I don't care what anyone says. Everything about Yo-kai watch is wonderful, from the ridiculous designs to the childish humor to the painfully corny dubbing and original songs. The second game hit American shores only recently, and I still haven't gotten it yet, but it's available in the beautifully titled Bony Spirits and Fleshy Souls versions. As with the first game, we're going to look at a whole 31 of its weirdest, funniest, coolest or creepiest additions!
Count Zapaway is one of those Yo-kai that just makes a perfect example of the whole series, a supernatural entity revolving around a modern-day inconvenience. He is, of course, the spirit responsible when you suddenly can't find your remote control, and according to the anime, his hiding places have five possible "difficulty levels:"
Level one: he leaves the remote where it usually is, but with something else on top of it, like a newspaper.
Level two: the remote is between the couch cushions, duh.
Level three: this level is skipped, so we have no idea!
Level four: the remote switches places with another random household device in almost any room.
Level five: it somehow ends up in the back of the refrigerator.
Unfortunately, Zapaway's bio also says he whisks them away on romantic dates before he leaves them somewhere weird, so even if you find it...are you sure you want to touch it?
They call him "Firewig," but this guy is obviously more centipede than earwig. You can also easily guess what he's all about; he's associated with the fire attribute, he's a rageaholic and he escalates people's anger until they figuratively explode. There are several Yo-kai that affect anger, but Firewig's the one that makes people go ballistic.
Grumples & Everfore
We don't usually include a monster and its evolution as one entry like this, but it only makes sense when "Everfore" is literally just supposed to be Grumples after regaining her youth. She's a lot cooler looking as Grumples, yes, but I appreciate the creepiness of how Everfore maintains that youth - by stealing it from human women, of course.
Like the first game's Insomni, Allnyta causes humans to stay up all night long, though he does somewhat better job of communicating that idea visually. His bio reads "the bags under his eyes from playing video games all night are enough to make anyone worry for this Yo-kai's health."
Here we have a pun name that only perfectly works in Japan where they don't really distinguish the "R" and "L" sound. That's basically it. They changed the "M" in "america" to a "P" and had themselves a pelican joke.
Apelican's whole gimmick is that he was born in Japan, but tries way too hard to seem American. It's said that his English isn't even that good.
Is it just me or does this guy feel kind of flirty? He's even described in his own bio as "supple and slippery." Oh my. His main thing, though, is dodging responsibility with a pitiful new excuse for every screw-up. Like many Yo-kai, his personality is infectious in an unfortunately literal sense.
Cricky was born from an actual dead frog, but his power is to give humans a stiff neck. This is because you can make a portmanteau in Japanese from kaeru (frog) and nechigaeru (that thing where you sleep funny and wake up in pain.) I love how completely nonsensical some of these become in any other language.
Another Yo-kai with "Drizzle" in the name who makes it rain, just in case you wished the blob-like Drizzle from the first game was instead a soggy woman with an umbrella hat. Both are adorable in their own different ways, of course, and Drizzelda has the added twist of being overly apologetic.
This Yo-kai was born from a cheap, crappy umbrella that flipped inside out with just one use and was tossed in the trash. As vengeance, he causes other people's umbrellas to break the same way regardless of quality. You're likely aware that there's already an entirely different umbrella monster in mythology, the kasa-obake, born from a more antiquated paper umbrella. Kasa-obake is also present in Yo-kai watch, and yes, these two meet one another in the anime, with Kasa-obake mentoring Brokenbrella on how to resist wind.
I just really like how his "arms" are formed by two of the umbrella's ribs.
It's not clear until the third game whether actual aliens exist in this setting, but at least there's a Yo-kai who pretends to be one and presumably causes various U.F.O. sightings. There's even a zipper on his back, but we have no idea what he really looks like.
Furgus is based on the traditional Yo-kai, Keukegen, and has the same name in the Japanese version. Keukegen never had much to it beyond the fact that it was totally covered in hair, but it also came to be associated with dark, damp places and mold. In this series, it just makes people hairier. It evolves into Furdinand, who styles people's hair.
