The Tatami Galaxy; or the struggle of regret

{Spoilers for The Tatami galaxy}

I would be lying if I said “Oh yeah, I was totally writing this post for nearly two weeks”, while I actually came up with the idea just now, after I abandoned the one I was working on before, cause I completely lost what I wanted to say and was unhappy with it in general.


Let’s sit back and analyse this for a bit. On one hand I was being a perfectionist, wanting to put out a work I was proud of that was 100% clear in the way that I wanted to tell it; on the other hand I was being doubtful (and lazy at times) to the point of scrapping it completely despite the work I put in. If I had three hands, I could confidently say that I didn’t even know what I was talking about.

When it hit me that I haven’t posted anything in nearly two weeks and it’s Tuesday already

Is there such a thing as a perfect post? What about a perfect person or a perfect life?

Tatami Galaxy is an anime about a third year college student (Watashi) who’s living a seemingly miserable life, having wasted 2 years trying to break up couples and hung out with a friend who did nothing but add more misery into his life. As a last straw idea, the protagonist tries to confess to and gets rejected by a girl, Akashi, who is a bit unsociable yet kind. Regretting the way he wasted his time, he wishes for a chance to do things differently and gets trapped in a continuous loop, another chance to live the life he truly wants to.

What makes Tatami galaxy truly special for me is not the amazing visuals or the interesting loop, it’s a mix of fun, eccentric characters and the feeling of not knowing what you’re doing, while life just flashes by.
The focus is the regret and want to go back in time to change things, try over and over to achieve that perfect life or make the perfect decision that finally helps you fit in, to fill the role that you want to fill. However, it’s never easy to decide anything, even the simplest things, when you don’t have a clue of what you’re doing in life. The confusion of it all and the characters capture the essence of pure college life weirdness, that some might be more than familiar with.

Back when I first watched it, I was still in high school and frankly, while it I loved it, I didn’t get Tatami galaxy. How can you regret something when there is so much time ahead of you? I thought over and over, playing the opening song without skipping each time. The super fast dialogue and monologue scenes didn’t help and by the end, teenage me was in awe and slight confusion.

At the start of a new episode it all resets. The protagonist is searching for a new club to join in order to fulfill his fantasy of a rose colored campus life… until it’s the last episode and he isn’t?
Either way, it’s now that matters. Not the past and surely not what past me thought of this anime. Now I get it, cause I’m simply more like Watashi. I’m a university student who has no clue what I want to do but wants to do that perfect thing anyway, I’m also the Watashi that is confused, annoyed and regrets wasting so much of my time.

Regret and doubt matter in a way that they’re knowledge. Knowledge is powerful and both regret and doubt are like getting a piece of paper with the words “Hey, you didn’t like or was too unsure of that and want to change it, so why not start doing it now?”.
There isn’t really such a thing as a perfect choice, a perfect person, or even a perfect post. Surely, there are bad decisions, but not a single one that leads to perfection. By seeking perfection, fueled by doubts and regret Watashi lost sight of himself and what he wanted from life, even what he enjoyed in it in the first place.

He was so obsessed with the perfect rose colored campus life that he completely missed what was there in front of him.

By the end of episode 11, Watashi reaches for the unknown and daunting future while learning to love life the way it is, with all of the crazy things that happen and weird people he meets, and we get the immensely satisfying ending which ties it all up nicely.
It all makes the wild ride that is The Tatami galaxy all the more worth it

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