Yo-Kai Watch readies for US debut on Disney XD

26 half hour episodes of Japanese hit animation to roll out later this year.
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Japanese hit animation Yo-Kai Watch is set to debut in the US later this year, after a deal was struck between Dentsu Entertainment and Disney XD for 26 half hour episodes.

Based on an original concept by Level-5, Yo-Kai Watch follows the hilarious misadventures of an average human boy and his involvement with the mischievous Yo-Kai all around him. Our hero obtains a special watch, empowering him to discover and summon the mysterious Yo-Kai, befriend them and then work together to solve everyday problems.

The programme will air on Disney XD and some of its Disney XD-branded platforms.

Since it was introduced 18 months ago, Yo-Kai Watch has become one of the most popular franchises of all time in Japan. The programme has been the top rated animated show for kids aged four to 12 on TV Tokyo, and the franchise has over $1.5 billion in retail merchandise sales - in addition to games, music and publishing.

Over 7.5 million units of Nintendo 3DS video games have been distributed.

In the US, Hasbro will introduce a Yo-Kai Watch toy line in spring 2016, rolling out to additional markets by the end of that year.

"Programmes with such proven and broad appeal like Yo-Kai Watch are few and far between," said Marc Harrington, SVP, global strategy and development at Dentsu Entertainment USA. "We are very excited to be working with Disney XD on the programme's US debut."

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