Having spent the last two weeks looking at favourite yokai characters I am now looking at my top 5 favourite anime that contain yokai. There probably won’t be any surprises on this list given where my favourite yokai characters came from, but here we go anyway. I have avoided any anime that is more focused on demons, ghosts, or other supernatural creatures. This list is for Japanese yokai focused shows. And despite the fact that I took on this yokai focus as we lead into Halloween, I have to be honest that none of the shows below are even vaguely scary. I’ll have to have a ghost or demon focus next year if we actually want some chilling shows on the list. But as always, please feel free to share what you would have included on your list. I’d love to find a new yokai themed show to fall in love with.
Please Note – There may be some spoilers below.
Number 5: Kamisama Kiss
This story of a normal girl turned land god who now needs to learn about the various supernatural creatures and her own powers is adorable and there are so many great characters in it. While it isn’t exactly going out of its way to be accurate in the way it represents yokai, there’s still a wide range of yokai characters and powers here, and the show is just so much fun.
Number 4: Nurarihyon
Following the quarter yokai Rikuo as he learns to accept his yokai blood and takes over the Nura clan from his grandfather, this show is a whole lot of fun. Plus, if you just want to see a huge range of yokai, this anime has you covered. It even, where appropriate, gives you a little bit of history about the stories surrounding the yokai. Plus, if you like supernatural battles, this one has you covered.
Number 3: The Eccentric Family
This one is a rambling tale and focuses almost exclusively on tanuki, tengu and humans and their interactions in Kyoto. This is one show where the yokai elements are fully integrated into the real world and it creates a very strange blend of magic realism as you follow Yasaburo about on his rambles and mischief making. There’s a whole lot of charm to the story and the characters but the narrative gets a little lost from time to time.
Number 2: xxxHolic
Not strictly speaking an anime about yokai, but they certainly make their presence felt in some stories. xxxHolic is one of the CLAMP stories and very much tied in with Tsubasa Chronicles but has a slightly more mature feel to it. Its a slow and meandering story but one that becomes deeply fascinating and the lore is certainly well thought out.
Number 1: Natsume Yuujinchou
I don’t think there was ever any doubt that Natsume was going to end up number 1 on this list. Over 6 seasons we have met a lot of yokai. Some have been charming, some scary, some friendly, some completely scared of humans, but all have come into our lives through Natsume and left an impression. The characters are what make this show and the yokai characters, particularly in the early seasons, really hold their own. If you have never watched Natsume, now is the perfect time to give it a go.
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