The fox, both as an animal and as a spirit, is referred to as Kitsune. For centuries, Japanese folklore has featured beautiful humans with magical or spiritual abilities as characters. Kitsune using their powers of deception and transformation are frequently depicted in stories about ethereal, captivating women deceiving human men for various reasons. Kitsune are also associated with the god Inari and serve as his messengers on occasion.
But this isn’t to say that kitsune can’t be male or have a human form. Though these spirits commonly have white hair and yellow eyes in human forms, anime creators often use a lot of creative license in how they look and behave. Their inclusion is frequently focused on their traditional religious aspects, but they are occasionally present as a source of power or battle companion. Let’s look at the top ten kitsune anime to satisfy your foxy cravings.
Naruto Uzumaki is a talented young ninja with big ambitions. He aspires to be the greatest ninja in the world and the leader of his village, and he makes grand declarations of his intentions. People are keeping their distance from Naruto not because of his antics, but because the great Kyuubi, or Nine-Tailed Fox, has been sealed inside him since he was a baby. This enhances Naruto’s abilities while also isolating him from the rest of the village, who fear he will one day bring disaster to the village. Naruto must fight the Kyuubi’s own cynical voice, which encourages him to destroy everything, as well as the cruel words of those who fear him.
While the anime focuses primarily on Naruto’s journey to become Hokage and the lives and battles of the other ninjas he meets, the kitsune within him plays a significant role in how his life unfolds. Naruto’s incredible power distinguishes him from others and inspires admiration, fear, envy, and hatred. As the series progresses (and continues to progress), the Nine-Tailed Fox takes on a larger role in the story, and we see more of his power. Naruto is our number ten choice because, given the length of the anime, we don’t get to see much of the kitsune.
Keita, despite being a descendant of the powerful and prestigious Kawahira clan, a family of Inukami (dog god) tamers who protect the world from evil, spends his time fantasizing about women. He does not let his family’s disapproval deter him, and he frequently complains that the work is uninteresting to him. It’s only fitting that the Inukami with whom he’s made a deal is emotional, selfish, and a bit of a jerk. Youko, unlike the other Inukami, is more concerned with forcing Keita to go on dates with her or punishing him for his womanizing behavior. She uses her abilities to punish evil spirits and her troublesome owner as she sees fit. While Youko’s love for Keita is obvious, she hides a secret that she fears will tear them apart.
You’ve probably figured out that Youko isn’t an Inukami based on the show’s inclusion on the list! Her secret is that she is a kitsune, and she tried to fool Keita into believing she was an Inukami so that the two of them would have to grow closer. Youko is as secretive as foxes are said to be in legend, and she enjoys playing with her powers. While Inukami is an excellent example of a kitsune with great abilities, the slow reveal of her true identity drops her to ninth place on the list.
8. Inari, Kon Kon, Koi Iroha (Inari Kon Kon)
Sweet but reserved When Inari is late for school and comes across a fox pup in need of assistance, she can’t seem to catch a break. She can’t stand it any longer and rushes to save him, only to end up in a river. She accepts that she will be late at that point and safely transports the puppy to the Inari shrine after which she is named, where she wins the affection of the God who resides there. Inari gains the ability to transform into another person thanks to Uka-sama, and the little pup she saved becomes her familiar. Having God-like abilities, on the other hand, may be too much for her.
Inari Kon is a fictional character created by Inari Kon Kon has a lot of kitsune, but they mostly just take on the form of a single fox. They have the ability to communicate and float, and they act as guides and mediators between Gods and humans. Uka-sama does occasionally transform them into video game consoles so that she can play dating sims, which she appears to enjoy. We mostly see Kon, Inari’s kitsune companion, as he tries to advise her on love and her transformation power. Inari is ranked eighth on our list because the story focuses more on the human characters than the kitsune.
7. Inu x Boku SS (Inu x Boku Secret Service)
Ririchiyo, a misunderstood and secretly lonely young girl, decides to leave her wealthy family’s estate and live alone in a unique apartment complex where tenants must be chosen. She wants to become a more honest and kind person, so she’s resolved to live in solitude until she can talk without hurting others, not intending to get close to her neighbors. When a man shows up claiming to be her servant and wishing nothing more than to take care of her every whim, it’s enough to shake her resolve. Ririchiyo finds it difficult to keep the more friendly tenants at bay, especially when they share a common trait: they are all descended from various youkai (demons/spirits).
Inu x Boku features a variety of youkai, including Soushi, a kitsune’s servant. Soushi frequently employs his transformations and swordsmanship to fend off a large number of human and supernatural attackers. He has a trickery element, which is a key characteristic of fox spirits, but it isn’t revealed until later. But, because Soushi isn’t a full-blooded kitsune, Inu x Boku SS is our number seven.
6. Gugure! Kokkuri-san
Kohina, a self-proclaimed living doll, decides to put the legend to the test that if you play Kokkuri-san alone, you’ll be haunted by the spirit. During Kohina’s incantation, a fox-eared man with white hair appears… but he is horrified by her living conditions! As a result, the fox spirit takes on the role of a housekeeper, attempting to assist Kohina in having a normal childhood. A normal childhood is out of the question for a girl who happens to attract a lot of spirits.
