Several generations after the original Yatterman series, Leopard lives with her mother and guardians, Dorothy, Voltkatze, and Elephantus, just outside the prosperous Yatter Kingdom. She lives a happy if impoverished life, unaware of her ancestral ties to the infamous Doronbow Gang, until she discovers a mural of Doronjo, Boyacky, and Tonzura in a sealed off area of her home. It turns out that Dorothy, Voltkatze, and Elephantus are descendants of the villainous gangsters, which is why they have been forbidden from entering the hero Yatterman's Kingdom!
At first, Leopard vows to never engage in villainous actions like her ancestors, but new circumstances may mean that she must go back on her word, donning the identity of villain in search of true justice.
Note that while writing this review I haven't seen the prequels or the previously associated shows to Yoru no Yatterman so I will focus solely on the mentioned title.
Yoru no Yatterman is quite an eccentric anime that appeared this Winter season. So basically it's a reboot or rather a side story to an anime not very popular, but familiar among some of the fans it has. When I first encountered this title, the synopsis didn't quite match as to what I was seeking about the basics of the premise of the anime, and thus decided to give it a go knowing that it has
connections to a couple of series that I'm totally unaware of.
Yoru no Yatterman begins with a woman in her thirties, soon to give birth to a baby. She lives with her two "associates" Voltkatze and Elephantus. It's described in the anime that the three are the successors of the late "Doronbow" gang which consists of Doronjo the head of the group and their two associates Boyacky and Tonzra. The story mostly kicks on from there as Dorothy gives birth to a baby girl and names her Leopard. Although it's expected that not a whole lot of time is spent on a 12-episodes show on the growth of Leopard as a baby to an adolescent girl reaching her teenage. Soon however, Dorothy gets ill and is needed to be treated as soon as possible, thus sending the three in a quest to find medicines from "Yatter Metroplis" which is ruled by "Yatterman." They are soon denied entrance to the Yatter Metroplis by the Yatter soldiers thus making Leopard question the justice and help that Yatterman had to offer to the people who are suffering. Yatterman is displayed as a warrior supposed to help people in the books and the various stories told by Dorothy to Leopard. This makes the young Leopard go against Yatterman and seeks to punish him with a fore-head flickering. This begins the journey of an unlikely trio of misfits, as they take the personality of their long gone descendants; The Doronbow gang.
Yoru no Yatterman revolves around the trio and the two couples; Galina and Alouette, who offer the trio shelter when they get beaten by the Yatter Soldiers. Leopard is our main protagonist of the show and who takes on the name of Doronjo to avenge Yatterman. Voltkatze, who becomes Tonzra and then Elephantus, who takes the name of Boyacky. Leopard is a girl past her tens, and doesn't have that much of a talent compared to the other two and mostly just fools around ordering them. Tonzra has the talent in making weird machines out of trash which at times helps them get away from danger. Boyacky is the strength of the gang and is the strongest character in the show. They rely upon him to beat down the Yatter Soldiers with brute force. Oh and they have a Pig they call the "Honorable Oda" as a pet, or rather as a friend who travels with them wherever they go. The next two couple are Galina and Alouette. Alouette is a blind woman who has the personality of a kid and is a happy-go-lucky character. Galina is the one who mostly is there to protect Alouette from any danger. Since Alouette's father was forcedly taken away by the Yatter Soldiers, Galina is the only one left to look after her. Galina is often pronounced as "Gatchan" by both Doronjo and Alouette. While not of much help in the start, once he joins the gang he gradually learns techniques from Boyacky and Tonzra and is one of the main characters in show as there's an episode dedicated to him where he saves the trio from being captured and kept in prison forever. Other than these five there are no other characters frequently used other than the General Goro who is out to capture the Doronbow as they continue to defy Yatterman. Hints are given in the show as he's the father of Alouette, who has lost all of his memories once he was rebuilt as a robot to work for Yatterman but at times he gets little fazy memories of Alouette as he speaks her name or sees her. The art is done by Tatsunoko Productions, and nothing is really that special but the characters are all well drawn and colors for the background of what seems like an isolated wasteland fits in pretty well. Even for the Yatter Metropolis most of the details are done beautifully thus I have no complaints regarding the art.