I mentioned in my older 2015 review that this was one of the most disturbing looking Yo-kai, but that was before I saw her in-game animations, in which her facial features actually constantly shuffle around her head. As if her ability to actually swap people's faces wasn't creepy enough, or the fact that in the anime, she can make someone's face just up and leave with a mind all its own.
Leggly apparently just gives people beautiful legs, or at least causes others to notice their legs more. Her bio also describes her as "a model's legs" but offers no further explanation as to her origin. Just...a model's legs. Like, the legs alone reincarnated as a monster?? What happened to the rest of her?!
This is actually the classical youkai, Dorotabo, the angry spirit of a rice farmer whose land was sold and neglected following his death. Dorotabou is said to manifest from the mud and soil of his old farm, frightening people with his single eye and his haunting cries.
The Yo-kai watch translation actually keeps this lore intact, even if the new name it came up with implies some sort of mud-eating aspect.
Spoilerina is a cute little ballerina fairy who makes you spoil movies for people who haven't seen them yet.
This is another charmingly goofy English name for a classical youkai, the smoky spirit Enraenra. There's really not much to the monster's lore beyond that, but Yo-kai watch decided it should also be another of the "sexiest" Yo-kai, like Insomni. There's also a "dark" version of her the dub decided to name Badsmella, but unfortunately, smelling bad isn't an attribute she actually has in either the dub or the original, otherwise a stench-cloud woman would easily be one of my personal favorites.
This Yo-kai just causes people to run everywhere they go at top speed, which isn't nearly as interesting as the fact that he's a nearly naked dude with a giant shoe for a head. I especially like the menacing eyes inside the shoelace loops. Does anyone remember when the fifth or sixth Pokemon generation was coming out, and someone falsely "leaked" that there was going to be a sneaker pokemon? I still think a sneaker pokemon would be perfectly acceptable and adorable, so I'm glad Yo-kai watch stepped up to the plate here.
Another "classic" youkai of course. If I'm confusing you with these different spellings, "youkai" is the proper English spelling for these beings, but "Yo-kai" is what this series uses internally. I'm kind of thinking of them as two separate categories?
Anyway, this is really bakezori, a tsukumogami (object monsters) that was once a pair of sandals. In monster form, sandals delight in spooking humans with the sound of mysterious footsteps!
Foiletta evolves from Toiletta, which some of you may recognize as the legendary ghost, Toilet Hanako. As Foiletta, she no longer hangs out in toilets, but curses anyone she doesn't like by writing their name in her diary, so we get a reference to Death Note along with that classic black-haired Japanese ghost girl look. This is basically the Yo-kai for you if you ever thought "I wish this were a pokemon" while watching Ringu or Ju-on.
The second game sure brought in a lot more classics. Tublappa here is originally Akaname, the youkai said to enter bathrooms at night and "clean" every surface with its tongue. Unfortunately, this means you wake up to a bathroom completely covered in shiny, sticky spit, though it's still an improvement depending on how filthy you were leaving it.
God, have you ever had Takoyaki? We never did until this past June when we visited our friends in Seattle and had some from a little place at Uwajimaya. It's one of the few places in this whole country you can get authentic, freshly fried-up octopus balls and there's really nothing else quite like them. Even if you've had octopus you can't really imagine how gooey and savory-sweet these things are, no wonder octopuses are just immediately associated with deliciousness in anime.
Takoyaking doesn't even have a special possession power that I know of, he's just a living Yakoyaki monster and presumably the most delicious of all.
This little rodent "thinks the sewers are the center of the world" and can possess people to become proud egomaniacs. He also has an art style that almost feels totally different from the rest of the game, with his little glowing eyes on such a straightforward cartoon mouse. He has such a traditional "spooky rat" feel that as simple as he is, he might be one of my favorite designs.
