Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Come on Ride a Train

Based on an allegedly true story, Train Man (Densha Otoko) has led to a media frenzy of books, comics and now a movie. The movie makes its DVD debut this week and you can find in at sites like Netflix, Blockbuster or Hollywood Video.
The story is a modern love story about a Japanese computer geek, who meets a pretty girl on a commuter train and saves her from a lewd fellow passenger. He falls for her and a few days later she sends him a thank you gift.
Unsure of what his next steps should be, the guy enlists the help of his cyber friends from the 2ch bulletin board. Soon he’s bombarded with “surefire” recommendations from cyberspace.

You say Otoko I say Otaku
So try to work these words into your daily conversations. "Otoko" means man. In Japanese slang, "Otaku" means fanatic and has a derrogotory tinge to it, according to the Train Man web site. Some common uses include paso-kon otaku (personal computer geeks), game otaku, idol otaku, tetsudou otaku (metrophiles), or gunji otaku (military geeks). Apparently "densha" means to send messages, as in "denshabato" or carrier pigeon.

2ch or 4ch
Never heard of it, but sounds interesting. The Train Man site also has a little primer on 2ch and 4ch. “2ch is the largest Internet forum in the world. With over 10 million visitors a day, 2ch is gaining a significant profile in Japanese society, competing for influence with traditional mass media such as TV, radio, and magazines. 4-ch ( is an English-language website, with discussion boards for English speakers, presented in the style of 2ch. It also contains a board where Japanese 2ch users can talk to each other in Japanese.”