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Anime / Yo-Kai Watch

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Yo-kai, won't you be my friend?

"Unexplained occurrences happen every day. But if you possess the "Yo-kai Watch" you will have the amazing and rare ability to see the elusive "Yo-kai": invisible, spirit-like entities responsible for life's daily annoyances. But beware: When a Yo-kai enters your life, things will never be quite the same."

The Animated Adaptation of the popular Yo-Kai Watch video game series.

The series is about an eleven year old boy named Nate who finds a capsule machine while looking for bugs in the woods. When he opens a capsule from the machine he releases a Yo-kai named Whisper, who decides to become his butler out of gratitude. He later gives Nate the titular Yo-Kai Watch. The Yo-kai Watch enables Nate to see other Yo-kai by shining a light on them. Using Yo-kai Medals, gained from befriending Yo-kai, Nate can also summon Yo-kai, to battle other Yo-kai who are causing trouble in the neighborhood.

Overall very successful for a children's anime, the series boasts several movies and quite a few international dubs.

The anime continuity includes a Darker and Edgier spinoff title starting in late 2017, called Yo-kai Watch: Shadowside. It centers around Keita/Nate's daughter and son, Natsume and Keisuke, as they go around solving spiritual cases surrounding Yo-kai that can now switch from the harmless looking "light side" and the dangerous "shadow side" forms. The series began with the fourth main series movie Yo-kai Watch: Shadowside - The Return of the Oni King before getting a television series of its own.


Another spinoff title, Yo-kai Watch Jam - Yo-kai Academy Y: Close Encounters of the N Kind, which focuses on a High School A.U. featuring Jibanyan as a teen transforming superhero, began in 2019. Like Shadowside before it, Y began as one of the annual movies (Yo-Kai Academy Y: Can a Cat Be a Hero?) before being made into a television anime that premiered later in 2020.

In April 2019, they temporarily brought back the original series with Nate returning as the main focus. A new reboot is set to be released in April 2021.


Yo-Kai Watch provides examples of:

