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Anime / Yatterman

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May not look like much but he's
The strongest in the land
Yatta! Yatta! Yatta! Yatta!

Yatterman is the second show in the Time Bokan anime series by Tatsunoko Production.

Running from 1977 to 1979, the show tells the story of Gan Takada and his girlfriend Ai Kaminari, two mechanics who use their quirky inventions and mecha to fight crime as the masked heroes "Yatterman". Their most regular enemy is the Doronbo Gang, consisting of Doronjo, Boyacky and Tonzura, who are trying to steal the Dokuro Stones (Skull Stones) rumoured to point the way to the largest treasure trove of gold in the world.

The show was hugely popular in its time, and fondly remembered by many Japanese adults today. Oddly enough, the most memorable part wasn't the titular heroes, but rather the Terrible Trio they fought every week. While the earliest episodes portrayed the Doronbo Gang as unsympathetic bumblers, the fact they were Played for Laughs and had great comedic chemistry made it hard not to grow fond of them. Their popularity has grown so much since the original series that, in modern pop culture, Yatterman-1 and Doronjo are treated as the main characters. Doronjo herself has developed from a cardboard baddie into a good-hearted woman who merely fell in with a bad crowd in pursuit of her dreams, and would retire from villainy if not for her underlings and the Sunk Cost Fallacy.

It 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 watch on Anime 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.

A new series, Yoru no Yatterman (Yatterman Night) was released in 2015 in commemoration of the 40th year anniversary of Time Bokan.

In 2018, Ai Kaminari was brought back as a Virtual YouTuber on Yatterman Channel. She is partnered up with Boyacky, who has been redesigned to be a Pretty Boy, closer to his portrayal in Yoru no Yatterman than the older series.

In October 2022 Tatsunoko will air a live action prequel series Tatsunoko Pro Sōritsu 60-shūnen Kinen WOWOW Original Drama Doronjo (Tatsunoko Production 60th Anniversary WOWOW Original Drama Doronjo), or more simply Doronjo; starring Elaiza Ikeda as Nao Dorokawa, the woman who will eventually call herself Doronjo. The show will depict the past and the life of Doronjo. In particular, it will show her life in a poor, harsh environment and the series of tragedies that led her down the path to becoming a villainess.

Tropes found in all versions of the series:

