(Above: Jibanyan from the anime series, ‘Yo-Kai Watch’)
What shows would kids recommend to other kids?
“Matt Chat” is a column in which The Savvy Screener‘s Laurie Pasiuk talks to her nine-year-old son, Matthew, about programs he likes to watch.
In today’s article, Matt chats about Yo-Kai Watch. Yo-Kai Watch started as a video game in 2013 and quickly expanded to manga, music, movies and TV anime.
A Yo-Kai Watch anime TV series started airing in Japan in 2014, and was introduced to North American audiences a year later.
The 26-episode first season is available to stream on Netflix. Two seasons have run on the Disney XD channel, where the series starting this Saturday will air everyday at 3 pm ET, except on Thursdays when it’s on at 7 pm. You can stream Disney XD without cable by subscribing to Hulu Live, YouTube TV, PlayStation Vue, Sling TV or DirecTV Now.
What makes Yo-Kai Watch so appealing to young viewers? Matt explains.
Laurie Pasiuk: Why do you like Yo-Kai Watch so much?
Matt: Because when you’re watching the TV show it tells you the theory (founding story) of the Yo-Kai.
Laurie: Which is your favorite Yo-Kai?
Matt: My favorite Yo-Kai is Jibanyan. A Yo-Kai is a mischievous spirit that has a different power for each Yo-Kai. Jibanyan’s theory is this: He was a cat whose owner was walking with her cat, Rudy when she saw her friends. When she ran across the street to go to them, she didn’t notice a truck coming toward her. Rudy tried to push her out of the way by jumping and he got hit by the truck. That was when he became a Yo-Kai named Jibanyan. His power is fighting trucks. When a person is crossing the street and a truck is driving down, he “enspirits” the person and makes them try to fight the truck or he will jump into the middle of the street and try to use his “paws of fury,” which is his soultimate.
Laurie: What’s a “soultimate”?
Matt: It’s a signature move or power. Jibanyan attacks, but other Yo-Kai’s soultimates can heal another Yo-Kai on their team.
Laurie: How did you find out about Yo-Kai Watch?
Matt: I was in Nintendo World when they had a big release of the game on Nintendo 3DS.
Laurie: So the TV show is based on the game?
Matt: Yes. And the Yo-Kai that you find in the game might befriend you and then you can put them on your team. Or if they don’t befriend you after you defeat them, you can just get experience points and money [in the game]. When you leave your house [in the game], when you’re not supposed to, the Yo-Kai Gargelos will come out and try to find you with his minions. If he gets to you, you have to battle him. Or, if you’re playing Yo-Kai Watch 2, you just lose.
Laurie: Who is the main character of the TV show?
Matt: His name is Nate Adams, who was named after his grandfather, Nathaniel. He found a crank machine in the woods and when he put his money in and got his capsule, he thought it was a plain old rock. When he threw it to the ground, it opened and out came the first Yo-Kai, Whisper. Whisper gave Nate the Yo-Kai Watch, Model 1 that lets him see Yo-Kai all around him. That’s how the story starts.
Laurie: Do you recommend this show to other kids your age?
Matt: Yes, and not only kids my age. I recommend it to everyone, because adults would probably like it as well. You can also get a version of the game on your phone, called Yo-Kai Watch Wibble Wobble.