The animation that showed me the meaning of life

It’s also another reason I find the show so soothing – watching its constantly shape-shifting universe is a reminder that it’s important to take stock of your surroundings in the moment, rather than only focusing on what lies ahead. To quote a character in Tokyo Story, a film by Watashi’s friend Ozu’s namesake, “happiness is not something you expect, but something you create”: that’s a message that Yuasa deconstructs and explores through The Tatami Galaxy’s many parallel universes.

Each version of Watashi lives a “gloriously wasted” campus life, never moving forward. But, as we see, there is pleasure in that – in him having that freedom of choice to do whatever feels right at the time, with whatever company he chooses to keep. So often the drive towards success, and to plan for some ideal future, can become debilitating. At the very least, The Tatami Galaxy reminds me that I’m grateful for the chances I’ve had, and the friends I’ve made while figuring things out. It is a show that in the end sees the human connection found through your passions, adversarial or otherwise, as the real value of living – and at a time when our social connections have been disrupted, that message could not be more poignant.

The Tatami Galaxy and Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken! are both available to stream on Crunchyroll

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