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"The kitsune is multitalented, appearing in local folklore, historical records, literary texts, theatrical performances, and contemporary popular culture. It can be a dangerous shape-shifter and it can possess people; but it is also a standard feature in Inari worship, and stone statues of kitsune are stationed at shrines throughout the country. With so many different incarnations and meanings, it is fair to say that in Japan today the kitsune—a charming and cunning deceiver that emanates an aura of danger and malevolence—is admired, worshipped and feared."
The Book of Yokai: Mysterious Creatures of Japanese Folklore, by Michael Dylan Foster

"Kitsune" (pronounced "kee-tsoo-neh" /kit͡sɯ̟ᵝne/) is the Japanese word for fox, but it can also refer to a type of Youkai in Japanese Mythology,note  an intelligent fox creature with magical powers, including Shapeshifting (particularly to human form), enchantment, illusions, Faux Flame, and supernatural wisdom. In fox form, they tend to grow additional tails as they get older, up to nine in total (known as Kyūbi no Kitsune, and usually treated as incredibly powerful and dangerous even if they're not evil, which they often are). Squinty eyes or Eyes Always Shut are common distinguishing characteristics shared among many depictions, too, called "kitsune no me" ("fox eyes" or "shifty eyes" in English).


While their mythological origins have them as divine servants and even gods of a sort, they're also classic Shapeshifting Tricksters and Seducers who mess with mortals for giggles. They usually play their pranks on men, while they have a tendency to possess women (which is associated with actual psychological disorder in Japan — such as sleep paralysis —, similar to clinical lycanthropy elsewhere). The stories of Daji and Tamamo-no-Mae, powerful fox spirits who led kingdoms to ruin by corrupting their kings, are iconic in Far Eastern folklore and they are often treated as one-in-the-same. For some reason, kitsune are usually female (or at least Bishōnen), and often end up falling in love with and marrying human men (in fact, female Kitsune are considered to make devoted wives and doting mothers). The resulting children are usually not kitsune themselves but have magical powers — with Abe-no-Seimei being the most-famous example.


Kitsune are also said to hold lengthy wedding ceremonies between two of their brethren during sunshowers, which shares the common theme of rain during clear skies being the result of strange or supernatural marriages in many other cultures. In some stories, they don't take very kindly to uninvited guests, and will take revenge on any person they catch interrupting, sneaking into, or even spying on their weddings.

One particular variety, the small, weasel-like kuda-gitsune or "pipefox" (sometimes known as kanko, izuna or osaki) is employed as a Familiar by human families. In most depictions they follow commands faithfully, but are capable of slowly bringing their masters to ruin (most often by multiplying until they run out of food).

Modern fiction tends to use these prominently; anime as a familiar staple whenever mythology is in the picture, while Western writers often note the similarity between them and The Fair Folk and use them for similar purposes. Either way, they're likely to be seen a lot in human form, but with fox ears, tail(s), and other foxy traits, for some reason. Alternately, they'll spend most or all of their time in fox form, though their shapeshifting usually gets at least a nod.

Additional fun fact: Kitsune are common Animal Motifs for Japanese character types, and are often portrayed as foils and rivals to Tanuki. In fact, in Japan women are considered to be "tanuki-faced" (square/round) or "kitsune-faced" (inverted triangle/heart-shaped), the latter being considered sexier, so to call a Japanese woman fox-faced is looked upon as paying them a very sultry compliment.

Like many elements of Japanese culture, China and Korea also have variations on the multi-tailed fox-spirit, namely the Chinese Huli Jing ('Fox Spirit'), and Jiuweihu ('Nine-tailed fox'); the Korean version is the Gumiho or Kumiho ('Nine-tailed Fox'). Given the nature of other cross-cultural similarities between these three countries, it can be inferred that the Huli Jing was the Ur-Example that served as the basis of Japan and Korea's versions of the Fox-Spirit. Of course, China and Korea see the nine-tailed fox a little differently than Japan; for example, the Korean Gumiho / Kumiho are (generally) murderous, evil, and carnivorous. Although folklore often treats them as synonymous,note  it's probably a good idea to know the difference between the three. See Fantastic Foxes for details.

Fortunately, all three fox-spirit types can be cowed by the presence of dogs.

