Title: The Fox & Little Tanuki
Author: Mi Tagawa
Release date: March 17th
Summary: Long ago, the gods granted a few special animals great powers… but not all those animals used their magical abilities for good! Senzou the Fox Spirit in particular grew too brash and arrogant, abusing his strength until the gods imprisoned him for his bad behavior. Three hundred years later, he’s finally been released, but only on one condition– he can’t have his any of his abilities back until he successfully helps a tanuki cub named Manpachi become an assistant to the gods. Unfortunately for Senzou, there’s no cheating when it comes to completing his task! The magic beads around his neck make sure he can’t wander too far from his charge or shirk his duties, and so… Senzou the once-great Fox Spirit must now figure out how to be an actually-great babysitter to a mischievous little tanuki or risk being stuck without his powers forever!
I received a copy of this manga volume through Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.
It’s been years since I’ve read manga. Any manga. But I saw this one and knew I had to give it a shot. The title and the cover were enough to interest me.
When I was in Japan, my husband won me a plushie of a fox wearing a tanuki eye mask and I bought a blind box with the two animals as a small figurine. I don’t know how limited the pairing was, but I suspect that the fox is the main mascot of a store called Loft and the tanuki is just temporary. They’re incredibly cute together, so when I saw this manga, I knew it was for me.
Without even reading the summary I dived in. It didn’t surprise me it was about gods and bakemono. I like the Japanese folklore so even that was right up my ally. The mentor-apprentice relationship the fox and the tanuki have is incredibly cute too. There’s a lot of room for both characters to grow.
The side characters, another fox and two wolves, are adorable. I honestly love the stereotype characters and the world the author created. I don’t mind that their personalities are predictable because it’s the interaction between the characters and the situations they’re in that make the story.
I’m really looking forward to reading more of this series. Highly recommended if you’re interested in Japanese folklore and like cute art.