Waking Up In A Yo-Kai Watch World


It had been nearly 24 hours since the Friday afternoon party afforded us by the early dismissal at school. ‘Twas pajama day too AND the 3rd grade Valentine’s celebration, so it was already a pretty special February 12th before I decided to schedule a few hours of free play centered around Yo-Kai Watch, a Disney XD show we didn’t know the first thing about as recently as the 1st of the month. Kids came over, played with toys, watched the show and gave tight hugs in the shadows of their moms and dads who, like me, didn’t seem the least bit prepared to go back to real life and plan a Friday night dinner.

Now it was Saturday morning, somewhere in the 85th minute of the Everton v. West Brom match I was watching when Mouse sauntered into the vaulted ceiling addition we still call the ‘new room’ despite the remodel being completed shortly before the Phillies last won the World Series. So yeah, it’s been a while. On her right wrist sat a pearly white watch, a rich leather-toned brown binder was tucked tightly under that same arm, and her clammy left hand squeezed a small figurine. She peered up at the TV to see the clock counting upwards to 90:00 plus a still unannounced amount of stoppage time. She looked back at me with the longing of an old man who’d just seen his unrequited love off to sea without expressing the feelings that have been welling up inside him for years.

Mouse was eager, with all her new supplies, to continue watching Yo-Kai Watch but first she joined me in cheering on an Everton equalizer because she’s well versed enough in how the game of football works to know that a goal here wouldn’t result in an overtime period to delay her Yo-Kai watching. When the final whistle blew on an Everton loss I immediately ceded control of the 46” television to my 8-year-old daughter and to the cartoon sensation that took down Star Wars in theaters in Japan. You read that right.

But first there was Friday…

Opening up the Yo-Kai Watch Box

I presented the giant white box of Yo-Kai Watch toys to Mouse and her friends as soon as they arrived, after the school pick-up line was successfully navigated by all, but before any of them has seen a single animated frame of the wildly popular Japanese kid’s show that awaited them in our ‘new room’. This is a curious way, and thoroughly modern manner too, it would seem, to enter into a new relationship with a piece of visual media. When I was young it seemed that toys and other licensed merch wouldn’t even be manufactured, let alone adorn retail shelf space, until the show or movie or band (in some cases) were a bona fide, bankable hit. But here we are and there they were, on the green family room carpet, tearing into something entirely foreign and unquestionably exciting.

The Yo-Kai Watch mess

In a blink there were shreds of cardboard and red crinkle paper scattered from sofa to hutch, and empty plastic molds where once sat Yo-Kai characters with curious names like Tattletell, Komasan and Jibanyan.


Our orange tabby cat Tilly also couldn’t contain her excitement and so she did her business right there in front of us, in the big white box with the remains of the shredded red crinkle paper standing in as proxy for litter.

In less than an hour, all the wrist watch wearing 3rd graders were back on the green carpet of the family room repeating lines from the Yo-Kai Watch, singing and dancing in some kind of Bollywood interstitial musical number that, for sure, confused the adults in the way that kids can and should do. For this is their world, their new experiences, their curious discoveries, and it is on us to look up at the TV and become well versed in how it all works.

Check out the show, the Hasbro toys and the new Yo-Kai Watch Lan app for iOS and Android.


I was compensated both financially and in a big white box of Yo-Kai Watch products by Hasbro for the #YokaiWatch campaign. All opinions are honest and unbiased.

Showing off her new love of Yo-Kai Watch

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