SANTA MONICA, Calif., June 23, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Dentsu Entertainment USA, Inc. has entered into an agreement with Disney XD in the U.S. to telecast 26 half-hour episodes of the Japanese brand phenomenon YO-KAI WATCH™, it was announced jointly today by LEVEL-5, Inc. and Dentsu Entertainment USA, Inc.
Based on an original concept by LEVEL-5, Inc., the hit comedy-adventure YO-KAI WATCH is a joint production effort by LEVEL-5, Inc., Dentsu Inc., and TV TOKYO Corporation. LEVEL-5 will be leading rights management and marketing coordination for the franchise, under a newly formed Los Angeles-based company.
YO-KAI WATCH is an animated comedy series that follows the hilarious misadventures of an average human boy and his involvement with the mischievous Yo-kai all around him. Our young 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… problems that are often caused by other trouble-making Yo-kai!
The program will air on Disney XD and some of its Disney XD-branded platforms, providing multiple opportunities for engagement with the franchise. Since it was first introduced just 18 months ago, YO-KAI WATCH has become one of the most popular franchises of all time in Japan:
- The program has been the top-rated animated show for kids 4-12 years old on TV TOKYO.
- 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.
Mr. Akihiro Hino, President of LEVEL-5, Inc., said, "When we were creating the world of YO-KAI WATCH for TV and video games, we thoroughly researched kids' perspectives, to capture what they are worried about in everyday situations. In YO-KAI WATCH, each challenge they face is caused by a certain Yo-kai – a concept that is highly relate-able for kids, and we are looking forward to introducing this exceptional content in the US and abroad."
"Programs with such proven and broad appeal like YO-KAI WATCH are few and far between," said Marc Harrington, Senior Vice President, Global Strategy and Development, Dentsu Entertainment USA, Inc. "We are very excited to be working with Disney XD on the program's U.S. debut!"
In North America, leading global play company Hasbro, Inc. will introduce an innovative YO-KAI WATCH toy line in Spring 2016, and will roll out to additional markets by the end of that year.
In recent news, Mar Vista Entertainment was granted media, licensing and merchandising rights for Latin America.
About LEVEL-5, Inc.
LEVEL-5 Inc. plans, creates, and markets video game software and produces mega-hit IPs targeting kids in Japan. The company specializes in cross-media strategies and oversees corresponding counterparts (anime, toys, manga etc.) for its titles. The company's flagship PROFESSOR LAYTON™ series has shipped over 15.5 million units worldwide, The Ni no Kuni™ series, featuring animations created the Academy Award-winning Studio Ghibli, has sold over 1.5 million titles worldwide and received numerous prominent game awards. LEVEL-5's cross-media titles include INAZUMA EVELEN™, Little Battlers eXperience™, and most recently, YO-KAI WATCH™, which has sold over 7.5 million copies of its games (including download versions) in Japan alone. All forms of YO-KAI WATCH merchandise, including toys and games, are universally popular among people of all ages. In September 2010, LEVEL-5 Inc. opened an office in Southern California. While maintaining its foundation as a game company, LEVEL-5 Inc. continues to actively explore collaborations with other media as it strives to flourish as a world-class entertainment brand. More information on LEVEL-5 Inc. can be found at http://www.level5ia.com and http://www.level5.co.jp.
About Dentsu Entertainment USA, Inc.
Dentsu Entertainment USA, Inc. was formed in 2010 as a wholly owned subsidiary of Dentsu Inc. (Tokyo Stock Exchange, Code 4324). Dentsu Inc. is the world's largest advertising agency, and a leading producer of Japanese animation, with approximately 43,000 full-time employees and more than 750 subsidiaries and affiliates worldwide. Dentsu Entertainment USA develops original animation programming and media content for domestic and international markets, and manages licensing programs for new and existing intellectual properties. Current projects include YO-KAI WATCH™, LBX™ (a.k.a. "Little Battlers eXperience"), Monsuno® and Mega Man™.. Dentsu Entertainment USA is headquartered in Santa Monica, CA. For more information, please visit http://www.DentsuEntertainment.com.
SOURCE Dentsu Entertainment USA, Inc.