See also Youkai, Little Bit Beastly, Beast Man, The Fair Folk and Ghostly Animals. Compare Tanuki. Fantastic Foxes is the Super-Trope. See Fox Folk for other fox people. The Femme Fatale kitsune is automatically a Foxy Vixen, and evil examples fall under Foul Fox.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Akari from ARIA encounters a kitsune wedding procession in a recreation of the Fushimi Inari Shrine on Mars.
  • Ayaka Shindou from Beyond the Boundary is revealed to be a very powerful kitsune in disguise.
  • Buster Keel! has one of the four greatest evils, Dakki, a seven-tailed fox-demoness with elemental powers (one for each tail, themed after a color), taking the form of a gorgeous buxom woman with blond hair who secretly manipulates an entire kingdom from the shadows as the unseen queen, gathering powerful adventurers to turn into her minions. Showing some knowledge of classics, her two main minions, Gold and Silver, are based on the demons Kinkaku and Ginkaku from Journey to the West, themselves sons of a Huli Jing.
  • In Cells at Work!, one type of Opportunistic Bacteria is depicted as a hybrid-form kitsune with a gem in the middle of its chest. Quite fitting, since Opportunistic Bacteria side with the immune system when the body's healthy and make trouble when unhealthy, representing the Kitsune's trickster nature.
  • Renamon, Kyuubimon, Taomon, Kudamon, and Rasenmon Fury Mode from Digimon are all based on kitsune.
  • Liquiir, the God of Destruction of Universe 8, in Dragon Ball Super, is a humanoid fox with nine tails.
  • The Fox & Little Tanuki is about a grumpy bakekitsune named Senzou who, after wreaking havoc across the land with his considerable powers, is sealed away for several centuries and then freed by the Sun Goddess so that he can raise a Tanuki pup to become a servant of the gods, on the grounds that his powers be restored if he succeeds. His backstory involves Fantastic Racism between black kitsune like himself, and the white kitsune who are chosen to serve gods as well - one such white fox named Koyuki serves as his caretaker in the modern day.
  • Ga-Rei: The Nine-Tailed Demon-Fox is said to have been a powerful kitsune who laid waste to India and China before attacking Japan, where it became the Spirit Beast of the evil exorcist Tamamo-no-Mae. After Tamamo was killed, the Nine-Tailed Demon-Fox's crystalized soul formed into the Bane Stones, which the protagonists spend most of the plot recovering to ensure it doesn't come back. It's eventually revealed that the Nine-Tailed Demon-Fox is actually a giant singularity of hatred and Destroyer Deity meant to cleanse the Earth of all life, and is more draconic than vulpine in appearance. Kagura uses its power to revive Kensuke after he's killed (and, subconsciously, Yomi too) at the cost of most of Tokyo, nearly killing her in the process. Nice Job Breaking It, Hero.
  • GARO: Crimson Moon: The fox deity Inari, depicted as a trio of black-haired women wearing fox-themed uniforms, give orders to Raikou (the wearer of the Garo armor) and a female Makai Alchemist named Seimei; occasionally using kitsune to deliver orders.
  • GeGeGe no Kitarō often features Youko as the many Yokai featured, especially the Kyuubi no Kitsune or Tamamo-no-Mae, a recurring antagonist. Tamamo reaches her peak of danger in the 2018 anime, where not only she's the last of the Four Treasonous Generals to appear, but also using her "clones" (avatars physically resembling her human form but with only a fraction of her power and a single tail each) to brainwash various world leaders into declaring war on Japan. Her main body manages to turn the Oni of Hell against Enma and devour the Hell King, gaining a huge boost in power. Notably, she lets out a loud vulpine cry as she transform into her giant fox form.
  • Gintaro and Haru of Gingitsune (Silver Fox). As Heralds, they are the spirits of dead foxes given new names after death. Haru, being relatively young, doesn't have as much skill or power as Gintaro does.
  • In The God of High School legends speak of a kumiho that once served God but He feared its power and ordered its execution, and it retaliated by rebelling against Him and destroying half of Heaven before swearing revenge. In the present day, Ilpyo is able to draw on its power through his Charyeok and take on a sort of hybrid form vaguely reminiscent of Naruto's.
  • In Gugure! Kokkuri-san, the titular Kokkuri is a kitsune.
  • The Ninja-themed Gundam manga Hidden Shadow of G features the Bound Fox, a Kitsune-themed variant of Zeta Gundam's Bound Dog Transforming Mecha with a conveniently placed array of rear-mounted drop tanks.
  • Hell Teacher Nube: Nube gained a rival who was a kitsune in human guise; later, Nube went to confront the nine-tails kitsune.
  • The Helpful Fox Senko-san details the story of Senko, a 900-year-old inari kitsune, descending from the divine realm to act as the caretaker for Nakano, a regular human Salaryman working at a "black company" that pushes him hard enough that his stress and depression physically leaks out and starts affecting the world around him. What follows is Senko doing her best to pamper him in order to relieve his stress, one major method being him fluffing her soft tail, which she reacts in an interesting way to. There are also several other kitsune's in the story, such as Senko's co-worker Shiro and their boss Sora.
  • Japan of Hetalia: Axis Powers dresses in a kitsune costume, complete with ears and tail, for one Halloween.
  • Kunou and her mother Yasaka from High School D×D. The ORC works with Kunou to find Yasaka after she is kidnapped, and Kunou becomes a Love Interest to Issei.
  • Hozuki's Coolheadedness has several kitsune among the recurring cast.
    • Gon is a lazy kitsune running a Host Club in the Red Light District. The club is staffed entirely with other kitsune who used to take the form of Bishōnen hosts thanks to their shapeshifting powers, but eventually realised that they get more customers by staying in their animal form and turning it into a fox café.
    • Daji the nine-tailed fox is a reccuring character, and the owner of the aformentioned cafe. Gon is working there because Daji is is the only thing that scare him enough to put him to work.
    • Miki act like a Cat Girl as part of her stage-persona, but is actually a fox.
  • Sakura the kyuubi in Hyper Police — who has eight-and-one-fifth tails.
  • Soushi Miketsukami is a Half-Human Hybrid variant in Inu × Boku SS.
  • Inuyasha has Shippou, an orphaned child who tags along with Inuyasha and Kagome (and she herself was momentarily accused of being one at the beginning of the story). The group don't entirely take Shippou's abilities seriously because he is a child, although they do take his heart and will to help seriously. Much later in the story, a small arc focuses entirely on the group's stay at an inn that turns out to be a testing ground for a group of youthful Kitsune who are going through examinations (in field testing, as it were). Due to the accidental encounter with the testing grounds, Shippou is forced to sit the exams as well. Despite having made no preparation (and not even known his kind had to take exams on a regular basis) and being one of the youngest examinees, Shippou quickly proves to everyone that when he's compared to his own kind, his abilities are leagues ahead of a child his age, and even far in advance of most of the older students as well.
  • Tomoe from Kamisama Kiss is one.
  • One of the main characters of Kakuriyo: Bed and Breakfast for Spirits is a nine-tailed fox named Ginji.
  • Kanokon:
    • Chizuru Minamoto is a 400-year-old kitsune who tries to seduce the protagonist, Kouta Oyamada, and can merge with him by kissing him.
    • Tamamo Minamoto, Chizuru's adoptive mother, is stated to be the Tamamo-no-Mae of ancient Japanese folklore, nine tails and all.
  • Kekkaishi features an ailing kitsune as the leader of the Kokuboro that serve as the antagonists for much of the anime adaptation.
  • As well as the main character Kyouka, the White Kitsune Princess, a number of other kitsune turn up in Kitsune no Yomeiri. All of them exhibit magical powers and are tricksters to some extent but only the upper class kitsune take on human form for any length of time.
  • Laon: The titular Laon is a mischievous — and occasionally malicious — gender-bending nine-tailed kumiho who was stripped of all but one of their tails as punishment for losing a bet, and departs to the human realm; allying with with amnesiac journalist Taeha Gwon to get them back.
  • In Love Hina, while she's not a true kitsune, Mitsune Konno is nicknamed "Kitsune" partly as a pun on her name, partly because she looks sort of like a fox (especially since her eyes are usually closed), and mostly because she's a gossip and trickster who loves being a tease to Keitaro.
  • One of the yokai in Mononoke Sharing is a kitsune named Yooko. She's the resident Lovable Sex Maniac of the group.
  • Naruto:
  • Natsume's Book of Friends features a small kitsune child who follows Natume home from his class trip.
  • In Neko Musume Michikusa Nikki, Kokkuri-san is a lesbian kitsune who works as one of The Seven Mysteries of the elementary school and takes a liking to Chika, one of the students.
  • Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan's Big Bad is Haguromo Gitsune, a nine-tailed fox, who is about to give birth to a monster. She wasn't always quite so evil, since she was willing to reabsorb and rebirth her grown son so he'd be immortal... and then she was killed and her son (Abe no Seimei below) vowed revenge.
  • Omamori Himari has the budding Big Bad as a Nine-Tailed Kitsune, and her Shuten-doji spokesman.
  • In One Piece, Kitsune are introduced, appropriately enough, in the Land of Wano Arc:
    • It's revealed that exists the mythical Zoan Dog Dog model Nine-Tailed Fox, which allows the eater to turn into a nine-tailed fox or a Half-Human Hybrid and even shapeshift at will. It was eaten by Catarina Devon, of the Blackbeard Pirates.
    • Komagitsune (large foxes with flame-like tuffs of fur) are among the fauna of Wano. One of them, named Onimaru, was the pet of a Daimyo, Shimotsuki Ushimaru, and guarded its master's grave after his demise. He befriended Kawamatsu the Kappa and helped him gather weapons for the rebellion against Orochi, taking human form and the alias of Gyuukimaru of Oihagi Bridge.
  • Otogi Matsuri: Yomogi's fox-like spiritual companions, who can be seen and heard only by her (and later, Yousuke.) They mainly serve to assist her with menial tasks such as cleaning, and to warn her of impending danger.
  • The heroines of Otome Youkai Zakuro are artificially-created half-kitsune hybrids created from female fetuses being magically mutated with the blood of natural kitsune.
  • Kuugen Tenkou and Gyokuyou from Our Home's Fox Deity.
  • In Rosario + Vampire, this is Kuyou's true form. As the main villain of his own arc he has four tails, while when he returns in the Fairy Tale arc he's gained a fifth tail to demonstrate that he did not forget to level grind.
  • Sengoku Youko:
    • The main character Tama is a 200 year-old pacifistic kitsune who appears as a young girl, and is the travelling companion — and later wife — of the tempermental and initially misanthropic sage Jinka.
    • Tama's mother Kuzunoha is a hedonistic and wicked kitsune who ran rampant in the past, causing chaos wherever she went, until she fell in love with the evil Buddhist priest-turned-Mad Scientist Yazen, and desired to become human.
    • Jinka is able to temporarily transform into a kitsune by drinking Tama's blood, and seeks to permanently become one due to his misanthropy. After being tricked by Yazen into thinking he killed Tama, he goes berserk and devours the flesh of a god to become a thousand-tailed fox-god, and even after his sanity is restored he remains a kitsune.
  • In Soul Hunter, So Dakki is a nine-tailed fox-monster in human guise, though the power to assume a human form is not reserved to Kitsune in this setting, and is a common trait of Youkai in general. Considering that the story take place in ancient China and is inspired by the chinese classic Fengshen Yanyi, she technically counts as a Hu Li Jing.
  • Youko in Tactics is a kitsune whom the protagonist has bound to his service. She doesn't seem too upset about this.
  • The protagonist of Tamamo-chan’s a Fox! is a fox spirit from Kyoto's famous Fushimi Inari shrine who poses as a high school girl out of curiosity about human life. While her human disguise has almost all the adults perfectly fooled, all her classmates can see right through it, though they don't let on so she doesn't get in trouble.
  • Yako from Toilet-Bound Hanako-kun usually appears as a human woman, but her true form is a small white fox. This is because she was originally a fox statue that guarded a shrine gate before she became one of The Seven Mysteries of Kamome Academy.
  • Kuon of Triangle Heart 3: Sweet Songs Forever.
  • Urusei Yatsura features a kitsune-like fox with a crush on Shinobu as a Recurring Character.
  • The foxes who chose to live among humans from Studio Ghibli's Pom Poko.
  • Ushio and Tora: The legendary monster Hakumen no Mono — inspired by the legend of Tamamo-no-Mae — takes the form of a colossal nine-tailed fox with a shark-like face. Compared to most other examples, it's more akin to an Eldritch Abomination, as it's an Omnicidal Maniac entirely made of Yin, and took the combined strength of all the youkai and humans of Japan to drive it away. Despite having been sealed away, it is still as powerful as ever. Furthermore, it originally lived in China and India but later moved to Japan to escape the only thing it fears: the Beast Spear. The series also has a more benevolent example in the Kudagitsune Izuna, a Boisterous Weakling who, along with his unseen brothers, excel at Demonic Possession and helps Ushio and Tora when they have to enter a person's body to remove the demons possessing said person.
  • Kudakitsune, the pipe fox from ×××HOLiC in her transformed shape. Watanuki also runs into a kitsune family who runs a oden stand in the spirit world.
  • Shiro Amakusa in Yaiba, is one of Onimaru's seven swordsmen revived in an animal body, and he got to be reincarnated into a fox. Even when he's in human form, he sports whiskers, ears and sometimes the tail.
  • Meirin (three tails) and Tamamonomae (full nine tails) in Yami to Boushi to Hon no Tabibito. May be the same person.
  • The anime adaptation of Yo-Kai Watch has Kyubi from the games, and even he's given a deal of portrayal as a casanova who in a short story arc must harvest 100 heart orbs in order to get promoted and fixates into Katie to get the last one, unsuccesfully. This traid was carried in the games, most notably Yo-kai Watch 2, Blasters, and 3,
  • In YuYu Hakusho, Kurama is a kitsune who was gravely injured, and inhabited his spirit into a female human's womb, where she would eventually give birth to him in human form while he recovered. Possibly Koto (seems fox-like but meows occasionally in the manga; could just be that the translators didn't know either).

