Japanese culture: Otaku

Densha Otoko (translated as “Train Man") is a true story of a 23-year-old otaku. This legend is said to be the otaku who started in real life to help avoid the drunkenness of a beautiful woman on the subway train. The young lady gave him a cup of Hermes tea cup as a thank-you. The confused young man turned to Japan’s large bulletin board channel 2, and such a gift meant seeking advice. Soon, the trainer (his handle) is being guided by an armchair specialist, offering advice on wardrobes and haircuts, choosing a restaurant and talking to girls. Why does a seemingly simple love story have such a big echo? The reason is the difference in Japanese culture.


There is a noun in Japan, otaku, which is a Japanese term for people with strong interests, especially in anime and manga. Its contemporary use originated from Akio Nakamori’s 1983 article in Manga Burikko. Otaku can be used as a derogatory term; its negativity stems from a stereotyped view of the otaku and Miyazaki’s “Otaku Murderer" in the 1989 media report. In modern Japanese proverbs, the word otaku is mostly equivalent to “geeks” or “nerds” and common sense nerds are “intellectual otaku” or “Gariben”, but they are more derogatory than those used in the West. However, it can involve any fan of any particular theme, theme, hobby or entertainment form. At the same time, people judge their behavior as a person who cannot be connected with reality. Second, the vertical structure of Japanese society determines the value of individuals through their success. Until the late 1980s, non-sports and unattractive men focused on academics, hoping to find a good job and get married to improve their social status. Those who are unable to achieve social success turn their attention to their interests, often in adulthood, and their lifestyles are centered on these interests, further promoting the creation of the mandarin subculture.


The attraction of Train Man is in the actor’s otaku, supported by social media. The film’s appeal to the online community is unusually sharp. Because the story tells the male The protagonist has been using the help of the online community, step by step to fall in love, and has made an otaku impossible (love). In a technology-centric country like Japan, it is suggested that it may be time to replace the network with a real network. It is only subversive, it is completely revolutionary.TrainMan-web.jpg


Romantic Geek

  “Being brave means doing what you are afraid to do”, that’s what I get after watching the movie “Densha Otoko” (known as Train Man, DO) in the lesson. It is simply a story about a geek (Otaku) who comes out and save a girl on the train from a drunk harassment, it is also an important and serious issue that always happen in Japan.


  The meaning of “Otaku” is talking about people who are labelled as lifeless nerd, they obsessed with ACG (Animation, Comic and Game) culture which makes them having bad social skills in real life, it is a negative meaning in Japan. So how an “Otaku” become a hero in reality? The main character DO fall in love at first sight with “Ms. Hermes” on the train, so he decided to stand up and protect the girl. He comes out of his shell, and seek help and advice from peers on online forum. This story is based on the true story unfolded on 2channel, a text board in Japan. Meaning that “Otaku” culture is widely spread through the city, due to the fact that Japan is a judgmental society, “Otaku” gives out a shy, weak and non-interactive bad images to the public, like the scenes at the beginning of the movie, a couple laughed at DO of his toys and manga dropped on the ground.


Screen Shot 2019-01-22 at 3.42.35 AM.png

Such vibe makes themselves like immature, childish and weak. Actually not only in Japan, Hong Kong also have these kind of love story happened, like posts in famous forum “LIHKG”, online user always gives good suggestion and advice to suitor, everyone is keen on helping those “Otaku” to peruse the girl.


  “Densha Otoko” is such an inspirational movie for us to learn from it, it motivates audience to be brave and step outside to follow their goal. Everyone may say that the story between DO and Ms. Hermes is a fairytale, but if you tried once, there will be something special waiting for you in the future, let’s face what you afraid of and move forward!!

The Popularising of Otaku Culture — Simmi & Diaries


This week’s movie Densha Otoko translates to the “Train Man", showed a rather unusual romance. The story revolves around the computer genius Otaku, a Japanese term used specifically for the geeks. The trainman is an average looking man, with a rather childlike sense of fashion, wearing anime t-shirts, dull pants, and dorky glasses. The movie features the Otaku culture of Japan.

So what is Otaku exactly? 

Imagine a person who is obsessed with computers, anime, and manga. Has limited social skills and have their eyes glued to the screen for most or all of their days. Otaku is a term derived from a Japanese word known as “another house". According to an anime fanatic, the term is used to address people of similar interest, all being a part of a different kind of family. (Rajasundar,  2018) The Otaku culture has seemed to bloom over the past decade, with anime being revolutionized by the entertainment industry. Japan is now known as the home to the subculture, a collection of the otaku values and code of behaviors.

The picture attempts to educate people on the term Otuka and what it stands for, by teaching the common words associated with the subculture.


“Otaku" by The Fanpop Trio Club

How does the movie portray the Otaku culture?

It begins with a scene of Densha Otoko walking nervously into the train while dropping his bag of anime toy figurines. The passengers laughed at his state, showing how the otakus are often frowned upon in the Japanese culture. The movie introduced the protagonist as an anime lover, who lacks a decent taste in fashion alongside with his confidence. He seems to appear as a nice guy, who likes to observe his surroundings. His first encounter with the woman he loved was quite typical, the man saving the woman from a bad guy. Although rather than fighting he seemed to have asked him nicely, showing he was uncomfortable making a conversation.

