Move over Pokémon – Jibanyan is stateside! Eighteen months after its Japanese debut, the top rated cultural phenomenon, YO-KAI WATCH, made its series debut on Disney XD.
Already more popular than Pokémon in Japan - the 3DS games alone have sold over 8 million copies in Japan, and the greater franchise has made over $2 billion at retail on toys and related merchandise - the series follows the daily adventures of an average boy (Nate) who discovers a special watch. The watch empowers him to interact with the mysterious Yo-kai, who both cause and help solve everyday problems. Creator, LEVEL-5 abby, took an innovative approach to the storytelling by first listening to what today's kids have to say, care and worry about and then creating a multi-verse fantasy world across multiple platforms, that resembles kids' day-to-day realities.
Following the series launch, the brand will take an unconventional marketing approach that will in short succession launch games, toys and animation projects stateside.
• VIZ Media launches their manga throughout North America on November 3rd.
• Nintendo's North American game launch takes place on November 6th.
• Beginning January 2016, Hasbro will launch its highly anticipated toy line.
Yo-kai is clearly positioning itself for a global takeover. But the billion dollar question is – will Yo-kai capture the same level of success in the West?