Today, I decided to go back 7 years to talk about an Anime that I think should be re-watched by many people who don’t go back to watch ‘older’ Anime. Yojouhan Shinwa Taikei, is an Anime that I think is a MUST WATCH before you die. For its time (2010), I thought it was, in my opinion, before it’s time.
Its uniqueness is what set it apart from the other Anime that aired during that time period and is why I think it should re-lived once again before the end of this year and into 2018.
Tatami Galaxy is set on a fictional universe, specifically a town, which seems pretty close to the modern Japanese towns. Our main character, Watashi, expects to find the rose-colored campus life that he always dreamed of, entering a campus club. Instead, he finds mischief and disappointment in every way possible. Every time he joins a club, everything seems to go wrong and he ends up regretting his choice, wanting to go back to the moment of choosing it and reset his life by changing his choice. The plot is following his different choices and the different lives he lived. Watashi begins a journey of self-discovery, where the weight of his choices matters the most, becoming a matured young man who lives his life with unlimited freedom but also respects on every choice.
The show uses a minimalistic style that combines cartoonish graphics with no shading with a lot of live-action film segments used in for quick depiction of areas with lots of background detail. Seen as poor by many, the art of Tatami Galaxy is gravely underrated. It effectively depicts the themes of the show, taking a realistic approach to many problems that college students face in Japan. Furthermore, it becomes very interesting when adding the psychological symbolism included in the show.
A testament to the superb voice acting could be that, even though Watashi’s speech is faster than a bullet train, he still manages to keep the viewer in his toes with his smart (and funny) take on many different subjects and make him feel whatever emotion he emits. As for the soundtrack, it fits great with the theme and mood of the series, successfully representing the constant changes in the atmosphere, from the melancholic “Youjou han to Castella to Watashi” to the mysterious “Kamotaketsunuminogami” and powerfully liberating “Yojouhan Ki Owari” or “Takasegawa”.
From the bullet-speed monologues of Watashi to the stoic and spiritual presence of Higuchi, the cast is the recipe for instant success. Watashi is a young college dropout who never seizes to amaze with his sarcastic and dark but witty dialogues on everything he analyzes. He is the source of the dialogues and monologues in Tatami Galaxy, and his themes vary from social commentary to self – sarcasm of the highest caliber. Ozu is another college student, dark and devilish character, who constantly drags Watashi to troubles.
However, he has some hidden aspects which make him intriguing and three-dimensional. Akashi, a college student in the engineering department, is an adorable female character, and Watashi’s biggest love interest. Higuchi is a stoic, and full of dreams on exploring the globe, character who is still a college student, even though he, by far, had exceeded the minimum years of studying there. He also has many hidden sides, which made him mysterious, spiritual and occasionally wise. There are more characters that are also very interesting but doesn’t quite measure up to the other mentioned above. However, there is not a single character that is not likable in this series, because of his quirks and personality.
To all the new Anime watchers, or older Anime watchers. I definitely think, if you haven’t already checked out Yojouhan Shinwa Taikei, then I highly suggest and recommend this Anime to you!