Candy Color Paradox – Series Review & Ending Explained

Candy Color Paradox is a Japanese BL series about two tabloid journalists who fall in love.

Candy Color Paradox is a Japanese BL series about two tabloid journalists. The protagonist is an investigative reporter for a magazine. One day, his boss assigns him to collaborate with a coworker on a new case. These colleagues don't get along due to their different personalities. Yet, they make a compatible team while uncovering the truth behind each story. As their relationship improves, the former adversaries develop an unlikely bond.

I thoroughly enjoy Candy Color Paradox, a fun and vibrant BL drama that carries a touch of quirkiness. Investigative journalism is a unique topic, allowing the series to delve into juicy plots with exciting scenarios. The leads also have a saucy relationship dynamic, an enthusiastic rapport, and an abundance of sexual tension. Each episode entertains me, even if a few storylines may be too sensationalist and preposterous.

Candy Color Paradox Summary



Series Info:

Japan (2022)


3 hours

Total Episodes:

8 episodes


Office romance


Candy Color Paradox is a spicy & romantic BL drama.


Onoe and Kabu are journalists who work together in Candy Color Paradox.

Onoe is a reporter for a tabloid publication, Shinkansha's Weekly Dash! It is his third year at the company, where he enjoys doing his dream job as an investigative journalist. He typically covers hard-hitting news topics like business fraud. Despite his hard work, Onoe's articles are sometimes eclipsed by his colleague's celebrity exposés. His coworker Kaburagi, also known as Kabu, specializes in writing about famous stars and their scandals. Onoe sees Kaburagi as a rival at work and calls him an "annoying punk".

Kaburagi is a natural flirt and popular with the ladies. Besides his intimate exchanges with a female coworker, Onoe sees Kaburagi getting chummy with two other women in a restaurant. Onoe thinks his coworker is sleazy and has an unfavourable opinion of him. They clash and don't get along. One day, the editor-in-chief moves Onoe to the entertainment division due to an employee shortage. He will be partnered with Kaburagi on their next project. Onoe is uncomfortable with this change. However, his boss encourages him to try different fields and learn from Kaburagi.

Reluctantly, the two colleagues begin working together. Their task involves following a famous actress rumoured to be having an affair. Onoe and Kaburagi are on stakeout, so they must sit inside a car to wait for the perfect photo opportunity. Although the actress is seen with another man, Kaburagi fails to get an incriminating picture. He is held back by Onoe, who makes mistakes and can't keep up with the fast-paced workload. As Kaburagi grows annoyed by his incompetent partner, tensions brew between them. Onoe asks for a transfer, but his boss insists they work together.

Onoe is high school friends with Masayan. After work, Onoe visits Masayan's restaurant and vents about how much his colleague annoys him. Despite his complaints, the two journalists make a surprisingly compatible team. They expose various celebrities and politicians in scandalous moments. Their boss continues to assign them work together. Meanwhile, Kaburagi slowly warms to his new partner and likes teasing him. He constantly flirts with Onoe, making him flustered.

Candy Color Paradox Trailer

Candy Color Paradox Cast



Keito Kimura (木村慧人)

Onoe is portrayed by the Japanese actor Keito Kimura (木村慧人).

Onoe is a reporter for Shinkansa, Weekly Dash! He has worked for this tabloid magazine for three years. Being a journalist is his dream job, and Onoe enjoys his line of work. He sees his coworker, Kaburagi, as a rival. Onoe is friends with Masayan and visits his restaurant as a regular customer, often to vent about Kaburagi.

Keito Kimura

Keito Kimura (木村慧人) is a Japanese actor. He is born on August 16, 1999.

Keito Kimura (木村慧人) is a Japanese actor. He is born on August 16, 1999. His first BL project is the 2022 series, Candy Color Paradox.


Jyutaro Yamanaka (山中柔太朗)

Kabu is portrayed by the Japanese actor Jyutaro Yamanaka (山中柔太朗).

Kaburagi, or simply Kabu, is a journalist who works at the same company as Onoe. He specializes in covering entertainment topics for the tabloid magazine. Kaburagi is a natural flirt and charms many female acquaintances. Onoe doesn't get along with him due to their opposite personalities, and the two colleagues clash when their boss assigns them to work together.

Jyutaro Yamanaka

Jyutaro Yamanaka (山中柔太朗) is a Japanese actor. He is born on December 23, 2001.

Jyutaro Yamanaka (山中柔太朗) is a Japanese actor. He is born on December 23, 2001. His first BL project is the 2022 series, Candy Color Paradox.

Supporting Cast

Masayan is portrayed by the Japanese actor Atsuki Kashio (樫尾篤紀).


Atsuki Kashio (樫尾篤紀)

Tanuki is portrayed by the Japanese actor Ryuichi Oura (大浦龍宇一).


Ryuichi Oura (大浦龍宇一)

Kiuchi is portrayed by the Japanese actor Yu Koyanagi (小柳友).


Yu Koyanagi (小柳友)

Kaori is portrayed by the Japanese actress Sae Miyazawa (宮澤佐江).


