A real-life thread on an internet forum started it all. A nerdy otaku meets a girl on a train and posts an urgent query on the web--How the heck do you talk to girls? What should he wear on the date? Where should they go? The forum's response was amazing, and the thread grew incrementally longer as the nerd's relationship with the woman developed. Eventually published in book format to become a best seller, the thread spawned a blockbuster movie, a hit TV series, as well as this heartwarming manga adaptation of an entire internet community rooting for love and romance.
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Densha Otoko was based on an online thread on 2Channel, Japan's largest internet bulletin board site. The fictitious name, Hitori Nakano, was selected as the author's name when this story was published in book format. When read in the Japanese order, with surname followed by given name, Nakano Hitori is homonym for a phrase which means "one among many" to represent all the single men who gathered on the online discussion forum which hosted this thread.From Publishers Weekly:
This is the could-be-true story of your basic never-been-kissed geek who, prompted by an uncharacteristic act of courage and fairy godmothers in the form of an Internet chat community, finally manages to score a date. The real Train_Man's story created a media sensation in Japan, generating a bestselling novel, a blockbuster movie, a hit TV series and multiple manga deals, including three separate English-language treatments. By now, it's the stuff of pop-culture legend: when a drunken old man begins harassing female passengers on a train, Train_Man jumps to their defense, prompting one of the women—the younger, cuter one, natch—to send him a pair of Hermes tea cups by way of thanks. Unsure what to do, our young hero, a self-described "gamer/ anime otaku" who's never had a girlfriend, turns for advice to online buddies who send him notes of encouragement as well as advice on how to dress, where to go and, most importantly, how to screw up enough courage to call the young woman back and ask her out. No surprise that the ending to this particular story is happy, which helps explain its wild popularity. In this () version aimed at young men (seinen), the story's silly sweetness, as conveyed by Hara's efficient, uncluttered drawings, make it a fast, fun read. (Oct.)
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