One autumn evening at a mysterious ramen stand behind the Shimogamo Shrine, a lonely third-year college student bumps into a man with an eggplant-shaped head who calls himself a god of matrimony. Meeting this man causes the student to reflect upon his past two years at college—two years bitterly spent trying to break up couples on campus with his only friend Ozu, a ghoulish-looking man seemingly set on making his life as miserable as possible. Resolving to make the most out of the rest of his college life, the student attempts to ask out the unsociable but kind-hearted underclassman Akashi, yet fails to follow through, prompting him to regret not living out his college life differently. As soon as this thought passes through his head, however, he is hurtled through time and space to the beginning of his years at college and given another chance to live his life. Surreal, artistic, and mind-bending, Yojouhan Shinwa Taikei chronicles the misadventures of a young man on a journey to make friends, find love, and experience the rose-colored campus life he always dreamed of. – My Anime List
Based on 20 review scores:
The promise of nearly half a decade worth of work has reached fruition and boy was it worth the wait! No ambling or lost ideas this time round, everything that is great about Yuasa (his wit, his insight and his invention) with barely a touch of the baggage. Drop a star if it does not click with you but I hope for your sake it does.
Clever, beautiful and wholly distinctive, The Tatami Galaxy proved to leave a mark and is quite unlike anything that I’ve seen before. Its enticing visuals and dialogue prevent you from losing attention whilst its plot and characters get you thinking as the protagonist himself comes to his own conclusions about his college life and issues. Looking back, it’s easy to imagine how you wanted your college life to be so the protagonist’s plight resonates with me, and it being based on some of author Tomihiko Morimi’s own experiences during his Kyoto University days makes it all the more bittersweet. You should definitely check The Tatami Galaxy out as its a great anime that really stands out, and the love and care that have gone into it is clear. The Tatami Galaxy is more than worth watching.
Animation, art, writing, voice acting, music, editing…all are stellar. Jump in, hold on, stay with it. I promise anyone that they will climb off the merry-go-round into a different and far richer place.
It is a must watch anime that deserves your time and money. It was the definition of utter perfection to me and now I can say without doubt that there never has been another anime like The Tatami Galaxy and probably, there will never be. The unique art styles, vague directions, lengthy and turbo-speed monologues, atmospheric themes, and most importantly unexpected characters and turn of events makes it a solid masterpiece.
The Tatami Galaxy hits all the right notes on both obvious and complex levels. It looks stunning, sounds amazing and tells an interesting story. This alone makes it worth watching, but it also strives to deliver a level of excellence rarely seen in a show of any genre. It is focused, ambitious, and highly successful in the way it experiments. It is instantly appealing and accessible, but also deep and thought provoking. It cannot be summarised as anything less than a masterpiece.
The Visual Medium
From the very first episode, I was quite certain this series would end up as one of the best this season. The creativity put into every scene and the intriguing storyline, hinting at a grander plot, kept me going back every week. After 10 episodes however, I demoted this series to 4 stars because, even though episode 10 was the best up till that point, because I felt that a few of those interactions were meaningless to the overarching plot, even though they served the purpose of building up the characters. And then came the final episode. Right off the bat it Masaaki Yuasa surprised me with his direction, as if saying “Aha! I still have some tricks up my sleeve!”. The defining moment, however, was in the final minute of the show. The way the series was wrapped up showed the skill and foresight of the director. Everyone reading this, please watch.
One True Reviewer
The Tatami Galaxy tells us that we always strive to that perfect life without realizing we may already have it. Watashi has to come to terms that the “rose-colored campus life” is just a fantasy, no life is without its obstacles. However, that doesn’t mean that happiness is unobtainable. It’s a wonderful message, don’t worry: it’s a bit more subtle in the series.
The Nihon Review
Yojou-han Shinwa Taikei proves many things. It proves that good direction can make what seems to be a boring concept interesting. It proves that a story can engage intellectually without being overbearing. Most of all, it proves that it is possible to take a serious concept and present it in the most playful manner possible. Even to its contemplative and cathartic end, Yojou-han Shinwa Taikei engages us humorously and intellectually, never compromising its creativity for anything less.
Anime UK News
The Tatami Galaxy is an absolute must for almost any anime fan. Its unique and mesmerizing visuals and off-the-wall yet deep story and an entertaining cast of characters make this show a breath of fresh air, and one I can’t recommend enough.
The Tatami Galaxy takes a very esoteric and creative route to tell an honest and relatable story about self-discovery and personal growth.
Overall this series had solid characters, a very interesting plot, unique art style and awesome OP and ED (they are in my top AniSong playlist).
My Anime List
To sum it up, I think you should just try it out. It’s only 11 episodes, and I think for the one season range of anime, this is one of the best out there.
An excellent series from start to finish, keep an eye out for small details in between the series. EVERYTHING ties up at the end.
I find it to be an amazing series, practically flawless in every category, and easily deserves to be called one the best anime titles of all times.
Anime News Network
The Tatami Galaxy represents a top-quality release on Siren’s part. The technical specifics are great, and the clean package is protected by an equally clean cardboard slip-case. Extras are a mite slim, but at least there are some, and it’s difficult not to be glad that stuff like this is at least seeing some kind of local release.
Its quick-fire subtitles are a major hurdle to overcome, but if you can master them The Tatami Galaxy is an intelligent, witty and innovative examination of the pursuit of happiness.
Ink Black Analysis
Despite all my gripes and frustrations, the series’ merits as an allegory are still perfectly valid, and I commend it for that. The reason I emphasized the series’ flaws so much in this review isn’t that the show is bad, not by any stretch. The Tatami Galaxy is a thoroughly admirable creation that delivers spectacularly on the intellectual front, but never quite reaches for your heart the way it really should, and much like its protagonist it can get pretty far up its own ass. Still, the unique artistry and storytelling set this series apart, and it does have something to offer for anyone who’s been to college. Next time I’ll dive into the infamously hit-or-miss Pani Poni Dash. Keep it classy.
I suppose the one piece of advice I’ll leave you with is that I don’t suggest marathoning this series (as viewers tend to do with anime that are already finished). This is really a very dense anime packed with not only a lot of verbiage from the narrator, but a lot of clever ideas in each episode, and I wonder whether its effectiveness may be diluted without a buffer time in which to mull over each episode.
The Otaku’s Study
Personally, I cannot recommend this title like I have most others. This title would come under Siren’s “Alternative Interests” anime series, and unlike Irabu’s Office, did not really appeal to me. However, if you trust the comments of those on the facebook page, the feedback seems a lot more positive. The series does have some good points, especially in voice acting and design, but I feel falls below the bar in storyline.
In closing, The Tatami Galaxy is an anime series that was bursting with complete and utter potential but never truly succeeds in grasping and utilising that potential. It is a true shame that this anime could not have been as good as it looked. Perhaps their is a parallel world in which the creators spent more time on the storyline? One can only wonder. Unfortunately The Tatami Galaxy was sadly a disappointment and an overall unbalanced experience.