Gumihos are fascinating creatures from Korean legends, often shown as magical foxes with nine tails that can change their form. These mythical beings have been featured in numerous Korean dramas, Chinese dramas (known as huli jing) and Japanese Anime (known as Kitsune). Let’s take a look at our list of the top 11 Fox Spirits in Asian TV.
1. My Girlfriend Is a Gumiho (2010)
In ‘My Girlfriend Is a Gumiho’ (2010), we meet Cha Dae Woong, a carefree college student with big dreams of becoming a famous actor. He’s got a rich grandfather, Cha Poong, and a single aunt, Cha Min Sook, who look after him, even though they’re constantly butting heads over Dae Woong’s spending habits and career aspirations. One fateful day, Dae Woong’s life takes a wild turn. During a visit to a temple, he accidentally unleashes a Gumiho, a nine-tailed fox, that’s been trapped in a painting for a whopping 500 years. As if that’s not enough excitement, while fleeing in terror, Dae Woong ends up seriously injuring himself. But the Gumiho, now taking on the form of a stunning woman, comes to his rescue. In a curious twist, the Gumiho makes Dae Woong an offer he can’t refuse: she’ll save his life, but in return, he must help her become human and teach her the ropes of living like one. As they spend more time together, their bond deepens, and love starts to blossom in this extraordinary tale.
2. Gu Family Book (2013)
In ‘Gu Family Book’ (2013), we enter a world where Choi Kang Chi is a unique blend of human and mythical creature. He was raised by the owner of the Hundred Years Inn, but his parentage is extraordinary – his father, Gu Wol Ryung, is the guardian spirit of Jiri Mountain, while his mother is the human Yoon Seo Hwa. Meanwhile, we meet Dam Yeo Wool, a skilled martial artist and the daughter of the leader of a secretive organization tasked with safeguarding the region. Her mission leads her to the Hundred Years Inn, where she’s supposed to observe and protect its lord. As fate would have it, Kang Chi and Yeo Wool cross paths at the Hundred Years Inn, the region’s most famous establishment, and against all odds, they fall head over heels in love. But their world soon descends into chaos, and it’s up to Kang Chi to restore order. Yeo Wool faces the daunting challenge of ensuring Kang Chi’s half-mythical side doesn’t get the best of him. It’s a thrilling tale of love, destiny, and the battle between the human and mythical within.
3. Tale of the Nine-Tailed (2020) and Tale of the Nine-Tailed 1939 (2023)
In ‘Tale of the Nine-Tailed’ (2020), we’re plunged into a captivating world where Lee Yeon, a mythical nine-tailed fox or gumiho, has settled in the city for centuries. With the power to transform into a human, he takes on the perilous task of eliminating supernatural threats that jeopardize the mortal realm. Yet, his true objective is to locate the reincarnation of his long-lost first love. Enter Nam Ji Ah, a talented television producer who specializes in urban myths. Her own past is marred by the mysterious disappearance of her parents in a car accident, and she suspects that Lee Yeon may be connected to this enigmatic event. Adding to the intrigue is Lee Rang, Lee Yeon’s captivating half-brother. Though part-human himself, he harbors a deep-seated disdain for all things human. As a twisted pastime, he lures unsuspecting individuals with promises of granting their wishes, only to ensnare them in a web of deceit and exact a hefty price for their earthly desires.
In the second season, a surprising turn of events transports Lee Yeon back to the year 1938, where he reunites with Ryu Hong Joo, once a guardian spirit of the western mountain, now the owner of a prestigious restaurant in the capital city of Gyeongseong. Here, he also encounters his younger brother, Lee Rang. Meanwhile, another former guardian spirit and former friend, Cheon Moo Young, has turned hostile. Lee Yeon faces the daunting challenge of finding a way back to the present, all for the love he left behind.
