A synthesis post on Tatami Galaxy (Yojo-han Shinwa Taikei)
I was actually vacillating between posting this today or not, but I decided that as it was quite seated in time to just post it.
Yesterday was quite a polarizing day for me: I was both on a high and low during the exact same day. For the lows, I contracted sore throat; I also didn’t do well on our test. It didn’t help that I experienced a good part of the afternoon in sweltering heat because the city I am currently residing is prone to blackouts due to the El NiÃ±o phenomenon. There was barely any ventilation in our classroom if the air conditioners were turned off, so we were like sardines in a can being heated at the back of an oven. What made things worse for me was that we couldn’t go home until five in the afternoon.
It wasn’t exactly a memorable experience for a healthy person; it was virtually torture for me.
With that said, however, first and foremost, I was able to enjoy the ending of Tatami Galaxy and, by extension, I was able to solidify my choice as regards one of my favorite anime series. I was also able to attain my target score in that Othello clone I play in my Super Micro: I was able to soundly trample the most difficult computer level with a score of 60-4. I had that as a requirement before I was going to store the valuable and classic console for posterity’s sake, and I’m just glad I did it before my console could even break. Finally, I was also able to enjoy the final episode of a good series in Bakemonogatari.
In summary, I think I have really been profoundly affected by Tatami Galaxy. It is usually abnormal for me to spend nearly three months fundamentally writing about a single series. Even my run with Toradora was interspersed with editorials and self-reflections: in contrast, my articles on Tatami Galaxy were punctuated only by a post on the Palmtex Super Micro I was proud of having attained. Episodic exegeses of the series were interrupted with tidbits of the same show gleaned from re-watches.
Certain readers have called me over-analytical; some have even mistaken my passion for pretension. All of these complaints were justified: heck, even calling me mad would probably be! What sane man would write about the same central topic for two months?
In my defense, I have never really changed the vein of how I write and I have always enjoyed what I am passionate about. Most people probably aren’t willing to play truant in medical school, let alone for the purposes of watching anime, but I did. I also believe that Tatami Galaxy is just that anime series where one can never end up without anything to say: its anachronistic storytelling and nuance fosters speculation and thought, but this does not mean that the series is bad because it is ‘pretentious.’ On the contrary, I find it consistently excellent, and its final episode is one of the best ending episodes I have seen of any anime series. Anime like K-On!! and Daimaou are not as open to analysis and interpretation precisely because their stories have to be relatively linear as their targeted audiences are just altogether different from the Tatami Galaxy. Re-watches of Tatami Galaxy only serve to promote one’s understanding of the series.
Frankly and honestly speaking, I don’t really mind being criticized as long as I am doing or appreciating what I love, and I love Tatami Galaxy beyond just its intellectual appeal. I love it more than that because despite its simple message, it was able to reach out to me and affect me. A month ago, I would probably have whined, stayed in bed and ignored even the stuff I was lucky for that day (life is enough of a gift, but sometimes I could not even see that). I now can honestly say that while I can’t take the bad things that happen to me easily, I can take it just as I can be elated for the good things that happen. Just as there is no rose-colored campus life, there is especially no rose-colored medical school as well. I just have to strive my best, push forward, and move on. Tatami Galaxy has taught me that well.