I think Keine has the best hat. It's still darn silly though.

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__saigyou_ayakashi_touhou_drawn_by_void0mega__846e
I want to try having regular discussions of characters. My hope is that we can share our ideas and consider new ways to write them.

I'll try to figure out how to run these as I go. For now, I want this to be a dialogue about different perspectives, so we should try to keep in mind that these are all subjective to a degree. This isn't about finding the "correct" interpretation, necessarily, only as many interesting ones as we can. I think staying aware of where our ideas on characters come from, whether canon, fanon, or personal headcanon, and presenting them accordingly could help reduce friction. In any case, please try to keep an open mind.

That being said, I think discussion here should also be a bit more detailed. I'm not interested in regurgitating memes about characters that had already gone stale in 2009. Please make a good faith effort to talk about what makes a character interesting to you or a way you think they could be interesting.
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Kogasa_Whos_Who
Tsukumogami, specifically karakase obake.
First appeared in UFO (#12, 2009), other notable appearances in TD, WaHH, and SFW.
Official Profiles:
https://en.touhouwiki.net/wiki/Strange_Creators_of_Outer_World/Who%27s_Who_of_Humans_%26_Youkai_in_Gensokyo/Kogasa_Tatara
https://en.touhouwiki.net/wiki/Symposium_of_Post-mysticism/Kogasa_Tatara
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Just want to chime in and show support for this thread.

That said, I don't particularly have many thoughts on Kogasa. She's a very GeGeGe no Kitaro kind of goofy youkai who's very 'pure' in the sense that she does exactly what you'd expect: try to spook humies because 'that's just what you do'. Yeah, there's the technical connection with blacksmithing because ippon-datara, but I feel like that's such an incidental and minor aspect of her character as to not especially matter; it's relevant for a single chapter in Wild and Horned Hermit. Really, I just think of her as a bit character and wouldn't go out of my way to focus on her.

But, dunno, I guess people who are more opinionated can say more and maybe I'll accordingly have more thoughts.
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Kogasa's interesting. Just about everything about her would imply she's just a pity magnet- abandoned as an object, terrible at doing the thing she needs to do to eat, half of her relevant appearances are her showing up to try and be helpful and then getting beaten up, and she's working multiple jobs just to try and make ends meet.

But despite all that, she's not a downer in the slightest. She might run off crying, but she'll always be back with a big umbrella grin the next time she shows up. It's charming. She's not too troubled with her life at the moment, and being a fairly weak tsukumogami not tied to any faction opens her up for a lot of potential character exchanges, which is always a big one. She's pathetic, but only kitten-pathetic, not worm-pathetic.


Also, she seems to think Byakuren has a secret network of assassins, which is great no matter how you spin that situation.
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I've always had a soft spot for Kogasa. She's depressed by her inability to scare people but still seems to keep at it and even seems to be a skilled blacksmith as shown in her chapter in WaHH. Being abandoned, failing to achieve her original purpose, cycling between unsuccessful jobs, coping with depression, and still trying to carry on living and develop another skill in the meanwhile... Truly, she is just like me frfr, no cap.

I'm not sure what kind of relationships she has with other characters. I see some fanart depicting her as friends or acquaintances with Sekibanki and sometimes the grassroots trio as well, though I don't recall any canon basis for it. Regardless, I think she would get along with them.

I'm not sure if anyone from the Myouren temple has any particular relationship with her. Byakuren might have mentioned something in symposium about Kogasa's presence, but I don't feel like hunting for that right now. I'm not sure if there's much connection beyond her appearance in TD.

The idea of Mamizou hanging out with Kogasa is interesting to me. I guess the relationship I imagine occurring between them is pretty similar to the one Mamizou has with Kosuzu. Mamizou also seems to make use of baby tsukumogami, so maybe her relationship with Kogasa would follow that dynamic.

The relationships I think mostly about involve other tsukumogami. I feel like tsukumogami have a different relationship to humanity than other youkai, perhaps as a result of them originating directly from human tools. Medicine was abandoned and hates humanity, Raiko was treated well and holds no ill-will, and Kokoro seeks a human audience but otherwise doesn't seem to care. Benben and Yatsuhashi... I think they mostly follow Raiko's vision of tsukumogami living independently.

