Okay, okay I got a good one for you guys:
What’s the difference between the dialogue in The Tatami Galaxy, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Eminem’s Rap God?
They all gotta go fast.
What’s up, everyone, my name is Ken, from thebuttonsmashers.com, and today, I present to you Day 9 of the 12-Days of Anime, featuring my immediate two-cents on a show that may or may not be relatable to every single university/college student out there: The Tatami Galaxy.
Now, for the summary, it’s actually gonna be real quick, because all you need to know is that an unnamed protagonist reminisces about his first-year of college, where he has to choose what club he’s gonna join in, and it ultimately influences what he’s gonna do for the next two years. Rinse and repeat every episode with a different club.
Okay, first things first, I gotta clear up something about that joke I made earlier:
The rate at which information is passed onto the viewer through the means of dialogue is legitimately faster than Bakemonogatari-levels, and at points it can be ridiculously jarring just how much text you’d have to read (if you watch subs, which is probably 99% of you guys). And this is my biggest worry for this show in terms of first impressions: if you cannot easily follow-up through the bullettrain-esque speed of the conversations (which is totally fine, I don’t blame you for that), then it may affect how you enjoy this show, since, if you haven’t guessed by now, the show is kinda dialogue-centric. The nuances of the show all depend on said expositions: the word-play, the metaphorical deliveries, and even some key plot elements that are essential to story-progression.
With that said, however, if you can get past that, then what you have is a unique mix-match of various themes that work together to create a beautiful story: it is both a comedy and a drama, a love story and a slice-of-life, a simple coming-of-age story and a psychological look into the ups and downs of the protagonist’s (and subsequently, the viewer who relates to his situation) mental state with such a new environment he is suddenly forced in and how he handles such complex concepts such as self-identity and love.
Oh, that, and also the fact that each episode refreshes every single time, with the main protagonist choosing a different club every time, adding to the uniqueness of this show’s overall story, making this show episodic, as well as allowing us to have a more in-depth take on both the plot and the characters. Each new episode provides a fresh new situation for our nameless protagonist to experience, and this, coupled with quirky characters and relatable experiences, gives this show a different refreshing feeling of being able to put yourself in the main character’s shoes, hence why he’s probably nameless.
The animation for the show is similarly unique, having a style that one could say compliments the realisms of the show to a T. Granted, some of the scenes may look very budgeted and odd, but to me it was never too much of a hindrance. In fact, the odd style of animation works especially well in a series like Tatami Galaxy, where the scenarios essentially make up the entirety of the show, and so having proper animation to reflect any metaphorical concepts can aid in the more dialogue-heavy parts.
Now, for the soundtrack, IT IS GORGEOUS. It compliments the themes of the show really well and further aids in the impact of whatever scene a particular OST is put in. Although there really aren’t any memorable individual soundtracks ATM, there are two pieces of music that I would LOVE to mention.
And those are the OP and ED themes, which are both brilliant and not only fits the show (having a nice light-hearted feel to it and a similar animation style), but are also fun to listen to on their own.
So what recommendation do I give this show?
Go ahead and watch it. Overall, it’s a realistic and relatable approach to college/university life told in an imaginative way, allowing the show to be entertaining while still being grounded in real-life scenarios. It is boring at times, I’ll give it that, and the speed at which the dialogue goes, i.e. Sanic fast, may be a hindrance to some people (it sure was for me). But, if you can get over that, what you have is an entertaining piece of slice-of-life that never fails to make me smile with its realistic scenarios, all wrapped up in unique and colorful animation and a soundtrack that elevates the overall feel of the show.