An anime television series produced by OLM, Inc. began airing in Japan from January 2014 and was a ratings success, boosting the franchise in popularity,[8] and began airing in North America from October 2015.[9][10] An animated film was released in December 2014; with three more films being produced. As of 2016, the game series had shipped 13 million copies worldwide.[11]

Despite not meeting Level-5's expectations in the United States, the franchise still enjoyed a successful U.S. launch, with the original 3DS game selling 400,000 units, as well as toys and an airing of the TV series on Disney XD. However, interest in the Yo-kai Watch franchise steadily declined as The Pokémon Company built hype for its Pokémon Go smartphone game and the seventh installment in the mainline game series, Pokémon Sun and Moon. Although Hasbro still produces and manufactures the Yo-kai Watch toy line in areas such as France and Italy, the line was discontinued in the United States in 2017.The franchise was first thought up as a Doraemon IP, something that could be long lasting over a long period of time. Akihiro Hino, CEO of Level-5, researched extensively what makes a franchise long-lasting, and came up with Yo-kai Watch.[12]

Yo-kai Watch revolves around befriending Yo-kai that are haunting the city. They are based on traditional Japanese yōkai, but often with clever twists. If one befriends a Yo-kai, they get their friendship medal, an object that allows one to summon Yo-kai. With these, they can summon Yo-kai to either fight other Yo-kai, befriend others, or solve everyday tasks.[13]

The basic plot for most of the media is that the main character (either Nate or Katie) obtains a Yo-kai Watch through Whisper, a butler Yo-kai. They then befriend Jibanyan, a cat Yo-kai who haunts an intersection because he thinks his owner from when he was alive named Amy called him lame for getting hit by a truck. During the anime's run, other Yo-kai were introduced.
An anime television series base