12 of the Most Popular Yokai & Spirits in Anime World

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One of my favorite things to read in Japanese literature is ghost stories, especially ones about Yokai. 

The Japanese term, yokai, refers to mysterious apparitions and ghostly figures. Yokai are said to appear as humans or inanimate objects, and have spiritual powers. They can even bring good fortune or misfortune to others.

Here’s a list of 12 most popular and interesting yokai & spirits in anime.

1. Yukine (Noragami)

12 of the Most Popular Yokai & Spirits in Anime World
12 of the Most Popular Yokai & Spirits in Anime World

Yukine is Yato’s shinki, which takes the shape of a katana. In Season 1, Yukine acted out and disrespected Yato. As a result, I disliked him as a character even though at his age, he should be immature. He finally redeemed himself in my eyes, when he repented for all his sins.

2. Ririchiyo Shirakiin (Inu x Boku SS)

12 of the Most Popular Yokai & Spirits in Anime World
12 of the Most Popular Yokai & Spirits in Anime World

I had a tough time picking between Ririchiyo Shirakiin and Sōshi Miketsukami. I ended up picking Ririchiyo because her yōkai form is pretty awesome, a half-human and half-oni.

3. Ryuk (Death Note)

12 of the Most Popular Yokai & Spirits in Anime World
12 of the Most Popular Yokai & Spirits in Anime World

Ryuk is a shinigami, a god of death. One could argue that he should be ranked as a god instead of a lowly spirit. However, I added Ryuk because this list focuses on Japanese folklore, which includes all kinds of yōkai and supernatural beings.

4. Haruka (Tactics)

12 of the Most Popular Yokai & Spirits in Anime World
12 of the Most Popular Yokai & Spirits in Anime World

Does anybody remember this anime? If not, I feel so old. Haruka is a gorgeous tengu. He came before Shinjūrō Kurama from Kamisama Hajimemashita.

5. Uka-no-Mitama-no-Kami (Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha)

12 of the Most Popular Yokai & Spirits in Anime World
12 of the Most Popular Yokai & Spirits in Anime World

If Uka-no-Mitama-no-Kami could grant you any wish, what would you wish for?

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