    Comic Books 
  • The Fables spin-off Fairest shows bisexual Rapunzel once had a relationship with a female kitsune named Tomoko, (who mostly looks like a human woman with three fox-tails, but would gain various other vulpine attributes while having sex and drinking the blood she drew from bites), and they still mean a great deal to each other.
  • Kitsune from the IDW Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comics appears to be one, although she might be a bit odder than that, having recently been implied to be from a whole family of ancient, powerful Chess Master animal spirits.
  • The Sandman spin-off The Dream Hunters is a kitsune tale in which a fox falls for a monk targeted by a cruel Onmyoji and goes to Morpheus for help.
  • Usagi Yojimbo has Kitsune the gentlewomanly thief who is a wily fox but not a magical one, a fake kitsune in the background of "The Inn on Moonshadow Hill" and two real kitsune who teach Gen a lesson. While in "Fox Fire" Usagi saves what looks like a mundane fox from hunters, then is bewitched by a fox woman, only for the fox he rescued to come to his aid.
  • The Warren Vampirella run had the series "The Fox", featuring huli jing Ming Toi in ancient China.

    Card Games 
  • Kitsune: Of Foxes and Fools has the players take the roles of kitsune inflicting karma on sinful humans (fools) by way of "tricks" in order to gain tails. Or they could scheme against one another instead.
  • Magic: The Gathering: The Kitsune of Kamigawa are patterned off of this. Their leader is known as "Eight-and-a-Half-Tails". Per Word of God, it was originally intended for the sets to have a wide variety of Kitsune types, such as Blue to represent tricksters and White for shrine foxes. However, the plans were scrapped and they became the purely White-aligned clan seen in the final version.

    Fan Works 
  • In The Bridge, a gumiho features as an Arc Villain. Lifted almost exactly from the Korean fable "The Fox Sister", she's a cannibalistic sadist who stalked a immigrant across the ocean to Equestria after murdering her fiance and his family.
  • In Constellations, a pair of twin kitsunes appear to cause mischief, and a young one adopts Assault as her father after he buys some fried tofu for her.
  • Kitsune: References the concept by title, and is a reference to the fox-girl nature of its protagonist.
  • In Make a Wish, Harry Potter finds a young kitsune that attempts to prank him. Harry puts her in touch with the Weasley twins.
  • Nihonverse Pocketville:
    • Kitsune are prominent characters in the series, one of the most important being Amaterasu, the High Priestess of Onmyou.
    • Kyuubi Emiko, who was eventually revealed to be the identity of Queen Elizabeth II, is a nine-tailed kitsune gijinka who is one of the most important Otherworlders who stepped foot onto the queendom. Yes, apparently the Queen herself is one of those foxes.
  • In This Bites!, in order to keep up with the rest of the crew, Su, the cloud fox, decides to gain kitsune-like powers by finding "the Children of Inari". It's implied that this will be the training she undergoes during the two year Time Skip.

    Film — Animation 
  • Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation: One of the film's extras is a female, posh-looking kitsune, being the only Eastern creature among a cast made up entirely of Western monsters.
  • Jiang Ziya: Huli jing, referred to as Fox Devils in the localization, are a recurring antagonistic force, with their leader Daji/Nine-Tailed — a colossal four-armed nine-tailed fox-monster — being the Big Bad.
  • White Snake (2019): The owner of the Precious Jade Workshop is a fox-demon named Baoqing, who appears as a child-sized woman with a human face on one side of her head and a fox face on the other. She returns in the sequel as a more prominent character, and at one point even transforms into her true form — a colossal pink eight-tailed fox.

    Film — Live-Action 


Specific Films

  • 47 Ronin: Witch is a malevolent kitsune with heterochromia who serves as The Dragon to the main antagonist.
  • Painted Skin stars a malicious nine-tailed huli jing named Xiao Wei, who maintains her youthful human form by eating men's hearts, but who falls in love with a human general who saves her life. She conspires to take the place of his wife, and nearly succeeds, but ultimately sacrifices her power in order to undo the damage she caused. In the sequel, set 500 years later, she escapes the glacier she was imprisoned in and conspires to become a human by getting a human to willfully give her their heart during a solar eclipse, initiating a love triangle between herself, a Rebellious Princess with a scarred visage, and the princess' Bodyguard Crush to accomplish this.
  • Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings: White-furred fox-spirits are seen among the supernatural wildlife present in Ta-Lo, with a three-tailed kit being shown playing with its nine-tailed parent.



