Yojouhan Shinwa Taikei (Tatami Galaxy) Original Soundtrack – Review

Album Title: Yojouhan Shinwa Taikei Original Soundtrack
Anime Title: Yojouhan Shinwa Taikei (Tatami Galaxy)
Artist: Michiru Ooshima, Junji Ishiwatari & Yoshinori Sunahara,
Etsuko Yakushimaru
Catalog Number: KSCL-1613
Release Type: Soundtrack
Release Date: August 18, 2010
Purchase at: CDJapan, Play-Asia


Tracklist

Show »

Track Title Artist Time
1. Barairo no Campus Life Michiru Ooshima 2:23
2. “Watashi” no Theme Michiru Ooshima 1:34
3. “Watashi” no Theme (Piano Ver.) Michiru Ooshima 2:03
4. Ozu no Theme Michiru Ooshima 1:28
5. Kamotaketsunuminokami Michiru Ooshima 2:08
6. Fumou na Nichijou Michiru Ooshima 2:12
7. Kyoto, Sakyouku Michiru Ooshima 1:43
8. Kamo Oohashi Michiru Ooshima 2:07
9. Akashi-san no Theme Michiru Ooshima 1:40
10. Kiyamachi no Uranaishi Michiru Ooshima 2:08
11. Youjouhan to Castella to “Watashi” Michiru Ooshima 2:16
12. Eiga Circle “Misogi” Michiru Ooshima 2:42
13. Jougasaki-senpai Bakuro Documentary Michiru Ooshima 1:36
14. Maru wo Sagashite Michiru Ooshima 2:34
15. Takasegawa Michiru Ooshima 1:40
16. Jigyakuteki Dairi Dairi Sensou Michiru Ooshima 1:58
17. Sekininsha wa Doko ka? Michiru Ooshima 1:45
18. Renai Sugoroku Michiru Ooshima 1:38
19. Yojouhan no Amai Seikatsu Michiru Ooshima 1:58
20. Kakumo Heisateki na Ai no Meiro Michiru Ooshima 1:55
21. Johnny no Theme Michiru Ooshima 1:47
22. Kakeochi Michiru Ooshima 1:55
23. Akogare no Kurokami no Otome Michiru Ooshima 1:44
24. Himitsu Kikan “Fuku Neko Hanten” Michiru Ooshima 1:41
25. Toshokan Keisatsu Michiru Ooshima 2:09
26. Unmei no Akai Ito Kuroi Ito Michiru Ooshima 1:43
27. Yojouhan Shugisha Michiru Ooshima 1:49
28. Musuu no Yojouhan Michiru Ooshima 1:51
29. Yojouhan Ki Owari Michiru Ooshima 1:43
30. Maru wo Sagashite Michiru Ooshima, Keiji Fujiwara 1:55
31. Kami-sama no Iu Toori (TV Version) Junji Ishiwatari & Yoshinori Sunahara,
Etsuko Yakushimaru
1:34

Review: Michiru Ooshima has this knack for putting in at least one track that’s so beautiful and poignant it’s absolutely unforgettable. Fullmetal Alchemist had a few to choose from, but “Brothers” will be the one most people will point to and more recently, Sora no Woto’s soundtrack boasts “Servante du Feu” and “Un Bol d’Air” (my readers will say “Flanerie” deserves that spot too).

Of all the tracks on Yojouhan Shinwa Taikei (also known as Tatami Galaxy), “‘Watashi’ no Theme (Piano Ver.)” is that track. The original “‘Watashi’ no Theme” captures the protagonist’s romanticized thoughts of what awaits him as he enters university through the violin, which depicts an optimist, a dreamer, someone who fully embraces the idealized vision of finding not only a direction in his life, but also that special someone with whom he’ll spend the rest of his life. Beautifully dreamy, it’s a sharp contrast with the piano version, which is far more somber. The piano’s slower tempo has that tragic, empty feeling one gets when one’s ideals are completely shattered resulting in an outflow of regrets, sorrow, and loneliness. As the piece ends, I imagine the character wondering, “what if I chose differently?” That final thought that the piano leaves behind leaves tugs at my heartstrings and I won’t ever forget the impression it left on me.

