Thu Jun 1st, 2006 at 08:49:24 AM EST
You may not know it yet...but there is a guy people call Densha Otoko (Man in/of the train in Japanese). You may have heard about him (in Spanish I, Spanish II English,or japanese).
If not..the history of his recent life is easy to explain. According to several sources he is an otaku in Japan...a very important thing/freak to be (if you take it seriously of course). As a standard otaku, he had not had any relevant relation with a woman in his 23 years-old life ...until...he helped a upper-class lady in the underground of Tokio when she was harassed by a old drunk guy. As standard practice among the elite of Japan, the upper-class lady, allegedly 25, asked for his address so that she could send a present of compensation. I said compensation, I mean gratitude, this is, gratitude...(what I was thinking?...sur le donnes?)
What did our otaku do when he received the present with a cell phone on the delivery company receipt??? well..since he did not have any experience, he logged on a thread in one of the famous community areas/boards in Japan (channel2)..of course in the single-men group. There he asked for help. Among a lot of porn and sex comments he atually got very good advice from a growing set of fans...
You may be wondering what happened next...
UPDATE: If by the end of this diary you do not have any fuc-ing clue what I am talking about.. welcome to the club...I have made a clear clarification which is crystal clear in one of my comments down there...
Well, I am not going to explain what happened in real life. I am going to explain what happened two months after the history. Very simple, Channel2 printed a book with all the comments in the threads slighty edited (too much porn in there). It was immediately a success history..all the on-line community knew about it and bought it...it easily reached the top 5 in sells. And with the help of a media mogul who controls the most important gossip magazine in Japan, channel2 started to promote a second more detailed book. And some mangas too. Once the little guy (anonymus Densha Otoko) history was everywhere in Japan, the movie came in...and more importantly (this is why I am here writing this) an adaptation for TV appeared last summer.
As you may guess, most of the otakus do not believe it is true (a real otaku can not believe that another otaku would ever do what he did...and by that I mean..why would an otaku like to change his non-relation with women?), but the thread indeed existed. The debate is extremely heated among non-otakus regarding the true nature of the thread. A conspiracy theory insinuating that all the thread was a hoax (just put hoax and Densha in google.. you will see) goes around..but it hardly makes sense. On the other hand, the possibility that a guy hired by channel2 posted the history with the idea of making a book with the same history and the reactions in the thread does indeed makes sense.
In any case, the movie and the TV series hardly have anything to do with the real thread, so it is not really a problem to state that the history can be true or not..it actually does not matter...somehow.
What it really matters is that the TV series was an amazing success. It is time then to explain the reason why you may like to watch it (you really may like it)..and the reason why you may like to avoid it...
Here you can find all the chapters....11 chapters in the Japanese-Fuji tradition (why the tradition is 11? do not ask me)
So, where do I start...a general report or review? or a more an item by item analysis? You know what? better a list.. yeah a list...a list with hints about what kind of people would love it and which kind of people would not love it...If you are in the "interested" group you have to watch the two first Episodes..otherwise is not worthy. After that..you frankly can decide...
"Not interested" (on Countdown form)
4- If you love/are interested in American style-series...mmmhhh forget it...if you are too used to America format do not even go there..it will be a pain/pin in the ass, really. It is not "Japan adapts America"..no way.
3- If you do not like any series or movie which is not perfectly directed and edited with a strong effort in the details (in the western-details of course), do not go there...there are greatly/detailed produced series in America, Spain, France and Japan...but not this one.
2- If you want consistent and great acting in the male and female stars. And by great I mean something more than cute and decent acting. But if you are OK with two actors that do not spoil it if they are properly surrounded and even have some good moments...then no problem. (Note: they either overact or underact sometimes...at least according to western standards...which I think are roughly the same giving that other actors are excellent according also to western standards. In any case...I might be wrong about the cultural symbolism around their acting.)
1 a/b- You hate the beauty and the best myth / you hate the self-improvement-by-learning-in-group myth (no I am not going to look for the academic word, I know it has one..nufsaid) ...watch out because I mean the general myth.. not the particular narrative you have seen coming from across the pond.
"Interested" (on countdown)
4- You are an anthropologist (or like social sciences)...no excuse..go and watch it.. you will learn so many things, you will LOVE it.Of course, you would learn more if you watch the TV series and different japanese people watching it at the same time...but ei, it is amazing how many things you can learn wihtout them. You can dissect the ideal/nightmare work atmosphere for japanese people, or learn about space distribution, observe the body and artistic language....so many things I could not even get started (maybe in the thread)
3- You love Shiraishi Miho She is fantastic. One of the best acting I have seen in TV series for sure, and generally speaking too. Awesome. Purely awesome.
2- Fresh...yes fresh...what do I mean?- different? yes I mean that. Maleable? Yes, indeed. What else? I guess fresh also means very simple without being stupid. Not great control of the details but not a disarray...a sensation that they know what is all about....let's make it fresh.
1a/b. You love any of the myths: Beauty and the beast or self-improvement (learning social process)...Watch out becasue you may love them ...and you really do not know. In this case this is one of your last chances to know if you really hate them.
Well I hope you liked it....I know I know..yesterday was the last day of the Spanish state of the union address, why the hell are you talking about that...?? but you see..everything goes wonderful-wonderfully in Spain: low unemployment, great and more balanced growth, good social relations, new and better contracts, huge investments in education and science, new Africa plan, more public safety.. and Zapatero anihilated the right-wing group with a incredible strong attack. Even more suprisingly, nobody talked about ETA due to agreement on both sides (yeah..also agreed by the right-wing PP, maybe there is still hope) So, a future diary may be needed...One day we will talk about the two main remaining problems of Spain that ZP is not tackling (like housing) or talking (like IPC==oil dependence). But not today...today is to recall that everybody loves other people being nice...why not being it yourself? at least some of the days.....
Your turn in the thread...do you like, hate them...or only the english Hollywood version?