Sae Miyazawa (宮澤佐江)

Sumi is portrayed by the Japanese actor Tomohiro Ichikawa (市川知宏).


Tomohiro Ichikawa (市川知宏)

Inami is portrayed by the Japanese actor Kenta Izuka (猪塚健太).


Kenta Izuka (猪塚健太)

Haruta is portrayed by the Japanese actress Rinne Yoshida (吉田凜音).


Rinne Yoshida (吉田凜音)

Reika is an actress who knows Inami.


Yumi is an actress having an affair.


Mano is having an affair with Yumi.


Suda is the secretary of a corrupt government official.


Tamura runs a fraudulent business.


Cast Highlights

  • Inami's actor (Kenta Izuka) is the lead of the 2018 Japanese BL series The Novelist. He also appeared in the 2021 movie sequel.

Candy Color Paradox Review


Drama Review Score: 8.2

Onoe and Kabu share an intimate moment in the car.

Candy Color Paradox tackles the unique occupation of investigative reporting. It explores many scandalous plots, from cheating celebrities to corrupt politicians. Each storyline unfolds excitingly, thanks to the lively banter, quirky humour, and juicy twists. Beyond the sensationalist drama, the series examines significant themes like journalistic integrity. Candy Color Paradox confronts the protagonists with ethical dilemmas, challenging them to balance their career ambitions with moral decency.

The series has created two memorable main characters with multifaceted personalities. These polar opposites complement each other's strengths and flaws, forming a compatible partnership. Working together, the colleagues investigate shady individuals to uncover their ugly secrets. Some cases bring the leads closer, united by teamwork and loyalty. Other storylines drive them apart as they clash over their values. Onoe's earnestness is at odds with Kaburagi's pessimism. Yet, their relationship strengthens as they learn from each other's perspectives and grow as individuals. 

Don't go into Candy Color Paradox thinking it's a safe, wholesome BL drama. Like a sleazy tabloid, the series can be sordid, flamboyant, and provocative. It exposes depraved behaviour like affairs or blackmail, so be prepared for offensive tropes. I disagree with how it handles certain storylines, which feel tacky and problematic. Also, some outrageous events seem totally preposterous. Kaori's character is like a plot device that presents incriminating evidence out of thin air. Candy Color Paradox operates on cheap sensationalism more than credible realism.

Onoe and Kaburagi don't get along when the series begins. Their sassy rivalry energizes the early episodes. However, they fall in love too quickly and develop their attraction based on shallow interactions. The transition from enemies to lovers should be smoother. After overcoming their feud, the leads share many delightful BL scenes as they bond over playful flirting and lighthearted antics. There are also a few moments of cheeky seduction, highlighting the sexual tension in a fun, vibrant way. This romance thrives with the right amount of comedy, enthusiasm, and sexiness.

Kaburagi's actor (Jyutaro Yamanaka) embodies his character well. He speaks cynically and carries a brooding demeanour. Yet, he can turn on the charm to seduce his love interest with a confident swagger. His costar (Keito Kimura) settles into Onoe's role, especially as the series progresses. He portrays a sincere protagonist who remains endearing despite his insecurities and neuroticism. Both leads give solid performances, albeit they aren't exceptional. There's room for improvement once these young stars gain experience and refine their charisma in the future.

Candy Color Paradox has a happy ending as Onoe and Kaburagi resolve their interpersonal conflict. Initially, the storyline annoyed me. However, the finale turns the dispute into complex character development. All the overarching themes about reconciliation and personal growth come together harmoniously. This satisfying conclusion reiterates the best aspects of Candy Color Paradox, which combines an energetic romance with thoughtful messages. The series is like a kaleidoscope, displaying a colourful mixture of love, drama, emotions, and humour.


Exciting story

Candy Color Paradox follows two investigative reporters and their zany adventures. The quirky story contains sensationalist drama with juicy twists. It also explores themes of journalistic integrity.

Colourful romance

The leads fall in love too quickly based on shallow interactions. Nonetheless, their relationship scenes are fun and engaging. From playful jokes to flirty seduction, this romance is a thrilling journey.

Decent acting

Both leads give solid performances, but there's room for improvement. Kaburagi's actor (Jyutaro Yamanaka) carries a brooding vibe, while his costar (Kieto Kimura) exudes sincerity.

Happy ending

Candy Color Paradox has a happy ending as Onoe & Kaburagi resolve their workplace conflict. The finale reiterates the overarching themes of personal growth and reconciliation with your partner.

Vibrant artistry

The series produces warm, vibrant visuals that give this story an enthusiastic vibe. I love the background music that plays during intimate moments. The melody accentuates the sexual tension.


Candy Color Paradox is an energetic BL series with quirky characters in an entertaining romance. Each storyline unfolds excitingly, thanks to the cheeky humour, juicy plot twists, and a spicy romance.

Candy Color Paradox Episodes

Episode Guide

Onoe and Kaburagi dress up as tax accountants.