‘Watashi’ no Theme

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

‘Watashi’ no Theme (Piano Ver.)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


The protagonist’s theme isn’t the only one that shines. Ozu’s theme, carried mostly by the clarinet, is unsettling and mysterious. This presentation jibes well with his ghoulish appearance and his penchant for scheming; you can never really tell whose side he’s on until it’s too late, and the clarinet captures that effectively through the way the piece slinks along while the accordion adds a slimy touch to top it off. Akashi’s theme also has an aura of mystery about it, but that’s only because she seems like an unreachable ideal (think yamato nadeshiko here). The music captures her prim, no-nonsense nature and though it doesn’t quite succeed at nailing her idiosyncrasies, its melody is soothing and charming, which works since she is a calming, stabilizing presence in the protagonist’s life and he really does enjoy her company.

Akashi-san no Theme

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


As good as the character themes are, they only form one part of what makes this album enjoyable. The rest of it lies in the music’s depiction of the hijinks and shenanigans of the protagonist’s college experience. His adventures end mostly in disaster and regret, but they can be a wild ride if you listen to tracks like “Kamo Oohashi,” which sounds wonderful in its use of dissonance. The way it crescendos in and out highlights the risks and dangers he gets put into, and the methodical pace in which it flows sounds like someone’s machinations being set into motion, bringing all involved to the brink of disaster.

Kamo Oohashi

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


From the other tracks, you get an idea for the scale of the protagonist’s efforts at fitting in. “Eiga Circle ‘Misogi’” has all the ham-handedness of an epic movie with its larger than life personas, nailing down the film club’s direction in the process. “Jigyakuteki Dairi Dairi Sensou” is meant to be silly and ridiculous in the vein of a spaghetti western with its flamboyant introduction that suggests the players involved taking part in an elaborate display of saber-rattling before finishing the confrontation once and for all. But amidst that are tracks like “Maru wo Sagashite” which channels a yearning tone borne out of wanderlust. Sung by Higuchi in one the earlier episodes, the guitar and strings possesses a sense of finality and preparedness in moving on, suggesting to us that his job is done and that he’s ready to see new sights to quench his thirst for enlightenment, knowledge, or whatever else it is he seeks.

Jigyakuteki Dairi Dairi Sensou

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Maru wo Sagashite

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


As I clued you in above, the protagonist’s adventures don’t end well, and nowhere is that depicted better than in “Yojouhan to Castella to ‘Watashi,’” which is seeped in loneliness, hopelessness, and despair. The piano’s poignant melody illustrates the extent of the protagonist’s dejection and the tragic feeling that accompanies it makes him easy to empathize with. But there is hope, there is redemption. The protagonist, when deprived of the experiences finally realizes what was lost. “Yojouhan Ki Owari” describes this sudden realization perfectly, and the trumpets and the strings create a call to action, urgently pushing the protagonist to proactively seek out his oasis of happiness through the experiences he might not have noticed before. That the instrumental portion of the OST closes on out on that track is fitting, leaving behind the message that you might not necessarily get what you’re looking for when you do something, but there will be moments to cherish and experiences to take in, so enjoy them for what they are. Don’t ever lose sight of that.

Yojouhan to Castella to ‘Watashi’

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Yojouhan Ki Owari

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


Tatami Galaxy’s soundtrack just goes on to demonstrate just how versatile and consistent a composer Michiru Ooshima is and that no matter what genre or show she’s assigned, she will put forth a solid effort each and every time. This soundtrack won’t eclipse her fine work with Sora no Woto, but it sure is an enjoyable outing, especially when paired with a show that is one of the best to come out this year.

