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Manga: Gingitsune

Gingitsune (ぎんぎつね Gingitsune, lit. Silver Fox) is a fantasy slice of life Seinen manga series written and illustrated by Sayori Ochiai. It was first serialized in Ultra Jump on 2009.

Makoto Saeki is the daughter of a shrine priest in a small Inari Shinto shrine dedicated to the God Ukanomitama. Despite being the fifteenth generation heiress of the Shrine, she is living a good life after her mother died. However, she has an unusual gift when she met the messenger of the god Inari: an anthropomorphic fox named Gintaro, declaring her the successor. Gintaro can see a short glimpse into the future and find lost things despite being rude and unmotivated, but still developed a good friendship with Makoto. As she is the only girl who can see the spirit, both of them decide to be a go-between for the gods and humans as they try to help those who come to the shrine.

It has currently sold over 1 million copies in Japan, though no fan translations of it exist. An anime began airing in October 2013, and has ended in December 2013, spanning 12 episodes and covering the first 3 volumes of the manga.

The anime is watchable on Crunchyroll. Premium members worldwide except Asia may watch it, and other viewers may watch it free in the following areas: USA, Canada, UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, The Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Spain, Central and South America, and Portugal.

Tropes present in Gingitsune:

  • The Ace: Satoru gets a lot of attention because he has even better grades than Hiwako, is very good at Kendo, and good looking. He's also a lot better when it comes to keeping the shrine clean and following rules than Makoto is.
    • Broken Ace: However, people who don't know him don't tend to see his emotional isolation and virtually non-existent social skills. Additionally, the reason why he's so helpful at home is because he's afraid of being a burden.
  • Aloof Dark-Haired Girl: Hiwako
  • Alpha Bitch: Yumi initially comes off like one. However, she gradually warms up to Makoto and becomes good friends with her, and surprisingly didn't consider the other girls to really be her friends in the first place.
  • Apologizes a Lot: Deconstructed: Satoru, because he grew up with guardians who made him feel like he was a burden for just existing.
  • Ascended Fridge Horror: Since the heralds live very long lives, they will see many of the heirs/heiresses die. This is discussed in episode 3, though Gintaro insists that he isn't sad about the fact. Haru realizes that it's best to give Satoru some space to allow him to make friends with other humans because of this.
  • Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Makoto and Gintaro disagree, bicker, and complain about each other, but it's clear that they care about each other a lot. Gintaro tells her the things she does don't really bother him as much as he says they do, they're both upset when Gintaro runs away after their argument, and Makoto tells him she loves him.
  • Big Eater: One of Makoto's friends who was rushed to the hospital in one episode when she got a stomachache from eating too much and even says that her dream is to become a chef or a nutritionist.
  • Blatant Lies: In episode 6, Haru claims to be hanging out with Gintaro to keep him company while Satoru is spending time with Makoto and her friends. Gintaro pretends to believe this.
  • Blinding Bangs: Kinjiro's fur covers his eyes.
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: What the hell, Mr. Saeki.
    '''Episode 3: I used to see a lot of turtles, especially on the street by the river. And when the cars hit them their shells would blow up like fireworks!
  • Broken Bird: Haru explains that Satoru's afraid of letting anyone get close to him because of his experience with his family.
  • Childhood Friends: Yoshitomo and Tatsuo
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Haru to Satoru. She gets angry when girls tease him, and especially when they try to hit on him, such as Shouhei's sisters.
  • Continuity Nod: In episode 5, it's mentioned that heralds sometimes run away when they are unhappy at their shrine, which Gintaro did in the first episode and Kijiro did before then.
  • Cry Cute: Haru
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Satoru's introduction in episode 4 shows that both of his parents died in a car accident. His grandfather then tries to raise him, but passes away shortly afterwards as well, forcing his aunt to raise him along with her two kids. Unfortunately his cousins and aunt are strict with him, and the former even boss him around, making him pick up their toys for them. As a result, he doesn't like living there, and moves out at the first opportunity. He also begs Makoto's father to let him move out after he's found a place to live in despite his guardians already giving him the money to help with living expenses.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Many of the episodes, especially after the introduction of Satoru and Haru in episode 4 ("Satoru and Haru").
    • The turtle herald in episode 3.
    • Episode 7 covers Shouhei's family shrine, and the two local heralds there, Fuu and Fuku.
    • Episode 8 focuses on Hiwako and her father's assistant, Shinichi.
    • Episodes 9 and 10 focus on Haru and Satoru, respectively.
  • Debut Queue: The early episodes introduce a couple of new characters each time.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen:
    • Hiwako, who used to be stoic and cold, now laughs and has become a lot nicer to people. Seishirō has noticed this and likes the change.
    • Satoru when becoming friends with Makoto and Kinu.
  • Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: Makoto punches Takami, her father's friend, after he teases her a little too much in episode 11.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: Satoru doesn't like that the other students call him Ouji.
