Face Off: Mike and Ray on “Candy Boy” and Artificial Yuri Sweetners
Mike: Candy Boy: 90% sugar. 10% kinky. 0% boy!
Ray: It’s the sweetest thing – if only women were that great. In real life, I always meet AP’s – American Princesses, whether they’re Taiwanese American Princesses, Korean American Princesses, Japanese American Princesses (queens), or other kinds. Some of them don’t even live in the US!
However, in this case, there’s only a sweet, tender relationship and most importantly, no men.
Mike: Actually, no one else, period, except for Saku and Shi.
Ray: It’s like Friends, only with 4 girls! It’s so perfect!
Mike: I was waiting for the moment where it would suddenly be revealed that Kana and Yuki are not actually blood related.
Ray: Ah, but that’d be a standard anime trope. I mean, where’s the forbidden fun without incest? Mwa ha ha ha ha! But hey, they’re not doing it, and for me, that’s actually the best part.
Mike: It’s actually really odd. 90% of the time you can believe that these are merely very close and affectionate sisters who pretty much have only each other to keep company…and then each episode ends with the 10% kinky. It was the chocolate on the finger that got me. She wasn’t just licking. She was sucking.
Ray: Oooh…oooh…That was the best scene in the entire series, aside from the ear nibbling. Two gorgeous teenage twin sisters in love…sounds like porn, doesn’t it? Every otaku’s wet dream, eh?
Mike: It’s perverse enough to have that tang, I suppose. Because otherwise it’s pretty much like every other iyashikei anime (“healing” anime where not much happens and that’s the point), albeit very well-animated. Definitely OVA quality material.
Ray: Every scene, every setting is gorgeous, bright and beautiful, it’s as if the whole show is in love. Of course, a certain someone in our studio did not get it AT ALL upon finishing the first episode. You thought it was merely two very affectionate sisters!
Mike: Well from episode 1 (not the ONA; the one after that) it didn’t seem all that yuri. The ONA made things a bit more clear. And the later episodes were very, very clear.
I think the finger lickin’ good one was probably the climax.
Ray: Oh come on! They were holding hands and there was a love song playing in the background! Stop pretending you’re so innocent; this has nothing to do with homophobia, it’s the atmosphere. What, platonic love isn’t good enough for you? You just had to see banging and panting? XD It was so obvious!
Mike: Well, see, I can totally buy into the idea of two sisters (especially sisters) holding hands. Women are usually allowed a lot more physical affection toward each other in general. When you say ‘yuri’ to me that’s what it means. Sex. It’s the parallel term to yaoi.
Ray: Not really. Maria is Watching Us is yuri. Maria+Holic is yuri–or maybe it’s more GL. Girls Love, which is like tamer.
Mike: Yeah, I was about to say–GL or shoujo-ai might be what I was really thinking. That, yes, it definitely falls into. Plus of course “twincest,” something that usually is found in shoujo manga with two twin boys. But reversed.
Ray: I’m like a fujoshi except it’s all opposite! Wow! What a revelation! I mean, my reaction when seeing the show was clasping my hands and just adoring them! The fact that Yuki is like the silly older sister and Kana is the actually more responsible sister but is shy to admit her love, is just so cute.
Mike: Yeah. I assumed at first that Kana was the older one. Though, of course, being twins, “older” and “younger” are merely minutes apart. Though in real life, the nominally older one still usually takes the older-sibling role anyway.
Ray: I’m almost gagaing over the little things they do – talking about having Kana being the body pillow, eating snacks, holding hands, Yuki doing silly things like dropping the egg onto the pillow, and…”Kana-chan no mune.” “…Hai…?” “Chichi!” Like that’s pure yuri lust right there! XD
Mike: OK, that part, I’ll give you that. ￼
Ray: But it’s so beautiful that they are just so platonic!
Mike: You know, it was a pretty pleasant show to watch. I actually quite liked the family reunion one, where all three of them are sleeping together in the same bed.
Ray: Oooooohhhhh….I wonder if Mythbusters can bust the Christian myth that men were made first?
Ray: I mean, come on! Nothing looks more beautiful when those girls were in bed peacefully. I just can’t imagine that for men. That’d be disgusting and gross as hell itself. Even for most yaoi shows, the men look like girls without chest.
Mike: Which is why the gay men usually don’t find them appealing and it only seems to attract girls…
Ray: Yes, it’s feminine.
Mike: Well, like I said, women are allowed to be much more affectionate with each other than men are. Though I guess too that scene reminded me of the way kids often climb into bed with their parents when they’re scared. Kana and Yuki are basically kinda like absentee parents for Shi, even though they’re not that much older than her.
Ray: Well, neither girl is a cigarette lesbo. So there is no need for a dad!
Mike: There apparently is one, as well as a mother, but they’re never shown. That’s pretty standard for anime.
So what did you think about Saku? There is a full on lesbo in this anime, and that’s her.
Ray: Well, she doesn’t annoy me at the least, I mean without her it’d be only lovey and dovey all the time. She also kicks up the lesbo tension. She gushes in my place anyway.
