Note: I've liberally linked to Wikipedia for an explanation of a lot of the Japan-specific terminalogy in this entry...
I just finished watching 'Densha Otoko' ('Train Man') on DVD. I got it
for Y0-chan on DVD while in HK over Christmas (only $11 for a two disc
version, they had a fancy one w/ two mugs and a bunch of extras, but I
didn't think i could fit it in my suitcase).
Given my recent trip to Tokyo (
Akihabara specifically) and my recent discovery of the wonder of the
otaku, I wanted to see it. It was a big hit here in Japan and both Y0-chan and Jetrin had given it high marks.
is the story of true (geek) love in Tokyo. Supposedly based on a true
story recorded off an online chatline, it was turned into a popular
manga and eventually a TV show and movie.
A super-otaku, fresh on his latest trip to Akihabara, laden with a bag
full of anime related toys, he encounters a drunk business man
harrassing everyone in the car. He somewhat accidently rescues an
OL, and a budding love ensues.
The fun part is the fact that Train Man is one of those guys who has
never actually dated before, has zero experience and is freaked out
when faced with even the thought of social interaction with real
people, much less an attractive woman. Which is not far fetched, many
of the real otaku are like this. ...BUT they make the Train Man out to
be a nice innocent boy, no mentioning of hentai
doll cafes or all that other stuff...
So Train Man enlists the aid of his internet chatroom buddies for moral
support and advice - ('step one: get a hair cut'!) This is some of the
best stuff about this movie, a bit of a cultural anthropological look
at modern japanese society:
parasite single nurse, the 20-something '
NEET' shut-in, The
and his estranged wife. And last but not least, a group of three
uber-geeks who spend all their time in one of those Japanese cyber
Eventually despite being a galactic level dork,
the Train Man goes for it and finds true love (with the typical
romantic comedy bumps in the road).
I'm sure I missed like 90% of the humor, since they do a lot of split
screen stuff during the 'online discussion' scenes, its too much for
subtitles to keep up, and also a lot of the humor is in how the lines
are spoken (the types of japanese used, etc). But i think even with
just subtitles and a mild understanding of the culture, you can
understand what's going on.
The train guy is annoying sometimes, and the girl is a bit of a pretty
flat character, but I'll still give it a 7/10, but maybe thats
influenced by my current locale. I think it'd still be fresh for most
viewers though. I'm curious to see the
TV drama now. The
girl is definitely cuter.... ;-)
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