|“|| "Fox?" |
"Kitsune. But 'fox' works."
Kitsune are a supernatural species of Japanese fox spirits that are also commonly referred to simply as "foxes." They are very long-lived creatures who live for many centuries. Most Kitsune must reach at least one hundred years of age before they can take the form of a human, but those who have children with humans will produce Kitsune who are already born with a human form.
Kitsunes possess a multitude of other abilities, such as enhanced strength, speed, and agility; a natural aptitude for weaponry and combat; production of foxfire; and accelerated healing, however, some of these are specific to a Kitsune type. Kitsune accumulate tails throughout their lives that increase their powers, and the most powerful Kitsune are said to have nine tails.
Little is known about the history of Kitsune with regards to the Teen Wolf universe, but it has been implied that they have existed for at least a thousand years, as that is how long the oldest known Kitsune, the Nogitsune, is said to have lived. How Kitsune were created and when this occurred remains a mystery for now.
Supernatural Rules and Characteristics of Kitsune Edit
On Teen Wolf, Kitsune, as tricksters, are bound by certain metaphysical rules, much like every supernatural species. Known as tricksters, the rules governing kitsune are rather subtle. These restrictions affect their everyday life as well as their status and talents.
It has been featured in stories that Foxes and Wolves do not get along, though this is not always demonstrated in practice, as evidenced by both Noshiko and Kira Yukimura's friendships and romantic relationships with Werewolves.
According to the Shugendu scroll, the only reliable way to exorcise a Nogitsune or other Kitsune with the ability to possess humans using kitsune-tsuki is by changing the body of the Kitsune's host. In the case of Stiles Stilinski, who was possessed by a powerful Nogitsune of 1,000+ years of age, this meant changing their body by having an Alpha Werewolf, Scott McCall, give him the bite to turn him into a Werewolf as well. While this did not end up happening to Stiles himself, Scott did give the bite to the Nogitsune's new vessel, which was a clone of Stiles that the Nogitsune had created with the immense amount of power he gained from the chaos, strife, and pain it had consumed. This caused the vessel to turn into dust after Kira stabbed it with her magical katana, but the Nogitsune lived on in its fly form. It is unknown what would happen if this happened to a Kitsune in a vessel with an actual human spirit inside of it, but it is possible that it would turn into a Werewolf or other werecreature.
In Required Reading, Kira found she is unable to read the coded novel featuring the Dread Doctors, which had been written by Gabriel Valack to help trigger repressed memories, specifically those memories that had been purposely suppressed by the Dread Doctors themselves.
Mason Hewitt offered input by telling her about research he had done on Kitsune that stated the fox spirits have difficulty with language. He recounted a myth where people could identify Kitsune by saying "Moshi moshi" (Japanese for "hello") on the phone, because saying the word "moshi" twice was a language trick that was used to both confuse and identify Kitsune. He then surmised that Kira can't properly read the novel because the entire coded story is one big language trick and it's confusing the Fox part of Kira. In Ouroboros, Noshiko helped Kira overcome this issue by instructing her to read the book backwards, as since it was the story itself that was confusing Kira's Fox, and reading it backward would allow her to achieve the desired effects without needing the plot to access it.
Types of Kitsune Edit
There are thirteen different types of Kitsune, according to the Argent Bestiary, each with their own set of powers:
- Sanda, or Thunder
- Tengoku, or Heaven/Celestial
- Umi, or Ocean
- Kukan, or Void, also known as Nogitsune
- Kasai, or Fire
- Kaze, or Wind
- Mori, or Forest
- Yama, or Mountain
- Chikyu, or Earth
- Ongaku, or Music
- Kawa, or River
- Jikan, or Time
- Seishin, or Spirit
Malevolent fox spirits are known as Yako, and benevolent fox spirits are known as Zenko, though which types of Kitsune are considered dark or light are unknown except for Void Kitsune, which are confirmed to be Yako. However, only two Kitsune types have officially been shown in the series-- Thunder (Kira Yukimura), and Void, or Nogitsune. According to Jeff Davis, Noshiko Yukimura is a Celestial Kitsune, though this has yet to be mentioned on the show.
