(Originally published and formatted for Livejournal on 1/6/11)
Tatami Galaxy Special Episode 1
What this is about: I made the promise that I would review every new subtitled anime show (excluding blatant yaoi and/or porn) released during the Spring, Summer and Fall 2010 seasons, so now I am going back to review a handful of shows that I missed over the past few months for one reason or another. This time around, it’s the first Tatami Galaxy Special, which was released as an extra as part of the Japanese release of the first DVD on August 20th, 2010.
tl;dr review: Submarine journey to solve melting icecap dilemma; dreamlike fantasy sequence with low-grade artwork.
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Episode Summary: The polar icecaps are melting, and the world is flooding. As a last-ditch effort, Japan sends a submarine to Antarctica to discover the root cause of why the ice is melting, manned by all the usual suspects from the Tatami Galaxy series, with Higuchi at the helm and Watashi as a lowly cook. Jougasaki is way-laid by the siren call of a love doll while en-route, and Akashi takes leave to guide swimming elephants. Upon reaching their destination, they discover that a giant Ozu-like octopus is eating the ice and melting it. Higuchi offers it a delicacy instead, but tricks the octopus resulting in instantly freezing the creature. Scene ends with everyone sitting a room, and it was revealed to be a story that Higuchi was telling everyone.
My Thoughts: The Tatami Galaxy was one of my mostest favoritest shows of the year in large part due to the interconnected complexity of the story as well as the oft-subtle humor, so I was looking forward to this special. Generally speaking, as far as “extras” or “specials” go, I always think they work best when they add something “extra” or “special” to the series itself. Alas, this short special failed to deliver on that idea, and really adds nothing to the show itself whatsoever. They’re just sitting around, telling a ridiculous made-up story without any point or really a conclusion for that matter, that’s all. To add insult to injury, it’s all flat, sketchy, rushed artwork (as if slapped together at the last moment to fill space), which completely runs counter to the otherwise rich tapestry of artwork that formed a visual feast during the regular show itself. There’s no point to this special, no real reason to watch it, and I have no desire to check out the second and third specials after this as well.
The Verdict: – Disappointing.
Final reviews for a handful of Spring, Summer and Fall 2010 shows that I haven’t covered yet: Shin Koihime Musou OVA, Bungaku Shoujo Memoire 2, Haiyoru Nyaruani 1, Princess Resurrection OVA 1, Battle Spirits Brave 1, Loups=Garous, Occult Academy Special 1-4, Trigun Badlands Rumble, and Gundam 00: A Wakening of the Trailblazer