Pokemon vs. Yo-Kai Watch

Written by Allen-Michael Harber As Yo-Kai Watch gains traction in the west, it’s time to see how it stands up against the daddy of all monster collectors. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and in this installment of Versus we are pitting “Pokemon” and “Yo-Kai Watch” against each other. Special thanks to our user Jenna Rizzo for submitting the idea on our interactive suggestion tool: WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Pokemon vs. Yo-Kai Watch


As Yo-Kai Watch gains traction in the west, it’s time to see how it stands up against the daddy of all monster collectors. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and in this installment of Versus we are pitting “Pokemon” and “Yo-Kai Watch” against each other.

Round 1: Monsters

With the release of “Pokemon Sun and Moon” there are now over 800 Pokemon. And Arceus only knows there’ll be more to come. Even so, each Pokemon has a unique design and is instantly recognizable. From Charizard, to Sceptile, to Greninja, Pokemon touts some amazing designs. That’s not to say there haven’t been any mishaps along the way that have dampened the roster’s credibility.
-cough- Vanilluxe –cough-

While you can make a pokemon out of literally anything, Yo-Kai Watch takes a different approach in adapting the ghosts, spirits and monsters of Japanese folklore. The results are surprisingly neat, and each Yo-Kai has a background story that makes it unique – even if it’s just that it likes stealing your socks from the dryer. Like Pokemon though, there are some designs that are less than stellar.

That said we’re gonna have to give this round to Pokemon just because of its sheer numbers and the fact that everyone has a favourite.

Winner: “Pokemon” 1/”Yo-Kai Watch” 0


Round 2: Story and Concept

What makes or break any game, tv show or movie is how engaging the story is, and both franchises deliver. “Pokemon’s” story is simple. Pokemon trainers travel the local region to capture and catalogue every known “Pokemon,” collect gym badges, beat the elite four and stop whichever evil organisation is causing havoc. Although it is repetitive, each generation adds to the lore with unique landscapes, Pokemon and mythos.

“Yo-Kai Watch” on the other hand centers around a young kid, who learns of Yo-Kai and gains a watch to locate, befriend and battle other Yo-Kai. The children go around and stop fiendish Yo-Kai from causing mischief around their humble town. It proves that you don’t need a convoluted or drawn out story to have a good experience.

While the story for “Yo-Kai Watch” is fun, it draws too much from the “Pokemon” Universe which is constantly being expanded upon, and that’s one of the reasons why we can’t get enough.

Winner: “Pokemon” 2/”Yo-Kai Watch” 0


Round 3: Anime Adaptation

While the show basically follows the same plot as the games, it’s Ash, his love for his Pokemon and his ever revolving door of friends that keeps the show fresh. In recent years, the show has delivered some incredible battles and the sun and moon anime, which clearly takes influence from Yo-Kai Watch, has breathed some fresh air into the series.

“Yo-Kai Watch” also has its own anime adaptation, and like its source material it is about Nate finding and stopping Yo-Kai from causing mischief in the town. He has his own set of friends as well with Bear, Eddie and Katie. Their adventures are quaint but memorable, and still being in early days, we’re expecting a lot more to come.

Though “Yo-Kai Watch” follows closer to its original plot, “Pokemon” goes off in search of its own adventure and has some memorable and lovable cast members – That’s why it takes the round.

Winner: “Pokemon” 3/”Yo-Kai Watch” 0


Round 4: Games

When the original “Pokemon Red and Blue” came out, it revolutionized handheld gaming. Since then the series has spawned not only seven generations of games, but a slew of spinoffs each with their own unique gameplay style. The likes of Pokemon Stadium, Pokemon Snap, PokemonMystery Dungeon, Pokken Tournament and so on, proved the series has range. And of course “Pokemon Go” absolutely slaughtered the app competition.

“Yo-Kai Watch” has three great main series games under its belt, a couple of spin-offs including a “Just Dance” game. Following in the same vein as its predecessor it even has a couple smartphone games including its own Augmented Reality app called Yo-Kai Watch Land. But while their games are fun to play and have earned a following fairly quickly, it hasn’t been around long enough to establish itself.

“Pokemon” has some bangers on its resume, so it easily takes this round.

Winner: “Pokemon” 4/”Yo-Kai Watch” 0


Round 5: Mascot

Being the face of your franchise is a tough job. On “Pokemon’s” we have Ash Ketchum’s closest companion the electric mouse Pikachu. Due to “Pokemon’s” popularity, Pikachu has become a media and cultural icon, being featured everywhere from including airplanes, it’s own “Got Milk?” commercial and is a recurring balloon for the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

“Yo-Kai Watch” also has its own cute mascot in Jibanyan. Originally a cat who protected his owner from a car, he was killed and turned into a Yo-Kai. He becomes one of Nate’s closest allies helping him on his adventures. He’s cute, has two tails and has a bunch of different variants.

Unfortunately, that’s all Jibanyan really has going for him. Pikachu is instantly recognizable and is probably one of the most famous Japanese icon alongside Godzilla and Hello Kitty, so the final round of course goes to “Pokemon.”

Winner: “Pokemon” 5/”Yo-Kai Watch” 0


Now it may be a clean sweep, but that shouldn’t discredit Yo-Kai Watch. It’s still early days for this franchise which has already proved itself a capable contender. As it stands, Pokemon has time on its side but they shouldn’t get too comfortable – because Yo-Kai Watch is starting to take off. Here’s to the future.
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