Thunder Kitsune Edit
Sanda Kitsune, or Thunder Kitsune, are Kitsune with a special affinity for lightning and electricity. It is unknown if Thunder Kitsune are considered yako or zenko, but Kira Yukimura, the only Thunder Kitsune who has been introduced so far in the series, has demonstrated both light and dark behaviors that could indicate either type.
Thunder Kitsune can absorb, transfer, and produce electricity and lightning that can be used for various effects. Kira has used her electrokinetic kitsune powers to repair a broken katana blade, to shock and slow Scott McCall's heart rate to help him fake his death, to siphon the electricity from an electrical grid to cause both blackouts and brownouts in various electrical grids, and has also unconsciously interfered with the telluric currents that serve as a security system for Eichen House on two separate occasions. When Kira's Kitsune spirit feels threatened, she usually unconsciously produces foxfire or electricity as a defense mechanism, such as when William Barrow tried to shock her with a live wire in Galvanize, or when a CDC physician tried to take Kira's blood to test her for viruses in Weaponized. It is possible that Thunder Kitsune have even more abilities than those listed, but since Kira is still new to her powers, she is still learning the full extent of what she can do.
Void Kitsune Edit
Kukan Kitsune, also known as Void Kitsune or Nogitsune, are a type of yako who feed on chaos, strife, pain, and other negative emotions. The first void kitsune introduced in the series is the Nogitsune, a 1,000 year old Void Kitsune who was summoned by Noshiko Yukimura in 1943. Nogitsune have the ability to possess people, control others by infecting them with flies they produce from their body, and create powerful illusions. They also are immune to the effects of electricity, though the Nogitsune was not shown to produce foxfire, indicating that he may or may not have had the ability to do so.As the Nogitsune feeds on more and more chaos, strife, and pain, they become even more powerful and are able to use their abilities to an even greater extent. They can also absorb pain through tactile contact in a similar (but more intense) manner to Werewolves in order to gain sustenance and increase their power. However, it is unknown if they can use this tactile ability to also siphon chaos and strife from others as well.
There was also a second Nogitsune featured on the show in flashbacks to the 1990s, when Chris Argent went on his first arms deal after turning eighteen and graduating from Hunter training. He went to Japan for the deal and was surprised when he arrived to the deal to find out that he was selling firearms to the Yakuza, a detail his father Gerard Argent had purposely left out to test his son's ability to survive as a Hunter. The leader of this group of Yakuza, a man who was known as the Kumicho, was possessed by a Nogitsune which allowed the Kumicho to rise through the ranks of his Yakuza family. That night, five Oni demons arrived to slay the Nogitsune within the Kumicho, as mission that was successfully completed by killing both the Void Kitsune and its host. However, the only ability this Nogitsune displayed was shapeshifting, as the Kumicho's eyes turned white, and his teeth extended into the Nogitsune's characteristic chrome fangs.
Thus far, Kitsune have only been shown in a human form, either because they have human heritage like Kira, or because they are old enough to be able to shapeshift into a human form, like Noshiko and the Nogitsune. Since Kitsune are frequently referred to and grouped with shapeshifters such as Werewolves and Werecoyotes, it appears to be likely that they can take other forms as well; however, a Kitsune's true form remains unknown (though some speculate it is similar in shape to their aura), as does information regarding other shapes that a Kitsune can take.
All Kitsune have flaming auras that surround their human bodies in the shape of a large fox, which seems to become bigger and more fierce-looking with every tail they gain. These auras can be made visible with flash photography, and supernatural creatures with enhanced vision can see them when they use their glowing eyes. As a result, young Kitsune must learn how to conceal this aura in order to hide it from supernatural beings. Conversely, Kitsune can also make their aura visible to the naked human eye if they will it, or, in some cases, if they lose control over their inner fox spirit, which has happened to Kira on several occasions. Though Kitsune have normal human eyes while in human form, they can make their irises glow orange/gold, which, much like with most supernatural creatures, allows them to better access their supernatural abilities. Nogitsune, or Void Kitsune, are also noted for having large chrome fangs and glowing white eyes rather than orange/gold, though they possess the power to conceal both of these physical traits from even supernatural eyes as well, if they wish to do so.
Kitsune are trickster spirits, and their mischievous behavior has caused them to gain a reputation for being amoral and even evil in some myths and legends. However, in reality, Kitsune have their own unique sense of honor and do not really understand the concepts of "right" and "wrong," nor do they seem to have any interest to learn about it, although Kitsune living in the human world have been shown to demonstrate empathy and consideration for others more so than those who remain outside of it. Because Kitsune have their own code of honor, they can often react very badly if they're offended, especially if they are a yako such as a nogitsune.
