The Yokai Watch anime is coming to North America! It will be broadcasted on Disney XD. And the English-language theme song is different. There’s a reason for that, you know.
Often, TV anime get their themes changed, but not always. Keep in mind, I don’t think these changes are always bad. The first English language Pokémon theme, for example, is now iconic. But using the Yokai Watch anime theme, let’s examine why songs sometimes change.
Here is the Japanese theme song for the anime’s first season:
The name of the song is “Geragerapoo no Uta” (or roughly, the “Get Up, Get Up All Song”). A chunk of the anime’s success is actually due to this song. It’s catchy. There’s a little dance. Kids would sing the song and copy the moves. I know my kids sure did. Damn them.
Here is the English version:
So no little dance, huh? The goal of this song is to explain what yokai are. Japanese kids already know what yokai are, because yokai are part of Japanese culture. So while the Japanese theme can be a little silly and focus more on mood and the dance, the English one needs to be more economical and explain shit. It’s not as much fun, sure, but anyone who hears this theme song, should have a rough idea of how yokai appear in the show.
What will be interesting is to see whether or not the English version does something like the original Japanese ending theme. It’s a yokai-themed calisthenics routine!
I hope they use something like this, because like the opening theme, kids had fun doing the routine.
To contact the author of this post, write to bashcraftATkotaku.com or find him on Twitter@Brian_Ashcraft.
Kotaku East is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.