, most of them are not full-blown lesbians (at least not openly), but still.

    As for Candy Boy: one wonders why they did have to throw the incestuous part in. It would have worked just as well if the girls would have been close childhood pals. For the rest it’s not actually that bad, as smarmy schoolgirl Yuri stuff goes, but I wouldn’t rush out to get the DVD, if it ever became a series.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Incest in Yuri doesn’t surprise me, given just how deeply Yuri is rooted in this whole sisterhood thing. What amuses me about Candy Boy is that it does the exact opposite of what early Yuri, specifically the all-female highschool branch of Yuri, did. Yuri classics were all “of course they’re not lesbians, they’re just (like) sisters!”, while Candy Boy is all out with “yeah, we’re sisters, but more importantly, we’re lesbians!”.

  14. Anonymous says:

    So, you are really trying to find some -deep- history in an 8 minute ONA.

    The animation is just fine, character design is great (I love Kanade’s desing)… C’mon we are talking about a video to promote a second-rate single, not a movie from Studio Ghibli.

  15. anon – No, I’m pointing out that even an 8-minute short can suck. I disagree strongly about the animation. I thought it bit.

    anon – In no scene, implied or overtly, did either sister claim to be a lesbian. They are still the same old love each other but not actually lesbian as always

    anon – I enjoy the characters form Marimite as 3-dimensional, well-written characters. Other than Sei, I have repeatedly said that I don’t think any of them are Yuri.

  16. myu says:

    I didn´t like Candy Boy, mostly because it´s too short and animation wasn´t anything special. I don´t mind incest if both sides agree to it and ,as Erica said, they have this stay together forever feel. But if there´s something like rape and forcing, it´s just no.

  17. neo_hrtgdv says:

    I always like to clarify that drawings are drawings and people is people, no girl I know looks even close to an anime girl, that said I think the issue is the /idea/ and concept of sister love, I think it all started with Maya’s Funeral Precession (lol >.>). Just like many other cliché, sister love has a long story, even the innocent and sweet “Oneesama!” is part of that, so let’s hope Yuri eventually grows like many of their characters need. Notice how sister love happens at the same time at school, I have yet to see adult sister love

  18. M. says:

    Candy Boy reminds me of an animation or story test. A feel as to what you’re doing, how are you doing it and as a preview as to how could it possibly look as a longer story, before you decide to continue or drop it. And I took it as such. It’s more of a clip than anything else, so any opinion I could have is absent. Without more, it’s neither good or bad. It just is.

    I think you butchered it a bit too much, but it was amusing to read. :)

  19. JazzCat says:

    In no scene, implied or overtly, did either sister claim to be a lesbian. They are still the same old love each other but not actually lesbian as always.

    Indeed … and their strong feelings for each other don’t necessarily have to go in a sexual direction. Kanade doesn’t seem to be that interested when her sister talks about kissing, for instance. It seems more that Yukino likes to tease her sister into embarrassment and Kanade is very funny in her responses.

    I actually think that I would like to see a series about those two if they’d put the animation quality up a notch…. and don’t go too much into squick-territory.

  20. bikerevolution says:

    I didn’t read “Candy Boy”, but I completely agree on the whole abuse/incest issue. Incest is not just “oh, I really love my sibling a lot”. Most often it has to do with abuse, power and control. Yes, it’s all escapist fantasy. But aren’t we regressing by saying that it is okay that 75% of Yuri and yaoi have major themes of incest or abuse? Sorry to be the Debbie Downer, but don’t we deserve a positive representation of queers in anime?

    I admit, I love fanservice and will watch a show *even if it is horrible* just because there are queer characters and I get stoked to see some representation out there. But should abuse or incestual relationships really be equated with homosexuality? You don’t see half as many incestual relationships in “straight” anime. C’mon people, lets bring back feminism!!

  21. Getche says:

    Indeed … and their strong feelings for each other don’t necessarily have to go in a sexual direction. Kanade doesn’t seem to be that interested when her sister talks about kissing, for instance. It seems more that Yukino likes to tease her sister into embarrassment and Kanade is very funny in her responses.

    Now, you’re just being delusional Jazzcat. Sorry to disappoint but no real-life, non-incestous sisters will ever remotely say or act the way Candy Boy does.

    You know, you are beginning to sound like those anti-Yuri fans who seem to make it their mission to rationalize away even the most in your face Yuri without realizing they are nothing short of being irrational themselves.

    Kanade and Yukino are incestous soon to be lovers. Get over it.

    I do find the original blog post interesting, particularly the paragraph by which the writer feels that she would be looked upon as a ‘freak’ for finding the content inappropriate.

    Personally, I’ve no problems with folks liking it or not. Some love anything from incest to gore going in their entertainment, some will not. It’s all fine by me.

