When a nameless student at Kyoto University encounters a demigod one night, he asks to relive the past three years in order to win the heart of Ms. Akashi, the object of his affection.
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2010  
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Cast

Series cast summary:
Shintarô Asanuma Shintarô Asanuma ...  Watashi 8 episodes, 2010
Keiji Fujiwara Keiji Fujiwara ...  Seitarô Higuchi 8 episodes, 2010
Yuki Kaida Yuki Kaida ...  Ryôko Hanuki 8 episodes, 2010
Rin Mizuhara Rin Mizuhara ...  Fortune Teller 8 episodes, 2010
Maaya Sakamoto ...  Akashi 8 episodes, 2010
Jun'ichi Suwabe Jun'ichi Suwabe ...  Jogasaki 8 episodes, 2010
Hiroyuki Yoshino Hiroyuki Yoshino ...  Ozu 8 episodes, 2010
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Storyline

A third year university student in Kyoto, Japan feels like he's wasted his first two years of University on his current student club, having not yet found a girlfriend and having made only two friends: Ozu, who he deems to not have a single redeeming quality as a human being and Ms. Akashi, a stoic first-year engineering student. One night, the protagonist encounters a deity of matrimony during dinner. He tells him that Ms. Akashi will end up paired with either him or Ozu and it's up to him to take the opportunity that is dangling in front of him or not. Written by J M

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

tv mini series | anime | See All (2) »

Taglines:

Opportunity is always dangling in front of you...


Certificate:

TV-14 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site [Japan]

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

22 April 2010 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

The Tatami Galaxy See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Madhouse See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
See full technical specs »
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Connections

Referenced in Yoru wa mijikashi aruke yo otome (2017) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A truly unique experience for anime lovers and haters alike
7 August 2017 | by VandelayIndustriesSee all my reviews

I'll tell you right now that I don't like anime. I never got into it and of the anime I've been exposed to, I felt the horrible overacting and ridiculous plots robbed the medium of anything worth watching. Now that I've seen The Tatami Galaxy, I'm forced to eat my words and consider it one of the greatest television shows of all time. It's an artistic powerhouse with great characters, clever writing, and an unmistakable artistic style.

The art itself is admittedly what attracted me to the series. I've always been interested in avant-garde animation and this is one of the most beautifully animated shows of them all. I won't bore you with describing the style itself but needless to say it's incredibly unique and satisfying. Even if the writing was atrocious this would be a show worth watching on the animation alone. Luckily enough, it isn't the only great thing about the series. The story keeps reeling you back in time and time again until before you know it, it's all over.

The plot is simple -- an unnamed protagonist recollects his previous two years at university and, like most people, asks whether or not doing something different would lead him to a better position for his 3rd year. For the protagonist, this is often culminated in joining a different club or choosing to pursue a different girl than he previously had, and the series explores what alternative possibilities arise when these choices are made. Imagine "Groundhog Day" or "Lola Rennt" with the wonders and curiosity of a misfit underclassmen.

The show presents itself as an outstanding stand-alone project with a clear story structure. Even though each episode is essentially revisiting the same kind of conflict and resolution, the differences are fresh enough to surprise you every time. Every episode starts with the protagonist complaining about how he came as a freshmen looking for that "rose coloured" (romantic, idealized) campus life complete with a raven-haired maiden, and every episode ends with him asking himself if he had only done something different, wouldn't he have gotten what he'd came to university in search of? This formula allows for seemingly minute details and background characters to re-appear in genuinely novel and surprising ways throughout the duration of the series. The writing is astounding to say the least and you'll find yourself watching the series again and again noticing every time a couple of new things which either foreshadow or reference that which you hadn't seen before. It's not usual that such a limited run series can offer so much on repeated viewings.

The ending is one of the best finales of all time. It ties every loose end up in a way that I would have never expected and feels incredibly satisfying. The last episode answers every question you have about the series, has a very clever twist, and leaves the protagonist with some proper insight and feeling when it's all said and done. It even choked me up a bit, which was probably the last thing I'd expect from a show that doesn't seem to take itself so seriously. The sentimentality and philosophy at the end really strikes a chord and leaves the viewer with insight on their own life decisions and how to come to grips with them.

The most telling part about the show is that you don't end the series wishing there were more, rather, it's a perfectly self-contained package that covers all the ground it needs to without an inch too little or too much. Shows that are this well thought out from start to finish are so rare and few and far between I'm at a loss to even think of a comparable example.

So all this excellence and nothing bad? The only thing negative to say is that the narrative is EXTREMELY fast in every episode so reading subtitles is pretty much as hard as it gets. The worst part about that being how hard it is to enjoy the art style without missing out on key dialogue and narration at the bottom of the screen. If you're patient, you can pause it when you need to or slow down the playback speed, but bear in mind the rapid pace plays very well into the animation style, and serves to "cram" a lot of content into each 22 minute episode. But if the pace were slower and each episode an hour long, the show would definitely lose its magic.

In the end, I guess all I can say is to watch The Tatami Galaxy and see if you like it yourself. Give it at least a few episodes before you make a decision and believe me you'll be hooked. I cannot recommend it highly enough for those who like artsy animation, poignant but never overbearing themes, and the foibles of truly unique characters experiencing college life. Simply put, anime fan or not, this is one of the best shows you'll ever see.


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