Mysterious, flirty, energetic, playful, and mischievous, there is something just so fun about fox characters! Everyone knows about the great fox spirit in the anime Naruto, but there is much much more fox characters than that filling the anime world with their sneaky antics. In fact, there’s nearly enough fun loving foxes out there to make their own genre. Fox characters are everywhere in anime and come in every shape and size you could image, from adorable little child foxes helping travelers along their way through a monster ridden feudal landscape, to fox maids serving tea and keeping absent minded folklorists on their publishing deadlines, to great big and fluffy fox spirits guarding over shrines and bringing messages from the gods with the help of little shrine maidens.
Though fox characters can come in either human form, fox form or half way between, oddly enough, foxes in anime are usually white rather than the more common red with white tail tips and paws that you would see in Western style animation. Another unusual trait of anime foxes is that they often have more than one tail. In fact, some more powerful fox characters have up to nine! And in case you haven’t guessed yet, there is definitely a hierarchy of foxes. These characters can range in power and prestige from god to guardian, from messenger to mischief maker.
So if you can’t get enough anime characters that are just so foxy, here are some series to sink your teeth into!
Inari Kon Kon
Inari Kon Kon is an adorable anime about a very lonely fox goddess and a middle school girl that wishes she was someone else. The fox goddess Uke has found humans interesting for years and so she lives at her shrine rather than in the Celestial realm with the rest of the gods, and people watches all the villagers that visit her shrine. That is, when she isn’t busy watching J-dramas or playing dating sims.
One day a teary eyed middle school girl named Inari visits Uke sama’s shrine. Inari has a crush on a boy at school, but he seems to like a very pretty and popular girl! Inari doesn’t see much of any value in herself, and more than anything else she wants to become the pretty girl that her crush likes. Goddess Uke, living off of a solid diet of dating sims, thinks this is a great idea and gives Inari some of her fox power! Specifically, Uke sama gives Inari the power to turn into anyone she wants. Shape-shifting silliness ensues! After many mistakes and one power drained goddess later, Inari learns to value herself, just the way she is.
Kamisama Kiss is an energetic Rom/Com anime about a rather belligerent guardian fox and a homeless new goddess. Nanami Momozono has terrible luck. Her loving mother died when Nanami was a small child and she was left with only her gambling, swindling, in debt father to live her childhood in poverty. Well, bad goes to worse when her dad skips town with the last of their money and leaves his high school aged daughter to deal with the debt collectors, loan sharks, and the eviction notice. Nanami is quickly homeless and planing to spend the night on a park bench when she hears a dog barking.
A very tiny dog has managed to chase a grown man up a tree at the park. With a gentle “shoo shoo” from Nanami, the dog flees and the extremely grateful man is saved! The two get to talking and Nanami tells the man about her situation. As a reward for “saving” him, the man gives her directions to his home that he isn’t staying at and a peck on the forehead. When Nanami follows the directions into the mountains, what she finds isn’t a house but rather a falling down old shrine, and a very grumpy fox spirit guarding it. And surprise surprise, that little peck on the forehead wasn’t a token of affection, but rather has made Nanami the new low level goddess of the shrine!
Gugure Kokkuri san
Gugure Kokkuri san is an eclectic comedy anime about a little girl who lives alone in an abandoned house and the summoned fox spirit that is determined to help her. Kohina is a disenchanted little girl that believes she is an emotionless doll. One day Kohina uses a kind of Ouija board to summon a spirit to answer her questions. What she gets is a fox spirit named Kokkuri san. The fox spirit becomes rightly upset when he is summoned to the home of a seemingly emotionally frozen little girl that lives alone in an abandoned and dilapidated house and eats only instant cup ramen. Regardless of why Kohina summoned him, Kokkuri san puts himself to work cooking Kohina nutritious meals, cleaning the house, and getting rid of the stock pile of instant ramen that little Kohina seems to be addicted to. The thing is, this isn’t why Kohina was trying to summon a spirit. In fact she is perfectly content with the way she lives, and so she gets to work trying to get rid of the “troublesome” fox spirit. Even going so far as to call the police to arrest the “pervert” that has invaded her home. And so the bizarre battle of wills begins!
Otome Yokai Zakura
Otome Yokai Zakura is a heart warming light romance anime about some frilly kimono clad fox spirit ladies and the soldiers that are assigned to work with them to solve paranormal crimes. Though the lead officer is definitely not a fan of yokai or anything paranormal, the “monsters” he is supposed to supervise are not what he was expecting. Cute ladies with fox ears aren’t exactly terrifying. Considering that this is a romance and that cute fox ladies are paired with no nonsense military men, you would think this would just be filled with damsels in distress being saved by heroic types, but really the fox characters in this anime have some pretty impressive fighting skills, and save the gents from demons running a muck more than once. Not surprisingly, with frills flying and swords flashing, it’s enough to get any soldier’s heart a fluttering! Though the lead soldier Kei Agemaki and the leading lady Zakura are long hold outs and spend much of their time at odds, it doesn’t take long for the other fox yokai ladies to find their match with a handsome soldier. Or in the case of the twins Bonbori and Hozuki, one poor fellow that they both gleefully share.
Another wonderfully flirty shape shifting fox demon is Soushi Miketsukami from the anime InuXBoku SS, who I’ve talked about before in my blog post Anime to the Letter: What’s up with all this Writing? . Read about his antics on the original post or below!
InuXBoku SS is an anime about a demon girl named Ririchiyo Shirakin, who’s an important part of an old and powerful demon clan. Due to her less than ideal family situation, she decided to live on her own in an exclusive condo complex and go to high school away from home. Her new condominium building is so exclusive it even furnishes each high class demon resident with their own demon bodyguard. Her appointed bodyguard is Soushi Miketsukami, a shape shifting fox demon. He’s handsome, he’s gentlemanly, he’s helpful and thoughtful, and he’s totally obsessed with her! When she leaves to use the restroom, Miketsukami agonizes over her absence. When she eats breakfast that he didn’t prepare, Miketsukami is shattered by his inability to serve Ririchiyo in every way. When Ririchiyo shares her phone number with Miketsukami, he declares that he will preserve his phone and lock it up in a safe so he can enshrine it forever.
Considering that even Ririchiyo admits that she’s quite cold toward others, she is a bit baffled and alarmed by Miketsukami’s adoration and devotion. Little did she know that the two have been connected for years. At a young age Ririchiyo was betrothed to the heir of another demon clan. Trying to get to know her new fiance, Ririchiyo started writing letters to him. Unfortunately, her fiance had little interest in writing her back so he handed the job off to his servant/companion Miketsukami. Over the years they became closer and closer, and when Miketsukami found out that Ririchiyo was leaving the suffocating environment of her family home to live on her own, he thought it was his chance to finally spend time with her IRL. One little problem, she never knew that it was Miketsukami that was writing to her, she thought it was her fiance!