Yatterman has quite a lot of perverted moments for a kids show for example the breast-feeding scene of Dorothy to Leopard and scenes of Alouette taking a shower as Tonzra and Boyacky try to sneak up on her. The weirdest one was probably the guy from the 7th episode who has a fetish for sea animals like Fish and Tortoise! At times it doesn't even make any sense and is mostly annoying. As for the sound aspect of the show I think the opening Shooting Star is a very joyful and a pleasant intro for the show. The ending can be said more of the same and it's dedicated to Galina and Alouette in terms of the visual. Other than that the soundtracks weren't anything out of order or special. The voice acting of everyone was done pretty well but the only annoying thing was the voices of the Yatter Soldiers who literally know only to scream "Yatter! Yatter! Yatter!" and nothing else. I'd like to mention the voice of Leopard is exceptionally well done as it suits really well for her childish and a talkative personality. Some of her famous taglines from the show are "Pure, Honest and Beautiful!" and "As long as there is Doronbow evil will cease to exist in the world!". Both are exceptionally well-voiced and is a joy to the ears.
As a package filled with goods and bads, it's the bad side that gets the better of it. There is little to no characterization in the show with Leopard remaining the same annoying kid who in a moment of time grew as a baby to a teen. Tonzra and Boyacky may have some talents but yet they keep fooling around all the time and don't mature a lot. Perhaps the redeeming quality when it comes to characters is Galina. While he is depicted as a shy boy at the start and doesn't seem to be much of a help to the gang, he does play a very important role in the show both for Doronbow and for Alouette as well. It's also seen that Doronjo aka Leopard showing her feelings towards Gatchan. Overall Yoru no Yatterman is a mediocre show that does promise an exciting turnout but instead fails to deliver in all aspects. Even if you're a fan of the older series I don't see how this could be any enjoyable addition to that and since won't recommend to anyone.
(This has been adapted from my blog/reddit thread. Spoilers ahead!)
I love my mom. She’s the woman who not only raised me from child to adult but also provided me with the guidance necessary to look at life in a good way. “Something nice always follows something bad,” “what goes around, comes around,” and “karma works in mysterious ways” are some of the phrases she normally uses. Goodness is something that is always around no matter how bad something might be. It’s a simple idea that makes living life that much more enjoyable. Knowing that doing good deeds brings about good, and even if a bump
in the road is encountered, said good is just around the corner. Yoru no Yatterman tries to focus on this motif, but is largely distracted by other venues, generating an anime that isn’t good but instead contains lots of wasted potential.
Yatterman starts off in a rather strange way. Leopard is the daughter of a woman named Dorothy. When Dorothy gets sick, Leopard and her two guardians, Voltkatze and Elephantus, attempt to contact the Yatterman Kingdom. But their refusal to help causes her mother to sadly pass away. Vowing to follow her ancestors’ footsteps and become the vigilante group known as “Doronbow,” the three attempt to “bring a new dawn” to the kingdom that wronged her.
The synopsis there is somewhat lengthier than usual, but that’s because the actual premise has an interesting origin. The show is based on an anime known as “Yatterman,” where the good guys here, “Doronbow,” are actually the bad guys. This inversion of roles immediately connects with the theme already presented, the idea that there is niceness in unexpected places. And as the anime unfurls, we are constantly given this notion. Whether it be a robotic father whose memories were wiped or a monkey who loans his master’s car to the crazy ensemble, the group is always given the chance to witness that goodness takes on forms that are, by and large, unexplainable. But this theme isn’t something that is immediately evident – it only becomes apparent near the anime’s end – and is in fact one of Yatterman’s many problems. The initial focus was on Leopard’s mother and her guardians, therefore giving the show a more familial direction. How families work together, what it means to love and be loved in a relationship, the power of “good parenting;” family was the name of the game, but it quickly devolved into something unwieldy.
