The Fox & the Little Tanuki, Vol. 1

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 31 Mar 2020

Member Reviews

The Fox & the Little Tanuki is a adorable manga. It can help you to get familiar with Japanese mythology and the story itself is captivating.
The art of the manga is so beautiful and stunning. I always appreciate attention to details in drawing. And this one definitely is.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an ARC of this manga in exchange for an honest review.
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If you have any interest in Japanese folk tales, in magic and mythological beings, then this is the manga you're looking for. Largely a humorous tale, this book is also fully rooted in a complex mythology of spirits, yokai, and old gods. The fox is a spirit who is being punished for cruelty and self-centered behavior. He's presented as a villain but as in many Japanese stories he's not truly evil. He makes bad choices, may even have evil inclinations, but he remains redeemable. He can learn to consider the welfare of others, even while he continues to cause mischief. There's a lot of humor present, making it a lot of fun to read. And as is typical in manga, the art has a heavily cartoony style with a lot going on with facial expressions.
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It was the adorable cover that caught my eye for this manga volume. Having read a few manga stories and books about Japanese mythology, I wasn’t totally lost while reading this. The book is read from front to back but the panels are arranged to read from right to left. There is a sample page at the end of the book (to warn seasoned manga readers) with directions and example panels (for manga newbies) to explain this. 

I learned a lot about different beings in Japanese mythology and had fun doing it. The art is cute and, as a note from the publisher stated, a bit more Disney-fied. Manpachi the tanuki is darling enough that I want to pluck him from the pages and spend days cuddling him. Senzou the black fox is a bit more than mere crusty and curmudgeonly with his behavior quickly explaining why the Sun Goddess has to coerce his acceptance of his role in protecting and training Manpachi. 

But while the characters and roles are fairly adequately explained, sometimes the action as drawn was hard to follow. The title told me that this wouldn’t be the entire story but I still felt that the action stopped too suddenly even for a cliffhanger. I’m not sure I’m invested in the story enough to buy the second volume but I’d read it from the library. B-
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Long ago, the gods granted a few special animals great powers...
That's all I needed to want to read this book, it was so cute and full of adventure, I needed this book so hard and it's brilliant.
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The Fox and the Little Tanuki was the first volume of a Japanese series featuring a fox-spirit Senzou who is being punished by having to bring up a little Tanuki, and teach him how to serve the gods. Something that is also lacking in Senzou himself. Together they have all kinds of cute little adventures.

The artwork is very cute, I can not describe it in a different way. It was what first drew me to the book. The story is nice too, but maybe a little bit simplistic at times, probably aimed at a young(er) audience. The one thing I didn’t like was the extreme cliffhanger the book ends on. I always hope that volumes are also able to be read individually, which is difficult in this case.

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!
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This book is marketed for all ages, but I'm marking it as Middle Grade, because I can see how some of that age group will really enjoy this one. 

There is some violence between animals and threats, but most of the characters are overly adorable (in the best possible way). I adore when we get a gruff angry character stuck with a cheerfully sweet character. This is one of the best depictions of this trope too! 

We get the introduction to the series and see how it will be arcs of how the fox will help the tanuki gain experience with that background something isn't right or might go wrong feeling as well. 

This is looking to be a cute, fun series and I look forward to reading more.
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This was adorable.  Sad moments,  sweet moments, adorable art. I loved this so much.

The fox was punished for causing problems. A tanuki was abandoned by his family. So the gods put them together. I highly recommend this manga.
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Recommended: yes ♥
For a sweet light story, for drama mixed with humour, for characters you'll love

The light and watery art style is a perfect match to this story, because it's overall pretty lighthearted with some moments of pain and depth for the characters to grow from. It's pretty irresistible to have the tough bad guy's heart slowly thawed by the adorable little fluff chub. Yet despite some character changes throughout, they also do stay true to themselves in many ways too; there's no miraculous conversions or sudden 180s here.

I really need to emphasize how much this made me laugh, too. Not just in terms of how often I laughed, but the force of my laughter. The frog part had me laughing so hard I cried, partly because it was just so unexpected, and I re-read it several times, laughing that hard every time. In fact, I'll probably go read it again when I'm done writing this, because it was such a pure joy.

Between sections are short info panels on the different kinds of bakemono, their powers, their history, relationship to the gods, and so on. I really enjoyed these because they gave me context for each character that I was missing without the cultural knowledge. Even for people who are more familiar with bakemono, the panels are beautifully done; I wish I could print them out and frame them!

The key reason why this is missing its fifth star is because I was reading along, laughing, crying, getting all the feels, when I went to the next page and it was an ad for another book. It ended! At a really weird moment! It felt so abrupt that I went back and made sure I hadn't missed something, but no... that's the end of this segment. That threw me off quite a lot, but I am really excited for the next installment, so maybe that's what they were going for. Regardless, this was an absolute delight!

Thanks to NetGalley and TokyoPop for a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
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KAWAII MUCH??? I think I just died and went into a cute coma, because this manga is full to the brim with adorableness. 