Candy Color Paradox has a total of 8 episodes. Each episode is around 24 minutes long. It is a medium-length BL drama, and you can finish the entire series in around 3 hours. Candy Color Paradox started on December 16, 2022 and ended on February 10, 2023.

Episode 1
Episode 2

Episode 1

Episode 1 Summary
Kaburagi whispers into Onoe's ear seductively.

Onoe is a reporter for a weekly tabloid magazine. Although he specializes in writing political topics, his boss moves him to another division due to a staff shortage. He must work with Kaburagi, his work rival, to collaborate on their next story. The project involves taking scandalous pictures of Yumi, an actress having an affair. Kaburagi and Onoe have a stakeout as they wait for the perfect photo opportunity. However, the two coworkers don't get along. They clash over their personality differences.

Onoe makes mistakes and messes up on the job, ruining Kaburagi's chances of taking a picture. Kaburagi grows annoyed with his incompetent partner. After work, Onoe visits his friend's restaurant. He vents to Masaya about his frustrations with Kaburagi. Just then, Kaburagi arrives with two other women. He acts charming and flirty with them. Later, Onoe confronts Kaburagi for two-timing on Arai, the office assistant. Kaburagi clarifies he isn't dating Arai. Plus, he only flirts with these girls to gather intel from them. Kaburagi demonstrates his seduction skills by blowing into Onoe's ear.

Onoe calls out Kaburagi for using the women and taking advantage of them. Kaburagi seems annoyed at Onoe's hypocrisy since they write in the same magazine. "You haven't done anything dirty in this line of work!?" Afterwards, Onoe requests a transfer, but his boss declines. During a stakeout, Onoe and Kaburagi discuss why they became journalists. Onoe wants to expose the evil in the world with a single pen, a sentiment that moves the jaded Kaburagi. The episode ends with them catching a photo of Yumi's affair. Onoe recognizes her lover – he's a yakuza leader. 

Episode 1 Review
Onoe develops feelings for Kaburagi at the end of Candy Color Paradox Episode 1.

I love that Candy Color Paradox is about two tabloid journalists. It offers a fresh take on the usual workplace BL series. Too many office BL dramas take place in a ~marketing agency~, whereas this series does something different. I like seeing these coworkers out and about, doing their jobs outside. They're on stakeouts, solving mysteries, and adopting aliases. It's more exciting than watching two employees attend meetings or sit at their desks all day.

Onoe comes across as immature and slightly annoying in the first episode. His neuroticism is exaggerated and on full display. Thankfully, he settles down later in the series, appearing less frantic. The actor also grows comfortable in the role. He finds a better way to convey his character's personality endearingly. While I didn't particularly like the Onoe in the premiere, he becomes more tolerable as the story progresses.

Episode 2

Episode 2 Summary
Onoe and Kaburagi embrace.

Onoe and Kaburagi continue their assignment from the previous episode. Their boss wants a clear photo of Yumi with her yakuza lover. Kaburagi visits Kaori, a club owner who holds the power of information. She offers to sell the yakuza leader's address for a price. After purchasing the info, the duo parted ways. Kaburagi goes to follow Yumi, while Onoe spies at the yakuza's hideout. Onoe is in the middle of calling his colleague when he abruptly terminates the chat. Kaburagi is worried something dangerous may have happened.

Onoe didn't get into trouble with the yakuza. Instead, he was reprimanded by the police for spying on police property. Kaburagi finds him in time and bails him out of the predicament. Onoe is grateful for his help. He sees that his coworker has a softer side beneath his brooding demeanour. Onoe develops a crush on Kaburagi, but he doesn't want to admit these feelings. Eventually, Onoe and Kaburagi capture an incriminating picture of Yumi with her lover. The story publishes, exposing the actress's affair.

Afterwards, Kaburagi is smoking on the rooftop. He seems remorseful about ending Yumi's career. Kaburagi advises Onoe to change teams before he becomes "numb" to ruining people's livelihoods. However, Onoe hugs his colleague and reassures him he's a nice guy. Kaburagi seems comforted and almost wants to reciprocate the embrace. Yet, Onoe becomes self-conscious and pulls away moments later. Masayan tells Onoe to accept that he must have fallen in love. The episode ends with Kaburagi thinking about their hug earlier. He's deep in thought.

Episode 2 Review
Onoe hugs Kaburagi and tells him he is a good person.

Is that all it takes for Onoe and Kaburagi to fall in love with each other? Their connection seems really superficial. Kaburagi blows in Onoe's ear, and that's enough to sway his heart. Likewise, Onoe gives his coworker a quick hug, which stirs up passionate feelings. I'm not convinced these shallow interactions have enough romantic connotations. The series could've done a better job of establishing their attraction to each other.

So far, the best moments are Onoe and Kaburagi's rooftop conversations. Most of the other scenes involve investigations or silly hijinks, which I enjoy. However, these chats offer insights into the characters and add nuances to their personalities. I particularly like how the story emphasizes the moral ambiguity of their jobs. Kaburagi is more than just cynical. He seems demoralized about his profession. He feels guilty about bringing down celebrities and destroying their careers, a vicious cycle that weighs on his conscience. I'm interested to see how this storyline develops.

