Anime Vice News

Watch & Learn: TATAMI GALAXY #11

Why haven't you watched this yet? Seriously?

An image almost tailor-made for an album cover, no?
An image almost tailor-made for an album cover, no?

It was all about love, man. Not strictly the romantic kind, of course, but also the less-sexy platonic kind.

As with any proper conclusion for a show, I’m buckling a little under the burden of trying to come up with a proper, cumulative statement. I’m just in awe of the boundless creativity and genuine insight of THE TATAMI GALAXY. In a lot of ways, I feel like I’ve come full circle and, believe it or not, that isn't just in reference to how the protag breaks his own cycle of regrets and do-overs.

Ten years ago, a friend of mine kept singing the praises of FLCL to me; building it up like it was some transcendent experience. In his precise words, watching it felt like what “falling in love for the first time feels like.” His singing fell on my deaf ears and closed mind at time, and it would be several years before I finally got to experience FLCL for myself. While I still thought it was an impressive work of exuberant surrealism, it didn’t speak to me in as personal a terms it had to him. It was like first love in the sense, perhaps, that first love is ultimately unfulfilling and even a little evanescent in hindsight.

Now, the shoe’s on my foot, and it’s my turn to proselytize about an anime...

Watching this show is what graduating feels like. It’s not the pap nostalgia you find in platitudinous Hallmark cards or in the lightly-melancholic pop songs that always seem to hit around May. It’s the simmering ennui of thinking that your experience didn’t live up to the “best years of your life” that was advertised; the unavoidable fear that, of all the choices and paths you could’ve taken, you zigged where everybody else had the common sense to zag. You partook in the wrong activities, you made the wrong friends and, worst of all, you missed opportunities for better things when they were dangling right in front of your face. That’s the place I was in right when I was about to get my diploma and it’s place everybody gets in to, whether they’re big enough to admit it or not.

Lest this become an overlong, wordy tear, I’ll save my specific thoughts for the forthcoming video I've promised to do on this show. If you lunatics haven't been keeping up with all these episodes, this would be an exquisite time to go back and watch the whole show. Don't hesitate and fall into the pit of your own regret!

Watch this episode “The End of the 4.5 Tatami Age" 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

sickVisionz moderator on June 19, 2011 at 1:41 p.m.

Glad you enjoyed this series. Hopefully people who hadn't heard of this or seen it might check it out because of your articles.

berwin9on June 19, 2011 at 4:36 p.m.
absolutely glad you loved the show Tom! also great that you got the ending credits/song clue that i gave! i actually kinda feel the same way as you do. regrets in life? maybe, but i am where i am and we just need to move forward in life and try to have as much experiences as we can wether good or bad. 
Rxanaduon June 19, 2011 at 7:31 p.m.
I pretty much felt the same way about FLCL after I watched it.  A great show about coming of age, but unfortunately, it didn't really go that way for me in my life (I don't mean that in a literal sense, of course).  I usually played it safe, getting good grades and not good friends as they may have led me astray.   For me, coming of age came rather swiftly and boringly.  No utter shock or anything; just a whimper.
 
As for this show, it had an even larger effect on me because I'm still in college.  I already feel like I've made the wrong choices though my first two years.  However, as I'm heading into my junior year in college, I feel as if I'll never make the right choices as I continue along with school, what with my lack of income (aside from selling games online) and lack of reliable transportation.  I could get a job on campus, but that could lead to my grades slipping; I could join a club, but I don't want to drop any money on a club I may not be able to attend or not like after a few weeks.  The list goes on.   
 
Maybe I should have seen this show after I finished college.  Maybe everyone should watch this after finishing college.
zaldaron June 19, 2011 at 8:20 p.m.
doing well in college is important rxanadu especially in the current economy in America especially.  I would look at joining an anime club or a service organization though.  Those look good to employers (well not the anime club but that is an interest I know you have) and can be fun.
Mr_Spinningtonon June 21, 2011 at 5:50 a.m.

@sickVisionz said:

Glad you enjoyed this series. Hopefully people who hadn't heard of this or seen it might check it out because of your articles.

came in once i saw the thumbnail and in under a couple sentences i now have to see this show. your hopes may be more realistic than you think

thanks tom for bringing this show to my attention

TopographicOceanon June 21, 2011 at 6:59 a.m.
@rxanadu said:
I could join a club, but I don't want to drop any money on a club I may not be able to attend or not like after a few weeks. 
I did exactly this. Joined a club and pretty much couldn't attend it at all. 
 
