The Yo-kai Watch! (Japanese: 妖怪ウォッチ! Yōkai Wotchi!) anime, or called the "reboot", or "2019 series" by fans, is an animated Japanese comedy-action-adventure series, which is the successor to Yo-kai Watch Shadowside. It takes place between the original Yo-kai Watch animated series and Yo-kai Watch Shadowside, with several elements loosely based on Yo-kai Watch 4. It ran from on April 5, 2019 to December 20, 2019, and was succeeded by Yo-kai Watch Jam - Yo-kai Academy Y: Close Encounters of the N Kind.
Though it's a continuation from the original series, it's a sort-of soft reboot, beginning with Nate finding out that Wazzat erased his memories of Yo-kai, including the ability to see them. Whisper and Jibanyan manage to retrieve his memories, but due his Yo-kai Watch being sent for maintenance, Whisper gives him the Yo-kai Watch Elda Model K, which allows Yo-kai to be summoned via Yo-kai Keystones.
Nate is the exact same age he was in the original series. There are three things kept from the Shadowside anime: the new tribes, the Yo-kai Watch Elda (but as the Elda Model K), and the Yo-kai Keystones.
All of the Yo-kai, such as Whisper and Jibanyan, have the same designs that they had in the original series. Other known Yo-kai have returned, like Komasan, Komajiro, Kyubi, Venoct, Blizzaria, Shogunyan, and Robonyan F. The series returns back to its usual running-gags and humor, and is also split into segments. The series also introduces Yo-kai that didn't appear in the original anime, such as Azure Dragon, Ballin, Fishpicable, and Casanono.
The episodes follow the same structure as the original series. Nate meets a Yo-kai causing trouble, summons Yo-kai to fight, ends up getting involved in their issues, and is granted a Keystone at the end. When Nate meets a Yo-kai, he asks Whisper who it is, and he usually comes up with two fake names before giving the real one. During the introduction scenes, the Yo-kai's name is displayed, but the tribe is not. Episodes also contain mini-corners, like the original series.
Similar to Shadowside forms, the Yo-kai can take a new form called Onechanside if the user turns the Keystone over. Onechanside forms are unpredictable, even the Yo-kai don't know what their Onechanside forms will look like. These forms can help Yo-kai when they have trouble defeating an enemy.
The Korean dub of Yo-kai Watch! is currently set to begin airing on Tooniverse on February 11, 2020. Although it retains its "!" title and changes its logo style to match the new Japanese one, the Korean dub is being marketed as the fifth season of the original anime rather than a separate anime altogether.
- Main article: List of Yo-kai Watch! episodes
- This is the first Yo-kai Watch series:
- to not have a segment in the same vein as Recap Time at the end.
- to be animated by a different animation studio, which is Magic Bus even though it's still co-produced with OLM. However, the Magic Bus credit was later removed from the "animation production" in YW023, for unknown reasons.
- to not have a new Yo-kai Watch model given at any point in the series.
- to only have one opening and ending theme.
- to have a character that previously appeared in Yo-kai Watch movies as a supporting character, that being Koma Kaachan.
- to not have a related movie.
- to have a Yo-kai of the Wicked tribe make an appearance, despite them being replaced in favor of Shadowside Tribes.
- to have the longest-running Mini Corner.
- for the series creator Akihiro Hino to not have a writing credit in any episodes.
- The exclamation mark in the logo was joked about in one of the Yo-kai Watch: Medal Wars 4-Koma comics that explain about different types of requests.
- This series currently has the least episodes, totalling only at 36 compared to 49 in Yo-kai Watch Shadowside.