Mike: Good point. A stand in for the (male) audience–she’s definitely a male otaku’s conception of a lesbian. ￼ I mean she has that ultra cutesy/moe voice and all.
Ray: But hey, she doesn’t attack forcefully. She doesn’t drag Kana into her car and forcefully take Kana back to her house and force dinner, force a Christmas party.
Mike: Nope, she just gets tickets magically and forces them all into coach class so they can all be squeezed next to each other ￼
Ray: Hey, a girl’s gotta try something, right? XD
Mike: It occurs to me that she is actually somewhat similar to Yuki. The whole show can be conceived of as a love triangle in trying to earn the affections of Kana. Not that Saku is a serious contender, but they are both bratty/immature and they both have the hots for Kana. Yuki is DEFINITELY the kinkier sister.
Ray: Well, you know, a little spice doesn’t hurt. I refuse to picture a pair-pair foursome, but that thought has crossed my mind. The entire show is crafted to be a beautiful fantasy high school girl life – without the life part. It’s pretty much Kana and Yuki in love and that’s fine.
Mike: It does kind of that “suspended reality” feel of ef-a tale of memories. Beautiful backgrounds–with seemingly no people other than the main characters.
Ray: Only better detailed.
Mike: I suppose if one is a student, though, there is still a teacher around to tell Kana to “redo.” ￼ That’s the closest any of this gets to ‘reality.’ A reality I once knew all too well!
Ray: You mean you were a lesbo once??? XD XD XD
Mike: I’m a man, I’m supposed to like women!
Ray: Wow, what a revelation. I think a collective “duh” just fell across the audience.
But yeah, there’s almost not intrusion from anything unwanted, eg. parents, teachers, bullies, women who may think they have a disgusting relationship, and so on.
Mike: Well, there is the abandoned younger sister. That’s as much intense drama as this show gets.
I noticed there is definitely a formula to the plotlines. You introduce some very small conflict, and it’s usually resolved by the end by one of them saying “hey, at least we’re together” and then the kinky stuff starts.
Ray: Shi-chan did annoy the hell out of me.
Mike: Huh. I actually found those episodes to be the most interesting ones.
Ray: Just get over it and apologize! or just crawl into their bed! But at the end, I was happy for her, at least she was finally accepted into the world of Shojo-Ai side! The seiyuu behind Kana, Nabatame Hitomi, said once: “there is no need for men!”
Mike: Heh. Well, not in this story, I agree. It’s like Azumanga Daioh. Having them talk about boys or something would just not make it as entertaining.
Ray: But you get that teacher in Azumanga.
Mike: And he’s the only one–and he’s a leering perv. He stands for the audience, I assume. ￼
Ray: Ow gee, it’s nice for you to finally admit it. You want to be that teacher, don’cha? XD Me, I just want to be Saku or another girl in Candy “Boy”.
Mike: Why did they call it Candy Boy anyway?
Ray: Because otherwise the Korean singer Meilin wouldn’t sing for it. I read that she refused to sing for a straight-up lesbian show. But see, changing the name really doesn’t change anything.
Mike: Uh…yeah. Like, a simple change of title doesn’t negate the fact that there’s like twincest in it.
Wait, so the person singing the insert songs and the EDs was Korean? I didn’t know.
Ray: Yes, and forget morality; it’s platonic! There has never been any couple more in-love then these two, you persecuting Christian faggot!!! XD
Mike: Hey, it’s not real, and no one is going ever accuse this show of being realistic!
Ray: Real? What real? You’re right! It’s fantasy! Everything is just so perfect in almost every episode!
What do you think of the music?
Mike: To tell you the truth, I didn’t notice it very much. The insert songs were OK, but not particularly memorable to me. So far, no one has ever beat Honey and Clover when it comes to insert song usage.
Ray: Ah. well if I have to be fair (and I hate it in this case), this show really doesn’t mean much of anything. Everyone is so likable and no one is really annoying enough to be interesting. And it’s mercifully short.
Mike: Well you know, I think it succeeds at what it set out to do. One of the first rules of criticism is that you base your critique in large part on what it was trying to do. I think it was trying to be an escapist, somewhat sexually charged slice-of-life show about two sisters. In that, it succeeds very well. It wasn’t trying to be some heavy drama, or even a standard comedy. In that too its shortness works very well in its favor. This would be pretty danged boring if it were standard length, 22 minute eps.
Ray: Hey, like I said, I didn’t want to be fair or critical about it; I love it! Now if only I were a girl on that show and got to observe everything they do!
Mike: That’s what the animators wanted you to do. ￼ They gotcha.
Ray: And got me they did. For a specific audience, it’s heavily (no panting allowed) recommended. For the rest, if you want to fall asleep to a beautiful dream (especially if you are a man), it’s not.
Mike: I can recommend it on aesthetics (animation quality) and pleasantness actually. If you are disturbed by even hints of twincest though, you aren’t going to like it.