  • All Men Are Perverts: In one episode of the original series, Boyacky fantasizes about Ai-chan's butt inflating.
    • Boyacky is pretty well known for his perversion towards high school girls, yet Even Evil Has Standards and therefore Boyacky takes great care never to hit on the merely middle-school aged Ai-chan.
    • Played straight in the original. Both Boyacky and Tonzura act like this towards Doronjo, and they even tried to get a kiss from Ai at least once.
  • Animal Mecha: Obviously.
  • Animal Motifs - Doronjo is a bat, Tonzura's a pig and Boyacky's a rat. The last two are emphasized in the live-action movie.
  • The Baroness: Doronjo. Her elaborate black leather costume with spiked heels, skull shaped pipe-smoking, and velvet couch-lounging habits make her one of these. She rarely ever gets involved in physical combat, but when she does, there's a touch of dominatrix in there. Best seen in her role as a fighting game character in Tatsunoko vs. Capcom.
  • Bathing Beauty: Doronjo is often seen taking baths and showers on many occasions, even in the live-action film.
  • Bathtub Scene: Again, Doronjo. Dorombo's mecha have often incorporated a bathtub just for her.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: If Doronjo has little else to be grateful for in her painful and humiliating existence, she can at least console herself that her good looks are apparently a lot more durable and fireproof than her clothing.
  • By the Power of Grayskull!: Gan and Ai usually yell "Yatter!" before changing into Yatterman-1 and Yatterman-2. In the 2008 series, this continued into when they had to change while getting into Yatter-Jinbee, even when the machines put on their suits for them.
  • Captain Ersatz: Other than the main characters all being Expies of their Time Bokan counterparts, many one-shot characters in the show are either this for real-life people (like The Beatles or Bruce Lee) or for fictional characters from certain stories (like Heidi or Les Misérables) .
  • Catchphrase: Oh, so many...
    • The Yatter mechs, when given mecha food always say a variation of "This week's Surprise Mini-Mecha Launch!" Followed by fanfare.
    • Boyacky and Tonzura simultaneously respond to Doronjo's commands with "Arahorasassa-!," a nonsense phrase that can be literally translated as, "One, Two, Yes Sir!"
    • Boyacky preempts the pushing of any button on his mecha with the phrase "Pochittona!," which has no meaning but is often translated as either "push like so" or "push the button." It's become so associated with the character that other anime characters parodying Yatterman use the phrase, and Boyacky-themed toys have been released that say "pochittona" when you push a button.
    • "Victory Pose!" "Yatter! Yatter! Yatterman!"
    • The narrator even has a couple, he begins expository narrations by saying "Please allow me to explain," and signs out every episode with "Yatter, Yatter, Yatterman!"
    • Whenever Boyacky is complimented by Doronjo, a small mecha pig on the mecha's console climbs a coconut tree and says "Even pigs can climb trees." This is often given a motivational subtext. (Boyacky is able to be "the pig who climbs a tree" when Doronjo butters him up.) However, the live action movie gave it the Darker and Edgier subtext that the pig in a tree stands for Boyacky's erection.
  • Clothing Damage:
    • Doronjo is a regular victim of this trope, as is tradition for Time Bokan villains. Indeed the destruction of the Dorombo gang’s mecha will result in her clothes being shredded to revealing levels, although this can happen to all three members.
    • Happen occasionally in two episodes to Ai also.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: At the end of every episode Dokurobei cruelly punishes the Doronbo Gang for their failurenote  in many and creative ways.
  • Crossover: Being a comedy show, Yatterman has not only run across all the other Time Bokan characters, but also every character in the Tatsunoko library, particularly favoring Gatchaman, Hurricane Polymar and Speed Racer. The Royal Revival OVA and the 2008 remake's "Golden Week" special are essentially one cameo after another.
  • Death of a Thousand Cuts: What Yatterwan's mini-mecha usually inflict on Doronbo Gang's mecha, when they don't go for the "combine in a larger mech" route.
  • Fanservice and Fan Disservice: Both when the Doronbo Gang is regularly victim of Clothing Damage.
  • Goroawase Number: The opening theme makes a Wan/One pun with Yatter-Wan's barking.
    When you hear him bark (Wan!) Two, Three...
    • The pun continues into the 2009 animated movie, where Yatter-Wan's Evil Counterpart is called Yatter-Zero.
  • Iconic Sequel Character:
    • The Doronbo Gang are the very first Expy of the Skull Trio from Time Bokan. While the heroes Gan and Ai are very well known, the Doronbo are the Terrible Trio in Japan, having multiple Expies across not only the rest of the Time Bokan franchise, but across most Japanese media as well. It goes so deep that even the milestone celebration of Time Bokan in 2015 was made about their descendants in the far future.
