Densha Otoko (Train Man in English) is a franchise that, as of the time of this writing,[when?] consists of a book, a film, a television drama, and five different manga adaptations, all of which are based on forum posts in 2ch.
The main character is a nameless otaku living in Akihabara. One evening, as he is taking the train home, he sees a drunk Salaryman accosting a woman. He intervenes, and in gratitude, the woman asks for his address and mails him an expensive Hermès tea set as a thank-you gift. The otaku relays this information on the forum he frequents, whereupon he is given the moniker "Train Man". He seeks the advice and support of his fellow forumgoers to tidy himself up and ask "Hermès" out.
For tropes specific to individual installments, visit their respective work pages.
- Be Yourself
- The Tasteless But True Story: There is serious doubt as to whether or not this actually took place.
- The Chikan
- Give Geeks a Chance
- Hollywood Nerd: Movie!Densha is a Type 2, while Yamada (Densha) in the TV drama is more of a Type 1. This is justified in the TV series, which treats the movie as being based on the events of the TV series. At one point, Yamada even looks up at a poster for the movie and remarks, "I'm not that handsome."
- Only Known by Their Nickname: "Train Man" and "Hermès."
- The TV series gives names to the leads, but they remain nicknamed in BBS discussions.
- Pun-Based Title (Densha Otoko means "Train Man" and rhymes with densha otaku, which is Japanese for "Trainspotter")
- Rescue Romance
- The Power of Friendship
- Scrapbook Story: The book consists entirely of the 2ch forum posts.
- Sex as Rite-of-Passage
- Quite a few real anime items show up on the Otaku's shelves.
- The animated intro for the TV series and the use of the song "Twilight" are nods to the one of the fan-made animations that lead to the creation of Gainax.
- The movie poster also shows up in the TV drama.
- A lot towards Mobile Suit Gundam, but probably the most notable is the otakus' rendition of the "fallen comrades" moment after Operation Odessa, with one otaku in particular getting WAY too immersed in his portrayal of Amuro:
-- Matilda-san... Matilda-san... MATILDA-SAN!!!
The 2005 live-action film contains examples of:
- Beautiful All Along: In the movie at least, Densha turns out to be a hottie after getting a haircut, contacts, and a fresh wardrobe.
- Surprisingly Good English: Hermes speaks fluent English in a British accent.
- Those Two Guys: The 2channers, consisting of Those Three Otaku, a hikkikomori, a nurse, and a man and woman who are revealed to be husband and wife late in the movie.
The 2005 TV series contains examples of:
- Adaptation Expansion: "Densha" and "Hermès" are given names, friends, families, and work lives.
- Defictionalization: Getsumen to Heiki Mina was spun off into its own show.
- Leitmotif: Jinkama's is "The Imperial March."
- Real Song Theme Tune: Electric Light Orchestra's Twilight.
- Really Gets Around: Jinkama Misuzu. So much that the men she dumped form a union.
- Show Within a Show: Getsumen to Heiki Mina.
- Stunt Casting: Keiko Toda as Yamada's mom, who shows up at the end of the series. Made even funnier by the fact that one of Yamada's prized figures is Matilda.
- Those Two Guys: Kawamoto and Matsunaga, Yamada's two otaku buddies.