What the show morphed into was an amalgamation of stories that made it less and less about family and more and more about showcasing “fun.” The anime is completely dreary: people are despondent, conditions are borderline poverty, and nothing is peppy. Despite this, the show contrasts itself on a near constant basis by having comedic moments interlaced throughout its run. In other words, the show (at first) tries to be this mature and insightful anime, but quickly transitions into funny references and mistimed offerings that only serve to distract the audience from the themes it was attempting to work with. Unfortunately, it doesn’t stop there, because the show has a very bad habit of ignoring the characters, scenes, or events that it presents. People such as the “Whispering Reporter” are interesting, given the context, but he’s used around two times. The “Twelve Yatter Gods” don’t do much of anything besides stand around having different hair. And worst of all is Leopard’s mother, Dorothy; by the show’s end, it seemed to have completely forgotten her and her importance to the narrative, with lazy remembrance of her given in the form of them visiting her grave for all of three seconds. This last example firmly proves how lost the anime became in the focus it normally had to begin with.
Yatterman does do something clever, even with all of the holes and hills it made for itself to climb out of and over. The anime isn’t a story about Doronjo, Boyacky, and Tonzra exacting their revenge, for that wouldn’t align well with the ideas of goodness let alone their newfound sense of justice. Rather, it’s a story about the two people that tag along near the beginning: Gatchan and Alouette. As the anime progresses, and as is without a doubt confirmed by its conclusion, what we are given isn’t just a rethinking of the older work but a reimagining of what it’s done. It’s an origin tale within an origin tale, with the show depicting just how the Yatterman Kingdom rose, fell, and rose again. Sadly, such a plot point does come rather swiftly – the ending is incredibly rushed in order to make its previous scenarios relevant thematically – making it less impactful than it could have been. So while the development is interesting, it’s ultimately lacking the execution necessary to make it worthwhile.
Perhaps Yatterman’s strongest facet is in the art and animation that it provides.
As has already been discussed, the show is mired in dread. And to heighten this effect, the anime employs the use of very melancholic colors: lots of greys, browns, and blacks. At the same time, the anime is capable of bringing about rather diverse environments even with the “same” color schemes and general barrenness of the country. A mountain village, a villa by the lake, an industrial city; Yatterman’s coloring and style lends itself well to giving the show the distinct feeling of “something isn’t right” at every turn.
The designs for the characters flip-flop between realistic and unrealistic, much like the anime and its tendency to switch between dramatic and comedic. The members of “Doronbow” each have their signature attire that their known for, Gatchan and Alouette wear their hand-me-down clothes, and the Yatter soldiers and generals are always found in their mish-mash of patterns and black garb with capes. They often contrast with the environment in which they find themselves, making them, intentionally or not, stand-out no matter the situation.
As for the anime’s actual animation, it’s around above average. The show is filled with more action than at first perceived; the machine fighting, the running, and the overall shenanigans have Doronjo and crew always doing something on-screen. While they do have fireside chats from time to time, even those contain a hefty amount of animation, breathing life into the world that seemingly has none. However, there is a blemish: the final episode is comprised of many continuity issues and reused scenes, so much so to the point that it leaves one questioning what went wrong rather than allowing the audience to enjoy the ending.
Yatterman sits at a distinct crossroads when it comes to the characters that it contains.
Many cast members don’t see much in the way of development, or at the minimum, meaningful development. The biggest offender of this process is Alouette. She is at first perceived to be Dorothy incarnate – besides just her looks, her unending caring and kindness paint her as a motherly figure. But it quickly becomes apparent how much more of a child she is when compared to Leopard. She’s wholly ditzy, unaware of the gravity of her situation, and overly optimistic in a place designed to quash one’s dreams. In essence, she’s the last remaining bastion of light that hasn’t been snuffed out by the darkness. She acts this way for the entirety of the anime, barring the ending. There, a figurative switch flips within her, moving her from dependent child to leader of the free world without any kind of pretext. They try to make it seem as if her experiences didn’t go unnoticed by her, that she was “turning a blind eye” to everything going on. Her actions, though, were always consistent and never made her out to be someone who was worrying about the calamity surrounding her. Even then, if that is true, then it undermines her very character and the light she represents.
