Learning Japanese with Youkai Watch and Nintendo 3DS

Youkai Watch - level up!

Youkai Watch is a children’s game for the 3DS. Your task is to collect ghosts. Not unlike Pokemon, they say. The game has become extremely popular in Japan, and the sequel Youkai Watch 2 was just released (in July 2014). There is also a manga and an ongoing anime. A movie is scheduled for December 2014.

I bought the game (and the first volume of the manga) in Japan last autumn but haven’t started playing until now. The Japanese is easy to understand and the kanji has furigana. The game itself is sweet of course, but not really my thing. But who cares, I play it mostly to learn more Japanese.

In my first 3 hours and 19 minutes (the game keeps track of your time spent with it) of the game, I took notes of new words, and words I needed to repeat. The first half of them I’ve tested on my tandem partner, the second half I will test on him tomorrow.

  • 妖怪(ようかい)ghost
  • 主人公(しゅじんこう)hero
  • 性別(せいべつ)sex (gender)
  • 地名(ちめい)place-name
  • 団体(だんたい)organization
  • いっさい x ない not any x
  • 可能性(かのうせい)possibility
  • 可能 possible「予約する可能ですか?」
  • 進行 progression
  • 別荘(べっそう)villa, holiday house
  • ボクんち = 僕の家 my place
  • 昆虫(こんちゅう)insect
  • レアもの rare (thing)
  • 自由研究(じゆうけんきゅう)independent research (summer project in elementary school)
  • 採集(さいしゅう)collection (same kanji as 探す)
  • 一匹(いっぴき)one animal
  • ダンゴムシ wood louse
  • めくる turn over (but not entirely), lift a bit to look under, browse
  • 期待 expectation
  • 期待せずに without expecting
  • 捕る to catch ・ 捕まえる to catch ・ 捕まる to be caught
  • 見返す(みかえす)to look back, to triumph「クマを見返してやるぞ!」
  • 虫アミ(虫網?)insect net (håv)
  • 夏休みの日記 summer break diary
  • 状態(じょうたい)state
  • 観察(かんさつ)する to observe (to check?)
  • 用務員さん(ようむいんさん)janitor
  • 黒蜜(くろみつ)black honey
  • アブラゼミ large brown cicada ・ ミンミンゼミ
  • お坊さん(おぼうさん)monk
  • 封印(ふういん)する to seal, in the sense “to close forever”, “försegla”
  • アンビリーバボー unbelievable
  • レーダー radar


  • 分析(ぶんせき)analysis
  • 周囲(しゅうい)perimeter
  • 表示(ひょうじ)display (表示する、表示される)
  • 満タン(まんたん)full tank. Jfr 満足 satisfied (filled up)
  • 仕返し(しかえし)revenge (する)
  • ご覧(ごらん)する to see (polite) ・ ご覧なさい ・ ご覧ください
  • 怒らす(おこらす)to provoke (something) ・ 怒らせる provoked (by something)
  • 返信(へんしん)する to transform ・ 返信(へんしん)a reply
  • 証(あかし)proof
  • 手加減(てかげん)allowance
  • はりきって up and coming (?)
  • 勝手気(かってき)own mind (?) ・ 勝手気ままに licentious (lacking restraint) (?)
  • 必殺(ひっさつ)(な)deadly ・ ひっさつわざ deathblow
  • 見所(みどころ)highlight
  • 指示通り(しじどおり)as instructed


  • いきなり suddenly
  • 襲う(おそう)to attack ・ 襲ってくるんだ
  • 執事(しつじ)butler
  • 鼻(はな)nose ・「鼻が高いです」(?)
  • 収納(しゅうのう)storage ・ 収納する to house, accommodate (store?)
  • 狂い(くるい)crazy
  • ひつじ sheep
  • 役目(やくめ)role
  • 世話(せわ)care, aid, assistance, looking after (世話をする)
  • 構う(かまう)to care (about), to be concerned about
  • 居候(いそうろう)freeloader (?!)
  • 起動(きどう)する to start (up) something

Oh my god, I just realized that a really sweet video I saw long ago is for this game:

And here’s one from the release of Youkai Watch 2:

The Youkai Watch dance. I should try that next time at Berghain.

This was the second post on Japanese studies by way of Nintendo 3DS. Here is the first one (with loads and loads of pictures – you are warned).

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