Episode 3

Episode 3 Summary
Onoe and Kaburagi have their first kiss in Candy Color Paradox Episode 3.

Episode 3 begins with Onoe in denial about having feelings for Kaburagi. Yet, he gets jealous after seeing his coworker flirt with the office secretary. As Onoe storms off angrily, Kaburagi confronts him in the hallway. Kaburagi insists he isn't romantically involved with Arai, but Onoe doesn't believe him. Their chat intensifies. Suddenly, Kaburagi grabs Onoe and kisses him on the lips"I wanted to see your reaction," Kaburagi explains. Onoe is shocked, annoyed, and flustered by their intimate encounter.

After the kiss, Onoe and Kaburagi must work together on another project. This time, they must collect incriminating evidence against a corrupt politician suspected of tax evasion. Kaori helps them set up a meeting with Suda, the congressman's secretary. In exchange, she asks for another payment. She offers the option for Kaburagi to pay with his body, and he almost agrees to the deal. Yet, he changes his mind after getting a judgmental look from Onoe. Afterwards, they bicker about the payment options.

Onoe and Kaburagi pretend to be tax accountants as they meet with Suda. Onoe is knowledgeable about taxes, fooling the secretary. Later, Suda wants to talk to him in private. After drinking, an intoxicated Suda admits to the politician's corruption. His confession is secretly recorded. Suda becomes aggressive and undresses Onoe's clothes. Kaburagi intervenes in time, rescuing his colleague. Afterwards, he warns his coworker to be careful. Kaburagi blurts out his love confession and admits he likes Onoe. The episode ends with the leads almost getting intimate in the car.

Episode 3 Review
Kaori is a nightclub owner and Kaburagi's informant.

I love the background music in the hallway kiss! It plays several times throughout the series, typically during intimate moments. Every time I hear this tune, my pulse races a bit faster.  The melody gradually builds, becoming more dramatic. It teases ambiguity, danger, and a sense of urgency. Whenever Kabu flirts with Onoe, the intense music accentuates the atmosphere and amplifies the seduction.

"I'll pay with my body." LMAO. What is this bartering system!? At this business establishment, we take cash, credit card, or cock as payment options! I'm obsessed with Kaori's character. The mysterious nightclub owner has connections to yakuza leaders, corrupt politicians, and adult film producers. Yet, she'll sell out all her acquaintances to a sleazy tabloid at the right price. Kaori is also rich, wears fabulous clothes, runs a successful business, and gets to have sex with desperate journalists. Oh my god, her lifestyle is so aspirational.

Candy Color Paradox reminds me of Kei x Yaku, another Japanese series with BL undertones. There are some vague similarities between the two series. Both stories deal with investigations, criminal activities, and undercover identities. Also, a part of the enjoyment comes from the ambiguous relationships between the leads. However, Kei x Yaku is far more serious and way less romantic. I find Candy Color Paradox the superior drama, especially since it has explicit BL scenes. 

Episode 4

Episode 4 Summary
Onoe wants Kaburagi to kiss in him at the love hotel.

Episode 4 begins with Onoe and Kaburagi at a love hotel. They're on another assignment and must take surveillance pictures. Onoe asks about the love confession last episode, but Kaburagi refuses to acknowledge the moment. Onoe misinterprets his coworker's remark and thinks Kaburagi is making a move on him. Onoe seems disappointed when that isn't the case. Later, he vents to Masayan about his relationship troubles. Masayan suggests that Onoe may have misinterpreted Kaburagi's signals. 

Onoe and Kaburagi have a new assignment. Their boss suspects Inami, a famous actor, is in a secret relationship with Haruta, who is twenty years younger than him. They set up a scenario to observe the two celebrities. As Haruta flirts with Kaburagi, Inagi doesn't seem to mind. Instead, Onoe is the jealous one. Later, Onoe confronts Kaburagi about their kiss and love confession. Kaburagi gives non-committed replies. Onoe thinks he's being toyed with and storms off angrily. He insults Kaburagi, calling him a "smutty alien".

Inami catches Onoe spying on him. Inami clarifies he isn't in a relationship with Haruta. Although Onoe believes him, Kaburagi is skeptical of the actor and thinks he's lying. Later that night, the two reporters are alone in the office. Kaburagi buys Onoe his favourite yogurt flavour. Onoe is surprised because it confirms Kaburagi is paying attention to him. He gathers the courage to have a serious chat about their relationship. The episode ends with the two leads on the rooftop in the middle of the night. Onoe is about to ask the question, "Do you like me?"

Episode 4 Review
Onow follows Inami to get dirt on him.

That opening scene is cute, hehe. The comedy comes from Onoe's overeagerness. He misinterprets ordinary situations as romantic scenarios, leading to funny reactions. To be fair, Kaburagi gives mixed signals and toys with his feelings. He also flirts with everyone. Onoe calls him a "smutty alien", which sounds hilarious, but it describes his eccentric conduct. Kaburagi behaves like an alien who doesn't follow basic human etiquette in courtship.

