Cover Image: The Tatami Time Machine Blues

The Tatami Time Machine Blues

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Member Reviews

Thank you so much to HarperVia for the ARC of The Tatami Time Machine Blues.

I had really loved The Tatami Galaxy so I was rather excited for this one. While it's short, I really enjoyed this bizarre and quirky story! I'm eyeing my A/C a bit more closely in case it's a time machine.

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The Tatami Time Machine Blues

Thanks to the publishers at HarperVia for the chance to read “The Tatami Time Machine Blues” by Tomihiko Morimi!

A group of friends discover that their broken A/C is actually a gateway Time Machine, and all kinds of shenanigans take place. More than anything, they try to make sure they don’t accidentally break the universe while figuring out a way to get back to their present.

I don’t know why but this book just didn’t connect with me as much as I would have liked. Maybe this would work better for me as a short film or web comic. It was silly but just not laugh out loud funny enough for me, while also be absurd but not enough to make it a satire. Part of why I wonder how this would translate into a different medium is because this book gave me such stoner buddy comedy vibes that the book didn’t fully commit too.

All in all, it’s a fun zany read but just wasn’t for me. I also wonder if the disconnect might be from the translation but regardless, I’m excited for other folks to read and share their thoughts.

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Many thanks to NetGalley and HarperVia for providing me with an eARC of The Tatami Time Machine Blues in exchange for my honest review!

I'd truly been hoping this would be a fun ride, but it simply comes across as a flat and forgettable experience. I do appreciate its short length and its breezy tone, but they're not enough to get me to care about the characters in this tale. They're just not all that charming of an ensemble, and it makes it hard to become invested in the time-travel hijinks they pull. The time-travel logic itself puzzles me sometimes, but maybe that's due more to my detachment from the narrative.

Overall, I'm officially rating The Tatami Time Machine Blues two out of five stars. Again, I wish I could have come out higher on this, but I'm not averse to reading more of Tomihiko Morimi's work.

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I received this ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I knew nothing about The Tatami Time Machine Blues by Tomihiko Morimi and translated by Emily Balistrieri, going in.

The book follows our protagonist and his unusual, chaotic friends as his air conditioner remote breaks and the friends discover a time machine. They devise a plan to time travel to obtain the remote, but worry about changing the past. The translator did a great job capturing the absurdity of the other characters in contrast with protag's more serious/normal demeanor.

Even though it's outside the genres I usually like to read as I tend to go for more realistic and less over the top comedy, this book was enjoyable. I'd recommend it to anyone looking for a short and silly, fun, over the top story about time travel set in Japanese university dorm life. It's a good comedy and I liked seeing the characters react to each other and the situation.

Also, I didn't realise going in that this technically follows the book The Tatami Galaxy, but this book stands well on its own! There's also a 2011 anime adaptation of the previous book that I have not seen but seems to have been well received.

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Thank you so much to NetGalley and HarperVia for this ARC for review!

Full disclosure, I somehow managed to skip right over the part of the giant, bold description which clearly states that this book is a SEQUEL! But it sounded really fun and cool to me so I requested an ARC and was so stoked to be approved to read and review it. I got about halfway through the book, Googled the title so I could pull up a good photo of the cover to take a picture of on my tablet to post with my review, and learned about The Tatami Galaxy novel and its anime adaptation. Whoops!

Since I was already halfway through the novel and both enjoying and understanding it without the context from the first novel, I decided to just continue it and visit The Tatami Galaxy once I was done. I’m really glad I chose to do this! I had so much fun reading this weird, goofy little sci-fi book and I really enjoyed getting to know the characters this way. I started watching the anime for The Tatami Galaxy today and will be watching the adaptation of The Tatami Time Machine Blues when I finish. I feel a little silly for missing out on what I now know is a very beloved story, but I’m glad I got to learn about it now and I feel lucky to have had the opportunity to stumble upon this universe through an ARC.

