Youkai Watch

Yo-kai Watch’s Western debut is upon us, but have the Yokai already become lost in translation?

We’ve been telling our fine readers for literally years now about Yo-kai Watch, the Pokémon-esque game/manga/anime series that’s full of adorable yet mischievous collectible yokai monsters. And now that the series has been newly localised and adapted for the West, you’re finally going to see for yourselves what’s been driving Japanese kids to ritually torch bonfires of old Pokémon goods in favour of worshipping the new yokai overlords. Okay, we’re exaggerating, but only a little bit.

Of course, the success of any Japanese import into the Western market hinges on a heartfelt and thorough localisation process. It happened to Pokémon—Satoshi became Ash Ketchum, and many Pokémon were entirely renamed—and now it’s happening to Yo-kai Watch, too.

But is the very Japanese charm of the new franchise about to be seriously lost in translation?

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Boys’ rhythmic gymnastics performances to Attack on Titan, Yokai Watch themes impress, entertain

Men’s rhythmic gymnastics may still be considered a minor sport, but the boys at Kagoshima Business High School in Japan are leaving a huge impression with their amazingly synchronized moves, high-flying flips, and hilarious little acts, which is helping to draw more interest to the sport.

Their performance to music from Attack on Titan last year was a huge hit, and this year’s, set to a number from popular children’s anime Yokai Watch was no less loved. Watch the full performances below, laugh, and be amazed!

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New Yokai Watch movie’s spoof infomercial claims miraculous benefits 【Video】

Whether you’re Team Youkai Watch or Team Pokémon, there’s no denying that the Youkai Watch phenomenon is currently taking Japan by storm, and looks like it’s here to stay. That said, Pokémon managed to find its niche among a wide range of age groups, however Youkai Watch’s popularity appears to mainly be with Japanese youth.

Naturally this is something that producers of the series’ second movie would like to remedy, so in order to appeal to older audiences, this Youkai Watch infomercial was uploaded last weekend to the movie’s official YouTube channel, and has been making waves across the internet since. A promotional ad for Youkai Watch Enma Daiou to Itsutsu no Monogatari da Nyan!, it features a handful of respondents championing the benefits they’ve received since getting their hands on pre-sale tickets, which are slated to go on sale July 25.

Are these claims all they’re cracked up to be? You’ll have to watch and see!

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Kids rejoice! Universal Studios Japan to get Yo-kai Watch attraction this summer

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!)

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Yo-kai Watch’s Jibanyan meets the governor of Hawaii, global domination imminent

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!

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Parents, get ready! Yo-kai Watch to ship worldwide in 2016

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.

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This special noodle for hard-core Youkai Watch fans is full of Jibanyan … literally!

Love noodles? Love Youkai Watch? We’re guessing that there are plenty of people out there who would answer yes to both of those questions. It then shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise if someone decided to combine the two in a tasty-looking original creation.

Well, that’s exactly what Twitter user @takusan_neru did with the unique bowl of noodles in this picture she shared. And just what makes the noodles so special? Well, as you can see, the bowl is filled with … smiling Jibanyan faces!

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Facing obscurity, Pikachu smuggles himself in a Youkai Watch UFO catcher bag

We’ve talked a lot recently about how Youkai Watch has now definitely overtaken Pokémon in the popularity stakes, at least among Japan’s young’uns. With Youkai Watch replacing Pokémon as McDonald’s yearly calendar stars and with Pikachu himself being shunted into the background on anime convention posters in favour of Jibanyan and pals, 2014 really hasn’t been a good year for all things Pikachu. Still, with Pokémon’s legion of worldwide fans and entertainment-world pedigree, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Pikachu would be taking this all on the chin. Instead? He’s exposed himself as a desperate has-been, clinging on to relevancy by whatever devious means he can turn a paw to, and that includes smuggling himself into some unsuspecting kid’s life by disguising himself as a Youkai Watch product! For shame!

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Enjoy a platter of Youkai Sashimi while we explain that cat’s name

As we’ve been constantly reminding you over the past year or so, Youkai Watch is really big in Japan now, and yet some of you out there still don’t seem to believe us. We’ve watched them rip the annual McDonald’s calendar endorsement deal out of the cuddly clutches of Pokemon. We’ve seen fans carve their graven images into pumpkins. We’ve tasted of their milk. Still, there are those who think that it’s just a flash in the pan.

