“Shingo Natsume sends us on another fun and weird adventure with The Tatami Time Machine Blues.”
After the extraordinary Sonny Boy last year, Shingo Natsume is back with a new limited series. This time, it’s not an original project but an adaptation of the Tatami Galaxy franchise.
The Tatami Time Machine Blues tells the story of the Protagonist. He lives in an house-share with other college students. During Summer, they mistakenly break the air-conditioner remote. And this is where their troubles start. From there follows an unlikely set of events that sends them into a big adventure. They find a tatami time machine and decide to change the past to save this remote. Instead, the Protagonist finds himself trying to avoid a time disaster. This is a 5-episode rollercoaster of fun and weirdness with a dash of romance. As the story progresses it slowly goes full circle. Time travel stories can sometimes be tricky but this one is incredibly smart and satisfying. Plus, it features endearing characters that you will surely love!
Furthermore, Shingo Natsume makes endings like no one else. Whether you look at Sonny Boy‘s ending or this one, it’s simply perfection. When episode 5 ends you are left with this uplifting feeling as if everything was possible. After all the weirdness, he ends his stories on a good note with the idea of a bright future.
The final episode isn’t a continuation of the story. Indeed, it acts as an OVA and focuses on how the Protagonist met Ozu. So this takes place before episode 1. It is an interesting and fun episode. Ozu is an odd character so this was definitely great to learn more about him.
If you have watched Natsume’s previous work, you know that he has a unique style. That style can be a bit disconcerting. The color palette is different from what you usually see. Most of the characters are as white as a sheet of paper. They are often roughly drawn. The scenery can at times be detailed and colored while during other scenes, it can be just a rough sketch. On top of that, it gets weird visually during some scenes. In fact, it does take some time to get used to this style. But once you do, it is all fun from here.
I think I would describe Natsume’s style as experimental. And with this series, he continues to try different things. He actually mixes animation and live-action. Indeed, for the background and the food, he sometimes uses real live-action footage.
OPENING AND END CREDITS
Moreover, the opening theme is “Yanagikoji Parallel Universe” by Asian Kung-Fu Generation. It is a great song that fits with the universe of the series. The opening credits mix live-action background with the animation character. It does a good job at capturing the weird aspect of the series. And it sure sets the mood for what you are about to watch.
As for the end credits, they are nothing special. These are just regular end credits.
Shingo Natsume sends us on another fun and weird adventure with The Tatami Time Machine Blues.
The Tatami Time Machine Blues is now streaming on Disney Plus!
Collectables Editor at Future Of The Force.
Star Wars and Marvel specialist, anime expert