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Impressions: Yo-kai Watch Manga Vol. 1 and 2

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A Spooky Adventure

Ever since the first game released in Japan back in 2013 for the Nintendo 3DS, the Yo-kai Watch franchise has captivated the entire Japanese population. While the manga was published a few months before the game officially released but it fair to say that it was the game that pushed the franchise’s popularity, to the point that the series is being called the next Pokemon.

Being a fan of the series after the playing the Japanese version of the first two games, I figured I should give the manga a try. I didn’t expect too much of it however, considering that the series is aimed for young kids but that doesn’t mean that it can’t be enjoyed by adults either.

Yo-kai Watch follows the story of Nate Adams, an ordinary elementary school student who meets Whisper, a Yo-kai who later becomes his butler. After meeting Whisper, he is given the Yo-kai Watch, allowing him to see and expose wandering Yo-kai, as well as summoning them. 

Throughout the series, they encounter many Yo-kai, starting off with the iconic Jibanyan, who is pretty much the “Pikachu” of the series. While it is to be expected, I really disliked that he’s the only one shown in action most part, while the other Yo-kai he captured only gets minor parts. Granted, this is only the beginning of the series so things can change.

Yo-kai Watch isn’t meant to be taken seriously, especially since it’s an episodic series meant for a younger audience. Every chapter, minus one, follows the same story pattern which includes Nate introducing himself, locating a Yo-kai, summoning Jibanyan to fight the Yo-kai, a comedic fight, and then Nate befriending the Yo-kai, which turns the Yo-kai into a medal, allowing Nate to summon the Yo-kai via his Yo-kai Watch later on.

While it essentially follows the same pattern, the overall details, such as secondary characters involved, the Yo-kai’s abilities, and how Nate takes advantage of their ability is what makes each chapter better than the other. Even in children’s manga, the setting is definitely important after all, especially if it helps the character develop a bit.

An example would be when he encounters Wazzat, the memory eater Yo-kai. This chapter taking place in school, he takes advantage of Wazzat to make his teacher forget about the exam and pranking the school’s bully. In the end, it backfires and Nate was sent to the principal’s office, making him realize that he shouldn’t use the Yo-kai to take the easy way out.

Already expecting Yo-kai Watch to be a kid’s series, I thought it was really entertaining, wishing that it actually released during my childhood. I felt like it made a connection with the inner kid within me, with its characters and its comedy almost similar to series for an older audience.  I can definitely recommend Yo-kai Watch if you’re looking for a light series to read and want to be entertained while at it. 


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Christian Chiok
Christian ChiokContributor   gamer profile

Christian has been a gamer since his early childhood. He's a big fan of the King of Fighters and the Metal Slug series. Additionally, Christian enjoys cooking, listening to music, watching anime ... more + disclosures


 



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