a review by Nalini Haynes
Director: Takashi Miike
Runtime: 107 minutes
Yatterman is a two person team, Gan (Yatterman 1) and his girlfriend Ai (Yatterman 2) along with their robots who include Yatterwoof (a dog/vehicle) and Toybotty. Their nemesis is a trio of evil, Lady Doronjo, Boyacky and Tonzuraa who make up the Doronbo team, who have their own mechanic army and vehicle.
Every week the mild mannered Yatterman team transform into their super hero alter egos at 6:30 on Saturday to battle it out with the Doronbo team. Although this movie is mostly live action with support from CGI and the occasional interjection of traditional anime, this is definitely aimed at the anime audience. Yatterman was originally an anime that ran from 1977 to 1979. I haven’t seen the original, but my guess is that the original was the basis for this spoof of the anime genre, Japanese culture and famous movies world-wide.
Anime is particularly spoofed in this movie, with ‘fan services’ galore. There are close ups of mechanical creations. The villainess wears a dominatrix outfit. In one scene Japanese school girls are piled in a mountain and in another, two school girls run away flashing their knickers. After winning, the Yatterman team do a silly dance step and even sing about it through the movie. Iron chef, marketing, traditional Japanese theatre, Indiana Jones and Star Wars are all spoofed – even a nipple gun is featured (see the Star Wars Charity Gala Dinner for an explanation or look below*).
There is a lot of innuendo throughout the movie, including phallic symbols and a scene involving sucking scorpion poison out of a woman’s upper thigh. Yatterman is probably going to be M rated. This movie is so intentionally bad it is funny, but I suspect those who will appreciate it most are the anime fans with a good dose of geek.
* Excerpt from Star Wars Charity Gala Dinner:
Best overall costume went to Mike Laizans with jokes made about an unfortunate growth. His ‘growth’ was an ‘Ion cannon’, known around the world by Geek boys every where as the nipple gun.
This review was previously published in Dark Matter issue 2, January 2011, and predated on this website to reflect the original publication date.