As was chosen by the readers of YuriReviews, Candy Boy is the next anime to get a review, and needless to say, this should be required viewing for any self-respecting yuri fan.
Synopsis: Twin sisters, Yukino and Kanade Sakurai, room together in the dorms at their high school, enjoying school life with their friends and one another. One day, Sakuya Kamiyama, an underclassman, seeks out Yukino, while Kanade learns from a friend that Sakuya has admired Yukino for a very long time. This innocent revelation sets into motion a chain of events that eventually lead to Yukino expressing her feelings for her sister. (Source: MAL)
And keeping with that synopsis, you’d think that the other part of this love triangle, Sakuya, would cause create some tension between Kana and Yuki, but after the initial misunderstanding, it’s not like that at all. Sakuya and Yuki get along well, and after we learn that Kana is the one that Saku adores, not Yuki, Saku proceeds to be the show’s comic relief, which suits her quite well. Comedy isn’t listed as a genre of this anime, but there were more than enough funny moments spread throughout the series, so that’s another plus. A little later on, another character, the twins’ younger sister, Shizuku, provides some drama, in the form of jealousy over the closeness of Kana and Yuki. These episodes with Shi felt like a nice little break from the norm, and they inevitably helped the girls grow closer, so I think it was a nice little detour from the Yuki x Kana lovefest.
First off, that synopsis makes the series sound much more dramatic than it actually is. In the very first Candy Boy episode, Side Story For Archive (also known as Episode 0), Yukino’s teary-eyed plea for Kanade not to leave her, does a decent enough job of hitting you right in the feels, but after that, things calm down considerably. This is a rather slow-moving, character-driven story about these two girls whose relationship is going through some growing pains, yet they manage to pull through. I probably made that sound almost as serious as that synopsis, when in reality, this anime is overly sappy and sweet, which is probably what a majority of yuri fans want to see from their yuri anime anyway~
At its heart, this is a simple story that focuses on the relationships of these four girls, and all the good and bad that come with living and loving. All in all, it’s a rewarding little story that may be simple, yet it’s still easily enjoyable.
Considering how short the episodes are (roughly fifteen minutes for the main series, and even less for the original ONA, special, and OVA), it shouldn’t be much of a surprise that the cast is small, with only four characters playing significant roles.
Let’s start off with my favorite of the two sisters, Kanade. As the seemingly more mature of the two, Kana’s act of balancing her relationship with Yuki, her one-sided relationship with her kouhai, her fluctuating relationship with her little sister, as well as her aspiring art career, is enough to make anyone stressed out, but she handles it impressively well. Luckily, she’s not all business, and with all the ridiculous things that Saku and Yuki make her put up with—like Yuki trading photos of Kanade to Saku for snacks—seeing her get upset is half the fun. Of course, the end result usually winds up in Saku getting ignored, as well as Kana and Yuki making up in very cute ways, so if that’s what’ll happen, keep on giving her a hard time, guys!
On the flip side is Yukino, and as serious as Kana oftentimes was, Yukino is pretty much the opposite. From making questionable exchanges with Saku, to her incessant whining in order to get her way, I found her equal parts cute and annoying, which is the reason I prefer Kana more. Later on in the series, she seems to do away with the airhead routine a bit, and she immediately became more likable to me. All the cheek abuse Yuki brings upon herself is funny, but I guess I’m not really a big enough fan of that type of character, so I’m sure others liked her far more than I. However, one thing I did really like about her was how she was almost always the one who instigated the yuri moments between her and Kana.
Always sleeping together on the bottom bunk, the constant hand-holding, the finger sucking, the planning of their future together, etc. There may or may not be a “kiss” (it’s debatable whether you can call it that), but as far as everything else goes, this has almost everything that a yuri fan could want from an anime, so what’s not to love about it? What makes me like the yuri in this more than an anime like Sakura Trick, is that it has that sweet love story AND there’s that little bit of a serious side, due to the changing landscape of the girls’ school/work life. But thankfully, it’s not all like that, thanks in large part to Sakuya.
Yes, Kanade’s diminutive, love-crazed stalker is one of those types of characters that I always enjoy, and for that reason, she was my favorite character in the show (I know I’m in the minority with that opinion). As far as Shi goes, I didn’t find her as enjoyable as Saku, Kana, or Yuki, but she wasn’t all that bad, and she brought with her some conflict, so it could be far worse. Overall, this anime sits squarely on the shoulders of Yuki and Kana, just like Atlas, and their budding romance is what keeps things interesting and is reason enough for to watch this. So for the great chemistry between Yuki and Kana, and enough yuri to make almost any fan happy, the characters are one thing that Candy Boy does really well.
No, this series isn’t one to feature any intricate fighting scenes or fancy special effects of any kind, yet Candy Boy still looks surprisingly good. It all boils down to the art style, with the characters themselves looking particularly nice, especially considering its meager beginnings on Cho! Animelo and Nico Nico Douga. Realistic enough to not be considered too much on the moe side, yet cute enough to keep things on the light and fluffy side, it’s a near-perfect visual balance that ends up working out very well. It may not be the best-looking anime of its time-frame, yet you can’t deny that it still looks pretty impressive, at least for the time.
While the main Candy Boy series doesn’t have a full-fledged OP theme, it makes up for it with three different EDs, not to mention having that oh so rare of occurrences, an insert song (which is actually just the first ED, but whatever). I’m all in favor of multiple themes, and I do usually appreciate the brief pause that an insert song provides, but I didn’t find any of these songs all that memorable, and I’m sure I’ll forget all about them in no time. I think the same can be said of a majority of the anime I watch, so it’s not a major gripe, but I think they could’ve been a little more noteworthy. One last thing, how is it possible for the same person who voiced Yuki to be the same person who voiced Satsuki in Kill la Kill?! From a baby doll voice to an authoritative voice worthy of respect, you, Ryouka Yuzuki, are good.
It’s not the most exciting anime out there, and even though I prefer shows that are a little “busier”, you really can’t argue that this is a prime example of yuri anime done right. With some romance, comedy, cuteness, and a somewhat realistic portrayal of a lesbian relationship, there’s a really good chance that yuri fans won’t be disappointed with what Candy Boy has to offer~