I love that Onoe is terrible at surveillance. He can do every part of his journalist job except spying on people. In Episode 1, he has no stamina and loses a footrace to the cheating couple. In Episode 2, he acts so suspiciously that the police officer detains him instead of the yakuza leader. And in this episode, Inami immediately realizes he's being trailed because Onoe is too conspicuous. This reporter doesn't bother being stealthy or camouflaging himself with the surroundings. Instead, he walks behind Inami like a lurking figure and draws as much attention as possible. 😅

I like how the celebrity subplot parallels the conflict between the main characters. As Onoe speculates on Inami and Haruta's rumoured romance, he also reflects on his ambiguous relationship with Kaburagi. When Haruta and Kaburagi flirt, Onoe gets jealous of their interactions. In contrast, Inami doesn't seem to care. Onoe's intuition tells him that the celebrities aren't dating. In addition, he realizes his feelings for Kaburagi. The duality of this storyline is clever, allowing the character to reach two conclusions simultaneously.

Episode 5

Episode 5 Summary
Kaburagi is jealous after seeing Onoe and Inagi together.

Onoe doesn't confess on the rooftop after all. Onoe loses his confidence and asks Kaburagi if he likes "peaches" instead. Kaburagi thinks he's talking about yogurt and buys him the peach flavour the next day. As Onoe eats the yogurt, his face gets messy. Kaburagi leans in, wipes the yogurt smudge on his face, and licks his finger afterwards. Onoe is startled by the strangely intimate encounter. He continues feeling tormented about their ambiguous relationship.

At work, Onoe is still spying on Inami. The celebrity insists he doesn't have a scandalous affair. Onoe and Inami chat more casually. Onoe states he wants to be an ethical reporter who writes about the truth. "If I write about someone, it might affect their lives. I don't want to be irresponsible." Moved by his sincerity, Inami reveals he has a secret crush on his male best friend. They have a heartfelt chat and befriend each other. Onoe genuinely believes Inami is a good person. Kaburagi also confirms the affair with Haruta was a false rumour. 

However, Kaburagi receives another tip. Inami is suspected of coercing female celebrities into performing in adult videos. Onoe can't believe Inami is capable of such awful behaviour. Kaburagi calls his colleague naive for letting emotions cloud his judgment. Later, he obtains a list of the blackmailed actresses. This evidence can incriminate Inami. Later, Onoe has dinner with Inami. Kaburagi grows jealous of their close bond. Onoe clarifies the situation and confesses his true feelings. The episode ends with the leads embracing as they reaffirm their love for each other.

Episode 5 Review
Kaburagi licks his finger in front of Onoe.

I love the opening scene! Kaburagi wipes the yogurt from Onoe's face and licks his finger afterwards. It's such a simple interaction, but Kaburagi appears so effortlessly charismatic. From his banter to his smile, he's flirtatious without coming across as deliberate. The actor really nails this scene. Is it weird that I think this is the sexiest moment of the series, even more so than the intimate encounters? When Kabu puts his finger in his mouth, he makes my heart thump~

I really like Imagi in this episode. I want to be optimistic and believe he's a good person. With that said, I've developed an intuition from my years of watching dramas. The more sympathetic this supporting character seems on the outside, the more likely he's an evil POS on the inside. I trusted my bullshit radar and told myself not to fall for his sob story. Boohoo! My secret is that I'm head-over-heels in love with my male best friend! Yeah right, asshole. I can sniff the ingenuity coming from this fraudster. 😒 

How does Kaori have information about every case!? Does she keep a dossier on each criminal and their misdeeds? This woman is SO powerful. She can magically produce a list of all the AV actresses and their phone numbers out of thin air. I start questioning whether she's an undercover detective because her investigation skills are awe-inducing. Although Kaori's character is a blatant plot device, I like how Candy Color Paradox doesn't waste time on dull sleuthing scenes. The series maintains momentum by skipping to the most exciting parts of each storyline.

Episode 6

Episode 6 Summary
Onoe and Kaburagi kiss on the rooftop.

Onoe doesn't believe the rumours that Inami coerced actresses into performing in adult videos. However, Kaburagi has procured a list of actresses from Kaori. He talks to Inami alone and confronts him with the evidence. Although Inami confesses his wrongdoings, he threatens to hurt Onoe if this incriminating article is published. Kaburagi tries recording their conversation, but Inami catches him. Kaburagi succumbs to the intimidation and doesn't proceed with his exposé. He hides the truth from Onoe.

Onoe finds the list on his boyfriend's desk and realizes the truth. He calls the actresses individually for an interview, but no one dares to speak up against Inami. Kaburagi warns him to stop due to the danger. Onoe refuses to give up because he doesn't want Inami to hurt anyone else. Finally, an actress agrees to talk. She reveals Inami recommended his friend's production studio and tricked her into filming erotica. They blackmailed her into doing more videos until she was reluctantly inducted into the AV industry. Reika is okay with her name being used in the article.

