Yatterman Night

Alt title: Yoru no Yatterman

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g3data's avatar
Dec 24, 2015

I don’t think I’ve seen a show from 2015 go as far south from what I initially wanted from it more than Yatterman Night. For those of you who don’t know about this series, it’s basically yet another retooling of those old Japanese kids show franchises no one cares about in a similar vein as something like Casshern Sins or Gatchaman Crowds. Yatterman Night is a far-flung sequel to the Yatterman franchise (meant to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the original series) in which the roles of the original heroes and villains have been reversed in a huge way. The legacy of the original heroes, the crime-fighting duo Yatterman lives on in the form of a large kingdom known as the Yatter Kingdom. The series stars a young loli named Leopard who, when believing in the Yatter Kingdom as a beacon of hope and kindness, is disillusioned when she is harshly refused entry into the country to obtain medicine for her ailing mother by the very heroes she looked up to. Having been red-pilled on the true nature of Yatterman, Leopard and her two reliable family friends Boyacky and Tonzra set off on a journey to take down the false heroes and the Yatter Kingdom whilst donning the masks of the villainous gang of thieves (the enemies of the original Yatterman) known as”Dorombow”.

Whilst I'll admit to not being wholly enthused by the 1st episode as much of the people saw it were, but Yatterman Night seemed like it would be on to something, that it would be more than the boring kids show it was based on. It turns out however that the show didn't have the grand ambition I was hoping for. Given the set-up practically screams, "original take" Yatterman Night opted for anything other than being original. Unfortunately, the 1st episode is the only one that gives off the promise of potential theme exploration. The idea of symbols slowly warped to betray original intentions, or how happiness can be sought from the most unexpected of places are cool ideas to build a show around. Where Yatterman Night fucked up royally 1st and foremost was with its handling of tone. We have this extremely morose, impoverished setting, with people being overworked for the sake of a monolithic governing body from overseas. Basically, no one in Yatterman Night has any reason to feel the slightest bit chipper at all. However based on how the script carries itself, its hard to see how I'm supposed to take this all in I'm not really sure of since most of the episodes are interlaced with tons of lame, childish and badly timed humor. The script seems like the unfortunate result of throwing the entire tonal spectrum from Texhnolyze all the way down to The Teletubbies into a blender. Aren't the fans of the original too old for the childish gags? Aren't the kids too young to appreciate anything that sets it apart from other titles aimed at younger demographic? What Yatterman Night does not seem to get is that the most enduring kid shows should be able to appeal to adults and children at all times. This is the reason why the Animaniacs and the earlier seasons of Spongebob are things I can appreciate as an adult or as a kid. Same goes for less comedic examples like season 3 of Digimon and Princess Tutu (both, of course, being popular examples shows that manage to be "mature" without being inaccessible to younger audiences).


The real cost of the show’s ridiculous approach to having wide-spread appeal goes beyond the fact that the humor sucks. It also becomes impossible to take the serious bits, well, seriously. What I mean by this is how no one would bat an eye at how the Dorombow gang conveniently pulls robots out of nowhere when being pursued by Yatterman’s goons if the series had made it clear from the get-go that show was leaning solely towards being a goofy action comedy. But, as we’ve gone over already, it’s not. Yatterman Night wants to be more than just “fun” without making any of the requisite sacrifices. The scriptwriters sort of wanted to have their cake and eat it so to speak. I was never convinced that Leopard’s childish idealism was actually putting her and her friends at risk for nothing since all the conflicts play out as cartoonishly as possible (to the point where explosions have about as much effect on them on them as they do on Team Rocket). Don’t expect anything from the character development department. The closest the series came to having poignant character development is one episode within the 1st half in which the Tonzra and Boyacky begin to question whether or not to keep up with this silly attempt at a rebellion. This welcome dosage of realistic thinking is nowhere to be found in future episodes however since the series continues to let the childish idealism it called into question briefly go unchecked for the rest of the series. There was one attempted character arc between an amnesiac father turned villain and his mentally handicapped daughter, but the way it was executed was laughable with hardly a few tacked on minutes devoted to it.

Coming off the boring comedy-centered episodes in the middle of the series, the last arc did nothing to restore enthusiasm for the show so much as it went ahead and backpedalled on its promise even further. The final conflict itself, on top of being rushed, the lame cartoony tropes finish off eating away at the harsh realism. The mystery behind why the Yatter Kingdom ended up the way it did turned out to be disappointingly simple (not that that was enough to keep the show from explaining it for half an episode). All the goofing around the series did earlier would have made it impossible for the overall net-sum to qualify as good in any case, but the only thing worth remembering from the final stretch was the hilariously unfinished animation for episode 12.

Such a shame to see a potential dark horse break both its legs the moment it leaves the gate. I wouldn’t recommend watching the poor thing drag its way to the finish line.

?/10 story
?/10 animation
?/10 sound
?/10 characters
4/10 overall
GeckoKeeper's avatar
Aug 27, 2015

  1. Ok first of all this is my first review so no haters.

  • Now to the actual revew, I feel like this is a great anime, like I already read in some other's reviews it makes you remember a comic, a lot of explosions the tipical leader/smart/stong combo, wich might be cliché but still, in my opinon works, the mix of feels, the funny parts, etc.

