Densha Otoko (TV series)

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Densha Otoko
Densha Otoko.jpg
Genre Comedy, romance
Created by Nakano Hitori
Written by Mutou Susumuware
Tokunaga Tomokazu
Directed by Takeuchi Hideki
Nishiura Masaki
Kobayashi Kazuhiro
Opening theme "Twilight" by Electric Light Orchestra
Ending theme Sekai wa Sore o Ai to Yobundaze by Sambomaster
Country of origin Japan
Original language(s) Japanese
No. of episodes 13 (including two special episodes)
Production
Producer(s) Wakamatsu Jisashiki
Kawanishi Migaku
Broadcast
Original channel Fuji Television
Original run July 7, 2005 (2005-07-07) – September 22, 2005 (2005-09-22)
External links
Official website

Densha Otoko (電車男?, lit. Train Man) is a Japanese television drama that aired on Fuji Television. It is based on the Densha Otoko story, which has also been portrayed in other media.

The drama's 11 episodes were aired on Fuji TV from July 7 to September 22, 2005 (with a special episode on October 6, 2005).[1] A two hour long TV special, Densha Otoko Deluxe, aired on September 23, 2006, featured a visit to Tahiti.[1] Pony Canyon released the series on a DVD box set on December 22, 2005.[2] It also aired in Taiwan's Videoland Japan from January 24, 2006 (with a special episode on December 28, 2006),[3][4] and in Hong Kong's TVB Jade from April 15, 2006 (with a special episode on January 27, 2007).[5]

Plot[edit]

The plot follows the life of Yamada after a chance encounter with Saori, when he rescues her from a drunken man on the train. Saori sends him a set of Hermès tea cups as a thank you. Relying on advice from users on a website he is able to find the courage to change and eventually confess his feelings to Saori. The drama is filled with various dream sequences in which the characters use to portray their fantasies.

Cast[edit]

  • Misaki Ito as Saori Aoyama (沙織 青山) aka. "Hermes" (エルメス).

Saori sends Yamada teacups as a thank you for rescuing her from a drunken man in the train. Through the series she slowly develops feelings for Yamada. In this drama, she has a fondness for Benoist tea. After her father lied to her mother in the past, and recently coming out of a deceiving relationship, Saori cannot stand being lied to.

  • Atsushi Itō as Tsuyoshi Yamada (剛司 山田) aka. "Train_Man"/"Densha Otoko" (電車男)

The lead protagonist of this drama. Yamada is a typical "otaku" who consults a local website for advice on how to win over Saori. He is very shy at the beginning of the series, often stuttering to the opposite sex and his superiors. In the beginning he is willing to try to do away with his "otaku" side, however through the series he is able to admit being an "otaku" to Saori and take pride in who he is.

A client of Yamada. She often bullies him and makes him pay for her meals. At the end of the series she is able to convince Saori to give Yamada another chance. She dates Saori's younger brother for a while. She is portrayed as a heart breaker leaving a lot of men in her wake.

  • Eriko Sato as Kaho Sawazaki (果歩 沢崎), Friend and co-worker of Saori's.
  • Risa Sudo as Yūko Mizuki (裕子 観月)
  • Mokomichi Hayami as Keisuke Aoyama (啓介 青山), Saori's younger brother. He dated Jinkama for a while. He accidentally discovers the website where Yamada discusses his relationship with Saori and informs her.
  • Maki Horikita as Aoi Yamada (葵 山田) (Tsuyoshi's younger sister)
  • Shirou Kishibe as Tsuneo Yamada (Tsuyoshi's father)
  • Gekidan Hitori as Yuusaku Matsunaga
  • Eiji Sugawara as Shinji Kawamoto
  • Saori Koide as Karin Takeda (花梨 武田)
  • Shun Oguri as Munetaka Minamoto
  • Kosuke Toyohara as Kazuya Sakurai (和哉 桜井).

Although he's a rival for Saori's affections, he often unknowingly assists Yamada. He plans elaborate settings in an attempt to woo Saori but is never able to show her, often getting interrupted in the last minute. At the end of the series he falls for Jinkama. However their relationship is ended in the TV special when he confesses to Jinkama that he has lost his money.

Atsushi Itō and Misaki Ito have a cameo appearance after the end credits in the movie. In turn, Takayuki Yamada who portrays Densha Otoko in the movie, appears in a brief cameo in the first episode of the TV series, as well as in a special episode. Miho Shiraishi had also a brief role in the movie, but as a different character. The Japanese Rock Band that played the ending credits, Sambomaster, also made a cameo in episode 11 where Densha had to go to the hospital where he believed that Saori has collapsed (a lie by Kazuya-San)

Opening sequence[edit]

The television series makes numerous references and homages to otaku culture. The opening animation is a homage to the legendary Daicon IV "Twilight" anime short, which was created by the founders of Gainax. Also, the space ship in the first opening is similar to the logo of the band ELO, who composed Twilight.