  • Aborted Arc: Kyubi's attempts to win Katie's affection only lasted two episodes.
  • Absurdly Youthful Mother: Perhaps even more prominent on Mrs. Adams here than it is in the games. She's still got the loose, flowing hair, the younger facial cast, and the fashion sense of a college undergrad (that scarf!), and on top of that she also gets into knowingly goofy shenanigans for her son's sake (like the beginning of episode 3) and has a very close bond with him as a result, and in the show is also only about six inches taller than Nate, if that. She's supposed to be in her thirties, but you really gotta wonder sometimes...
  • Accidental Suicide: When Manjimutt was still a human, he got drunk to deal with the pain of being fired and bumped into some heavy planks, which crushed him and a passing poodle to death. This is the reason he is a dog with a human face as a Yo-Kai.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Hailey and USApyon's Evil Year 5 Class 1 segment is basically one for Hailey's classmates while the two of them observe.
  • Adapted Out: In the games, there are two Kyubi. The main one is Springdale's guardian and is heavily implied to be the school science teacher. The second Kyubi is younger and transforms into a young boy. Only the younger Kyubi is depicted in the anime.
  • Aesop Amnesia:
    • In episode 18, Nate is told to watch the house if the mailman stops by while his mom is out running errands. He leaves the house and is chased by Gargaros whose purpose is to punish disobedient kids. He defeats it by returning home, only to get punished by his mom and does the same thing in episode 62.
    • Nate never seems to remember that summoning Jibanyan when Snottle is causing trouble is a bad idea.
    • This is also the case with "Komasan Taxi" segments, where the yo-kai both Komasan and Komajiro deal with about the complaints parents made about certain actions. That said yo-kai said he/she will change their ways, but will revert back at the end of the segment.
  • Alternative Foreign Theme Song: Zigzagged with the English version. While the video game used a different theme song, the TV show uses the original theme song. They even dubbed the ending theme. Starting with episode 10, however, they began alternating between the video game theme and the TV show theme for every other episode.
  • Alternate Universe: In #67, Whisper dreams Katie was the one who freed him from the Crank-A-Kai instead of Nate. In this new reality Jibanyan is replaced by Baddinyan, Hidabat is replaced by Shadow Venoct, Robonyan is replaced by Goldenyan (who only wants to solve challenging problems to further their status), Whisper himself promised Katie to memorize everything about Yo-Kai and is not allowed to use his pad and develops a "special attack", "Ultra Super Sonic Whisper Tornado" which involves Katie throwing him at the Yo-Kai causing trouble. Katie treats Whisper kindly (though the act doesn't follow through when she weaponizes him and doesn't listen to Whisper's pleas to stop...)
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Episode 83 shows Nate grocery shopping with his mom, but he doesn't want to be seen with her, and when surrounded by his friends, he says he's shopping alone. His mom then shows up and asks if he wants to try on some new underwear since all of his current pairs are full of holes, causing Nate's face to turn red until he collapses on the floor.
  • Art Shift: The ending credits have most of the characters in CGI form dancing resembling something out of a MikuMikuDance.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever:
    • Yo-kai Dromp is a literal mountain that moves.
    • Gutsy Bones is an oversized skeleton (based off the Gashadokuro in Japanese mythology, who is made from the bones of multiple famine victims melded together from a mass burial, but here he's the patron saint of gashapon machines. Geddit?)
  • Badass Adorable:
    • Jibanyan would sometimes become this when he isn't slacking off.
    • Shogunyan is not only badass and cute, but he was even able to slice Whisper in two with his sword. However, Whisper managed to survive since he's a Yo-Kai.
  • Bakeneko and Nekomata: In one episode, what happened between Jibanyan's death and meeting Nate is delved into more. It turns out that there are hundeds of nekomata around Springdale because there is a crosswalk that kills a lot of cats. Jibanyan comes across three in particular: Sir Pouncalot, Pounce de Leon, and Alfred. Sir Pouncalot has four tails, Pounce de Leon has three tails, and Alfred is a keet with only one tail.
  • Big Brother Instinct: The Yo-kai "Bruff" is this along with the temporary transfer student he possessed.
  • Bilingual Animal: As a cat Yo-kai, Jibanyan can speak human language, but also has the Verbal Tic "Nyan", which he adds at the end of his sentences. However, when he was a normal cat before he died, he could only meow.
  • Biting the Handkerchief: Anyone possessed by Minochi does this in episode 82. Minochi himself does this in episode 102 during the Detective Agency segment when he sees Mochismo wearing cool street clothes.
  • Bland-Name Product:
    • #39 has the mightly-acclaimed Space Opera trilogy "Space Wars".
    • Certain episodes of the English dub have the boys obsessed with a game series called "Yo-lo Watch".
  • Bloodless Carnage: This is even played straight with Jibanyan's death, as when he was hit by a truck, scratches are present, but no blood is shown.
  • Boss Subtitles: Each Yo-Kai is given one of these when they are first introduced.
  • Bowdlerise: Naturally, the English dub had to undergo some censorship in order to air on children's programming in the U.S., but surprisingly, the dub manages to get away with a lot of things that most kids' anime dubs couldn't:
    • Next Harmeowny's bikinis were edited to be more modest, but the implication of them being on an adult fan service show wasn't.
    • Manjimutt's peeing scenes were kept in, but the peeing stream was removed.
      • Played for laughs in episode 40. When Manjimutt is inspirited by Fidgephant and pees on the wall, instead of editing out the pee, it's instead covered up by a sticker that says "Eww! Bad dog!" since he was on live TV in that episode.
    • Jibanyan still dies by being hit by a truck, although originally images of his dead body were edited out. This was averted starting with Jibanyan's Secret. His body is blatantly shown in several flashbacks.