  • Mercedes Lackey's works:
    • Foxtrot X-Ray and Lady Ako in Chrome Circle. FX has three tails and is pretty weak (though he eventually earns a two-tail upgrade for extreme valor). Ako has nine tails. She's also "the bearer of some of the most noble blood Under- or Above- Hill." Her half-kitsune/half-dragon daughter also has nine tails in her kitsune form.
    • One makes a brief (yet important) appearance in the Tales of the Five Hundred Kingdoms series in Fortune's Fool, giving the female lead a magic paper crane that comes in handy.

Specific works

  • In American Gods, also by Neil Gaiman, some background characters are implied to be kitsune; during the battle between the old gods and the American Gods, two Asian women are killed and upon dying they turn into foxes.
  • Cradle Series: The Wei clan follows Elder Whisper, a sacred seven-tailed fox. Specifically, he is a snow fox who lived long enough and grew powerful enough to gain human intelligence. He is a master of light and dream madra, and the Wei clan follows in his footsteps, practicing the Path of the White Fox. Elder Whisper acts as a Stealth Mentor for Lindon early on, pushing him to improve himself despite the rest of the clan telling him he's worthless.
  • The Doctor Who Expanded Universe short story "Ode To Joy" is a conversation between a kitsune and the Fourth Doctor about the changing face of Japan.
  • Fengshen Yanyi: Daji is presented as one of the main antagonists, a sadistic nine-tailed fox-demon sent by the goddess Nu Wa to punish King Zhou for his blasphemy towards her.
  • Fox Demon Cultivation Manual: The titular fox demons are huli-jing, the Chinese equivalent of kitsune. Rong Bai is a nine-tailed fox spirit, and through drinking his blood Song Ci also becomes a fox spirit (though he has fewer tails than Rong Bai).
  • Kij Johnson wrote a short story about a Japanese fox spirit and it was so popular that she later expanded it into a full novel, Fox Woman, after doing extensive research to make it historically accurate.
    • In Fudoki, another novel by Johnson, a male kistune plays an important role as part of a warband that the main character joins. Despite actually being named Kitsune, no one except the main character seems to realize his true nature.
  • In the Goosebumps book "Return to Ghost Camp," the snatcher is fox-like ghost that murders one camper from Camp Full Moon each year and can shape-shift into a human to fool its victims.
  • Andre Norton used fox spirits in both Imperial Lady (co-written with Susan Shwartz) and The White Jade Fox. In the former, Silver Snow's maid is a kitsune, while in the latter it's left ambiguous as to whether any of the characters are literally kitsune, but the trope is at least toyed with.
  • In Journey to the West there are two notable fox demons, and one of them is even a nine-tailed vixen. They're the uncle and mother of the two demon kings Kinkaku and Ginkaku, making them half-huli jing demons (though they're usually depicted as massive oni-like monsters). In a case perhaps of Unbuilt Trope, the mother is actually an old crone, while the uncle Hu Aqi isn't much of a trickster but rather a ferocious warrior who fights with an halberd. A more classical vixen demon reappears later as the mistress of Niumowang, the Ox Demon King. Additionally, another fox spirit appears near the end in the form of the concubine of a human king secretly making him sick and then manipulating him to order the creation of a fake medicine using the hearts of children.
  • In Erin Morgenstern's The Night Circus, one of the figures on the carousel. Celia persuades Poppet to ride it, rather than the gryphon, by telling its story.
  • In The Machineries of Empire, a nine-tailed fox - called a ninefox or an eyefoxnote  - is the symbol of the Shuos faction, comprised of assassins, spies and saboteurs with love of games.
  • Eva Mayer, the titular 'Mail Fox' of Mail Fox Tales being turned into a Kitsune through the gift of a dying goddess is the start of many headaches for her.
  • In The Night Mothers Heir Ink Drop is a Kitsune, he has the ability to transform ito different things depending on how many tails he has.
  • A Kitsune appears in Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire.
  • Neil Gaiman's novella collaboration with Yoshitaka Amano, The Sandman: The Dream Hunters, centers around a kitsune who falls in love with a monk.
  • In Julie Kagawa's Shadow of the Fox series, the main character, Yumeko, is a young kitsune. Technically she's half human, but she has the same powers and abilities as a full-blood kitsune and is treated as one by everyone else.
  • Winkle, from Gene Wolfe's The Sorcerer's House.
  • In Paul Kidd's series Spirit Hunters Sura is a kitsune. However she has only one tail, nine-tailed fox-spirits are mythological in that world though at one point she casts a shadow that seems to have multiple tails, and can only assume three specific forms: a Talking Animal fox, a "fur" form halfway between fox and human, and a third that looks almost human save for her pointed ears and tail. Other animal spirits seen can assume similar forms.
  • Brandon Sanderson's Starsight has the kitsen, talking foxlike aliens that were the origin of Earth's kitsune myths, when some of them with the ability to teleport between planets ended up in medieval Japan.
  • In Wen Spencer's Tinker series, one of the oni's Servant Races.
  • Under Heaven: The (Chinese-based) characters discuss daiji- "fox women"- several times on the way back to the capital. Shen Tai especially suspects that Wei Song appears to believe they exist, more than he does. In one case, he ends up asking a governor's daughter if she has a daiji within her, after an attempted seduction to convince him to assign his horses to her father. (She does acknowledge, "I am flattered you think me fair enough to be a daiji spirit, but it is an error.")
  • Wearing the Cape: Officially, Japanese superspy Kitsune is a Breakthrough with powers that perfectly mimic the mythological kitsune. Or maybe he's a delusional Breakthrough who truly believes he's a kitsune. Or maybe he's a projection produced by another Breakthrough, a self-sustaining supernatural entity that sprung out of a dying man's wish for a guardian kitsune. Or maybe he really is a kitsune, centuries old and only returned to the world recently, and magic is real after all. The one thing that's clear is that he finds it hilarious to keep people guessing.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Fuchsbau Wesen in Grimm are very similar to Kitsunes. There is also a type of Wesen known as Kitsune, and according to legend, are one of the very few Wesens to have a tail—nine, in fact.
  • Several kitsune show up among the various fae in Lost Girl, though it's constantly mispronounced as "kit-soon".
  • The Korean TV dramas My Girlfriend Is a Nine-Tailed Fox, Forbidden Love, and Gumiho: Tales Of A Fox Child feature the Korean variant, Gumiho.
  • On Lovecraft Country, Ji-Ah is a Korean woman possessed by a kumiho/nine-tailed fox, and she must kill 100 men and absorb their souls through her tails during sex to become a human again. She's convinced to stop at 99 and learn to accept herself as she is.
  • The Supernatural episode "The Girl Next Door" features a kitsune with the alias Amy Pond. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the portrayal of the creature is almost wholly inaccurate. Here, the kitsune is presented as a being of human appearance with the ability to transform its hands into deadly claws. Amy and others like her must feed on human brains in order to survive and can only be killed with a stab to the heart. About the only thing the show's kitsune have in common with the mythical creature is their foxlike eyes.
  • Super Sentai
    • Kyuemon Izayoi from Shuriken Sentai Ninninger, who fits the trickster archetype because he's extremely secretive, manipulative, and you never really know where his loyalties lie until late in the series, where it turns out he's Big Bad Gengetsu Kibaoni's firstborn son.
    • Kitsune have appeared as a Monster of the Week in certain series:
      • Kagaku Sentai Dynaman: Fox Evo, while nominally based on a normal fox, possesses many of the magical powers associated with kitsune like shapeshifting and illusions.
      • Ninja Sentai Kakuranger featured a nine-tailed kitsune who wrapped most of her tails around her body like feather boas. She appeared in Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers as Katastrophe, the result of Rita Repulsa turning Katherine, the second Pink Ranger, into a monster.
      • Samurai Sentai Shinkenger: The ayakashi Isagitsune is based on kitsune (and In-Universe is the basis for them), which is exemplified by the array of magic spells that he uses to befuddle and overpower the Shinkengers. He appeared in Power Rangers Samurai as Vulpes.
  • On Teen Wolf, the second half of the third season deals with kitsune mythology. Kira Yukimura is revealed to be a kitsune and possesses a golden spiritual aura in the shape of a fox. In keeping with the idea that the kitsune can create fire or lightning by rubbing its tails together, Kira has the ability to manipulate electrical currents. Her mother has these powers as well. There are said to be 13 different types of kitsune, including the nogitsune — a trickster spirit that feeds on chaos, strife and pain. The latter seems to currently be in possession of Stiles' body.
  • Appropriately for a series inspired by Japanese fairy tales, Ultraman Taro had a kitsune kaiju called Miegon as a Monster of the Week. While its appearance was rather reptilian for a fox, Miegon possessed all the qualities one would expect, like nine tails, illusory tricks, and various fire-based abilities.

