*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.