ⓘ Densha Otoko (TV series)

                                     

ⓘ Densha Otoko (TV series)

Densha Otoko is a Japanese television drama that aired on Fuji Television. It is based on the Densha Otoko story, which has also been portrayed in other media.

The dramas 11 episodes were aired on Fuji TV from July 7 to September 22, 2005 with a special episode on October 6, 2005. A two-hour-long TV special, Densha Otoko Deluxe, aired on September 23, 2006, featured a visit to Tahiti. Pony Canyon released the series on a DVD box set on December 22, 2005. It also aired in Taiwans Videoland Japan from January 24, 2006 with a special episode on December 28, 2006, and in Hong Kongs TVB Jade from April 15, 2006 with a special episode on January 27, 2007.

                                     

1. Plot

The plot follows the life of Yamada after a chance encounter with Saori, when he rescues her from a drunken man on the train. Saori sends him a set of Hermes tea cups as a thank you gift. Relying on advice from users on a website, he is able to find the courage to change and eventually confess his feelings to Saori.

The drama is filled with various dream sequences in which the characters use to portray their fantasies.

                                     

2. Cast

  • Atsushi Itō as Tsuyoshi Yamada 山田 剛司 aka. "Train Man"/"Densha Otoko" 電車男
The lead protagonist of this drama. Yamada is a typical "otaku" who consults a local website for advice on how to win over Saori. He is very shy at the beginning of the series, often stuttering when talking with the opposite sex as well as to his superiors. In the beginning, he is willing to try to do away with his "otaku" side. Throughout the series, he is able to admit being an "otaku" to Saori and take pride in who he is.
  • Misaki Ito as Saori Aoyama 青山 沙織 aka. "Hermes" エルメス.
The main heroine of the story and Yamadas love interest. After being rescued by Yamada from a drunken man in the train, Saori sends Yamada teacups as a thank you gift. After her father lied to her mother in the past, and recently coming out of a deceiving relationship, Saori cannot stand being lied to. Through the series she slowly develops feelings for Yamada. In this drama, she has a fondness for Benoist tea.
  • Miho Shiraishi as Misuzu Jinkama 陣釜 美鈴
A client of Yamada, who often bullies Yamada and makes him pay for her meals. In this drama, she is portrayed as a heart breaker leaving a lot of men in her wake. At the end of the series, she is able to convince Saori to give Yamada another chance. She dates Saoris younger brother for a while.
  • Eriko Sato as Kaho Sawazaki 沢崎 果歩
Friend and co-worker of Saoris.
  • Risa Sudo as Yūko Mizuki 観月 裕子
  • Mokomichi Hayami as Keisuke Aoyama 青山 啓介
Saoris younger brother who accidentally discovers the website where Yamada discusses his relationship with Saori and informs her. He dated Jinkama for a while.
  • Maki Horikita as Aoi Yamada 山田 葵
Tsuyoshis younger sister
  • Shirou Kishibe as Tsuneo Yamada 山田 恒夫
Tsuyoshis father
  • Shun Oguri as Munetaka Minamoto 皆本 宗孝
  • Eiji Sugawara as Shinji Kawamoto 川本 真二
  • Saori Koide as Karin Takeda 武田 花梨
  • Kosuke Toyohara as Kazuya Sakurai 桜井 和哉
  • Gekidan Hitori as Yuusaku Matsunaga 松永 勇作
Although he is a rival for Saoris affections, he often unknowingly assists Yamada. He plans elaborate settings in an attempt to woo Saori, but is never able to show her, often getting interrupted at the last minute. At the end of the series, he falls for Jinkama. However their relationship is ended in the TV special when he confesses to Jinkama that he has lost his money.
  • Seiji Rokkaku as Sadao Ushijima
  • Kumiko Akiyoshi as Yuki Aoyama 青山 由紀, Saoris mother
  • Chizu Sakurai as Ryoko Hashizume
A regular to the same messageboard Densha frequents and a die-hard Hanshin Tigers fan. Has a very minor role in the drama but is expanded in the specials.
  • Yoichi Nukumizu as Susumu Ichisaka 一坂 進
  • Tatsuya Gashuin as Tominaga 富永
  • Iori Nomizu as Moe Kagami
One of the forum members. Also known as Meganekko.

