Yokai – Japanese Ghosts and Monsters in New Age

  • OTAKU
  • CULTURE
  • Yokai watch

    Japan has hundreds of yokai (monsters) and ghosts. A lot of them are still used in modern culture or literature.
    Very popular at the moment is yokai watch, a video game based series, that developed into manga and anime due to its high popularity. It is targeting children mostly and has had a similar hype as Pokemon, which a wide variety of well marketed merchandise evolving around it.

    Kaidan restaurant

    Yokai 9

    Yokai 10

    For primary school students a book series called kaidan restaurant (怪談レストラン) has been published since 2006, which has numerous ghost stories, with a high number of Japanese yokai being introduced as well. So far 50 books are in the market, in 2009 there has even been an anime show on TV. In 2010 a video game for the DS has been released. The horror stories are quite charming due to their intended audience, but seldom have a happy ending. Check out their homepage, for more delicious details.

    GeGeGe no Kitarō

    GeGeGe no Kitarō is a manga based series from the 60s, which popularity has not faded, featuring anime (1968-2008), a video game (2003) and even real action movies (2007+2008). The story is about Kitaro, who was born and raised in a graveyard and a part of the yokai world. The interactive homepage is definitely worth a visit.

    Attack on Titan

    A very modern approach not introducing “traditional” Japanese monsters would be the series Attack on Titan (進撃の巨人).
    The extremely popular manga, which has been published in 2009 has had such a strong cultural impact, that not only an anime show has been released less than four years later, many video games and even a light novel followed the trend too. The monsters in this series are huge humanoid giants, who are eating humans totally randomly, which creates horror and terror among the protagonists. A live action film will be in cinemas in summer 2015.