    • Shots of Eddie's butt in the Roughraff episode is covered with underwear, although Bear still mentions that they can see his buttcrack.
    • B3-NK1 shoving his blade into Robonyan and Robonyan enjoying it is kept in, although some dialogue and one of Robonyan's poses was changed to make the scene slightly less suggestive.
    • Duchoo's episode has Duchoo explain a couple of ways of faking a fever, but edits out images of Nate using a cup of hot water and a blow-dryer to heat up a thermometer. Understandable, as some kids would no doubt try to imitate this in order to skip school.
    • Episode 30 features Pandle, a Yo-kai in a loin cloth with his butt exposed. That was too much for Disney's standards so every scene showing Pandle from behind was zoomed in or cut. They also cut out the close-up of Nate's crotch after Katie points out his fly is down.
    • In episode 32, Manjimutt stalking a young girl about Nate's age is toned down to him begging to have some food in her backpack, although this is justified given the unfortunate implications of Manjimutt harassing a girl years younger than him, and the fact that the scene was controversial even in the Japanese version.
    • In #37, Whisper gets shot in the chest by a bank robber, however, the hole that was formed by the gunshot was edited out.
    • In episode 42, the scene of a cat being bitten by a vampire and becoming Dracunyan was left out of the dub.
      • Speaking of Dracunyan, in the games and manga, he essentially acts like a normal vampire who drains people's blood until they're incapacitated. Here, however, his bite simply turns his victims into Dracunyans themselves.note 
    • Mimikin in #44 normally wears a Fundoshi. In the English anime dub, they were changed to shorts. This was unchanged in the games.
    • Manjimutt taking photos of a woman's breasts when he becomes a photographer was censored in the Toonami Asia dub, but not the Disney XD dub.
    • The Cartoon Network UK airings cut out some scenes that the US airings were fine with. In episode 5, when Whisper strangles Jibanyan with his collar and later when Nate slaps him with a paper fan were cut out.
    • Happens in the UK again with the Signibble episode. Not a single scene of the naughty channel makes it in and they even changed it to make it look like Nate and his friends WANTED to watch the cooking channel.
    • Also in the UK, the Negatibuzz episode doesn't include the very end where the dentist enthusiastically drills Nate's tooth.
    • The dub seems to go back and forth between showing Usapyon's Invader Mode rampages and covering it up with a card saying "Mischievous Yo-kai have interrupted our broadcast. We will return momentarily." Fan speculation is that they're allowed to show it if Usapyon is shooting around Hailey Anne and they can't show it if he's shooting at her.
    • In the games, Gush gives people nosebleeds. In the anime, he instead makes things drip.note 
  • The Bus Came Back: Season 2 brings back the Mr. Crabbycat segments.
  • Butt-Monkey:
    • Manjimutt was a fired salaryman before a freak accident turned him into a Yo-kai that has the body of a toy poodle and the face of a man. At first, he was happy at the prospect of living life as a dog, but everyone assumes he's just a very deformed human and he keeps getting arrested for acting like a dog. He is one of the only Yo-kai that can be seen by humans.
    • Whisper is also a butt monkey and the main one in the series. Nobody takes him seriously or respects him, and is often on the receiving end of violent jokes. When Jibanyan and Whisper were graded by how much they're liked by Nate, Jibanyan got an A while Whisper got an E.
    • Nate too. Whenever a Yo-kai possesses him, his classmates think he's being at best, weird and at worst, mean. Or the Yo-kai possesses his friends and cause trouble for him.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall:
    • Whisper frequently talks directly to the audience, usually to make a snide remark about Nate at the end of an episode.
    • Characters can often interact with split screens, and push it away.
    • In the episode where Nate and Whisper meet Cadin. A timer pops up throughout the episode and Nate, Whisper, and Cadin would sometimes bring up that the timer is still in the way.
    • In "Yo-kai Bowminos" Nate mentions meeting So-Sorree "40 episodes ago."
  • Brick Joke: While trying to woo Katie at the amusement park, Kyubi is freaked out by every attraction himself, and quickly backpedals when she suggests they try the Plunger. At the end of the segment, he's sitting on top of a perch looking down at Katie contemplating his strategy for next time... only for it to turn out he's sitting on The Plunger, which instantly drops much to his horror.
  • Color Failure:
    • When Blazion fails to motivate a Hidabat-possessed Jibanyan, except he's so Hot-Blooded he's merely faded instead of white.
    • Happens to Jibanyan in #14, due to another Yo-kai.
    • In Episode 39, after going through a hellish experience trying to avoid Spoilerina spoiling a movie he wanted to see, this is Nate's reaction when a couple casually talks about the spoilers just as he's about to go into the theater.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Komasan runs into a lot of these. Of special note, the girl he meets in a cafe was from a Forgotten First Meeting!
  • The Chew Toy: Everyone, and Jibanyan to a lesser extent.
  • Companion Cube: During Manjimutt's longest prison stay to date, he makes friends with a teddy bear that becomes the only one who'll talk to him and listen to him... except it actually can't.
  • Country Mouse: Komasan to a "T".
  • Creator Cameo: In the English dub, the voice actors' names appear as competitors in Yo-kai Enduriphant.
  • Cringe Comedy:
    • Some episodes delve into this, almost all of them have some connection to Nate and Katie, notable examples include the episode with the three seaweed dancer Yo-Kai and Rockabelly. note 
    • The last bit of episode 83. Simply needs to be seen to be believed.
  • Cute Kitten: Series mascot Jibanyan is an adorable ghost kitten
  • Curly Hair Is Ugly: In one episode a yo-kai gives Nate an afro. His friends tease him over it.
  • Darker and Edgier:
