Jibanyan is nyat so popular anymore.
“It’s like cutting up a monster and spilling its dark blood.” -Mr. Sato
What were you expecting?
Why did Bill Trinen eat all the doughnuts? Yo-kai is why!
Level-5, the game developer behind hits such as Ni no Kuni, Professor Layton and the mega-popular Yo-Kai Watch, are no strangers to success. They’ve even turned their mega-hit Yo-Kai Watch into an ongoing 90-episode anime series. Since then, the popularity of the show, the game and the characters has really risen, especially Jibanyan, who has surpassed Pikachu in popularity. It was only a matter of time before this huge hit would dip a toe into international waters, and on Disney XD it finally happened.
A TV show about spirits based on Japanese folklore would probably have needed a few adjustments when screened for a Western audience, so we were wondering, what did they decide to name their main character in the English version?
No trip to the Kansai region is complete without a visit to Universal Studios Japan. With a wide range of attractions featuring beloved franchises from Harry Potter to Resident Evil, it’s got something for everyone, and it’s definitely not just for kids!
Having said that, we’re betting that kid-favourite mega-series Yo-Kai Watch‘s attraction is going to be bringing in a lot of little ones and parents when it opens this summer! (Hey, it’ll free up the other attractions for the rest of us!)
We’ve talked a lot before about how Yo-kai Watch has overtaken Pokémon as the phenomenally popular kids’ franchise of choice, and a lot of it is down to its loveable orange ghost-kitty mascot, Jibanyan. With the people behind Yo-kai Watch gearing up to bring the insanely popular series to the West (and believe us, there will be no escape), Jibanyan’s starting to get even busier lately.
Recently, he met up with the governor of Hawaii for a promotional campaign to get Japanese kids excited about having a holiday in Hawaii (as if that wasn’t exciting enough!). But we suspect that Jeeby’s trying to get in with the right people in order to satisfy his plans for complete global domination!
On 13 February, American toymaker Hasbro announced they will begin shipping merchandise based on the anime/manga/game/toy phenomenon Yo-kai Watch all over the world next year.
This is fantastic news here at RocketNews24 because now we know how to spell the damn thing in English, but for many parents around the world it’s something to be concerned about.
Soon, you might wonder why your little one suddenly needs $300 to buy a plastic watch that holds pogs while also having a keen understanding of Japanese folklore. So, why not get ahead of the game and study up a little before it comes to your country and possesses your children. As a father who has lived through this I’ll try to share some tips in a brief parent’s guide to Yo-Kai Watch.
Last summer, we took a look at a series of ads from Okinawa’s Bank of the Ryukyus, known locally as Ryugin, that featured magical girl idol singers and giant robots. Those are certainly more visually appealing images than a staid banker or graphs explaining interest fees, but if we’re being totally honest, the sort of CG animation shown in the commercials really isn’t Japan’s forte.
Where the country’s artists really shine is in a more traditional discipline that mimics the style of hand-drawn artwork, regardless of whether or not it’s done with pencil and paper or all on a computer. Thankfully, that’s just what we get in the bank’s newest ad, which comes from one of anime’s top veteran action directors, plus one of its most accomplished voice actors.
Earlier this week, a Japanese driver noticed something strange on the highway: A truck carrying a giant Pikachu. However, the poor Pikachu couldn’t see where he was going due to his eyes being covered by a cloth. This image has led many netizens to think the worst about where that truck was heading…
If you’ve been living under a rock for the past year or two, you might have missed a significant change taking place in Japanese popular culture. What are we talking about? Why, adorable collectible monster franchise Youkai Watch, of course! The Youkai Watch series, which comprises manga, anime and video games has been steadily and skilfully easing itself onto the comfy throne once monopolized by Pokémon. Kids are going crazy for it, adults are being driven crazy over it, and poor old Pikachu and pals are being seriously left in the dust. Now, Youkai Watch has pulled off another victory over Pokémon by stealing its role as McDonald’s go-to calendar star.
In recent months, there’s been no video game or anime franchise more popular among Japanese kids than Yo-Kai Watch. The story of kids teaming up with traditional youkai spirits (some of whom look like adorable kitty-cats), seems to have landed right in the sweet spot between adventurous, cute, and traditional, making it a huge hit for creator Level-5 (and promotional partner McDonald’s).