It is said that foxes and wolves do not get along, and this can also be true for Kitsune and Werewolves, though there exceptions to this rule, such as Kira, who is not only a member of a werewolf pack, but is also in a romantic relationship with the True Alpha Werewolf Scott McCall. Kitsune can also have very a dark sense of humor, particularly the nogitsune, who take more pleasure in causing chaos than zenko types of Kitsune. Void Kitsune also are known for feeding upon chaos, strife, and pain (along with other negative emotions like fear and worry), which gives them more power; as a result, they typically focus solely on creating as much of those emotions in the people around them as they can. It is unknown if there are other types of Kitsune who need to feed on the emotions of others for sustenance and/or increased power in this manner. However, despite some of their more negative characteristics, Kitsune can also be very loyal to the people they care about, and will do serious harm to anyone who tries to hurt their loved ones.
Not much is known about Kitsune culture, nor where those Kitsune who do not reside in the human world live. It has been implied by Noshiko that there is some kind of mystical realm or plane of existence for Kitsune spirits, since she once prayed to her ancestors for kitsune-tsuki, or possession by a fox spirit, in order to imbue her with the power necessary to get revenge on those running the corrupt Oak Creek internment camp in 1943, which suggests that they may at least have some sort of afterlife dimension, if not a realm all their own for living spirits as well.
Kitsune Tails Edit
Most of a Kitsune's power comes from their tails, though how they specifically gain these tails is unknown; in some Japanese legends, Kitsune gain a tail for every century they are alive, but in others, they gain a tail for each Kitsune ability they master. So far in the Teen Wolf series, it appears that Kitsune gain a tail when they meet certain milestones. For example, Kira Yukimura gained her first tail after she successfully triggered her healing ability to survive what would have otherwise been a fatal stab wound to the heart. The greatest number of tails a Kitsune can achieve is nine, which is how many tails Noshiko Yukimura possessed upon her family's arrival in Beacon Hills.
Some Kitsune who live in the human world create physical representations of their tails in order to keep them safe on Earth. Noshiko made her nine tails into a set of long, thin, black ceramic knives called kaiken, whereas Kira's first tail is made of a large shard of obsidian that has been shaped by her father Ken into a shuriken, or throwing star. However, since the Nogitsune seemed surprised and confused upon learning that Noshiko had turned her tails into kaiken, it is implied that making physical representations of Kitsune tails is not necessarily a common practice among their species.
Tails possess great mystical power which can be used to perform powerful spells (although doing so will often cost the Kitsune the tail that they are using), and the older a tail is, the more power it contains. For example, Noshiko used at least seven of her nine tails to summon and control Oni demons to kill the Nogitsune; she first used her five most recent tails to summon five Oni, and when three of them were killed, she used three of the next older tails to replace them, which she stated would be more powerful due to the tails being older and possessing more mystical energy. The Nogitsune then took one of her last tails, which was one of the oldest and thus the most powerful, which gave him the power he needed to cast his own spell and take ownership of all five Oni to do his bidding.
Powers and Abilities Edit
The full range of powers that a Kitsune possesses remain unknown, especially since there is very little known about the majority of the types of Kitsune. However, they all seem to have the same basic powers in addition to other specialized abilities based on the Kitsune's specific type.
Common Powers Edit
These are abilities that have been demonstrated on the series that all Kitsune appear to possess.
- Super Strength: Kitsune have been shown to possess superhuman strength, though the strength of most Kitsune is still inferior to that of most werecreatures. After gaining her first tail, Kira demonstrated heightened strength when she was able to slice Noshiko's katana in half with her own during a fight, and the Nogitsune was shown throwing Derek Hale, a then-Beta level Werewolf, across the room with ease. Noshiko was also shown using her sword to cut through a thick chain that was locking the front gates to Camp Oak Creek.
- Super Speed: Kitsune are extremely fast creatures; even young Kitsune such as Kira have been shown to run so fast that they're almost a blur, and she far exceeded the speed of Danny Mahealani, the most talented cross-country runner on the Beacon Hills High School team. Kira was even shown to be slightly faster than Scott, a True Alpha.
