Nate Adams is an ordinary school kid until the day he meets Whisper, the Butler Yokai, and receives the mysterious Yo-Kai Watch. With his new watch, Nate is able to see the invisible Yo-Kai spirits that surround people in their everyday lives. Nate uses this ability and the knowledge he gains from it to help both humans and Yo-Kai who find themselves in sticky situations. After each incident, he earns a Yokai Medal, which allows him to summon his new Yo-Kai friend whenever or wherever he might need them.
The third volume of Yo-Kai Watch is very similar to the first two volumes of the series. In fact, it follows such a similar format that one could easily recommend a child read the volumes out of order if volume one wasn’t checked in at the time. Each volume is essentially a series of one-shot Yo-Kai adventures involving main characters Nate, Whisper, and Jibayan, as well as any new Yo-Kai and Yo-Kai-afflicted humans they meet. This volume does contain two special chapters that fans will enjoy: one dedicated solely to Jibayan, the colorful catlike Yo-Kai that has quickly become one of the property’s mascots, and one called “Special Chapter Yo-Kai Introductions.” This chapter gives each previously featured Yo-Kai its own chance to shine for a panel or two.
Since the plot is tightly contained in each chapter, there isn’t a lot of room for long-term plot advancement or threads, unlike the manga volumes of the Pokémon phenomenon, for example. Yo-Kai Watch may have some older fans due to its 3DS video game, but I see this manga belonging in elementary school libraries or the juvenile section of the public library. This series will appeal mainly to younger elementary students due to its colorful cast of characters, humor, and expressive art.
Yo-Kai Watch, vol. 3
by Noriyuki Konishi
VIZ Media, 2015
Publisher Age Rating: All Ages