Also my face during Yoru no Yatterman’s filler episodes.
A Promising Beginning:
I don’t think I’ve ever watched an anime as inconsistent as Yoru no Yatterman. It’s been one hell of a journey, so I think it only makes sense to start from the beginning – and what a beginning it was. I didn’t have any expectations going in, so when I watched episode one, the first thing I had to do was write a post for it. I was blown away, it was the perfect balance of comedy and drama. I remember being so excited about the series after that, since it had proven itself from the starting line. After the death of her mother, I thought Leopard would make a promising protagonist, and Voltkatze and Elephantus would be suitable sidekicks.
When Gachan and Ally joined the team, I thought they made good additions. Their first encounter with the new Doronjo was funny and sweet, but there were hints of a tragic backstory lingering beneath the surface. For the most part, I enjoyed them – probably the most out of the entire cast. By the third episode, everything was going well, and my expectations were rising.
A Terrible Middle:
And then it crashed. From episode four to nine, all we got was pointless, stupid, irrelevant filler that did nothing to bring out the best parts of the series. The emotional drama was essentially erased from existence. The one-off stories were all kinds of ridiculous, from road races, to underwater palaces, to escorting a baby dinosaur to its mother. The most promising part of an otherwise awful middle part was the backstory with Ally’s father. That could have been done better, but I caught on quite quickly and wasn’t too disappointed with the reveal. But that was the one good egg in a rotten batch.
I was so disappointed, week after week, because the Yoru no Yatterman that had presented itself in the first few episodes seemed like a long forgotten dream, and what was being delivered instead was a genuine nightmare. I don’t know if many people enjoyed those self-contained episodes, but I sure as hell didn’t. The comedy that I thought was funny in the beginning was turned sour, repetitive, and as a result, irritating. At its lowest, Yoru no Yatterman was the worst anime I’d forced myself through in a long time. I’ve seen worse shows, but I tend to drop them after the first episode (or even before the first episode finishes) but Yoru no Yatterman showed promise in the beginning. I was ready to accept whatever ridiculous ending was going to thrown in my face, and forever remember Yoru no Yatterman as a terrible shame.
An Ambitious End:
And then… it got better again. The third and second last episodes weren’t that good, but they were an improvement on what had come directly before. The comedy was still lost on me, but once the crew managed to get to the Yatter Metropolis and return to the actual plot, I found myself not hating what I was watching anymore. The twist with the final villain was pretty smart, and not one I had considered. Illusions were prevalent through the episodes, for the main characters, as well as those living in the Yatter Kingdom. Having that reveal to shock the characters and the audience at the same time was probably the best thing that could have happened.
The last episode hasn’t long aired, and I’m actually annoyed with it. Part of me wishes it had just slipped down to the irrelevance of the middle episodes, so that I could finish it, say that Yoru no Yatterman was a failure of a show, and never have to recommend it to anyone. But the last episode was a complete return to form. Ambitious is the word I’d use to describe it. The story was serious again, the characters had their emotional outbursts, and the final battle, although convenient as hell, was a thrill to watch. Most of the episode looked wonderful, with fluid and dynamic key animation at its best moments. But there’s also the fact that some parts were unfinished, and scenes had to be recycled and reedited to cover that up (very poorly). Apparently the animators have apologised and asked viewers to watch the Blu-ray release, but frankly, I’ll take an expressive and clumsy episode to something without errors, but lacking in oompfh. The climax we got was exciting, fitting for the absurdness of the series, but also proved that it still had the raw strengths of the first episode in its back pocket. I just wish every episode was the same as the first and last – if that were the case, this could have been one of the best of the season. But the fact is, most of what we got was poor, unfunny, and pointless. Consistency would have been a blessing here.