In the January 2007 issue of Wired there is an article “Love Train” about our favorite “true love story” 「電車男」(Densha Otoko). Writer Brian Ashcraft gets a special interview with the “man” behind the phenomenon. Not in person, of course. Observe:
Some say he’s real, others insist he was cooked up by some clever 2Channel posters. The book’s publisher, Shinchosha, agreed to set up an email interview with Train Man, but acted as an anonymizing go—between.
“I don’t think I could’ve done it without 2Channel,” writes Train Man, who says he’s still dating the pretty girl. So far, his life hasn’t changed much: He works at the same company, visits Akihabara, buys comics, and watches anime. And, of course, he still posts about stuff like videogames on 2Channel. Once an otaku, always an otaku.
An anonymous email interview arranged by the publisher? Why was I ever skeptical of this story at all?! Besides the myriad reasons to doubt the Train Man story offered on the Japanese Wikipedia, I find it most hard to believe that couple are still together and “dating.” He better marry that girl soon. It’s not like a totally fabricated fairy tale happens to you every day.
Also, our man appears to have been totally taken on the licensing contracts: a best-seller, a film, a hit drama, etc., etc. and he still works “at the same job.”
If the Train Man is fake (and c’mon, is there any evidence that he exists other than the word of the stakeholders profiteers?), serious balls on Shinchosha to basically make up responses and send them to an American magazine as authentic.