Leopard is someone still deciding on the path she should take. On the one hand, her characteristics make her out to be anything but a leader. She’s a child, both in mind and in body, so her being the head of anything, let alone a rogue group destined to fight a bunch of robots, is weird. But it works, because the setting she finds herself in is even weirder. And what’s interesting is that, while she is the leader, she never seems to do anything. Tonzra fights and Boyacky constructs, whereas Doronjo just yells a lot at everybody. She’s the leader, though, not because she was Dorothy’s daughter or because she wears the main outfit, but because her personality is commanding. She’s loud, stalwart in her convictions, and always pushing forward without ever giving up hope. On the other hand, she doesn’t grow as a person despite being a kid. She’s stunted in terms of development in favor of focusing on the other characters antics and the disjointed storytelling, causing her to stagnate quite early on. Unlike Alouette, she actually remains “in character,” yet doesn’t seem to gain anything from the journey she embarked on.
The strongest character of the anime is easily Gatchan. He’s the only person to actually develop over the course of the show. When he is first introduced, he’s afraid of the world around him and extremely protective of Alouette. Worse still, he leaves everything up to chance, rolling die in order to make his life decisions for him. But as he says, his time with “Doronbow” gave him the chance to improve. Tonzra toughened him up physically, Boyacky did the same but mentally, and Doronjo motivated and encouraged him every step of the way. The three of them were like family, each providing their own slice of wisdom for him to ingest, to make him into the kind of person capable of not only keeping Alouette from harm but also the Yatter Kingdom, too. No longer does he gamble at life’s crossroads; rather, he forges his own path.
The opening theme has some pretty impressive vocal work, matching the more orchestral tone of the piece itself. The track is oddly fast and slow simultaneously, coinciding nicely with the mix of comedy and drama that permeates much of the series. The halfway point seems to pick up the tempo, but it, oddly once more, recedes back to its normal beat. It’s off-putting, reducing the piece from something interesting to simply fun to hear. The ending theme is all speed; it starts off jumpy, and continues this trend until the very end. It mirrors the anime: Yatterman is pretty quick, moving from one scenario to the next, with the ending bringing about the only sense of calm. The quickness can be catchy during certain segments, but the singing can’t “keep up” with the instruments, making the piece largely forgettable.
Yatterman does find strength in its soundtrack, despite the OP and ED being lackluster in what they give. “Doronbow ga Irukagiri Yatterman ha Sakaenai” is the perfect theme song, capturing “Doronbow’s” grandiose undertakings and their larger-than-life way of dealing with anything thrown their way. “Dorothy no Yume” is a memorable piece, filled with a soft piano that is both peaceful for the mind yet sad on the heart, which applies to the other tracks that sound similar. “Tabi ha Tsudukuyo Dokomademo” reflects the countryside environment nicely. And they even pay homage to Yatterman’s original opening. It’s a nice soundtrack that finds itself hidden among the other sub-par material of the anime.
Voice-acting, like the soundtrack, tends to be above average. A special shout-out is deserved for Eri Kitamura as Leopard, for portraying quite well the young child’s spunky, happy, and girly voice and attitude.
I think part of the allure of this one is being able to connect, or at least understand, a lot of the references that it throws at you. Having never seen the original or anything else related to this long-running series, I probably missed more jokes than I would like to admit. Regardless, the first episode is what hooked me. The presentation, the themes, the emotions; it was very well done, and seeing it steadily dwindle the further it went on was an unfortunate circumstance. Besides the first few episodes – where they provided some focus on Leopard as a baby or young kid alongside Dorothy and the idea of family – I was never impressed by what it was doing, be it the jokes or the action. It got repetitive early on, and watching it remove itself from such a powerful beginning and set-up into something lesser wasn’t fun to see.
Yoru no Yatterman could have been something good. While the nice art, animation, and original soundtrack do what they can to alleviate some of its problems, the narrative, characters, and other minor issues keep this one from being fully cured. It isn’t going to see a new dawn, but instead a slowly falling sunset.