Rating: Very Good

zzeroparticle

Anime Instrumentality's Founder and Editor-in-Chief. As you can probably guess, I'm a big anime music junkie with a special love for composers who've put out some beautiful melodies to accompany some of my favorite anime series. I tend to gravitate towards music in the classical style with Joe Hisaishi and Yoko Kanno being a few of my favorite composers, but I've come to appreciate jazz and rock as anime music has widened my tastes.

12 thoughts on “Yojouhan Shinwa Taikei (Tatami Galaxy) Original Soundtrack – Review

  • September 1, 2010 at 3:43 pm
    Permalink

    The more I listen to her the more I appreciate her work. When I heard to her earlier compositions, I wasn’t as impressed. However, she’s definitely improved (or my tastes have changed..).

    It’s a really small thing, but I think my issue with her Fullmetal Alchemist soundtrack was how the violins sounded a bit thin. It’s especially noticeable in “Nukumori”.

    Reply
  • September 1, 2010 at 9:26 pm
    Permalink

    @Yu
    I can see what you mean in “Nukumori” since the sound doesn’t come off as being whole as it could be. Still has a place in my heart though since it’s kinda wonderfully poignant.

    Anyhow, I really do think that some of her more recent works have shone even if it’s hard for me to pinpoint exactly what it is about her style that’s gotten better. Maybe I’ve just forged a stronger connection with the anime she’s written music for =P

    Reply
  • September 2, 2010 at 3:12 pm
    Permalink

    Don’t get me wrong. I found Nukumori to be a very beautiful piece despite the thin sound.

    I haven’t watched Tatami Galaxy so I can say that my opinion on this soundtrack is unbiased. 😛

    Reply
  • September 3, 2010 at 12:03 am
    Permalink

    @Yu
    That’s something you might want to rectify since I did find it to be an awesome show the whole way through. But then again, I’m kind of a sucker for the presentation =p

    Reply
  • September 5, 2010 at 10:21 pm
    Permalink

    Great soundtrack. I am glad to see it featured. I agree its hard to decide if this is better than Sora no Woto because to me they are both great in their own way.

    Reply
  • September 6, 2010 at 11:59 am
    Permalink

    @Sirusjr
    I’m going to flag this soundtrack some way, somehow as being the most underrated soundtrack this year. It’s one of those “not many people saw the show and won’t be able to even begin to check out the music” sorta deal, so hopefully it bringing here gets people to at least check the soundtrack out. Or the show for that matter. It’s a great anime and I loved its presentation.

    Both of Ooshima’s works this year have been solid. I’m inclined to give Sora no Woto a bit of an edge since I tend towards the happier fare that SnW supplied. That said, this album does melancholy really well, which it needs to to really depict some of those despondent scenes.

    Reply
  • September 11, 2010 at 4:04 am
    Permalink

    Wow, away for a week and everything looks so different. ^ ^

    I like ‘Watashi’ no Theme (Piano Ver.) a lot. I always appreciate a nice piano piece, and this has that relaxing elegant feel with a hint of melancholy. It’s certainly very different from Sora no Woto. I agree with you thought that Sora no Woto music is a bit better.

    Reply
    • September 11, 2010 at 8:49 pm
      Permalink

      @Yi
      Hope you like the layout changes. Took me awhile to decide on this, so hope it works well!

      Anyhow, yes, the piano version is just beautiful in that bittersweet, melancholy sense that probably stands out as my favorite piano track to come out this year. Not that it’s hard to decide on since not many piano tracks have been able to leave that strong an impression.

      Reply
  • Pingback: Ten Notable Piano Solos in Anime

  • September 4, 2011 at 9:58 pm
    Permalink

    I can’t stop listening to “Watashi no theme piano”. It keeps replaying in my head. So poignant, elegant and bittersweet. I totally agree with its motif of ‘What if’, it’s very strongly felt. Very good soundtrack for a very good show!

    Reply
  • Pingback: Little Witch Academia 2′s Kickstarter in Full Swing, Adds Soundtrack Release

  • Pingback: 2012′s Anime Music in Review – Soundtrack Edition - Anime Instrumentality Blog

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: