aka ヤッターマン aka Yattāman

Screenplay by Masashi Sogo
Story by Tatsuo Yoshida
Directed by Takashi Miike

It’s posin’ time!

Yatterman is a big pile of dumb fun. Based on a cartoon show from back in the day (back in the Japan day) of 1977. Smart people (or people who know how to quickly Google things) will know that Yatterman was the second show in the Time Bokan Series, which is a group of cartoons from Tatsunoko Productions. The cartoons evolve and feature similar groups of heroes and villains. Yatterman was the longest running series, and has even sported a revival cartoon in 2008.

Yatterman is about two super-heroes who fight a variety of monsters/giant robots that are the work of the Doronbo Gang, baddies attempting to get the pieces of the Skull Stone together to awful things will happen…and also the Doronbo Gang gets rich. The hero is the teenage son of a toy store owner who has modified his dad’s toys into weapons to fight evil, and does so with his girlfriend. Yes, the concept is nuts, and that’s why we love it.

Subtext? What’s that?

Genre fans of Takashi Miike might be disappointed that there is no slicing of nipples, piano wire, or transexuals firing darts from their vaginas. But then, if that’s still all you expect from Miike by now, you really need to get out more. This isn’t 2001, people. Miike brings his usual over-the-top exuberance to Yatterman, this time translating it into the cartoony style that fits perfectly with the universe.

The Yatterman world is a ridiculous one, but also full of whimsy and wonder. Evil villains scheme and build giant robot machines, but are easily defeated. Characters are both stereotypical archetypes but also complex and developed personalities underneath.

The extra Ds are for a double dose of Doronbo!

Like all the best films, the villains are a thousand times more interesting than the heroes. Lady Doronjo is the hot girl who is evil, yet also hopelessly in love with her biggest nemesis. Tonzura aspires to be a wrestling champion and barely seems evil, while Boyacky is that guy who’s leering at you the entire bus ride. He’s also a mechanical genius and hopelessly in love with Lady Doronjo.

The entire film is packed with sexual innuendo. By innuendo, I mean totally blatant. Giant robots have breasts or what looks suspiciously like a giant wang (and all of these things fire things out of them) and there is a disturbing scene involving robot ants. Yatterman is one big pervert’s paradise.

Throughout the film, The Doronbo Gang embarks in a series of scams to acquire a large amount of money to build their mechanical creations in order to battle the Yatterman squad. Their methods are often genius, and all three of them could easily find legitimate employment and make buckets full of money, but they love the freedom of being able to do whatever they want, and also the dream of getting even richer and more powerful.

This is the best movie ever.

Because this film is weirdtacular and strange, it must be thoroughly examined and gets a full scale breakdown. Yatterman style!

Takada Gan/Gan-chan/Yatterman No. 1 (Sho Sakurai) – Takada Gan is the son of a toy store owner who builds his own mecha out of his father’s toys. Dresses up as Yatterman No. 1 to battle evil, and ropes his girlfriend along with him. Sho Sakurai is part of the male singing group Arashi
Kaminari Ai/Ai-chan/Yatterman No. 2 (Saki Fukuda) – Gan-chan’s girlfriend who goes and plays Yatterman with him as Yatterman No. 2. Becomes rather jealous of Takada Gan as other women begin to show interest in him.
Lady Doronjo (Kyoko Fukada) – Leader of the Doronbo Gang and sexy woman of desire of more than one main character. Wants to be rich, but also wants to settle down and get married. Leads her group’s search of the Skull Stones.
Boyacky (Katsuhisa Namase) – Doronbo Gang member who wears a big nose with big rabbit teeth. He builds all the mecha for the group. Is also a gigantic perv, probably the biggest pervert on the planet. Katsuhisa Namase specializes in playing characters who wear comical wigs, which I didn’t know was a thing.
Tonzura (Kendo Kobayashi) – Tough guy of the Doronbo Gang who wears a pig nose, because wearing animal noses are where it’s at these days. Dreams of becoming an amazing wrestler.
If you count all the skulls in this movie, you will unlock the secret number from the movie Pi!

Ah, Miike…

We start out in a ruined city with the two Yattermans appearing, introducing themselves along with their robot pals. The evil robot destroying the place is the work of the Doronjo gang, and Lady Doronjo orders her two henchmen to attack – Tonzura and Boyacky. They have giant spork weapons that extend and are super powerful, but Gan-chan and Ai-chan make short work of them. That’s what happens when you pick up your weapons at KFC. There is also some Boyacky grabbing his boss’s breasts action for those of you into that sort of workplace sexual harassment thing.

Lady Doronjo and her two henchies get in their cooking-themed giant robot to cause more trouble, because trouble is the name of their game. They start by beating up Yatterwoof, and even block the Mechani-bone that normally gives Yatterwoof super powers to fight the monster of the week. Everything is spoiled when Doronjo accidentally hits the robot’s self destruct and it explodes into a nasty-looking skull-shaped mushroom cloud.

Real teamwork
Yes it is, and yes it does

The Yattermen find a mysterious girl in the ruins who has a glowing skull stone piece she is hiding behind her back. She is Shoko Kaieda, daughter of the noted archaeologist Dr. Kaieda, who you have probably heard of because he’s totally famous. For the one or two of you who don’t read the news or TMZ/Archaeology, Dr. Kaieda has been looking for the skull stone, an ancient and powerful stone that was broken into four pieces and hidden across the globe. Dr. Kaieda has found two pieces, but now an entity named Dokurobe the god of thieves has hired the Doronjo gang to find the pieces, thus the attack on the city. He also punishes them for failure. Dokurobe himself absorbed Dr. Kaieda and claimed one of the stone pieces by doing so.

