Tatami Galaxy Episode 6 – Discretion is the Better Part of Valor
There’s been consistent theme throughout the entire season: choice. In every episode, the main character has been given a choice of some kind: to improve his situation and become a better person, or to give in to his own base instincts.
That’s where the drama comes from: after the protagonist has been broken down, his dreams crushed and all hope apparently lost, what will he decide to do? Or, since we know he’s going to make the wrong choice, how is going to fail this time?
This episode is interesting because, rather than two years of wasted effort boiling down to one shot at redemption, the choice becomes whether or not two years of effort will be blown all at once. Because of this, it strays farther far from the standard formula that Tatami Galaxy episodes have been increasingly diverging from than any episode so far.
Instead of putting all his eggs in one basket with regards to his campus life, our hero decides to spread things out and join several different clubs. We’re not told which clubs he joins (although, since he knows Jougasaki, I’d assume one of those is the film club), except for an off-campus English conversation circle.
At first, things don’t go so well, because given the choice between speaking incorrect English and not speaking, our hero would rather not speak. Hanuki, a passionate dental hygenist (and disciple of Higuchi, per episode 4), tries to convince him that English is all about feeling, so grammar or precision are unnecessary.
That’s news to us here at antiotaku, but it’s enough to get our hero out of his shell and talking in English. He begins the popular OZ News, where he rants about Ozu’s latest schemes and misdeeds to the rest of the circle.
As he and Hanuki talk at a cafe after the circle, he beings to develop feelings for her, despite her having a boyfriend (heavily implied to be Higuchi). She also reveals to him that Ozu has someone he is in love with. According to Hanuki, the person is “very sheltered,” so I’d assume its either Akashi (who does not appear in this episode) or the main character himself.
For the past two years, however, he’s been pen pals with a girl named Keiko, and the two have developed a relationship, of sorts. In addition, he’s currently taking care of Jougasaki’s love doll, Kaori, for him. So, which of the three lovely ladies should he choose from?
The one that exists in real life, of course. Our hero ends up going out drinking with Hanuki, which leads to her licking his face on her couch, completely smashed. The protagonist’s sex drive, personified by a cartoon cowboy named Johnny, insists that this is the time to take action.
This is the choice that each episode comes down to: does he succumb to temptation or keep his honor and pride intact? Does he do it with the drunk girl, or save his first time having sex for a more romantic occasion?
If you’ve been following this show, you know that our hero has never been allowed to escape with his honor and pride. But this time, he does. Kind of.
Technically, he runs frantically to the bathroom and passes out. When he awakes, Ozu appears and explains that Hanuki, after being denied access to her own bathroom, is currently puking her guts out in the nearest convenience store bathroom. So, not the most honorable ending, but he still made the right choice.
That’s the second episode in a row where things haven’t ended on an utterly sour note. Sure, the episode ends with him reaching for a porn magazine, wishing he could have done the last few hours differently, but he made what most would agree was the right moral choice in that situation. Are things looking up for our hero? Is a potential rose-colored happy ending awaiting him in a future episode? It might just happen.
Watch this episode here. (warning: age-gated, for good reason)