    • Odate Buta, the pig on the palm tree. Appears first in episode 60 of the original series and became the mascot of the Time Bokan franchise as a whole.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: One of the major subtexts of the series, most frequently shown in asides and during closing themes is that Doronjo would like to quit being a villain and become a simple housewife. In some versions, it is even stated that's what she'd use her wish from the Dokuro stone/rings on. Most of the series' endings suggest that she gets her wish.
  • Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: The Doronbo Gang are one of the most notorious examples in the anime world.
  • Iron Butt Monkey: The Doronbo Gang can take ridiculous amounts of punishment.
  • Irony: Despite being the most famous series of the Time Bokan franchise, Yatterman does not feature time travel. The only exception is an episode that is a tribute to the first Time Bokan series. They also cover the Time Bokan trio's Villain Song.
    • Subverted by the 2008 remake, where a few episodes have the characters using time portals akin to those from the original Time Bokan series to go to the past.
  • Kansai Regional Accent:
    • Tonzura speaks with one, a trait common to him and all his counterparts from the franchise.
    • The 2008 remake gives a Kansai accent to the Yatter-Angler as well.
    • Episode 33 of the 2008 series has the Dorombo Gang going back to the past and changing history so that Osaka becomes the capital of Japan. As a side effect, Gan and Ai speak with a Kansai accent for most of the episode.
  • Karma Houdini Warranty: While the Doronbo Gang often get away with their scams/crimes (other than getting the Dokuro stone/rings more times than not), both their defeat at the hands of Yatterman and their often unfair punishments at the hands of Dokurobei make up for it.
  • MacGuffin: The Dokuro Stone, in almost every episode of the original series. The Dokuro Rings in the 2008 remake. The Dokuro stone was split into four different pieces. The rings were split into five actually ten, but Dokurobei forgot the other five's existance until the Dorombos got the first five. Anyone who collects them is said to be granted a single wish. In reality It summons the demonic and chaotic true form of Dokurobei to Earth.
  • Made of Explodium: A given since this is a Time Bokan show, but it needs to be mentioned how many times things explode in the series, even from very little damage.
  • Male Gaze: On Doronjo naturally, especially in the remake (probably to compensate the lack of nudity compared to original show).
  • Mid-Season Upgrade: Yatter Wan to Yatter King in both the series and film.
  • Morton's Fork: When the Doronbo Gang fails to find a Dokuro Stone/Ring, Dokurobei punishes them for their incompetence. When they do manage to grab a hold of one, Dokurobei punishes them anyway, citing that he "can't cheat the viewers out of [the Gang's] weekly punishment".
  • Neon Sign Hideout: Any business run by the Doronbo Gang tends to be marked by a large, hard-to-miss red skull on the front; or even might be shaped as one. Usually, Gan and Ai take advantage of this and just walk in to figure out where the gang is going next.
  • Nipple and Dimed: Often in the classic series and the OVA. Special mention to episode 54 where there is a close-up of Doronjo's nipple very detailed.
    • Averted in the 2008 remake and live-action movie.
  • No Fourth Wall: Taken to the extreme with the Doronbo gang. Not only do they seem to realize that they're in an anime, but they're also are aware of when they're appearing an another media or being remade, and make jokes about taking over when they defeat Yatterman. They also talk to the audience all the time, and even have relationships with their own voice actors and off-screen characters like the narrator and pre-show announcers. None of this ever seems to help them avoid their usual formulaic failure and misery, though. The actors who play the gang in the live-action film (Kyoko Fukada, Kendo Kobayashi, and Katsuhisa Namase) were in a special episode of the 2008 Yatterman that was about the Dorombo gang invading the filming of said movie and crossing paths with the actors.
  • Not So Harmless: The Dorombos are usually Ineffectual Sympathetic Villains, albeit that doesn't mean they're completely incompetent. They manage to create deadly inventions every week, sometimes with little to no money. They can cause major destruction to buildings, take hostages, physically hurt people who get in their way, and even come close to actually murdering innocents. Also, across the series they manage to pull out tons of large-scale crimes, like million-dollar scams or bank heists. In fact, most of their failures tend to happen because of Dokurobei's faulty information when it comes to the Dokuro stone rather than because of their own incompetence.
  • 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 failure (or for the hell of it)... 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.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise:
