Tatami Galaxy (Yojo-han Shinwa Taikei): the ‘game of love,’ analysis of the exordium, and the hypothesis revisited
The exordium analyzed [opening animation]
Despite watching every episode of The Tatami Galaxy at least twice, I have not put any focus on the opening animation of the show until now. It is quite illuminating that after the introduction of the title and the important people helming it, the three people that appear in the first tier (or really, the second floor), are the three characters most important to the show’s progression: they are Watashi, Akashi, and Ozu, in that exact order.
The next tier of characters that are also involved directly with the plot but are primarily just supporting appear in the next floor: these characters are Hanuki, Jougasaki, and Higuchi, in that exact order as well. I think that Hanuki among the three has the greatest effect on the story because she is a legitimate love interest of Watashi. In fact, the only other palpable woman in the show aside from Akashi is Hanuki. To men, male friends are important, but it is a woman that will serve as our companions for our lifetimes.
The final tier of characters are those that also support the plot but are only tangential compared to the tier that came before. In this tier, Kaori, Aijima, the Fortune Teller, the Ramen Store Owner, Johnny, and then his horse end the character lineup. Kaori is pivotal to the plot, indeed, but it is Watashi who creates her character: she does not have a character of her own, and her existence simply just propels the plot forward toward the development of Watashi. The same can be said with regard to Aijima, the Fortune Teller, and Johnny. Aijima was one of the triggers to Watashi’s vengeful film in the second episode, but it was Jougasaki who was the central sparkplug. Like Kaori, Johnny is just another ekstasis (the Heideggerian sense) of Watashi. The Fortune Teller exhorts Watashi about what to do but does not directly mingle with his affairs, while the Ramen Store Owner helped Watashi in episode five. The characters of this tier are very important, just that they are not as important as the tiers before them.
I think this speaks of how the series will progress in the eighth episode. Having checked the entirety of the people appearing in the opening, only three have not yet appeared. Two of them are men wearing sunglasses, while one looks a little bit like Ozu. I think it’s all right to assume that Higuchi Keiko is not a lady that is rooted in reality. Perhaps it’s just another one of Ozu’s nasty jokes, or Higuchi’s hijinks.
The hypothesis revisited and the ‘game of love’
Upon a re-watch of the sixth episode (knowing fully well what occurs in the seventh), I think that in this three episode arc, Watashi suffers from the paralysis of indecision. As regards Mystlord asking its relations to the first episode (according to the expounded hypothesis), there are instances in the background where scenes from the first episode is focused on as well as the fourth episode.
This is in agreement with the proposed hypothesis because the first and the fourth episode are interrelated with each other, because Hanuki has started to become a significant player this episode, tying closely with the opening animation I have just discussed.
I can’t help but notice that in the ‘game of love’ that Watashi plays, he is very far away from luck. In fact, his avatar is but a blur in the game in relation to the three-leaf clover: it must be noted that he is also, in addition to being a suffering fellow, quite an unlucky one as well. He is not far away from love, however: this is the opportunity that the Fortune Teller says simply hangs nearby, but it must be noted that he faces away from that path. Instead, he faces a convoluted path where love is so far away from him.