    • Early episodes in the second season feature a detective story arc, for Hailey and Usapyon and some of which involve murder. But since the victims are Yo-kai, their deaths can be undone.
    • The fourth film features a less cartoony art style and is a lot darker than the usual Yokai Watch fare. The protagonists are also older than Nate because the plot itself takes place after a 30-year timeskip when Nate lost the Yo-kai Watch after becoming an adult. Yokai are shown to have two types of forms: a light-side and a shadow-side.
  • Deader Than Dead: Even though Yo-kai are technically spirits, they can die, and their soul will leave their body. The dead Yo-kai will remain a colorless corpse until the Yo-Kai that killed it is dealt with.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Nate usually has to defeat the Yo-kai to befriend them. It's more necessary in the games though.
  • The Dentist Episode: One segment has Nate visiting a dentist due to a cavity. In an inversion on the norm, the dentist is the one who is scared (due to a yo-kai making him lack confidence).
  • Designated Girl Fight: Parodied in episode 21 where Baku and Insomni have a wrestling match, neither of the tries to hit each other but Baku tries to put Insomni to sleep instead.
  • Disney Death: Nate thinks Whisper really got killed by Shogunyan in episode 11. However Whisper does come back together reminding him that he's still a Yo-Kai.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Nate's method for dealing with Gachin-Kozo for inspiriting Katie is to summon Kyubii, Venoct, Snartle, Lie-In Heart, Robonyan F, and Shogunyan. Then he summons Enma.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?:
    • Manjimutt is usually treated as an alcoholic hobo every time they bring him in.
    • In episode 7 of the Disney XD dub, when Whisper's head swirl is mistaken for ice cream by Komasan and subsequently attempted to be eaten, Whisper gasps before saying that it feels surprisingly good, while blushing. To take the cake, his scream when the camera pans away is even more suggestive.
    • Fidgephant, the Yo-kai causing Potty Emergency in everyone, is a little elephant. They beat him by making him pee from his trunk. And that's where his Yo-Kai Medal comes out from.
    • B3-NK1 in #23 can extract the core functionality of any machine by shoving his blade roughly into it. They get Robonyan to fight him, he shoves his blade into Robonyan... and Robonyan likes it a little too much.
    • One ep has Nate unknowingly caught in between two raving virulent fandoms, one for the Yo-kai Noko, and one for pandas. Thanks to the Yo-kai Pandanoko (just the Noko in black and white), Nate spends a little objective observation time with each of the two fan communities, and comes to the conclusion that they're not so different.
    • One ep has the Yo-kai Copperled, which causes anyone to be excessively bossy. Then it affects Katie, and Nate decides he'd rather have Katie be bossy to him all the time, if it meant they'd end up spending a lifetime together...
    • The first segment of the reboot's episode 35 has Nate inspirited by Ghostess, who seems to enjoy having her do everything for him; having the same blissful expression throughout his morning routine... which includes Ghostess dressing Nate in one motion, removing his PJs and giving him his shirt and pants, getting a glimpse of his underwear before Ghostess nursemaids him while in the bathroom.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: The first and second ending theme is sung by Alicyn Packard and Melissa Hutchison, Jibanyan and Komasan/Katie's voice actresses, respectively.
  • Don't Try This at Home: Before the opening of an episode. Whisper would give a short disclaimer to the viewer about attempting the behavior of a Yo-kai, replacing the standard Japanese advice of watching TV in a well-lit room and away from the screen.
    Whisper: Any attempt to replicate Yo-Kai behavior would be ill-advised!
    • Whisper actually says this to the viewer in the end of episode 11.
  • Double-Meaning Title: The title can refer to the eponymous "watch" in noun form, but it can also refer to Nate patrolling the neighborhood for Yo-Kai, i.e. the verb form of "watch" or a neighborhood watch.
  • Dwindling Party: Invoked and played for laughs in #18, when Nate realizes that the fact that he can summon Jibanyan via Yo-kai Medal means that he can leave Jibanyan to hold the line as many times as he needs to.
  • Early-Bird Cameo:
    • The 2nd and 3rd OPs of season 1 have such Yo-kai as Dromp and Drizzelda, which don't appear 'till episode 50 or so.
    • The second season features Meriken Yo-Kai, Hailey, Usapyon, Crystal, and Jessica who aren't scheduled to appear until Yo-Kai Watch 3.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: The Running Gag of Nate blaming something on a Yo-kai, Whisper scoffing it, Nate scanning around and finding said Yo-kai, and Whisper getting a shock doesn't start till ep. 7. Originally, it was actually Whisper who suggested that a Yo-kai may be causing problems.
  • Eldritch Location: The Yo-kai World.
  • Embarrassing Pyjamas: In the third segment from episode 4, Mr. Johnson gets angry at his pupils due to the fact that Katie forgot her pencil case, Eddie came to school with an empty schoolbag, and Nate forgot his schoolbag, only for him to be reminded that he came to school in his pajamas. When he realizes, he's utterly embarrassed. All of this happened because of a Yo-kai that made them forget things.
  • Entertainment Above Their Age: In episode 6, Nate, Bear and Eddie try to watch shows on a channel that Whisper says is for "mature audiences only" (Jibanyan even notes that it contains "scantily-clad women"), but Signibble keeps interfering by turning off the TV.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Katie may occassionally join in on the boys' activities while Alex is a tomboy, but even they wouldn't engage in Dumkapp's antics, (twirling water buckets and balancing broomsticks on their hands and noses).
  • Expository Theme Tune:
    • The trailer for the English dub has one, though it's not used in the anime itself. Justified, as outside of Japan the audience doesn't have a bunch of common folklore to refer to and would generally need to be told what Yo-kai are.
    • The first movie takes the first OP and rewrites it into one.
