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...Densha Otoko is based on a Japanese internet meme that may or may not have happened in real life. The story goes that the Train Man, who is a seriously introverted otaku, helped several office ladies fend off a rude drunkard. Afterwards, one of the gals sends him a really expensive gift in thanks. Touched, and more than a little attracted as she was very cute, Train Man calls her and, with MUCH HELP from his internet buddies, starts to court her.
Both Viz and CMX are putting out rival versions of the story in manga form. This is the review for the CMX title.
First of all, the story... Train and Hermes (as they are never referred to by name) do their little dance fairly sweet and innocently. A lot of time is spend showing you just how much of an Otaku (obsessive, introverted fan, a.k.a. Uber-Geek) that Train really is.
Much panel time also goes to his various chatroom buddies who are all egging him on and offering advice. In theory, it may sound like the "blind leading the blind" as all of these chatters are supposed to have the same problems in dealing with members of the opposite sex, but their various bits of advice that come from their specialties and/or jobs come together and help put Train on the right track to romance.
Volume 1 leads us all the way up until just before Train's big dinner date, spending almost all of it's pages on his attempts to even talk to the lovely Hermes and his various trips to the hair salon, clothing store and scouting out a restaurant. In this version, as opposed to the Viz release, Train seems much more weak and indecisive... less sure of himself. It makes his change seem admirable, but much less realistic.
The art varies between crisp/realistic and foggy/unrealistic in typical manga form...Read more ›
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