4. My Roommate Is a Gumiho (2021)
In ‘My Roommate Is a Gumiho’ (2021), prepare for an intriguing tale of Shin Woo Yeo, a charming and clever writer who harbors a remarkable secret—he’s a nine-tailed fox with an astonishing age of 999 years. His quest to become human hinges on collecting human energy stored within a mystical bead. The story takes a wild turn when Lee Dam, a university student, grapples with the antics of her inebriated friend, who ends up asleep on a luxurious car that happens to belong to Woo Yeo. Amid the chaos of trying to extricate her friend, Woo Yeo’s precious bead inadvertently slips from his mouth and is unknowingly swallowed by Lee Dam. Here’s the kicker: the bead can only reside within a human host for a maximum of one year, after which it shatters, resulting in the person’s demise. Determined not to lose his shot at becoming human, Woo Yeo reveals their dire predicament to Lee Dam and proposes a daring solution—living together until they can unravel this supernatural conundrum. For Lee Dam, who has never had a boyfriend, this sets the stage for an unexpected and fascinating cohabitation with Shin Woo Yeo.
5. Gumiho: Tale of the Fox’s Child (2010)
In ‘Gumiho: Tale of the Fox’s Child’ (2010), we’re immersed in the legend of Goo San Daek, the enigmatic nine-tailed fox. She takes a drastic step when her husband’s betrayal leaves her incapable of her shapeshifting abilities. With her nine-year-old daughter, Yeon Yi, who has yet to unlock her own gumiho powers, in tow, they seek refuge in a tranquil village, driven by a mother’s instinct to protect. However, as Yeon Yi approaches her tenth birthday, the inevitable begins to unfold—her physical transformation commences. This transformation poses an escalating threat as it increases the risk of her true nature being discovered by the wary villagers. It’s a tale of maternal love, mythical powers, and the delicate balance between identity and the need to belong.
6. Arang and the Magistrate (2012)
In ‘Arang and the Magistrate’ (2012), although gumihos aren’t the sole focus, they play a significant role in this historical fantasy drama, adding to its supernatural intrigue. The story revolves around Eun Oh, a government official who’s far from warm and fuzzy, as he embarks on a mission to locate his missing mother, a disappearance for which he blames himself. Eun Oh possesses the unique ability to see and interact with ghosts, making him accustomed to their presence and unafraid. Things take a compelling turn when Eun Oh crosses paths with Arang, a ghost who was once a beautiful young woman before meeting a tragic end. Arang beseeches Eun Oh to help her seek retribution for her untimely demise, setting the stage for a captivating tale of mystery, vengeance, and an unexpected alliance between the living and the spectral.
7. Legend of Nine Tails Fox (2016)
In ‘Legend of Nine Tails Fox’ (2016), a thrilling Chinese drama, the coveted Mei fruit of Qing Qiu, known for bestowing incredible powers upon its consumer, has been safeguarded by the fox clan for generations. However, when this precious fruit is stolen, the only witness, Fei Yue, and her family are thrust into a whirlwind of adventures, all in a desperate bid to return the fruit to its rightful place. As the fox clan members embark on their quest to recover the stolen treasure, they encounter formidable challenges. Often enmeshed in human affairs, these clever foxes must use all their cunning to survive, even as they face dangers that extend far beyond the realm of mortals. With their intellect and resourcefulness pitted against formidable foes such as powerful families, wolf demons, and even a goddess, the fox clan remains undeterred in their mission to reclaim the precious Mei fruit. But the odds seem insurmountable, as both Heaven and Earth appear to conspire against them. Can the determination of a single clan prevail in the face of such formidable opposition?”
8. Love and Redemption (2020)
In ‘Love and Redemption’ (2020), a captivating Chinese fantasy drama, the story isn’t solely centered on gumihos, but it features a compelling character who happens to be a fox spirit, adding a layer of mystique to the narrative. Set a thousand years after a cataclysmic battle between demons and celestial beings, the souls of the Star of Mosha and the God of War are sent to the mortal realm to atone for their past deeds. In this realm, we meet Chu Xuan Ji, the daughter of the Shaoyang Sect Leader, who is deprived of her six senses. At a fateful tournament, she crosses paths with Yu Si Feng, a skilled disciple from Lize Palace born on the same day as her. Their friendship blossoms, and they make a promise to meet again. However, their paths diverge as Si Feng returns to his sect, bearing a mask as punishment that could endanger his life, while Xuan Ji leaves home to pursue martial arts training. Four years later, destiny intervenes once more, bringing them together. As they journey together, long-lost memories from their previous lives resurface, unveiling a web of secrets and conspiracies that entangle the three realms—demon, heavenly, and mortal. These revelations cast a profound shadow over their relationship and sow discord across all three realms, setting the stage for a tale of love, redemption, and the delicate balance between them.
9. Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha (2014)
In ‘Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha’ (2014), a delightful Japanese anime, we follow the whimsical journey of a high school girl named Inari Fushimi, who unexpectedly acquires the power to transform into a fox spirit. With her newfound abilities, she embarks on a mission to assist her friends and family, blending romance and comedy into the mix. Inari is far from the stereotypical high school protagonist—she’s clumsy, of average intelligence, and incredibly shy. Despite these quirks, her optimism and unwavering kindness shine through. She can’t resist helping those in need, but her own shyness often stands in the way of expressing her true feelings. One such feeling is her affection for Kouji Tanbabashi, a cheerful and hardworking classmate she admires from afar.
The story unfolds as Inari takes a shortcut to school one day and encounters a fox pup teetering on the edge of a river. Even though she’s running late, she leaps into action and rescues the tiny fox. Little does she know, this act of kindness catches the attention of Uka-no-Mitama-no-Kami, the goddess of the Inari Shrine. The fox pup, Kon, is revealed to be her familiar. As a token of gratitude, the goddess fulfills one of Inari’s wishes. However, this seemingly generous act spirals into unintended consequences, landing Inari in a tight spot. To make amends, the goddess bestows upon Inari a fraction of her divine power, granting her the ability to transform into anyone at will.
With newfound god-like abilities, Inari’s life takes an enchanting turn. Otherworldly beings, both benevolent and malevolent, become drawn to her. Adventure beckons as Inari grapples with her extraordinary powers and her long-buried feelings for Kouji. Can she find the courage to reveal what’s been locked in her heart for so long? Join Inari on her magical journey filled with love, transformations, and the delightful chaos that ensues
10. Gingitsune: Messenger Fox of the Gods (2013)
In ‘Gingitsune: Messenger Fox of the Gods’ (2013), a captivating Japanese anime, we delve into the mystical world of Makoto Saeki, the heir to a shrine with a rich ancestral legacy. Her family has faithfully passed down the sacred duties for generations, allowing them to communicate with a fox spirit, the shrine’s messenger, and together, they become beacons of help for those in need. Makoto’s journey begins at a young age when she loses her mother at the tender age of four. It’s during the funeral that she encounters an extraordinary entity—the messenger of the god Inari, a fox named Gintarou. He sees something unique in her and proclaims her as the fifteenth-generation heiress of the shrine. Gintarou, despite his occasional rudeness and lack of motivation, possesses remarkable abilities. He can catch glimpses of the future and locate lost items with uncanny accuracy. Despite their differences, Makoto and Gintarou forge a deep and endearing friendship. As the only person capable of seeing this spirit, Makoto and Gintarou decide to bridge the gap between gods and humans, serving as intermediaries for those who seek the shrine’s assistance. Together, they embark on a heartfelt journey to aid those who come to the shrine, infusing a touch of magic and compassion into their lives.
11. Otome Youkai Zakuro (2010)
In ‘Otome Youkai Zakuro’ (2010), an anime set in an alternate version of Japan, we’re transported to a realm where humans and supernatural beings coexist, creating a unique historical fantasy. The story unfolds in a period of Westernization in this alternate Japan, where a delicate balance between these two worlds is crucial. To foster understanding and harmony, the Ministry of Spirits is established, selecting both human and spirit representatives. Lieutenants Kei Agemaki, Riken Yoshinokazura, and Ganryu Hanakiri are chosen as the human representatives, each paired with a half-human, half-fox spirit girl. This team consists of Zakuro, Susukihotaru, and Bonbori and Hozuki, respectively. However, tensions arise as Zakuro’s deep-seated disapproval of humans who embrace Jesuit practices clashes with Agemaki’s intense fear of spirits. In this mesmerizing anime, the narrative explores the intricacies of coexistence, as these mismatched pairs navigate their differences while working together to bridge the gap between humans and supernatural entities. It’s a tale of acceptance, understanding, and the challenges that arise when two worlds collide in a historical fantasy setting.