Suzuki Yuuko’s Candy (キャンディ), Volume 1, is a realistic and pleasantly executed “Story A” collected from stories that ran in Tsubomi magazine.
Kanan is an athletic, somewhat goofy girl, who finds herself strongly attracted to Chiaki, the model “good girl.” Kanan is admired by many of the students for her cool performance in archery, but her best friend, Ichijou, knows that really, she’s just a big goof.
Goofy as she is, Kanan approaches Chiaki and almost unbelievably, it turns out that the honor student is just as interested in her. Their relationship develops quite normally, as they figure out how to deal with their own feelings, each other’s feelings and the inevitable rumors that spread through their school. Luckily for both of them, they are in socially stable, perhaps even powerful, positions in the school hierarchy and the rumors leave them relatively untouched – except, as Kanan discusses her relationship with an underclassman admirer, she notes that if this is weird, her mind is just full of weird these days.
Their biggest crisis comes in the form of a date, when they realize that their different personalities go way deeper than just life of the mind vs life of the body. But, after what could have been a killer crisis, they each leave their own comfort zone a bit and find a common ground. This chapter was outstanding to me, simply because both made an effort not just to cope, but to adapt.
The main story ends with our happy couple happy. Perhaps happily-ever-after awaits them, perhaps not, but for *this* moment, all is well.
There is a short extra chapter about Kanan’s friend Ichijou and her struggle accepting Kanan and Chiaki but, that too, resolves with a smile.
It’s true that this story breaks no new ground; given how many times this same path has been walked, this book was still a delightful companion for that stroll.
Art – 8 Clean, lots of white space, easy to follow, easy to enjoy
Story – 8 Same as above
Characters – The same as always, and yet, very pleasant and likable
Yuri – 7
Service – 1 on principle only
Overall – 8
If you’re looking for a book to practice Japanese reading with, and want something approachable, easy on the eyes and feel good, Candy is your book. Ultimately, Candy is a truly sweet look at first love.