Quarkboy’s hypothesis: The Tatami Galaxy reflects the four-and-a-half tatami mat
This is just a hunch I have, but I bet that there are 4 different “continuities” total.
Let’s call them A, B, C, and D. Each of these continuities overlaps with two other ones in some way. So, B overlaps with A and C, C overlaps with B and D, etc…
Then there’s the room itself which overlaps with all 4 continuities. Let’s call that “E”.
To draw a picture:
… I could be wrong.
Yojo-han Shinwa Taikei is transliterated into English as the Four-and-a-Half Tatami Myth Compendium. It is translated as The Tatami Galaxy in English. I was reading all the posts of the two forums that I visit regarding The Tatami Galaxy, and it was the post that gave me pause and made me think about its implications. One has already seen the intersect clearly and explicitly shown in the fifth episode: there is at least a parallel universe that is happening within the show, and the crossing over of the older Watashi simply proves that. The different universes intertwine in different ways: they are somehow interconnected, like different planetary systems are, into a galaxy.
As of the fifth episode, one still has incomplete information as regards the show. But one also has to note that the continuities do overlap one another and this is extremely obvious in the fifth episode: phenomena occurring over the past four episodes have expressed themselves in the fifth, from Kohinata-san to Akashi’s abhorrence of moths, among other things. The fifth episode seems to be a cocktail of elements from the first four episodes, suggesting that the ‘E’ continuity is the continuity of the fifth episode: while it is a summation, it is also a recollection. It has little original within it (it only has half the original content as the other episodes), but it remains to be highly pivotal in the evolution of the series: this is the first time, after all, that Watashi admits of the blame to be squarely on him, and not on Ozu, who has served as his scapegoat for the four episodes before that.
Let us assume the ‘A’ continuity, for clarity’s sake, to be the continuity of the first episode. It is clearly intertwined with the ‘B’ continuity, or the second episode continuity, and the ‘D’ continuity, or the continuity of the fourth. Let us not even talk about the mainstays of the series: there are little details within the episodes that prove this to be true.
The first and the second episode continuity
1. Recall how Akashi called Watashi an idiot for the first two episodes?
2. A prominent line also appears, if I remember correctly, only during the first two episodes: ‘Why do you haunt me so?’ asks Watashi.
3. There is a promise that Watashi has yet to keep.
4. Watashi cheers for Akashi to go about things in her own way.
5. The Castella cake appears for both episodes.
6. Akashi’s phobia with moths is underlined.
7. The transvestism of Ozu appears.
The first and the fourth episode continuity
Remember how they were firing firecrackers at lovers during the first episode? I don’t think it was an offhand quip by Watashi that he wished he could do the same in the universe of the fourth episode: ‘[…] but it seems I’ve done that before.’ Hanuki-san appeared only during the first and fourth episodes as well, both as a dental hygienist. It is only during the fourth episode that we discover that she’s also a disciple. How about jumping into the river, which he also did during the first episode.
The second and third episode continuity
The boob wall in the second episode remains prominent in the third episode, but from an object of offense it becomes an object of training for Watashi. The bicycle that was also highly prominent in the third episode, Manami, is seen as Watashi’s escape vehicle in the second episode. Imagery of a percolating coffee-brewer have also appeared in both episodes.
The third and fourth episode continuity
The master-disciple relationship between Ozu and Higuchi was already established as early as the third episode. An antagonistic relationship between Jougasaki and Higuchi was also established in this episode, continued on in the fourth episode.
Problems with the hypothesis
There is also a relation between the first and the third episode, although it’s tangential, like how the ‘A’ universe connects to the ‘C’ universe only by passing by ‘E:’ the ‘big’ ideogram in the mountain is clearly seen in both the third and the first episode, although what this means is still dubious at this point.
Important points of focus [after re-watches]
1. Why does ‘Why do you haunt me so’ repeat twice in the second episode?
2. What is the deal with Ozu’s changing personalities?
3. Why does episode three seem so disconnected from the other episodes? (This is just a personal observation.)
4. Episode two more and more suggests a connection between the different universes: subconsciously, why did he produce that third film that seems to be the condition he is currently in?
What do you guys think? I’m sure there are some similarities that you guys can still figure out, but also some dissenting opinions from what the series shows. Care to share?