Though rival anime studio Gonzo produced the Densha Otoko opening and is referenced several times in the series, the producers acknowledged Gainax's work by putting their name in the credits before that of Gonzo. The opening sequence is also a homage of the opening for the cult-anime Galaxy Express 999 (1978–81, Toei Animation), in which a poor boy meets the very beautiful Maetel and travels through space on the train Galaxy Express 999, which embarks them into adventures.

The series also makes use of Shift JIS art, or Japanese ASCII art during screen transitions and within the story itself.

Episodes[edit]

# Title Original Air Date
1 "A Love Being Watched Over by a Million People"
(100万人が見守った恋の行方 Hyakuman-nin ga Mimamotta Koi no Yukue
July 7, 2005 (2005-07-07)
Yamada saves Saori from a drunken man on the train. Saori asks for his address so that she may thank him. She sends him a set of Hermès tea cups. Yamada describes Saori as "Hermes" to the 2channel users. Following the encouragements from the 2channel users, Yamada finally musters up the courage to call Saori up to thank her for the tea cups. The episode ends with Saori's mobile phone ringing. 
2 "I'm Off to my First Date; Big Transformation"
(初デートへ向け大変身 Hatsu Dēto he Muke Dai Henshin
July 14, 2005 (2005-07-14)
Saori cannot answer the call, so Yamada leaves her a voicemail. When she calls him back, he cannot answer the call. Finally he manages to reach her and he offers her to meet for a dinner. Following the advice from the 2channel users, Yamada changes his appearance to impress Saori. The episode ends when Saori shows up at the meeting point for the dinner date. 
3 "Huge First Date Crisis!!"
(初デートに大ピンチ!! Hatsu Dēto ni Dai Pinchi!!
July 21, 2005 (2005-07-21)
Yamada feels the first date was a disaster. However Saori calls and asks if he would like to meet up again. This time however Saori brings a friend along to date. 
4 "Summer! Big Surfing Crash Course"
(夏!サーフィン大特訓 Natsu! Sāfin Dai Tokkun
July 28, 2005 (2005-07-28)
After Saori mistakes "surfing the web" for surfing, Yamada has to quickly learn how to surf to impress her. After various attempts at learning how to surf, he finally confesses to Saori that he can't surf and that it was a misunderstanding. 
5 "Big Anti-stalker Strategy"
(ストーカー撃退大作戦 Sutōkā Gekitai Dai Sakusen
August 4, 2005 (2005-08-04)
A mysterious stalker starts harassing Saori. Yamada investigates to find out who the stalker is. The stalker is discovered to be a delivery man who delivers to Saori's work. 
6 "A (Love) Confession is the Beginning of All Your Troubles!"
(告白は波乱の幕開け! Kokuhaku wa Haran no Makuake!
August 11, 2005 (2005-08-11)
Yamada is invited to Saori's house for the first time for tea. Although he tries to tell Saori he likes her, he is unable to muster the courage. A second date is arranged and Yamada lies to Saori that he can't make it due to work but is actually going to a manga convention. Saori discovers Yamada's lie and is heartbroken. 
7 "Getting Rid of my Nerdiness!! Birthday of Tears"
(脱オタク!!涙の誕生日 Datsu Otaku!! Namida no Tanjōbi
August 18, 2005 (2005-08-18)
Yamada believes that Saori is disappointed in discovering his "otaku" nature. He decides to give up all his figurines and "otaku" collection. Saori however is saddened only that Yamada had lied to her. 
8 "Revived!! Breaking Otaku's Tears"
(復活!!涙のオタク激白 Fukkatsu!! Namida no Otaku Hageshiro
August 25, 2005 (2005-08-25)
Yamada is finally able to show Saori his "otaku" nature even with the fear of rejection. 
9 "The Final War and Predictions of a Tragedy"
(最終決戦は悲劇の予感 Saishū Kessen wa Higeki no Yokan
September 1, 2005 (2005-09-01)
Yamada is invited to dinner with Saori's parents. The episode ends with Saori's younger brother discovering the website in which Yamada discusses his relationship with Saori. 
10 "The Final Chapter! A Miraculous Change of Events"
(最終章!奇跡の大逆転 Saishūshō! Kiseki no Dai Gyakuten
September 15, 2005 (2005-09-15)
Yamada sinks into a depression after the breakup with Saori. All the 2channel users rally together to try to cheer him up. 
11 "Greatest Confession in History!! Graduation Exercises of Tears"
(史上最大の告白!!涙の卒業式 Shijō Saidai no Kokuhaku!! Namida no Sotsugyōshiki
September 22, 2005 (2005-09-22)
Saori finally reads through the website and is touched. Yamada is finally able to confess his feelings to her and they both share their first kiss. But soon he must say goodbye to the 2channel users that supported him as the posts soon reaches its maximum limit of 1000 posts. 
S1 "Another Ending Special: Train Man VS Guitar Man!!"
(もう一つの最終回スペシャル 電車男VSギター男!! Mō Hitotsu no Saishūkai Supesharu: Densha Otoko VS Gitā Otoko!!
October 6, 2005 (2005-10-06)
S2 "Densha Otoko Deluxe: The Final Crusade"
(電車男DELUXE 最後の聖戦 Densha Otoko Derakkusu: Saigo no Seisen
September 23, 2006 (2006-09-23)
A ¥10,000,000 reward is offered for anyone who can discover the real identity of Densha Otoko. Yamada believes he has to find the black pearl in Tahiti to prove that his love for Saori will last. 