Compared to the above, I think Kogasa is unique in her desire to, well, not quite 'fit in' with humans, but at least coexist in a relatively benign way for a youkai. In a certain way, I think she seeks some kind of validation from humans, whether that is through startling them or being useful to them. I wonder how Raiko would think of this. Would she see Kogasa's desires as unbecoming, and argue that Kogasa should exist for her own sake?

I'm not sure of what the day to day aspects of Kogasa's life are like. I think some people have depicted her as having a forge in the village proper, though I'm not sure if that is necessarily the case. I do like the idea of Kogasa being one of the few characters in touhou with gainful employment (being someone's pet and/or retainer doesn't count). From her official descriptions, it seems like she's been active in the human village or immediate vicinity, and the villagers only see her as a nuisance instead of a threat.

I don't think Kogasa could live clandestinely among villagers like shapeshifting foxes or sekibanki, as she doesn't strike me as careful enough to avoid blowing her cover. In general, I imagine it would be difficult to pass as human if you have to constantly lug around your object body as well, and Kogasa's purple umbrella must be pretty easy to identify even without the tongue.

I haven't made serious use of her in my previous stories despite my fondness for her. She showed up for a scene in Lost Bees. I think more about using her in my idea of a story for Medicine Melancholy. Maybe it would make more narrative sense for Medicine to be taken in by a fellow tsukumogami than a human. Kogasa would certainly have to develop her childcare skills in a hurry.

Overall, I think she's a pretty versatile character who could fit into a lot of stories. She's got some emotional complexity, she has a history of trying to interact with the village with varying success, and she seems to have enough spontaneity that she could end up in all sorts of situations. She seems like a fun enough character to use as a writer.

Apart from Unchanging days by Kiz, I can't recall any stories that prominently feature her. A quick search of the story list returns a number of them, so I think I'll report back after reading some.
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>>17158
>stories prominently featuring Kogasa
Well, it died fairly quickly and is... well, a touch fanon, but there is If You Spook the Buddha a story I sort of helped write

I tried re-reading it and didn't think it held up very well, but that's to be expected when you've been around long enough for your tastes to have changed drastically.
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>>17158
>She's depressed by her inability to scare people
I don't remember any real depictions of this. Her SoPM entry basically says she gets disheartened by people not being scared, but that's more in the sense of a disappointed child sulking than an existential statement, I feel. Granted, I guess you could extrapolate that from her need to fit a singular 'purpose'.

>Myouren Temple
She hangs out in the graveyard, something that the residents may be aware of; at least, I'm pretty sure her presence was acknowledged by Byakuren or someone in Detective Satori. Whether that extends to any acquaintance with anyone is still unclear, but I personally doubt it; I think she probably just hangs around like some nuisance of neighbourhood kid.

>Mamizou
In all honesty, I doubt Mamizou would have the time for someone like Kogasa. She mostly hangs around 'noteable' people — especially if she can get something out of them. Sure, you've got the tsukumogami angle, mostly from Forbidden Scrollery, but I still think it's kind of a stretch. I guess, personally, it would take a pretty compelling reason for me to buy it.

>village forge
Pretty sure that's not the case, otherwise I think it probably would have been remarked on at this point. Blacksmithing is, again, something that's only been relevant to her as a character once.

>other characters
I guess you could connect them somehow, given all named are very minor presences, so their connection or lack of connection to anyone isn't of much concern to ZUN. Overall, tsukumogami seem to me to be very heterogeneous and unlikely to relate that much to each other; they're generally fixated on their particular 'purpose', so that seems like it would probably preclude taking much interest in that of others.

I don't know about Sekibanki. She's active somewhere in/around the village, but who knows if she would even interact with someone like Kogasa. There's so little to go off of that anything is an extrapolation.

