The world can seem like a dark place sometimes. Outside forces that you can’t control start closing in on you, and you can’t see anything but darkness. But then a little bit of light shines on you: whether that be a person, work of art, or something else. For me that light came in the form of the manga The Fox And Little Tanuki from Tokyopop. With its classic storytelling and adorable character designs, it’s like reading storyboards for an upcoming Disney film.
The story's world and setup is steeped in Japanese mythology but very easy to understand. The gist is that a great fox spirit named Senzou terrorized the mundane world (the real world) and the world of bakemono (animal spirits) and was sealed away by the sun goddess Amaterasu for 300 years as punishment. The manga starts with Senzou being released by Amaterasu, and he is ready to go back to his destructive ways. Good thing Amaterasu and her servants placed a collar on him, inhibiting his use of powers and causing him pain whenever he tries to do a bad deed. Still at the mercy of the gods, Senzou is tasked with helping raise Manpachi, a newborn tanuki. Now he has to learn how to be a good babysitter and teacher. Will he be able to open himself up emotionally to complete his tasks and get his powers back?
If this doesn’t sound like a possible setup to a Disney movie, I don’t know what is. This odd pairing of Senzou and Manpachi is a delight to read, thanks in part to Manpachi. He is just too cute! His energy and innocence clashes with Senzou’s stern and pessimistic outlook. It seems like they share a similar background of rejection by their families, so there is plenty of room to bond.
The Fox And Little Tanuki has all the makings of a Disney classic, and I’ll keep reading to see if it can accomplish that feat.
After 300 years, the gods that imprisoned Senzou the Fox Spirit for his arrogance finally set him free. There is only one condition — he can't have any of his supernatural abilities back until he successfully helps a tanuki cub named Manpachi become one of their magical assistants.
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!Add to CartLearn More