Thursday, October 12, 2006

Densha Otoko -- 電車男 -- キター!!

I just finished Densha Otoko. I...can't quite put into words how I feel. I'll do it at the end of this post, perhaps.

Densha Otoko (Train Man) is a J-Dorama (Japanese TV Drama) adapted from a true story. Yamada Tsuyoshi is a typical 23 year old otaku. Nice, dorky, and a bit of a loser, things never seem to swing his way. But one day, a beautiful woman is harassed by a drunk and Yamada gathers all his courage to put a stop to this. She sends him a gift, and not knowing what to do, Yamada decides to turn to a BBS for help and advice.

And so, the legend of Densha Otoko is born.

I'm sure many of you know the story and have probably have seen the series/specials/movie. If you didn't, I can wholeheartedly recommend it.

There's so much to like from this series. First of all, the actors (leads Misaki Ito and Atsushi Itou but also all of the auxiliary cast, not in the least the BBS gang) are so believable and endearing. The story, whilst very simple (it's a boy meets girl story, in its core), is so well executed that it never grows stale. Densha Otoko also succeeds in intercutting the sometimes very involving love theme with lighter arcs (Jinnkawa-san! Sakurai-san!), that will leave your sides thoroughly split.

Also, last and not least, the otakuculture and akiba-kei is expertly depicted here. And as opposed to Genshiken, what you see is all on location and real. Densha Otoko is a testament to the entire identity of what it is to be a Japanese Modern Art fanatic. Not just the crazed frenzy, but also the fact that we are living, breathing people that are afraid, cry and love just like anyone else. (TV official) (movie official) (the real BBS)

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