- Super Agility/Reflexes: Kitsune are very agile beings who can jump very high and very far, as well as perform extraordinary gymnastic and acrobatic feats without any training. This also helps Kitsune in battle, because they are able to easily dodge, flip, and spin away from incoming attacks.
- Accelerated Healing: Kitsune possess an enhanced regenerative healing ability that gives them immunity from any human illness or condition. It also allows them to heal from minor to moderate wounds in moments, and even severe injuries, such as being stabbed in the heart, can be fully healed within hours. However, in certain Kitsune like Kira, who has human heritage on her father's side, the ability to heal wounds must be activated with pain in order to work for the first time.
- Longevity: Kitsune are very long-lived creatures who can potentially live for centuries as a result of their advanced healing powers, which keeps them from dying of most natural causes and slows their aging down tremendously. The oldest two Kitsune on the series are the Nogitsune, a 1,000 year old Void Kitsune, and Noshiko Yukimura, a 900 year old Kitsune of an unknown type, and as a Kitsune advances in age, they will also grow in general power as well, making the eldest the most powerful in the species. In fact, the Nogitsune has even shown a potential to be immortal, as he insisted he could not be killed due to his age, and every attempt to kill him has only resulted in the destruction of his human host, which doesn't kill him-- it simply reverts him to his fly form, which can then be trapped in a mystical container which may be disturbed or broken in the future.
- Intuitive Combat and Weaponry Skills: Kitsune possess an innate ability to fight in close-quarters combat, especially with melee weapons. Both Kira and Noshiko have demonstrated a natural ability to fight at an advanced level with katanas with no known previous training. Kira has also demonstrated a proficiency in wielding nunchakus in battle, and was able to use both Allison Argent's mini-crossbow and a long length of chain as weapons without any prior training. Kira has even admitted that her expert ability to fight with katanas "just sort of happened," suggesting that there is some sort of supernatural/biological muscle memory involved.
- Foxfire: Kitsune possess the ability to create fire or lightning, known as foxfire or "kitsune-bi" by rubbing their tails together. The foxfire can then be produced from within the body, though Kira, the only Kitsune shown to use large amounts of foxfire so far in the series, prefers to channel her lightning-esque foxfire through her hands.
- Immunity to Electricity: Because they can create foxfire, Kitsune are immune to the effects of electricity.
- Aura Manipulation: All Kitsune have flaming fox auras around them, and, with age and experience, can learn to both conceal the auras from supernatural eyes or make them visible to even human eyes.
- Shapeshifting: Kitsunes are often referred to as "shapeshifters" due to their trickster nature, and at one hundred years of age, a Kitsune gains the ability to assume a human form. However, the full range of how this ability works remains unknown; it may just be an ability specific to a certain kind of Kitsune.
Specific Powers Edit
The following are abilities that have been demonstrated on the series that appear to be possessed by specific types of Kitsune. There are likely many more abilities than what is listed below that currently remain unknown, due to the fact that only three different Kitsune have been shown on the series thus far.
- Electrokinesis: This is an ability possessed by Thunder Kitsune, and it can be considered an advanced form of foxfire production. Thunder Kitsune like Kira can siphon electricity from any source with no ill effect to themselves, can use their own self-generated electricity to turn on electronic devices like light bulbs, and can create bursts of lightning that have been shown to do anything from stopping a person's heart to repairing a broken katana blade. Kira specifically has even demonstrated the ability to siphon so much electricity that she has caused large-scale blackouts on at least three different occasions. Because she is a Thunder Kitsune, Kira was able to create foxfire before she knew she was a Kitsune, despite the fact that she had no tails to rub together.
- Astral Projection: Noshiko demonstrated the ability to project her spirit to Kira when she was taken hostage by Kate Argent at La Iglesia. With this ability, she was able to assist Kira in learning how to trigger her healing ability so she could survive the stab wound to her chest she sustained from Scott while he was a Berserker. It is unknown if this is an ability specific to Celestial Kitsune, or if this is an ability all Kitsune can use with practice and age.
