And then every now and then there are stories that are just so unusual that even though they also reside within universal storytelling tropes, they stand out powerfully on the basis of their own narrative. I think Hikaru no Go is like this. Life of Pi is another one to me. So is Charlotte's Web.
Another one is the story of Once on This Island, which I'm listening to right now. Once on This Island is one of my all-time favorite stories, not just musicals (though it is obviously that too) but i love the story so much. And it's not wholly unique, it's based on the Hans Christian Anderson version of The Little Mermaid, but I've never gotten over the first time I heard the OBCR and we came to the end of Timoune's journey, and.... really? WOW. The ending was so sparkling and unusual to me. I recognize now how strongly it parallels the journeys of so many epic fantasy heroes, and how strongly it pulls from traditional non-western fairy tales, but you just don't expect this kind of story from a Broadway musical, and I think that's why this story has stayed with me so powerfully all these years. Along with the fact that it's ultimately about the transformative power of love, which makes all stories feel new.
(Bonus, because I just. I just. Love you LaChanze, I love you so much: You get me to rise like a fish to the bait, then tell me to wait - well, I'm waiting. Oh, my heart when it hears/sings this song, never, never, never ever ever stops soaring. Oh. Actually this whole scene. Rain. GOD I LOVE THIS MUSICAL.)
What stories, and by "story" I mean the simple narrative question of what happens, remain fresh, powerful, and compelling to you over time?