Lists with This Book. Hey Mr. Trainman A few days later, Train Man received a package from the woman: A very small part of the story I know, but I really appreciated the effort at displaying realism. Archived from the original on September 25, Then, just like in real life, a couple of days afterwards his hair is back to looking like a shorter version of his hairstyle before it got cut.

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Train Man book cover. Source: amazon. This tale of life-altering love has been sold as an Internet book professionally-published paper edition of a story created and first made available online , a film, a serialised television drama, four manga series, a stage play and even an adult video. I argue that, along with changing the form of the book and furthering cross-media promotion, the protagonist of Train Man has encouraged more discussions about social expectations for Japanese men in the mass media during a time of falling marriage and birthrates than any other real personage or fictional character.

Media discourses about Train Man reached a height in and when global fandoms of Japanese otaku culture grew and fertility rates were declared a national problem. In news magazines devoted to issues of marriage and family and the concurrent spate of books about heterosexual relationships, Train Man has been described as a potential marriage partner for career women, a demographic blamed for marrying late.

At the same time, he has been promoted as an ideal consumer, loyal to brands and willing to spend money on self-improvement. As discussed below, although exposing contradictions inherent in gender norms promoted by state institutions and broadening conceptions of masculinity in the popular imagination, most journalistic accounts and marketing campaigns centring on Train Man recast patriarchal notions of love and family for the twenty-first-century Internet generation.

In mass media discussions about Train Man, exemplified by those in weekly news magazines targeting a middle-class educated readership, the kind of otaku culture represented by the protagonist has been mobilised to advocate the conservative notion that individual happiness is most easily achieved by conforming to so-called mainstream society. Reflexively, otaku such as Train Man have been ascribed with the potential to change the society to which they once conformed.

In striking contrast, female otaku have often been seen in a different light. Members of otaku communities have also voiced dissent. I then raise questions about the social, economic and ideological impact of the image of masculinity that the story conveys and how it has shaped recent discussions about women, motherhood and labour, in addition to men and marriage.

To provide a more composite and perhaps less mediated examination of Train Man, I have researched untraditional academic sources, including Internet forums, websites, advertising campaigns and blogs, along with widely circulating books and magazines issued by commercial presses.

By analysing a limited sample of the almost countless online fan sites devoted to otaku culture, I attempt to understand the mixed reactions of members of the community Train Man is said to symbolise to the incorporation of the story into dominant heteronormative state discourses. Founded in by the then twenty-three-year-old Nishimura Hiroyuki, 2-Channel receives more than million page views a month.

To keep topics current and save bandwidth, threads are limited to 1, posts, and users have the power to continue discussions by adding threads. Along with text messages, 2-channel subscribers post ASCII artwork, often elaborate pictures made out of letters, punctuation marks and other printable characters. While the choice of Hermes cups is unusual, gift giving is an accepted way of showing appreciation in Japan.

From the start, Train Man appeared as an exceptionally sensitive and caring person, with whom many 2-Channel subscribers felt a sense of empathy and a desire to help. The story developed as the online community, mostly men, offered and debated suggestions on how Train Man could make Hermes fall in love with him and as Train Man reported the events of his new relationship and feelings about how his life was changing. In , the fifty-seven-day online conversation that included a total of 29, posts was edited into a six-chapter story of 1, posts and made available on a free website.

The resulting narrative of boy meets girl and boy tries to take control of the relationship focused as much on Train Man as the fan community who supported him. Although applied to other fandoms, the term is now mostly used both playfully and pejoratively to denote ardent collectors of manga, anime and computer technologies.

Because of the global popularity of these forms of popular culture, otaku has had more positive connotations abroad than in Japan. Otaku implies the constant desire to learn more about a hobby, either for profit or for pleasure, and the sense of pride in being able to trade in knowledge of things that are often cutting-edge.

Especially in discussions among fans, otaku are divided into subgroups. In Train Man, Akiba-kei otaku are portrayed as manifesting both conspicuous consumption and production, giving rise to new trends, vocabularies and behaviours through the shared desire for brands and commodities. Members of Akiba-kei Internet forums, interviewees in media reports and bloggers have generally expressed a mix of shame and pride in belonging to these communities— feelings articulated by Train Man.