For those people, we present the highest honor a character in Japan can receive: a sashimi platter in their likeness.

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We try Youkai Watch Pretz “our milk flavored” snacks, now with 6% milk!

Although they often live in the shadow of their cousin Pocky, Glico’s Pretz brand of cracker sticks are also usually quite tasty. They certainly have enough taste power to stand on their own, but now after joining forces with the children’s money magnet that is Youkai Watch they certainly are a snack force to be reckoned with. The result of this power coupling is Our Milk Flavored Youkai Watch Pretz.

The concept of youkai (traditional Japanese monsters) milk is kind of disgusting in the first place but fun for the kids so we’ll let that slide. However, one sharp-eyed Twitter user spotted in the fine print below: “milk solids 6 percent” leading many online to wonder if “our milk” might actually be something far more heinous. So, I grabbed a pack to take a gander at the actual ingredients and find out if Our Milk Flavored Youkai Watch Pretz actually taste like milk – youkai or otherwise – despite apparently hardly having any milk inside.

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What would Youkai Watch look like drawn by famous manga artists? Well, it would look like this!

Many of you will undoubtedly have heard about the social phenomenon that is Youkai Watch. Indeed, the game, manga and anime series has been so immensely popular that some may even say that it has taken over Pokémon’s role as Japan’s favorite character franchise. Naturally, with that kind of popularity comes an abundance of fan art, so Japanese social trend and information compilation site Naver Matome has put together an article introducing selected works found on Twitter that stand out for a specific reason — for giving us an idea of what Youkai Watch may look like in the hands of some famous manga artists!

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Kyaraben roundup! We take a look back at 2014’s best packed lunches 【Pics】

The Kyaraben trend is still going strong in Japan, and even though winter has prompted some to make the temporary switch to deco-nabe, the demand for adorable packed lunches shows no signs of abating. Today we’d like to take a look back over the best of the past year’s Kyaraben. What can we learn about 2014 in Japan from studying these perfect works of edible art?

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Jibanyan, Japan chooses you! Pikachu trampled beneath paws of Youkai Watch mascot

Recently, we’ve brought you several articles detailing the meteoric rise of new franchise Youkai Watch as it continues to steal fans and attention away from the much-loved institution that is Pokémon. Die-hard Pokémon fans out there may feel safe in the assumption that Youkai Watch, being more traditionally “Japanese” in feel, will never match the success of Pokémon in the West. Be that as it may, we now have conclusive evidence that Pikachu’s time in the Japanese sun is well and truly over as new champion Jibanyan ascends his throne. Join us after the jump for proof!

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Youkai Watch set to embrace modernity with new “Youkai Pad” accessory

Okay, so Youkai Watch is a cultural juggernaut in Japan these days, capturing kids’ hearts and enslaving them like so many collectible youkai monsters. But despite the brilliant marketing behind the franchise (how about something exactly like Pokémon… but with… traditional Japanese Youkai?! Genius!) we’ve often thought that the concept of using a common watch as a crux to base the whole thing on seems a bit, hmm, old-fashioned. Who even wears a wristwatch anymore, when we all have the time displayed on our various smartphones and other electronic devices? Well, it seems that the people pulling the strings have now decided to switch their merchandising focus from watches to tablets, taking inspiration from the “Youkai Pad” used by supporting character Whisper to call up information on various Youkai. (No, no, it’s nothing like a Pokédex. Honest.) The brand-new “Youkai Pad” is set for release early next year, and already fans have begun to slaver over it like hungry dogs at a barbecue.

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It’s Pikachu! No, it’s Jibanyan! No… what IS that?

Rumored to be the new wave to take over the long-running multimedia kid’s series Pokémon, Youkai Watch and its various colorful characters can be seen all over the streets in Japan. Just as how Pokémon posters and merchandise used to be visible almost everywhere, the streets and shelves are now occupied by Jibanyan and his fellow youkai counterparts from the hit series Youkai Watch.

Pokémon has yet to back out from the race though, as loyal fans who loved the series since they were kids continue to shower their love (and money) on Pikachu and his hundreds of mystical friends. What are fans to do? Cling on to the old, or embrace the new? Check out the ingenious solution Twitter user @umeko_kj8 came up with after the break!

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Yo-kai Watch mania has even reached the vegetable world! Here’s a Halloween pumpkin roundup!

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!

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