Densha Otoko Vol. #03 -

Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: A-

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  • Art Rating: A-
  • Packaging Rating: A-
  • Text/Translatin Rating: A
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Released By: CMX
  • MSRP: 9.99
  • Pages: 206
  • ISBN: 1-4012-1143-1
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left

Densha Otoko Vol. #03

By Eduardo M. Chavez     March 14, 2007
Release Date: April 30, 2007

Densha Otoko Vol.#03

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Watanabe Wataru
Translated by:Sheldon Drzka
Adapted by:Sheldon Drzka

What They Say
The shy "Train Man" is invited to the home of Hermess, the girl he rescued and has been awkwardly trying to pursue. But he doesn't know that her friend, the girl from the Channel 2 chat room who has been following Train's story, is hovering just upstairs! Then Hermess goes away on vacation, and Train decides that he is going to tell her how he really feels about her when she returns.

The Review
The last train for the Densha Otoko express will be arriving on platform CMX this April and once again Watanabe's imagery and imagination reminds me that this version is the otaku's pick amongst the bunch. That also makes the Story of the Train Man Who Fell in Love with a Girl my favorite of the three released in North America, because unlike the rest this version had me shedding wotaku roman tears when the series concluded. The very idea that a sappy title like this could make me cry makes me wonder how deep I have fallen into the purgatory that is fandom. Nevertheless, if I get to not only enjoy but be moved by entertainment like this, I will happily go through hell and back to feel have this much fun again.

In this final volume of Densha Ototo, Train's luck looks like it might be running out. The young man has been testing fate in many ways; going where most poison-men would never dare go. Train was building up steam for so long, you knew he was going to run out of gas soon. So even after a handful of fine dates with Hermess, he still did not see where he stood in Hermess' heart. Was he just a friend or was he more? And with Hermess going out of the country for a while, will he still have a place in her life when she comes back?

Train you have a whole car full of people ready to back you up! They can and will give you the power if you need it! Bring this adventure into the station with Hermess next time you see her. We know she will want to get on board also!

Three versions of Densha Otoko was clearly overkill. None of them really conveyed the internet story perfectly. And if you were a fan of the movie or dorama, it is likely you were disappointed as well since none of these three were adaptations of the live-action versions. Short and sweet shojo romance, seinen romance or moe-licious fan friendly fairy tale, each version is a different "truth" behind this story. Giving each fanboy/fangirl experiencing the love story second-(or third)hand a chance to pick their best track for Train to take.

My way was Chuo-dori, Radio Kaikan and Manga Road. I took the path with the most resistance but Hermess and Train made the ride easy, exciting and enchanting. It is true that in the end this is a nice guy gets the girl story, but the truth is that Train is not only nice he is a Hermess otaku. He fell in love with her after her redeeming characteristics were revealed and from that point on he was desperately waiting for more episodes with her. And to see Watanabe extend that emotion to the 2ch scenes only generated more energy. Scenes of Akiba were more of the same. Those brief but vivid images were wonderful reminders (based on accurate cartography of that area) of the chaos and excitement that is that Electric Town. Contrast that with those quiet scenes the couple shared which were heart-racing in a different way. To see the two open up to each other with casual honest dialog, I could feel the tension. That is a great otaku romance - cute and honest with its share of conflict and a heroic ending that induces tears of joy!!


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