Through the online conversation that often reads as a guide to fashion and dating in Tokyo, Train Man gained confidence, especially as he changed his clothing and hairstyle. Train Man hid but did not give up his otaku identity. In a pivotal point in their relationship, he used his knowledge of computers to impress Hermes, whose nickname also shows an association with consumer culture. On 9 May , Train Man posted on 2-Channel that he had confessed his love for Hermes, and, according to the edited story, the online community celebrated.

Love confessions are a stock part of Japanese fiction and film, but Train Man unconventionally discussed his fears and feelings with other characters, rather than just making the reader privy to these private thoughts. In the last posts included in the story, the 2-Channel subscribers tell Train Man that he had successfully graduated from his lessons on how to be an ideal romantic partner and no longer needed the advice of the otaku community, who have, in turn, learned from his example.

The participants in the online discussion gave Train Man a send-off and bade him well, implying that, although a hero, he was no longer one of them.

According to Train Man websites and blogs, it is rumoured that the couple is still together, although their real identities remain unknown. While perpetuating stereotypes of women in general and of subcultures of men, Train Man has influenced the development of a new kind of romantic male hero in Japanese literature and visual media: the compassionate, motivated otaku with disposable income and leisure time.

Train Man marks a departure from common images of the stoic middle-class businessman, a figure who represented twentieth-century Japanese social ideals. Yet to be this otaku hero, Train Man needed to move outside his community and prove that wanted to and could conform to notions of male behaviour that have dominated the popular imagination since the post-war period. As news of Train Man and his supporters spread, Japanese publishing companies vied to turn the popular website into a book.

Because of the current Japanese publishing focus on so-called popular rather than more highbrow literature and in part due to financial losses, especially in sales of monthly periodicals, it has become an industry norm to contract young editors who are familiar with book trends. As exemplified by Gunji, this change has made it possible for women to work in higher-level positions, but, without much security, they often need to demonstrate that their jobs are necessary.

Gunji was able to acquire the project from Nishimura because she proposed designing the book to resemble an online chat, complete with the ASCII artwork that appeared in the 2-Channel discussion, rather than developing the story into a more conventional novel with elaborate plot lines, character descriptions and eloquent use of language. Because the posts are anonymous and the real Train Man and Hermes are unknown, notions of copyright, royalties and press releases changed.

If Train Man were real, he should receive part of the copyright, which now belongs to Nishimura. The story is told almost entirely through dialogue and makes the reader feel as though she is overhearing a conversation among a crowd. This new narrative form allows the plot to unfold in real time. The book is full of languages created by Japanese Internet users , resulting in a different appearance on the page and demanding familiarity with 2-Channel to be fully appreciated.

In addition, long vowel sounds are shortened, short ones are lengthened, similar but incorrect characters are used, and two-word phrases are abbreviated into two syllables, a common way of referring to contemporary buzzwords and brands. Internet novels in a different format were published before Train Man but were not commercially successful.

For example, in , film director Iwai Shunji posted an interactive online website as part of plans for a film about the relationship between a Hong Kong pop star and a Taiwanese teen. Japanese adolescents logged on to talk about problems, including school bullying, in addition to respond to the story about music. Iwai published the posts in the book Riri shu shu no subete All About Lily Chou Cho in August and released poignant but horrifying film by the same title about three months later by the same distributor, Rockwell Eyes.

Additionally, the success of the Train Man Internet novel was perhaps instrumental in advancing publishing company experimentation with other new book forms written by amateur authors and enabled by new media.

Readers, predominantly young women, subscribe to mostly free websites to receive installments of these dialogue-driven, single-authored stories on their cell phones. They can then read this mobile form of popular literature on trains and in other public spaces, thereby changing the nature of telling, circulating and consuming stories.

Notably, like Train Man, cell-phone novels, which can be obtained for free, are published as books that sell hundreds of thousands, even millions, of copies and are made into television dramas, films and manga. For example, Ayu no monogatari Deep Love , by an author known only as Yoshi, had grossed around 4. Hermes remarks that 2-Channel supporters are all good people, as they walk out an exit door, showing her approval of the kinds of otaku portrayed and the role that mobility played in their story.

Pure-love stories have emerged as a distinct genre with its own defining conventions and tropes. In most cases, one or more of the characters falls in love for the first time, and the couple needs to overcome obstacles to be together. The stories end or a character dies before the love can become soiled with more mundane aspects of domestic life. As evident in such cell-phone novels as Deep Love, many recent pure-love stories have increasingly focused on underdog characters who seek lost innocence and salvation through heterosexual romance, such as teenaged prostitutes who had to sell their bodies for reasons beyond their control.

