Candy Candy Trials and Merchandise

 Where can I buy Candy Candy merchandise?
• Are there any official Candy Candy merchandise?

In 1997, Keiko Nagita (author) brought a Civil Action lawsuit against her old friend and partner, Yumiko Igarashi (manga illustrator) over the unauthorized production and selling of Candy Candy merchandise. Nagita viewed this as a violation of the contract they had signed when they became co-copyright managers of Candy Candy, after their contract with Kodansha had expired in 1995. Igarashi, on the other hand, believed she had the right to sell the Candy Candy goods without her consent because she drew the illustrations.  In her old Candy Candy website, Igarashi explained how she contributed to the "birth" of Candy Candy and its process. She wrote in her statement to the fans (November 11, 1999) that Candy Candy was a project that was first created by the editor-in-charge and herself and that they had chosen who would be the original author to write the story. She also wrote that she created the character designs before even receiving Nagita's first manuscript. After losing the trial on February, 1999, Igarashi filed an appeal a month later claiming, "I drew Candy Candy based on the story I wrote all by myself and Mizuki's story is not the original." This appeal was thrown out of court the following year. Igarashi then filed a final appeal to the Supreme Court on June, 2000.

The bitter trials between the "mothers" of Candy Candy lasted for over four years with the final judgement falling in favor of Keiko Nagita by the Japanese Supreme Court on October 25, 2001.

Japanese Supreme Court Judgement:

  • Keiko Nagita is reconfirmed as the "original author" and copyright holder of Candy Candy.
  • Yumiko Igarashi holds the second copyright and her manga illustrations are considered "secondary work" or derivative work.
  • Candy Candy merchandise cannot be produced or sold without the consent of both parties. Igarashi is therefore prohibited by law to draw and sell any new Candy Candy illustrations or goods without Nagita's consent.

As the confirmed original author, Nagita has the legal right to write novels and sequels to Candy's story, as well as the authority to approve production of a new Candy anime or manga without Igarashi's consent, as long as the artist's illustrations are not used.

When asked if she would consider working with another mangaka or animation company to bring a new version of Candy to the screen, Nagita replied: "I have completely no will to do that right now. However, nobody knows whether I would change my mind or not, as I wrote the FINAL STORY that I didn't expect to decide to write before. I think it depends on a good offer which would be brought by an agent who would be trustworthy enough. I don't know what lies around the bend in a straight road. C'est la vie. It has a fascination of its own!" (Sakura's BBS, December, 2010)

"I have an ownership legally, so I can write the sequel freely." -- Keiko Nagita (Sakura's BBS, December, 2010)

In the final sentencing on May 30, 2002, Igarashi and her accomplices were ordered to pay damages worth about 29,000,000 yen. 

Those unfamiliar with this infamous Candy Candy Trial, can read the timeline of the "Candy Candy lawsuits" at this Japanese/English website: We Love Candy. There is also a good summary of the trials and the outcome at the Anime News Network.

Illustrated by Angela

Supreme Court Judgement of the Candy Candy Copyright Trial - japanese
Nagita Keiko's Official Website - japanese (history of CC Court cases and judgements - japanese) (about the CC novel copyright - japanese) (Kodansha's position on the CC Copyright -japanese)
Birth of Candy Candy and Its Process by Yumiko Igarashi - japanese
Statement from Yumiko Igarashi about the trials - japanese
Candy Candy Copyright Lawsuits for Beginners (summary of legal dispute between Igarashi and Mizuki)
Questions/Answers from Kyoko Mizuki about the trial (english)
Candy Candy Nightmare (Anime News Network)
Candy Candy キャンディ・キャンディWikipedia (japanese)

Kyoko Mizuki's Message to Candyfans on 10/29/2001 after the last Supreme Court Trial
(quoted from her
overseas guestbook)

Dear all overseas Candy Candy fan,

I'm so sorry not writing you back that I always feel so bad.

On October 25th, finally I have won the Candy Candy copyright dispute extensively at the highest court judgment, the Supreme Court in Japan. As Kyoko Mizuki, I was confirmed as the author of Candy Candy in law. That means those Candy Candy merchandise were consented and produced by the Mangaka (Ms. Igarashi) only herself are all illegal ones, which is confirmed in law.

