Train Man-Should You Read It?

Densha_Otoko_novel.jpg (300×450)

Genre: Comedy/Romance

Rating: 3.5/5

This novel is based on the allegedly true story of a 23-year-old man who intervened when a drunk man began harassing a group of women on a train. The event itself and following dates with one of the women, known as Hermes, were chronicles and posted on mega-BBS 2channel in Japan (an internet message board).

This story follows an anonymous poster, sharing his experience about the drunk man and the girl on the train. In the discussion forum, readers begin to call the anonymous user “Train_Man.” When the woman asks Train_Main for his address, he does not know what to do and heads for the discussion boards.

With an array of supporters that regularly read the discussion, Train_Man has become his own mini celebrity on the forum, and everyone is pitching in and giving advice for what he should do in pursuing this young woman.

As Train_Man begins to share more about himself, including his lack of girlfriend history and that he is an otaku (nerd), the people of the forum step up, giving him all kinds of advise and things to do to win the girl over, named Hermes in the blog.

After a few real life meetings and dates with Hermes, Train_Man continues to follow the advise of those on 2channel, and he constantly updates his story and events with Hermes.

This novel is written in the format of the blog discussion forum and has various usernames with their postings similar to how a forum is set up. Many of the 2channel users await Train_Man to hear about his day, to hear how his experiences and story are developing, and the 2channel readers will sit and discuss Train_Man amongst themselves out of boredom from waiting. When Train_Man makes a post, a great digital celebration takes place among the forum as readers seek the details of this young man’s life, wanting and waiting for him to succeed.

Overall it was an enjoyable read and the formatting of the novel as a forum was fun, but the story was a bit bland in that we only see what is written in the forum. The only picture painted in the readers mind is whatever Train_Man and the other members of 2channel post, so we are always seeing the events indirectly and retold, so the reader never really knows quite what happened, having it told from the character as a story to other posters. Still an interesting read, I would recommend this for those who like hopeful romances as well as nerds, seeing as the book is written in a forum style.


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