Before Jibanyan died due to an car accident, he was a normal cat named Rudy who was adopted by a girl named Amy. As Rudy, his appearance was that of a regular cat with red fur and has a curved muzzle instead of a wavy muzzle, he also had white inner ears and paws tips with a regular tail and also had a belt.
Jibanyan, after his death, is a red and white coloured cat with a chip in his left ear. He has yellow coloured eyes with large pupils, his nose and inner-ears are dull shade of pink. Attached to his collar is an aquamarine coloured bell, matching the flames at the end of his two tails.
As B Jibanyan, he wears a orange suit, black goggles with blue lenses. and has a dark gray blaster connected to an eletricity-powered backpack.
As a Yo-kai, he resorts to possessing people to fight on-coming trucks after numerous failed attempts to do so by himself. Luckily, he is stopped from doing this and is then befriended by Nate and Whisper, whose house he later decides to move into. He initially shows a mischievous and carefree side, easily breaking the rules and nearly being exorcised and having to be saved by Nate. However, he quickly makes amends shortly thereafter.
Jibanyan has an affinity for Chocobars and anything related to his favorite music group, Next HarMEOWny. Jibanyan is also eager to fight over other Yo-kai when needed, as shown in Signibble's assault at Nathan's sleepover. Also, he is quick to take action in dire moments, such as trying to force summoning when Nathan is possessed by Babblong and trying to prove superior than Robonyan, his robotic counterpart. He is very content in protecting Nathan from harm convicted by other Yo-kai.
Additionally, in Yo-kai Watch 2 Jibanyan can unlock three new Soultimate Moves, by scanning QR codes from special Yo-kai Medals distributed with Japanese physical copies of Bony Spirits and Fleshy Souls, and the Yo-kai Watch Model Zero toy, respectively.
Jibanyan cannot evolve into another Yo-kai, instead of that, Jibanyan can fuse with other Yo-kai. If Jibanyan fuses with or is inspirited by Roughraff, they will transform into Baddinyan. If Jibanyan fuses with Coughkoff or catches a cold, they will transform into Thornyan. If Jibanyan fuses with Jibanyan A, they will transform into Jibanyan S.
If Jibanyan and Whisper fuse together they will become Buchinyan; however, Buchinyan cannot be obtained through fusion.
Jibanyan first appeared in the second chapter of Yo-kai Watch: Enter Jibanyan!. The player meets Jibanyan after he charging into traffic against a truck, only to be crushed. The player asks Jibanyan if he's OK, but Jibanyan tells the player if he or she knows Amy and explains his backstory to the player before he became an Yo-kai. After that, Jibanyan tells the player that a Yo-kai stole his photo, and the player tells Jibanyan that they will take the picture back and asks him where the Yo-kai is who took his photo. Jibanyan tells the player that the gang usually hangs out right behind the fish place. The player tells Jibanyan that he has no need to worry and that they will take care of it. The two then introduced themselves to each other before the player is heading to the spot behind the Fish Place.
After the player managed to get the photo, they return back to the spot where Jibanyan is. They return the photo to Jibanyan, which Jibanyan thank the player in return. Still sobbing about his strength, the player comfort Jibanyan saying that he is pretty awesome. Jibanyan relieved by the player's words, he gives the player his medal, which the two of them became friends.
Jibanyan will automatically befriend the player on Stage 4 of Uptown Springdale after battle. Jibanyan can also be befriended the event "The Yo-cake Scramble Battle".
Yo-kai Watch 2
Jibanyan appears in Yo-kai Watch 2 in the first chapter The Vanishing Watch. The events are the same as that of Yo-kai Watch, but however, Jibanyan has lost his memories and doesn't seem to recognize the player. Jibanyan tells his story to the player before he became a Yo-kai, however, unlike Yo-kai Watch, the player doesn't have to take back the photo of Amy. The player comforts Jibanyan, as Jibanyan started to get déjà vu. A strange light appears which Jibanyan's memories are recollected, as after the light, the player will receive Jibanyan's medal. Jibanyan remembers the player, as that the player and Whisper both deciding to go to the Memory Store to get a clue as to why they have lost their memories, Jibanyan stays near the fish place to continue his training, and later tags along.
His name is a combination of jibakurei (Japanese: 地縛霊,"ghost bound to a location") and nyan, the Japanese onomatopoeia for a cat's meow.
Jibanyan is based on the nekomata, a kind of bakeneko (cat youkai) born from a cat that turned into one with age: when this happens, they gain magical powers, human intelligence and their tail splits into two (whether the tail just forks or fully splits depends on the source), ghostly fire sometimes appearing on the tips.
They are much larger than a regular housecat, and also far more dangerous: they can curse humans, manipulate fire, and even control the dead with their tails as if they were puppets on strings. Jibanyan wears a haramaki around his tummy, or "belly wrap". The word originally referred to a type of chest armor, but in modern times it describes a tube of thick cloth worn around the waist to keep the body warm during winter. It used to be regarded as an old-fashioned unstylish article of clothing, but it recently saw new popularity in Japan.
Besides his Nyext, Nyaight, and Victory Z Medals, Jibanyan has an additional fourth Z Medal that looks exactly like his normal medal, with a Z Medal frame.
Jibanyan has many different versions of himself, through fusions or not even related through Jibanyan.
Jibanyan is the only Yo-Kai that can change his Soultimate (having four versions in all, which also includes his Rank S version).
In the Japanese version of Yo-kai Watch, his Soultimate move did not feature the attack being enunciated when performed, though it was later done so in later games beginning with Yo-kai Watch 2, which the English version of first game reflects.
In EP091, Jibanyan was revealed to be able to hold fifteen chocobars in his haramaki.
Nate does a similar move in the same vein as Kenshiro in EP212.
Jibanyan's unlockable Soultimate Moves in Yo-kai Watch 2 and Z medal poses are all based on Japanese classic comedy visual gags. Nyext (Nyooeh) is a reference to Iyami's "Sheeeh!" from Fujio Akatsuka's Osomatsu-kun, Nyaight (Nyaiiin) is based on Ken Shimura's "Aiiiin!" (アイーン！), and Komanyachi (Victory) is a parody of Takeshi Kitano's "Komanechi!" (コマネチ！).
Jibanyan's "random" nicknames in Yo-kai Watch 2 are: Nyanto, Jibbers, Purrball, and Poltpaws.
Monokuma impersonates him in Dangan Ronpa V3: Killing Harmony.
Fans have speculated what lies beneath Jibanyan's harmaki other than chocobars. As revealed in EP197 and the Dazzabel chapter of the Manga, it out that there isn't anything of significance under there.
In other languages
A combination of jibakurei (Japanese: 地縛霊,"ghost bound to a location") and nyan, the Japanese onomatopoeia for a cat's meow.