Comic Recommendation · Personalities & Quirks · Reading Recommendation · Video Recommendation

Understanding People’s Perspectives Through 5 Episodic Media

Perspective. 🙂 Picture from BrainyQuote

Anais Nin once said, “We don’t see things as they are, we see things as we are.” I agree with this, because everyone reacts differently to the same thing. Are books cool? Those who don’t enjoy books will say no. Is pasta carbonara delicious? Chefs will say, “Depending on who cooks it.” Are hamsters cute? Sure, but the next person may not think so because s/he may have seen a roaring hamster before! 😱

The actual chance of us seeing a roaring hamster aside, I really like reading stories of other people’s experiences in their point of view! I like having to try and understand why each person act the way s/he does, which is why I like reading up about psychology and personality. It’s also because I feel this world needs more kindness, compassion and love, and what better place to start than myself? Plus it helps me write better characters in a novel!

Why Episodic Media?

Of course, if you want an immersive story in someone’s point of view, a lot of good novels, movies and other media will do so. But not everyone have the time (or want to) sit through a whole 2-hour movie. Not everyone reads novels, and not everyone can read novel in short bursts because it’s too immersive (like me 😛). A lot of these media are good, but tough to enjoy in short bursts.

Which is why we’re here today! In this blog post, I’m listing some media recommendations (fiction or non-fiction) with an episodic style that you can finish each “episode” in 30 minutes or less, to help you to see from other people’s perspective and enjoy it too! 😀

TV Shows

Hello Counselor

  • Episode Length: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • # of Stories per Episode: 3 – 4
  • Estimated Time per Story: 20 – 25 minutes
  • Update Frequency: 1 episode weekly

What is It About?

I don’t really watch Korean shows, and this is the only exception! Officially free on YouTube with English subtitles by KBS World, Hello Counselor is a variety show where celebrities (comedian hosts with guests ranging from idols to experts) counsel people with various concerns ranging from “my [someone] is extremely addicted to [insert hobby]!” to “my [someone] likes to play pranks on me, ALL the time!”

The concerned person submits a letter to the production team and the celebrity hosts and guests ask questions to learn more (like a counseling session). Once they’re done, the audience of 150 – 200 people vote whether it is a concern or not, and if the votes exceed the previous winner’s, the winning concern get a cash prize!

Why the Recommendation?

I love this show because we get to hear both sides of concern! It’s easy for us to fall into judgment mode when we hear only one side (I sometimes think “What the heck?!” at the beginning of the concern before knowing the whole story), and hearing both sides help me learn to identify with both (like a person who is addicted to a hobby as an escape from life). I believe the concerned person and the person of concern tend to be truthful here, because it shows how desperate they are since this show airs on Korean national TV.

Another plus point of this show is the hosts (and guests) are quite kind with their questions and comments, and they’re quite funny at times. Plus it’s free to watch and we get to learn more about Korean culture! 😀

Japanese Comics (Manga)

Note: All the links I provided are in English, because I can’t read Japanese either! Do note that if you decide to read any of these manga, the panels should be followed from right to left. 🙂


Bartender manga; picture from MangaUpdates


  • Chapter Length: ~25 pages
  • # of Stories per Chapter: 1
  • Estimated Time per Story: 10 – 15 minutes
  • Update Frequency: Not fixed

What is It About?

“Do you know what the meaning of the word bartender? A bar is like a stool, and tender means kindness, so it means ‘a tender barstool’. This wood here is the bar, just a board you put alcohol on. But when a bartender is there… you put bar and tender together, and you get kindness.”
~From Bartender, Volume 1, Chapter 1

Like its name suggests, Bartender is a manga centred around a bartender named Sasakura Ryu (in Japanese, the last name written is before the first), written in the point of view of troubled customers with their often highly emotional problems, such as dealing with a lost love, grief, being an adult in a working environment, etc. Unlike a noisy atmosphere that a bar tends to bring to mind, this manga has a mostly quiet – sometimes emotional – atmosphere with the occasional comedic moments. It’s a nice read before going to bed, especially due to its (mostly) episodic nature. 🙂

Why the Recommendation?

