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Train Man : Densha Otoko
Train Man Densha Otoko
Actors: Takayuki Yamada, Miki Nakatani
Director: Shosuke Murakami
Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy
UR     2007     1hr 41min

Computer engineer Otaku (the Japanese term for "geek") is an average young man, dressed in unstylish clothes and dorky glasses. But as luck would have it, he encounters a pretty young woman on a commuter train and saves he...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Takayuki Yamada, Miki Nakatani
Director: Shosuke Murakami
Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Romantic Comedies
Studio: VIZ Pictures, Inc.
Format: DVD - Widescreen,Anamorphic - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 02/06/2007
Original Release Date: 01/01/2005
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2005
Release Year: 2007
Run Time: 1hr 41min
Screens: Widescreen,Anamorphic
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 4
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: Japanese
Subtitles: English

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Member Movie Reviews

Jefferson N. from BLAIRSVILLE, GA
Reviewed on 10/20/2012...
Train Man is the story of a young nerd who goes through life with his head down, living a solitary existence of collecting his action figures, reading his manga, and going to work. One day on a train trip home, a drunk man begins accosting passengers on the train. The young man trys to ignore him like everyone else on the train, until he starts bothering a pretty young girl. At this point, our nerdy hero steps in and pushes the drunken man off of her. The young woman asks for his address so she can thank him with a present. The young man, having no social skills whatsoever, then goes online and ask for advice and soon finds a plethora of friends who help to coach him from one phase of his budding romance to the next.
This is a cute, sweet story of a young man who finds love and friendship, as well. It's a nice story and gives hope in a world where nice guys don't just finish last...they don't finish at all. And not only is it a love story, it also shows that the internet is not just a place to rant and rave and buy junk to fill our empty lives, but that people can come together to help each other...even when they don't completely know each other. A compassionate, hopeful tale. If you like happy, romantic comedies, you'll like this one. :-)

Movie Reviews

A nerd finds love
Daitokuji31 | Black Glass | 04/01/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"The Train Man spends his days either working in the back of an office building aiding his fellow employees with his computer skills or wandering the shops in Akihabara purchasing anime and manga paraphernalia, video games, and other things that otaku enjoy. Living in his parent's home, the Train Man is ensconced within the safe confines of his fandom, but he is far from content. At 22 years old the Train Man has yet to have a girlfriend and in fact feels that he is undeserving of a woman's love. However, one day upon the train his humdrum life changes completely.

After purchasing a few random anime knickknacks, the Train Man boards a train and is soon humiliated by a couple when they notice the items that he has purchased. Yet, it is on this same train that the love of the Train Man's life boards. Of course, being painfully shy, the Train Man does not approach the woman, but when she is later accosted by a drunken salaryman, played by the abrasive Osugi Ren, the Train Man comes to the woman's aid. Although terrified of the larger man, the Train Man stands his ground and defends the woman who has already grasped his heart.

In order to thank the Train Man, the woman asks for his address and soon sends him a couple of Hermes tea cups. Having no real life friends to turn to, the Train Man does what a number of other otaku do: turn to the Internet for help. On a message board, seven people come to the Train Man's aid, including three otaku who hang out everyday at a manga café, a lonely nurse who cannot get over her boyfriend, a shut-in, or Hikikomori in Japanese, a person who has basically cut themselves off from the world and generally pursue their hobbies in their home while being supported by their parents, and a husband and wife whose relationship is on the rocks. With the aid of these individuals the Train Man pursues his romance. However, can the Train Man truly rely on others for the pursuit of his own happiness?

I was honestly reluctant to watch this film at first mainly because I thought the story was quite hackneyed: nerdy guy meets beautiful girl and lives happily ever after. However, Train Man escapes this cliché because of the sympathetic if pathetic figure cut by the actor Yamada Takayuki. Certain scenes in which the Train Man, Yamada's character's name of the message board, talks to Hermes, the name the Train Man gives the woman of his dreams on the message board, on the phone or in person are almost painful to watch because his nervousness is almost palpable. I found myself both encouraging and cursing the Train Man in my mind when he was trying to take the relationship to the next level. Also, I think that the interaction amongst the message board members was quite humorous and well done. Also major kudos to the caster for casting Nakatani Miki in the role of Hermes. Nakatani, although very attractive, is not as stunning as Ito Misaki who played the role of Hermes in the televised version of Train Man. However, Nakatani's character is incredibly sweet and one can easily feel why the Train Man becomes so enraptured with her. A fun film that pulls at the heartstrings, Train Man does a wonderful job reviving a threadbare genre. Since the film is based on a true story, one wonders if a number of nerdy Japanese guys have come to the aid of woman being harassed on trains since its release?
A wholly innocuous trifle, but a fun one all the same
Calvin McMillin | Santa Cruz, CA | 02/02/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)

"To put it simply, the 2005 romantic comedy Train Man is a fairy tale for geeks. As derisive as that comment may sound, it's not really meant as a criticism, just a factual description. Supposedly based on a true story, Train Man (a.k.a. Densha Otoko) centers on a twenty-two year old manga enthusiast known only by the online handle "Train Man" (Takayuki Yamada). Unlucky in love for his entire life, Train Man has consoled himself to the fact that he probably won't be getting a girlfriend anytime this millennium, so he decides to embrace his nerdy fate and spend his free time prowling for toys in Akihabara.

