yokai info

Youkai Watch 3  - What we know so far

I decided to put all the info we got so far in one post!

As Level-5 already mentioned in their livestream last year, the story follows Keita to the USA. Since Keita’s father has to move to USA for work reasons they all decide to go together.

The new city’s name is called セントピーナッツバーグ/St. Peanutsburgh. Here’s the residential area:

And here’s Keita’s new house

Another location, the Johnson Space Center is also shown on the website. This place is of great importance to USA-Pyon (as has been already shown in the anime/manga).

While Keita is in America, the new heroine, Inaho, will have a very detective-like story at Sakura New Town!

So it seems like in this game instead of choosing one of the two you’ll be playing both of them? It has still yet to be confirmed but seems likely.

Also, at that event it was confirmed that this game will be receiving multiple updates!

Instead of being updates to correct errors, they will offer new challenges and have already been labeled has “big type updates”.

When it comes to new youkais, the February issue of Corocoro released some new ones (some of them previously appeared in the anime), and this month’s issue had some pretty interesting information about the games!

First of all, the game release date was revealed to be 16 July 2016 (Japan).

The game will come in two versions: Sushi and Tempura.

Tempura version

  • Physical version comes with Tom-nyan’s medal
  • E-Shop digital version exclusive: Tenkoma

Sushi version

  • Physical version comes with KK Brothers’ medal
  • E-Shop digital version exlusive: Sushijiba

Also, seems like KK Brothers will be Sushi exclusive while Tom-nyan will be Tempura’s.

The KK Brothers are K-Komaa (on the left) and K-jiiro (on the right); the two brothers are said to be hitchhiking their way through USA!

Pictured on the right we see Tom-nyan, it’s said to be an American cat youkai and it might become Jibanyan’s rival?!

So far no more version exclusive youkais have been revealed.

There’s also a new battle system! 

It’s called “Tactical medal board”, and seems like you can place as many as 9 youkais at the same time on the battlefield!

It seems like this new battle system will replace the old one, but nothing is confirmed! (the new system was hidden when the first trailer was released)

And that’s it for now! More new information to come in next month’s Corocoro!

Bake-neko

化け猫 (ばけねこ)

Ghost Cat

From the now defunct website Obakemono Project:

Cultures all over the world have superstitions about cats, creatures we took into our homes like dogs but never quite tamed, and whose wild, predaceous instincts, although they benefit us when they exterminate pests, are all too unnervingly and visibly well-developed. So it is not surprising that the cat in Japanese folklore is, like the fox and raccoon dog, prone to monstrous transformations.

Long ago many ideas existed about when a cat might become a bake-neko; sometimes it changed when it had been fed in a place for thirteen years and sometimes after only three; sometimes it would be after the cat had reached one kan (about eight pounds) in weight.

Indeed bake-neko could exceed normal cats in size by orders of magnitude, reaching their enormous arms in through doors looking for human prey like an average feline pawing around in a mousehole. They could also take a humanoid form, sometimes devouring people and stealing their identities. A famous bake-neko story involves a man named Takasu Genbei, whose pet cat of many years went missing just as his mother’s personality changed completely. The woman shunned company and took her meals alone in her room, and when 
the curious family peered in on her, they saw not a human being but a feline monster in the old lady’s clothes, chewing on animal carcasses. Takasu, with much reluctance, slew what looked like his mother, and after a day had passed the body turned back into the same pet cat that had gone missing. After that Takasu miserably tore up the tatami mats and the floorboards in his mother’s room, only to find the old woman’s bones hidden there, 
gnawed clean of flesh.

Cats were also strongly associated with the dead, and a cat belonging to a recently deceased person was viewed with much suspicion, sometimes locked away to keep it from becoming a kasha, a kind of demon that descended from the sky to steal corpses, and which often had a cat-like form. A kind of bake-neko with a forked tail, called a neko-mata, was said to be capable of manipulating corpses like puppets.

As old-fashioned lamp oil was often made from fish, cats could be as fond of stealing the stuff as any yōkai, perhaps further cementing their association with the spirit world.

And while cats had a reputation for being ungrateful, they still could have their faithful and even self-sacrificing side, especially when fed by poor owners. Numerous stories of good-hearted cats with magic powers or human-like intelligence exist to explain the symbol of the maneki-neko, the famous ceramic beckoning feline which as a good-luck charm for storekeepers has spread all over the world. There is the cat at a poor temple who beckoned a rich man away from a tree about to be struck by lightning, causing him to become the temple’s benefactor; the cat owned by a high-ranking geisha who clawed at her robes to keep her away from the toilet, and even when killed for its strange behavior, still managed to use its ghostly head to bite to death the lurking snake that threatened her; and the cat who appeared in a dream to its poverty-stricken mistress, telling her to manufacture its image in clay in order to bring her wealth. There are also stories about cats taking the forms of women and girls to become wives like foxes, or daughters to childless couples, once again trying to help their human companions make ends meet.

Nurarihyon

ぬらりひょん

Slippery

other names: Nūrihyon ぬうりひょん

From the now defunct website Obakemono Project:

A monster best known as an image appearing in the Gazu Hyakki Yakō and various picture scrolls, where it takes the form of a little old man with a huge, elongate cranium. Sekien’s drawing shows this fellow slipping out of a palanquin and through an open doorway. No doubt he is up to no good, as this creature’s name is derived from vernacular terms implying a slippery and elusive quality, akin to the proverbial catfish and gourd.

No description was left with any of these images, but in modern popular culture nurarihyon has acquired the impressive status of the supreme commander of yōkai, and the peculiar habit of sneaking into human houses in the evening while everyone is busy, making himself at home and drinking the tea. A variety of twentieth century authors seem to have contributed to the evolution of this persona, starting in 1929 with a short picture caption in Fujisawa Morihiko’s 藤沢衛彦 Yōkai Gadan Zenshū 妖怪画談全集:

まだ宵の口の灯影にぬらりひょんと訪問する怪物の親玉

In the flickering light when it is not yet nightfall, The boss of monsters visits with a nurarihyon.

In 1976, Satō Arifumi 佐藤有文 described the nurarihyon in his Nihon Yōkai Zukan 日本妖怪図鑑:

年の暮れになると、どこからともなくあらわれる妖怪。とてもいそがしいのに、 家の中にはいりこんでどっかりすわる」と創作する。

A monster who, at the end of the year, suddenly appears out of nowhere. Although things are very busy, he comes into the house and plunks himself down.

Such ideas were built on, exaggerated and elaborated in Japan’s many popular publications on the subject of yōkai, until today’s nurarihyon was fully developed, but ultimately this nurarihyon is imaginative fiction based on Sekien’s image and not a historic concept.

Not so celebrated or powerful is the nurarihyon of folklore, a weird sea monster found in the Bisan Strait of the Seto Inland Sea off the shore of Okayama Prefecture. A bulbous, floating mass vaguely resembling a human head, it bobs in the waves until someone in a boat attempts to take it, at which point it sinks to the bottom (nurari), only to pop up again (hyon) a short while later. It will repeat this behavior again and again, seeming to tease whoever takes an interest in it. Tada Katsumi has noted that this nurarihyon may be a real animal (a Portuguese man o’ war or some other large cnidarian) regarded as an uncanny being.

Citations

Murakami 2005 p. 247, Inada p. 84, Tada 2000 p. 149-50. Sekien apparently called this monster nūrihyon, but this might be a mis-written character - hiragana ra ら and u う are similar.

Art by S.H.Morgan