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Toonami acquires rights of Japanese anime series for Asia

MUMBAI: Turner International Asia Pacific’s action adventure channel Toonami has picked up the rights of popular Japanese anime series ‘Yo-Kai Watch’ for Asia.

The channel has snapped up 65 half-hour episodes and will be available on an exclusive basis in almost all countries around the region.

Starting on 27 June, Toonami will air the quirky series cross South and Southeast as part of its Anime Siege primetime programming block which runs on weekends from 9:30 am and also includes ‘Beast Saga’, ‘Beywheelz’, ‘Beywarriors Beyraiderz’, ‘Inazuma Eleven Go Galaxy’, ‘Beywarriors Cyborg’ and ‘Dragonball Z Kai’.

‘Yo-Kai Watch’ follows the adventures of Keita, a boy who unearths a magical watch that allows him to meet and befriend friendly Yo-Kai. Originating from Japan, ‘Yo-Kai Watch’ has inspired a massive loyal following among kids and adults alike – leading to a nationwide dance sensation to one of the show’s featured tunes.

Turner International Asia Pacific chief content officer Mark Eyers said, “Yo-Kai Watch is the perfect complement to Toonami’s dynamic anime line-up. We’ve seen kids in North Asia react so positively to this unique series with its eccentric and surprising characters – and uplifting music. In both Japan and Korea, the franchise’s success has extended way beyond the screen to become a genuine phenomenon loved by both kids and families. We can’t wait to see Yo-Kai Watch enthrall Toonami’s audiences in South and Southeast Asia.”

The IP first began as a Nintendo computer game and contains the theme song Gera Gera Po, which is sung and danced to by thousands of children around the world. The franchise has so far generated an estimated $1.5 billion in merchandise. Video sales have so far exceeded 6.5 million units, one million CDs, complemented by 4 million comic sales.

Last December, the Yo-Kai Watch movie premiered in 347 screens in Japan garnering more than 6.5 billion yen from the box office in three weeks.