Definition: Also known as Kitsune. Either literal fox spirits in human form, or humans with fox-like facial features.
What You Need to Know: Like a lot of modern fiction, fox-like characters in Anime are derived from mythology. In Japanese folklore, fox spirits were supernatural beings notable for their ability to take on human form. Some spirits are good, others are tricksters. A spirit’s age, wisdom, and power is gauged by the number of tails it has (up to nine). Its fur will also turn white or gold, signifying its divinity.
Fox spirits are particularly famous for transforming into beautiful women. They also have a reputation for being lovers, and many foxes in love-comedies will act romantically aggressive towards the protagonist. They share this in common with other anime spirits, such as Cats and Dogs.
Fox-faces, on the other hand, tend to be a bit more mischievous. They will often speak in half-truths and veiled insults. It is often difficult to discern a fox-face’s true loyalty. As such, they are often portrayed as more intelligent than actual fox spirits, and incredibly are sly.
Despite this, Foxes never go back on a promise, and show respect when it is given.
My Western Take: Most people in the West use the term “fox” to describe a sexy woman, or a particularly clever person. In hindsight, the interpretation of foxes tend to be pretty uniform worldwide. The only difference is the lack of fictional prominence of the fox in the West. We tend to prefer wolfs.