    • The Doronbo Gang are masters of this. They're never recognized despite the fact that both Tonzura and Boyacky never remove their goggle-style masks, and Doronjo always wears a masquerade-style mask. Not to mention the buildings they set up to create scams always have a red skull as part of their decor.
      • Sometimes Gan and Ai are smart enough to notice, but always just a bit too late to prevent them from scamming a ton of people and then launching a new mech.
    • Speaking of Gan and Ai, The Doronbo Gang are never aware that these two teenage kids dressed in jumpsuits that seem to show up everywhere are actually Yatterman in civvies.
  • Perspective Flip: In Bokan to Ippatsu! Doronbo Kanpekihen, a Japan-only Shoot 'Em Up released for the Sega Saturn, you get to play as the Doronbos and fight the Yattermen.
  • Power-Up Food: The Yattermechs are fed mecha food (or mech matter, depending on translation) in order to increase in power, and also to create the Deus ex Machina mini-mecha that often bring an end to every battle.
  • 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...
    • Offenbach's Can Can sometimes plays when the Doronbo Gang are escaping on their getaway tandem bike.
    • Yatter-King, Yatter-Panda and Yatter-Dozilla announce the release of their mini robots by playing the William Tell Overture.
  • Rearrange the Song: Yatterman no Uta, the first OP theme for the show, would get rearranged quite a bit. There is the remixed version from the Royal Revival OVA, six rearrangements in the 2008 series, a rearrangement in Tatsunoko VS Capcom, and in the The Movie. The song is just that famous.
    • The Doronbo Gang's theme "Tensai Doronbo" and their one-time anime closing theme also get arranged a lot. Here's the rearrangement of the former for the 2008 Anime [1]. and here's the arrangement of the latter for Tatsunoko vs. Capcom. [2]
  • Running Gag: Many times, Doronjo and/or her cronies celebrate when they do something right by screaming "YATTA!!" and doing a little jig similar to that of Yatterman. When they do this, they usually stop each other because they think it brings them bad luck.
  • Sensible Heroes, Skimpy Villains: The heroes wear jumpsuits, while the main female villain wears a revealing leather outfit. Her ugly cronies also have their midriffs bared at all times.
  • Sexy Silhouette: Doronjo, especially in the remake.
  • Shock Stick: Ai's weapon is the Shibire-Stick, an extending cane with a heart-shaped point that basically works like a taser.
  • Spell My Name with an S: Depending on the source, it may be Yatterman or Yattamannote , Tonzler, Tonzura, 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.
      • The fan-subs of the 2008 anime series use the name "Tonzura", but the Anime Sols dubbed version of the same show uses "Tonzler".
  • 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  (specifically, there are two lines that each have an instance of the "d" word).
  • Stock Footage: The original series had the Yatterman's suit up sequence and mounting one of their mechs and the mech's "this week's surprise robots" announcement sequence. The 2008 series also haves similar stock footage sequences (with the suit up one getting three variants as the series goes on) and adds also new stock sequences showing how the aforemented surprise robots are built inside the mech.
  • Team Rocket Wins: It might be rare due to the show's need to be longer, but they do eventually manage to get the rings/pieces of stone they need. You Can't Thwart Stage One after all.
  • The Little Shop That Wasn't There Yesterday: Dorombo scams seem to frequently appear to be this.
  • This Page Will Self-Destruct: Dokurobee always sent to his henchmen some little robots, shaped accordingly to that episode's theme, which carried his messages and then self-destructed. This was only the first of many Non-Fatal Explosions happened to the Doronbo Gang throughout every episode.
  • Verbal Tic:
    • Omotchama's "da koron", and Dokurobei's "da bei"note , as well as Tonzura's "man-nen"note 
    • Yatterwan also sometimes ends his sentences with "wan."
  • Victory Pose: At the end of every battle the two heroes announce the pose and do an entire victory Happy Dance. It usually ends in an actual pose (pushing their arms together and kicking out one leg) and a "Three cheers" type of chant.
  • Villain Song: The Doronbo Gang usually sings while building their new robots. Most well known of these numbers is "Tensai Doronbo", where they sing about how they love crime, are determined to grab the Skull Stone pieces first, and how everybody loves them more. It pops up in the 2008 remake, and even the live-action movie.
  • Villainous Friendship: The one between Doronjo, Tonzura, and Boyacky is so potent it actually leads to many the series' more dramatic moments.
  • X-Ray Sparks: What other evil trios can say they’ve been electrocuted by their heroes as much as the Doronbo Gang?
  • You Can't Thwart Stage One: Even when Gan and Ai had very good opportunities to take down the Doronbo gang before they could gather the cash they needed for their robots they never did so and the gang always gets away with their scams (to build the robots at least, since Yatterman and Dokurobei kick their asses all the time afterwards. You can't twart stage TWO and THREE either!)

