Just a collection of random musings on Tatami so far, while I get down to a post for the next episode…

Anime/otaku recently presented an interesting theory exploring different possibilities stemming from the title, and one telling frame from Movie Circle Misogi. The argument is well presented with lots of evidence, I encourage any readers to check it out.

I found it particularly telling that the configuration in the screenshot can be construed in a sense, as a spiral galaxy – four arms around a central axis, and this got me thinking – what is the literal four-and-half tatami configuration of Watashi’s living space across each episode?

There are no changes in Watashi’s tatami layout throughout each episode – but look closely – the same “galaxy” layout is the basic format of the mats in his room. It would seem to confirm there’s something to the nature of the dormitory itself…

What’s also interesting is the commonality between episodes in how Watashi’s room is used. In all five episodes so far, it is a place of retreat and contemplation; and almost always the Mochiguman is mentioned in the context of the room. It’s one of the few scenes that remains virtually unchanged from episode to episode – except for the most recent episode, where we have the intrusion of the “other” Watashi.

Some people have thought Watashi’s decision at the climax of episode 4 – choosing to spend the money on the tortoiseshell brush – to be hopelessly stupid. I’m not so sure if I can be so hard on the guy. After all, the money is technically not “his” to begin with. It’s notable too, that the time Watashi spent hunting for the brush was as meaningfully spent together as any date would be; as entertaining as his fantasy date is I don’t think it’s very reflective of how Akashi would take it. Sure, he’s a fool, but an honest one… and I think that might be what Akashi sees in him; which is a delightful piece of irony.

Like most romances, there’s a love triangle at the centre of Tatami Galaxy, and it’s interesting to see which sides of it other bloggers are picking up on – 2dteleidoscope talks about the red string and Omonomono talks about the black string – Akashi and Ozu respectively, and interestingly enough, both reflect two ways one could take the show – as literally as possible – a love story “romp through the multiverse”, or a metaphorical presentation of the protagonist’s inner struggle with who he is, versus who he wants to be. As I see it though, the everpresent tension between whether or not Tatami Galaxy could be one or the other is exactly what qualifies it as “myth” – a story in this somewhat nebulous zone between the literal and the symbolic.

Finally, dm00 links us a real-life glimpse at what life must be like in the Tatami Galaxy. Be sure to check the link to the full article; I get the feeling Madhouse must have been using the building for reference work.

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