It was really long way for me to get the judgment. It's been for 5 years since I brought it to the court. During having the dispute, it was detected that the Mangaka had consented to sell Candy Candy merchandise in overseas with some goods maker. Thank you all for the information on illegal Candy Candy merchandise that you've found near you. I really appreciate it. I wanted to provide you legal ones, and I wanted you to enjoy them, truly. However, I regret that those illegal merchandise have spread in many countries.

In spite of the Mangaka infringed Toei holing the Candy Candy trademark, the issue that the Mangaka sued Toei over the Candy Candy trademark came to the conclusion and Toei has won. However, this dispute caused a broadcast freeze on the series, and so far it is impossible to release whole series on videos and DVDs in the world, even in Japan.

We are also working on investigation the information on Candy Candy DVDs in Asian countries, Canada, Mexico, France, and Germany. And all of those DVDs are very suspicious not only just a bootleg, but illegal merchandise that the Mangaka might be involved.

As the author of Candy Candy, I do hope the work, Candy Candy will be cleaned up. As long as those illegal merchandise appears on the world market, I'm very sad to see the image of Candy Candy getting dirty. I do hope you will tell your friend who is also Candy Candy fan in the world all about this.

I always read all yours posted message here. I'm sorry I didn't write you back because of my poor English. I'm so happy to get yours thoughtful and the warmest message. Thank you for your support. I really appreciate it.

Kyoko Mizuki


Kyoko Mizuki's Message to Candyfans on 04/18/2002
(quoted from her overseas guestbook - translated by Cotton Candy)

"Murmurs of Fallen Leaves From My Small Window"

    On October 25th, the declaration of ruling from the Supreme Court was issued finally that I've been longing for. According to the judgment, which matched both the Tokyo District Court and the Tokyo High Court decision, I was conformed <the original author of Candy Candy>.

    This means nothing change from that I used to be 25 years ago when Candy Candy was published serially in monthly magazine, Nakayoshi.

    However, I just feel like receiving a key for <a brand new door> to open when I was conformed as the author under the law.

    This case made me heartbroken continuously, but the other hand, I received a lot of unexpected gifts from it. I will tell you each of stories when I will close this website in the near future.

    Above all, I was amazed and unexpected to realize myself that I started to think I feel like writing "New Candy Story".

    I really didn't imagine I felt that way before this case happened.

    When I started to find out nobody could stop Igarashi's unlawful act, the idea of "New Candy Story" appeared and Toei Animation dropped me a hint. This is to say, they asked me whether it is possible to ponder on "New Candy Story" without using old (original) Candy that Igarashi used to draw.

    However their suggestion tended to be very modest, because they knew it depended on me. That means whether I could bid farewell to drawings of Candy by Igarashi completely. They seemed to think that I could only start to write <sequel> after I said good bye to them without any regret.

    I replied to them "I will not write any sequel of Candy."

    Oh, yes... I was really devoted to our work, Candy Candy by all means which Igarashi and I created together. I still regard Candice White Ardray as the girl herself who was drawn by Igarashi, especially for the manga.

    Candy who has been loved by many fans was born from Igarashi's drawings. If Candy's sequel would be released with new drawings by someone else, it might be hard to accept for those devoted fans.

    Having respect for fans feelings, I made up my mind to be devoted to Candy's drawings by Igarashi no matter what happened.

    Then "It is impossible to write Candy's sequel for me. But I can write a new story of Candy based on original Candy's world story, I replied.

    What do I mean by a new story of Candy...<A new main character> might be the warp, and <Candice White Ardray> would be the woof. I will weave them up into a new story.

    Any type of readers, not only old fans who used to read original Candy Candy, but also new fans who has never read it before will enjoy this story. It has to be that kind of story, I really hope, so.

    And if the new story would accept by many fans and become a success, both old and new story of Candy would be alive together. That will not hurt you all. That's what I thought.

    However, I took back what Toei and I had been planning for the story in the midst of consideration. I had been doubtful while we were carrying forward the project.

    <What do I write this story for?>

    I thought I would like to return myself to my right mind. When I wrote original Candy's story, I felt "something invisible power took my hand to write.".

    It was really pure and natural feelings without any little piece of muddiness. I found myself I could only start to write when I could return to that kind of feeling I used to have.

    <Not for anybody, not for a certain purpose. I will write because I just want to!>

    Without such a pure spirit, I would have no excuse to those characters of the story. I'm not the finest story creator, but all charactors that I've created were born from such feelings.