>use in stories
At the end of the day, I don't think she'd ever be more than an incidental presence if I wrote her into anything. It's easy to project a lot of pathos onto her, but it doesn't do that much for me.
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I once had an idea that Kogasa's cheerful nature is a result of her growing tired of her failures in scaring others, considering that is basically her bread and butter. And as far as I can remember, fear (or emotions in general) is Youkai's main source of food. Kogasa isn't just depressed, she's dead hungry. So her deliberately pitiful (and cute) attempt in "scaring" people is done fully intentional by her, in an attempt to find other alternative emotions for fear, like pity.
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>>17162
That's pretty interesting. I must confess that I haven't read much into the 'fear ecology' of youkai in touhou, mostly because I wasn't that interested in the conflicts it could create for the stories I was interested in writing. Thinking about what you said, though, I feel like if it was viable for youkai to switch to different emotions to sustain themselves, there might be less reason to create gensokyo. Then again, maybe the problem with the outside world isn't that youkai aren't feared, but that they simply aren't thought of at all, and you can't get nutrition from nothing at all.
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>>17161
Yeah, there's a lot that I and other fans have extrapolated from what little has been shown. As far as I know, she hasn't been shown to have any significant relationship with any other character. In SFW, for example, I find it difficult to read much familiarity in Minamitsu's interaction with Kogasa. Maybe she's someone whom many people know in passing but doesn't have many friends.

The 'depression' part may also be an exaggeration. Personally, I imagine that she gets sad or cries easily, but doesn't really hit depression or despair.
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kogasa_wahh_ch27
Not sure if I should trip or not for threads like this. Whatever.

I have read Kogasa's character as being outright clinically depressed. It's a stretch to go that far, I know, and it's likely headcannon to that extent, but there are quite a few points that make Kogasa a very odd individual in the series.

First and foremost, she's a character with the very singular goal to surprise humans. Akyuu seems to misspeak that all tsukumogami in general exist to do this in SoPM even though we know about more tsukumogami that act differently, as mentioned in previous posts here, but Kogasa has a genuine standing reason for the assertion. Her ability is listed as 'being able to surprise humans,' so we can safely assume it's an important part of her character. We hear that she's unable to do this with any success at all, though. Village adults think she's a nuisance and kids like her. Akyuu straight up calls her attempts child's play. In WaHH's chapter 27 we see Reimu, Marisa, and even Kasen hardly consider her worth their time.

Secondly, Kogasa took up attributes of a different Youkai altogether, to which characters think she's an idiot for. She's not an Ippon-datara, let's be clear on that. Akyuu makes note that she stuck on parts to her umbrella to make it closer resemble the smithing Youkai, and she can smith, but she doesn't do anything else that this other Youkai does, as mentioned in previous posts as well. It's a strange thing to me that people in universe choose to not take her word at face value, since there's nothing to say it can't be true, and so it only calls more attention to the fact that she might be lying entirely.

It's all so disparate that she can't do her only goal in life and even chooses to run around with extra character traits that don't do anything to add to her ability. I've seen plenty of doujin works run the idea that she does add to her ability by being an excellent jack of all trades, usually copping the line 'wow, you can do this?' But that all feels so odd, as if sidestepping some kind of underlying issue. That's why I've read her character as having some kind of existential issue, which would in turn cause some level of psychological impairment.

I'm sure it's easy enough to counterpoint much of what I've said, but I wanted to give some establishment on the pity party Youkai.
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>>17162
>>17163
Unless I've missed a direct statement somewhere on the matter, I'm doubtful it works like that. That is: it's not that youkai have to be feared (or what have you) to 'eat'. They 'are obliged to' 'attack' humans in order to assert their existence; consider, though, that a statement is made in passing by... I want to say Mamizou in Lotus Eaters that some youkai don't even care all that much about that. What it amounts to is that 'the rules' say that youkai have to 'attack' humans, and humans have to 'exterminate' youkai. It's a relationship that is established and has to maintained on at least some pro-forma level, because it's a cute way of justifying why the games are the way they are. But, well, 'the rules' don't seem like metaphysical absolutes by any stretch of the imagination, regardless of the whole load of blah-blah-blah that's often said about the Hakurei Barrier, Gensokyo, and so on.

