Not that anyone rly reads Journals on Deviantart anymore I just want to rave about YKW since it's the only thing I have muse for currently. Anyways!
1. What is a Yo-Kai, anyways?
Yo-Kai, in Japanese folklore and mythology, is a broad term used to describe many types of creatures and spirits. Due to many of Japan's religions focusing on some form of animism (a belief that many things have souls- not just people, but plants, animals, and objects as well), many Yo-Kai are the spirits of deceased animals or very old objects. Not everything is the ghost of something that has passed away, but many are.
In Yo-Kai watch, this tradition carries on, as Jibanyan (the series' mascot) used to be a regular cat before his early demise. But furthermore, in the series, Yo-Kai are explained to be the many creatures that cause all sorts of little problems, or odd behaviors in general. Many Yo-Kai in the series are explained to have previously been regular people or objects, but just as many are just... What they are, and they do their own thing.
2. Okay, but that just sounds weird.
It is! And that's the whole point. One of the things that separates Yo-Kai Watch from other Mon Series is that it retains the distinctly weird qualities that it's original source material has. There are a lot of cute and cool Yo-Kai, but there's also a lot that are just.... Strange. It's a very light-hearted series that doesn't take itself too seriously (although, it does still have it's moments of suspense and terror- moreso in-game than in the anime series).
3. But doesn't Pokemon do that well enough? It's already popular.
This is a critisism YKW has earned from many Pokemon Loyalists, but the two series are very different takes on the 'Collect and Fight Monster' genre. The battle system, the catching system, and even the evolution system is very distinct and different from Pokemon. Although I don't blame anyone from having this opinion as a first impression, I would like to reiterate that they're only the same at face-value.
In Yo-Kai Watch, battles are bit more real-time. Your team will attack and act on their own, though a turn order is based on the Speed of each Yo-Kai. During battle, you are given a bit more of a role of support/direct. You can tell your Yo-Kai which enemy to focus on, use items, and purify them of status ailments all without sacrificing a round to attack (although the item option does have a small cooldown). You can also help them use their special move (called Soultimate) once their Soul meter is maxed out. (The Soul Meter is replenished via attack. There isn't a high level of strategy, but paying attention to passive abilities and their typing can alter how smoothly battle goes for you and your team.
Befriending Yo-Kai is a matter of luck (unlike Pokemon which is more... Perseverance in my experience =3= ) that you can tip slightly into your favor. Every Yo-Kai has a favorite food that you can give to them in-battle to give them a reason to join your team. There are also Yo-Kai with abilities that make it even easier to befriend a Yo-Kai, but in the end, it's all luck. .... Many of the things in this game is based on luck, as far as Yo-Kai/item collection goes.
4. Well, I can't afford any new games right now.
That's fine! Yo-Kai watch has a free demo available in the 3ds Shop, and there's an anime that's being aired on Disney XD. Of course, if you're like me, it'd probably be easier to binge with subtitles than wait for the dub. The anime is just as entertaining as the game, and keeps the same amount of quirkiness that made the series such a hit in Japan. If you want to save your wallet from getting thinner and are looking for a new cartoon series to get into, this is a great idea! (Even if it is made for little kids and some of the jokes do stray into annoying kid joke territory.... It's still good.)
5. Why are you annoying everyone with hyping up Yo-Kai Watch so much?
I will.... Be honest. I am a girl with Autism, and as anyone on this spectrum knows, we are very likely to have certain topics that we are extremely keen on. Mine is and always has been chiefly mythology. (And I guess character creation, but that's not the focus here.) And with Japanese Mythology being so diverse and weird as it is, a very limited amount of it has made it's way to the US (some of my favorite pokemon are directly influenced by Japanese folklore, in fact). So when this series began to be advertised by Nintendo, it did not take me long to get hooked. Plus, I like series that acknowledge that they're weird and fully embrace it. (Like how Panty and Stocking did with just how vulgar it is. I don't even like unsanitary comedy but that series actually makes it work in a really fun way.)
So, I need more of this content to be available here in the West. And it gaining fans and popularity is how that can keep happening.
.... Er, not that my reasons are completely selfish. I really enjoy this series and I know that a lot of other people will too, if I can assume that the people who follow me or with whom I'm acquainted share at least some of the same base interests as I do. But at the same time I don't wanna be that person who shoves their fandoms down everyone's throats. So hopefully, this journal will do all that talking for me.
.... Cause I wanna talk about Yo Kai watch with more people. o3o;;; It's so lonely with no one to fan with.