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Yo-kai Watch (妖怪ウォッチ, Yōkai Wotchi, trademarked in Japan as Youkai Watch and Yokai Watch, lit. "Spirit/Monsters Watch") is a series of role-playing video games and a mixed-media franchise, created and developed by Level-5. The original game was released for the Nintendo 3DS in Japan in July 2013 by Level-5 and was released in November 2015 in North America and April 2016 in Europe by Nintendo.
A sequel, Yo-kai Watch 2, was released in three versions; Ganso and Honke, which were released in Japan in July 2014, and Shinuchi, released on December 13, 2014. A spin-off game, Yo-kai Watch Busters, was released in July 2015. A third title, Yo-kai Watch 3, was released in July 2016.
Six manga adaptations have been produced; a shōnen manga series that began serialization in Shogakukan's CoroCoro Comic from December 2012, a shōjo manga series that began serialization in Shogakukan's Ciao magazine from December 2013, two shōnen yonkoma series that began serialization in CoroCoro Comic SPECIAL and CoroCoro Ichiban! from October 2014 and April 2014 respectively, a shōnen and seinen manga series that was serialized in HiBaNa from April to September 2015, and a shōnen manga series based on Yo-kai Watch Busters that was serialized in CoroCoro Comic from June to October 2015. An anime television series produced by OLM, Inc. began airing in Japan from January 2014 and began airing in North America from October 2015.
An animated film was released in December 2014, with a second film following in December 2015. A third film was released in December 2016. A fourth film was announced for release in 2017.
One day while searching for bugs in the woods near the town of Springdale (Sakura New Town in Japan), a boy named Nate (Keita) comes across a peculiar capsule machine next to a sacred tree. When he opens one of the capsules up, it brings forth the Yo-kai Whisper who gives Nate a special device known as the Yo-kai Watch. Using this, Nate is able to identify and see various different Yo-kai that are haunting people and causing mischief. Joined by the cat Yo-kai Jibanyan, Nate and Whisper start befriending all sorts of Yo-kai which Nate can summon to battle against more ill-intentioned Yo-kai that happen to live in his town, causing terrible trouble. He also goes on adventures around the town with his Yo-kai partners to help his human friends Bear (Kuma), Eddie (Kanchi), and Katie (Fumi-chan; also the choice for the female player character in the video games) deal with their various problems often caused by other Yo-kai.