    If it becomes animated, I’d like it no less then fully bloom canon Yuri, as already mentioned, a steady plot and fair direction would be lovely and at the very max, towards the end of the series, it will be revealed they aren’t related after all.

  22. JazzCat says:

    Getche – Now, you’re just being delusional Jazzcat. Sorry to disappoint but no real-life, non-incestous sisters will ever remotely say or act the way Candy Boy does.

    Well, that is quite a broad brush you’re painting with. There are lots of different people with different relationships. The relationship as depicted in Candy Boy could still go in all directions, although it’s quite clear that the makers would push it firmly into Yuri territory if given half a chance.

    And no, I don’t have anything against Yuri, but my experience is that in anime most girl/girl-relationships get cut off before they become really serious. In Candy Boy one of the girls would likely get a boyfriend, causing a lot of jealousy with the other. Stuff like that.

    And that is all I have to say of it for now. It’s just a show after all and I doubt it will be made into a full series.

  23. Frea says:

    Well, I’d like to personally go on record to say that I feel quite cheated with this one. Pffft… Candy Boy. I saw neither candy nor boy in this anime! How outrageous!

  24. MagicalFlute says:

    “As with so many incestuous couples in anime, I like to think they stay together forever, thus removing them from the gene pool.”

    Lesbians AND gay couples (incestuous or not) that choose to not go with a sperm donor ALL get removed from the gene pool. You were right on with El Cazador, however it appears you missed the point in this one entirely.

  25. optimist says:

    In a lot of Asian cultures, it’s very common for women to literally call one another “sister” even when they are not related by blood. If you are talking to a little girl, in English you say “hey little girl”, but in Asian languages, it can become “hey little sister”. I didn’t get the impression that the two characters are related in the story. They seem more like two friends who grew up together. Perhaps someone made a mistake in the translation of the summary…

  26. optimist –

    They share a family name and they say that they are twins.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Only wanted to say, that in the 10 minutes long version Yukino ask her Sister if they could share a kiss.

    There is also a comment of the official candy boy website that they are going to make a 7-8 long episode series out of it…

    and i personaly.
    i like the storyline but it diguss me that they have to be twins
    i also agree that i would have been better if they didn’t worte the same familiyname (where they to lazy to pick up a second family name?!)

    hmm and i also like the painting… character painting was fabulous like the backgroundpainting.

  28. Anonymous says:

    To be honest, when I watched it, I thought the Yuri everyone was talking about was between the little white haired girl and Yukino. I thought that the sisters were close but just worried they’d stop being friends or something.

    Aha, obviously I wasn’t paying enough attention.

    I honestly though “Well, this is nice, I don’t have to watch an entire series of one sided crush.. instead I get 8 mnutes. Shorter the better…”

    In terms of incest, I’ve seen other people’s comments, and all I can say is that I just think it’s incredibly dumb. There are BILLIONS of people in the world, you can make romance with someone who doesn’t share your double helix, people. Don’t argue one true love or soulmates with me either D:

  29. Rowena says:

    So yeah, I spent a while trying to0 get this whole series, because I was told it was a good Yuri show. So great. And when it started and their surnames matched, I thought, okay, must be one of those cute co-incidences that you get in anime that drew them together. Plus, they look nothing alike. Then they called each other sister, but I thought it was that whole cute ‘nee-chan’ thing that has nothing to do with being related. So yeah. I was a bit put off by that. It closes my can of sexy worms and opens my can of question mark-shaped worms. 0.0

  30. Anonymous says:

    And here we go with the intolerant bashing against a special fetish…

    If getting upset about such things would be my only problem I would have a happy life oô

    It’s also not my taste / fetish but for gods sake: no bashing – jesus -.-

  31. I’m not bashing the fetish. I said, quite plainly that it is of no interest to me.

    I’m bashing the folks who get all hard over what is basically an extremely mediocre (I’m being kind here – it was really quite bad) short because it has zOMG Yuricest.

  32. Anonymous says:

    Guys guys guys , -_- for People who don’t like this anime just shut UP!!!, i think and i feel there’s nothing wrong between two sisters who wants to do incest thing and has incest relationship! For people who discriminate and Criticize this anime Get a Life, You people don’t even know hat yuir means! you poeple always say thus things, remember the most important thing is to observe, think and listen! =}

  33. Invi-kun says:

    Hello, Erica. Please be a little bit more open-minded.

  34. Invi- all I said was that this anime was a gigantic bore and that incest doesn’t do it for me.
    It’s coincidental that mostly everyone who thought this was an awesome series happens to be a raging LFB.

