Train Man / Densha Otoko

Finally watched a movie “Train Man,” adapted from the best selling
book and became a huge hit in 2004-5 in Japan.

This is the true life story of a geeky young man who
happens to meet a girl on the train and post
messages on a huge internet discussion board for
some help. A million internet users follows the
Train Man's romance, giving him advices on how to
impress the girl and take her out on dates, which leads to a happy end.

Train Man belongs in the so-called "Akiba-kei" category: a term that
describes nerdy looking men who hang out at Akihabara (the famous
electronics area in Tokyo) all day, obsessed with video games and

He happened to be on his way home when he saw a girl harassed
by a drunken passenger. Though far from a “hero” type,
he stood up to protect her. She thanked him and asked
his address “to return a favor”.
A few days later, Train Man receives a “Hermes tea cup”.
Now he turns to the internet forum, using the alias
Train Man for advice on how he should contact with
Hermes and the romance between Train Man and
Hermes is moving ahead on the internet
as well as in the real life.

What I found interesting in this story is the combination
between the real life and the virtual community.
Though Train Man may not be able to change himself and
grab a chance without virtual community’s push and support,
the basic storyline is amazingly very classic;
defending a girl and falling in love.
He starts from memorizing and drilling the lines in dating
like learning convresation in other languages.
Indeed, he is stepping out of the e-communicty where he finds it
easier and more comfortable to communicate
by getting advice from this community
and learning skills and manners how to talk with a girl,
how to understand her and how to believe himself.

We are getting broader range of channels and tools to contact
others, but the basic elements how to communicate others
may not be changed; having interests in others, trying to
understand others and building up self-confidence.

Or like the world of tomorrow illustrated in “Demolition man”
(where people make love through virtual device, since touching
others is “nasty”) the way how people love would be changed

by yokopw | 2006-04-02 23:08 | in English  

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