Tatami Galaxy Episode #05 (of 12) (Mania.com)

By:Chris Beveridge
Review Date: Thursday, May 20, 2010
Release Date: Thursday, May 20, 2010

Which club is on tap this week? How about softball? Sure, why not...

What They Say
The Softball Club, with its ample supply of tanned and toned female members, seems like the perfect place for a lonely boy to find intimacy, but the action takes a foul turn when his only friend hatches yet another heinous scheme.

The Review!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Our nameless lead starts off his college life again as he attempts to find a new club from which to mingle with people and potentially find his pure Japanese beauty for life. This time he ends up falling in love with the softball circle Honwaka in which he sees them spending idyllic days chatting and playing with each other, all of which is underscored by there being no real drive for winning tournaments or the like. His view is so rose colored that it's really quite amusing as it plays out as it shows just how disconnected from reality he's becoming as time goes on.

Unsurprisingly, as the conversations do play out, our lead speaks things that goes against the groups general idyllic beliefs and he find himself ostracized from the group. His only friend is the devil/turnip faced Ozu who leads him further down the path of unpleasantness. The only thing that keeps him involved as much as he is with the team is the arrival of someone important to the team, a very beautiful faceless young woman named Kohinata. She doesn't actually play any softball but her connections are what makes her important to the team as a supporter but it's all meaningless to our lead who is simply very attracted to her, though Ozu does try to warn him off a little bit.

It turns out that Honwaka group is actually some sort of cult when the softball team heads up to the mountain retreat only to discover that it's all about the company and the end of the world in 2012. There's a lot of motivational work going on here and our lead seems to be really confused by it all, but the briefest mention of Kohinata showing up has him excited, until he realizes that she's there literally for just a second or two. It's back to the work camps after that and the episode continues down this strange path until it comes full circle with what Ozu created in the beginning with the cult. Suffice to say, you know the club isn't going to work out in the slightest and everything Ozu does invariably causes a lot more problems for our nameless lead than anyone else, before it shifts gears and reboots once again.

In Summary:
With the fifth episode of the series, Tatami Galaxy goes in yet another unusual direction with the softball club being financed by a cult that wants to make money off of predicting doom in 2012. It's not surprising that our lead would get involved and be the only one unsure about what's going on, or that Ozu would be the real downfall of everything. There are a lot of similarities in structure to previous episodes, which is one of the keys to how the series works, but by this episode I had really been hoping for a little something more to be revealed about what's really going on, if anything I guess. As a rebooting show about strange happenings, it's not bad, but certain elements of it are still proving to be frustrating. It's decent on a week to week basis, but I can't imagine watching it in a collection and not becoming incredibly frustrated with it.

I can listen to the ending song and its animation over and over however.

Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles

Review Equipment
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70" LCoS 1080P HDTV, Sony PlayStation3 Blu-ray player via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.

Mania Grade: B-
Audio Rating: NA
Video Rating: NA
Packaging Rating: NA
Menus Rating: NA
Extras Rating: NA
Age Rating: 13 and Up
Region: All Region DVD
Released By: FUNimation Entertainment, Ltd.
Running time: 23
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen
Disc Resolution: 480i/p
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Tatami Galaxy