Specials[edit]

Special 1 - Another Ending[edit]

The first special contains a few story arcs which chronicles the lives of the other 2channel users. Many scenes from the original series were parodied. e.g. Kazuya confessing to Jinkama like how Yamada confessed to Saori.

Ushijima's Story[edit]

Ushijima believes the love of his life has run off with his money. He finds her but discovers that she did not steal his money but got scammed herself. They reunite happily.

Matsunaga's (Guitar Otoko) Story[edit]

Matsunaga, one of Yamada's friends is tricked into buying a guitar. He attempts to woo Yuko, one of Saori's friends by singing live at the Tokyo Dome.

Music[edit]

Introductory music from the first episode is "Mr. Roboto" by Styx. Subsequent openings use the song "Twilight" Electric Light Orchestra. The end theme is Sambomaster's "Sekai wa Sore o Ai to Yobundaze" (世界はそれを愛と呼ぶんだぜ?).

Getsumento Heiki Mina[edit]

Main article: Getsumento Heiki Mina

The animation sequences for both the opening and series shots of the metafictional anime series Getsumento Heiki Mina (月面 兎 兵器 ミーナ?, Lunar Rabbit Weapon Mina) were produced by Gonzo. Both Gonzo and the producers of the Densha Otoko TV series put a concerted effort into creating the appearance of a long-standing franchise, from hiring voice actress Saori Koide (to play both the voice of Mina as well as Karin Takeda, Mina's voice actress) to recording an opening theme for the Mina series, "START ME @ STARTING LOVE" by Missing Link.

Several toys, "video games", custom figurines and other "merchandise" were made specifically for use by otaku in the series. One of the figures, valued at $4000, was inadvertently broken by actor Atsushi Itō during filming. Replicas of the original figure were later sold at the Winter 2005 Comiket.

On January 13, 2007, the real world version of Getsumento Heiki Mina began airing in Japan. Gonzo had mentioned on December 16, 2005 that all the existing sequences and properties from Densha Otoko would be used. However, the narrative of the real-world adaptation of Mina is different from the version written for the drama series.

Reception[edit]

On October 25, 2005, Densha Otoko was awarded six prizes at the 46th Television Drama Academy Awards: Best Drama, Best Supporting Actor (Atsushi Itō), Best Supporting Actress (Miho Shiraishi), Best Director (Takeuchi Hideki), Best Musical Arrangement and Best Opening.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Freedman, Alisa (April 2009). "Train Man and the Gender Politics of Japanese 'Otaku' Culture: The Rise of New Media, Nerd Heroes and Consumer Communities". Intersections: Gender and Sexuality in Asia and the Pacific (Australian National University) (20). Archived from the original on October 24, 2013. Retrieved 18 April 2009. 
  2. ^ "商品仕様 - 電車男 DVD Box" [Product Specifications - Train Man DVD Box] (in Japanese). Pony Canyon. Retrieved 2009-09-25. 
  3. ^ "第一站" [First Stop] (in Chinese). Videoland Japan. Retrieved 2009-09-25. 
  4. ^ "第十一站" [Eleventh Stop] (in Chinese). Videoland Japan. Retrieved 2009-09-25. 
  5. ^ "電車男" (in Chinese). TVB Jade. Retrieved 2009-09-25. 
  6. ^ "第46回 (2005/10/26発表)" (in Japanese). Television Drama Academy Awards. Archived from the original on October 15, 2013. Retrieved 2009-08-18. 

External links[edit]