Best anime about Japanese folklore

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Like all countries, Japan also has its own unique fairy tales. Many Japanese fairy tales are very different from those around the world. Their origins are deeply rooted in Japanese history and tradition, and many of the stories are much older. Most of them are associated with very specific places in Japan, and you can still hear these stories when visiting these areas. Some common themes in Japanese folklore are talking animals with magical powers, demons, ghosts, and spirits or demons called Yokai. Often the supernatural and human worlds intersect and people are faced with magic and other things they cannot explain.

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In general, folk tales in Japan are not explanations of things that people did not understand, nor are they essentially stories with a moral to teach. Mostly they are only meant to entertain, and for this, they have been used for centuries to tell stories. These traditional tales continue to influence modern Japanese media to this day – and of course, this includes anime! Although most of the anime is set in Japan, most of them are about modern or historical Japan, rather than folklore. But if you’re looking for Japanese folklore-influenced stories, here are the top five anime to watch!

boy and animal

Boy and Animal is an independent anime film from Studio Chizu that tells the story of an unlikely friendship between a boy and an animal! The boy is Ren, a child who realizes he has nothing or anyone in the world as he wanders the streets of Shibuya. There he first encounters the beast Kumatetsu, who takes him to Shibuten’s land of beasts. Neither thinks they are good enough for what he wants to do, but together they learn that they are more than enough.

The land of Shibuten and the animals that inhabit it are influenced by Japanese myths. Although many creatures do not resemble Japanese spirits or demons, they are based on them. The idea of ​​animals with magical abilities living, talking, moving, and living in close proximity to human life is a common theme in Japanese folklore. There are many stories of foxes, wolves, bears, and more that can speak and have human qualities or magical powers. Boy and Beast Here is a modern story influenced by traditional ones.

Inuyasha

Kagome’s main character is Inuyasha. She is a young girl who is dragged by a demon into her family’s old well and magically transported back in time. She finds herself in feudal Japan, a land full of dangerous monsters. There she meets a half-monster boy named Inuyasha. The two embark on a daring adventure to recover the broken pieces of a magical gem called the Shikon Jewel, which possesses unimaginable powers. Although the two are initially mismatched, they must work towards their common goal of saving the world and dying in the meantime.

Inuyasha is one of the favorite films of many millennial otakus, and it’s easy to see why. The story and characters are great and it’s nostalgic to watch it without a date. When it comes to folklore, Inuyasha explores the demonic side of traditional Japanese stories. Demons, commonly called oni, are an important part of Japanese folklore and come in many shapes and sizes. Most of these ancient stories are set in feudal Japan, which is still Inuyasha. There is a story. Basically, Kagome is transported from our modern world to that of Japanese folklore and takes us with her when we see Inuyasha!

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spirited Away

Spirited Away Here’s another anime film, this time from Studio Ghibli. It is about a girl named Chihiro who loses her parents in a magical world and her only hope of getting them back is to work in a bathroom for ghosts. She is one of the few people out there of her and must be willing to sacrifice all of her to save her mother and her father from the curse that turned them into pigs. Along the way, she meets many ghosts and other magical creatures, friendly and otherwise, and she faces the challenge of surviving in this strange world.

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Spirited Away is one of the best anime to see a variety of Japanese spirits and other yokai in one place. The film’s colorful cast includes a traditional radish spirit, a talking frog that looks like something out of a Kawanabe Kyosai painting, and a river spirit (possibly a nushi, a soul considered a guardian who resides in a body of water). Japanese tradition holds that almost everything has a soul or spirit, and Spirited Away really brings that belief to life with its awesome characters and unique setting.

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sarazanmai

sarazanmai begins with a war between two kingdoms, the kingdom of the otters and the kingdom of the kappa! When the Kappa lose the battle, they become possessed by Kappa zombies and have to enlist the help of three human boys. You can become kappas yourself and fight the kappa zombies. To do so, however, they’ll need to connect like never before, and the Kappa Empire will need to reveal themselves more than ever before.

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sarazanmai One of the most famous creatures in Japanese mythology is the story of the Kappa! Kappa is creatures that are said to live in water and trick people into giving them what they want and stealing cucumbers. They are still used as a warning to children to stay away from ponds and rivers. Kappa is not a common theme in anime, and Sarzanmai certainly fills a niche and brings it to the fore. While not everything told about Kappa sarazanmai is based on legend, it is a fun way to learn about Kappa and his secret kingdom.

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hozuki’s coolness

hozuki’s coolness Hell is finished, but don’t worry, it’s a comedy! She follows the titular character Hozuki, the main sub-chief of the Lord of Hell. Hozuki has to manage all the employees who also work in the bureaucratically structured hell and take care of all their problems. Luckily he is a very even-tempered man because the people he deals with are straightforward and simple.

The Cold of Hozuki There are many characters from Japanese (and other East Asian) folklore and mythology. Rather than being influenced by these characters and legends, the characters themselves appear directly in the anime! Although creative liberties have been taken in the depiction, the basics of Japanese folklore are preserved. One of the most famous is Momotaro, the protagonist of one of the most famous Japanese legends of all time. It’s also a creative portrayal of Japanese hell, which you might not expect. The Hozuki Chill presents everything in a light and fun way that keeps folk tales interesting.

The reason we chose these anime is that all five are also suitable for people who don’t know much about Japanese folklore when they start watching them. They’re friendly, fun-loving, and age well when it comes to older titles. Most of them aren’t long either, so you can watch the whole story even if you don’t have much time. After watching these anime, you may have learned more about Japanese folklore and how it continues to influence the stories of contemporary Japan. They may differ from the myths you’re used to, but that’s what makes the experience so interesting. There are many anime that have influences from Japanese folklore. So if you’re really interested, don’t limit yourself to these! Influences from Japanese folklore can also be found in other animes.

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