Even though I don’t drink alcohol (can’t stand the smell or taste), I love this manga! I love the touching moments when each customer comes to a realisation – like the retiring man who didn’t follow his dreams but realises he didn’t live his life in vain; the office worker who hates his boss but realises the latter is actually a good boss; or the lawyer who hates her job, but realises those ‘bitching’ customers turn to her in their times of need. Reading this even has the added bonus of learning about the different types of alcohol and their history, as well as movies or books that mention them, and some even have a recipe!

I suppose it’s too bad I don’t drink alcohol; this manga makes me feel like ordering one when I follow my family / friends to a bar. 😛

Pet Shop of Horrors

Pet Shop of Horrors; picture from MangaUpdates
  • Chapter Length: ~45 pages
  • # of Stories per Chapter: 1
  • Estimated Time per Story: 15 – 25 minutes
  • Update Frequency: N/A, series ended

What is It About?

“Welcome to Count D’s Pet Shop. This is Chinatown, a place where mystery is around every corner and your heart’s desire behind every door… I’m sure we can find the perfect pet for you.”
~From Pet Shop of Horrors, Volume 1, Chapter 3

With a name like Pet Shop of Horrors, you’re probably not expecting it to be on this list! Like its name, this manga centres around a mysterious pet shop in Chinatown somewhere in the US and the equally mysterious Chinese owner, D. It may seem like an ordinary pet shop where kids can buy their first pet canary, but when the right customers appear, they have the “privilege” of meeting the pet meant for them… which they, and only they, see as humans.

If they choose to purchase the pet, they are given a contract to sign with a few clause that may seem insignificant at first – “do not show it to others”, “do not give it water”, “feed it only fruits”. But if they break the contract for whatever reason, the unimaginable happens… and the pet shop is not accountable. 😱

Why the Recommendation?

Of course, one main reason why this manga made the list is because it’s one of my favourite manga! Despite having horror in its name, most of the manga isn’t very horrific – there are a lot of quiet, heartwarming and even comedic moments as each story builds up and we follow each customer to learn why s/he wants / needs a pet. Each one of them have a highly emotional issue – a couple who just lost their daughter, a rich tycoon’s daughter who hates being told what to do, and an unsuccessful one-hit-wonder actor – and we see the dark side of human nature as the psychological horror kicks in as a (mostly) twist ending.

It does have slight to low-moderate gore, which is I think is generally all right. Unless you totally can’t stand the sight of blood, then this story probably isn’t for you. 🙂

Advice Columns

Dear Prudence

  • # of Stories per Article: 6
  • Estimated Time per Story: 2 – 5 minutes
  • Update Frequency: 3 articles weekly

When I started reading advice columns a few years ago, Dear Prudence is the first advice column I ever started reading, and I love it even more now that Prudence is Mallory Ortberg! Sometimes I felt the previous Prudence wasn’t as compassionate as I’d like the answers to be, and I feel Mallory’s answers are quite compassionate. 🙂

I like this because each “story” is quite short, and I get to read a variety in one article each time they come out! The stories cover a range of topics from etiquette to in-law problems and helping destructive friends, and sometimes there are even ones that made me go, “Wow, even that can happen?”

A good short read between activities like waiting at the subway!

Captain Awkward

  • # of Stories per Post: 1+
  • Estimated Time per Story: 10 – 25 minutes
  • Update frequency: Several posts weekly

I started reading Captain Awkward a few weeks ago and I fell in love with it! A screenwriter who advises people with questions, her answers are very detailed and even come with scripts to respond with (for situations like friends dating someone terrible). She tells everything as it is – that a situation is as bad as it may sound – and which I think is a good dose of reality. It’s a great read, though longer than Dear Prudence. 🙂

These are some of the episodic media I’m currently (re-)enjoying! I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. 😀

~Nicolle ❤️

A Short Self-Compassionate Letter

Dear Self,

It’s great that you’re learning how to understand people from their perspective and do it in a fun way! It’s certainly easier to learn when something is fun. 😀


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