  • The kitsune is a recurring motif for Japanese band Babymetal, and is the main theme for the song "Megitsune".
  • A rare western example, in a song actually called "Kitsune", by O'Hooley & Tidow. Which has the narrator falling for a girl who turns out to be a Kitsune, and disappears in fox form every now and then. Until she gets run over by a car while in that form. The ending is somewhat ambiguous as to whether she survives or not.
  • In Akiko Shikata's song "Otoshimono" (from her album Wokashi), a girl speaks of her brother who was taken by foxes as a child, and apparently turned into a kitsune himself.

    Mythology and Religion 
  • Chinese Mythology: Daji — featured as an antagonist in the Fengshen Yanyi— was a woman possessed by a sadistic nine-tailed fox who became the favorite consort of King Zhou of Shang and brought about the downfall of his dynasty to the point that fox cults were outlawed in China. Katsushika Hokusai and other Japanese artists expanded the narrative by drawing from the Hindu legend of Kalmashapada and stating that after her plot was uncovered, Daji fled China for India, where she resumed her activities under the name Lady Kayō, concubine of Prince Banzoku—who she corrupted into a cannibalistic tyrant. She later returned to China as Bao Si, becoming the concubine of King You of Zhou, before fleeing to Japan as Tamamo-no-Mae.
  • Japanese Mythology:
    • Kuzunoha, the mother of the astrologer/onmyouji Abe no Seimei. According to legend, a noble named Abe no Yasuna was travelling to Shinoda shrine when he came across a hunter who had trapped a white fox, intending to harvest its liver for medicine. Yasuna fought off the hunter and freed the fox, but was wounded in the process. A beautiful young woman named Kuzunoha appeared and helped him to his home, and they eventually married and had a son, Seimei. Eventually, Kuzunoha is revealed to be the fox that Yasuna saved, but due to her true nature having been revealed she must return to the forest. She leaves a poem asking Yasuna and Seimei to come find her, and it is revealed she is the kami of Shinoda shrine, bestowing Seimei with the power to understand animals. The earliest version of the narrative had the fox-spirit commit suicide out of despair, and some later iterations have Kuzunoha be a human woman who Yasuna was in love with, and who the kitsune impersonates to woo him.
    • The gender-ambiguous and occasionally tripartite kami Inari has white kitsune as servants, and is often depicted as being one - though this is discouraged by Shinto and Buddhist priests. Due to Inari's close association with kitsune, shrines and temples dedicated to them have statues of foxes wearing red votive bibs.
    • Warring States period warlord Shingen Takeda is said to have caused the downfall of his clan by forcibly marrying a kitsune in human form. Their son, Katsuyori, was defeated at the Battle of Nagashino by Nobunaga Oda and Ieyasu Tokugawa, leading to the effective end of the Takeda clan.
    • Tamamo-no-Mae was a beautiful fortune teller who could answer any question, and whose beauty was never tarnished. The Emperor Konoe fell in love with her and made her one of his courtesans, but after several years the Emperor fell seriously ill. Eventually, Abe no Yasuchika, an onmyoji descended from Abe no Seimei, told him that Tamamo was a powerful kitsune — in later versions the same fox-spirit as Daji from the Fengshen Yanyi — that had been poisoning him, though whether she was doing so willingly or on the orders of an evil daimyo hoping to usurp the throne depends on the version being told. Her identity exposed, Tamamo fled, and the Emperor sent Kazusa-no-suke and Miura-no-suke, the two most powerful warriors in Japan, to kill her. Kazusa-no-suke and Miura-no-suke tracked Tamamo to the Nara plains, but she evaded them for 108 days. Tamamo appeared to Miura-no-suke in a dream, prophesying he would kill her and pleading for her life, but the following day Miura-no-suke shot and killed her. In the original narrative Tamamo's body was taken to Edo and miraculous treasures were found inside, but in later iterations it became a cursed stone called the Sessho-seki (Killing Stone) and Tamamo's spirit an onryo who haunted it. In an addendum to the tale written in 1653, Tamamo-no-Mae was eventually exorcized by a Buddhist monk named Genno, allowing her to pass on in peace. In some versions, the Sessho-seki was shattered and its pieces scattered across Japan, manifesting as lesser kitsune called kuda-gitsune and other yokai.
    • Tamamizu Monogatari is a Muromachi period otogizōshi about a male kitsune who falls in love with a human girl and transforms into a girl in order to become her servant, ultimately deciding to reveal the ruse and return to the forest.
    • From Wikipedia:
      One of the oldest surviving kitsune tales provides a widely known folk etymology of the word kitsune. Unlike most tales of kitsune who become human and marry human males, this one does not end tragically:
      ''Ono, an inhabitant of Mino (says an ancient Japanese legend of A.D. 545), spent the seasons longing for his ideal of female beauty. He met her one evening on a vast moor and married her. Simultaneously with the birth of their son, Ono's dog was delivered of a pup which as it grew up became more and more hostile to the lady of the moors. She begged her husband to kill it, but he refused. At last one day the dog attacked her so furiously that she lost courage, resumed vulpine shape, leaped over a fence and fled.
      "You may be a fox," Ono called after her, "but you are the mother of my son and I love you. Come back when you please; you will always be welcome."
      So every evening she stole back and slept in his arms.''
      Because the fox returns to her husband each night as a woman but leaves each morning as a fox, she is called Kitsune. In classical Japanese, kitsu-ne means come and sleep, and ki-tsune means always comes.
    • Another story from Wikipedia:
      Kitsune keep their promises and strive to repay any favor. Occasionally a kitsune attaches itself to a person or household, where they can cause all sorts of mischief. In one story from the 12th century, only the homeowner's threat to exterminate the foxes convinces them to behave. The kitsune patriarch appears in the man's dreams:
      "My father lived here before me, sir, and by now I have many children and grandchildren. They get into a lot of mischief, I'm afraid, and I'm always after them to stop, but they never listen. And now, sir, you're understandably fed up with us. I gather that you're going to kill us all. But I just want you to know, sir, how sorry I am that this is our last night of life. Won't you pardon us, one more time? If we ever make trouble again, then of course you must act as you think best. But the young ones, sir — I'm sure they'll understand when I explain to them why you're so upset. We'll do everything we can to protect you from now on, if only you'll forgive us, and we'll be sure to let you know when anything good is going to happen!"
    • Toyotomi Hideyoshi once even wrote a personal letter, directly addressed to the Japanese deity, Inari, regarding Kitsune.
      To Inari Daimyojin,
      My lord, I have the honor to inform you that one of the foxes under your jurisdiction has bewitched one of my servants, causing her and others a great deal of trouble. I have to request that you make minute inquiries into the matter, and endeavor to find out the reason of your subject misbehaving in this way, and let me know the result.
      If it turns out that the fox has no adequate reason to give for his behavior, you are to arrest and punish him at once. If you hesitate to take action in this matter I shall issue orders for the destruction of every fox in the land. Any other particulars that you may wish to be informed of in reference to what has occurred, you can learn from the high priest of Yoshida.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • The 1st edition supplement Oriental Adventures had a fox spirit creature called a "hu hsien".
    • Kitsunemori, a 3rd edition supplement, is a campaign setting with kitsune as a playable race.
  • GURPS: The Shapeshifters supplement includes a detailed template for kitsune characters.
  • The card game Kitsune: Of Foxes and Fools has the players taking on the role of mischievous fox spirits playing pranks on mortals who deserve it.
  • Pathfinder
  • RuneQuest: Fox women are magical shape-changers, spend most of their time in their animal forms and occasionally change into their human forms. As humans, fox women are legendary for their beauty and lust, and they often seduce human males.
  • The World of Darkness:
    • Old World of Darkness: During the 1998 "Year of the Lotus" releases, Werewolf: The Apocalypse received an Asian-themed expansion called Hengeyokai which introduced the Kitsune werefoxes.note  They are described as the youngest of the Changing Breeds, and are the most spiritually inclined. While physically weakest, they are skilled in elemental sorcery as well as paper-themed origami sorcery. As a character goes up in rank, their vulpine forms grow additional tails, generally up to five (the games' level cap), but the legendary Bai Mianxi got up to nine tails.
    • In Chronicles of Darkness, the kitsune are a type of fox-spirit. Due to Father Wolf coercing their progenitor Inari to rein them in during the ancient times they're divided into two factions, benign Inari Seha (obedient foxes of Inari) and malevolent Inari Kihar (foxes who abandoned Inari). They are most commonly encountered as allies or enemies of werewolves (depending on faction), but kitsune bonded to human hosts are playable.