  • Failed a Spot Check: Yo-kai Venoct is on the hunt for a fearsome warrior, known only as "Rubeus J", a flaming red creature who lives in a house with a white strategist that is known to give the wrong information, and a page whose only power is his astounding normalness... and he's asking Jibanyan about him. And never seems to notice how close he is. Justified as Rubeus J really is someone else!
  • Forgot I Could Fly: An episode about Nate getting locked out of his own room could have been avoided, as Whisper forgot he could pass through walls.
  • Fractured Fairy Tale: A new mini-arc starting in the middle of season 1.
  • Funny Background Event: In the second-season's introduction, where people are shown being possessed by Yo-kai, Andy is possessed by So-Sorree, who makes you apologize half-heartedly, while Daniel is possessed by Sandmeh, who makes you go along with what other people say.
  • Fun with Acronyms: The spoof of Momotarou - apparently Onigashima means Offensive New Island Gigantic And Scary Headquarters Idiot Monsters Area.
    • In the English version the acronym is B.U.T.L.E.R. (Butts Upset Toilets in Literally Every Restroom).
  • Gentle Giant: Fortunately for our heroes, humongous Yo-kai like Dromp and Gutsy Bones turn out to be this.
  • Ghost Amnesia: A lot of the Yo-kai that used to be animals or people don't remember their lives that well. In particular: Jibanyan forgot he sacrificed his life to save the life of his owner.
  • Ghostly Goals: A few Yo-kai that used to be alive have a defining purpose for a while. But completing it doesn't make them Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence, it just makes them happy.
  • Gratuitous English:
    • Whisper is fond of using English interjections.
    • The parody of Steve Jobs who unveils the "myPhone 6" speaks broken English with a thick accent, and uses Japanese expletives.
  • Hikikomori: A bat Yo-kai named Hidabat (Hikikoumori in the Japanese version).
  • Hope Spot: Manjimutt's longest prison stay to date may be shortened, after he inadvertently helps an undercover agent to (literally) dig up evidence of another inmate's serial murders. Then it turns out said inmate is onto him... Oh, and they release the wrong guy.
  • Hot-Blooded: Blazion.
  • Identical Grandson: Nate with his grandfather in the first movie. Later, Nate and Whisper use this trope to identify Eddie and Bear's grandfathers and Katie's grandmother.
  • Inconsistent Dub: The anime is inconsistent to the games when it comes to how much of a Thinly-Veiled Dub Country Change the serie is. This is due to different localizers between mediums. The games feature more Japanese references then the anime. For example, you can buy rice balls in the games, but the anime has Komasan eating "marshmalllows" and calls the green tea that Hungramps pour on rice "guacamole gravy".
  • Invisible to Normals: Most of the Yo-kai, except for "really powerful" ones such as Manjimutt, Snartle, and Toiletta. Also averted by Yo-kai Mimikin, as a necessity since its shtick is to impersonate Nate.
  • Iris Out: Occasionally used with a fourth wall break, such as when Wazzat and Dummkap said "That's all folks!" in the Japanese version of episode 64.
  • Jerkass Ball: Nate and his friends can slip into this sometimes. One example is in episode 51 when Eddie and Bear get into an argument with Katie, Sarah, and Chelsea over whether pandas are better than Nokos (a snake creature in Japanese mythology). They put Nate on the spot and demand (not ask, demand) his opinion. Nate not wanting to offend either side says they're both cool. Rather than respect his opinion like good friends and kids should, they instead criticize him for not being able to dedicate himself to one side. At the end, they realize that both animals are cool and how silly their argument was, but never apologized to Nate.
  • Just Eat Gilligan: In The Movie, the final battle involves both Nate and Nathaniel summoning every Yo-kai they have for an all-out war - the actual problem is solved by Tattletell getting the truth out of the Big Bad directly.
  • Kid Hero All Grown Up: The fourth film takes place thirty years after the anime. It features a new trio of kids obtaining yokai watches. Nate has since grown up and lost his ability to see yokai.
  • Killer Rabbit: Shogunyan may look cute, but he actually attempted to murder Nate and Whisper. However Whisper survives, but Nate brief sad reaction moved Shogunyan to tears.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Whenever Kin and Gin appear, the anime becomes notably more serious, including and especially with the first movie.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Wazzat is a Yo-kai that specifically eats memories.
  • Lighter and Softer: Both the game and the series itself.
  • Limited Wardrobe:
    • Literally, in every episode, Nate's classmates wear nothing other than their trademark outfits, but they do have some alterations in episodes set during colder times of the year like jackets, longer sleeves and socks.
    • Nate and Hailey subvert this since they have different outfits in season 2. Though Hailey went back to her old outfit in #120, Nate gains his outfit from the third game.
  • Lip Lock: The English dub generally has good lip-syncing however occasionally it doesn't match up correctly or a characters mouth stops moving slightly before they stop speaking.
  • Little Known Facts: Eventually revealed to be Whisper's special ability.
  • Mon: Yo-kai are treated this way, however, unlike other mon series they aren't forced to obey the protagonist's commands if they don't want to.
  • Multi-Part Episode: Manjimutt has one where he tries to get a job.
  • Mundane Made Awesome:
    • Nate, afflicted by the fart-inducing Cheeksqueek, realizes he can direct attention away from it by... acting cool, Bishie Sparkle and everything. It doesn't work.
    • One mini-arc has Nate possessed by... something that causes him to treat the school lunch like this.
    • #55. The boys of Nate's class go all out to do favors for the girls just before Valentine's Day, leading to Whisper and Komasan doing color commentary.
  • Mundane Utility: In the anime, Nate doesn't usually use the Yo-kai to battle, instead he summons them to influence the emotions of people or other Yo-Kai.