The Tatami Time Machine Blues is a lovely, quirky, fun, unserious science fiction story that jumps around a lot. Sometimes I felt like I had no idea what was going on, and maybe I would have a better understanding of some things if I had read The Tatami Galaxy beforehand! However, it was easy to keep reading even when it felt silly or I wasn’t sure what just happened. I loved the characters, I loved the goofy relationship between the main character and Ozu, I loved the romance developing with Akashi (who was so adorable and cool I was falling in love too!). All-around a good time travel read that had me giggling out loud while I read. I can’t wait to watch the anime and read the original book!

TLDR; fun and quirky time travel book with lovable characters that totally doesn’t require that you’ve read the first book :)

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When starting this book, the voice of the narrator was one of the elements that drew me in immediately. The situation seemed odd and something unfamiliar. It was a page turner at first and I was eager to see what happens to the characters but halfway through the narrative momentum slowed down and I found that it was harder for me to be interested in the story. The characters though were all well-developed and unique, so wonderfully written that I could see then in my mind's eyes.

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(Actual: 4.5⭐, rounded up) I thoroughly enjoyed reading "The Tatami Galaxy" last year (+ watching the anime adaption), so I was excited to see and get approved for this next installment! I'm a sucker for time-travel/"butterfly effect" stories, so I loved that this book expanded upon the already-established world-building in relation to those tropes; and, while there are some parts in the translated text that I don't think came across super clear, I do believe it's a solid translation nonetheless. This series may not be for everyone, but I really, really like it and think it holds a great balance between quirky sci-fi shenanigans and that thought-provoking "slice-of-life" genre commonly found in Japanese media and literature.

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It took me a few chapters to get into it as the story took a bit to build but once it did it was a fun and heart-warming look at young adulthood and trying to find purpose in the mundane. Little details that I wrote off in the beginning became important clues as to what was happening. The devil was in the details for this one and it was very cleverly done.

Received an ARC from NetGalley

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This definitely gave me studio ghibli and “your name” vibes ! A fun read and I really enjoyed the story .

Thank you for the arc .

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I think this is a tough one to review because it's a sequel where you very much should be familiar with at least one of the source material (the previous book, The Tatami Galaxy, or the movie that inspired it, Summer Time Machine Blues. I read The Tatami Galaxy in preparation for this ARC (but did not get a chance to watch Summer Time Machine Blues) and The Tatami Tame Machine Blues is almost a fifth "chapter" of The Tatami Galaxy, set in summer as opposed to spring. Basically, The Tatami Galaxy is four chapters, four different ways the unnamed protagonist's life could have gone had he made a different choice on one day starting college and The Tatami Time Machine Blues is sort of a fifth route, another parallel story that calls back into all the four parallel routes of the first book.

I think it wasn't quite as good as the first one, but it was especially interesting because written ~15 years after The Tatami Galaxy, this book was written by Tomihiko Momiri as a re-write of Summer Time Machine Blues but with The Tatami Galaxy characters, and in the afterward written by Makoto Ueda he mentions that Morimi asked him to use his play/movie as the basis for this book but in that way it's also a loop -- Ueda wrote the screenplay for The Tatami Galaxy anime too! Layers and layers.

In short it was fine, it's something you definitely need the previous book for, but it's also very niche and if you don't know anything about Japanese college culture/Kyoto you'll probably be looking up a lot!

Thank you to NetGalley and HarperVia for the eARC in exchange for my honest review!

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I had enjoyed the Tatami Galaxy a lot and was excited to read the sequel in this series. It had what I enjoyed from the first book and glad it was just as good. It improved on some of the things and thought the characters were still one of the strongest elements. Overall great job from Tomihiko Morimi.

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Full disclosure - I requested this before I’d read the first book and, after finally reading book one, I don’t know that I should have.