Tropes from the 77 show:

  • Balloon Belly: At the end of one episode, the Doronbo Gang is forced by Dokurobei to drink inhuman amount of water, causing their bellies (and in Doronjo's case breasts) to enlarge to ridicolous size, with Tonzura downright leaking from multiple holes.
  • Bittersweet Ending: At least to the villains in 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, tearfully say goodbye to 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. Yatterman on the other hand have no villains to face now and, as the narrator says, will always live in our hearts.
    • The Time Bokan OVA describes what became of them: Doronjo became a housewife (with five kids), Tonzura became a business manager, and Boyaky opened his own ramen noddles shop. They're willing to become the Doronbo gang again when they're challenged to a mecha race by the other Time Bokan villains.
    • If Yatterman Night must be considered canon Doronjo, Tonzura and Boyakki still kept considering themselves good friends and, when things started to get really bad for them, their families kept cooperating to the point that Doronjo's last descendant considers Tonzura's and Boyakki's descendants her surrogate, beloved fatherly figures.
  • Body Paint: One episode has Boyakky do this to Doronjo to avoid her regular Clothing Damage after the Dokrobei's bomb exploded. She approves before noticing that he painted a tail on her.
  • Boob-Based Gag: In the original series, Doronjo's bust was often used for some gags as smacking her goons in the face or when she was wrapped in some rings which cinched her like a corset. More rare in the 2008 remake.
  • Corporal Punishment: In episode 18, a zoo guard slaps her daughter for letting a panda escape during a tantrum. In 29, an old man does this to his grandson for wanting to fight outlaws with a gun.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: In episode 37, Doronjo and Boyacky dress as Yatterman-2 and Yatterman-1 to fool them. It worked so well that it turned against them.
  • Foreshadowing: Up until episode 14 of the original series, never before had the Doronbo Gang nor the audience seen Dokurobei's masked appearance; just small hints of it. In this episode, though, we finally see an unusual way: he's in a painting in the background of the jewlery store where the Doronbo gang is having an auction. Quite appropriately, this is the first episode to feature a REAL Dokuro Stone piece.
  • Idiot Ball: In Episode 30 of the original series, Doronjo and Boyacky both believe they have found out who Dokurobei really is: Tonzura. Why? Because he wasn't present in the two occassions when Dokurobei spoke to them that time. Apparently they forgot of all the other times Tonzura WAS with them and Dokurobei talked to them anyways and punished all three of them.
  • "No Peeking!" Request: Doronjo suffering Clothing Damage almost Once an Episode is a frequent source of humor and in one instance she even turned to the viewer and asked them to stop looking at her whenever it happens.
  • Not Distracted by the Sexy: Gan-chan generally is not interested when Doronjo tries to flirt with him, since he haves eyes only for Ai.
    • Subverted at the start of episode 97, where he enjoys the view of Doronjo's naked breasts and remains in a catatonic state.
  • Robot Religion: Of sorts. After Yattawan became Yattaking, the heroes would sometimes pray to a large buddhist statue of Yatterking wishing for good luck on their upcoming battle before departing to fight the Doronbo gang.
  • Rod-and-Reel Repurposed: Episode 54 has Boyakky try to use a fishing rod to hurt the heroes. Instead the hook ends up twice affecting his comrade Doronjo's costume showing, the first time, her breast.
  • Scary Stinging Swarm: Both episode 7 and 33 of the original anime have the Doronbo trio getting attacked by bees. In episode 7, Doronjo gets a beehive dropped on her as part of Dokurobe's random, sadistic punishment game. Episode 33 instead has Doronjo succeed in escaping from Yatterman with the Dokuro stone she was looking for... which she discovers is actually a wasp's nest after bringing it onto her ship.
  • Secret Test of Character: In episode 28, the Moon Princess, unable to decide if Yatterman or the Doronbo Gang are trustworthy to give either of them her stone, has them race to a crater so they can find an old doll she had and bring it to her. Unable to find the doll, the Doronbo Gang traps Gan and Ai and gives the princess a false doll claiming it's hers. But there was no doll. The princess wanted to see if either of them were honest people and used this to determine Doronjo and her cronies were evil.

