In our society, there are a things that spit in the face of everything we know and go against common rules of decency. It's time to add a new one to the list, because Jibanyan has become a human in the latest Yo-Kai Watch series, and we refuse to accept this haunting new reality.
How did this happen? Well, apparently, it's not the first time. Yo-Kai Gakuen Y~N to no Sogu~, a new anime series hitting Japanese airwaves this Winter, is a sequel to Eiga Yo-kai Watch Jam: Yo-kai Gakuen Y - Neko wa Hero ni Nareru ka. This spin-off film focused on Jinpei Jipa, a sassy catboy who can transform into a fiery, sword-wielding yo-kai named Benimaru Kengo.
But they can't lie to us. Jinpei is clearly just a human cipher for Jibanyan, and we're not here for it. There are a few constants in this world, and one of them is that Jibanyan is a fun little cat friend who likes chocolate bars. Whoever greenlit this abomination clearly has no regard for human decency, or appreciation for keeping the natural order together. Either that, or they hate cats.
Sure, he's kind of adorable in his own way, but he can't win us over.
The question remains, however, if this reboot is even a worthwhile endeavor for the Yo-Kai Watch franchise. Once a juggernaut poised to overtake Pokemon, Level-5's strange series has failed to maintain a consistent identity and lost relevance among the Japanese youth in recent years. That's to say nothing of its American relevance, which lasted less than a year before falling out of the public eye.
Could a reboot with a human Jibanyan be something that brings the series back into the limelight? We're no marketing executives, but all answers point to "no" on this one. Stranger things have happened, but turning a Pokemon competitor into a low-rent Shaman King is probably not the best way to win over the hearts of a young audience. But hey, if committing this atrocious slight against mankind is what it takes to make kids buy toys, more power to them.