The Best Episodes of The Tatami Galaxy
Last Updated: Jun 3, 2019
The story revolves around an unnamed third-year Kyoto University student who reminisces about his early campus life. He meets Ozu whose encouragement sets him on a mission of dubious morality. He contemplates his affection for a younger female student, Akashi, and makes promises to her, usually of and within a romantic subtext. The culmination of his dubious missions often conflict with his interest in her in some way.
#1 - The 4½ Tatami Ideologue
Season 1 - Episode 10
Disillusioned with any form of campus life, the protagonist joins no clubs as a freshman in college, choosing instead to spend all his time within his 4½ tatami room. He awakens after 2 years to find that he is surrounded by an infinite number of seemingly identical rooms beyond every door, window, and wall. He sustains himself on castellas he finds in the rooms, and explores, collecting bits of money. It becomes clear that the rooms are not in fact identical, but bear slight variations corresponding to the choices he could have (and has) made throughout the rest of the series.
#2 - The End of the 4½ Tatami Age
Season 1 - Episode 11
The protagonist, still trapped within the 4½ tatami world of the previous episode, continues searching for a way out, to little avail. After much exploration he eventually comes back to the room he started from and despairs, thinking of how fervently he wishes he'd done everything he did in the past episodes. He realizes that in every room, Akashi's lost mochiguman is still hanging from the ceiling, finally admitting to himself that he had loved Akashi. He proclaims his intent to seize this opportunity, and a swarm of white moths appear, which he moves back to avoid and in doing so ends out tripping out of the tatami world back into reality.
#3 - Reading Circle "SEA"
Season 1 - Episode 8
Another one of the three clubs the main character joined in the previous episodes was the Reading Circle Sea, where the protagonist finds him self in a silent, solitude club full of reading. Ozu lends him a young adult novel to read for his club. Inside the cover of the novel the protagonist finds a name and an address of the author, Keiko, to who he begins to correspond with.
#4 - Secret Society "Lucky Cat Chinese Restaurant"
Season 1 - Episode 9
As a freshman, the protagonist joins the Secret Society Chinese Restaurant, not suspecting it to actually be a secret society. The Society appears to be a syndicate of sorts which has organized most-all of the dubious campus activities from the previous episodes, in particular the Cheery Cylcle Cleanup Corps which stole bikes and planes from episode 3, the Library Police from episode 4 and the Print Shop which had provided the protagonist with papers in episodes 6-8. The society is led by Aijima, who sets the protagonist and Ozu on various missions for the organization, several of which were alluded to in previous episodes.
#5 - Cycling Association "Soleil"
Season 1 - Episode 3
In his freshman year, the main character joined a cycling club, Soleil, in the hope of attracting a girlfriend. He finds himself too frail to bike, and quits the club, but refuses to quit cycling, saving up for a better bike to compensate for his weak stature. The bike is stolen and the main character ends up depressed. Akashi, formerly of Soleil, recruits him to pilot the plane she is designing to be entered in the Birdman contest, wherein human-powered one-person planes are launched out over Lake Biwa until they fall. To please Akashi, he trains himself, believing further pedaling ability to be key to victory in the contest.
#6 - "Hero Show Association" Circle
Season 1 - Episode 7
Another one of the three clubs the main character joined in the previous episode was the Hero Show Association, wherein he dresses up in a hero costume and performs shows for kids. Jougasaki hires him to take care of his love-doll Kaori, who he falls in love with. In the meantime, he corresponds with Keiko and gets close to Hanuki.
#7 - English Conversation Circle "JoEnglish"
Season 1 - Episode 6
More determined than in previous episodes, the main character decides to join three circles during his freshman year, one of which is the English Conversation Circle (notably, the other circles and his exploits therein are explored in the following two episodes). He meets Hanuki, another member of the club, and becomes closer and closer to her, whilst living with Kaori the love-doll, and writing letters to an elegant girl named Keiko.
#8 - Tennis Circle "Cupid"
Season 1 - Episode 1
One night, at a ramen stall behind Shimogamo Shrine, the main character meets Higuchi, who claims to be a god of matchmaking (who gives his name as Kamotaketsunuminokami and then Kamotaketsunominokamo moments later) and who tells him that Akashi will be bound to either him or Ozu. As a freshman in college, he had joined the tennis circle, which was filled with couples. Lamenting over his failure to get in a romantic relationship, and encouraged by Ozu, he spends his next few college years concentrating on foiling his fellow student's romantic relations.
#9 - Disciples Wanted
Season 1 - Episode 4
In this episode, the protagonist signs up as a disciple of Higuchi, but discovers that he is 15 minutes too late to be the first discple, the position having been usurped by Ozu. Higuchi makes him and Ozu do several meaningless tasks, and the main character is not sure what training he is receiving. Akashi is also a part of the disciple group. The protagonist receives a task to find a mystical tortoise brush that can clean almost anything, and he's helped by Akashi-san in this quest.
#10 - Film Circle "Misogi"
Season 1 - Episode 2
As a freshman in college, the main character had joined the movie circle, encouraged by the promise of friends and the joy of filmmaking. Treated badly and having his ideas struck down by the president of the circle, 8th year student Jougasaki, and encouraged by Ozu, he devotes his next few years to making movies on his own, culminating in a documentary exposing the worst aspects of Jougasaki's character.
#11 - Softball Circle "Honwaka"
Season 1 - Episode 5
As a freshman in college, the protagonist joins a softball team. His reason for joining it is that they do not seem to take softball too seriously, and the guy to girl ratio is in his favor. He also thinks the people in it are nice, though soon he changes his opinion to them being too nice and un-accepting of any differing views. He soon finds out that the group was in reality a group that promoted natural foods made by one specific corporation, and whose owner's daughter occasionally visits them.