Inami seems resigned before the article's publication, and his earlier threats are just a bluff. Inami reveals he's in love with the friend who runs the AV studio. His unrequited feelings cause him to go along with the sextortion plan. Suddenly, Inami snickers and says he's lying about the friend. He calls Onoe naive for believing him. Onoe is upset, but Kaburagi comforts him with a hug. Kaburagi speculates Inami was telling the truth about his secret crush. Finally, the article is published, exposing Inami's crimes. The episode ends with Kabu & Onoe kissing on the rooftop. 

Episode 6 Review
Onoe calls the actresses who would give an interview against Inami.

Initially, I like how the series handles the Inami storyline. Onoe doesn't get upset that his friend fooled him. He shifts his energy to exposing Inami's crimes. Despite the danger, he pursues the case to stop Inami from hurting more victims. Onoe isn't fazed by the threats, showcasing his courage and justice. Also, I like how the actress speaks up about her #MeToo story. "You can publish my name" feels empowering since the victim takes control of her narrative. Reika may be angry and hurt, but she's no longer ruled by fear.

The storyline takes a bizarre turn afterwards. It focuses on Inami's unrequited love, almost making the viewers sympathize with him. WTF!? This bastard coerced unsuspecting young women and blackmailed them into performing for the sex industry. Inami's crush on his friend can't excuse his deplorable behaviour. Who gives a damn if he confesses or not!? Screw this asshole! Stop pitying him! Creating a BL romance between two predatory men feels tacky. This subplot should've wrapped up after the article is published instead of following up with problematic scenes.

Episode 7

Episode 7 Summary
Onoe and Kaburagi become boyfriends.

Episode 7 begins with the main characters at a stakeout. Onoe gives his boyfriend a massage, while Kaburagi jokes that they should move in together. Afterwards, Onoe's boss gives him a new solo case. He must investigate a financial company that is involved in phone scams. Onoe must pose as a new employee to collect evidence. He agrees to the job. However, Onoe keeps the assignment a secret from Kaburagi, not wanting his boyfriend to worry.

Onoe meets Tamura, an ex-baseball player who started this shady company. Onoe passes the job interview and begins working there. Afterwards, he successfully records video evidence of the employees scamming people through fake phone calls. As Onoe presents the footage to his boss, he's proud of exposing this crime. Once Tamura gets arrested, he yells at Onoe for betraying his trust. However, Kaburagi seems bothered by his deceit. He begins distancing from his boyfriend and gives him the cold shoulder. 

Onoe doesn't understand why Kaburagi is upset at him. He vents to Masayan about his relationship problems. Onoe recalls the previous conversations with his boyfriend. In the past, Kaburagi had repeatedly said that he liked Onoe's honesty and moral principles. He behaved differently from other tabloid journalists who'd do anything to land the scoop. In this case, Onoe lied and gloated about using deception to entrap the perpetrator. Onoe thinks Kaburagi hates him because of his behavioural change. He's no longer the honest, upright journalist with integrity.

Episode 7 Review
Onoe investigates a fraudulent business and the scam calls.

Kaburagi's reaction to Onoe's deception is annoying. He adopts a hypocritical moral stance, suddenly taking an issue with his boyfriend's duplicity when they both lied in the past. Also, Onoe is investigating criminals who scam people out of their money. Yet, Kaburagi seems more outraged by Onoe's actions than the *actual* fraudsters. How dare you scam the scammers! I don't understand Kaburagi's misguided indignation. What a weird hill to die on, right? 

Despite Kaburagi's tantrum, I like how Candy Color Paradox explores the characters' moral conundrums. The story doesn't classify the protagonists as the "good guys" by default for investigating criminals. Instead, it asks viewers to analyze Onoe's conduct to determine whether he crossed boundaries. You may disagree with Kaburagi's assessment and believe Onoe's actions are justified. Regardless, I like that the story encourages you to think critically and make judgments. Beneath the silly humour or ridiculous scenarios, Candy Color Paradox offers a fascinating examination of ethics.

Episode 7
Episode 8

Episode 8

Happy Ending
Onoe and Kaburagi have sex in the Candy Color Paradox ending.

Candy Color Paradox has a happy ending where Onoe and Kaburagi reconcile after their workplace conflict. Previously, Kaburagi disagreed with how his boyfriend handled the undercover assignment. Onoe acted deceptively to get his article written. When a job transfer opens up in another division, Kaburagi refers Onoe for the position. Onoe is upset his partner wants to get rid of him. Their animosity causes his job performance to suffer. Onoe's boss chats with Kaburagi after noticing the tension.

Onoe's boss disagrees with this assessment. Earlier in his career, Onoe worked on gritty cases involving stalkers and suicides. Yet, he maintained his morals and tried to help the victims. "He's way stronger than you think," Onoe's boss says. In another scene, we learn the boss partnered these two employees together for a reason. He wanted Onoe's optimism to rub off on Kaburagi, who became too jaded and demoralized about his work. Kaburagi has begun to think his articles destroy lives, whereas Onoe proves journalism can be a source of goodness.

