A picture-entry – Yojo-han Shinwa Taikei 05 (The Tatami Galaxy): no ordinary reset
Mr. Yuasa is great with his synchronization between the stream-of-consciousness of Watashi and the visual field that the viewer perceives: he paints the kind and nice nature of the Honwaka’s members with a light palette and a cute addition with the bee antennae. More of Watashi’s cynicism and negativity is underlined in this episode as he is placed in contrast with more good-natured people.
Kohinata-san, introduced initially during the first episode, is made familiar with us once more in this episode. Her reappearance suggests a more pastiche-like intertwining among the episodes we have seen: imagery from the tragedy-laden third episode were revisited, and both were due to expensive and unimportant items for the sake of love and recognition (by raven-haired women). Both also ended in the same way, with the same misguided effort and undesired fruits of Watashi’s labor.
Kohinata-san just appeared very briefly: it was what his two years of blind living produced. It is very telling of Watashi’s character (chalk this one up to Yuasa’s skill as a director) that the raven-haired women he likes are faceless ideals, in contrast to the physicality and palpability of Akashi’s appearance. She has a very notable mole in her appearance, and her beauty is not the conventional one found in most anime series.
There is also Ozu dressing up as a woman, and both have occurred temporally close to one another: it appeared in the end of episodes one;
It also suggests a relation of the parallel universes of Watashi’s resets. In addition, the final scenes also suggest a linkage among the episodes: Watashi saw an eaten Castella in his room during the final scenes of the second episode;
Ozu was thrown into the Kamo-oohashi wearing his transvestite clothing in the first episode; and he was also thrown into the river during this episode.
There is just too much evidence to dispute this: Akashi was also a disciple of Higuchi during the fourth episode; it was also known that Higuchi played with an atlas using pins that was eerily similar to the atlas in the fifth episode.
Higuchi was also noted to be someone who did not return his books to the library in the fourth episode, reading the same Jules Verne novel.
One must also recall that Akashi was a book-seller with the same dress in the first episode (Cupid),
and that was also alluded to in this one. Her dislike of moths was also referenced; another side of her personality was also seen with her kindness to Watashi.
In contrast to the other episodes, I think it must be noted that it was the fortune-teller that grabbed him this time around, and not him walking to her.
Ozu is also painted in a highly different image in contrast to the previous three episodes: his personality is like the one found in the first episode. Ozu remains to be still devilish and mischievous, but in this avatar he treasures Watashi as a friend despite everything. This is akin to him planning to put Akashi and Watashi together in the first episode, even joking to Watashi about this.
Most importantly, a spectre of a fallen Watashi showed itself in the swansong of the episode and triggered a catharsis in the Watashi of the Honwaka universe: ‘No, I had thrown away these past two years. I must face this reality head on, with conviction!’ All the endings of the previous episodes have fizzled with failure and regret; while this episode remained generally the same, the major fact that he shifted his paradigm into comprehending that he was in large part to blame makes all the difference. While time may have turned back once again, one knows that there will be change for the better in the succeeding episodes.
I’ve also only realized how apt the title of the show was. 😉