All About Japan

'Yo-Kai Watch' Debuts Abroad

Anime Video Spooky

Level-5, the game developer behind hits such as Ni no Kuni, Professor Layton and the mega-popular Yo-Kai Watch, are no strangers to success. They’ve even turned their mega-hit Yo-Kai Watch into an ongoing 90-episode anime series.

Since then, the popularity of the show, the game and the characters has really risen, especially Jibanyan, who has surpassed Pikachu in popularity. It was only a matter of time before this huge hit would dip a toe into international waters, and on Disney XD it finally happened.

A TV show about spirits based on Japanese folklore would probably have needed a few adjustments when screened for a Western audience, so we were wondering, what did they decide to name their main character in the English version?

When Pokémon debuted outside Japan, the titular character Satoshi (no last name) became Ash Ketchum, a name that was more palatable to an English-speaking audience. When adapting Yo-Kai Watch, the translators decided that the same kind of name change would be necessary. You won’t hear the name Keito Amano being screamed out by excited elementary school students in the U.S.—his name is now Nathan “Nate” Adams.

Nate’s two human friends have also undergone a bit of a name change, with Fumika Kodama becoming Katie Kodama and Gorota “Kuma” Kumashima now known as Bear Kumashima. Whisper, the ghost-butler who always accompanies Nate, and Jibanyan, a charming cat-like Yo-Kai that befriends him, both retain their original names.

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