- Nogitsune Flies: This is an ability used by Void Kitsune like the Nogitsune to control flies. These flies, once in the their's control, can enter the bodies of others and allow the Void Kitsune to control them. These flies have been used by the Nogitsune to force William Barrow to kidnap Kira and to try to trigger her foxfire in order to jump-start the Nogitsune's control over Stiles Stilinski, as well as to increase the pre-existing rage in Derek Hale, Isaac Lahey, and the twins Ethan and Aiden, causing a fight between them that distracted the pack from what the Nogitsune was doing. It is implied that wild purple reishi mushrooms can counteract this fly possession, as can physical removal of the fly from inside the body of their hosts. When a nogitsune's vessel is killed, its spirit will remain in the form of a fly, which can then be imprisoned within a magical object such as the Triskelion Box, which was made out of wood from the Nemeton.
- Possession: This is an ability used by Void Kitsune (and possibly other forms of Kitsune) that allows them to possess the body of a human. This ability was used by the Nogitsune to possess Corporal Rhys in 1943 and to possess Stiles Stilinski in 2011. It is unknown if Void Kitsune can possess supernatural creatures as well.
- Pain Absorption: This is an ability used by Void Kitsune that allows them to siphon pain from a person through tactile contact, as Void Kitsune feed off of chaos, strife, and pain. This ability works in the same way as it does for a Werewolf-- the Nogitsune places their hands on the body of the person whose pain they're trying to take, and the veins in their hands and arms become black as they transfer the person's pain into themselves. This ability then gives the Nogitsune more power and sustenance.
- Illusion Casting: This is an ability used by Void Kitsune (and possibly other types of Kitsune) to create life-like illusions. In the case of the Nogitsune, he used this ability to create several dreams in which to communicate with his host, Stiles Stilinski, along with several visions to distract Scott McCall and Lydia Martin when they entered Stiles' mind to forcefully give Stiles control over his body again. He also used it to make Scott, Lydia, Stiles, and Kira to believe that they were in Ikeda's Japanese garden, complete with falling snow and Oni demons; these illusions were so realistic that Kira and Scott both believed that they had been cut multiple times by Oni swords until they broke through the illusion.
- Teleportation (possibly): This is an ability that is potentially possessed by Void Kitsune (and possibly other types of Kitsune) that allows them to travel from one place to another almost instantly without moving in the space in-between. This seemed to be demonstrated by the Nogitsune in De-Void, when he disappeared from Derek's loft in the blink of an eye and then appeared in the basement of Eichen House a short time later.
Known Kitsune Edit
Kira Yukimura is the daughter of Noshiko and Ken Yukimura and is a Thunder Kitsune. She moved from New York to Beacon Hills just as her abilities soon began to manifest. The first true manifestation of her powers began when she absorbed a ton of electricity after being attacked by William Barrow with a live wire, which then burst out of her in the form of foxfire. Kira was initially a outsider, and was even once thought to be evil or a trickster by Stiles Stilinski upon learning of her powers. However, as time went by, it became apparent that she was quite the opposite-- she was just a nice girl who got wrapped up in the supernatural world. She quickly became a trusted member of the pack and Scott McCall's girlfriend.
Noshiko Yukimura is the mother of Kira Yukimura and the wife of Ken Yukimura. She is of Japanese descent as well as a 900 year old kitsune of an unknown type. She recently moved to Beacon Hills from New York; however, her family had been in Beacon Hills for many generations. Back in 1943, Noshiko was locked away in a internment camp for Japanese-Americans known as Oak Creek. While there, she met a Werewolf by the name of Satomi Ito, and fell in love with a young Army medic named Corporal Rhys. When it was revealed that a doctor and several MPs were selling medication meant for the internees on the black market, a furious riot broke out, which led to Rhys being killed by a Molotov cocktail and Noshiko being so badly injured that the doctors believed she was dead. The bodies were taken out to a field to be burned so that the camp could cover up the riot as though it never happened, so when Noshiko was taken out with the deceased victims, she prayed to her Kitsune ancestors a Nogitsune to possess her body and imbue her with the strength necessary to seek revenge on those responsible. However, the Nogitsune took over Rhys' body instead before going on a slaughter that killed the majority of the employees and internees at the camp. Finally, Noshiko, with help from Satomi, was able to exorcise the Nogitsune with her magic katana before locking it in a jar in its fly form. She then buried the jar within the roots of the Nemeton and left Beacon Hills until the Nogitsune escaped and possessed Stiles Stilinski in 2011.