  • The Tsukiuta stage plays feature Hajime and Shun as Kurotenko and Shirotenko, majestic four-tailed Little Bit Beastly figures who seem to act as rulers of the ayakashi realm.

  • In a case of What Could Have Been, the Monster High/Ever After High crossover movie would have introduced a humanoid kumiho character named Euna. However, with the movie's cancellation, she was unable to properly join either franchise.

    Video Games 
  • AdventureQuest Worlds: The fourth lord of Chaos, the Chaos Shogun appropriately named Kitsune, can shapeshift into a giant purple seven-tailed kitsune.
  • Animal Crossing: The fox Crazy Redd is a traveling merchant and conman who occasionally sets up a tent in town and sells not only both rare and common furniture, always at disgustingly inflated prices, but also artwork that has a high chance of being forged. In the most recent main series installment, New Leaf, he instead sells four pieces of artwork, at least one of which is legitimate (the rest being forgeries). This contrasts Tom Nook, the reliable tanuki shopkeeper who sells an ever-changing selection of common goods with the occasional rarity.
  • Arena of Valor: Liliana is an elegant magical-attuned nine-tailed fox that either throws fox fire blasts or becomes a literal fox that claws her way through her enemies. Perhaps as a Shout-Out to Ahri (the game was made by Tencent, which acquired Riot Games in 2015), Liliana gets a Gumiho skin, despite being overall not at all malicious or conflicted, she's more of a curious type.
  • Toichiro Yuri from Ayakashi: Romance Reborn. He has the typical trickster attitude.
  • Crush Crush: DLC girl Suzu is one, represented as a Little Bit Beastly girl with fox ears and a tail. She's portrayed as a Shrinking Violet guardian spirit who the player encounters after accidentally destroying her shrine.
  • Disgaea 5: Alliance of Vengeance introduces Nine-tailed Foxes into the series. Party member Izuna is one of these, and recruiting her unlocks the class for regular use.
  • Dragon Quest:
    • Dragon Quest IV: You come across one early on in Chapter 3, along with some of his other vulpine cohorts who are keeping the King of Ballymoral's personal architect hostage.
    • The various platypus enemies in Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime are obvious parodies of this, as the more powerful they are, the more tails they have.
  • Fate Series:
    • Tamamo-no-Mae appears as a Caster-class Servant in Fate/EXTRA, Fate/Grand Order, Fate/Extella: The Umbral Star, and Fate/Extella Link. It turns out she is an incarnation of Amaterasu, with her malevolent original divine form being known as Konjiki Hakumen or "Golden White Face". She claims to be more-or-less completely innocent of the crimes for which she was executed, and takes offence to being "mistaken" for the evil nine-tailed fox Daji. After Tamamo underwent a millennium of training to attain divinity, she cut off eight of her tails, returning to her original single-tailed form. Each of her tails was left a portion of her divinity, turning them into Heroic Spirit kitsune like herself, with each a different class. Collectively, the original Tamamo and her tails are known as the Tamamo Nine; they don't get on, either with the original or each other.
    • Suzuka Gozen, from Fate/Extra CCC Foxtail and Fate/Grand Order, has a fox's ears and tail, but isn't a kitsune; she tried imitating Tamamo's look using shapeshifting because she thought it might get her moe points with her Master.
    • Osakabe-hime from Fate/Grand Order has a bat motif, but true to Japanese folklore she's actually a kitsune who attained human form. She goes with the bat motif instead so she won't overlap with Tamamo, both as a favor to a friend and so she won't piss Tamamo off. The "Lady Foxy" Craft Essence shows her in her true form, with a fox's ears and tail.
    • Koyanskaya from Fate/Grand Order shares Tamamo-no-Mae's fox motif and initially claims to be an Alternate Self of Tamamo, but is revealed to be a nature spirit born from the Tunguska event — having assumed Tamamo's appearance due to empathizing with her having been persecuted by humans and admiring her original self. Koyanskaya eventually succeeds in becoming a Beast resembling a colossal five-tailed fox with an enormous fang-lined maw, three eyes on its head, eyes in its ears, and eyes on its tails.
  • Fire Emblem Fates: The Kitsune are fox folk (obviously) living within the kingdom of Hoshido who normally look like (rather pretty) humans who happen to have a tail and fox ears, but are capable of transforming into full-fledged giant foxes, with the promoted form bearing nine tails. Because humans have a bad habit of killing Kitsune for their fur, the Kitsune have largely isolated themselves to a small hamlet deep within Hoshido's southern mountains, and will kill any trespassers on sight. Apart from the shapeshifting, enemy kitsune can create illusions that prevent the player's army from attacking them.
  • Forest Shadow from Jade Empire is a semi-Chinese fox spirit of this type.
  • In Kirbys Dreamland 3, Pon and Con appear as the game's Dual Boss, appearing as a Tanooki and a Kitsune respectively.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, a complicated sidequest earns you the "Keaton Mask", which is the face of a kitsune; wearing it at the right time and place means you can meet a kitsune who quizzes you about the world in which you live. The same mask also played a minor role in Ocarina of Time, though no actual kitsune appeared in that game.
  • League of Legends: Ahri the Nine-Tailed Fox is based on the Korean Gumiho, with all the guile and trickery this brings. Of course, being female, she includes sex appeal in her trickery. Her dance animations and alternate skins reflect this. Unlike other Gumiho, however, Ahri isn't overly malicious but a bit more conflicted. Her backstory says that she used to kill people by devouring their life essence, but eventually Ahri became human enough to feel guilty about it.
  • Love Nikki - Dress Up Queen has the Moon Vixen of Heart outfit from the Star Secret event. She has nine tails, and the item descriptions describe her as a shapeshifter. Poppy Fox is also a fox spirit.
  • Cubit Foxtar in Mega Man Zero 3 is themed around the Kitsune. He can materialize nine purple-flaming discs that trace you and can turn into fire or move around the battle arena.
  • A series of optional bosses at the end of Mega Man X: Command Mission are themed around the Kitsune. A group of thieves who were locked away because of their powers. You start off fighting 1-Tail, then 2, 3, and so on.
  • Monster Hunter: The Mizutsune, debuting in Generations, is a fox-like leviathan heavily inspired by the Kitsune. To further this, it returns in the very Japanese-themed Monster Hunter: Rise alongside a cast of other Yokai-inspired monsters.
  • Kongiku and Yuzuruha from Muramasa: The Demon Blade are a pair of kitsune who help the protagonists on their quests.
  • Xiaomu in Namco × Capcom and Endless Frontier is a 765 year old Chinese werefox, while her nemesis Saya is a Japanese werefox.
  • In The Night of the Rabbit Kitsune is one of the characters that you encounter during your travels. You meet her in several forms: a fox, a statue, a woman, and a girl.
  • Ōkami: Demon Lord Nine-Tails is based on Tamamo-no-Mae and is a powerful nine-tailed demon-fox who is the ruler of Oni Island.
  • Pokémon:
    • Vulpix and Ninetales are based on kitsune, complete with multiple tails, supernatural powers, and the tendency to curse people who tick them off.
    • The Generation V Pokémon Zorua and Zoroark are based on the darker side of kitsune legends, and are even capable of shapeshifting.
    • Fennekin and its line from Generation VI are based on fennec foxes rather than red foxes, but their typing and abilities are very similar to Vulpix and Ninetales. Especially in its evolved forms Braixen and Delphox, who represent the kistune's humanoid form.
  • Onmyōji: Set in the Heian period and has many elements of Japanese mythology, fox demons are bound to appear in this game, the most prominent examples being Kohaku, Yōko, Sanbi-no-kitsune and Kudagitsune. Of course, the king of all of them is the SSR Tamamo-no-Mae (given a Gender Flip from how she is normally portrayed from a woman to a cross-dressing man), a nine-tailed kitsune capable of unleashing destructive power akin to that of a Physical God. Also, protagonist Abe-no-Seimei, being the child of the kitsune Kuzunoha.
