Title (romanji): Densha Otoko
Title (english): Train Man
Broadcast date: 7/7/05 – 9/22/05
Number of episodes: 11
Genre: romantic comedy
Cast: Itoh Masaki, Itoh Atsushi
Plot: A true love story, borne from the BBS 2chan, that became a best-selling novel and a blockbuster movie. Yamada Tsuyoshi (Itoh Atsushi) is the epitome of the word otaku. Socially inept, he knows nothing about interacting with the opposite sex. On the train ride home one night, he saves Aoyama Saori (Itoh Masaki) from an overly affectionate drunkard. In appreciation, she sends him a set of Hermes teacups. Having fallen in love with the woman, Yamada turns to the BBS for help on how to woo ‘Hermes.’
What is good: Just about everything. The writing conveys Yamada’s feelings well. The acting is superb. I think even those without any knowledge about Japanese otaku can relate to the story. Also, the way they handled the way the different otaku on the BBS converse helps the story along.
What is bad: Aoyama is a one-dimensional character. While she’s not the focus of the story (Yamada is), you don’t learn a whole lot about her. She almost seems to be there just because she’s pretty.
Letter rating: A
Overall: This is one of my favorite series. I loved watching the various otaku help Yamada. They were possibly the best part of the whole series. (NOTE: Keep an eye out for Oguri Shun, who also stars in Hana Yori Dango and Gokusen!) While it would have been nice to know a bit more about Aoyama, the story is not about her. It’s about Yamada overcoming his ‘otakuness’ to become something more. I would recommend this series to anyone, though it may require some knowledge about Japanese culture and relationships.