    I’m allowed to not like a thing. You are allowed to disagree with me. It’s not like I’m running around posting to every forum in the universe – this is my blog. I get to say what I think here. :-)

  35. Anonymous says:

    i just watched your so-called “bore” candy boy’s first ep not the OVA..

    and yes, it does have 7 eps, heck!

    i really liked it, even my fellow Yuri fans here at my place really enjoyed it..

    how come you’ve already judged it?

    gimme a break.. but despite all these, i really really love you and all these posts of your Yuri, im sorryto hear that Yuricest is not your type ..but i totally respect you, coz wtf, incest is

    “Oh, but let me clarify. Even if they weren’t sisters, Candy Boy would still suck.”

    –erica, it won’t…

  36. anon – I think it did. I watched the full episode and found it to be as boring – only longer – than the original.

    We all have different opinions.

    I think CB is boring. Seriously, deeply uninteresting. Longest 14 minutes I’ve ever wasted watching anything. :-)

  37. Gosèl says:

    What a bunch of closed-minded people… I really don’t know if laugh at you or be depressed and pity you… maybe both.
    “Incest is a sin”, “They will burn in hell”… really, is this the 21th century…?

    I’m not a fan of the incest “fetish”, but some people have to understand that love is love.
    When it is mutual and sweet like in Kana & Yuki relationship it doesn’t matter if you are blood related, it’s just love, and (embarassing line coming!) it’s the only thing worth in the world.

    Imho Candy boy is the best thing happened to Yuri since ages, and luckyly the people out there are not all like you, since it was successful enough to made them decide to give us more episodes.

    Sweet, funny, loveable characters, deep mutual love… there’s all a Yuri fan could ask (an open-minded fan, I mean).

    As for Erica’s “review”… well, just as expected from her (and that’s the reason why I usually don’t read this blog).
    I understand that cute and sweet things between high school girls are not your cup of tea, but trying to destroy it in this way… I think it was just because LOTS of people love it and you felt the necessity to bring it down to ashes, lol.

    Actually I wouldn’t call this entry a “review” (well, this is true for most of the “reviews” of this blog), since it’s just a personal rant without any objectivity.

    “I’d like every single person who wrote in to tell me how fabulous Candy Boy was, to go to the nearest mirror right now. Take a good look at the face you see there and slap yourself as hard as you can.”
    Wow, very funny. And very respectful of other people’s opinion, congratulations.

    Yuri – 6″
    Six? Out of 5, maybe.
    It’s a 10 minute episode that has as exclusive point the love triangle of 3 GIRLS.
    And 6/10 is the Yuri content?
    (oh yes, I forgot, 2 of the girls are sisters, so their relationship CAN’T be considered Yuri, right?
    Again, I don’t know if laugh or cry…).

    Anyway, what’s really important is that most of the Yuri fan love it (I’d say: every Yuri fan except who read this blog, since I’ve *never* seen negative opinions about it on several other Yuri boards of more than one country) and bought the dvd, so the producers decided to release more episodes of the only Yuri-centered anime since ages.

    Erica’s sarcasm and arrogant remarks about it (and about so many other series btw) make this blog more and more ridicolous.


  38. Anonymous says:

    I think its sad that the show lasted 8 minutes and it seems that some of you have spent hours anylising it. it was cute and there wasnt enough time for a real plot. It doesnt requier much thought.

  39. Anonymous says:

    Why are you keep talking about sisters sleeping together? The show didn’t even mentioned a sexual relationship. A kiss, when they were like five years…does that count? C’mon, gimme a breack. All I saw was adorable romance and fun and that relaxed me. I really liked it and I’m looking forward to next episodes. I don’t see how a little crush on your sister could be gross, or a sin or any of those things that were mentioned by some of you.

  40. I don’t think my view on “Candy Boy” was the creator’s intent at all, but to me, being able to have any kind of a connection with a person is amazing. It’s not like I am particularly for incest, but if two people happen to find meaning with one another, and happen to be related, it’s unfortunate that it’s against “nature” (ie: science), but the two have still found meaning.

    Especially in this world where it seems to be so hard to bridge even basic connections with people, it makes it harder to judge the person for what they are if they actually accept you.

  41. Anonymous says:

    I love how you managed to make a big show of yawning loudly instead of realising that this show has a unique aspect to it that badly needs to be replicated in other slice-of-life shows, Erica.

    You really do suck at objective reviewing.

