Train Man Densha Otoko
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Train Man: Densha Otoko
Computer engineer Otaku (the Japanese term for “geek”) is an average young man, dressed in unstylish clothes and dorky glasses. But as luck would have it, he encounters a pretty young woman on a commuter train and saves her from a lecherous molester, falling in love with her at first sight. A few days later he receives a thank-you message from the woman along with a set of Hermes teacups. Having never had a girlfriend or received a gift from a girl in his life, Otaku seeks out his pals on his BBS website for advice using his codename Train_Man (Densha Otoko): “How should I ask her out?” Deeply interested in Train Man's first love, his BBS pals eagerly supply him with advice. Encouraged by their support, Train_Man undergoes a total makeover for his first-ever date with “Hermess”. Little does he know that he is about to ignite an Internet phenomenon...]]>
A supposedly true combination of a romance and a Pygmalion story, Densha Otoko began as an on-line tale that captivated audiences in Japan: there's a novel, a TV show, and a manga series, in addition to this feature. The title character is a textbook otaku, an anime and video game nerd who divides his time between the electronics stores in Tokyo's Akihabara district and the computer in his cluttered room. One day on a commuter train, he prevents an obnoxious drunk from bothering a pretty girl. She sends him a set of Hermès teacups as a thank-you and a tentative romance begins. Train Man has no idea how to behave with a girl, so an on-line posse tells him how to dress and what to say. Ultimately, his example inspires them to go out into the world. Director Masanori Murakami effectively uses a split screen to create the on-line community. Takayuki Yamada makes a wonderfully maladroit Train Man: when he calls Hermès for the first time, he holds the phone as if he were about to commit seppuku. Miki Nakatami infuses Hermès with a winning mixture of gentleness and independence. This touching romance will delight Gen-Y and -Z members, whose lives are bound to the Internet. (Unrated, suitable for ages 13 and older: minor violence, alcohol and tobacco use)--Charles Solomon
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Being foreign, it can't be given a rating such as G, PG, PG-13, etc., but I would easily rate it as a PG movie. It is good, wholesome, and provides endearing redeeming qualities for every character. Based on an autobiographical novel, it lends itself to the believability that you seldom find in the romantic comedy genre. Naturally, some departures have been made from the original story for the sake of fluidity, but many of the storytelling mechanisms used in the movie are directly derived from the book, making it poetically interesting as well.
I'm not one to give story details in reviews, but if you are concerned with the attractiveness of the story, note that the success of the original book spawned an anime series, a television series and this movie, all of which sustained impressive popularity in Japan.
Summation: You can't go wrong with this pick.
My only reason for giving this movie four stars instead of five is because of the ending. For those who have seen it, you probably know what I'm talking about. For those who have not, I will not ruin this brilliant movie by talking about it anymore. Just be prepared to scratch your head and ask, "What the heck was that all about?!?"
With Otaku commentary, an ASCII art dictionary, culture tips and Train Man manga information, this disc has a lot of extras. I enjoyed watching this film and would suggest it to everybody into Japanese culture, Otaku culture or just enjoys a good love story. Even if it isn't true.
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This is 100 times better than the movies YOU'VE GOT MAIL or REVENGE OF THE...Read more