I mean, don't get me wrong, interpret it however you want in your work. I'm just saying there's not that strong of an imperative link between youkai and particular emotions.
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I don't really have much in the way of ideas when it comes to Kogasa. To me, she's just a generic minor youkai without any real relationships to other characters, locations, or groups and with nothing particularly unique about her abilities or noteworthy about her characterization. I agree with others regarding the incidental nature of the ippon-datara angle and how it doesn't really seem particularly relevant and more-or-less one-off.

I suppose she's okay in a role where you have to have a youkai and it doesn't really matter which one it is. In that sense, she's like, say, a grassroots member. Arguably cuter, depending on your preferences, but that doesn't do much for me. As others have said, not the kind of character that would get noticed by other characters or that they would have much reason to interact with her, for better or worse; when she peddled her needles to Reimu, the latter just acted as she usually does with youkai, finding her a nuisance and was lucky she wasn't beaten up; if she became too noticeable at the village she'd probably become a target of extermination.
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Kinda hard to say how Kogasa could be more interesting. She's too goofy to really lend that much pathos to her situation without being ham-fisted. The easy route would be some kind of comedic story, but I don't care for that sort of thing myself. Most people's idea of comedy is not for me.

I guess something like a light-hearted exploration of Kogasa incidentally being a friend to humans and unintentionally helping people in the village would be funny, perhaps with a side of running afoul of more influential figures. Otherwise, I got nothin'.
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Yeah, Kogasa is really a "So what?" character for me. While I've seen a comic relief depiction of her I've enjoyed (playing up her inability to scare kids), as a serious character, I'm not really sure what you'd do with her. To exasperate the problem, she has pretty much nothing in terms of meaningful connections. Her "relationships" section on the touhou wiki is almost empty, with the only non-minor connection being... a neutral relationship with Myouren temple. Outside of the one blacksmithing chapter in WaHH, pretty much the only thing I've seen her do (in canon) is be a random encounter for a protagonist to quickly smack down.

If I did want to use Kogasa in a story... well, the easy way out would be the comic relief route, as I mentioned before. Her cheerfulness and general ineffectiveness could also make her a potential cute-bait moe character, if you play up the friendliness and life being unfairly mean to poor Kogasa.

For a more serious take, you could look at the one blacksmithing chapter; how does her repairing Reimu's needles affect her reputation among local youkai? (Or perhaps her offering to work on Youmu's swords or Sakuya's knives could be a quick short.) Alternatively, a story about Kogasa trying to fit in as a youkai could be meaningful. Her defined role as a youkai seems significantly weaker than most, which means that her trying to "find herself" by trying to fit in among various groups, whether Myouren Temple or the Grassroots Youkai Network could be an interesting prompt.

Ultimately, the trouble with using Kogasa is that she really doesn't bring much to the table to use. She's cheerful, she's bad at scaring people, she can be a blacksmith, and that's it. Her ability is "scaring people", which she is canonically bad at. She has no meaningful established relationships to build off of. What role in a story does she fill that can't be filled just as easily (and perhaps more naturally) by someone else? This is made worse by the fact that the "not-really scary but good-natured and cute low powered youkai" role has plenty of competition in Gensokyo. Rumia, Cirno, Mystia, Wriggle, the three fairies of light, Chen, Kyouko, and I'm sure there's a few more in the newer games as well. Many of these are more popular than poor Kogasa, and have other points of interest, such as useful abilities, or connections to other characters that could draw them into plots.

Which is all to say, sure, you could use Kogasa in a story. And as a random encounter or comic relief, it's not that hard to do. But I think to use her in a more major role, you'd have to set out to write something with Kogasa. As such, I'm not surprised that the forgotten umbrella is largely forgotten from a writing standpoint as well. Despite her wanting to be taken seriously and wanting to be useful, in the vast majority of plots, she just isn't.
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>>17154
>consider new ways to write them
Reading over this thread, I feel like this is something getting lost in the mix here, but it's kind of understandable.

