‘ve fallen into a storytelling genre I didn’t know about. I have no idea what they are called, but me, I’ll call them Career Stories.
My Roku box on my TV has given me access to a lot of series I didn’t have originally. And everyone knows about my love of Japanese Anime, those great vibrant, bouncy, elastic stories the Japanese love. Oh, they are crazy and stupid and childish and deep – all these things. They cover a wide range of emotions and intellects. Their entire society loves them, and here in the States, millennials and hipsters love them too.
But the ones I’ve really fallen for at the Career Stories. These are long tales, often multi-seasonal. They involve a protagonist who, at a young age, latches onto a career. And in the story, we follow his path, anticipating every obstacle, moaning at every defeat, cheering every victory. And these are not meteoric rises to the top – two of the series I’ve completed ran seventy-five episodes apiece. That’s something like twenty-five hours of solid watching to complete.
And here’s a list of the ones I’ve enjoyed:
Space Brothers – this one was the first for me, the story of an older brother who was fired out of his corporate job, while his younger brother completes the dream they both had and readies himself for a trip to the moon via a Nasa-Japan partnership. I really liked this – the main character was geeky, not-handsome, not especially smart yet clever in ways that endeared him to the audience. And their astronomer aunt was getting old, and their parents were crazy-supportive, and it was a joy to watch. Seeing the places I’ve worked on a show was also a lot of fun, and when his brother nearly died on the moon, I was shotgunning through the episodes, edge-of-my-seat watching. Sadly, this one seems to have paused – my hero’s passions are still unresolved.
Hikaru No Go – Followers of this site will be aware of my stories about this series HERE. In a nutshell, this is about a boy who unlocks a spirit of a Go instructor a thousand years dead from a game board. Now locked in a lifetime pursuit of his nemesis, we follow Hikaru as he struggles to take his place in the pros. While I was watching this series, I was actually learning to play the game so the gasp-moments even made me gasp. You played there? You fool!
Yowamushi Pedal – My next series, a story about a geeky little manga-following kid who rides a “mommie bike” to a distant town once a week to get his comics. And this has turned into him a great racer. Now he’s making his way onto the team, just struggling against sweat, wind, and those two pedals to become a road racer. And this pissed me off – Hulu removed this one from the lineup while I was still getting into it. That doesn’t happen with books.
Bakuman – Another career series I’ve just started tonight, a tale about two likely lads (and a romantic-interest girl) who want to make it in the tough world of manga stories. One can draw, one can write, and the girl, she dreams of vocal work. Will they make it to the big time? Hope so, since I have a lot of episodes to go.
So this is my passion, this life-following teledrama about young people just making their way in the world. Great fun and vicarious pleasure. If you have a Roku account, check some of these series out. You might get hooked.