Badly Structured Thoughts: The Tatami Galaxy

Ever since watching The Social Network for the third time I have been kind of obsessed with Aaron Sorkin. Not really in the “I’ve watched everything the guy has made” way, I’ve just seen Social Network over and over again and a little bit of West Wing before it got boring. He’s probably my favorite writer aside from maybe Charlie Kaufman. And I’ve been  wanting to watch more stuff like it for a long time, and one of the shows that I kept hearing about was Tatami Galaxy, the topic of this review. Why did I mention any of that? I don’t know I hate starting these.

The Tatami Galaxy, produced by Madhouse and directed by the great Masaaki Yuasa, follows Watashi as we see him live through the same two years of his life but in different parallel universes where he joins different clubs to get to the dream of a rose-colored college dream.

And probably my favorite thing about the series is this premise. Often I feel premises don’t matter that much as bad premises have been executed well and vice versa in the past. But in this case I feel the premise serves as a frankly fantastic hook to what the series will be all about. After only two episodes of the show, the hook of the show is incredibly clear which I think is important to at least my enjoyment of certain pieces of fiction. And I just love shows where you know what you’re getting into in such a short amount of time. And while I definitely enjoyed episode 1, and got to learn why people were comparing it to Sorkin’s fast dialogue, I think the great thing about it is how you get to see how the second episode differs.

But if I’m honest I’m gonna have to get back on this one cause I barely understood any of it. While I have my theories as what the show might be about, such as how humans believe such trivial choices as choosing what college club to go will be the difference that changes your life, it’s still something I feel I need to explore more in the future. It’s a show I’m bound to rewatch just to understand a little bit more of. So instead of trying to fill this review up with a bunch of fluff, I’ll start a new series of badly structured thoughts just for the sake of writing something.

As a massive fan of Little Witch Academia and especially its music, I was pleasantly surprised to hear her music in the background of this show. She has a very noticeable style of composing which I love and find very fitting for this type of show. Yuasa definitely knows his composers after having worked with her and Kensuke Ushio. 

It’s really interesting how at points Watashi seems to be aware of the multiple universes, such as scenes with a fortune teller whos prices consistently gets higher and her “fortune-telling” or whatever gets increasingly harder to understand since both we as the audience and Watashi himself kind of already knows what she was going to say. And I just find that really meta in a good way.

If anything, I don’t think Yuasa has ever made a show that has constantly kept me thinking about itself or its ideas, even if he might deserve to. And while this is probably the closest one to doing that it’s still probably not super memorable for me. At least until I rewatch it maybe.

Strong 7/10

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