|The Tatami Galaxy - Anime Review|
Mind Game is one of my all-time favourite animated movies…I love its weird storyline…creative animation and ultimate message about life…….mann I wonder if that same guy (Masaaki Yuasa) would ever do a series somewot like that…hmm….
The overall plot is pretty straightforward in hindsight but starts out somewhat confusing
Each episode canters around our main character Watashi, a university student who is always agonising about how he has wasted the last couple years of his college life on his already chosen club activity.
Looking back on his entrance to university, Watashi declares he could have achieved the rosey coloured college experience full of love, happiness and pure fulfilment that many other people seem to be having all around him……if only he had made a different choice back at the beginning of college maybe he coulda had that rosey coloured experience….….if only……………if only
Well, unbeknownst to Watashi some unknown force grants him his desire as at the end of every episode time is reversed and Watashi relives the start of his college life where he proceeds to take a different club activity from the previous one which results in a completely different college experience for our awkward protagonist
Alas, whether he joins the film club, tennis club or even the cycling club we soon see that through the following years Watashi’s choices end up leaving him gloriously unfulfilled and utterly disappointed…..and we the viewer’s get to watch the hilarious cycle replay itself out again and again in many different yet interesting scenarios.
Throughout Watashi’s college misadventures we will meet a slew of interesting characters, witness the highs and lows of his strange college life and ultimately be faced with the overwhelmingly elusive question Watashi cannot seem to find an answer to
Where can he find his true happiness in his tatami shaped world?
Madhouse...wow…you outdid yourself with this one
The animation uses a combination of simplicity in terms of character design and meshes it with vibrant and dazzling colours and shapes which give the animation a particularly likeable charm.
As the series goes on the animation also begins to meld with real images and even some obscured 3D imagery to bring a kind of trippy experience that reminds me more of the style Studio 4oC uses.
Overall, the weird and unique animation style is just the perfect fit for this offbeat comedy / drama and I personally found it to be a creative breath of fresh air in the midst of what I usually see in your typical anime series. I luuuved it!
Firstly, the Music is great. Opening theme is pretty charming and upbeat…and the closing theme is just fucking beautiful to listen to and really fits the mood of the show.
Now…an issue many people have with this show is the dialogue ….it can be fast…extremely fast in fact..which to non-Japanese speaking viewers can be a huge turn off as our main character Watashi goes into motor mouth monologues in almost every episode which results in HYPER FAST English subtitles that require pausing at times. This was admittedly a minor issue for me as well since Watashi spouts a lot of witty and comical information very fast….but to be honest I could see it was part of his charm and awkward personality to talk that way and eventually I found I got used to it.
Other than that I really enjoyed the other voice actors and I would ABOSOLUTELY LOVE an English dub of this show…which should have already happened since Funimation have already licensed this series but just have not dubbed it yet for some odd reason….a serious wtf there tbh.
Characters in this show are very likeable and three dimensional. As the series progresses you get to understand more and more about the supporting characters and as such they grow on you more and more and I certainly appreciated that.
Watashi himself…is kind of the loveable nerd dumbass
He is that kind of Woody Allen type that is smart in some ways but is utterly naive and pessimistic in others which does make the show that much more comical but can be irritating in some other situations he gets himself into.
By the end of the series you will come to realise most of the characters do not tend to be the predictable archetypes they seemed to be in the beginning and I found that to be an extremely pleasant surprise.
And on a side note it was bloodly hilarious to see Watashi constantly arguing with his mental “Johnny” who looks creepily similar to a particularly well known Walt Disney character lol
Once again the overwhelming hype of this show is what initially drew me towards it and I have to admit at first it was a little bit of a chore to watch as things were a bit all over the place at the start but as time went on and I started to watch the series more slowly…even re-watching one or two episodes…it really grew on me and I can see why many people are drawn to this off beat and uniquely animated time twisted comedy drama.
Value for this show is very high for me. I would love to watch this again in a good English dub and pick up each and every joke while enjoying the crazy animation style because tbh I let a couple of things go over my head as this show does move quite fast in terms of dialogue.
It’s nice to see something totally different in anime every once in a while and this show is not that long (11 episodes) so I’d say check it out, however i would be lying if I said I’d thought this show is for everyone…it’s too offbeat for me to say it has a broad appeal that almost anyone could enjoy
I think if you watch 3 episodes you’ll know if you’d like it or not….for me I’d say it was pretty good in Japanese but would be even better with an English dub….a quality English dub…by the guys who already have the US distribution rights
Make it happen Funimation….Make it happen damn you!
The Tatami Galaxy: Solid B