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Manga / Yo-Kai Watch

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Yo-kai Watch is an extremely popular franchise in Japan, and has naturally grown a good deal since it started. There are six manga adaptations that have been released, besides the Anime of the Game. One of them is a shonen Gag Series authored by Noriyuki Konishi, that has been published in Bessatsu CoroCoro Comic since 2012. This series shares some treats of the videogames, but it's actually more closer to the anime, although it has its own extreme differences.

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Nate is an average boy who one day finds a very old capsule machine/gravestone hybrid, out of which comes Whisper, a Yo-kai who becomes Nate's butler out of gratefulness. He gives Nate the titular "Yo-kai Watch", which allows Nate to see and interact with Yo-kai that influence people's lives.

Unlike the other printed adaptations (a shoujo manga, a seinen manga, and a couple of four-panel comics), the contortions and situations displayed in this series are sometimes horrific (with scenes displaying Nightmare Faces, Body Horror, and Averted Bloodless Carnage) significantly being an over-the-top Darker and Edgier version of the parent videogame.

This particular manga adaptation has been licensed and released by Viz Media in the U.S. under their Perfect Square imprint in 2015.


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This adaptation has examples of:

  • Adaptational Badass: Jibanyan, who is a lot more capable here than his anime counterpart. As is Nate, who is more proactive.
  • Adaptational Intelligence: Whisper doesn't own a Y-pad for the first 8 volumes and is capable of recognising and giving information on Yo-kai on his own. Even when he does get a Y-Pad in volume 9, he still doesn't need it for identifying Yo-kai.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy: Frostina (who later evolves into Blizzaria) is much nicer and timider in the manga and is regretful if she accidentally freezes anyone.
  • Adapted Out: Furdinand, who was in charge of the shock absorbers in the anime and Yo-kai Watch 3, is the only Yo-kai missing from the group that helps launch Usapyon's rocket.
  • Amnesia Loop: Nate was so annoyed by his encounter with the Yo-kai Runsure in chapter 172 (volume 17) that he summoned Wazzat to help himself and Jibanyan forget it. Unfortunately, he runs into Runsure again and the exact same encounter plays out. As Whisper notes at the end of the chapter, they already went through this loop five times.
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  • Bloodless Carnage: Averted, though due to the manga's monochrome coloring, it's hard to tell unless a character points it out. Dracunyan even vomits blood in his chapter, and one Yo-kai Nate meets has the power to make people's noses bleed out.
  • Butt-Monkey: Everyone, but especially Whisper and Jibanyan.
  • Darker and Edgier: When compared to its brother anime and parent videogame. This version of Yo-kai Watch has Yo-kai that can really be dangerous when pissed off enough, heck, one of the first stories has a knife-wielding thief that stabs Nate in the stomach.note 
  • Duct Tape for Everything: Gusto's initial solution for repairing a split-in-half planet Earth. Luckily, Hovernyan comes up with a more practical solution: kick both sides of the planet to rejoin them.
  • Dub-Induced Plot Hole: Ever wonder where Nate got Lord Enma's Yo-kai medal (or, for that matter, his phone number) in volume 13, despite the manga up to that point never showing him receiving either? That's because the media where he got the medal (specifically, the second movie and its manga adaptation) have not been released outside of Japan as of March 2021.
    • The currently un-localized second movie is also referenced in chapter 191 (volume 19), when prior to Nate and co traveling to Demon Island, Lord Enma notes the boy already died once.
  • Earth-Shattering Kaboom: When enlarged by Meganyan's smoke, Jibanyan's punches become powerful enough to split the Earth in half.
  • Gag Series: With the exception of Volume 13.
  • Groin Attack: Jibanyan beats Goruma with a barrage of these.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: A number of Yo-kai are beaten through their own powers being directed back at them or by situations that they caused in the first place.
  • Inconvenient Summons: Even more so than in the anime. Jibanyan is almost never battle-ready, being summoned when he was stuck under a vending machine, lost to another truck, upset over lost change, etc. And even when he is battle-ready, something in the environment will still stop him (i.e. landing in front of an oncoming truck or on a spear, or falling hundreds of feet because Nate was in midair).
  • Medium Awareness: Most characters will be quick to point out certain predicaments that the general manga format put them in. Examples include having to squeeze onto the title page of a chapter because it had fewer pages than usual, bemoaning that they don't have enough pages to beat the Villain of the Week, or having trouble telling Palette Swap Yo-kai apart from each other (as unlike the games or anime, the manga is in black and white).
  • Merchandise-Driven: Lampshaded in Volume 16; after Nate asks why his Yo-kai Watch Arcane uses keystones instead of medals, Whisper replies that it's probably because "they"note  need to sell more toys.
  • Never Say "Die": Zig-zagged; early volumes and volume 17 averted it, but volumes 11-16 played it straight. This becomes egregious in Volume 13, as the Ghoulfather lands attacks powerful enough to kill several Yo-kai (with close-ups of their lifeless bodies), but Nate and co still won't say it outright.
  • Nice Guy: Nate, just as his original counterpart.
  • Out-of-Genre Experience: Volume 13 doesn't follow the manga's usual Gag Series format, but instead features one continuous story arc where Nate and co face off against the Ghoulfather to free Tomnyan's former owner from his influence. Can count as a Darker and Edgier volume, as one chapter features the Ghoulfather killing multiple Yo-kai in succession, and unlike the other volumes, it's not Played for Laughs. At all.
  • Pocket Protector: A manga volume under Nate's shirt saves him from being stabbed in the gut.
  • Running Gag: Most fights usually result in Jibanyan and the Yo-kai he's fighting being run over by a passing vehicle.
  • Shout-Out: Volume 1 gives one out to CoroCoro Comic, in which the series is published in Japan, as one chapter's plot starts with Nate rushing to buy the newest issue.
  • Wall of Text: Both Suspicioni and Papa Windbag get one as a result of their powers (the former because he's overly suspicious, and the latter because he brags too much). Both times, there's a note from the author saying the reader can skip it.
  • You Could Have Used Your Powers for Good!: Usually after defeating a Yo-kai, Nate will tell them how they can help people with their abilities rather than cause trouble.
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