June is here, and we’re all ready to begin our rose-colored campus life with a look at The Tatami Galaxy, a 2010 anime with series direction by Masaaki Yuasa of Mind Game and Kick-Heart fame. CLICK HERE or on the poster above to download our review of the film, featuring guest host Daryl Surat of Anime World Order. The discussion includes topics such as the difficulties of finding artistic recognition and the power of mature story-telling in a medium dominated by a focus on youth and nostalgia. Spoilers abound, so listen with caution.
“You complete me.”
HOORAY! This show rocks.
Tatami Galaxy is by far my favorite Yuasa work, it totally hit home for me. A little surprised to hear that it’s been so overlooked, because when it aired it seemed like most in my circle of anime geeks saw it and liked it. Just looking at Myanimelist now, more than half of my friends there have seen it and it has a mean score of above 8/10. I’m in a good circle of geeks!
I don’t have anything smart to say tho, just wanted to leave a comment that has nothing to do with Adventure Time.
As per Daryls’ instructions, I have come here to say that I have never heard of this show, but because of this podcast I intend on watching it.
I’d never considered watching Tatami Galaxy before the podcast. I recognized the name before listening, but I didn’t know anything about it. I was sold on it before you even started talking about the story because it was Masaki Yuasa. I tend to not remember who has done what show, apart from a few seminal names like Yoshiaki Kawajiri, so the name didn’t mean anything to me until you talked about who it was. I thought Mind Game was pretty good, I thought Kaiba was neat, and I loved Kemonozume. Based on that it felt likely that I’d enjoy this. I didn’t stop the podcast there though, because I couldn’t watch the show as I wasn’t home and I had nothing better to do than to keep listening.
I liked the show right away. I appreciate shows like this where you can’t look away for a second without missing something. I don’t watch things while doing something else. I don’t look at twitter and I certainly don’t play games while watching anything. There are exceptions to this, but the majority of the time anything I watch will get my undivided attention. To do otherwise feels disrespectful. I don’t feel entirely comfortable talking about anything that I didn’t give all my attention to, even if I didn’t like it. Because if I don’t give it my all I don’t feel like I really saw it.
During the first half of the show I was definitely enjoying myself, but it was in the second half it really started hitting it big with me. It picked just the right time to start mixing things up and driving home “the point”. I loved the breath of activities he tried. It sure didn’t waste the potential of the premise. I wish more shows valued each episode and every second they’re given like Tatami Galaxy does. Not a second of filler in it. Too many shows start out having promise like Tatami Galaxy, but they never take that extra step and instead goof around doing nothing, content with mediocrity.
I’m glad you decided to talk about this show. Who knows if I would’ve ever watched it otherwise. It was great. Now I dream of finding a love like Kaori. Who am I kidding, I was already doing that before the show.
I originally watched Tatami Galaxy on a whim, with no blog or podcast recommending it to me, and I was blown away. I can see why Yuasa collaborated with Adventure Time: each Tatami Galaxy felt absolutely packed with visuals, narration and plot at a breakneck pace.
It didn’t take me too many episodes to be hooked, though given the speed of the narration / subtitles I was entirely focused when watching it and maybe that’s what made a difference.
Having been in an engineering university that had many extra-curricular activities (though not as much as in Japan), it totally hit home. This show is the best depiction of university life I’ve seen in a movie or TV series.
You forgot to mention the music by (I think) Ooshima Michiru. The soundtrack is absolutely amazing.
Aside from what Daryl had said about how hard it would be to sell anyone of Yuasa’s work, I feel he fits in more with that indie animation crowd with such luminaries as Bill Plympton. The kind of people who mostly do short pieces either as commercials or short films that win awards you’ll hear about, but nothing else. This sort of thing is not knew and Japan has had these people too. A few noted legends in that field might include Yoji Kuri, Renzo Kinoshita, or even shorts by Osamu Tezuka like “Jumping”. In recent years we’ve seen even more examples like Koji Yamamura (Mt. Head, Franz Kafka’s A Country Doctor), or even Kunio Kato who won the Oscar for his short film “La Maison en Petits Cubes”.
Aside from that “Adventure Time” episode I care not to watch personally, I sorta wonder if Yuasa will ever get the chance to do a Simpsons couch gag next? I’d love to see that, they’ve already gotten some pretty nifty ones made as of recently.
Speaking of Simpsons, while I liked what you did there with the reference Paul, Daryl did use that episode at least once on his podcast some 8-9 years ago when he talked about what made Gundam SEED: Destiny sucked.
I have literally come off marathon of it after listening to the podcast earlier in the week.
I loved the series mostly. – It makes me think of the regrets I have about my university life and how even when looking back now.Being an unemployed Graduate there is a lot of times I think of all the things “I could of done that differently” I always come to the conclusion of “But these changes wouldn’t make much of a difference to who I am today”.
I think the conclusion of the show actually shows what my one regret is “The opportunity dangling in front of your eyes” as the old woman repeatedly says. His problem from episode one is he doesn’t realise that the “raven haired beauty” he is dreaming of is right in front of his eyes. My one regret is that I was in the closet until about two years after I left university.
Like I mentioned on twitter – and even more after finishing watching it – I am going to buy the DVD and notice all the things I missed. If people seeing this are in Europe or Australia (Or don’t mind importing it) – There is physical release we can buy.
Watching the Adventure Time episode just to see how his art looked in it. (Adventure Time isnt one of the american cartoons I am following.) I really enjoyed it but it made me think about how him doing Steven Universe would look – Since that is a show where the main characters are very elastic in nature. (some examples: http://rebloggy.com/post/steven-universe-off-model/82410447959 http://www.cartoonbrew.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/rosesroom.jpg)
I am also glad that Animax is showing Ping Pong in the UK it is better than wakanim which showed kill la kill, Samurai Flamenco (a recommendation from AWO.) and Space Dandy in the UK. (Which cost $2 an episode to stream 30 days after the initial release and $4 an episode to buy digital download.)