Onoe and Kaburagi chat in the office, clearing the air. Onoe says he took the undercover job so that Kaburagi wouldn't have to do it. He knows his partner doesn't like this kind of deceptive work. Likewise, Kaburagi confirms he asked for the job transfer to protect Onoe from unpleasantness. The boyfriends resolve their conflict with a kiss. They spend the night having sex. The series ends with them moving in together. They are also partnered up at work, both energized about their latest assignment. The final shot shows the happy couple holding hands in public.

Ending review
Onoe and Kaburagi have sex.

I appreciate the series for including a sex scene. With that said, the movements feel too choreographed. I can picture the actor making a mental note to himself, "Okay, kiss the pillow near his neck for five seconds… 1, 2, 3, 4, 5… Now, move my head down and pretend to kiss his body. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5…" I dunno, I was hoping for a bit more spontaneity between these lovers. 😅

During the flashback, I like what the boss says about uncovering people's intentions"In some cases, their true selves are actually pure." In this series, many characters hide their crimes beneath their public personas. They conceal their affairs, frauds, sex ring, etc. Despite meeting many scoundrels in his work, the boss thinks optimistically. He looks forward to meeting those without any malice. To him, journalism isn't just about exposing wrongdoers. It's about identifying both the good and the bad.

Ameiro Paradox
Candy Color Paradox has a happy ending where Onoe and Kaburagi become boyfriends.

Candy Color Paradox has a quirky title. This series is also known as Ameiro Paradox. Ameiro (飴色) is a term for the colour of candy, resembling a shade between amber gold and caramel brown. Some rice candies or maltose candies come in this rich, syrupy colour. The definition can be vague and hard to describe precisely. The series uses this word in its title to express the feeling of ambiguity. Ameiro is associated with sweetness, but it leaves room for interpretation.

When you think of candy, the popular colours may include pink, pastel shades, or a burst of rainbow joy. Cotton candy comes in soft hues, evoking cozy and delicate emotions. Similarly, jellybeans and lollipops have bright colours that convey enthusiasm. Typically, you wouldn't describe candy as "ameiro". This golden brown shade is darker, richer, and murkier. It doesn't fit the profile of candy, which is supposed to express joy and exuberance. Instead, it has a rugged appearance. Ameiro looks tough on the outside, even though it represents something sweet on the inside.

Ameiro may be interpreted as a paradoxical word. Its rugged exterior and soft interior contradict each other. Can a candy still be sweet when it doesn't have that vibrant lustre? The series asks a similar question about the leads. Can Onoe and Kaburagi maintain their sweetness when confronted with bitter ethical dilemmas in their work? Journalism is a gritty profession where you observe many scandals, from affairs to corruption. Some reporters, like Kaburagi, lose their spirit and develop a jaded view. Others, like Onoe, remain optimistic despite the cynical industry.

Candy Color Paradox is a fascinating story about many dualities. The main characters must find the balance between ethical journalism and dishonest reporting. They must also maintain their passion and positivity instead of succumbing to bleakness and pessimism. Most of all, they must keep their clarity amid their ambiguous surroundings. How do you not lose your values while navigating a sinful world? How do you preserve your candy colour when shrouded in darkness? This moral conundrum is the central paradox of the series.

Kaburagi is a jaded journalist who learns from Onoe.

Kaburagi begins the series as a jaded reporter who has lost his motivation. He's discouraged by his unscrupulous profession. Working in tabloid journalism takes a mental toll, exposing Kaburagi to constant depravity. He also feels guilty about undermining these celebrities and ruining their careers. In Episode 2, Kaburagi sympathizes with the cheating actress. It doesn't give him any pleasure to destroy someone's happiness at the height of their success. Regardless of their crimes, he sees himself as the villain.

"You're a nice guy," Onoe reassures him with a comforting hug. Kaburagi is moved by the kind gesture and falls in love afterwards. What Kaburagi finds attractive about his colleague is his sincerity. Unlike him, Onoe has remained optimistic and passionate about his work. "I want to expose the evil in the world with a single pen," Onoe declares, whereas Kaburagi admits he only cares about money. The more time they spend together, the more Kaburagi respects his coworker's values. He admires Onoe's integrity. Onoe inspires Kaburagi, showing him there's a virtuous side to journalism.

After putting Onoe on a pedestal, Kaburagi is disappointed by his coworker's actions in Episode 7. Onoe was supposed to be a shining beacon of ethical reporting. Yet, he behaved like a conniving tabloid journalist, using deception to secure a flashy headline. This incident ruins Kaburagi's rose-tinted view of his colleague. He fears Onoe has succumbed to the toxic environment, absorbing the industry's worst practices. Kaburagi wants to protect Onoe's moral goodness and stop him from being corrupted by this career. Run away while you still can! Don't turn into me!

Onoe reflects on his relationship with Kabu.

Kaburagi's concerns are misguided. He has no reason to worry about Onoe, who maintains his journalistic integrity throughout the story. Onoe's actions in Episode 7 aren't a lapse in his moral judgment. Instead, they reflect Kaburagi's insecurities, causing him to have a skewed view of this career. Kaburagi is a burned-out employee who can't cope with his stressful work. He projects his trauma onto Onoe and assumes his partner will break under pressure too. In reality, Onoe is more resilient than his boyfriend.

