After years of success in Japan, “Yo-kai Watch” is finally coming to the West later this year in video game form and in anime form. Considered by many to be the biggest current rival to “Pokemon,” the “Yo-kai Watch” anime will be premiering in Disney XD later this year for a 26-episode run, and the first English trailer was released to show fans the concept of the show.
Fans of the series have stated that “Yo-kai Watch” feels like someone put “Pokemon” and “Persona” in a blender, resulting in the Japanese sensation that will be coming to the West this year. Just like “Pokemon,” “Yo-kai Watch” began as a video game, several versions of which were big hits in Japan for the Nintendo 3DS.
“Yo-kai Watch” centers on a young boy who somehow got the ability to see these mysterious spirits called the “Yo-kai.” He realizes that he can not only befriend these spirits, but also summon them into battle via a special watch, as reported by IGN. That is where the “Yo-kai Watch” comes from.
The anime is a collaborative effort of Dentsu Entertainment USA, the TV Tokyo Corporation and the game’s publisher Level-5. Prior to making “Yo-kai Watch,” Level-5 worked on several other games, including “Dark Cloud 2,” “Dragon Quest 8” and the “Professor Layton” series.
The series isn’t just coming via video game or television, though, as Siliconera has confirmed other merchandise to hype the franchise. Viz Media will be publishing the “Yo-kai Watch” manga, while “Transformers” and “GI Joe” owner Hasbro will be in charge of releasing various “Yo-kai Watch” toys.
Fans interested in this “Pokemon” rival will be able to purchase “Yo-kai Watch” for the 3DS this holiday season, while the anime will debut sometime before the game in Disney XD. The rest of the “Yo-kai Watch” merchandise should be available sometime in early 2016.