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Train MADs (Japanese: 鉄道MAD, Tetsudō MAD) are a series of MAD videos featuring numerous Japanese train lines, cars and stations as the main subject.
Japan has a very complex railway system, as well as so many railway companies all over the country. Therefore, there are many kinds of announcements in each company and their train lines. Railways and trains are one of the major hobbies in Japan and there are many rail fans. Because of that, several train simulators (such as Densha De Go!) just driving a train as directed gains popularity, which is one of the reasons why its market is huge in Japan.
Railway map of Greater Tokyo area
In addition, rail fan’s information sharing is accelerated by the internet, and the huge amount of picture, visual and audio documents has been archived on the web by them since late 1990s. The seeds of this parody video series is prepared by these rail fan’s long-time activities.
Since after launching of Japanese popular video-sharing website Nico Nico Douga (NND) in 2007, rail fans have been creating tribute/parody videos by their archives. Those videos are categorized into several types.
The Train Promoting Videos, known as Train PV (Japanese: 鉄道PV, Tetsudoh PV) in Japan, refer to a series of introduction videos featuring the appeal of train lines, cars, and railway companies. Several videos in this series are made from pure tributes, but most of them have the form of opening/ending parody style videos portraying train cars as anime or drama characters.
The first instance in this series is this video featuring express train cars in Tohoku and Hokkaido districts with “Bird Song” that is a theme song of the classic adult game Air, which was uploaded to NND on March 7th, 2007 (shown below). This is known as the oldest Train MAD video in NND.
More than 1600 videos in this series have been posted to NND.
Heavy Stopover Series
The Heavy Stopover Series (大変な途中下車シリーズ, Taihen na Tochuugesha Series) is a series in train MADs which focus on remix of announcements in both trains and at stations.
According to the Wikia specializing for this series, the trigger is “JR EAST announced the precious thing (beta)”, which was uploaded to NND on July 13th, 2007. And its complete version was posted on July 21st, 2007 (shown below). These were a derivative of the Touhou song "Marisa Stole the Precious Thing", the most popular musical resource in the earliest days of MAD video phenomena on NND.
Other rail fans in NND got inspiration from that video, and began mimicking its style by their favorite train lines.
The amount of videos in this series had reached to near 4000 in its 5 years from 2007.
Today, train MADs are supported by the huge fanbase, and still being continued as one of the longest MAD series on NND. But none of them has given impact to outside of NND because almost all videos in this series are consisting of the Japanese language, and deeply based on maniac knowledge and inside jokes among Japanese rail fans.
For more videos, check out the videos section in this entry.
Left: Seibu Keisatsu OP Parody | Right: K-ON! OP Parody
Left: Little Busters! OP Parody | Right: Only My Railgun
The Heavy Stopover Series
Left: Super Mario Song | Right: Native Faith
Left: Can-Can | Right: Second Heaven
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