Their boss confirms his employee's mental fortitude. In the past, Onoe has done many heavy news stories. Yet, he remains unfazed and sticks to his moral compass. The boss says, "No matter how awful the job was, he'd never waver. He's stronger than you think." Kaburagi wants to protect Onoe from the perils of the tabloid industry, but his partner doesn't need rescuing. In fact, it's the other way around. The boss puts them together, hoping Onoe's positivity will motivate the demoralized Kaburagi. Over time, Onoe restores Kaburagi's enthusiasm and saves him from his melancholy.

Onoe's character is an example of a candy-colour paradox. The "paradox" refers to his career. This honest reporter works in the sensationalist tabloid industry. Someone as morally upstanding as him shouldn't be compatible with a sleazy gossip rag, but he prevails. The "candy color" refers to Onoe's sincerity. He remains an ethical journalist, displaying optimism and passion for his work. This challenging career can break your spirit, as it did with Kaburagi. Yet, Onoe combines sweetness and toughness – the defining qualities of ameiro – to overcome the paradox.

Candy Color Paradox Information


Tunku (トゥンク) is a Japanese BL studio. It began a project called Tunku Shower in 2022, which releases numerous BL dramas on the Japanese channel MBS.

Tunku (トゥンク) is a Japanese BL studio. It began a project called Tunku Shower in 2022, which releases numerous BL dramas on the Japanese channel MBS. Tunku has made Mr. Unlucky Has No Choice But to Kiss (2022), Senpai, This Can't Be Love (2022), and Takara-kun & Amagi-kun (2022). It also created Eternal Yesterday (2022), Candy Color Paradox (2022), Jack Frost (2023), Tokyo in April is… (2023), and My Personal Weatherman (2023).


Candy Color Paradox is also known as Ameiro Paradox. The original story is a Japanese manga published in 2010. The creator is Isaku Natsume, whose portfolio includes numerous BL manga.


Tomoyuki Furumaya (古厩智之) is a Japanese director. His first BL project is the 2022 drama, Candy Color Paradox, also known as Ameiro Paradox.

  1. I did like it in the beginning, but Kaburagi became more and more irritating as the series went on. Like why was he holding poor Onoe to some unrealistic characteristiv and then get mad at him for being a regular human being? And don't even get me started on the victim blaming. Also, why was there no positive storyline in all the people they investigated? If everyone sucked, why would Onoe remain an idealistic person? Okay that's my Kaburagi rant again, but you get the point. Onoe didn't have to apologize for that. I do love your reviews though.

  2. I appreciated this cheerful and enthusiastic review of a dynamic and amusing series.

    I read somewhere that rather than “candy color,” another translation for “ameiro” can be “amber.” That translator/reviewer interpreted Kaburagi as the amber, or blond, paradox (in that he's cynical on the outside but soft on the inside) of the series title which seems plausible to me. Otherwise I find the “candy color” title cute but opaque.

    I really enjoyed this show. Having gone into it expecting nothing more than office romance fluff, I was pleasantly surprised by the humor and narrative surprises (although some made my eyes roll) as well as the chemistry between the leads. I love the intro song (“better for me, better for me …”). A favorite scene is when Onoe and Kabu bicker and then embrace outside Masayan’s restaurant. It’s such a sweet moment and then the camera pans back to show Inami eavesdropping on them while smoking. Intriguing!

    The ending was satisfying and fun. The most hilarious reveal (literally) in my BL journey to date is that round-shouldered little Onoe, who is clumsy and can’t run, is nevertheless ripped! Good one, and congrats Kabu.

    One last thing: if Onoe and Kaburagi both find tabloid journalism to be toxic, why don’t they go into another line of work? Both are young and talented and neither seem to have some millstone tied around their neck like crushing debt or a dying parent, just ambition. Maybe take the route of Roommates of Poonduck and The New Employee, and start up their own venture? That would make for an interesting season 2.

  3. p.s.
    On my first read through I missed your analysis of "ameiro," which is far more nuanced than what I quoted from another source. Thanks again!

    I'm not sure why Kabu and Onoe are excited about their next assignment, exposing idol singers for recreational drug use. It's a victimless crime and would likely ruin the young singers' careers — is that what they signed up for?

  4. Well, personally did not like it that much tbh. Has its moments for sure but will not be a fav by any stretch of the imagination. I just did not like the basis of the story. Like the last big confrontation they had that got them to break up. You're an investigative journalist isn't? working for a tabloid… fair enough… so what in the hell is wrong about going under cover to expose a group of unscrupulous individuals prying on old people and scamming them… I just don't get it. Why he gets on that high horse with Onoe? If they get rid of those scammers successfully he should be happy for Onoe to go undercover time and time again! I honestly don't get it. If you hate so much working for a tabloid, go try something else … the paper is not the The Times, he knows it and should not be holding anybody to his imaginary standards. Found this very, very annoying and definitely will not be watching again.

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