  • I also really feel this anime was too short, because there are some episodes that i felt like it needed more time, since there looks like to be a huge set up and then in the end, the part that should be the most awesome/important seem to be rushed and thats something wich i really hate.

  • Also I will really give some hate on the last episode, I mean seriously, the whole series was almost flawless on therms of flashbacks, but the last episode, between the repeated scenes of fighting and those leading to ankward angles and otheranimation copies, looks like that the animators were so tired of making this series they didnt even want to do full animation like they did with every other episode (if I remember correctly), so ends up being a lazy mess.

  • But also thos anime gives u diferent feels, from fun to sorrow this anime can catch you expecially near the end, wich is very nice.

Now the point, do I recomend, yes, yes I do, even if it is not my favorite anime, i gladly watched it, and I think others will share my opinon.

Peace

8/10 story
9/10 animation
6/10 sound
8/10 characters
7/10 overall
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Jamie221b's avatar
Mar 23, 2015

This anime reminds me of a mix of a children's comicbook adventure and a trauamatic, dark tale of opression's crush in the disguise of the light. The show finds balance by the fourth episodes and has yet to disappoint--it's touching, entertaining, silly, and somber all at the same time. 

9/10 story
9/10 animation
9/10 sound
10/10 characters
9.9/10 overall
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tollie01's avatar
Jan 7, 2017

Right, it's confession time for me. If you have been reading my reviews than you may have noticed that I tend to rip the anime a new one. There is a reason for this though and it has to do with the fact that I can't turn my brain off when watching anime. I can't ignore the stupid shown in the anime and this is a problem as most anime are very stupid indeed.

In this case I'm not talking about a 90 pound girl catching a multi-ton cruise missile and throwing it back. Yes, it is stupid but it is a stupid that I'll allow. It's anime. Things like this are normal here and I'm pretty much fine with it. It annoys me to be sure but I will not rant about it.

So, having explained this lets rip into this anime shall we? Just a heads up: There will most probably be spoilers. The more I hate an anime the more spoilers there will be.

ART: There is no problem with the art but this is pretty hard to mess up these days. The animation does what it is supposed to do and it looks good while doing it.

SOUND: Again no complaints from me. I have watched the anime a few days ago but can no longer remember either the OP or the ED song. This is how I generally prefer it so I'm fine with it. Voice actors did a good job overall.

CHARACTERS: Main character is Leopard/Doronjo. She is not the actual Doronjo but a descendent of her. An orphan at 9 she decides to confront Yatterman for letting her mother die. She has a strong sense of justice and will stop at nothing to accomplish it.

Voltkatze is the descendent of Boyacky and servant of Leopard. He will do anything for her and his inventive ability lets him create amazing machines from scratch.

Elephantus is the descendent of Tonzra and he is amazingly strong. Like Voltkatze he is fanatical loyal to Leopard.

STORY: After a devastating disaster the world has gone to shit. One of the few regions prosporing after the disaster is the Yatter kingdom, founded by the famous heroes Yatterman. Leopard can only dream of this heavenly kingdom as her forfathers have been banished from it. The reason for this is that she and her servants are descendents of the villainous group Doronbow. When her mother gets sick and needs help she turns to the hero Yatterman for help only to be turned down. Vowing vengeange she takes on the role of Doronjo and sets out to punish Yatterman.

RANT: Let me start that I know absolutely nothing about the original Yatterman series. The most I can say is that I've watched the first 15 minutes of the live action movie so I do know the gist of what Yatterman is.

Yatterman is a superhero series from the 1970's where Yatterman consists of one male and one female member. They have a mechanical dog and some hightech gadgets. They use these to fight a number of villains, the main one being Doronbow.

This series takes place many years after the event that destroyed most of the world. It is unspecified but it could be centuries. The beginning is very quick. Characters are introduced and set up. You see Leopard being born and grow up and by the end of the first episode she is an orphan.

It is here were the anime truly starts as she sets out to give Yatterman a good smacking. This is also where things start to get interesting for me. Things aren't what they seem in the Yatter kingdom and as they go further more and more questions are raised about Yatterman.

This is also where for fans of Yatterman the problems start. They intent to see Yatterman as they know them and that isn't really happening. What you would expect is to see Yatterman being the hero of the story but this is not the case as it is Leopard who is the hero. Yatterman is a side character in his own show. If you do not know this going in you will be very disappointed.

As I have no such problem I was fine with it and I kind of liked what they did with the characters. My greatest issue was with the comedy which was ok for the most part but occasionally sucked. The problem was not that the jokes weren't that funny but in that they ran some of them into the ground by repeating them over and over.

If you are a hardcore fan of the Yatterman series then you probably won't like it. Otherwise just look at a few epsiodes online to see if it is something for you just skip the first one though.

6/10 story
7/10 animation
7/10 sound
5/10 characters
6/10 overall
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