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Monday, May 25, 2009

Yatterman Info

Yatterman (ヤッターマン, Yattāman?) is a Japanese anime television series first broadcast from January 1, 1977 to January 27, 1979, comprising 108 episodes. It is the second show in the Time Bokan series by Tatsunoko Productions. Preceded by Time Bokan and followed by Zenderman, it was the final series to be produced by company founder Tatsuo Yoshida prior to his death in the same year it premiered.

A remake of Yatterman has been airing on NTV and Yomiuri TV since January 2008, with the original voice actors for the Dorombo gang returning to reprise their roles. A live-action adaptation was released theatrically in March 2009. Both Yatterman and Doronjo appear with their respective partners as playable characters in the Wii-exclusive fighting game, Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All Stars.


A mysterious stone known as Skull Stone (ドクロストーン, Dokurosutōn?)) is currently split apart and scattered across the planet. It is said to have the power to reveal the location of the largest deposit of gold in the world. This legend has entranced the trio of villains in this show: the "Doronbo (ドロンボー, Doronbō?) Gang, who is on a pursue of fame, power and wealth. However, their hunt for the Skull Stone is not as easy as they imagined, mainly due to the faulty information they receive from their leader, and most of all, due to a righteous duo of pursuers called the "Yatterman".

Unlike the previous series, this show does not cover any specifically notable time/space travel (apart from the 38th episode, in which the two sides convert their own mechas into time machines). Instead, the places the characters travel to and the individuals they meet are generally homages (or spoofs) of existing ones (to emphasize that they are NOT actual historical events of characters, but modern ones existing in some other random places of the world). These fictional characters/places are usually represented by purposely misspelled names or familiar actions. For example, a revolution leader is named "Yashington" as a homage of George Washington; and a place resembling ancient Japan is named "Yametai", as a spoof of Yamatai.

However, the climax part of each episode involves a clash between the heroes and the villains, both of whom are after their own goals. As before, the villains have terrible accidents in each episode.



* Gan-chan (ガンちゃん?): (Voiced by Yoshiko Ohta (original)[3], Hiroyuki Yoshino (2008); full name Gan Takada) The 13-year-old son of a famous toy designer who failed to complete the machine of his dreams: the "Yatter-Wan", a dog-shaped all-terrain rescue robot. It is up to Gan, who is actually a genius at mechanics, to fulfill his dream. He forms a fighting team with his girlfriend Ai, and names himself "Yatterman No. 1". His weapon of choice is a kendama which he uses as a flail and grappling hook. )[4]

* Ai-chan (アイちゃん?): (Voiced by Mari Okamoto[5] (original), Shizuka Itō (2008); full name, Ai Kaminari) Gan's girlfriend and the only daughter of a shopkeeper who sells electrical appliances. She is a loyal follower of Gan and helps foil the Dorombo Gang's plans. She is often seen constructing and modifying machines with Gan. She is "Yatterman No. 2", and uses a telescoping baton which is able to emit electric currents to shock opponents. [6]

* Omotchama (オモッチャマ, Omocchama?): (Voiced by Reiko Katsura[5] (original), Chiaki Takahashi (2008)) A robot built by Gan, it serves as the mascot of the toy shop run by Gan's father. It is shaped like a large die, and is known for its catchphrase "-da-koron" at the end of every sentence. Its voice introduces the next episode just before the end credits.[7]


* Doronjo (ドロンジョ, Doronjo?): (Voiced by Noriko Ohara)[5] - An attractive blonde who leads Boyacky and Tonzra in their attempts to locate the Dokuro Stone, and bosses them around constantly. She is known for her vanity, her intelligence and leadership, just like her counterpart, Marjo, from Time Bokan. She and her two henchmen all follow the orders of Dokurobei, their ever-mysterious leader.[8]

* Boyacky (ボヤッキー, Boyakki?): (Voiced by Jōji Yanami)[5] - A tall skinny man with a large nose and a moustache, just like his counterpart Grocky in Time Bokan.[9]

* Tonzra (トンズラー, Tonzuraa?): (Voiced by Kazuya Tatekabe)[5] - A short, squat man with a severe overbite and facial stubble, just like his counterpart Walther in Time Bokan. [10]

* Dokurobei (ドクロベエ, Dokurobē?): (Voiced by Junpei Takiguchi)[5] - The rarely seen boss of the Dorombo Gang. He gives orders regarding the location of the Dokuro Stone to his subordinates in unusual ways (such as through a talking hamburger or the image of a red skull on a TV screen), despite the constant inaccuracy of this information each time. He is also always quick to punish the trio after their defeat through seemingly natural disasters. He is a Hanshin Tigers fan.

