For a manga to stand out, it needs originality. Originality can come in different shapes and sizes, but if you don’t have readers saying, “this manga is good because it has X, whereas others don’t”, then it has failed to be original. For Arai-sensei, originality comes from choosing to shine a spotlight on a vocation seldom thought about. It’s clear that medical dramas are very popular around the world, it’s also a fact these stories focus amongst the high ranks within the hierarchy of that world… namely doctors and surgeons.
“Find an unique point of view for your story”By showing readers the daily life of a hospital pharmacist, Arai-sensei is able to outperform other works that show stories in a similar setting and achieve the all important “originality” aspect for her work. Manga has to leave an impression, and Arai-sensei is able to accomplish this by weaving the drama around the role of a pharmacist. Including the dedication they throw into this role and the public’s misconception towards them. This was never done in a “preachy” way that points fingers of blame, but a respectful dramatization of the daily life of a protagonist who LIVES it and naturally earns the recognition of the people around her.
“Find a protagonist that can LIVE the message of your story”“Unsung Cinderella: Midori Aoi, The Hospital Pharmacist” is able to both change the public’s opinion about this underrated profession, while offering the chance for readers to really see what is involved in this life-saving vocation. With a live-action adaptation currently wowing the audiences of Japan, we can see how originality is as versatile as it is memorable.