We end this week of Yo-kai marathons with another awesome, wonderfully localized episode!
Episode Five starts out with Manjimutt pursuing his passion as a photographer. As he shoots several shots, his subject realizes that he’s not an actual photographer – the police subsequently arrest him, charging him with breaking and entering. Nathan Adams is walking along with Whisper when Manjimutt passes behind. At school, Eddie is told that Shelly has a crush on him, and Nathan and friends go to the park after school so she can confess her feelings. She says that she thinks Eddie is cool, smart, and amazing, and gives him a present. A second girl arrives to talk to Bear, and confesses her feelings as well, saying he’s strong and sensitive. She then gives him a present as well.
Nathan, however, seems sad, as he’s the only one who didn’t get asked out on Valentines Day. Nathan is convinced a Yo-kai is behind it, and scans the area, discovering that the girl who talked to Bear doesn’t exist – it’s the Yo-kai Illoo, who casts spells and apparitions. Nathan says he just wanted attention, and that’s why he’s upset. Nathan summons Jibanyan to fight. Illoo casts an apparition that shows Jibanyan chocobars, distracting him from the fight.
Nathan summons Manjimutt, who is distracted by an apparition of girls waiting to give him presents and lavish him with attention. Nathan says he’s not going to quit, and pretends to kick a soccer ball right at Illoo in anger. Illoo, realizing he’s faced someone with such resolve, gives Nathan his medal. Katie arrives, and gives Nathan a present for Valentines Day. Whisper reveals that the soccer ball kick, present, and medal was all an apparition.
Later, at home, Nathan’s mom reprimands him for eating chocolate bars before dinner. Nathan says it wasn’t him, and his mom says it was probably his dad. Nathan thinks a Yo-kai ate the bars, and Whisper says if there was a Yo-kai around, he would have noticed – immediately before walking in on Jibanyan eating on Nathan’s bed. Jibanyan states that he’s decided to live in Nathan’s house, but Whisper says that Nathan is a terrible room mate who stinks, stays up late, and snores. Jibanyan argues with Whisper about staying. Nathan asks Jibanyan why he wants to live here, and he answers that he was kicked out of his home because a bunch of cat Yo-kai moved in to his spot.
Over the next few days, Nathan has troubles living with Jibanyan, who refuses to follow the rules and causes trouble amongst his family. His parents hire a paranormal investigator to find out what’s been going on. The investigator walks into the room, and begins to chant an exorcism. The exorcism starts to work on Jibanyan and Whisper, and Nathan quickly offers him scones to distract him. The Yo-kai are exorcised, and Nathan claims the home feels clean and pure. The Yo-kai drop back to the ground, having narrowly missed being called back.
Nathan’s mom and dad thank him the next day for all the cleaning and favors he’s done – Nathan realizes that Jibanyan’s entirely responsible, finally earning his keep.
Continuing the trend of basic but well-done localization, the bulk of this episodes content has been preserved from the original source materials. What little has been changed is largely incidental shifts in text or background images. There have been some cultural changes, of course (which we’ll address in our capstone piece as a companion to this series), but everything has largely been preserved.
Two of the most obvious examples of this text shift happen when the family is eating what looks like either daifukumochi (大福餅) or nikuman (肉まん). On top, there’s some kanji in the Japanese version that was removed from the US version of obvious reasons. This could partly be because of the text, but also the simple fact that, culturally speaking, writing on food isn’t very common in the western world.
Similarly, there’s a scene where Jibanyan is reading a book – in the Japanese version, there is some kanji/kana and some faces. In the English version, the books are completely blank.
Beyond those two edits, the rest are general background changes, as they were before.
That concludes our week long look at the English localization of Yo-kai Watch! We’re going to try and do episodes as they come out as well, but this last week was definitely a push from Disney XD and the Yo-kai family – five episodes back to back! Thanks again to the wonderful BDT87. For more, please join us at the Yo-kai Watch Wiki!