Tropes from the 2008 show:

  • 20% More Awesome: In the 2008 series, Ai haves the penchant of describing her feelings and opinions in percentages.
  • Actor Allusion: Both episodes 24 and 49 feature Doraemon references, playing on the fact that Noriko Ohara (Doronjo's voice actress) was also the voice of Nobita in the 1979 anime.
  • Adam Westing: Multiple episodes feature Japanese celebrities playing more or less exaggerated versions of themselves.
  • Bowdlerize: The 2008 remake. Due to standards changing since 1977, Doronjo habit of smoking and losing her clothes were toned down.
    • Lampshaded in the first episode where Boyakki and Tonzura cover Doronjo's naked breasts commenting that nowadays thay are no allowed to show them like in the past.
    • Parodied in the penultimate episode of the series. During the mecha building montage, Doronjo decides to enjoy a quick drag… before noticing the viewers at home, and swiftly swapping it out for a lollipop!
  • The Cameo: In the 2008 series, brief appearances of characters from other Tatsunoko series happen once or twice per episode in the first half of the series.
  • Deconstruction: (2008 series) After several episodes of the Doronbo Gang suffering various amusing ultra-violent punishments, yet always coming away unscathed, in episode 25.5 they set up a sideshow attraction offering a genuine Doronbo punishment experience to their surprising number of in-universe fans. It offers such delights as boiling alive, explosions, and smothering. The fans love it and find it hilarious, to the astonishment of the Gang, who remark that by rights they should all be dead. Doubles as Fridge Horror if the Gang were actually intending to torture their fans to death.
  • Denser and Wackier: The final arc of the series, outside of the episodes featuring the Dokuro Ring Hunters, are clearly zanier and include more surreal stuff than before. Highlights include Yatter-Angler's spacefaring upgrade being literally two giant water bottles strapped underneath his body, a Tanabata episode focused on the holiday being exported in Morocco, and one where Ayers Rock is revealed to be a giant emergency button to push in case Australia suffers from a water shortage.
  • Ditching the Dub Names:
    • The Italian dub of the 2008 remake keeps all the Japanese names for most characters, with only the first three Yatter mechas keeping their dub names from the 77 series.
    • Also played with in the Italian dub of episode 26, when the Dorombos reunite their expies from other Time Bokan series to form a baseball team: Sukadon from Yattodetaman gets pissed off when the narrator uses his original dub name (Ottobre), while Majo from the original Time Bokan is presented with both her original name and the Italian dub one (Lady Margot).
  • Dress-O-Matic: The Yatter-Jinbee version of the transformation sequence has Gan and Ai being stripped out from their regular clothes while falling down chutes, being shot inside their Yatttermen costumes and then landing inside their boots.
  • Edutainment Show: The first 35 episodes of the 2008 remake have a recurring gag of Dokurobei telling the Dorombos some trivia about the location they're going to in this episode, which is referred to as the "Learn Something, You Ignorants Corner"
  • Gratuitous English: In the 2008 remake, Yatter-Pelican drops the occasional English sentence. He actually gets his segments where he teaches English to the children watching the show in later episodes.
  • Heart Is an Awesome Power: Ai-chan, your typical anime schoolgirl style protagonist, is strangely unaware of how often she tends to use her own sweet nature to solve problems. In the 2008 series, Ai's cuteness is the only thing that motivates both Gan and Yatterwan.
  • Humiliation Conga: While the Doronbo Gang are rarely far from this trope, episode 25.5 of the 2008 series occupies a special place insofar as the gang repeatedly fail even at being themselves in their own anime. They have several encounters with the actors playing themselves in the 2009 live-action movie, who are wildly adored (and have made Doronbo a popular name), but the real Doronbos are never recognised, treated with scorn, and are for once falsely accused of operating a scam business simply for attempting to "pose" as themselves. They even get into a mecha showdown with their actor counterparts, who completely manage to kick their arses. To top it all off, it turns out at the end that Dokurobei knew all along he had sent them on a wild goose chase this time, as the ring they had been seeking was just a trinket he himself had planted very recently. Presumably, he just wanted to see them suffer as much as the fanbase ...
  • Knight of Cerebus: Downplayed with the Dokuro Ring Hunters, a second team of villains that appear in the second half of the show and try to get the Dokuro Rings for themselves. While more efficient and serious than the Dorombos, they still have their comedic moments.
  • Lighter and Softer: Happens twice with the 2008 remake. From the start things like the Dorombo's punishments and Doronjo's Clothing Damage are toned down when compared to the original show, but the last 25 episodes of the show get furthermore toned down since it was moved to a morning time slot. As a result the plots become more streamlined, most of the Parental Bonus jokes and references are gone, new mechas are introduced to sell new toys, Omake segments at the end featuring Fake Interactivity are introduced and so on.
  • Motive Decay: Inverted. In the original series Gan was a stereotypical superhero, who just did good for presumably noble reasons. The 2008 version of Gan, on the other hand, is mostly lazy and has no motivations beyond basic teenage interests, and has to be pulled around by Ai to get anything done.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • The final episode of the 2008 series uses the original 1977 opening, while the ending shows a compilation of scenes featuring the Dorombo Gang from that series.