After all that we finally get to the opening credits, and a narrator explains who the heroes are, the secret base in Takada Toy Store, all that important stuff.

Meanwhile, the Doronbo Gang is selling wedding dresses as a business called Merry Doro. They get a pile of cash that they then dance and sing around. As you may have guessed by now, this film is rather silly, but who can’t love a song that declares Bad Things Are Awesome?

The D stands for “Damn we’re evil!”
It’s the Evil Moses from the Mirror Universe Bible!

Boyacky uses the money to build a new giant robot mecha named Virgin Roader. This Virgin Roader has highly inappropriate giant metal boobs, because everyone knows kids love giant metal boobs. That is a serious sentence, not a joke. Just ask a random kid about giant metal boobs. Make sure you do it in public in front of a police officer.

The Doronbo Gang fantasizes about their reward for getting the skull stone pieces – Boyacky wants all the high school girls in the country, Tonzura wants to be the wrestling champion, and Lady Doronjo wants to be happily married and pregnant.

They blast off in their Mecha for Ogypt, which will be filling in for Egypt today with 1000% more cat-sphinxes. The team rides Yatterwoof hanging off the sides of the vehicle the whole way to Ogypt, Shoko Kaieda cursing them as crazy and waves splashing in their faces. Ai-chan is not happy about Shoko Kaieda coming along, and gets even more upset when Shoko is stung by a scorpion and Gan-chan shoves Ai-chan out of the way repeatedly to suck out the poison.

Call our decoration style “Nightmare Before Christmas” one more time, and we’ll murder you!
The Special Edition changed sooo many things at Jabba’s Palace…

The Virgin Roader attacks right as they find the stone, boob machine guns blasting away, boob missiles blasting away, the whole thing a mess of phallic symbols and mammary symbols. But let’s not stop there, Yatterman must get more perverted, as Yatterwoof pulls out a Mecha Bone, which gives him the power to make mini-mechas. He does, making lots of mecha ants!

Yes, ants. Ants that attack and chew up the Virgin Roader as Yatterwoof is strangely excited by the site. To the point where he goes forward to kiss while the Virgin Roader is screaming “I’m coming!”

This is seriously happening.

I am the keymaster
I am the gatekeeper

Then the Virgin Roader explodes, because female orgasms are way better than dude orgasms or something. Yatterwoof is killed in the blast. Gan-chan saves Doronjo’s life and accidentally kisses her when a rock hits his head. Because that really happens.

The Doronbo Gang are punished again by the evil god guy, while the heroes mourn Yatterwoof’s death. The baddies are rebuilding, Doronjo daydreaming of Gan-chan in the bath when SkullGod talks again. Doronjo’s clothing escaping her is not outside the realm of the original cartoon, as can be seen from this:

The last piece of the skull is in the Halps (The Alps for those of us who live in normal reality!) The Doronjo Gang sets up a sushi shop to scam customers (and to give us cameos from voice actors from the previous incarnation of the Yatterman series.) They once again make a pile of dough, and instead of using it to stay rich, the build the Squid Tagosaku.

Team Rocket!
This hurricane has two eyes, but for some reason they head to a nose..

Omochama disappears just when he is about to tell Gan-chan about the magic skull stone piceces. Things are disappearing because time is realigning, and that if all the pieces are brought together time will stop. When means that Seal song that goes “Time keeps on slipping slipping…” will become meaningless. We can’t let this happen, people!

Gan-chan has built Yatterking out of Yatterwoof’s core parts, and they go to the Halps to confront the Doronjo Gang. But it’s too late, the gang has the last piece of the skull, and the SkullGod has set up a skull fortress complete with ink machine guns that also shock people. Gan-Chan and Ai-Chan battle Doronjo while the mechas prepare to fight. Yatterking pulls out a Super Mecha Bone — which is too heavy to toss up in the air, so he has to run it over!

He can make mini-mechas again, and does so, producing flying fish!

I’m really happy for you, Imma let you finish but
While on Team Evil we…served evil?

But the Squid Tagosaku has it’s own mini-mecha machine, and makes mecha Hamachi (another type of fish)! The two tiny armies battle, with the flying fish squad winning out. But Boyacky has a surprise…the Hamachi can evolve! And they do, becoming giant evolved fish that smash the flying fish. (The flying fish putting up a valiant but futile effort to stop them.) Boyacky sends them to destroy the Yatterking, but instead they attack Squid Tagosaku because they’ve evolved too far and won’t do what they are told anymore. Typical teenagers. Squid Tagosaku is blown up.

Dokurobe god of thieves shows himself and reveals what we already know about how he really is. Thus the final battle is set up, which is notable because they pull a guy out of another guy’s head. How many films have you seen that can promise that?

All movies need mechanical dog bands.
Fighting Fish!

Don’t forget to stay for after the credits, where there is the brother of Dokurobe, the Squid Tagosaku 2, Yatterpelican, and even Doronjo the White! See you next week, same Yatter time, same Yatter channel…

Dangers of the spin cycle!
Kinnikuman Lives!

Rated 9/10 (Bee, bone, skull, just a random dinosaur, tears of honor, skull man, squid ink, space is the final frontier, M.U.S.C.L.E. Man)

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Bonus Images!

Lady Doronjo dreams of a barbershop-fueled future!
Skulls are everywhere…
Let’s see the hipsters copy these styles!
Translating the cartoon to reality does have it’s perks sometimes
RIP Ant Fetish Dog Robot
Yatterman has awesome costumes.
Voice actor guest stars!
Skulls for everyone.

Lady Doronjo Kyoko Fukada

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