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Yatterman was a late 1970s Japanese animated children's television series that pitted the son of a toy store owner and his girlfriend against a group of gold seeking villains. Takashi Miike is a controversial Japanese film director whose scenes of horror, gore and perversion have gotten his films banned in several countries.
In March 2009 Miike's adaptation of Yatterman in the form of a live action motion picture will be released in Japan (the premier was February 6 at the New York Comic Con). This is quite a match up, but fans of Yatterman (sometimes spelled Yattaman or Yattaaman) should have nothing to be worried about. Miike has previously directed a handful of mainstream movies, including films for children, so he is quite capable of making a decapitation-free movie.
The Yatterman Universe
The kid who is the hero of the Yatterman series, Gan Takada (Gan-chan), is himself a mechanical genius like his toy designer father. He carries around a souped up kendama in a holster on his left hip and during the climax of each episode he saves the day by using the kendama as a sort of whip/nunchaku/flail/grappling hook.
Gan's girlfriend is Ai Kaminari (Ai-chan).
The villains are lead by the leather-clad blond bombshell Doronjo, who in turn reports to a mysterious boss, Dokurobei.
Implications of the Miike Yatterman Movie
What does the release of the Yatterman movie mean to kendama fans? We at Kendama.net predict that if this movie is released in the United States, it will spur an explosion in the popularity of the kendama. Young men who are adept at the kendama will find themselves surrounded by female admirers.
To prepare for this eventuality, we recommend the purchase of numerous kendamas. There is still plenty of time to learn the necessary tricks, if you practice daily.
Japan's Cut Magazine recently featured an interview and photo session with Takashi Miike and actor Sho Sakurai (who plays Gan in the movie). Sakurai was photographed while playing with a glassy all-black kendama, unlike the Jules Verney/Geigeresque contraption that his character uses in the movie.