  • Mythology Gag: The 2019 anime has Nate mention the Shadowside spin off saying if he and Katie had a son, he'd name him "Keisuke".
  • Negative Continuity: Some would usually end with a Bitter Sweet Ending, but by the next episodes, everything is back to normal as usual.
    • Somehow subverted with the Yo-kai Nate befriends themselves. Nate gets their medals either on or off-screen and can use any of them in later episodes.
  • Nightmare of Normality: The 2019 series begins as if it were a reboot, with Nate not seeing Yo-kai or wearing the titular wristwatch. But in fact, Wazzat has inspirited him while he had his watch off, causing him to lose his memory of Yo-kai. When everything is cleared up by Nate's friends, his old self comes back.
  • Nobody Poops: Averted in one episode. Nate uses the bathroom in his school and Katie notices. A yo-kai that makes people tell secrets latches onto her and she blabs about it in front of his class, immensely embarrassing Nate.
  • Nonstandard Character Design: Gutsy Bones in #54 is a rarity as he mimics the ancient Japanese woodcuts first depicting the creature, making him way more creepy than he ought to be.
  • Noodle People: Referred to as the "8-heads-tall" body type in #19.
  • No-Sell: Hailey and Usapyon's new segment after their Detective Agency shows her classmates with some sort of resistance to getting inspirited by Yo-kai. They're either immune or the inspiriting doesn't work the way the Yo-kai intended. For example, the kid inspirited by Poofessor spouts wrong trivia.
  • Not Allowed to Grow Up: There have been three Valentine's Days and two Christmases and Halloweens each, but Nate and his classmates are still in the fifth grade.
  • Our Spirits Are Different: The US marketing tried to emphasize that Yo-kai aren't exactly ghosts or monsters or fairies or anything. Even in Japan, the game's Yo-kai are differentiated from classical folklore by playing up the Emotion Control aspect.
  • Oh, the Humanity!: Muttered by Whisper after Jibanyan lets out a big red colored fart cloud while being possessed by Cheeksqueak in episode 12.
  • Parental Bonus:
    • The Japanese version at least is loaded with this. It is absolutely filled to the brim with references to late Showa and early to mid Heisei era pop culture (e.g. the first ending theme being a reference to “Boot Camp” diets popular in the early 2000s, the Police Procedural parody segments being straight-up just “Taiyo ni Hoeru-zura!”, a blatant reference to popular 70s-80s Police Procedural “Taiyo ni Hoero!”), I.e. the exact pop culture the parents of the kids watching would be really familiar with, that will certainly fly over the heads of all but the most pop-culture savvy kids and is clearly intended for the parents.
    • In one segment, Whisper wants ideas for a TV show. Komasan suggests "an all-night discussion on countermeasures to the declining birth rate".
    • The second segment of the reboot contains Whisper with his face deep in a Play Boy magazine.
  • Perception Filter: Yo-kai can appear to be humans if they put a leaf on their heads.
  • Pimped-Out Dress: Nate's mom in #14 goes through one after another (Yo-kai influence, natch).
  • Playing Sick: Episode 22 has Nate attempt this so he can stay home from school and play a video game and catch up to Eddie and Bear. After a failed attempt, Coughkoff makes his act more convincing and successfully fools his mom. At the end, Nate gets sick for real and is unable to play.
  • Pokémon Speak: Yeah, they went there. Blazion and a couple of others in this case.
  • Poke the Poodle: Jibanyan's possessed form is Baddinyan, a Yankee cat who thinks the height of evil and rebelliousness is littering and rolling around in bed.
  • Potty Emergency:
    • A segment in the eighth episode revolved around Fidgephant causing all the boys in the school to have this.
    • In the Yo-Kai Watch U arc, there is an episode called "Fidgephant Panic", where Nate visits a pool and has to go to the bathroom due to a Fidgephant infestation in the pool. It turns out that they were all there to find their father and turn him back into a Fidgephant.
    • Nate commonly has these to the point where even Whisper shows concern for him by asking him if he "needs to go potty".
  • Poverty for Comedy: Manjimutt is typically depicted as being the apex of Butt-Monkey status. The proof of this is when he gets inspirited by Supoor Hero, whose power is to make victims unlucky and poor, but ends up having no effect as Manjimutt is already at maximum level of poverty. This only serves to make him even more depressed.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: To distinguish itself from other Mons anime, the adaptation heavily focuses on Yo-kai having the power to possess humans or other Yo-Kai to influence emotions and behavior. Unlike the games, Yo-Kai rarely if ever directly fight each other, and hardly ever use "Soultimate" magic spells. One episode was even a Take That! against fans who wanted more Yo-kai combat.
  • Promoted to Love Interest: The female protagonist of the games became Nate's crush.
  • Puppy Love: Nate isn't even a middle schooler but has a crush on his classmate, Katie.
  • Real After All: One season 1 mini-arc has Komasan and Komajiro talent-scouted to host a "reality program" where they track down myths all over the world. Except they don't even have the budget to leave the country, much less find actual myths, but they somehow have just enough budget (read: No Budget) to stage everything for the cameras in the most quarter-assed way possible. When the cameras are off and Komasan's alone though...
  • Relax-o-Vision: #46 cuts from the visual of Yo-kai Poofessor eating poop (unchi kui) to Katie and two other girls making flowers into rings. The audio's left intact though.
  • The Reveal: The second iteration of the Hapyon Detective Agency segment revolves around revealing the pasts of major Yo-kai, like Tattletell and Blazion.
  • Ridiculously Alive Undead: Yo-Kai are ghosts who are often seen eating. Jibanyan the cat-based Yo-Kai in particular loves eating chocolate bars and Hungramps can make anyone, including his fellow Yo-Kai, hungry. Cheeksqueek's debut episode reveals that Yo-Kai can fart (though Whisper tries to deny this at first) and Fidgephant's debut shows that they can use the bathroom when Fidgephant uses his Potty Emergency-inducing powers on Roughraff and later Manjimutt.