This nose-picking monster was first invented by the anime as nothing but a one-off gag. Jibanyan was just about to live out one of his dreams and get a kiss from his favorite pop idol when Keita summoned him to a battle against a booger demon. The joke was popular enough to keep returning in different ways and for the monster to become an official Yo-kai by the second game.
Snottle, of course, makes people pick their noses. We also find out that it keeps coming back to Keita because it reincarnated from one of his flicked boogers and considers him its father.
Have I ever mentioned boogers are the one thing that can make me nauseous enough to almost gag? They totally are. This plotline is as sickening as it is hilarious, especially when Keita turns around one episode to an endless sea of these guys. Euuuugh.
If you recognize which first-generation monster this evolved from, you know this is not the least bit healthy.
How cute is it to make a little white ghost that's also a bowl of rice? Wotchagot is a Yo-kai that instills envy in humans, because he himself is envious of the more flavorful and interesting foods he sees everyone else eating. He at least finds fulfillment in the anime when he meets Hungramps.
So this is an evolved form of "tongus," an adorable mushroom lady who can heal any wound by licking it with her giant purple fungusy tongue. All that changes when she "evolves" is that she gets a real medical job and a cute little nurse's outfit, and why is this Yo-kai making me feel so weird
Moving on, this is actually one of the bosses from the first game, now befriendable like a regular Yo-kai! He's much, much larger as a boss, basically an evil spirit that was sealed in a gigantic rice cooker. When you recruit him, he shrinks down to more manageable Yo-kai size, which is good, because otherwise you wouldn't even be able to see around his head during battle.
Anyway, black blobs with faces are basically always the cutest thing after black blobs with only eyes.
This was one of my favorites from my original article, when his only known name was Dokidoki, which is how you write the sound of a heart beating in Japanese, while just doki (written with entirely different characters) means "earthenware." The result still makes a surprising amount of sense as a monster, considering the practice in some cultures of storing a cadaver's organs in clay pots.
The cute little guy is able to make people's hearts beat faster with a sense of intense nervousness, and he makes them especially nervous by threatening to fall over and break.
Yes, the awesome memory-eating hat from the first game evolves, and he evolves into an entire memory-eating ROOM. That is marvelously spooky. You should read the short King story 1408, about a hotel room that's basically also an otherworldly, malevolent entity that preys on people's minds. It had an amazingly decent film adaptation, too, possibly the only movie adapted from a King story that I really found terrifying the first time I watched it.
Of course there are plenty of other horror stories about rooms that aren't quite right - including one of the last really good Silent Hill games - and now you can literally make friends with one of those as a collectible battlemonster. My favorite detail, though, is that this mind-devouring room has little arms and hands on it.
Here he is, my favorite creature design in the series, limited to a boss in the first title. As much as I love all the bizarre, caricatured humans and objects in this series, you know I also love purely biological, alien-looking monstrosities. Slimamander is actually almost one of the only things in Yo-kai watch with that aesthetic, but he more than compensates for the lack of many others. He's a three-headed, giant-tongued, gooey salamander hydra who only has one giant eyeball and it happens to be inside his body, even capable of peering out from any one of his three toothless mouths at any time.
He also looks adorable like he's wallowing in a kiddie pool full of his own mucus, though that's actually his own long tail wrapped around him. I want to detract a point for it not really being an organic kiddie pool, and maybe one for the general fact that boss monsters are never fleshed out with any thematic possession powers, but I can't bring myself to detract a point from Slimamander for any reason.
They could not have picked a better English name for Unchikuma, which in Japanese basically means "knowledge demon" but is also an exact homophone for "poop bear." For real. This little guy is obsessed with trivia and causes humans to spout out obscure facts whether or not anyone around them is interested, a power he imbues upon them by putting his "trivia poo" on their head.
And sometimes, he eats it.
And sometimes, this anime is for real the most messed up children's monster cartoon I've ever seen.