Re: Any difference?
Ooooh I can't wait until I finally finish writing that paper on foxes.
You are right about that though, the spiritual forms are more like demons (and maybe angels, since some do have similar roles). A spirit in the form of a fox would be like what you said, and those are usually the dangerous ones (except for the servant foxes, which are helpful). But, oftentimes the foxes in stories are rather mundane and relatively weak, merely creating illusions to make a victim think they're one thing or another. Once the illusions are broken, an actual physical body of the fox is found, either dead or alive. That's the usual situation, and the one I was thinking of when I wrote this (which is why I put in visual shapeshifting, not physical).
In that case, would the fox who happens to also have "magical" abilities still be a fox, or are they then a totally different species? I do agree on the inugami part though.