Anime Vice News

Watch & Learn: TATAMI GALAXY #1

I'm absolutely floored by this creative, innovative knock-out punch!

 The outro music's a trip, too. Made me think of the Pet Shop Boys.
 The outro music's a trip, too. Made me think of the Pet Shop Boys.

Whoever recommended this show gets +9000 XP points, because TATAMI GALAXY is surely the most innovative anime I’ve watched in this whole extended sampling. I’d say I’d seen no other anime like it, but doing would understate its uniqueness. I haven’t seen any other show like this, ever. The closest comparison I can make is to FLCL - - with its rapid fire dialogue and dreamy integration of youthful malaise and fantasy - - but the execution on this show is a lot morefocused. It’s also built on a much more human, relatable idea that takes a brilliant angle on the whole romance genre. Every guy (or girl) has idly wondered if there’s some otherworldly intelligence supervising the criss-crossing of relationships like it’s all some kind of astronomic, amorous chess game. What happens, then, if one of those regular guys had to get involved in the “beau business” of that intelligence; in this case, a ramen hawking god?

I was honestly a bit startled by the animation style at the start. It doesn’t recall the usual anime rendering style a bit. There are no big, puppy dog eyes nor outlandishly colored hair. The rendering recalls political cartoons or perhaps classical woodblock engravings, and the animators use any potential drawbacks of limited animation as opportunities to make some truly expressionistic choices with pattern fills and solarized photography. The results are as creatively impressive as anything an army of pro animators could produce. This whole thing feels so spontaneous, it cuts so closely to the bone, that it's just breathing with life. 

The only minus I can subtract from my experience is that I honestly think it would’ve been more enjoyable as a dub. As was the case with the FLCL dub, I had the hardest time keeping up with the chain lightning dialog and missed a lot of little details I would've liked to have caught. Regardless, you lunatics can be rest assured that I'm going to be watching the rest of this series, here. If it's not the first show I watch once this sampling's done, it'll definitely be the second.

Watch this episode "Tennis Circle ‘Cupid’" below and decide for yourself.  

  Check out my thoughts on the other shows I've sampled below...

Tom Pinchuk’s the writer of  HYBRID BASTARDS!  &  UNIMAGINABLE . Order them on Amazon here  & here .  Follow him on Twitter:  @tompinchuk

metalsnakezeroon May 5, 2011 at 2:22 a.m.
Its a strange and interesting show.
Lurkeroon May 5, 2011 at 5:45 a.m.
This watch and learn just reminded me that I never got around to finishing this. It is stylistic and interesting, but since I am more of an action fan I didn't feel too compelled. I think the premise of the show (and the length) would make this a great show for Watch and Learn.
vergiliuson May 5, 2011 at 7:46 a.m.
Color me intrigued. I'll get started on this once my finals are done.
thuiscoolon May 5, 2011 at 9:11 a.m.
You're welcome. :) Its cool just seeing your recommendation get shown. I started watching this because the intro is done by Asian kung-fu generation and the artwork looks like their coverart. Really happy I watched this show.
berwin9on May 5, 2011 at 9:58 a.m.
i dont regularly post here, but i cant emphasize enough that you have to finish this show! i first watched this show about a year ago, and was put off by how fast the dialog was. Then a lot of online people rated it highly and it got me interested on the show again as i really wanted to know what the fuzz was all about and i have to say... this show is one of the most amazing anime's ever, it cut through pretty deep in how i lived my life and how i SHOULD live my life especially as i have had many misfortunes in real life. just stick with the show please! the first 6-7 episodes isnt going to make sense at first and might feel disjointed and repetitive but believe me, it will all come together in the end, the ending theme and ending credits explain this whole show in its entirety but it wont make sense until you get to the end. I rate this show probably in my top 3 best anime's ever.
WarlordPayneon May 5, 2011 at 12:15 p.m.
Wow, you weren't kidding about that show suffering for being subtitled rather than dubbed.  The dialog goes so quickly in parts that I couldn't even watch what was happening with the animation, and there's so much going on visually in that show that missing out on any of it really sucks.

I wish they had a dubbed version available, I don't think I want to continue watching it subtitled.
Rxanaduon May 5, 2011 at 9:06 p.m.
@WarlordPayne said:
" Wow, you weren't kidding about that show suffering for being subtitled rather than dubbed.  The dialog goes so quickly in parts that I couldn't even watch what was happening with the animation, and there's so much going on visually in that show that missing out on any of it really sucks.

I wish they had a dubbed version available, I don't think I want to continue watching it subtitled.
"
This, and I couldn't get past the first few moments of the show because of it.  I bet potential dubbers would freak out if they heard this and realized they needed to say the same thing in English just as fast.
berwin9on May 5, 2011 at 9:11 p.m.
yeah, i couldnt stand at how fast the subs went as well, all i have to say this show is worth it. one of the most profound shows ive ever seen
darfox8on May 7, 2011 at 5:22 p.m.
This show is extremely well crafted. I highly recommend you watch the whole thing. It's short and it's worth it.
Godoton May 13, 2011 at 6:06 p.m.

Godot online on March 28, 2011 @thuiscool said:

" Tatami Galaxy would be cool. It's on Hulu, full season. "

This a million times over. It's a bildungsroman set in college, with sharp, fast dialogue comparable to Aaron Sorkin. Add a dash of Groundhog Day (albeit with the MC repeating the two years of college, not a day), humour, plus a striking minimalist style, and you're good to go.
 
It's also available on the Youtube Funimation channel last I checked.
 
EDIT: And it's only 11 episodes long. Less of a commitment if you end up disliking it, unlike some of the 50 episode suggestions that are getting thrown around.
I'll have my +9,000 XP now please :D

Seriously though, it's great you decided to pick this up.

Dig Deeper into The Tatami Galaxy

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