Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Train Man

Overall Rating: A+
Synopsis: Based on a true story, Train Man, or Densha Otoko, is the story of an Otaku who intervened when a drunk man was harassing women on a train. Train Man has a huge crush on one of the women being harassed, which likely resulted in him trying to stop the drunk man. After the incident, Train Man begins awkwardly dating the woman he has a crush on with advice from his online friends. Through the course of the movie, he goes from geek to...well not exactly chic, but definitely less of a geek.

I can sum up Train Man in two words, awkwardly adorable. Watching the main character struggle with his otaku personality, and trying to figure out how to impress the girl he is in love with reminded me of when I first started liking girls. Fortunately for me, I didn't have quite so far to go, and I didn't have to resort to help from my equally inept online friends, but I had my moments.

At any rate, the real fun of the movie begins when Train Man starts posting his story to a board he frequents and starts getting advice from his online friends. They consist of a student-age shut-in, three other otaku who hang out in internet/manga cafes, a married couple who don't realize they are both on the same board because they have grown so distant, and a nurse. These 7 "friends" give Train Man advice on hair cuts, places to eat, and more to try to help him win the girl. There are moments of geeky excellence, where TM is able to overcome his otakuness and do some very sweet things, and some moments where it becomes a train wreck, where you keep watching even though everything is going wrong. It all comes together as a movie that feels like it really happened (probably because it did ;-) and had me going "Aw!" a lot and clasping my hand over my mouth. Definitely worth seeing if you like geeks and romance.

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