Other characters

* Narrator: Kei Tomiyama, Kōichi Yamadera (2008)

The Machines

* Yatter-Bark (ヤッターワン, Yattā-Wan?) (Voiced by Masaru Ikeda, Kōichi Yamadera (2008))

This dog-shaped robot was designed by Gan's father as a prototype rescue robot, but was never constructed. It is finally completed by Gan in the first episode and is immediately put into action against the Dorombo gang. It is fitted with a siren and a bell like other rescue vehicles, and also a joystick (all of these are operated by the robot itself) which control the various other features of the robot. Unlike the "time bokan" series of time machines in the original show, it does not provide a cockpit for the crew--the robot is clever enough to obey the words of the Yatterman duo, who simply hang on to its sides.

The robot itself does not pack much of a punch in terms of combat strength (save for its nostrils which fire iron pellets, and the two firehoses on its back). In fact, it is often temporarily defeated each time by the villains' mecha in later episodes. One element, though, remains the key feature to the heroes' turning point: a bone-shaped power pack, known as "Mecha-Tonic" as Gan has named it, is usually fed to the dog robot on its very point of total defeat, allowing a sudden outburst of strength to ward off a deadly blow from the enemy mecha. It will then proudly announce (with the aid of three tiny dog-shaped robots popping out of its chest and do a drum roll) and perform its special attack--a large group of miniature robots, usually taking the shapes of land-based animals, that comes out of its mouth. The mini-robots that appear are random, but they have something to do with the weakness of Dorombo's mecha. The mini-robots use their weapons on the enemy, causing the Dorombo's mecha to explode and create a skull-shaped explosion cloud, leaving just pieces of scrap metals, and a very dirty, tattered villain trio behind.

* Yatter-King (ヤッターキング, Yattā-Kingu?): (Voiced by Masaru Ikeda)

After Yatter-Bark is seriously damaged by the Dorombo's mecha in the 45th episode, Gan has rebuilt its remains into this robot. This new version of Yatter-Bark is now Yatter-King, a much larger machine which resembles a crossover of a fire engine and a dachshound. It comes with a complete series of new features, include a tail that serves as a firehose, a projectile launcher on its rear body, and most importantly, a body that serves as a mecha-carrier for a series of smaller robots (introduced below).

* Yatter-Pelican (ヤッターペリカン, Yattā-Perikan?): (Voiced by Masaru Ikeda, Kōichi Yamadera (2008)) A pelican robot. First appeared in the 14th episode, it is constructed by Gan as an airborne mecha for the Yatterman duo. It is known for its braggard, loud-mouthed personality as well as a sing-song voice when announcing its victory or special attacks. This mecha feeds on a fish-shaped Mecha Tonic for a power boost, and the mini-robots it releases are mainly shaped like various kinds of birds.

* Yatter-Angler (ヤッターアンコウ, Yattā-Ankō?): (Voiced by Masaru Ikeda, Kōichi Yamadera (2008)) A goosefish robot. First appeared in the 27th episode, it is constructed as the only all-terrain mecha for the Yatterman, and is equipped with a cockpit for underwater travels. It is seen in the 29th episode serving as a spaceship. The Mecha-Tonic it consumes is in the shape of a fish-roe (can also be fed from a mouth-like opening on the dashboard), and releases mini-robots shaped like marine creatures. It has a funny, constantly gurgling voive as if talking underwater.

* Yatter-Phant (ヤッターゾウ, Yattā-Zō?): (Voiced by Masaru Ikeda) An elephant robot. This machine is first introduced in the 92nd episode as an alternate mecha-carrier alongside Yatter-King. Its most noticeable feature is its ears which can flap to allow its flight (much like Dumbo, the flying baby elephant from the Disney cartoon), and its trunk which serves as a water-hose/flamethrower.

* Yatter-Bull (ヤッターブル, Yattā-Buru?): (Voiced by Masaru Ikeda) A bulldog robot. One of the three "Action Mechas" firstly introduced in the 58th episode and carried by Yatter-King.

* Yatter-Dozilla (ヤッタードジラ, Yattā-Dojira?): (Voiced by Masaru Tanaka) A dinosaur robot.

