Review of Yatterman

Yatterman (2009)
A Fun Film
29 March 2009
Yatterman is one of those films that is best appreciated by fans of the very funny animated television series. I can't give it more than a six for that reason, but I happen to be one of the show's veteran fans and would rate it much higher at a Yatter-convention. The story is about Gan Takada, a mechanically-inclined boy and Ai Kaminari, his cute cohort who, in the original 1977 television series and its 2008 reprise, do weekly battle against the forces of evil--namely a woman named Doronjo and her two male cohorts, Boyacky and Tonzler. Behind the scenes on the evil side, there's an unseen character named Dokurobe who sends the trio through time and space on a quest for items which, if assembled, will allow him his dream of ultimate power. Each side pits a humorous array of robots and mechanisms against each other. Besides the obvious improvements in animation technology over the last thirty years, there are other differences between the two series. Gan is lazier in the new series, Ai is more possessive, and Doronjo's outfit is sexier. However, I still prefer the original series--and I'm not alone. Doronjo is the main difference. She was a much more likable character in the '70s version--and I have to admit she was one of the draws that kept me coming back to the TV every week. Takashi Miike did his best to follow the original series and, in doing so, kept the target demographic in the teen to adult range. Miike made Donojo a very likable character--and the drop-dead gorgeous Kyoko Fukada fills that character--and (you've got to see it to believe it) costume--very well. Miike also restored Boyacky to a pathetic genius with an unrequited crush on a Doronjo who plays him like a fiddle. He also restored Gan to status of willing hero and lowered Ai's maintenance level a notch. He also restored the '70s Yatter-policy of not providing real names of people or places. In this movie, for example, they travel to Ogypt and the Southern Halps. All in all, it's a fun movie and is worth seeing if it passes through your town or your video rental store.
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