Story: Bad, wishy-washy themes, plot point ignoring, sometimes clever, but often falls flat
Animation: Good, nice art style, interesting character designs, and above average actual animation with the exception of the final episode
Characters: Bad, Gatchan develops, Leopard is interesting, but the rest are either bad or incredibly weak
Sound: Fine, okay OP, bad ED, nice soundtrack, above average VA work
Enjoyment: Bad, besides the first few episodes, it was repetitive and not endearing
*Edit made on Monday 6th April. Slight fixes + Story from 8-7 (just thought 7 was more appropriate) + Revised comment on the first episode tone compared to the rest of the series (2nd paragraph).
* Edit Sunday 28th July. Just reviewed my review and lowered some scores. This was mostly brought about by comparing this anime to others on my list and thinking, 'hmm is this really as good as that?'. Though, the personal enjoyment I got from this series is not equal to the sum of its parts. This anime was weird.
I've seen so many people showing this series negativity, regarding tone shifts,
ass pulls and so on. Those points may be valid, but here's my defense of why I think this anime has been very underrated.
Story : 7
The story is simply about a team of people trying to rectify a dystopian future. Every episode shows our team engaging somehow with their Yatterman foes, meeting new people here or there and continuing their journey. The first episode is pretty sad and I think many people would have preferred the whole of the series to stay in that sort of depressing tone, rather than mixing in comedic events, that they believed only detracted form the story. Just a warning that the first episode may, and emphasis on the may, betray expectations for the rest of the series. I suggest to keep to the 3 episode rule of whether or not you stick to the series if you're worried about that.
Now here is where the first of many complaints people had kick in. The ending of every episode is very predictable, always involving robots that come out of nowhere to fight the enemy. But you know what? I didn't care one bit. There's something about the setting of this anime and the overall way the message and journey went, that made me not care about the predictability. What mattered was how the characters interacted with each other and how they grew each episode to eventually try and reach their goal.
If this bothers you, then you shouldn't watch the series. Remember that this is a reboot of an old kids show. They need the robots otherwise the essence of the show would be forgotten
People would also point out the tone shift problems. It seems so sad one moment, but then a robot comes out of nowhere. Honestly, I had no problems with that. There was an ironic sweetness to all the crazy moments, as the world they live in is really messed up. The characters take the good with the bad and always try to pursue their end goal. I found that the underlying depression was always there, even during the happy moments, which made the most of the series seem hilariously tragic.
There are some filler (sort of) episodes (I'm thinking of you sumo) that I believe could have been replaced with something better. Maybe some more character development where we could get more into the group dynamics.
The ending had me very conflicted, (disregarding animation derps, and my own personal confusion regarding a character that I thought shouldn't have been there). The overall message was clear and sweet. There was a good sense of bitter-sweet closure, with a symbolic sense of liberation through the whole thing, but I couldn't help but feel as if the some our main heroes weren't given enough of a spotlight regarding the final villain (which was kind of a good twist of you ask me). I had to think real hard about how the characters had finished up.
Art : 7 / 6
The art pretty nice and crisp. It suited the world. Nothing amazing, but nothing bad for the whole series..... except the last episode. Overall, the series gets a 7 or 6 for art, but if we were to look a that episode on its own it would get a 2. I think this was due to a lack of budget, but there were flipping reused frames in that episode that made you go WTH is going on. It's not that the art and people's faces looked deformed, or anything. Just that the animation in one particular bit was drastically botched.
Sound : 7
OP and ending pretty cool. The sound was alright. Some sad tracks during some sad moments that tug at the heart strings. Nothing that particularly stands out, but nothing that I thought was horrible that has to be mentioned either. But I know jackshit about this stuff, so whatever.
Character : 6
I think the 5 main heroes that we follow were pretty cool. There was something endearing about this group that I could't shake off.
Elephantus and Voltkatze ( though these names are hardly used) :
The joking father figures. They aren't really the subject of major character development. but the way they're always there for their almost adoptive daughter, I found was really sweet. Thought the flaw here would be that they could and maybe should have been developed more, rather than just being goofy a lot of the time.