I don't have much time to watch the show, nor do I have the ability since Hulu doesn't work in Australia, but it sounds like it's a show with a solid message. A message I don't think I could relate to very much, but a deceptively simple message that people can actually benefit from. 
 
Sounds like a true piece of art.
No_name_here staff on June 22, 2011 at 6:53 p.m.

@mr_spinnington said:

@sickVisionz said:

Glad you enjoyed this series. Hopefully people who hadn't heard of this or seen it might check it out because of your articles.

came in once i saw the thumbnail and in under a couple sentences i now have to see this show. your hopes may be more realistic than you think

thanks tom for bringing this show to my attention

Lives changed daily!

No_name_here staff on June 22, 2011 at 6:54 p.m.

@berwin9 said:

absolutely glad you loved the show Tom! also great that you got the ending credits/song clue that i gave! i actually kinda feel the same way as you do. regrets in life? maybe, but i am where i am and we just need to move forward in life and try to have as much experiences as we can wether good or bad.

There are even clues in the intro too that blew my mind. You're basically zoooming through all the rooms of the TATAMI GALAXY.

I'll probably get more into the themes once I do that video.

No_name_here staff on June 22, 2011 at 6:59 p.m.

@rxanadu said:

I pretty much felt the same way about FLCL after I watched it. A great show about coming of age, but unfortunately, it didn't really go that way for me in my life (I don't mean that in a literal sense, of course). I usually played it safe, getting good grades and not good friends as they may have led me astray. For me, coming of age came rather swiftly and boringly. No utter shock or anything; just a whimper.

As for this show, it had an even larger effect on me because I'm still in college. I already feel like I've made the wrong choices though my first two years. However, as I'm heading into my junior year in college, I feel as if I'll never make the right choices as I continue along with school, what with my lack of income (aside from selling games online) and lack of reliable transportation. I could get a job on campus, but that could lead to my grades slipping; I could join a club, but I don't want to drop any money on a club I may not be able to attend or not like after a few weeks. The list goes on.

Maybe I should have seen this show after I finished college. Maybe everyone should watch this after finishing college.

Best bit of advice I've ever found is that you should sit down and right out where you want to be in the near future and what's keeping you from getting there. As silly as it sounds, writing it on a piece of paper externalizes the problem and puts your focus on it.

However, don't buy into any of the BS that college graduation has to be the end of anything for you. That's a lie that causes so many people so much distress for believing.

No_name_here staff on June 22, 2011 at 7:05 p.m.

@zaldar said:

doing well in college is important rxanadu especially in the current economy in America especially. I would look at joining an anime club or a service organization though. Those look good to employers (well not the anime club but that is an interest I know you have) and can be fun.

Anime club is resume gold.

No_name_here staff on June 22, 2011 at 7:08 p.m.

@TopographicOcean said:

@rxanadu said:
I could join a club, but I don't want to drop any money on a club I may not be able to attend or not like after a few weeks.
I did exactly this. Joined a club and pretty much couldn't attend it at all. I don't have much time to watch the show, nor do I have the ability since Hulu doesn't work in Australia, but it sounds like it's a show with a solid message. A message I don't think I could relate to very much, but a deceptively simple message that people can actually benefit from. Sounds like a true piece of art.

I feel like it's close to getting dubbed and distributed soon. Keep it on your radar.

zaldaron June 24, 2011 at 11:12 a.m.
@Tom_Pinchuk: Not sure what you mean by end of anything...it does depend on what you want.  If you want a responsible middle class lifestyle, going out and partying every night is certainly a bad idea if that is what you want no need really to go to college to begin with.  Is it the end of your life graduating from college certainly not.  Life gets better after college really, did at least for me, but I always related better to adults than children even as a kid.  Anyway good column as always don't have time to watch either of the last two you have done right now but may have to go back and do so, these kind of intellectual stimulating animes are the ones I like.  As fun as code geass was it wasn't really intellectual (though I felt like I had to bend my brain to follow the plot at times....)

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