YS 1

As Japan continues its long in-vain search for a way to recapture the glory years of the Bubble Economy of the 1980s, politicians and pundits have proposed a plethora of projects. But amid all the talk of privatizing the postal system, making the expressways free, and devaluing the yen, there’s one outside the box solution no one happened on until now: unleash supernatural entities into the stock market.

Maybe it’s something they should have tried earlier, considering how the supernatural characters of hit multimedia franchise Yo-Kai Watch are leading a mini stock rally all by themselves.

The intellectual property rights to Yo-Kai Watch are owned by video game developer and publisher Level-5. While Level-5 isn’t a publicly traded company, many of its Yo-Kai Watch partners are, and yesterday three of them enjoyed a sizeable boost in their stock prices.

Bandai Namco Holdings, Japan’s largest toy manufacturer, is the company in charge of all the non-video game toys, figures, and other goodies related to Level-5’s creation. On August 4, its stock price closed at 2,665 yen (US$26.39) per share, a 2.5 percent increase from the day before and its highest of the year. Happy Net, Bandai Namco’s toy wholesale division, say even bigger gains, closing up 11 percent at a year-best 1,983 yen.

▼ Of course there’s a Yo-Kai Watch watch.

YS 2

Most impressive of all was the performance of TV Tokyo, the network that started airing the Yo-Kai Watch anime in January that helped bring the franchise to a wider audience. TV Tokyo saw its stock rise 11.2 percent to 1,926 yen, making it the first time the company’s stock has closed above the 1,900-yen line since the broadcaster was listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

Making this all the more remarkable was that while all this was going on, the rest of the Japanese market was slumping due to the influence of discouraging economic conditions in the U.S. and E.U.

That said, there are a few caveats to the gains seen by the three Yo-Kai Watch related corporations. Whereas in the U.S. many publicly traded companies will use stock splits and other tactics to keep their stock prices moderate and attractive to new investors, many Japanese companies see a high stock price as a mark of prestige and respectability.

“Before we start the meeting, I’d like everyone to meet our new CFO.”

YS 3

That doesn’t at all diminish the relative increases their stocks showed, though. Aside from Happy Net and TV Tokyo, only three other organizations listed in the 1,675-entity First Section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange saw double-digit growth on August 4, which puts the TV station and toy wholesaler in some pretty exclusive company.

However, Yo-Kai Watch can’t take all the credit for TV Tokyo’s gains, as the company just released figures showing a healthy profit during the period from April to June of this year, which no doubt is also contributing to investor confidence. Of course, a large chunk of those profits is due to ad revenue from the successful Yo-Kai Watch anime.

In other words, it looks like the era of kids being the only fans of Yo-Kai Watch are over, since there are now plenty of stock brokers, investors, and economists who love it too.

Source: Yahoo! Japan News
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