From bulletin board to bestseller

A true love story that originated on a message board of a popular Web site has been released in book form in Tokyo November 22.


“Densha Otoko” (The Train Man) is a story about a shy nerd fascinated by animation who begins a relationship with a woman after he helps her fend off a drunk on a train. Hundreds of people on the Internet encouraged him to pursue his love, and the story has been hailed as a new form of romance literature.

The 22-year-old man’s story started on one of the Web site’s message boards allocated for unmarried men. He sought advice from other people on the Web site on how to ask the woman he helped on the train for a date after she sent him a gift of thanks”.

“The format of the book, which strings together emails peppered with slang and emoticons over 364 pages, could well give a headache to readers accustomed to literature as flowing prose.

But the look is familiar to the many young Japanese who spend an increasing number of hours each day chatting via brief text messages on mobile phones and computers.”

via Nilesh Babu and updated article in ZDnet. Picture from