The vibes are identical to book one, so if you enjoyed The Tatami Galaxy I’m sure you’ll enjoy this too. The Tatami Time Machine Blues is an improvement for me because it is half the length of book one and I didn’t get as tired of the overall tone/repetition nature of the story. It’s definitely funny at times, and as I could with the other book in this series, I can totally see why this became a popular anime series.

Overall, not for me, but I’m glad to have given this series a try. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy yo review. All opinions my own.

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I didnt realize that this is technically a sequel, but it reads as a standalone.

I thought this was pretty funny. I could definitely picture it being an anime or manga, because of the way the humorous parts were written. It's a slice of life, Sci fi comedy about time travel and all the trouble that comes with slightly chaotic characters. It's a really quick read and I enjoyed it.

Thank you to Harpervia, HarperCollins, and the author for the e-arc to review!

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This was a humorous, light, fast paced read. I enjoyed the different character personalities and how they interact with each other. The secret love crush on Akashi and the continual banter with his annoying friend Ozu also kept me interested. Overall a fun story.

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A very enjoyable read! The ending was lovely as well, lighthearted and sweet! An excellent sophomore edition.
I haven't read anything quite like this before and am really happy I gave it a try.

Thank you Netgalley and HarperVia, for the free ARC.

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I DNF'd this one through no reason of the book's own fault. I simply wasn't interested as it has a very straightforward and almost dry form of writing. It reminded me more of a literary focus on this person's day-to-day, which isn't for me.

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First I want to preface that I still haven't watched the anime series, so I read this as a bit of an outsider. I did read the first book in the series and love the tidbits that get brought up from that book in this one, although this also feels as if it could be read as a standalone story.
This has one of my least favorite time travel theories, the butterfly effect. In this case, that even stopping an air conditioner remote from being broken can have life altering impacts on the future.
This is a lighthearted time travel story, and despite not loving the actual time travel aspect of the story, and overall I would still recommend picking this book up (especially if you've read the other one in the series).

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Special thanks to NetGalley and HarperVia for the ARC copy they provided.

This book… this book. Oh. My. Gods.

The Tatami Time Machine Blues is a ride I don’t fully know how to describe. In the afterward by playwright and director Makoto Ueda, Ueda describes his friend, Morimi’s, “racing, romping pen,” and, “uninhibited style,” and those descriptions are the only adequate things I can think of to introduce you to just what you’re in for if you dare to take the plunge and dive into this book.

Imagine your youth, those long, hot, sluggish summers when you struggled to find something worth doing, but only seemed to end up laying about, or uselessly rambling around with friends that made you question, “What am I doing with these weirdos?” And then picture you, and said weirdos, finding a time machine.

…I’m sure you can imagine the chaos that would ensue, followed by the frantic need to save the time/space continuum from, well, your weirdo friends, yourself, and your own muck ups. Because I don’t know about you, but I for sure would muck up going back in time. I’d bump into something and change the course of history.

The Tatami Time Machine Blues is EXACTLY that story. Written with a wildly “racing, romping pen” and an “uninhibited style” that will leave you breathless. This book is a non-stop race through today and yesterday and today again, with vibrant characters and exquisite imagery that is at once serene and positively hectic. Rather like the book itself.

I was unable to stop reading this delightful tale, and if you’re looking for a good laugh, mixed with some coming of age hijinxs, this is the book for you. The Tatami Time Machine Blues will pick you up and carry you along to a satisfying end that will still leave you wishing for more.

Personally, I’m on the hunt for book one. Because. I. Need. More. If you dare to read, you will too.

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I have received this ARC from NetGalley and the publisher. So thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for this opportunity!

I came because of the cover and stayed because of the unique plot.
I have never read anything quite like this before.
It has a bit of everything. Time machines, prose, cinematography, college students and more.
This was a whole new reading experience.

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A fun and funny romp, and a nice follow-up to Tatami Galaxy. The endnote about the creation of this book was especially interesting! It was neat to know it was a play first-- it feels very cinema-focused and cinematic in the action. I still though some parts were a little draggy, but in general, a fun book!

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