Hello, all! Kate here.
This last month, I have been down a rabbit hole of my favorite American soap opera, revisiting stories and my all-time favorite couple (from any media) and even catching up on the latest plotlines. It got me thinking about the art form of telling a continuous narrative for decades. It is pretty inevitable that stories so long will become complex and convoluted, the cast will balloon, storylines will be added and dropped at a moments notice, plots will be retconned, characters who were once thought dead will turn out not be, we’ll find out someone was being mind-controlled when they did that very bad thing, and so on and so forth. I’m not lamenting these things; there’s something magical and satisfying about it. Just ask any pro wrestling fan or superhero comic reader. The anime equivalent is probably Detective Conan, which is a series with a cast a mile long and where seasons and holidays come and go regularly without actual time passing.
Productions that go on this long are rare, and each has unique and fascinating behind-the-scenes ways of working to create these stories. I fear that the weekday soap opera format will disappear in my lifetime. Thanks to the Internet and a concerted effort at media preservation, I know it won’t be forgotten. But it is not typical to find media you can dip in and out of, come back to after years and feel as if you never stopped watching.
Join us on Discord and let me know if you watch any long-form stories!