  • A nine-tailed kitsune is featured as the Big Bad of Otogi 2: Immortal Warriors. What's notable about this is that one of the main characters is based on Abe no Seimei (see above), and it seems like the two switched genders: The Kyūbi is now a male, while Seimei is a female, and they're not related.
  • The protagonist of Psycho Fox, who can use shinto sticks to shapeshift into three different animals and has to save the world from the evil Madfox Daimyojin.
  • Riki and the Lummox race from SaGa Frontier are pretty clearly based on them. With vulpine appearances in their true form, shape shifting, multiple tails seeming to designate age or senority, and even a trademark attack, "Elfshot", resembling Kitsune-bi.
  • Sengoku 2 combines the kitsune myth with that of the tale of Fusehime and Yatsufusa. It reinterprets Fusehime as a kitsune and Yatsufusa as her hellhound partner-in-crime.
  • The appropriately-named Kitsune in the SNES version of Shadowrun.
  • Played with in Shin Megami Tensei if.... The boss of the World of Greed is one of these, but whose power is directly tied to the traveler's own greed - Suspicious Videogame Generosity will provide a massive trove of treasure just before you reach him. Ignore the treasure and go straight to him, and he will be nothing but a pathetic fox that can be easily kicked into oblivion. Take all of the treasure and you will be facing a titanic Eldritch Abomination of fog.
  • There's a kitsune as boss fight in Shinrei Jusatsushi Taroumaru. They look like a pretty woman when the room is entered, then turn into a huge kitsune with laser-shooting tails, and after that body horror kicks in. This leads to the kitsune shedding their body except for their and four of their tails to form a giant furry shuriken. Upon defeat, the head serves as the mode of transportation to the next area.
  • Smite: Da Ji the Nine-Tailed Fox is an evil Torture Technician taking the form of an attractive woman with bladed metal claws and nine fox tails. Her lore states that she was sent by the goddess Nu Wa to drive Emperor Zhou into madness for his lecherous blasphemy, but managing to escape and go into hiding. She resurfaced when the war among the gods broke out, intending to savor the screams of her enemies as they burn and bleed.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog: Miles 'Tails' Prower has mechanical abilities rather than magical ones, but his two tails are a clear reference.
    • In the Archie comics, he did have a mystical destiny to him and was (briefly) trained in magic by his sorcerer uncle. His Evil Counterpart was more adept at magic and at one point called him out on his abandoning his training.
  • Splatoon features a large statue of a kitsune in Inkopolis Plaza, right across from one of a Tanuki. Both statues are decorated during Splatfest celebrations, with the kitsune being decorated in the color of Callie's team. This played into the second Japanese Splatfest, whose theme was Red Fox vs. Green Tanuki.
  • Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns features a Kitsune named Inari (named after the god that commands Kitsune) that can be married. Their gender is always opposite of the player character, similar to how they could take any form in the original mythology. (S)he is a keeper of a shrine and loves keeping her shrine clean.
  • If Luigi grabs the leaf in Super Mario 3D Land, he now turns into a kitsune, instead of a tanooki.
  • In Super Mario Fusion Revival, Peach can acquire a Kitsune Suit as an equivalent to Mario's Tanooki Suit.
  • Touhou Project, which already features many different types of Youkai, has several:
    • Ran Yakumo from Touhou Youyoumu ~ Perfect Cherry Blossom, who is of the nine-tailed variety, making her very old and powerful. The fact that she's the shikigami of Yukari Yakumo demonstrates how powerful Yukari is, while the fact that Ran has her own shikigami, Chen, demonstrates how powerful she is. She's also incredibly good at math, being able to calculate the width of the Sanzu River...which is quite a feat, considering the Sanzu's width changes depending on how sinful one isnote .
    • The official manga Touhou Ibarakasen ~ Wild and Horned Hermit has a chapter where Reimu catches a kudagitsune (pipe fox spirit) attending one of her parties while disguised as Marisa. The spirit offers to pay Reimu back and does so by encouraging the villagers to visit the shrine, making her prosper... and also running her ragged with how busy she's become. Kasen catches it and explains that kudagitsune eventually eat their owners' health and prosperity. In a later chapter Reimu thinks she's found a kitsune artifact called a foxball, and the Marisa-Fox returns to give some well as to reveal that whatever the object is, it's not a foxball.
    • Another official manga, Touhou Suzunaan ~ Forbidden Scrollery, has a two-part story where a kitsune is writing on the doors of the local school, which worries the parents. After Reimu makes some failed attempts at repelling it, Kosuzu uses her Omniglot skills to figure out what's going on: it's repeating the day's lessons, meaning that the kitsune is a child that's trying to learn. She ends up resolving the situation by giving Reimu some special Paper Talismans...that are actually advertisements for Suzunaan. When the kitsune-child comes to the store, Kosuzu gives it a blank book to write in and offers to give new blank books in exchange for trading in the old ones when they fill up, meaning she gets a steady supply of youma books.
    • Touhou Kouryuudou ~ Unconnected Marketeers introduces Tsukasa Kudamaki, a pipe fox who supposedly works for the tengu Megumu Iizunamaru but is secretly playing all sides in the game against each other. Unlike the pipe fox in Wild and Horned Hermit who's depicted as a small fox, she's depicted as a girl with a fox's ears and tail.
  • Tales of Symphonia:
    • Corrine, a small, rainbow man-made summon spirit who resembles a three-tailed fox.
    • Verius, the summon spirit of heart. It is rainbow like Corrine, but much larger.
  • Toukiden has Mitama based on the legendary Tamamo-no-mae and Kuzunoha that the player can equip to gain special powers. Interestingly, they are Healing type instead of Deceit.
  • Wario Land 3 has Wolfenboss/Kezune, the boss of the Pool of Rain, a flying Kitsune wearing a sorcerer's robe. He creates and fires wisps/magical energy balls that bounce off the floors and walls and levitate you out of the arena if they hit, and giant spiked balls that turn you into Puffy Wario (Causing you to fly out of the arena) if they hit and provide the enemies needed to attack him. He is usually considered That One Boss. Wario Land II also has the Flames/Flame Kitsunes, small red foxes in pirate outfits wielding torches, but unlike Wolfenboss above they don't fly and use magic, instead walking around and trying to light Wario on fire with their torch.
  • Warriors Orochi:
    • Orochi's right-hand woman is Daji, the infamous consort of the last Shang emperor who was vilified as a huli jing (malevolent fox spirit) in Chinese folklore. She appears mostly human, but has pointed ears, animal feet, and six ornamental ribbons which symbolize her tails. Like the mythological kitsune, Daji is unable to outright lie, though she loves to skirt around truths.
    • The third game introduces Abe no Seimei, who carries a kitsune on his shoulder, and Tamamo no Mae. The latter is later revealed to be Kyubi, the nine-tailed fox herself, who shapeshifts into a beautiful woman to trick people to help her. Notably, she was the one who set the dragon god Yinglong into a path of darkness, turning him into Orochi.
  • The "Mage Fox" boss in Wild ARMs 1.
  • The Fox Noise from The World Ends with You. Most notably, the Progfox.
  • In World of Final Fantasy, Tama is a diminutive white fox who accompanies your party, but her true form, Tamamohimé, is this. She has nine lives and one point sacrifices all remaining lives to rewind time for the party, though a loophole allows you to bring her back and doing so is part of the requirements for the game's true ending. Her name is a reference to the hoshi no tama, a magical ball that the kitsune keeps in its mouth or carries it on its tail, and the legendary kitsune Tamamo-no-Mae.
  • Yo-Kai Watch: "Kyubi" is a fox Yōkai whose human form is a slightly androgynous, Bishōnen looking boy. There's also an ice-based variant, Frostail (called Inugami in Japanese), a dark-themed one named Darkyubi (starting from Yo-kai Watch 2 Psychic Specters), a robotic counterpart dubbed Kyubot (from Yo-kai Watch 3 Sukiyaki), and a rain-and-frog themed variant named Tsuyu Kyubi (only appearing in the japanese Yo-kai Watch Puni Puni in an event).

