Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Densha Otoko -- 電車男 -- Specials

Ok, after the enormous emotional climax of Densha Otoko episode 11, I sat down and watched the two specials. Densha Otoko SP was released quite quickly behind the TV series, and without spoiling it, I can describe it as a sort of epilogue where you get to know the forum gang a bit more. It's executed in the same excellent manner as the series, and is highly recommended. In fact, it really is quite "must see" if you've watched the series.

Spoiler 1, highlight to view:
I didn't like Matsunaga and Kawamoto dubbed the crucial emotional climax from episode 11. I saw it comi
ng, I fast forwarded through it, but it still left a blemish on that pristine scene. I loved everything else though, it's great to see the last episodes play out from the perspective of the forum gang. The "strategist" getting together with his Korean sweetheart is the icing on the cake. And even that moron Matsunaga's horrid ballad was nice.

On September 23rd, the second and last special was released: Densha Otoko SP Deluxe. It features almost the entire cast from the TV series. Although not 100% certain, this 2 hour special will most likely be the final chapter in the Densha Otoko drama universe. The anime spin-off "Getsumen Toheiki Mina" or "Moon-faced Rabbit Weapon Mina" is set for January 2007.

Spoiler 2, highlight to view:

This entire special reminded me of Love Hina's Summer Special. I think it was the tropical island. I also love Jinnkawa-san, after about 25 minutes without her I was afraid she wasn't going to show up at all. Luckily the Vader-theme put me at ease. Kitamuri Kazuki is a great villain, I hated him from the start. His psychotic state at the end was even better. The ending is very satisfying, but you'll have to admit that's it's kinda "seen it, been there, done that". Once again the forum team throw themselves in battle to save Densha. But although predictable, it's again very well executed, albeit not so earthshattering as episodes 9-10-11. And of course, we have the whole "ke...--cut to Sambomaster" and ringless finger scene at the very end. Although in my heart I utterly despise this and called my PSP names (Densha Otoko should have an ultimate, happy ending!) it's probably done on purpose. Either we'll get one, final "honeymoon/marriage" special, or the director wanted to point out that it's all still based on a real story. Densha would've probably picked another time/place to propose and Densha and Hermes will live and experience their relationship on a more mature, calm and non-J-dorama pace.

And so (probably) ends the entire Densha Otoko story. In drama-form, that is. I must say that this television show has moved me more than any other show ever has. It's a modern fairy tale, a legend that will reverberate across popular (Japanese) media for years to come. And let's not forget how funny this show is. The reason I like Densha Otoko so much probably is my stubborn belief in old-fashion friendship, love and happy endings. Despite the collective, snobistic intellectual reflex to dispel such stories, Densha Otoko manages to come across as loveable, honest and endearing.


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