For a gentler introduction to the Tatami Galaxy, try my first impression, although this review contains no spoilers.

I finally finished viewing Tatami Galaxy (Yojo-han Shinwa Taikei). This post covers three things:

  1. my recommendation,
  2. a couple of random thoughts,
  3. art work.

There were two concerns expressed, as this series began airing back in April 2010, that the resets used in the story were a gimmick,  and the volubility of the narrator was intimidating. Having finished the series, I can confirm that the resets are an integral part of the plot, and are addressed in a satisfying manner. Ultimately Watashi’s resets become very frustrating, especially because the narrator, Watashi talks a lot, very fast. Between that and the hallucinatory art style, as a viewer, I felt very rushed. It was as if a million things were happening at once, but, instead of trying to follow everything Watashi said (and given the evidence of his decision-making skills, over half of that must be worthless), I just tried to keep up with what I could. I don’t think this is a big problem because Tatami Galaxy was such a dense viewing experience, that it will easily reward future repeat viewings. Watashi’s eventual breakthrough is the payoff for that growing sense of frustration. Yes, the story does make sense, unlike some recent well-received shows, and I can easily place this in my top 5 series of all time.

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Yojo-han Shinwa Taikei is visually compelling.

I had intended to blog Yojo-han Shinwa Taikei, which is being translated as the Tatami Galaxy. Episode one is out now (available at Funimation), and I encourage people to check it out, or at least put it on their list of things to watch when they get a chance. I won’t be blogging it after all, but not because I didn’t enjoy the first episode. It is certainly difficult to keep up with the subtitles, because the dialogue is incredibly fast. Caraniel has pointed out that keeping up with the subtitles makes it really difficult to appreciate the visuals.

The ED is also really great, more for the music (and vocals by Etsuko Yakushimaru), as visually it is somewhat abstract, but well worth watching:

The characters are pretty engaging, and a romantic triangle was directly and compellingly presented. The scene where “I” utterly blows an obvious chance to ask Akashi out on a date, only to congratulate himself had an unmistakable sting of truth, as I’m sure many have made similar attempts at consolation by lying to themselves that total disasters “actually went quite well”.

Ozu

He's a demon, a rival, and also my best friend.

So why won’t I be blogging this one? I’m worried that I will have picked up too many series for active blogging. I’m sure I’ll continue to watch this show, however, and will certainly write a post-season review. In the meantime, based upon only one episode, this looks really great. I think director Masaaki Yuasa (Cat Soup, Mind Game) is gonna really pull something off.