    • 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.
    • The 2008 series features multiple references to the entire Time Bokan as a whole.
      • The Dorombo mechs feature appearances of many of the small robots from other Time Bokan series alongside the classic pig. Examples include the "Almost got it" alien from Zenderman, the snarky eel and the meteo computer from Time Patrol Tai Otasukeman, the turnip lady from Yattodetaman and the kettle from Ippatsuman.
      • Episode 26 features the Dorombo Gang forming a baseball team alongside some of their counterparts from the other Time Bokan series (Majo from Time Bokan, Donjuro from Zenderman, Atasha from Otasukeman, Sukadon from Yattodetaman, Kosuinen from Ippatsuman and Dasainen from Itadakiman).
      • Reporter Sasayaki from Yattodetaman appears in episodes 28, 35 and 42.
      • Time Travel episodes involve the characters using time tunnels identical to those from the first Time Bokan series, complete with a recreation of the Scanimation effects used in the original show to make the mechs distort in the tunnel.
      • A young Hideyori Toyotomi appears in episode 33 and is given the appearance of Komaro from Yattodetaman, complete with his signature mask on a stick that he uses to make people believe he's a small-sized adult.
      • Gan's dream in episode 57 is a direct reference to the original Time Bokan. Gan, Ai and Omocchama appear dressed up as Tampei, Junko and Perasuke respectively, and the former unveils his latest creation... which is the Time Mekabuton itself.
      • In episode 59, Boyakki calls mecha designer Kunio Okawara to ask him for a mecha he and the others can use to escape from the island they're stranded on. Multiple mechs from past Time Bokan series appear in the background while the narrator explains who Okawara is. At the end, the mecha is delivered to the Dorombos by the Sunday Go spaceship from Otasukeman.
  • On the Next:
    • While the first 35 episodes feature regular next episode previews narrated by Omocchama, the remainder of the series have two variations of the preview: the regular one and one narrated by all of the main characters, with Omocchama and Neeton usually bickering in the process.
    • The final episode features a fake preview that goes completely off the rails, introducing new characters and cameos out of nowhere, having the Dorombos win early on and then turning into a Beach Episode out of nowhere.
  • Product Placement:
    • The Golden Week special features explicit advertising for the show's first tie-in videogame for Nintendo DS and two then upcoming movies (the Live-Action Adaptation of Speed Racer and the twelfth Detective Conan film).
    • Episodes 42, 58 and 60 feature explicit references to McDonald's.
    • Episode 57 has Odate Buta being briefly replaced by Kobuta, the pig mascot of Acecook noodles, who offers his cup ramen to the Dorombo Gang. Acecook noodles reappear briefly in the movie.
  • Series Fauxnale: Episode 35 of the 2008 series. The Dorombos find the fifth and last Dokuro Ring, so they celebrate because the show is over and the bad guys actualy won for once... until out of nowhere Dokurobei arrives and reveals them that he was wrong and there are actually ten Dokuro Rings, meaning the series isn't over yet. And then he leaves them to take care of his grandson Dokubon.
  • Shout-Out:
    • In episode 3 of the 2008 anime, Boyacky suggests to Doronjo and Tonzura that they all should watch "DeathNeet".
    • In episode 13 of the 2008 series, the Dorombo mecha is a duck armed with spring onion-shaped missiles, which is described by Boyakki as being inspired by a popular multimedia franchise. The mecha's name is Kamonegin, which is just a letter away from Kamonegi (the Japanese name for Farfetch'd).
    • In episode 24 of the 2008 remake, Doronjo and Tonzura disguise themselves as Shizuka and Gian from Doraemon. Doubles as Actor Allusion since in the 79 series their voice actors voiced respectively Nobita and Gian.
    • Episode 25.5 of the 2008 anime feature poster of movies that are parodies of Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea, Iron Man and 20th Century Boys.
    • Again in the 2008 anime, episode 3 has Boyacky dressed as Spiderman.
    • Multiple episodes of the 2008 series feature references to Case Closed, as it aired in the time slot right after Yatterman. The Golden Week special actually has Dokurobei promoting the by then recent release of Detective Conan Film 12: Full Score of Fear, while the New Year episode features an appearance of Akira Kamiya (Kogoro's voice actor) As Himself promoting a special episode that was going to air right after.
    • Another recurring shout out from the 2008 series is Boyakki imitating Kamina's "pointing towards the sky" pose before pushing a button on his mecha.
    • Episode 27 features multiple references to Neon Genesis Evangelion. The Dorombo's mecha of the week is a giant replica of Japanese comedian Harumi Edo that is powered by the real Harumi inside an Entry Plug-like battery, while Boyakki keeps doing impressions of Gendo Hikari while talking to and about her.
    • In episode 59, the first two projects Boyakki gets from Kunio Okawara are blurred out, but it's made clear by how the Dorombos react that they're showcasing respectively the RX-78-2 Gundam and Doraemon. The final mech is another Gundam reference, as it's a Dorombo-themed version of the Zeong.
  • Stealth Sequel: The final episode reveals that the series is not a remake of the original series, but rather its sequel. Dokurobei cancelled everyone's memories after he left Earth, and the new series plot was kickstarted when he wanted to visit Japan again 30 years later.

