Yokai Apato (Elegant Youkai Apartment Life) is a show about relationships. There’s not a lot of overarching stories in the 26 episode series, but several short 2-4 episode events. There are too many characters to keep track of, especially because many of these only show up here and there. YA is light, serious, and great.
The events in YA are backdropped by a ghost-filled apartment, a high school, a delivery warehouse, an extended uncle’s family, an eccentric best friend, or with a spirit filled book of magic. Did I mention that it’s also a colorful series?
A high school teen, through these short storylines, learns how to navigate the world of human relationships, finding out what it means to make decisions and to accept responsibility for the consequences.
There’s a slower pace to YA, which I really like. The people hanging around the ‘youkai apartments’ spend time talking about the different expectations and reactions that humans have of each other in all types of situations. The show is tuned into a sense of Emotional Intelligence that isn’t always present in anime suitable for kids, and this is why I love it.
There are a lot of laughs and enough action in the show so that my kids also loved it. I can’t think of a better anime that I’ve watched with them. Life is limited and we don’t have the time to experience it all – YA is a good substitute for talking about experiences we might have and people we might meet, in small ways.
I often post about the the division of “how” and “what” skills/questions, and the tendency for my generation to focus so much more on the “How” of life. YA contributes to the much needed “What”, giving my kids some substance and some humanity to go along with all that digital connective stuff they’re supposed to prefer.