Special thanks to Eusha Antara Rushat for suggesting me this anime. If it was not for her, I would have never known this anime existed.
We all had to make certain decisions in life and of course, most decisions didn’t actually result in good fortune. And then, it made us whine about, only if I had done that instead of this. We all said, ‘what if I did that or what if…….’ As for example, I am a med student and sometimes things made me wonder, what if I had chosen engineering, maybe I would have lived a better life than this if I were to go for engineering or any other. I am pretty sure if someone gave us the power of travelling back in time, we would have went back instantly and redo certain things that we think could have led us to our fortune.
But, this fine little show of ours shows that, it doesn’t matter how many times you go back in past, how many decisions you redo, opportunity always lies in front of you in present, you just need to grab on to it while you can. This anime if not anything, will teach you this fine little solid truth.
Ladies and Gents welcome to Sulfur Reviews, and today, I am up with a new review and this time, I will be reviewing prominent Madhouse Productions 2010 anime, The Tatami Galaxy, a fine piece of art that is worth every bit of your time.
Tatami Galaxy is a romance-comedy-drama-slice of life anime that doesn’t progress with its story, I repeat, it doesn’t progress with its story. Instead, it is stuck in a 2 years loop, the first 2 years of unnamed main protagonist’s college life. Every episode starts with him starting his college life, making a certain decision in the beginning that leads to various stories, possibilities, and endings. The main protagonist has two dreams, his first dream is to become someone prominent enough that people would recognize him instantly and his second dream is, to meet the raven haired maiden that he always dreamt of. To meet his goals, he thinks he needs to choose a specific club, organizations or secret society in the beginning. He does that, but the choices that he makes in the mid-way, most of the time leads him to astray. Every episode follows a specific pattern and ultimately shows the viewers if the main protagonist achieved what he was looking for or not. At the end of each episode, when he fails to grab on to the opportunity that was always in front of him, a clock is shown rushing backwards resembling, everything he did, just reset, and he was given the chance to redo everything all over again.
Galaxy has its own way of telling the viewers its story, first of all, it shows us the story from the first person perspective of the unnamed main protagonist. Everything we see, everything we hear is from his perspective, for example, the character Ozu looks demonic because, only because, our main character considers him a demonic creature. The college campus is shown painted nothing but pink as, according to him, it is supposed to be a rose colored campus.
Every episode of Galaxy has its unique story, but as I said earlier, it follows a specific pattern. The show stars with our protagonist making a crucial choice, as his first friend he meets a friend that cannot be trusted, midway he meets a fortune teller that tells him opportunity is always in front of him, latter part he meets his junior mate Akashi with whom he makes a certain promise that he never keeps, then, there is the ending that shows us his final fate at the end of 2 years, and then, the story resets and on the next episode, everything starts from scratch. Might get predictable at times, yes, but Galaxy knows how to tell its story and it will tell you its story in such a way that it will make you grasp for more. It will make you want to know more, what could have happened if he did something else. These pattern is followed until the very end of course, the last 2 episodes does break its chain, but how Galaxy accomplishes it, I will leave it for you to discover.
Keiki San! Kaori San! Hanuki San!
Galaxy has specific 11 characters that on rotation makes appearance in almost all episodes. The main character doesn’t have a name, like literally, nobody calls him by his name, the show strategically avoided the matter in such way that you will finish the show without realizing, the guy had no name. The main protagonist first and foremost is an idiot, yep, before anything else, he is an idiot. He does stupid things for which every time he meets his demise. Like most of us, sometimes his anger gets to him, his sexual frustration gets to him, his evil counterpart gets to him, and he makes stupid decisions. But, he grows with each episodes, and when finally the truth and all the possibilities are laid in front of him, you will see what he does as a grown character that has seen all the possible outcomes of his choices.
The rest characters are basically important in the sense that, if the main protagonist is 50% of the show, all of them are the rest 50%. Everyone is equally important and after seeing one episode, the characters might seem underdeveloped, but, when you see them doing almost the same thing over and over again, you will get a sense of how and what the characters are and thus, Galaxy brilliantly develops the characters. Describing 11 will spoil things for you, but still, I gotta mention some of my favorite characters, first and foremost
Ozu, the guy who offers luscious offers at the beginning of main protagonist’s campus life, but following his steps, our main protagonist almost all the time meets his demise.
The fortune teller, who for the cost of certain yen, will give main protagonist this same advice, which he never listens.
Akashi, a junior 2nd year mate whom our protagonist meets and makes certain promises, but always fails to keep it, until the very end of course.
Rose colored campus!
Tatami Galaxy has its unique art style, a type of art that I can’t just complain about as, it doesn’t look bad, rather, when you get adjusted slowly to Galaxies art after first few episodes, it will start to shine on you, trust me. The parody art of Galaxy is the solid example of, colors doesn’t make an anime great, and rather presentation does. Which Galaxy succeeds every way possible. The anime was produced by Madhouse production which if you didn’t know is responsible for creating one of the best anime of all time, ‘Death Note’. Madhouse also worked on these famous anime’s eg Monster, Hunter x Hunter, No Game No Life, One Punch Man and Chobits.
That girl is a love thief
While I’m such a nice girl
And yet I’m the one with a broken heart
Galaxy has one opening and one ending, while the opening is, visually impressive and foreshadows the entire story in front of your eyes, the real deal was the ending. The ending ‘Kamisama no Iu Toori’ by Yakushimaru Etsuko is a masterpiece with gorgeous lyrics (above) and with one of sweetest voice I’ve ever heard. The music is progressive and as the end nears, catchy keys and beats are laid open all in front of you, and it feels great.
Galaxies ost’s are unique and are specific. As I said, every episode follows a definite pattern, and for the specific segments, Galaxy presents its unique specific osts. It will let you know soon enough if it is a section where the protagonist does stupid things, or if it is the section where he will be betrayed by Ozu or if it is the romantic section. If not anything, it increases the immersion of the show I would say. Overall the sound department did its job with utmost perfections.
Grab the opportunity dangling before your eyes!
The Tatami Galaxy is a very fast paced narrative anime that deals with the fact that every path and every decision that we make has the ability to make us end up with good fortune, we just need to grab the opportunity when it is dangling before our eyes. The show also presents us with the fact that, redoing a certain thing in the past won’t solve anything, give your best with what you have right now with you, chances are, you might get what you want after all. With a beautiful mind boggling last 2 episodes (where all hell breaks loose!), The Tatami Galaxy concludes its sweet romance-comedy-drama journey.
So, finally, it is safe to say, with beautiful soundtracks, unique visuals, great fast paced narrative first person perspective story, The Tatami Galaxy earns itself a solid
rating with a recommendation to buy it on blu ray. It is a must watch anime that deserves your time and money. It was the definition of utter perfection to me and now I can say without doubt that there never has been another anime like The Tatami Galaxy and probably, there will never be. The unique art styles, vague directions, lengthy and turbo-speed monologues, atmospheric themes, and most importantly unexpected characters and turn of events makes it a solid masterpiece.
For alternate recommendation, there is none like this one, but if you liked the non-progressive loop aspect of this anime, definitely watch ‘Higurashi No Naku Kori Ni.’ Or, if you liked the time travelling aspect of the anime, definitely go for ‘Steins; Gate’. Lastly, if you want a protagonist like this anime’s who explains everything from the first person perceptive and if you are searching for a narrative type of anime like this, definitely go for ‘Monogatari’ Series.
With the above suggestions, I conclude my review today, thank you all for your patience.