As someone who never completely outgrew his love of animation and video games, I try to at least keep up with what’s popular with kids in Japan. I can identify Pikachu, Squirtle, and a handful more of the cute cockfighting stand-ins from Pokémon. If I visit my in-laws and my nieces are watching an episode of PreCure, I know that it’s about a team of friends who fight evil with their magical powers (even if I have no idea how one of the girls got stuck with “The bursting scent of lemons!” as her special ability).
Still, until recently I hadn’t heard a single thing about Yo-Kai Watch, Japan’s current megahit among the elementary school set. At first I thought this was weird, but as it turns out Yo-Kai Watch’s popularity isn’t in spite of people in my age group not knowing about it, but because of it.