I’ve never seen the 70’s anime Yatterman, mainly because I don’t think it’s been licensed here in the states. But I do remember seeing some of the characters and learning about the show when Tatsunoko vs Capcom was released some years ago. So it goes without saying I was surprised to learn of a follow up series that was handled by Funimation called the Yatterman Night: The Complete Series. Turns out it’s a wild, crazy but sometimes touching anime that any anime fan can watch and enjoy.
Running across twelve episodes, this series picks up after the 70’s show, where the heroic Yatterman and his friends fought against the evil Doronbow and stopped their evil plans for the world. Now years later, things are reversed as Yatterman has become evil and runs everything like a corrupt tyrant. A young girl named Leopard takes it upon herself to form a new Doronbow with the help of some descendants from the original group named Voltkatze and Elephantus, as well as two people they meet along the way named Gatchan and Alouette, and put an end to Yatterman and his evil ways.
Only having twelve episodes long means the series is short and sweet for the most part. There are some parts that drag things out or seem out of place, but the fun shines through in the form of the chemistry between Leopard and her crew. Voltkatze and Elephantus serve as the comic relief, while Gatchan and Alouette bring a little more drama and fun to the table. They’ll need to keep things lively, as the world they come from is full of doom and gloom, which is where the series sometimes loses focus as it can’t decide if it wants to be a campy fun show or a seriously dark one. It’s still interesting to see it through and watch how it handles both of these things when they show up. There’s also some fun cameos from other Tatsunoko titles, such as the Mach 5 from Speed Racer making an appearance that’s sure to bring a smile to those who grew up with those classic anime shows.
With this being a DVD release, the visuals and audio come through pretty well, but it would’ve been nice to see this in high definition. There’s sadly a lack of any special features or extras, but the series itself should be more than enough to satisfy those who watch.
If you’re looking for something light to watch that crosses between campy fun and serious tones every so often, you’ll want to take the Yatterman Night: The Complete Series set for a spin. While it can be a little cliched at times, a nice cast of characters drives this series and will have you chanting “Yatter” before you know it.