  42. Lord Musicide says:

    Hi Erica!
    Appreciated your review, though I don’t share your opinion. So what if 2 sisters get a little lovey-dovey in a fiction series. I think the creators did that to give them a little history that’s not like “childhood friend forever” something. Also if you watched n°3 and 4 they’re doing nice things plotwise with their mutual sister (that appears to love the both of them (well Yukino more than Kanade for some reason)).
    But most important of all: I’ve heard no-one on this page mention Sakuya’s name! (the little girl with the white tails) She (and her crazy fantasies) is exactly what’s Yuri about this series and she gets ignored, both by her beloved Kanade as the audience! I’d almost start to feel sorry for her :O

    From an imminent member of the Fandumb

  43. Anonymous says:

    honestly, I think that incest is okay,
    IF both of them actually love each other that way.
    it wouldn’t really be anyone’s business.
    as long as they don’t flaunt it around,in public.
    like they sort of do in the short series,Candy Boy.
    they hold hands everywhere they go.
    and their friends call them
    shameless couple“.
    which I find hilarious(:
    but really, this is somewhat common
    with twins.
    twins are inseparable, and have strong feelings for each other, because they do consider the other twin their “other half“.
    all I’m saying is that it’s their
    business. not yours (:
    anyways! I liked Candy Boy a lot! (:
    it’s an enjoyable short series.

  44. Anonymous says:

    baw i dont like Yuri so i give a 3 to the series.

  45. Anonymous says:

    Watch the fifth episode of the series and seriously tell me you still hate it. go on…do it. x3

  46. @Anonymous. Oh, I so still do not like it. Watching any episode is akin to dental surgery for me. it’s not *whether* it is Yuri that defines whether I like it. It it is whether the characters are likable. I find these characters be boring, in Saku-chan’s case, loathesome, and there is basically nothing that I like about the series. “zOMG! Yuri!” Isn’t enough.

  47. Thom says:

    I thought it was a sweet bit of Yuri, and wish it was longer. If there is more with these characters, I’ll look for it. As for the incest thing, in Japanese culture calling someone you respect and see as a senior is often referred to as ‘Big Sister’ or ‘Big Brother.’
    That’s what I thought of – especially as the word sister was capitalized. Sister Yukina – not sister Yukina.
    That being said, I haven’t seen anything else about Candy Boy, as whether it is stated officially that they are sisters.

  48. @Thom – They are officially stated to be biological sisters, with a younger sister that has a crush on one of the older ones as well.

  49. Anonymous says:

    “Ok ammm first of all my english suck!

    So what you are saying is that if they weren’t ralated this would be a decent Yuri?”

    that was gonna be my comment but then i readed this:

    “Oh, but let me clarify. Even if they weren’t sisters, Candy Boy would still suck.”

    Well i did like Candy Boy
    and just seeing that girl sucking her sisters finges game me chills! so just for that i liked this anime! yeah! and all the people who tries to make Erica change opinion are STUPID =)

    Erica ur my hero!

  50. Chris Davies says:

    -considers, shrugs-

    -slaps self across face-

    I like it. They’re cute. What can I say?

    Incidentally, ow.

  51. Anonymous says:

    I agree 100% with you Erica. The anime is really meh and the whole incest thing…actually, to me, it was just a mundane life of close sisters. It’s one of those anime that’s ambiguous and can be taken at many prospective. Still, story wise, it’s average but that’s just my opinion (yes, I watched all 8 episodes).

  52. The Denominator says:

    “Objective review”.

    This is the funniest complaint I’ve seen you get so far.

    When will people realise that the so-called “objective review” is the summary you find on Wikipedia?

    A review as such is stating your opinion. And if Erica’s opinion on this anime is that it is trash, then that’s her review.

    You all would not be complaining this much if she was singing it’s praises. Nobody would ask for the “objective review” then, would you?

    While I did not find Candy Boy to be that boring, mostly due to me being a Nabatame Hitomi LFG, it’s understandable what Erica said.

    Fans just think that because it’s Yuri, it’s automatically good. You wouldn’t be half as involved in Yukino and Kanade’s interaction if one of them was a boy, though that would attract an entirely different type of loser fan…

  53. Anonymous says:

    I still think it’s great. The love those characters show for each other is not dull at all, the fact that tey’re both girls and twins is just to underline that they’re not attracted to each other based on sexual preference, so it’s not really homoerotism or incest fetish. Even if they gave up on marriage and ended up living together all their lives there would be nothing wrong with it.

  54. ClockworkGirl says:

    I thought it could’ve been worse. Yea, the story went just about nowhere and there was the whole incest thing, which, though I support love in almost any way, just doesn’t hit me at the right points. I don’t hate it, it’s just not my thing. I simply and ignorantly overlook that fact and pretend they’re just reeaally close. Either way, even though not much happened in the anime, the art style was one I liked. I’ll say I was a firm supporter of the art style and seiyuus. Without thinking too much about it, Candy Boy was cute.

  55. Anonymous says:

    oops sorry lol… for all the other postings… This is an apology ^^”
    btw, the captcha was.. Unchast. lol.

  56. Anonymous says:

    I like to think of Okazu as /b/: somewhere to contain all the fail.

    It would be nice if you’d quit pretending that you’re some kind of Yuri representative when you represent only a small minority of the fanbase, though. One of the many reasons people hate you.

  57. Anonymous says:

    Can’t take you serious after reading this pathetic review.

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