A scene from the movie .jpg

A scene from the movie

The protagonist sorted unusual ways to win the heart of his one true love, he sought advice from strangers over the internet. Which had a magic touch to it. A platform where the otakus gathered and discussed the love life of a man they don’t know.  According to Frank Lovece, a journalist, the characters interactive quality takes the next step, to build a story about connections—about recognizing something vital at each other’s core. (Lovece, 2006) They sought comfort in knowing that he was doing profoundly well on the first few dates. The otakus might be computer geeks with limited access to the outside world, but they had been rather kind to a man they had met on the internet.





Lovece, F. (2006, September 22). TRAIN MAN (DENSHA OTOKO). Retrieved from http://www.filmjournal.com/train-man-densha-otoko

Rajasundar, G. K. (2018, February 02). Exploring the Otaku Culture. Retrieved from https://geeks.media/exploring-the-otaku-culture

via The Popularising of Otaku Culture — Simmi & Diaries

A Modern Love Story: Train Man

Navan's blog

This week we watched a Japanese movie called “Train Man” in the tutorial. The movie was not like any typical romantic film. Instead, all the characters showed their differences and similarities and grew in terms of their personalities throughout the whole movie together.

Densha Otoko, the main character is socially awkward, shy, and a hopeless romantic in the beginning who has no close friends. He shares about his life on online forums where he meets other people who give him advice on his romantic life. Densha as a character changes and tries his best to impress Hermes who he saved on the train. With the help of his online friends, he discovers a new version of himself but also is scared to talk to Hermes without his friend’s advice.

Coming from an Indian background, I have watched numerous romantic Bollywood movies where the main male lead is always very confident…

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Reminisce your first date?



Give it a CHohANCE

During my first tutorial in Digital Asia, our professor showed us a Japanese movie titled TRAIN MAN. When I got to know that we are about to watch a Japanese movie I wasn’t really enthused about it since I have never watched a Japanese movie my entire life. When I heard the name of the movie, I was like is it some sort of a superhero movie? But turns out it’s a Rom-Com. And just to let you know I love ROM-COM! So I did get a bit excited and was looking forward to it.

The movie is basically about a 23-year-old otaku named Densha.

Pause for a second… you probably are wondering what does otaku means? Well, it’s a Japanese term for people who are obsessed with anime and manga. Okay, PLAY!

Densha saves a young woman name Hermes from a drunkard on the train. She gets his…

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Week one blog : The Trainmen


train mn.jpg

Densha Otoko: The Trainman is an extraordinary piece of a romantic movie based on a true story. Why is it remarkable is that the content of this movie is different from most of the romantic movies out there. How different?

In this movie, The Trainman is a normal human being who has no sense of fashion nor any knowledge of talking to girls. He encounters a woman in the train who he fell in love while saving her from a lewd molester. Since he lacks confidence, he looks out for advice from the internet from other people to help him and give him support so that he could get the courage to approach the girl. Whats’ different in this movie is that, take Bollywood as an example, the actor who falls in love with the girl is mostly a rich guy or a fool. In Bollywood, it is always expected that the guy and the girl will still be together, in the end, no matter what, but in this movie, we didn’t expect much from The trainman as he looks like a clumsy and reserved, people did not think that Hermes will love Densha Otoko. Despite having that kind of personality, he did not hesitate to save Hermes from being harassed.

It is quite funny that it is a movie 14 years ago where people started to rely on technology. When there was no internet, people usually meet to try to communicate and make friends, but now they will communicate on the internet. When it comes to face to face. They won’t be able to say anything as they feel nervous. On the other hand, it helped Densha Otoko to get help from other people online because he is too shy to even talk or communicate with anyone.

 The internet has done good to the world and bad too, it has made a distance between people also have made people closer. Just like Densha Otoko, he used the internet to build up his courage to go for the girl he loves. This movie tells me that no matter what kind of person you are, you will fall in love and you will get love from the others. We shouldn’t be insecure about people not loving you because of how you are. 

Densha Otoko is not just a Otaku

Vultures 8's

Densha Otoko is a Japanese movie released in 2005, adapted from a series of forum posts at 2channel site. Also released has been adapted into a TV series with similar plot. The story is about a young man (Densha Otoko) helping a woman (Hermes) from getting harassed by a drunken old man on the train and fall in love.

wp_2_1024.jpg Poster of the movie ‘Densha Otoko’

The main character Densha Otoko is a shy man that loves to go shopping in Akihabara buying gundam and manga, wearing old-fashioned clothes with a pair of classic-styled glasses. He is a introvert that not willing to communicate with others or even look at someone’s eyes directly when talking, as he tried to escape from the incident by listening to music loudly in the movie. The word ‘train-man’ in Chinese became a word that represent people that are introvert, old-fashioned, not good at communicating with…

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