When Yo-kai Watch was announced in USA and Europe, video games, toys and anime were released at almost the same time. But was it the same in other countries as well?
Today, I’m going to talk about Yo-kai Watch in Russia.
It may sound weird to you: the first thing released in Russia were the toys from Hasbro. They brought us a lot of Yo-kai Watch merch: the actual watches, series 1 of Yo-kai Medals, Medallium and pages for it, the figures, Monopoly and even plush toys. But almost nobody bought it because the video game and the anime weren’t released. Because of this, Hasbro decided to cancel their plans which led Russia market to not get any new series of Yo-kai Medals and other toys.
Yo-kai Watch game was released in April 29 on Nintendo eShop, but the Game Cards shipment was delayed until May 27. The biggest problem for Russian players was the lack of Russian language in the game. Because of that, parents did not buy the video game for their children.
The anime series (which was called «Время Йо-кай» or Yo-kai Time in English) broadcasting had started on October 17, which is more than 6 months after the toys’ appearance in shops. Two problems began to rise:
First, it had been broadcast at 10.30 PM (22.30) which was too late for kids.
Second, American censorship is the worst thing ever happened with Yo-kai Watch, but the ‘American + Russian’ censorship is even worse. You can see example of it in video below
Carousel (Russian TV-channel for kids) had broadcasted only 19 episodes (1, 4-7, 9-11, 13, 15-19, 21- 25), some moments were cut out and Manjimutt history wasn’t shown at all.
Nintendo Russia didn’t like what Carousel made with the anime and they ordered a new dubbing from RuFilms (which translated anime series for Carousel). The first episode was released December 26 on the YouTube channel of Nintendo Russia.
At the same time Nintendo of Europe decided to translate Yo-kai Watch 2 and ordered the translation from RuFilms again. On February 2, The Russian translation of Yo-kai Watch 2 was announced on the official Yo-kai Watch page on VK.com.
Yo-kai Watch Wibble Wobble was released on March 30, and was translated into Russian as well. The translation was good but not perfect. Some tribe names were changed, Some yo-kai names weren’t translated.
Yo-kai Watch 2: Fleshy Souls and Bony Spirits was released on April 7 on the Nintendo eShop and in stores on April 14. Just like with YW Wibble Wobble, the translation was good but not perfect. In certain places Nathaniel and Kenny’s names were inverted. Tribe names were also changed when using Yo-kai Watch Model Zero on «Summoning» section in menu. Russian is the only language which didn’t get translated songs. Otherwise, the translation was good.
On April 22 Nintendo Russia attended the Hinode Power Japan (Festival of Japanese culture in Moscow, Russia). Everyone who came on Yo-kai Watch panel could get a Jibanyan crown where was written «Watch Season 2 of Yo-kai Watch this summer on Disney Channel».
On May 29 Nintendo Russia published 12 episodes of Yo-kai Watch Anime in Russian on their Youtube channel. Interesting thing: YW2 and anime series were translated by same company, but there are few differences in translation. You can see example in video below.
After having released 12 episode, the press-release was released where Yasha Haddaji, head of Nintendo Russia, wrote: «This summer we will announce our plans about Season 2».
But there wasn’t any announces in summer. In addition to this, the translation of Yo-kai Watch was stopped. If you try to play the Russian version of Wibble Wobble, you will see a weird mix of Russian and English texts.
On September 29,Yo-kai Watch 2: Psychic Specters (Thinking Specters in Russia) was released. Some texts in Russian were changed but the problems with tribe names in Yo-kai Watch Model Zero remained without any changes.
Suddenly, after a long time with no Yo-kai Watch news, Yo-kai Watch toys began to appear in McDonalds! Russian (and then Ukrainian, Belarusians and Kazakhs) could get Voice changer, Whisper, Jibanyan on his box, and Box with surprise.
Surprisingly, on February 26 of 2018 Panini Russia have released Yo-kai Watch Sticker Album which comes with 15 stickers. Full collection consists of 228 stickers, where 120 stickers are basic, 60 are «figured» and 48 are shiny. Russians can buy it until August 30.
Let’s recap what Russia currently has:
-Season 1 wasn’t fully translated.
-Season 2 was promised but was not broadcast.
-The old toys in stores which Hasbro had brought us in spring 2016.
-YW Wibble Wobble Russian translation no longer supported.
-Yo-kai Watch 2 fully translated.
However, here is a very interesting news: Yo-kai Watch 2 is the last Nintendo 3DS video game translated, and the only one in 2017. Nintendo always translate their Mario games in Russian, but the last two ones were not.
So the chances of having Yo-kai Watch 3 translated into Russian are low.
Since Summer 2017, Yo-kai Watch 2 got the biggest price cut for a game which costs 2499 RUB.
Black friday sale
I don’t know why they made big price cut. Maybe that because Nintendo brought too many cartridges and the sales turned out to be very low. Because of that, they established a low price to sell it all out.
I hope everything will be good with the Yo-kai Watch franchise in Russia, but for now, the situation is terrible.
Thank you for reading.