In addition to representing changes in the content and form of contemporary Japanese literature, Train Man exemplified the new ways stories were marketed. A play was staged in September on a multimedia set comprised of small interlocking rooms, conveying a sense of the 2-Channel individuals who supported Train Man. In addition, companion volumes, sociological studies and self-help books were published in the same year, marking one of the first times in recent years that popular fiction inspired examination of Japanese social structures and individual psychology.

Densha otoko — 50 man nin ga namidashita junai Thank You, Train Man! Train Man Television Drama Advertisement. Source: DramaWiki The most successful adaptations of Train Man were the June blockbuster film, shot in twenty-five days under the supervision of television director Murakami Masanori and released around a month later to mixed critical reviews, and the television series, which aired Thursdays at p. These changes might have been due to conventions of film and television melodramas or were added to make Train Man a more empathetic character with perhaps a greater appeal to the target consumer demographic of eighteen to thirty-four-year-old female viewers.

The film and drama had different casts, but the actor who played Train Man in the film made a cameo appearance in the drama and vice versa. It was produced as a real series, Getsumento heiki mina, loosely translated as Moon-Faced Rabbit Weapon Mina, that aired from January to March on Fuji Television, the same network as the drama. Although an adult video, The Kissing and Sex of Train Man was created, there has been no animated version of the tale to date.

The film and the television series clearly visualised the class message inherent in the story. For example, the man who harassed Hermes on the train appeared to be working class, and Hermes and Train Man often carried things with recognisable cultural capital, especially designer goods and bags from Akihabara shops. Both visual forms depicted different kinds of 2-Channel users, and Internet posts influenced the content and visual compositions.

Otaku characters were also used to make audiences aware of pressing national issues, such as domestic violence and hikikomori. Through happy endings and through stunning visual finales, they conveyed the message that people could improve their lives if they tried hard enough. In gambaru narratives, the fallen hero finds confidence by excelling at an unusual hobby or an unlikely feat with the help of a coach and other players.

Famous examples include the films Shall We Dance? Figure 4. Chikan otoko Pervert Man Book Cover. This further attests to the profitability of the Train Man phenomenon and the long-accepted Japanese cultural notion that good ideas should be emulated. For example, Chikan otoko Pervert Man began with a post by a nerd obsessed with anime and reptiles who was mistaken for a molester.

New large-scale buildings and shops have opened in the neighbourhood, including the Akihabara Crossfield complex comprised of two skyscrapers. A train line linking Tsukuba University to Akihabara opened in On the other hand, the Japanese mass media has espoused the belief that otaku are a cause and symptom of the possible breakdown of Japanese society and have associated otaku with sexual perversion and the growing gap between the rich and poor during a time of economic restructuring.

This makes the promotion of Train Man all the more striking. Prejudices against otaku have even resulted in hate crimes. Conversely, it has spurred debate among people who consider themselves members of the otaku community about whether Train Man is a positive role model. For example, if Train Man is twenty-two years old, why does he post on 2-Channel that he has been working for three years at a job that requires a university degree? The expensive brand teacups, which Train Man seems to have received too quickly, are a strange thank-you present for a young man.

Lastly, the website in which all of the posts were compiled was created too quickly. Having steadily declined after falling below 2. In , the average marriage age for men was The main reasons given for men who do not marry are based on emotions, implying that they could marry but choose not to. To the best of my knowledge, Train Man has only been featured in mainstream journalistic debates about heterosexual men.

Train Man shows that an otaku has the potential to become a new kind of ideal man, so long as he could acquire the looks and communication skills that would make him desirable to women and help him conform to mainstream society.



He is lazy and unmotivated, he stays indoor and collects Saber posters and figurines. She is currently in love with Gil. Onii-chan Lancer - an older brother who loves his younger sister above all else. He becomes over protective of her when he realized Waver is in love with Iskander.


Chikan Densha Otoko ~Densetsu no Target~

Train Man book cover. Source: amazon. This tale of life-altering love has been sold as an Internet book professionally-published paper edition of a story created and first made available online , a film, a serialised television drama, four manga series, a stage play and even an adult video. I argue that, along with changing the form of the book and furthering cross-media promotion, the protagonist of Train Man has encouraged more discussions about social expectations for Japanese men in the mass media during a time of falling marriage and birthrates than any other real personage or fictional character.

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