Saturday, 8 May 2010

The Tatami Galaxy - Episode 3

Episode three of The Tatami Galaxy means that it's time for Watashi's university life to be rebooted once again, leaving him free this time around the join the campus cycling club.

While Watashi once again has romantic visions of pedalling into the sunset with some true love or over, the reality is a far harsher blend of lycra and sweaty, dedicated men who are only interested in winning cycling competitions over gentle rides through local parks.

Still, despite being a weakling with nary an athletic bone in his body, Watashi decides to appraoch the circle from another angle, working hard and saving money to buy the best bike money can buy, thus allowing him to cycle to victory in a local race. At least that was the idea, until the campus corrupt cycle clean-up corps decide to "clean up" his biking beast, leaving him with nothing more than a heap of junk to compete in the race with.

From here, Watashi's disastrous life knows no bounds, as he finds himself enrolled by Akashi as the pilot of a Birdman effort engineered primarily by herself - A task he leaps at with gusto, training hard and building up muscles when he'd been specifically chosen for his wimpy build, thus ensuring yet further shame and failure for him before things get even worse still for our poor protagonist. How many times will this guy have to live out his campus life before he gets a lucky break?

Despite repeating what is essentially the same tale of disaster, failure and misguided deeds over and over again, The Tatami Galaxy is somehow managing to continue to be both entertaining and reasonably funny. The lightning-fast delivery manages to paper over the cracks caused by the repetition of the same key concept, while Watashi is turning into a Frank Spencer-esque character (albeit a rather darker one at times) - An utter idiot who always gets it wrong, yet you can't help but be charmed by him and his fruitless efforts while also sympathising with his plight as an every-man who makes far too many very human errors.

The Tatami Galaxy is really quite an oddity in that it knows that you know what's going to happen ultimately each episode, yet it simply doesn't care, instead using that as a way to focus on throwing in slapstick comedy and amusing one-liners as and when it can. This doesn't turn it into a comedy classic admittedly, yet I just can't tear myself away from a series that brings me motivational lines such as "Grab victory, and grab women's tits!". Hardly words to live by, but it's the kind of self-referential utterance that makes watching this show so much fun.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Interesting o see how they are handling this. It seems there is some slow development, as he seems to have almost done something with the little doll this time. On the other hand his relationship with Akashi seems to have regressed.

Also the character upstairs took on a less positive role each week.