Yokai, an umbrella term for supernatural entities and spirits in Japanese folklore, are prominent in anime. Traditionally, Yokai can be scary and harbor dangerous supernatural abilities, but Yokai can also be kind and helpful, acting as allies, friends, and romantic interests! This is a list of the best Yokai in shoujo anime!
5. Gin from Hotarubi no Mori e (Into the Forest of Fireflies' Light)
As the male protagonist of the supernatural anime film Into the Forest of Fireflies' Light, Gin is a spirit that appears as a regular adolescent boy other than his white hair and mask. There are some peculiar things about him, though: he doesn’t age, and if he touches a human, he will disappear. When a young girl named Hotaru Takegawa gets lost on his mountain, he leads her home, sparking a cute and heartwarming friendship. Throughout her childhood, Hotaru visits Gin on the mountain each summer and ends up falling in love with him, though their relationship tragically cannot last. Gin is a friendly and caring entity who struggles with human emotions despite being a spirit. He is remembered for his endearing personality and kindness toward the female protagonist.
4. Yasaburou Shimogamo from Uchouten Kazoku (The Eccentric Family)
Yasaburou Shimogamo is the main character of the supernatural slice of life anime The Eccentric Family. He is the third son of the Shimogamo family, and as a tanuki (a raccoon spirit), he has the ability to transform. Youthful and carefree, he has a penchant for getting into trouble. Despite that, he is kind, takes care of the people around him, and will go to great lengths to protect his family. He is also forgiving of others and is just generally easy to get along with. He’d be a great friend to anyone!
3. Tomoe from Kamisama Hajimemashita (Kamisama Kiss)
As the main male character of the supernatural shoujo anime Kamisama Kiss, Tomoe is a kitsune (fox) spirit who appears as a handsome young man with white hair, fox ears, and a long fluffy tail. As a kitsune, he is capable of using fox fire that burns things to ashes within seconds. He is also a capable swordsman and has exceptional speed and ability.
Upon first meeting Nanami Momozono and learning that she will be the next goddess of the shrine he belongs to, Tomoe is initially cold and condescending to her, insisting that a human cannot be a shrine goddess. But he ends up realizing her talents and guiding her on her path. Later in the anime, Tomoe finds himself opening up to and falling for Nanami and is willing to do anything to be with her. While he is cunning and sly, he reveals more of his caring personality as the anime goes on. Tomoe is beloved by many fans of shoujo anime as an amazing familiar and boyfriend!
2. Oodana from Kakuriyo no Yadomeshi (Kakuriyo: Bed and Breakfast for Spirits)
Oodana is one of the main characters of Kakuriyo: Bed and Breakfast for Spirits and the manager of the Tenjin-ya inn. As a tall and handsome ogre with terrifying supernatural abilities including ogre fire and transformation, Oodana is reputed to be cold and merciless. Despite his reputation, he can also be kind if the occasion calls for it, which garners loyalty from his underlings.
When the protagonist of the anime, Aoi Tsubaki, first becomes an employee of the inn to pay off her father’s debt to the ogre, Oodana doesn’t think much of her and believes she’ll quickly quit. But after witnessing Aoi’s diligence and strength of will, Oodana comes to respect her. As his feelings for her deepen into something romantic as the series goes on, he becomes more protective of her, which is something we find really sweet.
1. Madara from Natsume Yuujinchou (Natsume’s Book of Friends)
Madara, also called Nyanko-sensei, is one of the main characters of Natsume’s Book of Friends. This dangerous and high-status cat-like Yokai acts as the bodyguard of the protagonist Natsume Takashi, who has inherited the Book of Friends from his grandmother which holds in it the names of many different Yokai and grants the user the ability to control them. Initially, Madara’s reason for sticking around Natsume is selfish: he strikes a deal with Natsume that if he dies, the Book of Friends will become his. But as the series goes on, Madara develops a friendly and caring relationship with Natsume and helps him on his quest to return the names within the book despite the fact that doing so will diminish the value of the book when it finally becomes Madara’s.
Though Madara is prideful, he also has a funny and playful side. He likes eating good food and sometimes acts exactly like a cat, swatting at cat toys and chasing small animals. We like Madara because his character does a good job of balancing complicated motivations and humor. Plus, as the story goes on, it becomes clear he cares deeply about Natsume as a friend and ally, and we find their relationship totally adorable.
Being supernatural beings, Yokai are often mysterious and intriguing, though many Yokai are also friendly and caring. We hope you enjoyed our list of the 5 Best Yokai in Shoujo Anime! Tell us in the comments which one of these characters you think you’d most prefer as your ally/friend/boyfriend! Are there any great Yokai characters you think should be on here but aren’t? Tell us your picks!