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Watch & Learn: TATAMI GALAXY #10

If you aren't watching this, you're in a prison of your own creation.

This show has got some INCISIVE visual metaphors, let me tell you.
This show has got some INCISIVE visual metaphors, let me tell you.

Ah-ha! So that is what’s been really going on this whole time!

One of you lunatics suggested I squint reeeeeeeeeal hard at the outro animation to find clues about what was causing the protag’s infinite loop. Seeing as how it looked like a floor plan gone macro fractal, I assumed it was simply an abstract representation of all the possibilities our hero was entertaining. Turns out I was only half-right, and the surprise of what the other half holds if a very rewarding one. What an ingenious twist. Reminds me a bit of another brilliant novel - - HOUSE OF LEAVES.

Once again, I can’t help but think of my own college experiences (even when the scenario gets as fantastical as this.) Junior year, I lived in a single dorm room and that living situation corresponded with a renewed determination in me to do as well in my classes as I possibly could. I got papers done weeks ahead of time and reading done months in advance… and I almost drove myself insane for pulling that off. My room had probably even lesser square footage than 4 ½ tatami will get you. I likened it to a monk’s cell and, damn me, it may as well have been. I spent enough time in there that I did exactly start crawling around just to get some novel perspectives on the place.

While none of this episodes so far have presented a club to be an especially “bad” one (even the conspiracy one,) the choice the protag makes in this episode is unequivocally the worst one. Do nothing and say “No” to life, and you’re going to have heaps of utterly justifiable regret. Anything anybody else does will look a vastly more fun than the anemic monotony that’s defined your life.

Get off your ass and get out. That’s a universally-applicable life lesson, right there.

Watch this episode "The 4½ Tatami Ideologue" below, decide for yourself and then read my comments on the previous episode here.

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

Rxanaduon June 17, 2011 at 1:50 p.m.
God dammit!  You really found a tie-in for your life in this episode too?!  Unbelievable!   
 
Fine.  I yield to you.  It's not the end of the series, but it's been a fun ride while it lasted.  Learning a bit about your college life was entertaining, no doubt about it.  The crazy thing about it is that you seem to find these similarities so easily that I couldn't think you were bullshitting even once.   
 
And bravo to the person who told you about the "ending" sequence and the never-ending tatami rooms.  I just wish I could speak Japanese.  Knowing what the sequence entails now, there must have been some hidden message in the lyrics that could have spoiled the entire series if it were translated.
Godoton June 17, 2011 at 2:34 p.m.

Loved this episode. It's genuinely one of my favourite pieces of television; it's also inspirational in a way that's reminiscent of the last ten minutes of last episode of Evangelion ("You can do it, Shinji!" "Congratulations!" etc.). I still go back and watch those last ten minutes from time to time.

Rxanaduon June 18, 2011 at 6:34 a.m.
@Godot: I feel the same way about "Welcome to the NHK" sometimes.  I just wish there was a legitimate way to view it free online.
Godoton June 18, 2011 at 7:56 a.m.

@rxanadu: That's a good'un as well. It'd be nice if us Brits could get it legitimately at all, online or otherwise! Haha.

zaldaron June 18, 2011 at 12:59 p.m.
If you are going to watch it that much rxan you could just buy the dvds then you could pop them in at any time...

Dig Deeper into The Tatami Galaxy

The story is about a nameless Kyoto University student dwelling in reminiscences of his first college years.

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