Yojouhan Shinwa Taikei

Title:Yojouhan Shinwa Taikei
Compendium of the 4½ Tatami Mat Legend
Tatami Galaxy, The
The Tatami Galaxy
四畳半神話大系 (Japanese)
Keywords: , , , , ,
Notables: Animation - Madhouse
The story revolves around an unnamed third-year Kyoto University student who reminisces about his early campus life. [source:ANIDB]

Based on a novel by Morimi Tomihiko.

A new anime series set to aire in March 2010.

"四畳半" ("yo-jou-han") = "4-and-a-half tatami" (the size of a small apartment room), "神話" ("shinwa") = "myth, legend", "大系" ("taikei") = "survey, compendium"
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Rent 8 6 6 6 8 8 Ggultra2764 [series:2280#1552]
Tatami Galaxy offers a rather unique premise for an anime in that our nameless male lead is trapped in a time loop as he experiences differing scenarios for his ideal university life, unaware that there is another path for him to take which won't lead to his ideal perceptions crashing down upon him and entrapping himself in the neverending time loop. The series mixes around comedy and some rather elaborate storytelling in the exploration of our nameless lead's struggles as each of the differing time loops lead us to know more of the other characters that our lead interacts with at points and make him realize that many of the people of his so-called ideal scenario are not as they seem on the surface. The time loops also introduce our lead and the audience to a few characters who are not what they would seem on the surface according to the narration provided by the male lead. Many of these moments serve to be comical as a number of the character revelations are over the top, but others serve as an existential reflection by our male lead over what his true path in life would be with his college life. While a unique premise for a title, it won't be for everyone thanks to its time loop premise repeating events with our male lead (which led me to originally ditch this series years ago) and a good amount of the series being rather dialogue-heavy, enough so where the dialogue can make it difficult at points to keep up with English subtitle translations used for official and fansub releases of the series.

The visual presentation of the series is a bit avant-garde. Character designs are a bit on the simple side in terms of details with some character designs seeming to be a homage to older animation styles (notably with Ozu and Higuchi), but scenery and symbolic shots involve a mixture of abstract drawings, surreal use of color shading and rotoscoped animation. Despite what my ratings would reflect of these visual choices, the choice of animation style helps to allow Tatami Galaxy to stick out more prominently compared to conventional animation styles employed for anime.

While a bit of an acquired taste, Tatami Galaxy still offers a unique approach to a time loop scenario in anime by turning it into an existential comedy with its focus on our male lead coming to grips with the so-called "rose-colored campus side" he comes to desire out of his university life. The series is a definite look if you are looking for anything out of the ordinary for an anime title.

Last updated Sunday, November 16 2014. Created Saturday, May 08 2010.
Unevaluated Stretch [series:2280#628]
(Two-and-a-half episodes watched):

Another fast talking show! The sort which takes me twice as long to watch as would be the case had it been dubbed. That was annoying, and since I'm feeling ambivalent about the show at this point, it might be enough to tip the scales between watch and don't watch. Basically, I wish that main character what's-his-name (MCWHN) had been given more of a personality, to assure us that he's not particularly bad at heart. Even if playing cruel practical jokes on people was Ozu's idea (I can't stand him), MCWHN doesn't have to play along and as of yet I see no sign of change. Also, I don't know what to make of his hoped for girlfriend--I don't detect anything in particular that would attract me to a girl like her. Why should I care about these people? And there's a God involved? Will this be taken seriously, or is it just a joke? I didn't do a whole lot of laughing, so I don't know what to make of this show. Still, the weirdness and originality might amount to something eventually, and I feel I must continue watching at least for a while.

Episode two was modestly entertaining. Apparently each episode will be a sort of alternate reality based on how things would have worked out if MCWHN and Ozu had joined different clubs in college. I could muse about the existence or nonexistence of free will, but it looks like this show won't try to be much more than fairly amusing. I hope not every episode will be like this, but eventually something will tie all the different possibilities together. So far, TG seems worth watching; a strange show but not necessarily a standout performer.

Unfortunately episode three just seemed tedious and unfunny, at least in it's first half, because I decided to quit the series as a whole at that point. If MCWHN sucks at sport bicycling, then why the hell does he put so much effort and money into it? His hoped-for girlfriend doesn't seem to have anything to do with the club. it doesn't make sense, and it isn't particularly funny to boot. I just don't see anything of entertainment value coming out of this show, and when I dread watching another episode instead of look forward to it, it's time to hang it up. Tatami Galaxy was a distinctly strange show, but 'strange' doesn't necessarily mean 'good'.

Last updated Thursday, May 20 2010. Created Saturday, April 24 2010.
Unevaluated Jan-Chan [series:2280#967]
Hummmm... this title is completely whacked out and crazy.

A college student (unnamed) meets a 'god of matchmaking' at a ramen stand - who tells him that the cute fellow student (Akashi-san) that he is fond of will be getting into a relationship soon, but there is a question if it will be him or Ozu-kun, his best friend...

And then the story goes off at a fast-talking and fast-paced tangent involving: fireworks, temples, gangs of angry students and a lot of weird artwork.

Strange!! Very surreal and very strange!!

Last updated Thursday, April 22 2010. Created Thursday, April 22 2010.

Other Sites
Official Japanese Series Site http://noitamina.tv/yojouhan/

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