There are still two weeks to go until Halloween, but pumpkin-carving in Japan is already in full swing! And it looks like it’s the new kid on the anime block, Yo-kai Watch, that’s getting all the jack-o-lantern attention this year.
When I used to teach kids in Japan, there were some elementary students who, upon being given a worksheet, would immediately turn any circle on the page into Doraemon’s face. Now, it seems, the face of choice to draw (or indeed carve) into any empty circular space is Jibanyan’s!
Japanese site Naver Matome put together a huge collection of jack-o-lanterns made into characters from hit anime Yo-kai Watch. We have to say, the standard is pretty high. So let’s get the pumpkin rolling!
▼ It’s Jibanyan!
こだれでら (@kodaredera) September 10, 2014
▼ Here’s what Jibanyan looks like when not made out of pumpkin. As you’ll see, he’s already orange, making him the ideal candidate for a squash carving.
▼ This next fan has taken a different approach, carving a solid Jibanyan sculpture out of the whole pumpkin!
あに (@ani031) September 28, 2014
▼ “Today’s work!” declares this pumpkin artist. “I finally caught up with the Youkai Watch bandwagon.”
今日の私の仕事は、かぼちゃだから！と言われ、作ったかぼちゃジバニャン。 とうとう流行りに乗ってしまった☺︎☻ http://t.co/y1wfh9hpoa—
なかじぃ (@wing3594) October 06, 2014
▼ “This year’s jack-o-lantern! Last year’s was Anpanman”. Times change, Anpanman. Times change.
今年のハロウィンのカボチャくんです。 ジバニャンです(^o^)v 去年は、アンパンマンだったけど(*^^*) http://t.co/Q2Kj1jGewc—
kumiko mori (@kumikomori1) October 03, 2014
▼ I think we have a winner! Not strictly speaking a carved pumpkin, but beautifully painted!
うさぎ先生 (@usagisensei365) September 20, 2014
▼ As for old-fashioned carved jack-o-lanterns, this one is impressive. The dark skin of the kabocha makes a great spooky backdrop, too.
妖怪荒北ホモニャンすがわら (@sgwraaaa) August 19, 2014
Jibanyan wasn’t the only Yo-kai Watch character getting the Halloween treatment, though. There are plenty of other little monsters making an appearance!
▼ Hangin’ out with Whisper!
かぼちゃのカービング☆『妖怪ウォッチ コマさん』ほりました♪(∩´∀｀)∩ #妖怪ウォッチ http://t.co/jSp9d59fV8—
えいちるん。 (@eichirun) September 11, 2014
▼ Here’s what Whisper and Koma look like in non-vegetable form.
Of course, not all Youkai Watch jack-o-lanterns are created equal…
▼ “Yesterday at the supermarket I found this carelessly-made Jibanyan.”
きみこ(*･ω･)*_ _))ﾍﾟｺﾘﾝ (@min_min_mi_min) October 05, 2014
There are even some Pokémon lanterns on show!!
▼ You still got it, Pokémon! Don’t let those newcomers oust you yet!!
Mitchell Clay (@MitchellrClay) October 07, 2014
▼ Someone still chooses you!
Engel Dreizehn (@Engel_Dreizehn) October 01, 2014
Oh…these aren’t from Japan. I guess Pokémon is still the anime of choice for character carvers outside Japan. In fact, Pokémon even sells official pumpkin patterns, and has been asking for photos of fans’ finished jack-o-lanterns with the hashtag #PokemonHalloween.
Next year, though, all the cool kids might be tweeting #Yo-kaiWatchHalloween. Or, they might not, if Yo-kai Watch turns out to be a flash in the anime pan – or, indeed, if it doesn’t get an English dub anytime soon.