When we heard that The Tatami Galaxy was coming back in 2022, none of us were prepared. The OG Tatami Galaxy was a beautiful, artistic, poetic, sardonic, philosophic—honestly, the adjectives to describe it are endless—take on college life, infatuation, and coming into the world as a (barely) grown-up. As such, it is most definitely a hard act to follow, so we at Honey’s Anime were pretty divided between the joyful anticipation for a bomb continuation and the creeping dread informed by all those sequels that never quite hit the mark. Well, all good things to those who (impatiently) wait, and so without further ado, here’s our hot take on one of the most exciting continuations of the year!
Note: For those of you who are new to this universe, you don’t necessarily need to watch The Tatami Galaxy to enjoy Tatami Time Machine Blues, but we definitely recommend watching the OG as it’s a masterpiece in its own right. And for those of you who already have…. Well, we recommend watching it again, because duh.
Watashi, Akashi, Ozu, the crew’s all back! And they haven’t aged a day. Literally. Picking up where The Tatami Galaxy left off, Tatami Time Machine Blues pulls us right back into all the OTT shenanigans of the Kyoto University students. It’s great to see our beloved ensemble back together for yet another possibly ill-fated adventure.
More a side story than a sequel, the dilemma begins with Ozu (surprise, surprise, who saw that coming) who accidentally drowns the only remote control for his and Watashi's air conditioning unit in their shared apartment in the peak of the sweltering Kyoto summer. Lucky for them (is it really, though?) everyone’s favourite raven-haired beauty (and the object of Watashi’s affection) wanders in with a slovenly time-travelling student 25 years from the future. Our protagonist, rather than do the complicated task of getting a replacement remote control, instead chooses to borrow this dude’s time machine in a bid to go back in time and grab the remote control in the past before it was ruined (shoutout to Ozu), because obviously. So. Will our hero succeed in his temporal odyssey? Or will Ozu somehow make the situation worse (there’s only one right answer)? You gotta watch it to find out!
All the LOLS
The Tatami Galaxy often took on a more philosophical tone, which, while balanced with humour, spoke to larger, more serious themes of what it meant to find your way, to regret and reflect, and to live and enjoy the present moment. Tatami Time Machine Blues does have the same central idea of embracing your present and accepting that time only moves forward, but it’s a much more light-hearted story. And while it isn’t necessarily as layered and allegorical as its predecessor, it’s nonetheless just as enjoyable. What it lacks in thought-provoking philosophies, it more than makes up for with truly comical, heart-warming moments.
Whether it’s through watching our colourful cast once more drag us into their chaotic absurdities or being wowed by its unique artistic beauty, Tatami Time Machine Blues is a stunning homage to the original. And while Masaaki Yuasa was noticeably absent from this production, nuances of his eccentric aesthetic are still present. From the very first moment, this anime will hit that sense of nostalgia and you’ll find yourself enjoying Watashi’s newest adventure while fondly reminiscing over the original. From the characters and their hilarious expressions, the simply ridiculous situations they find themselves in, to the beautiful art style, Tatami Time Machine Blues pays a gorgeous tribute to its predecessor and any fan of the original will simply adore this offbeat anime for both evoking that same nostalgia and satisfying it more than a decade later.
Same but Different Altogether
The Tatami Galaxy is truly something special. It’s lyrical, poetic, artistic, philosophical, and thought-provoking. Not to mention an experimental visual masterpiece. Thematically, it took on important ideas about what it means to embrace the present, to deal with reflection and regret, and most of all, to find your way.
Comparatively, Tatami Time Machine Blues hits the same milestones but leaves us with a totally different type of impact. It’s similar but not identical, different but not vastly so. It’s less serious but not less impactful. It’s more comedic but not stupid. Maybe it’s a little less eccentric, but it’s full of those feel-good vibes. There’s something oh-so wonderfully familiar about this anime but it hits differently (while somehow being literally the same in story and character), and while some of us may be disappointed by that and some of us may love it more, all of us will find something to enjoy.
In conclusion, whether you’re a veteran fan, or Tatami Time Machine Blues just happened to pique your interest, we guarantee that you’ll definitely get some fabulous offbeat enjoyment. Comedic, psychological, and sci-fi vibes with time travel, what’s there to dislike? So give this anime a try, as a side story or a stand-alone, it won’t disappoint (but seriously, watch the OG too).
So, are you going to be bingeing the entire Tatami collection? What did you think of Time Machine Blues? Let us know in the comments below!