    I wish I can create <the new Candy story. from stainless mind. I don't consider whether it's going to be a manga or an animation at all right now.

    Just... I will write because I just want to! Now I hope I will release the story as a style of novel.

    If the work will turn out great, the story might turn into something else.Igarashi might interfere in the new Candy story. Most of all publishing companies who don't want to have any trouble with it might refuse to publish my novel. It is no problem for me to write the new story of Candy under the law, though.

    However, I think everything depends on whether the new Candy story that I'm going to write comes out great or not. I wish I can work with a company and an editor who has grit.

    This case has given great grief to many Candy fans.Writing new story of Candy makes amends for the past...? I don't figure out it yet.

    But the seed of the story keeps swelling day by day.

    A couple of decade later, at the new <Pony's home>.

    Who build that house?

    Who lives there?

    And what kind of story comes out from it...

    I'm just wondering....

    Someday, I will tell you...

    Kyoko Mizuki


Kyoko Mizuki's Message to Candyfans on 04/28/2002 before the closure of her overseas guestbook
(quoted from her overseas guestbook - translated by Cotton Candy)

    To all of you overseas fans,

    First of all, I have to make my deeply apologies from bottom of my heart for all Candy Candy fans, because this entire of Candy Candy trials have disappointed and depressed you to know it. I would you like to know, I wish you would enjoy only the Candy world as a work and how deeply I feel painfully to think about this for you.

    Today, I will describe my feelings to show you plainly and frankly.

    I have been afraid to tell you this what I'm going to say, because it might be too much sorrowful for you. However, I think over what I've been through and now I found it caused things make so ambiguous.

    People who have common sense, it is quite natural for you to think previously legal Candy Candy items like animations and mangas could be come back on the market right after the Supreme Court judgment. What on earth, think about it with your common sense, it is completely nonsense to dispute to the highest court whether the person who had written the story 25 years ago hold the copyright or not, in spite of the publisher company have treated me as the author during the past 25 years.

    It is hard to understand for most of you that it could be possible to dispute at the point whether Mizuki is the author or not, which goes without saying.

    This thing will show you the affair's root has been corrupt already.

    As you've already known, Igarashi had broken contract to Mizuki.

    If the contract breach is the only problem, it would be possible for me to make a re-contract including penal regulations with her when she admits her guilt.

    Worse still, Igarashi denied me, not the author, in front of my eyes, she testified and insisted "I draw Candy Candy based on the story I wrote all by myself, and Mizuki's story is not the original" when the court examined Igarashi as a witness.

    Still I have a nightmare of its scene many times, over and over.

    I'm afraid the work of Candy Candy is no longer alive after Igarashi's testimony.

    I've believed that Candy Candy is the work which its words (story) and drawings are inseparably related, as the court judgment says. If she cares about the work, Candy Candy like always do, we had to respect each other like I always tried to do. But she completely destroyed our relationship all by herself. And even after the Supreme Court judgment, she's never changed her insistence. That means the work, Candy Candy is also destroyed. This is the root of this affair.

    The reasons why TOEI, KODANSHA and other companies cannot help refusing Candy Candy, instead of it is still nice work, are spread illegal merchandises all over the world, which I've already told again and again, and its own root.

    The work, which the relationship between the author and the illustrator has already lost, cannot exist on the market anywhere. It might cause to another new trouble, if it would be there.

    The main purpose of a company is making a profit, you know. But a good company where human is working there has a high moral sense.

    Nothing could be changed in new without her settlement of an affair which has been tyrannized over by Igarashi herself.

    I regard my story of Candy Candy is almost stolen and fail in the attempt by her, and illegal merchandises which have Candy's soul are all pilferage from me.

    It is up to you whether you will buy them or not, depends on your way of thinking and life.

    It will turn 6 year-old for this affair on May 26th. During this dispute, I've changed my feelings so much. First a couple of years, I was tried to the work be alive very hard. However, now I refuse to see Candy's face which I used to love, I cannot look her straight because too much stress to see her.

    People around me, my families and friends always urge me to forget about Candy. And they also say to me Candy will shorten my life. They worry and care about me very much. It would be true.

    I've been thinking Candy Candy is the work which story and drawings are inseparable related for a long time, but the story was just given me back. That makes me feel little bit better and easier.