One evening, our hero's prospects for romance begin to change when he spots a lovely woman (Miki Nakatani) being harassed by a drunken commuter. In a moment of awkward heroism, Train Man intervenes on her behalf. Although he's certainly no Superman, he does delay the drunkard long enough for security to show up. Later, to Train Man's complete surprise, the woman asks for his address so she can properly thank him for his good deed. So energized by this encounter is Train Man that he posts his story on a message board, an act which eventually earns him a faithful, albeit anonymous readership. Little does he know, however, that his story has only just begun.

Things pick up quickly when Train Man receives a set of expensive Hermes teacups in the mail. The sender? You guessed it - the woman on the train. Both ecstatic and highly confused by this surprising turn of events, Train Man turns to his online pals for help, who post back bits of advice on what his next move should be. After much debate, he finally summons up the courage to call her, and amazingly, she agrees to meet him for dinner. But in preparing for his first ever real date with a woman, Train Man smartly makes a few cosmetic adjustments on the advisement of his online peers. It isn't long before he gets a stylish haircut, purchases some designer threads, and doffs his glasses in favor of some contact lenses. The transformation from geek to chic is surprisingly fast, but no matter what he looks like, it's clear that Train Man is still a socially-inept otaku, as his jitteriness and all-around dorkiness in the presence of the woman he dubs "Hermes" is strikingly apparent. Still, Train Man begins to make progress with Hermes, but unfortunately, his deep-seated insecurities just might mess the whole thing up. It's clearly time for Train Man to grow up, but will he do it in time?

On its premise alone, Train Man is essentially a G-rated version of The 40-Year-Old-Virgin culturally suited to fit Japanese tastes. While both films maintain an underlying message that love is more important than lust, the main character in Train Man seems to operate in a world where sex isn't even something that would cross his mind, a factor which greatly contributes to the fairytale quality of the film. And while technology, particularly computers, is crucial to the plot, Train Man is, at its core, an old-fashioned romance about finding one's true love. Some may balk at the simplicity of the story, but in some ways, that's part of the charm.

As far as performances go, Takayuki Yamada makes for a fine Train Man, particularly once the She's All That-style makeover takes place. It's easy to act nerdy when the character is dressed to the nines in Akihabara geek wear, but once he makes the transformation into a more presentable stud, it would be easy for an actor to slip out of the required geekiness necessary for his performance. However, that's not the case with Yamada; the incongruity between what Train Man looks like post-makeover versus his actual behavior helps give this geek fantasy some semblance of realism. No matter how polished Train Man looks, he's still an otaku at heart.

Also carrying the film along with Yamada is Miki Nakatani, who has the unenviable task of making her character's interest in Train Man seem believable. As likeable as Train Man is as a character is, his appeal seems somewhat elusive. Yes, he's a nice guy, but he's also annoyingly skittish, and as the finale proves, a bit of a crybaby to boot. However, the "crying" scene does make for a funny reversal of expectations as Hermes must console the weeping Train Man with several comical "there, there" reassurances. And while the believability of a relationship between Hermes and Train Man is precarious at best, it would be completely unbelievable if not for Nakatani's performance. She is able to project an inner life, if not an entire past history with men for her character that is not in the script, which gives some indication of why she values Train Man so much.

One of the more interesting aspects of the film is how it focuses not only on Train Man's mission, but also on his ability to touch the lives of his readership. Among his online supporters, there's a young shut-in, a nurse who seems to be recovering from a failed relationship, three overgrown otakus who've had worse luck in life than Train Man, and a husband and wife who don't realize they're posting on the same board. As each of these characters participate in Train Man's strange coming-of-age story, his amazing strides with Hermes opens their eyes to what's missing in their own lives, showing them that if he can get a girlfriend, then just about anything is possible. Although, these "sidestories" could probably be developed even better in a television drama, the small glimmers of their lives given in Train Man are a welcome presence and enhance the main storyline immensely.

After all is said and done, Train Man is more or less just a fun little underdog story, thanks in large part to the likeable performances from its cast members. Sure, things are a bit too chaste and simplistic considering the situation, but in some ways, that's part of the appeal. Unlike the protagonist, the film Train Man may not dramatically change your life, but in its all-too-true rendering of the anxieties of dating, on some level it's sure to speak to everyone's inner geek."
Paul T. Vlosich II | Brownsville, PA United States | 03/08/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This movie is a story about how the Internet can influence the lives of its users, both positively and negatively. Train Man (hereafter referred to as Densha Otoko) is a 22-23yo otaku [anime geek] who's never had a relationship in his life. This suddenly when he helps save a beautiful woman from a drunkard on the train ride home. That's where he gets his name from.

From there, Densha goes onto 2chan, the Internet's largest bulletin board system forum. He asks for advice and eventually, thousands of people across the net encourages him and cheers him on as he fights the standards and himself in his quest for true love.

This story is apparently true, but after hearing the commentary, I would say it's existence on the Internet is totally true...but in real life? I'm not so sure. However, whether it actually is true or not, the story of Densha Otoko changed thousands of lives across Japan and even the world.

If you love romance and don't mind English subtitles in a foreign film, then this film is a pure delight. Highly highly recommended."