6 Anime Like Yo-kai Watch [Recommendations]

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Watched all 68 episodes of Yo-kai Watch and craving more? Only made it partway through the series but want something with the same vibe? What even is Yo-kai Watch?

For those unfamiliar with or just starting to watch it, Yo-Kai Watch is an anime based off of the popular Japanese Nintendo 3DS role playing game under the same name. In this anime, youkai, a type of Japanese ghosts or supernatural beings that appear in folklore, co-exists invisibly with humans. However, occasionally they cause problems for humans, problems that are continually being solved throughout the anime series by Keita, a young boy, armed with a watch that allows him to see yo-kai. He's accompanied by a ghost-butler-youkai name Whispers and a twin-tailed cat youkai called Jibanyan.

Oriented for children, Yo-Kai Watch relies on a video game-esque pacing, leading to heavy-handed introductions of new characters and youkai. Nonetheless, it offers viewers a light, supernatural children’s adventure with a surprisingly pleasant animation style.

The following are 6 anime that resemble Yo-Kai Watch in some way, shape, or form. For those who like Yo-Kai Watch for its supernatural elements, check out recommendations 1-3. For those in search for children’s or game based anime, be sure to look at recommendations 4-6.

Similar Anime to Yo-Kai Watch

1. Uchouten Kazoku (The Eccentric Family)

  • Episodes: 13
  • Aired: July 2013 - September 2013

Much like Yo-Kai Watch, Uchouten Kazoku takes place in a world in which humans coexist with youkai, specifically two types of youkai: tanuki and tengu. However, it should be noted that this supernatural anime is oriented for an older audience and has elements of gender bending.

Uchouten Kazoku depicts the every day life of Yasaburō Shimogamo, the third son of the Shimogamo family, a family of tanuki youkai, in modern day Kyoto. Though an old Shimogamo, the new generation of the Shimogamo family is infamous and the butt of tanuki ridicule. An admirer of the flying tengu, Yasaburō fights with other tanuki and slowly finds the story behind is father’s death.


2. Kaidan Restaurant (Thriller Restaurant)

  • Episodes: 23
  • Aired: October 2013 – June 2010

From the start of Kaidan Restaurant, we are introduced to a ghost-like butler character reminisced of Yo-Kai Watch’s Whispers. As the anime progresses, though, we see that Kaidan Restaurant explores the scarier side of supernatural genre while still maintaining a narrative oriented for children. If you like the supernatural-kid oriented nature of Yo-Kai Watch but want something with thrills, Kaidan Restaurant might be up your alley.

Set in the so-called cured town of Yamazakura, Kaidan Restaurant dwells on adventures of Shou, Ako, and Reiko, a group of elementary school students interested in the paranormal phenomenon that happens in town. The Kaidan restaurant serves as fear central among the kids.


3. Kyoukai no Kanata (Beyond the Boundary)

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: October 2013 – December 2013

Rather than youkai, Kyoukai no Kanata introduces audiences to a world of youmu, supernatural beings that are like youkai but much, much more. Thematically, Kyoukai no Kanata and Yo-Kai Watch resemble one another: both have human protagonists who try to solve problems caused by you-kai/youmu. Yet, since Kyoukai no Kanata is directed at older audiences, those looking for more complex narrative and character development, Kyoukai no Kanata might be for you.

Plot wise, Kyoukai no Kanata is about Akihito Kanbara, a half human-half youmu, and his relationship with Mirai Kuriyama, a new transfer student bend on killing Akihito. Mirai could very easily finish Akihito off with her blood manipulation power, but there is one hitch to her plan: Akihito is immortal.


Any Animes Like Yo-Kai Watch ?

4. Dennou Coil (Coil A Circle of Children)

  • Episodes: 26
  • Aired: May 2007 – December 2007

Taking a different tact than the previously mentioned anime, Dennou Coil does not feature youkai, but instead centers on the Internet. In the world created in Dennou Coil, the Internet acts as a nearly supernatural force that creates problems for the life of grade-schooler Yūko Okonogi and her friends much like the youkai do in Yo-Kai Watch. A classic sci-fi anime in the making, if you liked anime centered on children with a sense of mystery, check out Dennou Coil.

Dennou Coil takes place in a world where humans live in an internet-augmented reality visible through special glasses reminiscent of Google Glass. Yūko Okonogi, much like her other classmates, wears these glasses, but soon after moving to Daikoku City, joins her grandmother’s “investigation agency” and discovers the secrets of the internet reality.


5. Digimon Adventures

  • Episodes: 54
  • Aired: March 1999 – March 2000

Nothing is like a blast from the past, and Digimon Adventures has certainly cultivated an aura of nostalgia over the years. Nonetheless, Digimon Adventures can stand the test of time, certainly for those looking for anime with friendships between humans and animal-esque companions like those in Yo-Kai Watch. Additionally, both Digimon Adventures and Yo-Kai Watch share a video game like pacing, especially great for younger aged audiences.

In Digimon Adventures, seven kids find themselves suddenly in the Digital World where animal-esque creatures called Digimon, digital monsters, live. Soon the children, the Digidestined, befriend a group of Digimon as they work together to protect the Digital World from evil.


6. Hero Bank

  • Episodes: 51
  • Aired: April 2014 - March 2015

If Yo-Kai Watch’s origin as a video game first attracted you to the show, then Hero Bank may be your match made in anime heaven. A children’s anime with strong ties to its video game origins and dynamic, kid-anime-style animation, Hero Bank is a nice mix of Yo-Kai Watch and battle based gaming/banking anime. Plus, you may learn something about banking with this anime.

Hero Bank follows the story of Kaito Kōshō, a fifth grader living in a hyper-technological world where people can play a cybernetic game called “Hero Battle” where users download fighting suits and battle in cyberspace. Though only a kid, Kaito is one of the players in “Hero Battle” competing for the 10 billion yen prize to pay off his 10 billion dollar debt.


Coming from various directors and studios, these shows represent an eclectic spread currently in the industry. Hopefully, this list is somewhat helpful in the search for quality youkai and children’s anime. Have any comments, questions, complaints, or concerns on this list? Feel free to leave a comment below.

Emma Hanashiro

Writer

Author: Emma Hanashiro

Emma Hanashiro is beginning her career as a writer and academic on anime, manga, and contemporary Japanese culture. After she finished her senior thesis on fujoshi, Boys Love manga, and media consumption, Emma is currently studying Japanese and conducting research in Japan. Beyond anime, her interests include podcast listening, cooking, and (attempts at) writing. Her favorite quote: “Boys, be ambitious!”

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