Manga Review: Yokai Watch / by Konishi Noriyuki

Yokai Watch vol. 01 (Yokai Watch, #1)Yokai Watch vol. 01

by Konishi Noriyuki

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

A funny and cute children’s manga series about an ordinary boy who saves a ghost-shaped yokai who in turn gives him a special “yo-kai” watch which he can use to collect yokai friends, and later call on them to help him collect more yokai. It’s a fun series with an extremely predictable and repetitive plot that would probably remind most people of Pokemon. Except that the yokai aren’t being used to deliberately “battle” other yokai while the owner stands back. It actually reminds me a bit more of “Cardcaptor Sakura”… but, maybe intended for an even younger audience. It is fun, and I probably laughed out loud once or twice, accompanied with the phrase “this is so dumb”. I certainly could picture it as being a fun series for children, but probably not super interesting for adults, or even teens.

I will say, that I had one major issue with the series that will keep me from reading further. I don’t know who makes these translations decisions! …but, to rename “Keita” as “Nate Adams”!!! I don’t understand why children couldn’t handle or even relate to a Japanese character? Why are we censoring this? Do we seriously think that keeping the Japanese names intact is a barrier to children’s understanding of a simple comic book? I do not understand. Actually, I would argue that part of the fun of reading manga is that it is “Japanese”. Why are we trying to take the “Japanese” characters out of the series??

— English translation is the source of most of my current pet peeves!

And, to make matters more confusing to my little mind… they didn’t even bother to alter or replace the Japanese word “yokai”. The entire series is based on the premise of a “Japanese” theme… and yet, the main character was given an English name.

Or, flip the comic to read left-to-right! Wouldn’t you think they would flip the comic so that it could be read in the “English” direction if it was necessary to make the character “English”.

ARGGHH! *Why is this happening??? Who is making this decision??? And, How do we make them stop???*