The Italian Editon of Candy Candy Final Story

When CCFS was released in Japan in 2010, fans from other countries eagerly bought it with the hope of finding answers concerning Candy's fate after the end of the manga and anime. Fan translations of the novel in different languages were inevitably shared to ease the voracious curiosity. The French, English, Spanish, Italian and Greek fans even posted online petitions pleading with Nagita and Shodensha to authorize official translations of the novel in their own language. Fortunately, Nagita listened and gave her approval for foreign translations under specific conditions, permitting Shodensha to begin negotiations with foreign publishers.

Then on November, 2014, four years after the publication of the CCFS in Japan, the dream finally came true for Italian Candy fans! Kappalab, an Italian multimedia production and editorial group, became the first foreign publisher to gain the license for an Italian edition. It was a ground-breaking event that reverberated throughout the Candy Candy fandom. Kappalab's success now offered hope that other foreign translations could follow.

Candy Candy Romanzo
November 2014
Volume 1 Keiko Nagita 

Candy Candy Lettere
May 2015
Volume 2 Keiko Nagita 

Contents of the Candy Candy Romanzo & Candy Candy Lettere

In the volume one's preface, Nagita expressed her admiration and closeness to Italy, especially since she had grown up listening to italian music and watching italian films. She explained how the Candy Candy manga and anime's worldwide success is now offering her the opportunity to communicate with Italian fans. When asked why she decided to write about a foreign girl when she herself was Japanese, she replied: "Falling in love, love and the feeling that binds us to another person is the same for everyone in the world." (translated by Cinzia). There is no preface, however, in the japanese CCFS.

As in the japanese novel, the first volume, Candy Candy Romanzo, begins with a prologue describing an emotional Candy attempting to write a letter to Miss Pony, who had fallen ill. She starts to reminisce about her past life in Pony's Home, beginning with her childhood memories with Annie in the first chapter. The volume ends in a cliffhanger with Sister Gray banishing Candy from the May Festival.

In the second volume, Candy Candy Lettere, the story picks up with her detention and continues her adventures and romance with Terence Granchester at St. Paul's Institute and Scotland. After her departure from England to follow her own path, the novel changes from a narrative to an epistolary format, beginning with a postcard from Susie Ann Carson, a young nurse working in Calcutta, India. Like the CCFS, volume 2 ends with Candy in her present time, rushing into the arms of "that person" (anohito) after he returns home.

Before the second volume was released in Italy, Kappalab had posted a preview of Nagita's afterword in their Facebook page. In it, the author explains the history and difficulties she faced with the novel's publication, as well as her motives for writing the Final Story. This Italian afterword is essentially identical to the afterword in the japanese novel,

While working closely with the author during the translation, Kappalab was able to correct a few long-standing "translation errors" concerning the names of the characters. According to Nagita, Terry's official name is "Terence G. Granchester", not Terrence Grandchester as previously published in japanese and western translations. Also, the correct surname and spelling of Albert is "Ardlay" (not Ardley, Andrew, or Andrei). Instead of "Iriza Legan" in the italian version, it's "Eliza Lagan". And "Sister Maria" has been renamed "Sister Lane Roach".

Outcome of the Italian Edition of Candy Candy Final Story

According to Kappalab, the novel is one of their best sellers. This comes as no surprise since Candy Candy was a highly popular anime in Italy in the 1980s. It generated a wealth of children's merchandise and spawned over 300 magazine volumes from Fabbri editor  with manga drawings depicting Candy's new adventures. Adding to the novel's commercial success are purchases from non-Italian fans who were eager to own a piece of the CC novel's history. The inability to read italian has not been a deterrant since bilingual fans have been generous enough to share their knowledge of the story for those who can't read italian.

International Fan Reception

Is the international fan community satisfied with Italian editon of the Final Story? The comments and reactions were generally positive from enthusiastic readers on Kappalab's Facebook page for both volumes. Still, some fans questioned if the translation adhered faithfully to the japanese novel. Others wondered if there was a partiality towards the Terry fans since the italians had created a film, "Candy Candy e Terence", showing an alternate happy ending for Candy and Terry in the late 1990s! No matter what the reviews, the Italian edition holds the privilege as the first foreign publication of the Candy Candy novel after 40 years! It's definitely a significant milestone in Candy Candy's history.

"Oh Candy... you've reached far from here to around the world."
(Kyoko Mizuki, September 3, 1999, from her old guestbook for overseas fans)