An arms deal has been arranged between the Kumicho of a branch of the Yakuza and Chris Argent shortly after he graduated from hunter training, though he was not made aware of his Yakuza status. Before they could even finish the deal, they were interrupted by the arrival of five Oni demons, who materialized out of the shadows. When the Yakuza members began to shoot at the Oni, the demons started cutting them down with their ninjados. The Kumicho hid behind a decorative fountain in the garden until finally partially transforming into his nogitsune form, with bright white eyes and chrome fangs. The Oni then surrounded him and all stabbed him with their swords at the same time, causing his blood to fill up the fountain..
The Nogitsune was initially summoned by a Kitsune named Noshiko Yukimura back in 1943, who had been badly injured in a riot and had prayed to her ancestors to send a Nogitsune to give her the strength and power she needed to avenge her fallen friends. However, the Nogitsune decided to possess the body of Noshiko's lover Corporal Rhys, who had died in the riot, instead. After taking control of Rhys' body, the Nogitsune drove back to Oak Creek and slaughtered everyone in his path, whether they were internees or in the American military. He was finally neutralized by Noshiko and her Werewolf friend Satomi Ito hours later, forcing his spirit into his fly form, which was then trapped in a mason jar and buried within the roots of the Nemeton. He stayed in this prison until 2011, when the surrogate sacrifice of Scott McCall, Allison Argent, and Stiles Stilinski caused a surge of power to the Nemeton that allowed the Nogitsune to escape his cage. He then possessed the body of Stiles for weeks after his escape, which he used to create as much chaos, strife, and pain for him to feed on as he could. Unfortunately, he was defeated once again by Scott and Kira, who bit him and stabbed him with her sword, respectively, destroying the Nogitsune's cloned vessel and forcing him back into fly form once again, which was then locked in the Triskelion urn.
Possessed by Nogitsune; void
Due to the sacrifice ritual performed by Scott, Allison and Stiles, the Nogitsune was released from the Nemeton, where it had been since 1943. This very same sacrifice left a door open in Stiles head and this allowed the Nogitsune. While possessed, "Void Stiles" committed countless acts of violence, many of which got people killed, and he even murdered Katashi and then framed Derek Hale and Chris Argent for the crime. After Scott and Lydia Martin went into his mind to give Stiles control of his body again, the Nogitsune created a clone body for Stiles and then kept the original for himself, allowing Stiles to have his life back while the Nogitsune continued his reign of terror in his image.
- In folklore and mythology, various accounts of appearing Kitsune have been noted throughout history. Their emergence spawned many legends, one of them detailing a king that lost his country and queen due the scams of a Kitsune. Over the years, these reports drastically lessened, to the point that some people today don't even regard them as creatures that actually exist.
- A Kitsune's power level is determined by their age and how many tails the Kitsune has. Additionally, the older the tail is, the more magical power it contains.
- Kitsune can grow up to nine tails.
- The Nogitsune is the oldest known kitsune to have appeared on the show, if we are to take its claim that it is 1,000 years as the truth. It is unknown how many tails it had.
- There remains confusion as to whether Noshiko has any tails still remaining, which makes what happens to a Kitsune who loses all of their tails even more of a mystery.
- It was stated in Letharia Vulpina that Noshiko broke the youngest five of her tails to summon and control five Oni demons from the Nemeton. She was then shown snapping the next two youngest tails to replace the ones the Nogitsune/Stiles killed, which left her two oldest tails remaining. After this point, she was not shown breaking any more tails, but in The Fox and the Wolf, Noshiko said that the Nogitsune was looking for her last kaiken, and held it up, with no explanation as to what happened to the other. There are several theories to explain this: she could have broken one tail off-screen, she could still have one in hiding, or, this could just be a continuity error.
- According to the Shugendu scroll, one of the known ways of expelling a Kitsune from a host is to change their bodies by a method such as being bitten by an Alpha Werewolf. However, depending on how weak the host is, the bite could kill the vessel in the process.
- Scott biting the Nogitsune's cloned host (which was a magically-created clone of Stiles) caused it to turn to dust, allowing the remaining Nogitsune fly within it to be imprisoned within the Triskelion urn.
- Kitsunes are the sixth supernatural being introduced on Teen Wolf (after the werewolf, kanimas, Druids, banshees and the werecoyote).