Yatterman Night is another anime which is a spin off from a much earlier anime from the 80s. It was made to commentate the 40th anniversary of Tatsunoko’s Time Bokan series.
The Yatterman were heroes who thought against the legendary thieves the Dorombo Gang, once lead by the beautiful Dokurobei. Once Dokurobei was defeated, the gang were exiled by the Yatterman who built a paradise which the descendants of the gang were forbidden to enter. Years later and things have become night. The Yatterman have become corrupt, spreading fear and sadness among its people.
After the death of her mother, Leopard, the nine year old descendant of Dokurobei decides to bring down the Yatterman and give them a good finger flicking by reforming the Dorombo Gang. Leopard is a stubborn girl and very much a brat of the worse degree. She is also the light in the darkness, the one who refuses to give up no matter what. Her overwhelming optimism sometime the only thing which keeps her and the gang going. She also can’t stand to see people cry and tries to help everyone she and her partners, Voltkatze as ‘Boyacky’ and Elephantus as ‘Tonzra’ come across. Both men are very loyal to the young Leopard having promised her mother to take good care of her. Voltkatze is the brains of the group able to make robots out of seemingly nothing. Elephantus is the brawn and muscle of the group. Who spends which of his time feeding up the groups pet pig Odasama.
Along their travels they pick up to more members, Gatchan and Alouette. Both with heavy burdens because of the Yatterman as well. Alouette is blind and calls the Leopard her angel.Who will reunited her with her parents who were taken away to work in the labour camps. The truth is they are dead, but Ally refuses to believe it. Alouette lives in a state of denial. Refusing to see what is in future of her. Only living in deluded hope.
This anime is strange in that I’m not sure they knew who they were pitching it too. Its got so many elements of being a child anime. Robots being built out of nothing. Team Rocket type gags of people getting blown away into the distance. Yet the story is dark. A dystopia where the heroes have gone bad and people live in misery. The episodes don’t always end on a happy note. Our heroes do not always win the day and at least once you see someone lose all hope they had. You watch someone break from the stain of surviving in such a hell which is this world.
Leopard gets annoying, constantly going on about giving the yatterman a finger flicking. Alouettes detachment from reality is frustrating and your heart goes out to her. But its only adds to the story and how desperate the world as become. The ‘lesson’ at the end of the story is a hard one to accept as something which should actually follow. The world needs the bad guys to stay the bad guys and the good guys to be the good guys. You can’t change peoples thoughts of others and you can only make it so they even if the bad guys are the good guys, they look bad while saving everyone’s ass. Its a hard lesson to learn and bitter one because the truth is, that is how the world really works. If A large group of people get taught that Team A are evil their entire life, it does not matter if that is a lie, they will always be evil to them. Indivuals can change. Groups are harder.
I give this anime a silver. It is a good anime. Its entertaining and the twist was not something I was expecting. But it was a very strange anime. Which very conflicting themes and not clear just who it was aimed for. The ending as well was slightly anti climatic, but it was sweet in its own way. I love the ending touch as well of having the orginal voice actor say the final line. Very moving.