Despite the fact that fox spirits are said to value their freedom above all else, Kokkuri-san wasted no time in putting all of his efforts into helping the hopeless Kohina. Kokkuri-san was once revered as a god, but as people began to forget about him, Kohina was the only one who continued to visit his shrine. Kokkuri-san, on the other hand, is content to remain Kohina’s guardian rather than reclaim his former glory as a revered kitsune. Despite this, he frequently employs his transformational abilities, much to the delight of Kohina’s paw-pad-loving delight!
5. Otome Yokai Zakuro (Zakuro)
Tensions between humans and youkai have risen in Japan as a result of Westernization. The youkai’s homes are being demolished, and they are now treated as second-class citizens. To investigate and mediate problems that arise as a result of this, a coalition is formed between members of the army and several half-kitsune daughters. Zakuro is a proud half-kitsune who can’t stand how people so easily replace their traditions with newer Western ways. Kei is a human who is terrified of youkai, and Kei is a proud half-kitsune who can’t stand how people so easily replace their traditions with newer Western ways. If they are to achieve their goals of peace for their species, they must learn more about each other when they become partners.
Multiple fox girls appear in Otome Yokai Zakuro, which is already a huge plus for the show. Despite the girls’ lack of the trickery and mischief associated with their kind, this anime shows a more spiritual side to kitsune and youkai in general. This, however, can be attributed to their human side. This is a fantastic show that is a little more serious than some of the others on this list, and the spiritual aspect of the girls’ battles is enthralling.
4. Gingitsune (Gingitsune: Messenger Fox of the Gods)
Gintarou is the Saeki family shrine’s kitsune herald, but only young Makoto can see him. Gin is her affectionate nickname for him, and she frequently asks for his assistance in telling fortunes and assisting her friends. Gintaro and Makoto have a close bond despite Gintaro being an ancient and revered spirit through her family line. They work together to maintain the community’s faith and to assist those who seek wisdom from the shrine.
Gingitsune is a fantastic example of a kitsune acting as the god Inari’s messenger, as depicted in legends. With the help of his fox fire, he can fly and predict the future. He lives in the temple as a God’s messenger, but only the oracle Makoto can hear his words. Because Makoto is still a teenager, she frequently seeks Gintaro’s assistance for her own benefit. It’s refreshing for him to have such a strong bond that isn’t limited to hate or reverence. Gingitsune follows these two as they try to live up to their responsibilities.
3. Kanokon (Kanokon: The Girl Who Cried Fox)
Kouta and Chizuru are inseparable, and their entire high school is aware of it. They don’t realize that, while Kouta is a regular human boy, Chizuru is a kitsune. Chizuru hides this from Kouta at first, fearing he will reject her, but Kouta proves Chizuru’s love for him is reciprocated. In fact, Kouta is more concerned that she will steal his innocence while they are still in high school than he is about her hurting him. When Kouta discovers that Chizuru isn’t the only youkai at the school… or that she isn’t the only one after his heart… things get a lot more complicated!
Kanokon features the fox spirit Chizuru, who embodies many of the kitsune’s abilities. She’s cunning and devious, always getting what she wants, and she possesses strong spiritual abilities. She has the ability to change her appearance as well as transform into a more powerful being when she joins forces with Keita. We meet more kitsune and even other youkai throughout the series. Due to the numerous examples of a kitsune’s abilities, Kanokon is ranked third on our list.
2. Kamisama Hajimemashita (Kamisama Kiss)
Nanami has trouble adjusting to her new home after becoming the new Land God of an abandoned shrine by accident. To make matters worse, the fox spirit who is supposed to become her companion despises her and flees. Tomoe and Nanami eventually come together to try to make the best of a situation neither of them wanted. Nanami must balance her life as a student and her life as a God on a daily basis. Even after she signs a contract with Tomoe to become her familiar, the two of them have a difficult time getting along. Some people dislike Nanami as a God, while others see him as a more cruel and cold Tomoe than he is now.
Tomoe is a powerful kitsune who is forced to become Nanami’s familiar, and he does not appreciate it. Kitsune are known for fiercely protecting their freedom, which we see when he leaves his home after learning he has a new master. He also possesses a lot of the kitsune’s abilities and skills. He frequently employs his fox fire to locate what he requires, as well as his charm and deception to manipulate others. Regardless of his whining, he fulfills his role as a familiar and, eventually, a friend.
1. Wagaya no Oinari-sama (Our Home’s Fox Deity)
Toru and Noboru are descendants of the Mizuchi bloodline, a family known for its spiritual abilities in the realm of water. Throughout the centuries, they have bound and defeated youkai, and they have always relied on a female to fully wield their power. The last priestess, however, has died, and her two sons have become the targets of a youkai. Tenko Kugen, a powerful kitsune, is unbound and granted freedom in exchange for Toru and Noboru’s protection. Kugen has her hands full, as these two boys seem to attract all kinds of mischief.
Wagaya no Oinari-sama is a fantastic kitsune anime because it portrays the kitsune as more than just a fox with superpowers or a God’s herald. Kuugen transforms frequently, frequently switching between male and female, a fox, and even mixing her fox and human forms. Her archaic speech style serves to remind you that she is from another era, and her admiration for human technology and customs further establishes her as a distinct entity. She does what she wants with humans a lot of the time, but she still has respect for benevolent spirits and Gods. Wagaya no Oinari-sama is our favorite kitsune anime for this reason.