Leopard: She starts off a little girl with a mission. And she tries really hard to get it. What else can I say, but I think she was well rounded and a good developed hero. Some may say she's annoying, but in my opinion it's important to remember that she's a still a and super young and naive girl trying to fight the world.
Alouette: She seems kind of mindless/traumatised for the whole series. The last episode however provides her with a symbolic twist. She's someone that has tried to reject reality for the whole series, but then finally comes to term with it in the finale.
Galina: Oddly enough, though not the main, he seems to get the most development. He's a coward at the start, but slowly but surely becomes stronger and stronger as the story goes on.
There are many minor encounters but they are just ways to enhance interactions between our main heroes. There's one main villain that pursues our heroes for a long time. But there's something important about him, and the show handles him beautifully, in my opinion.
So in the end:
Personal Enjoyment : 8
Overall though : 7.
I enjoyed this anime way more than I expected. Just remember guys and gals, that this is a reboot of a 1970s kids show. It took that and added a dark twist to it. There are very emotional bits that really tug at your heartstrings, and from my perspective, made me realise how much this isn't just an anime that goes 'hurr durr robots'. It's not just kiddy craziness, but a real sense of people growing up to save others. I think I will honestly remember this as a fun and endearing adventure. But it's definitely not for everybody, especially given that this anime was most likely, in my opinion, targeted at old viewers of the show. And I'm certain the many of you reading this review probably will not be said old viewers.
Yoru No Yatterman was a fun ride. Sadly, it went under the radar of a lot of people. It wasn't the best of this winter season but it wasn't bad like a lot of people says. Is it worth your time ? Let's look at it.
Story : 6
Leopard, Elephantus and Voltkatze are descendant of the Doronbow gang, who were the antagonist of the Yatterman series. They live with Lepoard's mother somewhere outside the Yatterman Kingdom walls because their ancestor got kicked out of the kingdom.
So one day, Leopard's mother die and discovers that the Yatterman are actually bad people... and thus begin the comeback or the Dorombow gang to avenge her death and give the Yatterman a good forehead flicking !
See? pretty simple !
Art : 7
The art was very good imo. It wasn't mindblowing but it didn't suck at all. The background and the characters were really nice. However sometimes the quality dropped and sometimes... it wasn't pretty.
Sound : 7
The opening was one of the best this season and the ending was nice. The OST was compsed by the same guy who did the OST of Mirai Nikki, Free!, Seikon no Qwaser and more. Just this is actually pretty good. However nothing didn't catch my attention. I guess it's better than catching my attention because the music would be bad.
So yeah, i guess the OST did it's job right !
Character : 6
For some people the problem might be the main protagonist, Leopard who's a 9 years old girl that might just be ... pretty annoying. Personally i had no problem with her but i can see why some people have. Boyacky and Tonzra are funny. The problem with them is sometimes their jokes gets old, like Tonzra who says that he can be Leopard's mom for an entire episode.
Later we have Gatchan and Alouette. Gatchan at first i didn't liked him. Always scared and uncertain, throwing a dice to know what to do. Luckily he had a really good character developement ! Alouette well ... i liked her. (no not because she has boobs ... jeez.) She was funny and also at the end i liked her even more! I'm not gonna say more about it. c:
For the others, you might just don't care about them.
Enjoyment : 7
If you are the kind of people who needs explication for why this happened or why they didn't do this ... just don't watch it. You're gonna be mad and just put a 1 to this. This show is just full of surprise and ''asspull'' but for this kind of show, i didn't care at all ! The comedy is hit or miss though. Like i said before, sometimes the jokes gets old or it's just ... doesn't work at all.
Do we need to watch the Yatterman series before watching it ? Not really. I haven't watched them and it's pretty simple to understand without them. However, some reference or jokes just gonna fly over your head and you might just think ... ''k'' (like me)
Overall : 7
It was a good adventure that will be forgotten pretty soon.
Try it, maybe you'll like it like me !