First Look: Yatterman Night

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Alternative titles: Yoru no Yatterman
Anime Original by Tatsunoko Production.
Streaming Pending on Funimation

Premise

Years after a catastrophe blows up the moon and devastates Earth, a young girl named Leopard lives with her mother and her two faithful uncles/servants/henchmen, Voltkatze and Elephantus. The descendents of the notorious Doronjo and her Dorobo Gang, the three live in exile and poverty outside the borders of the Yatter Kingdom, where the corrupt Yattermen live in prosperity. Refusing to accept the fate handed to her by the actions of her ancestors, Leopard takes her destiny into her own hands and begins to wage her war on the Yattermen.

Gee’s verdict: More Yatterman Sins Than Yatterman Crowds

As a fan of the tone dissonant (and gorgeously animated) Casshern Sins, but not so hot on the utterly insane Gatchaman Crowds (and its amazing soundtrack), I was unsure what to make of Yatterman Night. With even less context for Yatterman than the other two, all I really knew going into this was that it involved two plucky kids and some famous female villain in a bondage suit. Regardless of its source material, Yatterman Night is off to a great start as a charming, yet surprisingly dark take on the property. Even without Ryo-Timo, Tatsunoko Production does an impressive job with the animation, with plenty of visual flair and cartoony dynamism throughout the episode. And despite my general wariness of child protagonists, Leopard’s unyielding determination to take fate into her own hands is wholly admirable. Her two Speedwagons are great as well, and I’m looking forward to seeing this trio’s rapport. With things shaping up to be some kind of high adventure with plenty of hijinks, I’m ready to sit down and watch. Overall, Yatterman Night is another surprise from this otherwise unimpressive season and one to keep an eye on.

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Marlin’s verdict: Delightfully Dark

There was quite a bit of charm in this show despite its dour plot threads. I’d enjoy anything that can bring an old-fashioned cartoon feel with a modern style. Leopard is an adorable and endearing protagonist, and that pig is just so cute I could barely contain myself watching. Her two caretakers probably need some more time to develop, but already their devotion makes them instantly likeable. While the tragedy of Leopard’s mother is a bit cliche, I think it’s trying to appeal to that old fashioned sense of tragedy marking the beginning of a journey. Considering they all seem to be starting only slightly stronger than normal humans, I wonder what they’ll do in order to get the upper hand on the evil Yattermen. No matter what, I’m pretty sure I’ll be entertained.

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Iro’s verdict: Stronger Than Expected

I don’t know anything about original-style Yatterman other than that it was a sort of goofy superhero show with a trio of bumbling villains, who ended up more emblematic of the franchise than the heroes themselves. Consequently, it isn’t too surprising to see the “villains” become the stars of the show for Yoru no Yatterman, fighting against an unjust system. Still, I expected something significantly lighter than what we got, and was pleasantly surprised at the show’s willingness to move slowly to lend a bit more emotional weight to the obvious outcome. Tatsunoko puts on some impressive visuals as well, keeping the characters cartoony while still giving them a good bit of heart. Overall, I’m willing to give this new version of an old classic a shot.

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