Tropes from the 2009 live-action film:

  • 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.
  • The Cameo: During the Dorombo gang's restaurant scam, they're approached by a trio of customers that are played by Doronjo and Tonzura's original voice actors plus the Time Bokan franchise creator Hiroshi Sasagawa. Tonzura is actually startled when hearing the woman's voice.
  • Darker and Edgier: While the original series had the recurring sight of Doronjo's breasts in almost every episode, the movie ramps up the mature jokes, with stuff like Boyakki rubbing a retracting pole on Yatterman-2's crotch, a scene where Yatterman-1 saves a girl who got stun by a scorpion that is blatantly framed as something way more vulgar, Odate Buta's appearance being a metaphor for Boyakki's erection and the Dorombo mechs featuring obvious sexual imagery (like the "Iron Virgin" as a whole or the squid mech's phallic cannon).
  • The Dog Bites Back: The climax of the live action movie sees the Doronbo Gang teaming up with the Yattermen to defeat Dokurobei. Highlights include Doronjo kicking him in the groin as a payback for years of abuse.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus:
    • In the Yatterman base, the drawing board in the corner shows photos of anglerfishes and design sketches for Yatter-Angler.
    • When the Yattermen are in the pyramid, hieroglyphs on the walls show Yatterwan ejecting his ant-shaped surprise mechs, foreshadowing their usage in the upcoming battle with the Dorombos.
  • Funny Afro: Boyakki is given one when in civilian clothes in the movie.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • The first Dorombo mech seen in the film, Daidokoron, is the same one from the very first episode of the 1977 series.
    • The film's final scene is a shot by shot recreation of the final scene from the original show.
    • While most of the film's imagery is taken from the 77 series, the 2008 remake also gets a nod by featuring a recreation of the sequence of the surprise robots being created inside Yatterwan.
  • Precision F-Strike: Contrasting the series, the Italian dub of the movie tends to have a more risqué, adult language, though it slips into open profanity only three times at all, including Dokurobei calling the Dorombo Gang a "shitty trio" and Omocchama telling the Yattermen to fuck off after their underwhelming reaction to his return from another dimension.
  • Shout-Out: Tonzura's Imagine Spot of him as a wrestler is a parody of Tiger Mask, more precisely of the titular character's fight against Mr. No (here spoofed as "Mr. Yes"). As an extra, the Italian dub adds him screaming Doronjo's name at the end of the fight, in the same vein as Rocky screaming Adrian's name.
  • The Stinger: After the credits, the movie plays a faux "next episode preview" featuring Yatter-Pelican fighting against an improved version of the Dorombo's squid mecha, Doronjo wearing a white version of her usual outfit (described by Omocchama as being a wedding dress) and Dokurobei's brother taking revenge.
  • Stylistic Suck: Tonzula and Boyakki wear blatantly fake noses (and in Boyakki's case moustache too) held up by rubber bands. Boyakki's nose actually briefly detaches from his face when Doronjo kicks him.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: The movie does it with the Yattermen's usage of Yatterwan and later Yatterking to move around. During the former sequence a newspaper ends up on Ai's face and while they're in open sea water keeps splashing all over the Yattermen while their guest companion Shoko hangs on Yatterwan's butt and feels seasick. In the latter sequence, everyone gets motion sickness due to Yatterking rocketing into space (almost crashing on a plane and destroying a satellite in the process) and then falling down to destination.