Atsushi Itō and Misaki Ito have a cameo appearance after the end credits in the movie. In turn, Takayuki Yamada who portrays Densha Otoko in the movie, appears in a brief cameo in the first episode of the TV series, as well as in a special episode. Miho Shiraishi had also a brief role in the movie, but as a different character. The Japanese Rock Band that played the ending credits, Sambomaster, also made a cameo in episode 11 where Densha had to go to the hospital where he believed that Saori has collapsed a lie by Kazuya.

                                     

3. Opening sequence

The television series makes numerous references and homages to otaku culture. The opening animation is a homage to the legendary Daicon IV "Twilight" anime short, which was created by the founders of Gainax. Also, the space ship in the first opening is similar to the logo of the band ELO, who composed Twilight.

Though rival anime studio Gonzo produced the Densha Otoko opening and is referenced several times in the series, the producers acknowledged Gainaxs work by putting their name in the credits before that of Gonzo. The opening sequence is also a homage of the opening for the cult-anime Galaxy Express 999 1978–81, Toei Animation, in which a poor boy meets the very beautiful Maetel and travels through space on the train Galaxy Express 999, which embarks them into adventures.

The series also makes use of Shift JIS art, or Japanese ASCII art during screen transitions and within the story itself.

                                     

4. Episodes

Special 1 - Another Ending

The first special contains a few story arcs which chronicles the lives of the other 2channel users. Many scenes from the original series were parodied. e.g. Kazuya confessing to Jinkama like how Yamada confessed to Saori.

Ushijimas Story

Ushijima believes the love of his life has run off with his money. He finds her but discovers that she did not steal his money but got scammed herself. They reunite happily.

Matsunagas Guitar Otoko Story

Matsunaga, one of Yamadas friends is tricked into buying a guitar. He attempts to woo Yuko, one of Saoris friends by singing live at the Tokyo Dome.

                                     

5. Music

Opening

Introductory music from the first episode is "Mr. Roboto" by Styx.

Subsequent openings use the song "Twilight" Electric Light Orchestra.

Ending

Sambomasters "Sekai wa Sore o Ai to Yobundaze" 世界はそれを愛と呼ぶんだぜ.

Original soundtrack

Composed by Face 2 fAKE

Released: August 24, 2005

Duration: 76 min

ASIN: B000A3H62W

JAN: 4547366022209

Label: Sony Music Entertainment

                                     

6. Getsumento Heiki Mina

The animation sequences for both the opening and series shots of the metafictional anime series Getsumento Heiki Mina 月面 兎 兵器 ミーナ, Lunar Rabbit Weapon Mina were produced by Gonzo. Both Gonzo and the producers of the Densha Otoko TV series put a concerted effort into creating the appearance of a long-standing franchise, from hiring voice actress Saori Koide to play both the voice of Mina as well as Karin Takeda, Minas voice actress to recording an opening theme for the Mina series, "START ME STARTING LOVE" by Missing Link.

Several toys, "video games", custom figurines and other "merchandise" were made specifically for use by otaku in the series. One of the figures, valued at $4000, was inadvertently broken by actor Atsushi Itō during filming. Replicas of the original figure were later sold at the Winter 2005 Comiket.

On January 13, 2007, the real world version of Getsumento Heiki Mina began airing in Japan. Gonzo had mentioned on December 16, 2005 that all the existing sequences and properties from Densha Otoko would be used. However, the narrative of the real-world adaptation of Mina is different from the version written for the drama series.



                                     

7. Reception

On October 25, 2005, Densha Otoko was awarded six prizes at the 46th Television Drama Academy Awards: Best Drama, Best Supporting Actor Atsushi Itō, Best Supporting Actress Miho Shiraishi, Best Director Takeuchi Hideki, Best Musical Arrangement and Best Opening.