As a matter of fact, Yo-Kai Watch has even been gaining traction against Pokémon, the reigning champion of kids’ entertainment in Japan for the last decade-plus. Now, one fan seems to be turning Yo-Kai Watch’s towards another anime institution, by combining its characters with the giant robots of Gundam.
Last weekend, McDonald’s Japan launched a new Happy Meal, or “happy set” as they’re known here. As with all of the fast food giant’s kid-centric food boxes, these sets come bundled with a gift guaranteed to appeal to children so much that they’ll bug their parents incessantly to take them to the Golden Arches.
This time, however, the bundled gift was a little bit more special than usual, with McDonald’s securing a deal to offer sets of arcade cards for anime sensation Yo-Kai Watch. While that name not (yet) mean much to anime and Happy Meal fans in the West, this collaboration pretty much allows McDonald’s Japan to print money, and there were lines out of the door at dozens of locations from the moment the sets went on sale.
In case you hadn’t heard, the newest big hit in Japan is the not-Pokémon–sensation Yo-kai Watch. The franchise is about kids who find and train youkai, “spirits” from Japanese folklore, and then pit the trained creatures against evil youkai, making it absolutely nothing like Pokémon. At all.
Well, while some of us may be skeptical that this isn’t just a palette-swapped Pokémon, there is no doubt of the franchise’s insane popularity! In addition to inspiring stock market confidence, it looks like the Yo-kai Watch is also inspiring artists who are sharing their works on Twitter. That’s a win-win for everyone involved!
Right now there’s no hotter anime or video game franchise among kids than Yo-kai Watch. While we’re sure the high standards of quality at creator Level-5 are a huge factor in its success, at least some fans of the ostensibly for-kids series have said that part of the appeal is that grown-ups haven’t started horning in on tykes’ turf in the same way they have with other popular franchises.
The borders to their children’s paradise might be fading, though, as this video, showing a young lady dancing her heart out to the Yo-Kai Watch ending theme, proves that teens aren’t even remotely too old to get some enjoyment out of the show.
Pokémon is a long-running global megalith: a multi-platform media franchise like no other. Millions of kids grew up watching the anime, wearing the T-shirt, and of course playing the games. Here in Japan, Pokémon characters are everywhere – and none more so than Pikachu. Go to the mall and there’s a giant fluffy Pikachu to meet and cuddle. At school lunch, chances are a bunch of kids’ mums have made their onigiri into Pikachu’s face for them. And a whole city was recently invaded by scores of our favourite yellow friend for an entire Pikachu festival.
There’s a new kid on the “collect-all-the-monsters” block, though, and it looks to be pushing Pokémon by the wayside. Yo-kai Watch hasn’t been released internationally yet, but in Japan the 3DS game, anime and its characters have quickly gained a ubiquitous popularity that looks like it could even overtake Pokémon. Have Pikachu and friends really had their day? Or is Yo-kai Watch merely a flash in the pan?
Japan doesn’t have the hectic Christmas shopping season of adults head-locking and price-gouging each other for the season’s hot toy. Still, every once in a while an item gets so huge that a sudden rush can break out at any time of the year.
This time it’s Yo-Kai Watches from the manga/game/anime series Yo-Kai Watch that are flying off the shelves. These watches don’t tell time unless it just happens to be 2:53 when you look at them, but that isn’t stopping people from lining up by the hundreds and shops from charging exorbitant prices for one. However, when the going gets tough, the tough get creative and fashion their own Yo-Kai Watches out of whatever is available.
As Japan continues its long in-vain search for a way to recapture the glory years of the Bubble Economy of the 1980s, politicians and pundits have proposed a plethora of projects. But amid all the talk of privatizing the postal system, making the expressways free, and devaluing the yen, there’s one outside the box solution no one happened on until now: unleash supernatural entities into the stock market.
Maybe it’s something they should have tried earlier, considering how the supernatural characters of hit multimedia franchise Yo-Kai Watch are leading a mini stock rally all by themselves.
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.