What’s the show? Space Battleship Tiramisu (2018).
And what’s it about? I don’t know if you know this about me but I’m a bit of a clean freak. But only about some things, and only once I’ve noticed that they’re untidy… but once I do notice you bet I’m going to obsess about it until I’m able to clean it or put it back the way it’s supposed to be!
Uh… okay, what’s that got to do with this show? Everything! Space Battleship Tiramisu is about one man’s unending efforts to keep his cockpit clean—it’s his sanctuary, his home—and if anything gets in the way of his ~ideal~ he loses his damn mind!
Right. And who is this obsessive man? Subaru Ichinose, a top mech pilot who on more than one occasion strips down to his birthday suit in pursuit of zen in his cockpit.
Wait, why is he naked?! I think the more important question is, why aren’t we all naked…
No but seriously. Well in the first episode it’s because his shirt was on inside out and back-to-front and it was causing him such distress that he ripped the clothes from his body so as not to feel like he was suffocating!
Okay then… sounds like Subaru has some issues…I wouldn’t go that far, I find his unique brand of obsessiveness and reactionary behaviour kind of relatable. Like in the final episode of the first season where he’s applying a clear protective cover to his brand new helmet and is trying his hardest to get it on the curved surface perfectly only to lose his shit when he gets distracted and ends up with three air bubbles under the protective coating! I feel his pain!
Wait, isn’t this a series about mech’s in space? It’s a series with mech’s set in space but no this show’s just about Subaru dealing with everyday struggles—some relatable, some completely and utterly ludicrous like when he starts having a conversation with a rogue pubic-hair that’s floating ‘round his cockpit.
That sounds… kinda stupid. Some of it is, yeah. And some of it’s pretty clever, it’s pretty much a lucky dip of what kind of comedy you’re going to get on any given episode—but since the episodes are only ten minutes each it never feels like you’re wasting your time by watching a ‘lesser’ episode.
And are there many “lesser” episodes? I’d say it’s about 70/30 in favour of ‘good and funny’ episodes, though even the least of the lesser ones still manage a chuckle or two.
Is there any plot to speak of? Not so much as plot as there is character development, either to do with his estranged brother who shows up round the midway point—and who turns out is just as ‘obsessive’ about things as Subaru. Also I know this’ll be controversial because a few fellow reviewers were annoyed by this but I loved the fact that the show ~almost~ had a semblance of a serious plot going on in the middle episodes only for it to be thrown away for the sake of a bunch of silly jokes. I wouldn’t expect anything less from this show!
And what about the other characters? There’s the other inhabitants of the Tiramisu like the brash and appropriately named ‘Vulgar’, the buxom beauty ‘Ligier’, matronly and interfering ‘Shigeruko’ and of course the evil robot who tries to frame Subaru for stealing it’s wallet only for Subaru to switch the robot’s settings from ‘evil’ to ‘motorbike’ and then mount its head in his cockpit to act as a sort of GPS navigation system.
…What? You heard me…
Not to disparage this clearly perfectly sane anime, but it does kind of seem like its approach to comedy is a bit “throw everything at it and see what sticks.”Absolutely—and while that’s invariably going to turn off a lot of people I was fine with it. Though I’m not going to pretend like it’s some sort of comedic masterpiece, there’s a few key things they could have tweaked to make it better.
Oh yeah, mister smarty writer guy? Like what? In my opinion the best episodes were the first episode and the thirteenth episode (season finale). They were much more focused on the minutiae of everyday life and the stress that can be caused by seemingly insignificant things going wrong—and the comedy that results for the viewer. If they’d focused solely on that style of comedy we could have had the anime equivalent of Seinfeld in space!
‘A show about nothing—in space’? Pretty much!
But now? Nada. (editors note: that’s a deep cut Seinfeld reference right there!)
Wait a minute… you don’t have an editor! Shhh~
So is there anything else you wanted to talk about regarding this show? For a short anime it sure does have a great OP and ED song! Both were under a minute so they were ineligible for my Top 10 list’s for the season but they both were worthy of a sport, very catchy songs and both of them sung by the voice actor for Subaru! “BREAK THROUGH!”
Right, so final score and recommendation for Space Battleship Tiramisu? The best thing to do when approaching this show is don’t expect anything because week-to-week the comedy can be so varied both in quality and quantity—that aside the short run-time at least makes it so that even the weakest episode passes before you have the time to dwell on it too much. Subaru makes for an endearing, charismatic and appropriately bonkers lead character and not only does the season end on a interesting cliff-hanger, a second season is scheduled for Fall 2018 so the wait won’t even be that long! By no means perfect, but still perfectly good fun; 75 out of 100.
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2 thoughts on “Men Love Their Cockpits – A 20 Question Review of Space Battleship Tiramisu”
The throwing away of the plot it had almost established kind of killed this for me. If it had been a gag anime from start to finish, well I probably would have dropped it midway anyway. But those mid-season episodes actually presented what looked like a kind of interesting story and then it just abandoned that for the final few episodes which really just reverted to old jokes and choices that made little sense.
I get that given it is a comedy, and I openly admit I’m not a fan of comedy in the first place, it makes sense I didn’t end up loving this. Still, there was a potentially really fun moment in the middle of this and that makes the disappointment actually worse.
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I guess it all comes down to what we want out of any given show!
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