 A tale of unconditional bonds, altruism, self-love and -growth, I thoroughly enjoyed the Bakemono guide and expanding my knowledge of pantheons (Japanese in this case). I even teared up a wee bit; a lot of heart and promise in this story. Fluid, lovely artwork too. If this series stays on such a wonderful path, I shall definitely be purchasing the omnibus.
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I have gotta say, this is one of the cutest manga I've ever read.

The storyline is already something I believe will be phenomenal once it picks up speed because I think the first volume so far is great.

I adore the artstyle, immediately fell in love with the little Tanuki and felt so much more with the Fox's backstory and flashbacks.

What I can say about Tanuki's image that I found a bit interesting as well as a little disappointing was the style the creator chose to use. It reminds me more of a Disney artstyle instead of the traditional  Japanese cutesy chibi artstyle that is most common in manga.

Nevertheless, the story itself deeply follows the Japanese folklore, myths and tales of gods and goddesses and their servants and how animals are so embedded with importance and the roles each one plays.
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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.
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One of my favorite characters was; of course, Manpachi! He is the most adorable cub ever; I want to wrap him up and hug him. Lol, what I enjoyed so much in the story was the relationship evolution between Senzou and Manipachi. The witty banter amongst the two added a light comedic air to the overall arch of the narrative. The artwork depicting the tail of the once-great spirited fox was truly exquisite. If you are unfamiliar with Japanese Fantasies and are new to reading the genre; it may be hard at first to understand all the mythical creatures and the history behind them. Overall, I am very intrigued to see where the story continues in future volumes of the series.
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A huge thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an eARC of this manga in exchange for an honest review!

A big villain being released from his 300 year old sleep, only to be told he has to raise a Tanuki to become a servant of the Gods. Safe to say he is not pleased. But there's no way out, so here they go!

This was my first ever manga (and didn't even realize it wasn't just a regular graphic novel), and I didn't expect the entire novel to be in black and white. This is not a bad thing, it was just a bit of a shock to the system, and I had some trouble understanding some panels, especially at the start, meaning it took me some time to get into the story. 

I had read a review before about how to read this, and I was glad for it, as it would have been incredibly confusing otherwise. The final page/back of the book helpfully says how to read it, which is great if you read it physically. Electronically you don't see that until after you've finished it, so a huge thanks to that reviewer, and a head's up to anyone: this is read front to back, but the pages themselves are manga style.

Once I got into the art style and the story, I really really enjoyed it! As mentioned, some panels were really confusing to me, as I couldn't distinguish what was happening. That, and the order of reading not being mentioned before the story (it could have been added as a note for the ARC), is the only reason this isn't a 5 star read. Because the story! The feelings! And the bits of info about the Japanese mythology this takes from was great for people like me who had only ever heard of kitsune!

Little Tanuki, Manpachi, was just adorable, and I will protect him forever; even though he doesn't really need my protecting. I'll give him love instead. And food. The Fox, Senzou, is a bit of an asshole ("a bit"), but in this first volume he is already showing character growth, and I find him absolutely gorgeous. He's frustrating at times, but I already have major soft spot for him.

Koyuki was the sweetest, though I'm a bit bothered by the fact that the only female character is there to feed them only. Mikumo is a grouch and Tachibana is the best, and them as a duo is Amazing and I love them. I ship them. Not even gonna lie, their dynamic is the best. 

I cannot wait for volume two, and hope to be able to get my hands on it, because this ended on a cliffhanger and I need to know how it'll continue!
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Ah this was super cute. I enjoyed the story and the characters. I can't wait to read the next volume, especially with that cliffhanger!
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This is about an evil fox spirit named Senzo who is unsealed by the Sun God to redeem himself. However he doesn’t expect his mission to be raising a tanuki. He names the small animal  Manpachi and it is adorable to see them together. Senzo must train Manpachi to become a servant of the Gods. I loved the art work and the story. It face a Maleficient feel to it when it comes to a nortorious being having to raise a small child.
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This was an incredibly adorable, heart warming manga that reminded me of the good old times when everything I cared about was Inuyasha.