    Visual Novels 
  • Miyabi in Enchanted in the Moonlight is a kitsune, with the usual shapeshifting powers, ghostly blue fox-fire, and trickster attitude. He appears variously as a handsome young human man, a longer-haired version of his human form with fox ears and tail, and an actual fox with supernatural markings.
  • Yuuichi Komura from Hiiro no Kakera is descended from one and can partially transform into one.
  • Makoto Sawatari in Kanon turns out to be a fox that Yuuichi cared for when he was young, but he set her free when he had to leave town. Her wish to see him again lets her become human, but despite being able to meet him again years later she has no memories of being a fox, or really anything about her former life at all.
  • The Nine-Tailed Fox who, according to legend, opposed the tengu Tenma Taro in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies. He even inspired a Masked Luchador, the Amazing Nine-Tails.
  • Shall We Date? franchise:
  • Kakuya, the Big Bad of Spirit Hunter: NG, is a flute-playing spirit with fox ears, who can manipulate other spirits and has a fondness for games. Unfortunately, said games have a tendency to put the competitors in grave danger.

  • Kit from Fey Winds was once a normal fox transformed into (mostly) human form after mistaking a magical entity named Sylphe for an egg and eating her (It Makes Sense in Context). As a result, in addition to her new body she possesses strong magical powers via her connection to the Song, though their full extent has not been explored. Her nickname is a double pun, both short for Kitsune and because a kit is a young fox.
  • In The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob! Lari the ninja mistakes Molly the Monster for one of these, and becomes infatuated with her. He's a little squicked out when he realizes that she can't actually change into a regular human.
  • The cast of Karin-dou 4koma are primarily youkai, so of course this type is included. Shizuki grows her second tail early on in the series, while Sachi (a kuuko) doesn't show off hers.

    Web Original 
  • David Kintobor has the ability to morph into one in David Gonterman's American Kitsune.
  • In Britsune Garden Series, kitsune are very important to the setting, connected to goddess Kanako Okami and a four-tailed kitsune even appears on the English coat of arms. Kitsune are also the inspiration for the titular species. Even one particular character, Hinata, though she is actually a Kamitsu Britsune, resembles a nine-tailed one. However, their fear of dogs is rather downplayed, instead of being downright terrified, kitsune are known to get startled if they suddenly encounter a dog.
  • The 3D graphics marketplace DAZ 3D features Kiko 8.1, a kitsune girl of the Little Bit Beastly variety.
  • The Kindness of Devils:
    • Loves Lost And Found has Oyuki Akamine, who shows up to assist Sun-hyo in defeating malevolent supernatural creatures.
    • A Conspiracy of Serpents has Oyuki's daughter, Kasumi, who helps Grete and her allies fight against the villainous serpents.
  • Firefox-ko, an unofficial mascot for Mozilla Firefox.
  • Mystery Skulls Animated: Mystery is a kitsune disguised as a dog; in the past he was a trickster spirit that led samurai to their deaths, but after a fateful encounter with a particularly strong one, he became a guardian spirit to her family and stayed that way since.
  • From SCP Foundation:
  • Wartime Stories has an episode that covers the titular creature in detail, from its legend in Japanese folklore to a US Marine's encounter with one on the island of Okinawa. Interestingly, despite being a Yōkai, it's shown to be hurt by gunfire and can be killed with the force of an explosion.

    Western Animation 
  • In Hellboy Animated: Sword of Storms, a kitsune is pretty much the only youkai on Hellboy's side when he is transported to a Japanese folklore-inspired Magical Land.
  • Love, Death & Robots: One of the supporting characters in the episode "Good Hunting" is Yan, a young huli jing who befriends Liang — the son of a demon-hunter who kills her mother. As the English colonize China, Yan loses her magic and gets stuck in human form as the world is taken over by technology. When she's victimized and turned into a steampunk cyborg, Liang builds her a new body with the ability to shift back into a nine-tailed fox-like form so that she can seek revenge.
  • In Miraculous Ladybug, Volpina is a fox-themed supervillain who has illusionary abilities and is known for lying, much like a kitsune. It later turns out that there is a real fox Miraculous; the real holder calls herself Rena Rouge, and she shares her impersonator's gift for creating illusions.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Nine Tailed Fox


Gaijin Goomba explains Kitsune

Gaijin Goomba (both the real person and his cartoon goomba counterpart) explain to the viewers just what the Kitsune is.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / Kitsune

Media sources: