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Yo-kai Watch

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Yo-kai Watch is a popular story among children which several anime movies, comics, and 3DS Nintendo Games have been based on.

The leading character of Yo-kai Watch is, Keta Amano, who is 10 years old and lives in Sakura New Town in Japan. One summer day, when he was hunting for insects in a forest, he encounters a butler who is a ghost by the name of Whisper, and given a “Yokai Watch” by him. By wearing the Yokai Watch, Keta gains the ability to see ghosts, and realizes that many problems in the real world that cannot be explained are actually caused by them.

Keta learns to talk to ghosts, and listens to their grievances so that they will go away and people will be free from the troubles they are causing. For example, there was a certain crosswalk where a series of cases occurred in which people stepped in front of an oncoming car, and the car stopped right in front of them at the last minute. Keta investigated the issue by wearing the Yo-kai Watch and learned that it was caused by a ghost named Jibanyan. Jibanyan is one of the major ghosts in the story who Keta becomes friends with, and is the ghost of a male cat who died in a car accident when he was hit by a truck crossing a crosswalk. He was extremely regretful about being unable to avoid the truck, so he started haunting humans who cross this crosswalk, and taking over their bodies in order to practice avoiding trucks.

The scene where the car stops instantly in front of the person stepping into traffic is reminiscent of a scene from an older popular TV show, “101st Marriage Proposal” which was broadcast in 1991. In that TV show, a woman who lost her fiance on the day of their wedding ceremony to a traffic accident is scared to ever fall in love again. After she confesses this to a man who has been trying unsuccessfully to date her for months, he suddenly runs into the street and stands in front of an oncoming truck. The truck stops at the last moment in front of his face, and he says, “I will not die.”

Jibanyan tells Keta that “I will not die!”  is a phrase which is well known in the”Avoiding Hit by  a Car at the Last Minute Industry.”  This seems to be referring to the famous scene from the TV show, 101st Marriage Proposal.

It is not certain why the author of Yokai Watch decided use a scene from a TV show which most children today are unfamiliar with, but maybe they are trying to appeal to adults as well as children.

Below is a YouTube video of Jibanyan jumping in front of a truck in order to practice avoiding it. At the last moment he shouts: ”ぼくは死に ません (Boku wa shinimasen)!” which means “I will not die!”

前にすごく好きな人がいました。とっても幸せな気持ちで教会で彼が来るのを 待ってました。だけど彼は来なかった。
Woman: Once I was deeply in love with someone. I was waiting for him at the church with very happy feelings, but he didn’t show up.  (Describing her wedding day, when she lost her fiance.)

また人を好きになってとっても好きになってそれでまた失うのが怖いの。怖いん です。ねえ怖いの。
Woman : I am so scared of falling love with someone again and losing him. I’m scared. Hey, I’m scared.

(The man runs into the street, and stands in front of a truck which is coming towards him.)

バカヤローこら。死にたいのか!
Truck Driver: Hey, you stupid idiot! Do you want to die?

僕は死にません。僕は死にません。 あなたが好きだから僕は死にません。 僕が幸せにしますから。

Man: I will not die. I will not die, because I love you. I will make you happy.

私を幸せにしてください。
Woman: Please make me happy.

こわかった。ほんとうは。 Man: Actually, I was scared.

(He was actually scared when running into the street and standing in front of the truck.)

At 3 minutes 20 seconds into the video below, you can watch the comedy team, Ucchan Nanchan, doing a parody of this famous scene from “101st Marriage Proposal.”

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