* Yatter-Panda (ヤッターパンダ, Yattā-Panda?) & Little Panda (コパンダ, Ko-Panda?): (Voiced by Masaru Ikeda & Kumiko Takizawa)

* Yatter-Yokozuna (ヤッターよこづな, Yattā-Yokozuna?): (Voiced by Kenichi Ogata) A sumo robot.

The Villain's Machines Unlike the previous show in the series, the villains in this show uses no recurring mecha. The shape and function of their machines is fully dependant on the theme of the scam-businesses they run at the beginning of each episode (for example, in the first episode in which they run a restaurant which sells inedible foods, their mecha is built like a humanoid pile of cooking tools). These machines usually feature a familiar interior with Boyacky and Tonzler sitting at the sides, and Doronjo sitting in the middle bossing the two.

The villains' machines is often seen packing a lot of weaponrie devices and are often seen temporarily defeating Yatterman's mechas at the beginning of each fight. Later in the show, the villains start to deploy their own armies of miniature robots to counter those of Yatterman's. However, this feature's effect is minimal in terms of stopping themselves blown up and looking very defeated.

2008 remake

See also: List of Yatterman Remake episodes.

In January 2008, almost 31 years after the beginning of the original series, a remake started airing on Yomiuri TV. It is basically a retelling of the original story updated to fit the tastes of a more modern public. The major changes are as follows: Albeit the "Dorombo (ドロンボー, Doronbō?) Gang" has stayed the same with the same three voice actors (however unlike the old version, Doronjo started to have feelings since episode 11). Since the first episode, the Skull Stone (ドクロストーン, Dokurosutōn?)) was replaced with the "Skull Rings", able to grant every wishes to the being able to collect them. Gan, still a young genius, is now a slacker, easily distracted (he is shown being able to rebuild Yatterwan almost effortlessly, but preferring to play with the toys in the shop and slacking off), and a foil for the more serious, reliable and responsible Ai. Ai-chan itself is now mellowed in a cuter, childlike personality, at least in her flirtatious relationship with Gan-chan. In the revealing of the myth, Gan decides to pick up the unfinished Yatter-bark, and finish it as a birthday gift for Ai. This is to ease her desire to go driving with her crush (being underage they couldn't get a driver's licence). As a gift for Ai-chan, and displaying some degree of preference for her instead of his creator, Yatterwan (still a sentient mecha) appears now more inclined to follow every whim and order of his mistress instead of the ones given by Ganchan himself. Aside from this quirk, Yatterwan is still the same, acting in battle as his former incarnation.

The plot has stayed largely the same, sporting an episodic structure in which the Doronbo Gang plots a scam, that usually backfires in a spectacular way; they're engaged by Dokurobee to get the Dokuro Ring hidden elsewhere with a new mecha of their own making, they're stopped by Yatterwan, with the surplus energy given by the "Mecha Food" supplied by Ai-chan, and they are left tattered and in rags to be punished by Dokurobee himself.

Live-action movie
Main article: Yatterman (2009 film)
Logo for the new Yatterman movie

On April 10, 2007, Nikkatsu Corporation agreed the production of two live-action movies based on two popular 1970's anime series: Yatterman and Ninja Science Team Gatchaman.

Filming began on March 27, 2008[11], and concluded at the end of May 2008.[11]. It is directed by Takashi Miike, who will display his ability at light-hearted action films in such films as Zebraman, a family oriented superhero movie. Along with Ichi Miike has directed several other anime to live film adaptions. Character and mechanical designs were handled by Katsuya Terada, who has worked on Blood: The Last Vampire and Cutie Honey.

The film opened on March 7, 2009, and became Japan's top movie at the box office on its first week.

Unlike the anime series, film's original love story happens.[clarification needed] With Gan-chan3 in the center, Ai-chan, Doronjo, and Shoko will have a "love square battle". While Shoko will work with Ai-chan and Gan-chan3, she starts to like him.


Sho Sakurai of the J-pop group Arashi will be playing Gan-chan3, Japanese actress Saki Fukuda will be playing Ai-chan, Kyoko Fukada will be playing the Dorombo Gang leader, Doronjo, with Kendo Kobayashi playing Tonzura, and Katsuhisa Namase rounding out the trio as, Boyakki. On May 10, 2008, it was announced Anri Okamoto will play the original film-only character, Shoko.

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