  • Expecting Someone Taller: Yumi says this almost word-for-word when first meeting Satoru.
  • Eyes Always Shut: Yoshizumi-san.
    • Oh no...he's not looking at the road!
  • The Faceless: Makoto's mother. In episode 11, when Makoto remembers her in a flashback and when she is shown in a family photo, her face is never shown.
  • Fat and Skinny: Gintaro and Kinjiro.
  • Father, I Want to Marry My Brother: When Makoto was younger, she claimed to become her father's bride. She thought her father was joking, but Gintaro confirms it.
  • The Foreign Subtitle: Airs as Gingitsune: Messenger Fox of the Gods on Crunchyroll.
  • Fortune Teller: Makoto is doing this in the first episode using Gintaro's ability to see the future.
  • Freudian Trio: Hiwako is The Spock, Makoto is The Kirk and Yumi is The McCoy.
  • Friendless Background/Loner-Turned-Friend: Hiwako and Satoru.
  • The Gadfly: Fuu and Fuku play pranks because they want to cheer up the humans who always seem sad (especially since there's a graveyard near their shrine) and also because they find it fun.
  • Genki Girl/Keet: Fuku and Fuu, unsurprisingly as they're both monkey spirits.
  • Gentle Giant: Gintaro is very large and imposing, but he's quite the Nice Guy too, and it often takes a lot to get him angry. Even then however, he doesn't seem to hold grudges for very long.
  • Heavy Sleeper: The two lion-dog heralds, Saimaru and Utamaru, who fall asleep a couple of times while talking to Gin and Makoto.
  • He Is Not My Boyfriend: When Satoru and Makoto go out, several people assume they're dating and she has to keep telling people that he's just a friend of the family who happens to be living with them.
  • Hidden Eyes: Satoru, a few times in episodes 4 and 5 when he has a falling out with Haru, and again in episode 6 when the girls try to force him to be more social. Later episodes continue this, as he is always struggling to hide his emotions.
  • Honorary Uncle: Yoshitomo to Makoto.
  • Hopeless Suitor: A couple of examples:
    • Hiwako towards Tatsuo, Makoto's father. Yumi teases her about it when she discovers it.
    • Shinichi towards Hiwako. Aside from their ten year age difference, he also works for her father. In episode 8 he asks the gods to let him not fall in love with her to avoid the problems that would crop up if they were to develop a relationship.
    • Seishirou, the Student Council President, who has a crush on Hiwako, although she doesn't notice it nor seems to care.
  • Hot-Blooded: Haru tends to yell quite a bit, partly because she's a fairly young herald (80 years or so, but compared to Gintaro's hundreds she's still fairly new), and partly because she doesn't think people take her seriously due to her extremely short height.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Gintaro and Makoto. Satoru and Haru.
  • Humble Pie: The first episode had this with Makoto. She and Gintaro had an argument because she was using using his power for selfish reasons and acting like a brat when she didn't get her way. After realizing she was wrong, she apologizes and starts treating him with more respect. Also, Yumi tries to get back together with her boyfriend, but it isn't until she learns to be more humble that she is successful.
  • Hypocritical Humor/Not so Above It All:
    • Haru complains about being woken up by noisy kids visiting the shrine in episode 9, then starts cheering on the girls when they fight against the boys. Gintaro later complains about not being able to sleep through the noise and points out that Haru ended up being the loudest one.
    • In the same episode, she criticizes Gin for liking tangerines. But then Satoru tells them that she likes creamed buns. Gin immediately jokes to her about this.
  • Identical Grandson: Satoru to his great-grandfather Seigo.
  • Informed Attribute: Lampshaded. When the turtle herald says that since he regained his strength, he's able to speak more quickly, though Gintaro says he doesn't sound any different.
  • Innocent Cohabitation: Makoto and Satoru at Makoto's shrine.
  • In-Series Nickname: Makoto sometimes calls Gintaro "Gin".
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Makoto and Gintaro, a high school girl and centuries-old herald, though they've been together since Makoto was 4 years old. It's said that it's rare for an heir to be so young. Satoru and Haru also have this, with Satoru first gaining "the sight" when he was 5.
  • Invisible to Normals: Heralds can only be seen by people with "the sight", which are usually shrine heirs/heiresses. Because of this, most people no longer believe they or the gods exist. This also becomes awkward when Makoto talks to them in public and people think she's talking to herself.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Gintaro, such as in episode 5 when he acts like he doesn't care about what's happened between Satoru and Haru and can't be bothered to help, though he's waiting for Satoru to realize that making up with Haru is something he has to decide and figure out himself and he does help find Haru.
  • Kindhearted Cat Lover: Yumi
  • Lightning Glare: Hiwako and Yumi do this twice in episode 3.
  • Loners Are Freaks: Satoru acts this way at first, but gradually warms up to Makoto and her friends after he realizes they're trying to help him to stop being so isolated.
  • Luminescent Blush: Makoto and Satoru when asked if they are on a date. Hiwako when Yumi accuses her of having a crush on Makoto's dad.
  • Miko: Makoto says being a shrine maiden will be her career.
  • Missing Mom: Makoto's mother is deceased.
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • Makoto yells at Gintaro and tells him to leave after Yumi's fortune telling goes bad, partly because Makoto didn't give the full explanation. She then realizes how important he is, and goes back to apologize to him.
    • Satoru realizes that he shouldn't of sent Haru away, and goes out looking for her.
