Yatterman is the second show in the Time Bokananime series by Tatsunoko Production (the unrelated Flint The Time Detective uses a similar concept). Running from 1977 to 1979, the series stars Gan-chan, the son of a toy designer, and Ai-chan, his girlfriend, fighting crime as "Yatterman", using inventions and riding on large robots constructed by Gan. Their most regular enemy is the Doronbo Gang (Skull Gang), consisting of Doronjo, Boyacky and Tonzler, who are out to collect Dokuro Stones (Skull Stones), for their boss, Dokurobei.The show was hugely popular in its time, and fondly remembered by many Japanese adults today. Oddly enough, the key to its popularity wasn't the titular heroes, but rather the terrible trio they fought every week, who were hilarious rather than threatening, and ended up with many viewers rooting for them.Received a remake series in 2008, and a live-action movie directed by Takashi Miike (yes, of Audition fame) in 2009. Yatterman-1, Doronjo and Yatterman-2 also make appearances as playable characters in Tatsunoko vs. Capcom.Both the original series and the 2008 remake are legally available to watchonAnime Sols, where you can also pledge money to keep both series afloat in the United States and Canada in exchange for physical goods such as stickers, posters and DVD box sets. However, both have failed to meet the funding criteria since then.
Animal Motifs - Doronjo is a bat, Tonzra's a pig and Boyacky's a rat. The last two are emphasized in the live-action movie.
Awesome, but Impractical: The film has fun with how the heroes ride on the outside of their mecha. A newspaper hits Yatterman-2 in the face on the highway, the girl they take with them can barely hold on, and traveling over the ocean just plain sucks.
Bittersweet Ending: The 70s series. When Doronjo and her lackeys discover that Dokurobei is the Dokuro Stone (see The Reveal below), they decide to leave their life of crimes, sadly greet each other one last time and take, literally, different paths. The director pans the image to show us that the three paths later will turn into one single road.
Each episode also has its title card done in exactly the same style as the original series, complete with each episode including "da koron" (Omotchama's Verbal Tic) as part of the title.
Early in the live-action film, the Doronbo Gang does the same song they did in the first episode of the '70s version.
Even better: the first mecha built by the Doronbo Gang in the film is the same one from the very first episode of the 1977 series, and the film ends (not including The Stinger) exactly like the final episode of that series (see Bittersweet Ending above).
Dawson Casting: In the movie, Gan is played by 27-year-old Shou Sakurai. He is the same age as Kyoko Fukada, who plays Doronjo. In the actual series, Gan is 13 and Doronjo is most likely old enough to be his mother.
Nice Hat: Arguably, the hats Gan and Ai wear as their crime-fighting alter-egos.
Once an Episode: the Doronbo Gang making some sort of scam to raise funds for their "evil" plans, Dokurobei's self-destructing messages (see below), the Yattermen needing to power up their mechas in the middle of the battle, the minature "bikkuri-dokkiri" mechas Yatterwan produces each week, the Doronbo Gang's mechas exploding in a skull-shaped atomic mushroom, their escape on a triple bicycle, and Dokurobei cruelly punishing them for their failurenote and even punishing them when they do succeed... The episodes of this show pretty much followed all the same scheme. Oh, and Doronjo's Clothing Damage, which happens at least twice an episode.
Public Domain Soundtrack: In the original series (but not the remake), if you hear the famous eight note opening to Beethoven's Fifth Symphony, it usually means that Dokurobei is going to punish the Doronbo Gang for their failure...
Role Reprisal: The 2008 Yatterman Anime brought back Noriko Ohara as the voice of Doronjo from the original Yatterman anime. In addition, Jōji Yanami returned as lacky Boyakkii, and Kazuya Tatekabe returns as lacky Tonzura.
Shout-Out: In episode 3 of the 2008 anime, Boyacky suggests to Doronjo and Tonzra that they all should watch "DeathNeet".
Spell My Name with an S: Depending on the source, it may be Yatterman or Yattamannote The latter actually makes more sense since it's a pun on "yatta!", which usually translates as "I did it!", Tonzler, Tonzra, or Tonzura, Boyacky or Boyakki, (or Boyacchi), Doronbo or Drombo (or Dorombo) and Doronjo, or Dronjo. Oh, and both Doronbo and Doronjo are different entities, with Doronbo being the organization and Doronjo being the villainess.
According to Tatsunoko vs. Capcom, it's Yatterman, Boyacky, and Doronjo. The other names are still open to interpretation.
Spice Up the Subtitles: Despite the fact that it's a family show (Clothing Damage aside; see "What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?" in the YMMV section), the translation on Anime Sols has swearing in the first episode alone in the 1977 versionnote Anime Sols has both versions (specifically, there are two lines that each have an instance of the "d" word).