  • Ridiculously Average Guy:
    • This is Nate's defining trait, with even his school record constantly being average.
    • Walkappa is so simple and honest that Tattletell isn't able to get him to confess any dark secrets, defeating her. None of his secrets are actually secrets because they're commonly known myths about the kappa or otherwise not at all embarrassing.
  • Running Gag:
    • Nate blaming every damned thing on Yo-kai, which finally gets called out by Whisper. (He's usually right, but still.)
    • Whisper relying on a Wiki to get information on Yo-kai and Nate calling him out on it.
    • Nate constantly always being called average by others, which often pushes his Berserk Button.
    • Hidabat, being a Hikikomori, brings Nate's closet with him every time he goes "outdoors", much to Nate's annoyance.
    • Nate fishing out Mermaidyn everywhere he fishes, no matter how small the body of water. Later done on purpose as he summons her this way instead of using the Yo-kai Watch.
    • Jibanyan getting summoned at the worst possible times to fight the nose-picking Snottle.
    • Hungramps and Grubsnitch devouring rice-bowl Yo-Kai whenever they make an appearance.
    • Usapyon going into "Invader Mode" whenever Hailey is off-topic over a task or bringing up irrelevant conversations.
    • In episode 91, Whisper getting cut out of every photo, even the one where he gets fused with Jibanyan
    • Notably averted in episode 58, when Count Zapaway refused to reveal where the remote was in his second appearance as Nate didn't bother to just use the buttons on the TV again.
      • Count Zapaway's little song he sings while the remote is being found however did make a return.
  • Schrödinger's Player Character:
    • Averted in the anime adaptation where the female main character (Katie) appears as one of Nate's friends. Alluded to in #67 when Whisper dreams that Katie became the main character instead of Nate.
    • In Nyanderful Days, where Katie is the main character, the same can be said for Nate, though Nate retains his Butt-Monkey status.
  • Seemingly Profound Fool: Komasan in later episodes.
  • Series Continuity Error:
    • Most Yo-Kai are Invisible to Normals without the Yo-Kai Watch, however the visibility of Yo-Kai is largely inconsistent, with some Yo-Kai being visible with little explanation.
    • Alternatively the segments where Komasan can be seen are alternate universes since there's a series where Komasan and Whisper are police detectives and both of them can be seen.
  • The Seven Mysteries: Of course they have to cover this one sooner or later. #60 has one of the more widely-known ones, Toiletta, which according to Whisper is an actual Yo-kai, like the other six.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story:
    • One episode has Jibanyan attending a handshake event with Next Harmeowny, of the sort that involves a five-block queue. By the time he gets to about three blocks, there's this girl who walks in front of a truck and Jibanyan must sacrifice his place to save her. Just to make matters worse, they hit the quota and end the queue altogether when he gets back. Then by some miracle of anime, the girl's older sister is in Next Harmeowny, and she rewards Jibanyan with a more personal meet session.. Which is precisely when Nate medal-summons him. Jibanyan's rage and anguish are completely justified.
    • Dromp concocts a maze for our heroes by rearranging the landscape, telling our heroes they only need to find Nate's home to be restored. Once the land got restored however, they were back to where they started.
  • Sickness Equals Redness:
    • In "Yo-Kai Sproink", Bear and Eddie have pink hues on their faces after exiting the hot spring, implying both of them are feeling illnote .
    • Nate got this in "Yo-Kai Duchoo" after catching a real cold.
    • One episode has Komasan and Komajiro display this after falling ill with swamp fever.
  • Slapstick Knows No Gender:
    • Nate's Mom and Katie are frequently the victims of Yo-kai inspiriting, and several of the female Yo-kai are brought down or taunted in sometimes slapsticky-ways.
    • For instance, Infour, a female Yo-kai with four eyes, gets doodled on while she sleeps in the stinger at the end of her episode.
    • Before that, Infour's mind-reading relative Espy is brought low when Nate thinks of a bunch of inappropriate things, which she cannot help but see.
    • Mermaidyn seems fated to be the only thing Nate will ever fish up whenever he goes fishing, no matter where it is, much to both of their chagrin. At one point, Nate Invokes their unusual relationship and fishes her out of a bucket before unceremoniously dropping her on the ground. Thing is, he could have just used her medal to call her, which she points out.
  • The Song Remains the Same: In Episode 24 when dancing to try to cheer up Tengloom, the Yo-Kai Watch Exercise Song plays, only it's the Japanese version instead of the English version.
  • Spiritual Successor: A threefer - not only the popularizing of Yo-kai by GeGeGe no Kitarō (heh heh, spiritual...), but fills the Widget Series niche left by Sgt. Frog. The anime is also this to the western cartoon The Real Ghostbusters.
  • Stock Footage: For Yo-kai summons of course.
  • Stress Vomit: "Yo-Kai Nosirs" implies this might have happened to Eddie after taking a particularly hard test.
  • Sudden Downer Ending: The 2019 series ends on one. At his companions' behest to win the throne of the Yo-kai World, Nate uses Lord Enma's Onechanside. This summons Robonyan F, who turns into a table with an "End Everything" button. Whisper presses the button. The arena explodes 30 seconds later, but Nate, Whisper, and Jibanyan make it out. The final scene of the show is Enma and Zazel standing over the ruins of the arena and musing that it's really the end. A storm appears overhead and Enma prepares to fight. Yo-kai Watch Jam - Yo-kai Academy Y: Close Encounters of the N Kind reveals that Snap Back is subverted in this one instance. Whatever came out of this storm not only sticks, but it destroys the Yo-kai World and kills almost every Yo-kai.
  • Summon Magic: Needed for the whole premise, really. Played for Laughs in the anime, where the distinct lack of a de-summon method means the Yo-kai literally have to walk back to where they were.
  • Take That!:
