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I would argue that doesn’t fit under the category of kitsune lore, but it is what most think of them, probably. Hard to say with how a lot of the mainstream avoides so much. Do to Naruto many that wont go any further into anime know kitsune as a ninetailed fox and nothing more. The percentage of people who don’t know anything more than naruto kitsune knowledge and so wouldn’t think waifu is probably a light higher than you would think.
Though as a folk lore nerd both those answers make me sad.

Nah. Kitsune usually don’t take a main role, but they are common themes in anything that touches the supernatural. Tokyo Ravens is a main offender of the adorable little fox. Yu yu hakashu has kurama which while male was intentionally made somewhat androgynous. Senko the helpful fox is an adorable even if you didn’t watch the show itself. A cute fox woman appears in dragon ball as the teach of transformation kindergarten.

Basically they’ve been subliminally put into our heads since we were wee old. A kitsune conspiracy

What do you mean nah? My point was that most mainstream crowd only knows the most surface level of anime. Which you then list case after case of how background or not mainstream. Anime as a whole is much more mainstream than it was, but tokyo ravens for instance was not mainstream. The clip of how her tail works got memed around and was semi mainstream but not the anime itself. Senko was also the same in the the memes got around but much fewer watched the anime. Main offender would be the mobile game addeds on YouTube. Or no game no life.
You also seem to only know the loli ones. But those are hardly the majority. And many shows that have heavy folk lore they are ether a adult with human form or just a fox yet to have a transformation. Look towards, wagaya no oinari, nurarihyon, kekkaishi.
In fan service anime the ages vary a lot, but while there are a few lolis that I will agree are pretty well known, most are late teen to adult, or milf range. Prior to Kanokon (do not look up is not a adult despite it being “anime”)pretty much all human form kitsune were older, and still generally are.
But I digress, my point was to learn about them you have to dive in quite a bit to anime, and many naruto fans refused to watch any other anime, resulting in only knowing kitsune from it.

Senko! I fell in love with that show. I wasn’t sure what to make of it in the first couple of episodes but soon enough I was going “that was Not a waste of my time.”

I’d say the views of kitsune differs depending on whether you’re an otaku, a myth nerd or something else. I’m of course both otaku & myth nerd (not as much of a myth nerd as I used to be).

Oh you sweet little fluffy ball of innocence

I would say “run, she’s breaking out the tails”.

Hell no you don’t run, that would be a insult, Kitsune pride is massive and you do not insult it, and their tails are their biggest pride, plus its far to late to be running if they intended harm, running now would be like stating you think you can escape them. You complement her tails of how beautiful and elegant they are, and hop they are amused or friendly.

A very important and underappreciated piece of kitsune lore is kumiho = / = kitsune (!)

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