    I'm sorry for Candy Candy fans. I really apologize to you for all this happened. When I know how much you, overseas fans love this work, I feel so much painful. I cannot tell you enough.

    I hope Candy will be still there your side and you will keep loving her in your heart.

    I hate to use the word, DESPAIR. I will prefer to say SEE YOU SOMETIME, or MAYBE IN THE FUTURE... to all of you.

    I was going to keep overseas guestbook little bit longer than others, but now I decided to close here at the end of May as same as other 2 BBSs for Japanese fans will be closed.

    I'm really sorry for that.

    Kyoko Mizuki


Where can I buy Candy Candy Merchandise?

At online auctions and anime/manga stores, one may still be able find an assortment of CC goods and memorabilia produced in Europe, Latin, and Asian countries, where Candy was very popular in the 1970's and 80's. The CC merchandise that appeared in the late 1990's up until today are generally considered illegal since their production was never authorized by the author.

Illegal CC DVDS in France

On November 2005, these mysterious publicity ads appeared in certain anime/manga and ladies magazines in France announcing the release of the French Candy Candy DVDs! Two DVD box sets, each containing 23 episodes were produced under a relatively unknown logo -- "Pony Girls"-- and sold in discreet manga boutiques and ebay.

While pursuing another company in court for illegally producing and selling the French Goldorak DVDS, TOEI Animation filed a suit to block the sale of these French Candy DVDs, claiming that they never gave the rights to this company to exploit them.  On May 2006, the French courts decided in favor of TOEI and the companies responsible (Poly Production and DDV) were ordered to surrender the French CC video masters and pay a substantial commercial fine.  The details of this "Candygate" affair can be found (only in French) at Nonoche's site: Goldorak-Gate.

As a result of the copyright trials between Mizuki and Igarashi, TOEI had decided not to produce any DVDs of the anime series. The company felt that Igarashi had infringed on TOEI's trademark "Candy Candy" and no longer wanted to associate itself with the product due to the "Candy Candy scandal".  The proliferation and selling of illegal DVD bootlegs had also prevented them from broadcasting the series and producing and distributing future DVD release.

Are there any "official" Candy Candy Merchandise?

You can still find and purchase legal and official Candy Candy merchandise at and other online stores and auction sites. However, the difficulty lies in identifying which products are legally made (authorized by Mizuki) and which are not (bootlegs). In general, all publications of the Candy Candy mangas released in Japan are considered official products, as well as CC merchandise produced in Japan before 1995, when TOEI Animation still held the rights to produce Candy Candy goods under Kodansha's management. Kodansha had managed the copyright for Mizuki and Igarashi between 1976 and 1995. When their contract expired in 1995, the copyright management returned to Mizuki and Igarashi, who both agreed and signed a contract that any CC merchandise required BOTH of their permission.

We Love Candy Candy

Official CC Music CD in France

On December 2003, a French record company LOGA-RYTHME released a musical CD containing the BGMs (background music) composed by Takeo Watanabe for the 1979 Candy Candy animated series! The BGMs were first produced on an LP vinyl record 33pm in November 1981 by Nippon Columbia, Ltd.

French Candy CD


Japanese CC BGM - LP (1981)
テレビ・オリジナル・BGM・コレクション キャンディ キャンディ 

This French produced CD contains bonus Karaoke background music for the Japanese opening and ending theme songs "Candy Candy" and "Ashitaga Suki", as well French Candy Candy music sung by Dominique Poulain and Dorothée. Included in the CD's jacket are fanarts, summaries of Candy Candy's history and its impact in France, along with the lyrics to the Japanese and French music. The webmistress Sophie of, is also credited for her contributions to this precious CD! More detailed information on this product can be found HERE.

New Candy Candy BGM released!

Just when we thought we would never see any new Candy Candy merchandise, this wonderful news arrived from Japan! Nippon Columbia, Ltd. released the COMPLETE Candy Candy SONG & BGM Collection as part of their "Columbia Sound Treasure Series" on September 30, 2015! It is a 3-disc CD album filled with songs from the 1992 Candy Candy OVA CD, BGM tracks composed by Takeo Watanabe taken from the 1981 LP - TV Original Candy Candy BGM Collection, along with never before recorded and published BGMs from the anime series!


There are 112 tracks in all and the song titles (in japanese) can be found here at their website:

You can now preorder the CD from various online stores (¥ 4,200 and up):

More detailed information on this product can be found HERE.