Manga Review: Yo-Kai Watch Volume Three

Yo-Kai Watch Volume 3 focuses on Nate Adams, an elementary school student given the Yo-Kai Watch by a Yo-Kai named Whisper. Nate, along with his Yo-Kai friends, have adventures that usually end with Nathan summoning at least one Yo-Kai.

Yo-Kai Watch Volume 3
Written by: Noriyuki Konishi
Publisher: Shogakukan
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: January 5, 2016

It turns out that the Yo-Kai Watch manga doesn’t have an overarching story. Instead, each chapter is a stand-alone vignette. About the only thing that provides a chronological order is the counter at the end of most chapters that show how many Yo-Kai friends that Nate has.

Most of the stories in Volume 3 seem to have Nate encountering a situation at school or running into a Yo-Kai when he’s out and about. In both cases, Nate ends up having to summon at least one Yo-Kai out of his watch to help him deal with the situation at hand. The Yo-Kai he seems to summon the most is Jibanyan, a cat who became a Yo-Kai when he passed away.

Over the course of Volume 3, Nate becomes friends with several new Yo-Kai: Tattletell, Hungorge, Goruma, Manjimutt, Blandon, Sproink, Snotsolong, and Dianyan. In the process of becoming friends with Nate, they become a Yo-Kai medal he can store in his watch so he can summon them later.

At first glance, Yo-Kai Watch comes across as some kind of a Pokemon clone, since both series feature a boy who can summon creatures that he carries on his person. But rather quickly, it becomes clear that there are major differences between the two. While Pokemon is about battling other trainers and their Pokemon, Yo-Kai Watch is a comedic story that focuses on Nate summoning his Yo-Kai if he needs help to figure out what’s going on or to help him get out of a situation. But after reading Yo-Kai Watch Volume 3, I have to say that between the two series, Pokemon is stronger.

The Yo-Kai Watch manga is definitely being aimed at younger readers, which is made abundantly clear by the fact that the human characters are all elementary school students. The humor being used in the series is also aimed at younger readers. I had my 11-year-old daughter read Yo-Kai Watch Volume 3, and she said that she liked it. The series didn’t do much for me, but then again, I’m not the target market. But since my 11-year-old seemed to enjoy it, I think I can say that it’s doing a good job of attracting the audience that it’s aiming for.

When it comes to the art, Konishi’s style is rather simplistic. But considering the demographic that Yo-Kai Watch is being aimed at, they aren’t as likely to be as picky about the art as older readers are.

If you know a young reader who appreciates the Pokemon manga, you might want to try to introduce them to Yo-Kai Watch. If my 11-year-old daughter is any indication, then I think younger readers will enjoy what Yo-Kai Watch has to offer.

The reviewer was provided a review copy by VIZ Media

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