Anime Meta-Review


Time Bokan: Yattaman


By Date




Title Info

  • seen: 1-2
  • type: TV
  • grade: archaic
  • made: 1976
  • Review created: Recently, but I didn't record the date.
  • mod: none

This serious is either the second season of what began with Time Bokun, or a's not exactly clear which. In any case while it shares many characters with the early series almost everything else is re-started, giving some support for considering it an independant show. Sadly it also differs in quality, which came as a suprise. Indeed I had to go back and watch Time Bokun again just to make sure I was seeing them in the right order.

This series has much less plot. The lead male and female team are back, albeit with a makeover, and their robot offsider has had a significant redesign. The three villains are back, although they now take orders from some mysterious god of crime (and get `humorously' punished by him when they fail). The good guy, who runs a toyshop, has just finished building the marvellous robot `yatterman' to his fathers designs. Having built such a fearsome robot (not, it looks like a robot dog on wheels) they are obviously forced to become super-hero's. Fortunately they always happen to find out what the evil gang are doing and foil their plot to find the four fragments of a treasure map.

The story is sufficiently corny and stock standard that you may wonder why I bothered going into it. The reason is because it is symptomatic of the lack of care that has gone into the whole anime. This is simply corny, inane, badly written trash with none of the humor and character of the first part. The lead characters have minimal logic behind what they are doing, the villains have been reduced to humorous incompetents and the animation quality has got even worse. The mindless plot is fluffed out with formulaic humor scenes, including the villains insane attempts at fund raising (such as selling inflatable cakes in ep.2). This culminates in a battle between yatterman, who has the ability to spawn animal robots of the week when given his bone of mechanical power, and the stupid thematic mecha of the week (cake robot anyone?) which is little more than tedious. Oooops, almost forgot. The humans also fight with the bad guys using cooking implements and the good guys various toys. It's corny, characterless and awfully dire, while at the same time thinking it is being clever. It's also filled with `transform' and song sequences (itai, it hurts!) to pad out the episode. This is just another example that poor writing, careless production and stupid attempts at humor will quickly bury an anime regardless of animation quality. It makes me wonder whether Japan had a `dismal animation' period during the 70's (ish) like the west had.

As fore-warned this has bad animation. That's not a suprise, this is the archaic section after all, but this is bad even when compared to its ancestor. Stupid design, dismal action sequences, humor that simply isn't funny, it all just sucks so hard. The heros are useless (the female doubly so) and all the design looks like some sort of disco nightmare. And the songs, including the final Yatterman themesong, could easily destroy weaker men. Of course if you like archaic animation because you can laugh at how bad it is then you could probably turn all these arguments around. If you wanted to have a good laugh at how bad animation has been in the past this is great material, but for anyone who likes anime the best bet is just to forget this ever existed.

None of my regular sources have a review for this title, but that's not really a suprise.


Words by Andrew Shelton, Web by Ticti, Last Compile: Wed Aug 5 12:39:27 WST 2009