Yatta is a 2001 song by a Japanese comedy band called はっぱ隊 (Happa-tai; literally "Leaf Squad" in Japanese, though they called themselves "Green Leaves" in English). Yatta is also a Japanese word meaning "it's done!", "ready!" or "all right!" The song was first performed as a sketch on the Japanese sketch comedy show "笑う犬の冒険" (Warau Inu no Bōken; Adventures of a Laughing Dog), known as "Silly Go Lucky" in the United States, where Happa-tai, a sendup of a stereotypical boy band, is portrayed by some of Japan's most well-known comedians. It became extremely popular on the Internet through the distribution of its music video and also a Flash animation called Irrational Exuberance which used the song (this was a so-called animutation).
The video features its members singing and dancing exuberantly while wearing only underwear with a large green leaf on the front. The song is on the style of an upbeat, motivational pop song, mimicking the style of Japanese corporate anthems, and the six band members' synchronized dancing and personalized poses for the camera parody the boy band craze.
The sketch appears to be at least a partly ironic commentary on attempts by the Japanese government and others to maintain optimism in the face of Japan's severe economic troubles, depicting men impoverished to the degree of having no clothing but the figurative fig leaf (though in this case the leaves are attached to the men's briefs) yet maintaining an irrational, irrepressible belief in their own potential for success. The sketch satirizes many of the stereotypes of Japanese pop culture, including such tropes as a romantic interlude during the song's bridge that takes place on a city street filled with floating sakura blossoms.
On April 18, 2001, the Yatta! single was released under the Pony Canyon label in Japan. It surprisingly hit #6 in the charts, and went triple-platinum in Japan within a number of weeks. While the song was intended to be humorous, the Internet audience in the United States generally assumed it to be earnest, probably due to the obvious work that went into the special effects in the video. The incomprehensibility of such an elaborate video enhanced its popularity among Western audiences who could not understand the Japanese lyrics.
The song and video have since been used as a web culture in-joke on many different websites, akin to All your base are belong to us, and the amount of independent video of various kinds that has referenced or used it is quite prolific. The actors who performed as Happa-tai were even brought to perform "YATTA!" in the United States on Jimmy Kimmel Live. Host Jimmy Kimmel compared himself to Ed Sullivan introducing the Beatles in their first American performance.
Last modified about over 9 years ago.