I got an arc provided by NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion. And I enjoyed myself to the fullest reading this manga! It has sweet characters, an interesting beginning to a story and the strongest ever Inuyasha vibes - a god is waken up from his sleep and has to go on a quest while wearing a necklace that will hurt him if he is not doing as he's told. He has to take care of a young little demon that has to learn and one day become the servent of the gods. Now of course this is only the first volume and so we couldn't see much of a character development yet, but I'm sure this will turn out to be a sweet redemption arc for the main character. It felt like honey for my soul to go into this magical world. 
Also I thought the explanations of different creatures was a nice extra at the beginning of each chapter.
Recommending this to everyone who loves Japanese myths, magical creatures and yes, INUYASHA!
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So I love Tanukis, when I heard about this title I had to try it out. The art is adorable and the tiny baby tanuki is just beyond cute.  The story in itself sees very familiar elements.  A naughty animal spirit, the fox, get’s locked away by a goddess for causing mischief and is then given a second chance.  His powers are blunted and to regain them he must help the tanuki grow up into a fine animal spirit.  The little tanuki has been rejected by his animal parents for having powers and sapience and is all alone in the world.  Great read for younger manga and animal story lovers.
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The Fox & the Little Tanuki is a precious middle grade-appropriate manga, which the English-language market desperately needs more of. That said, this is also a manga title that I enjoyed as an adult and think would be a fun addition to any manga collection.
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This was my first Manga. I loved the cute illustrations but the story was just okay for me! Still enjoyable enough.
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From the title, you may initially dismiss this manga as being too kid-oriented to be worth paying attention to. And while it is clearly a manga designed more for younger readers than older ones, I think it would be a mistake to pass it over, because there’s actually a good entertaining story in here.

Senzou is a powerful black fox spirit, imprisoned for three hundred years, and finally set free by the very deity who initially sealed him away. But his freedom comes with one caveat: he must raise a tanuki cub, named Manpachi, to be a good servant of the gods. If he does this, he’ll be given full freedom. If he does not, then the magical beads he’s forced to wear around his neck cause him pain. Cruel? Yes. But Senzou did more than make mischief before he was sealed away; he was a force of destruction that took down anything in his path. This is not only only Senzou’s punishment, but also his rehabilitation.

And yes, there are definitely moments in here that will sound like focus points of a kid’s cartoon, like Manpachi coming to understand that family is more than just the people related to you by blood. And there are the expected struggles within Senzou as he continues to insist that he doesn’t really care for Manpachi, but I mean, come on, we know from the moment Manpachi is introduced that Senzou will come to think of him fondly because it’s just that kind of story.

But there were moments in here that really resonated with me, in a way that made me think there was more to this than a simple story for children. The first was the statement that bakemono (broadly defined in the manga as “animals with special powers”) are commonly born to regular animals, but bakemono are often quickly cast out because others sense there’s something different about them, something they don’t understand, and it scares them. It’s hardly an uncommon theme, but every time I see it pop up in fiction, it hits home. My parents never kicked me out or anything, but there have been so many times when I’ve been struck with the notion that there’s so much about me that I don’t think they understand. It doesn’t scare them, but I think it’s easy for them to pretend those parts aren’t really there, and so it feels like a rejection.

In Senzou’s case, that rejection by his parents was what started him on the path to becoming a bitter individual, someone who was rejected by those who ought to love him and so who rejects everyone else in turn. Now, I’m not saying every mean person is mean because their mommy never loved them enough, but to be perfectly honest, when you treat someone like they’re nothing, like they’re trash just because they’re not like you, you can’t be hugely surprised when they end up not giving a crap about you in turn. Or anything. You start them down that path, and they may end up okay in the end, or they may take that message very much to heart and lash right back out, and to some extent, that lashing out is entirely understandable.

Moving on…

The second part that resonated strongly with me was Senzou and Manpachi’s first task together, to get rid of a pestilence god that was plaguing an old run-down house, which was inhabited by the protective spirit of a child. Mistakes get made, but in the end, the pestilence god is defeated, and is revealed to be, of all people, the child spirit. He explains that he used to be worshiped at the house and in return gave his protection, but at some point he was locked up in a store room and couldn’t protect the house of the people within it anymore, and his frustration at being unable to fulfill his duties manifested in the pestilence god. It was another thing that really rang true with me, the presentation that there are consequences when someone can’t live up to themselves, when they’re prevented from doing what they’re supposed to do. Consequences beyond merely that thing not being done, that is.

That something negative can be born from the restriction of something positive is a lesson I wish more people could learn in life. Too often we just assume that if something positive doesn’t happen, then everything is just neutral. But in that vacuum can come negative things, unbalanced by positive, and that negativity can thrive. I feel like we all know that on some level, but we don’t seem to acknowledge it very often. If someone is held back from doing what they need to do, what they feel they exist to do, then the result isn’t just “someone not doing a thing,” but instead “someone not doing a thing and something harmful that results from it.”

Be good and true to yourselves and each other, is what I’m saying.

But all of this is why I think The Fox and the Little Tanuki isn’t a story that can be just dismissed by adults as being unworthy of attention because it’s geared towards kids. Similar to the way My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic resonated so powerfully with so many adults, I think The Fox and the Little Tanuki could do the same, appealing to that same part of our hearts that MLP:FIM did. Being ostensibly for children doesn’t mean that it has nothing to say to adults, and some small things turned into thought-provoking moments that made me really enjoy my time reading through this first volume of the story. Already I’m hoping it picks up enough steam for the publisher to think it’s worth releasing other volumes, because it’s a story I’m invested it, it has characters I’m interested in, and it’s a glimpse into aspects of Japanese mythology that many people, young and old, don’t always get the chance to see.
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