  • The Napoleon: Haru acts this way a lot, and is often Hot-Blooded as well. She thinks the others don't take her too seriously because of how tiny she is.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: The little kids damage the dippers and one of the fox statues in episode 9. They then run off, but return later to apologize for it because one of the boy's grandmother told them that the gods would be angry with them, and that the fox spirits would eat them. Makoto's dad brushes it off, but accepts the apology since they realized what they did was wrong and promised not to do it again.
  • No Name Given: The turtle herald,
  • Not So Stoic: In episode 6, Satoru gets increasingly more angry as Makoto and her friends continue bothering (with his Hidden Eyes becoming more and more prominent) until he finally snaps, telling them all to shut up and hitting them over the head with his school workbook. Makoto reacts to this by laughing.
  • Oblivious to Love: Hiwako
  • Ojou: Hiwako, who is the daughter of a politician.
  • Only One Name: The heralds.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different/Our Spirits Are Different: The heralds are spirits of animals who have died. They are invisible to normals and are messengers to their respective gods.
  • Parental Abandonment: Both of Satoru's parents are dead.
  • Plucky Comic Relief: Tatsuo. His friend Takami is like this as well when he shows up.
  • Precocious Crush: Hiwako is implied to have one on Makoto's father Tatsuo, and Yumi makes fun of her for apparently having a preference for older men.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Haru looks and acts like a child despite being over 80 years old.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure:
    • Tatsuo, Makoto's father, is quite fine with Satoru moving in, despite Makoto's initial protests about a non-blood related boy and a girl living under the same roof. He also doesn't get angry with the kids after they damage a couple of things at the shrine.
    • Satoru's grandfather, who vowed to raise Satoru as his successor after the latter's parents died in a car accident. Unfortunately he too passes away shortly afterwards, and Satoru's aunt is a much worse guardian for him.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Makoto is the more passionate and excitable one while Gintaro is very laid back, lazy, and more level-headed.
    • His partner Kinjiro was also a red oni to him, being more active and emotional.
    • Also the addition of Haru, who can get very Hot-Blooded and Satoru, who usually keeps his emotions in check.
  • Secretly Wealthy: Yumi thinks Makoto's father was this in episode 11. He actually was supposed to inherit a local brewery business, but gave it up to marry Makoto's mother, a local shrine maiden, and became a priest instead.
  • Seinen: Not kidding, Ultra Jump is a Seinen manga magazine. A lighthearted Slice of Life is unusual for Seinen.
  • Shipper on Deck:
    • A couple of the girls at school wonder about this regarding Makoto and Satoru after the latter moves into her house.
    • Makoto says Gintaro should make Haru his bride since she's a girl. Both of them immediately disagree, not wanting anything to do with the other.
  • Shrines and Temples: Most of the series focuses on Shinto shrines and episode 7 takes place mostly at a Buddhist temple that overlaps with a shrine.
  • Snot Bubble: The lion-dog heralds, when they keep falling asleep in episode 3.
  • Spoiler Opening: Some of the characters shown don't appear until later, such Satoru and Haru, who are featured prominently but don't appear until episode 4.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Seishirō, who goes up to Hiwako's limo and tells the driver to leave so he could take her home himself and tries to force him to reveal Hiwako's phone number.
  • Stepford Smiler: Satoru smiles so Haru won't worry about him. He gets better though.
  • Stoic Spectacles: Hiwako
  • Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: Fuku wears a red bow. Averted with Haru, who doesn't have any to speak of, so Makoto didn't realize she was a girl.
  • They Call Me Mister Tibbs: The two lion-dogs ask Makoto not to call them "Lefty" and "Righty", since those are their nicknames for each other, and they tell her what their real names are.
  • Those Two Guys: Most heralds work in pairs. The two lion-dogs are always seen together.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Gintaro loves tangerines, but will settle for oranges, and whenever Makoto needs to ask him for a favor, she gives him at least one. There's a flashback showing him as an ordinary fox and a woman giving him a tangerine.
    • Haru claims to like fried tofu, though it's mostly due to not having tried anything else. Although it turns out that she really liked cream buns and is embarrassed by the fact. Gintaro teases her about it when he finds out, due to her making fun of him for liking tangerines earlier.
  • Tsundere: Haru, who reluctantly becomes friends with Makoto and Gintaro.
  • Triang Relations: Hiwako is implied to have a crush on Makoto's father, and doesn't seem to realize that both her driver/father's assistant and Seishirō are in love with her.
  • Tsundere: Gintaro to Makoto.
  • Unprovoked Pervert Payback: Yumi punches Shouhei when her skirt flies up, despite the fact that it was the wind that did it (actually Fuu and Fuku playing a joke).
  • When You Coming Home, Dad?: Hiwako barely sees her father, who is always working.
  • You Can See Me?: Fuu and Fuuku are shocked and delighted when they finally meet humans who can see them.
  • You Remind Me of X: Gintaro compares Makoto to her mother, though usually he's complaining about how different she is from her mother.
    • Satoru is compared to his great-grandfather.
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alternative title(s): Gingitsune
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