While walking around town one day, 5th grader Amano Keita notices a bizarre capsule toy machine in the woods and decides to buy a toy. But when he opens the capsule he receives, a ghostly creature named Whisper materializes. Impressed that Keita neither ran away nor bombarded him with questions, he decides to give Keita the Youkai Watch. The watch is a device that allows the wearer to see youkai, which are fantastical creatures, each type possessing different kinds of magical abilities, and which are normally invisible to humans. The Youkai Watch also allows the wearer to summon any youkai he has befriended, enabling the wearer to make use of the youkai's powers. Using it, Keita and Whisper encounter many mischievous youkai around town, resolving the trouble they're causing and befriending many at the same time.
Youkai Watch won the 38th Kodansha Manga and 60th Shogakukan Awards for best children's manga in 2014 and 2015 respectively.
The series has been published in English as Yo-kai Watch by VIZ Media under the Perfect Square imprint (uses Westernized names) since November 3, 2015 and by Shogakukan Asia (uses original Japanese names) since July 1, 2015. It will be published in Spanish by Norma Editorial.
(This review may change during time, i've only read the first volume and bit of the second volume, italian version, so it might not be a fully proper review.)
As a new fan of Yokai Watch, it happened to me that i bought the second and third volume of the italian version of this manga when i went to a comics store.
I love the character designs of the franchise, especially Jibanyan, which made me get into the franchise. I never bothered buying the game as infact the mangas costed about ten bucks or fewer, so let me get this straight on.
The manga's storytelling is fairly simple
enough for a teen-aged reader, due to the manga being directed to mostly children, but it has both funny moments and horrifying moments. There's a medium frequency of frightening scenes throught the chapters which can show that the Yokais in question can have depressing, scared or scary looks, and as a reader who tend to fear about these kind of scenes, kids might feel disgusted looking at these creepy faces that appear in some scenes.
Even if the story seems bland, each chapter focusing on a Yokai can represent a real life social problem, such as arguing, uncomfy feelings, memory forgetting, etc., and it gives the fact that they can be technically "seen" through the manga's titular Yokai Watch, which will be accompanying us through the series. Nathan (or Keita) seems to retain its usual mediocre personality, but the story order is different that only each new chapter introduce either a new Yokai and/or other new characters such as his school mates, but that isn't a really big problem.
About the art, I thought the manga was drawn by the same guys who did the franchise, but instead, the art style didn't find me familiar when i first saw the cover art of the mangas. The art style is indeed different from the original sources and sometimes they notably have less detail than what i've seen from the anime (yeah, there was only few times i've seen shots from the Yokai Watch anime).
As said above, the creepy-inducing scenes make the art look gritty and there's yet lots of freaked out faces to expect. An example of this art style is that Jibanyan sometimes tend to have thin arms and legs depicted in some scenes, while other Yokai depicted surely can have creepy details.
The art style seems fine, even if it's not exactly like the original art style in the games and anime versions.
It's not very tasteful, but it's not bad either. Considering this is even the first manga i've bought, this isn't even technically, for me, the first manga i'd read. I've literally came to read this because of the light hearted characters, such as Jibanyan, Komasan, and some other favourites.
A kid dressed in a bright tee and cargo pants takes on the world of cute monsters. What's not to love! The Yo-kai watch games as well as the anime adaptation bring back all the good old memories of our rose-tinted childhood with a splash of action here and there. Come join the adventure!
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