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While not technically an anime, per say, since it is not from Japan, Yobi the Five Tailed Fox is an excellent family film that has a similar style to that of Studio Ghibli. The story of Yobi the Five Tailed Fox tells us a Korean folk tale legend about Kitsune like creatures who could become human if they stole a human’s soul. Because of that belief, that the foxes could steal souls, they became hunted almost to extinction.
Except for Yobi, the “young” (if 100 years old is young) fox who lives in the forest with her farting alien family who are trying to repair their spaceship to return home. One of her family members wanders into a summer camp for humans near the forest one day and Yobi goes to the camp in her human form to try to convince the alien to return back home.
However, once Yobi enters the camp, she encounters a young human boy and begins to fall in love. She’s told by a shadow detective that he can help her to become human and he tricks her into helping him steal a soul.
It’s a beautiful family film. At times the humor is a bit low-brow but it’s meant to appeal to small children. I didn’t care for some of the character designs. Yobi’s hair style is cute as can be, but their faces are more realistic and less “anime” styled for my tastes. The backgrounds are totally gorgeous. Voice acting was excellent as well as the music.
It pays homage to many great anime films from Ghibli and other studies. Including the living bus from Totoro – although in this film it can fly. It also reminded me heavily of Wolf Children, with a fox instead of a wolf falling in love with a human boy and wanting to go to school and be with humans.
So while it’s not terribly original, and its art and animation not quite as good as what we see from the Japanese studios, it’s still a very good family film. I cried at the end, it’s very heart moving and touching.
Character Development: 6/10
Voice Acting: 4/5
Overall: 33 / 45 73% C “Good Anime for Girls”
If you like this movie, you might also like: My Summer with Coo, Totoro, Wolf Children, Spice and Wolf, and Kanon.