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[Help!] The Girl I Like Won’t Respond to My Emails (´･ω･`) refers to a series of confessional anecdotes posted by an anonymous user on the Japanese message board 2channel in 2011. Over the course of five threads, a self-declared college-age male poster described his infatuation and obsession with a girl he called Denko. After an English translation was posted to Tumblr in April 2012, the story was turned into an alternate reality game on the site.
In April 2011, a series of threads were started by a self-declared college-age male on 2channel’s /news4vip/ (Breaking News for VIP users) text board, where he confessed his infatuation with a girl he nicknamed “Denko.” The first thread was posted on April 6th, 2011 (shown below).
The original poster (OP) states that he has had feelings for Denko since high school and identifies them as second-year college students who have just hung out for the first time. He came to 2channel seeking advice because after that night, they talked often until she stopped responding for three days. Over the course of the posts, OP revealed that he had sent Denko 600 emails, telling her that he had no idea how to handle “three-dimensional” women. It became evident that OP was a stalker, appearing at her home unannounced even with Denko asking him to refrain from contacting her again.
When other posters suggested that he back off, OP threatened them, stating he would never forgive the person for speaking negatively of his love for Denko. However, most of the responses to OP’s questions were troll baiting, encouraging him with bogus advice. Nearly all of OP’s posts were accompanied by the emoticon “(´･ω･`)” to denote his shyness, which has grown to symbolize this story. By the final thread, he had met another girl named A-ko, whom he paid in exchange for a relationship, noting he spent over ¥700,000 Japanese yen (approximately $8727 USD at the time) on her. After posting about A-ko, OP did not return to 2channel and the story was never verified.
Throughout April 2011, the series in its entirety was archived on hundreds of other Japanese language message boards and blogs. The story of Denko did not hit the English-speaking web until April 22nd, 2012, when Tumblr user vgperson began translating the original 2channel threads into English. The first translation (shown below) gained more than 3700 notes within a week.
As the translated posts began circulating on Tumblr that month, readers began sharing their opinions and responses to the posts using several tags including “#(´･ω･`)“ and “#denko.” Several Tumblr ask blogs were created for the characters from the story, including ask-op, o--p, askdenko and aska-ko. On April 27th, the blog I am Denko was created, turning the original posts into an interactive alternate reality game taking place across several Tumblr blogs (shown below). Posts about the game are gathered under the tags “#helpdenko” and “#iamdenko.” There is also a small Facebook fan page for the game.
Outside of Tumblr, the English translations of OP’s story were shared on gaming message board NeoGAF, anime community The Colorless, roleplaying forum Bleach Platinum Hearts, the League of Legends forum, DateHookup.com, MyAnimeList and gaming forum Beast’s Lair in April and May of 2012. Additionally, vgperson’s translation was reposted to a Pastebin.
Though the OP had not returned to 2chan, in January 2013, vgperson learned that OP had shared his story two week prior to the earliest known thread. This post explained that he had sent more than 600 emails to a young woman he called A-ko after being concerned for her following an earthquake. There were only a handful of responses to the thread and it is unknown if the woman in question was Denko or his later girlfriend A-ko. However, this story did not get nearly as much attention on Tumblr as the original posts.
DateHookup.com – Help! The Girl I Like Won’t Respond to My Emails (´???`)
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