    • We finally get to hear a Next Harmeowny tune for the third ED - and it's just an outright complaint about Contractual Purity.
    • One episode has Komasan and Komajiro eating lunch at Mog Burger. Komasan accidentally orders every item on the menu and Komajiro calls him brave for trying food of debatable quality.
  • Tamer and Chaster: Complaints from Japanese parents caused the anime to tone down its jokes in later episodes.
  • The Teaser:
    • The first 8 episodes would usually feature Manjimutt coming up with a new career but would always end up arrested and heading to jail.
    • Komasan and Komajiro would end up with there own short segment starting in episode 9.
  • The Stinger: Each episode would end with Nate and Whisper giving a recap on what Yo-Kai they caught in the episode. Sometimes having a short scene with them and a Yo-Kai.
  • Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: A skeletal Yo-kai named Dazzabel has a bow, makeup and a dress. Bear in mind her head is a skull.
  • Thinly-Veiled Dub Country Change: The Disney XD dub seems to be trying to make the series take place in the US. This is despite the fact it's incredibly obvious it takes place in Japan. The names are westernized, the currency is referred to as USD, the text is in English, and various changes allude to it taking place in the US (though it's not as blatant as early Pokémon and most of the changes aren't visual edits).
  • Three Shorts: Somewhat unusually in an era where single-episode shows are the norm, Yo-kai Watch operates on this principle. An "episode" usually consists of a very short, 90-second-or-so pre-credits short, followed by two eight-to-nine minute shorts separated by a commercial break. These shorts may or may not have plot links, depending on a given episode. This has the side effect of making Yo-kai's pace feel almost breakneck at times, compared even to other children's shows.
  • Toilet Humour:
    • Cheeksqueek fills the "butt-faced" requirement for this show.
    • Fidgephant's power is to make people want to pee.
    • Poofessor and his "trivia poo" run on this trope.
  • Too Spicy for Yog-Sothoth:
    • Wazzat can eat people's memories, until it goes up against Manjimutt, the Butt-Monkey who's got a lifetime of horrid memories.
    • One episode has the Pig Man Yo-kai Sproink forcing everyone out of the hot tub at the bathhouse by making it too hot for them... but then this old dude comes along and turns it even higher, forcing Sproink out.
    • Espy, a mind-reading Yo-Kai, can only be stopped by Nate imagining the grossest thing possible for her to run from. It's just Nate changing his underpants in rapid succession. That's healthy, right?
    • Enduriphant, whose entire shtick is resisting any urge, helps Nate with winning a contest. The final round, Nate is up against the reigning champion....the guy who trained Enduriphant. It doesn't take long for the Yo-kai to admit defeat. And in a later episode, he easily fends off a Fidgephant's Potty Emergency power....only to be assailed by a flash mob of them until he has to pee so badly he de-evolves into a Fidgephant.
  • Trademark Favorite Food:
    • Chocolate bars for Jibanyan and soft serve vanilla ice cream for Komasan.
    • Walkappa likes sushi and pizza while Faux Kappa naturally prefers cucumbers.
    • Hungramps appear to be partial to rice like in the games, having eaten rice yo-kai on a few occasions alongside Grubsnitch.
  • A Twinkle in the Sky: This appears a few times when Jibanyan tried the fight a truck in the first episode, Whisper after he got smacked by Nate with a paper fan in episode 16, and even Nate and a Yo-kai suffered this fate in episode 44 when Jibanyan unleashed his paws of fury on them and send them flying.
  • Unexpected Kindness: Jibanyan remembers that his owner Amy bitterly told him he was lame for letting himself get hit by a truck. In episode 26, he goes back in time and sees how much affection she gave him; she said she loved him, took him for rides on her bicycle, and brought him along on shopping trips. He's confused about her actions because of what she supposedly said before, but then he finds out that he completely misremembered the event where he died. He pushed Amy out of the way of the oncoming truck and upon realizing he was dead, she clung to his body, tearfully saying how much she'd miss him and that she blamed herself for his death.
  • Voice of the Legion: Whisper in the perspective of the newbie Gnomey.
  • Weirdness Censor: One major reason for Nate's Butt-Monkey status is Whisper taking forever to realize it when Nate himself is possessed.note  It's not till #56 that Jibanyan literally takes matters into his own hands, grabbing Nate's arm to work the Yo-kai UV scanner himself.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: In the Christmas episode, Ol' Saint Trick, a Santa Claus-like Yo-kai subjects Nate to some multiple choice quizzes and if he answers wrong, he gets sucked into one one of his bags. Whisper and Jibanyan get themselves trapped, and for the final quiz, Nate has to choose one of three bags, Whisper and Jibanyan are each in one bag and a pair of cleats is in the third bag. Nate chooses the cleats. The Yo-kai releases Whisper and Jibanyan since Nate was honest. Whisper and Jibanyan call Nate out for it.
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: The exact location of Springdale:
    • In Japan, Robonyan and Baku's Recap Time shows that is somewhere between the Kansai and Chogoku regions.
    • Robnyan's recap in the Us states that Springdale is somewhere in Georgia, though Baku's shows they're in the New England area.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: A rare justified version with Roughraff, who's based on a lizard, and thanks to his cold-blooded nature, cannot stand hot tubs.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: While no zombies are involved, Episode 42 features the Yo-kai Dracunyan, a vampiric cat whose bites turn victims into more Dracunyan. Nate and his friends soon find out that Dracunyan works fast, and that practically everyone in the town has turned into vampires.


Video Example(s):


Yo-kai Watch Ending Theme

The ending theme features characters dancing to the song "Yo-kai Watch Exercise No. 1"

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / DancingTheme

Media sources: