A kitsune is a monster that, in appearance, looks somewhat similar to werewolves, but with a more fox-like than wolf-like appearance. Kitsunes seem to be very rare and uncommon. They feed on the pituitary gland, a part of the brain- without it, they will die.
Kitsunes look like regular human beings but have the ability to partially shapeshift themselves into animal-like (fox) qualities. A kitsune's primary weapon is their claws; they can extend claws from their finger tips upon demand. And, if they are feeding or attacking, their eyeballs turn yellow and fox-like while the pupils narrow. All in all they take on a very similar appearance a werewolf does.
Powers and Abilities
- Super Strength - Kitsunes appear to be stronger than humans. They can knock down and overpower humans with little difficulty.
- Super Speed - Kitsunes possess supernatural speed that is described as fox-like. Along with their speed, they use their strength to catch their prey or enemies off guard and kill them expediently.
- Claws - All Kitsunes have long talon-like claws that they use to tear at their victims.
- Invulnerability - They can only die if they're stabbed in the heart, or starvation.
- Shapeshifting - Kitsunes can shapeshift into a combination of fox and human, similar to that of Werewolves.
- Heart destruction - A kitsune can be killed by being stabbed in the heart with a knife or dagger.
- Starvation - Without a regular supply of human brains (more specifically, pituitary glands) they will presumably die. Younger Kitsunes become ill if they lack proper food.
- The Colt - It can kill mostly every monster.
- Season 7
- Season 8
- Southern Comfort (mentioned only)
- Season 10
- Inside Man (mentioned only)
- The Supernatural Book of Monsters, Spirits, Demons, and Ghouls (non canon, mentioned only)
- In Supernatural The Official Companion Season 7, writer Daniel Loflin gave a bit more insight into Kitsunes. "They're just a different version of the werewolf. Like how we basically did a weredog last year with Lucky in All Dogs Go To Heaven. This time we could have done a werecrocodile! Sera Gamble had a thing about the movie Let the Right One In. We'd been talking about it since the beginning of season six; she wanted to do a Let The Right One In-type episode where Sam has his first kiss, but we could never figure out a way to do it. Then, for our first episode of season seven, Sera saw an opportunity to put it in there. We didn't want to do a vampire [like in the movie], so we found the Japanese monster, the kitsune, and we amended the lore to fit the story."
- Kitsunes feed on the pituitary gland, a protrusion of the hypothalamus and part of the endocrine system. The gland itself is roughly the size of a pea, and weighs approximately 0.5 grams. It is unclear how a kitsune survives with so little sustenance. Given how they can apparently consume conventional foods (Amy and her mother kept a fully-stocked refrigerator despite having no human visitors), the pituitary gland may serve as a kind of supplement rather than a full meal.
- In Japanese folklore, foxes are considered mischievous, malevolent, or benevolent spirits that can take human form. Kitsune is the original species from which the common day fox derived. For reasons unknown, the Kitsune were historically attacked and their very souls bound to shrines throughout Japan and other countries leaving their physical bodies weak. Over time, the soul-less Kitsune species evolved into the modern day fox with four legs rather than the original human-fox form which is always supernaturally attractive and mysterious.
- The Supernatural version of kitsune actually has more in common with the Korean monster gumiho than the Japanese creature they are named for. Gumiho are stated to have nine tails. It's possible that "gumiho" was a local name for the same monster, a "bastard offshoot" of an ancient race of fox-like monsters or even a totally different creature.
- The design of these Kitsunes is very similar to the design of the Mai race from the series The Nine Lives of Chloe King.