A lot of people don't seem to have strong feelings about Kogasa or much in the way of thoughts that diverge from presented information. That makes it a little hard to consider new perspectives. So, maybe OP can provide some examples of what he means? Otherwise, I think we're probably all just going to reiterate a lot of the same points.

To be clear, I like the idea of being a sort of think tank of Touhou stuff while keeping things free of fandom cruft. But it's hard for people to spontaneously develop new trains of thought, I think.
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Just remembered the story about Kogasa finding her life purpose and its really good too, not from thp though.
The Right Tools For The Job by freshlybakedspiderbread.
Here's the AO3 link: https://archiveofourown.org/works/43380529/chapters/109049695
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>>17171
The kind of thinking I want to encourage is that even if someone doesn't currently have any ideas for how to use a character, they would be willing to consider ways to make them interesting even if that entails taking a lot of creative liberties. To be clear, while I do have a fondness for Kogasa as a character, but I'm not interested in trying to market her as a waifu or something. I like just about every touhou character. She's the current example because some character needed to be the first one.

So what if Kogasa seems one-note and there's only so far you can extrapolate based on the brief glimpses you get in the games or the comics? That's going to be true for the majority of touhou characters. I think we should extrapolate because this is a fan fiction community and worrying too much about canon compliance leaves too little conceptual space to explore. As for personal interest, I believe that dismissing a character is wasting their potential.

>>17168
>>17170
>She's cheerful, she's bad at scaring people, she can be a blacksmith, and that's it.
>the "not-really scary but good-natured and cute low powered youkai" role has plenty of competition
I think that's enough information to get a basic idea of her character. Cheerful, bad at scaring, blacksmithing, various other bits of info like the brief babysitting stint - those are ingredients that you can use in various ways. Do you think she dwells on her failures? Is she oblivious, resigned, or delusional? Why does it matter that there are other youkai who are broadly similar? Does it make sense to lump all the 'powerful and ambitious incident-causers' together and treat them as interchangeable? So there's no conclusive evidence to show that she has significant relationships with other characters; do you think she has nobody at all to talk to, or are you willing to entertain the idea that she might hang out with someone 'offscreen'?

>>/shorts/res/1971
Kogasa is mischievous but compassionate and reasonably clever.
>>/shrine/res/41060
Kogasa is somewhat airheaded but also good-natured.
https://archiveofourown.org/works/2183565
Kogasa is the titular crybaby but takes a look at her desire to be helpful.

Each story takes more or less the same basic elements of Kogasa and travels in different directions with them. Their writers used her as a main character because they felt like there was something worth exploring with her. These are not generic plots that you could keep intelligible with a one to one substitution for some random character. In any case, a character doesn't need to be powerful or important to gensokyo itself to tell a good story.

>>17165
I think that's an interesting thing to read in her character. I don't personally remember doujins depicting what you describe, but I think I can understand the sort of sidestep you mention. The depression angle is a common reading, but I mostly see it used for pity as per >>17157 and >>17157. When it's brought up, it's quickly resolved or made the butt of a joke, and you don't get to see the writer's idea of how she actually manages it. Maybe it's because many writers aren't willing or able to depict mental issues in that way, or maybe because authentic depression is frequently difficult to depict in an interesting way to most audiences.

I think it would also be a good idea going forward to link to any story, comic, drawing, or other art of the character being discussed that inspires you or demonstrates a point.
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I'll pick a new character for discussion on Friday. The current method I have in mind is randomly picking a windows era game (decimal games get added to the most recent mainline), then randomly picking a character who appeared for the first time in it. I'm not sure yet how to include characters like Akyuu or Kosuzu who only appear in print works but I figure it's not important right now. I'm also excluding characters like koakuma, daiyousei, and kisume who have extremely little information to work with.
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>>17174
>>/shorts/1971
>>/shrine/41060
Fixed your links.

>worrying too much about canon compliance
For me, it's not about compliance with literal textual matter. It's about feeling like Touhou, which is a hard thing to define, and it's a line that's easy to stray out of because it's so vague. And it's hard to know how to stay in those lines without ultimately trying to understand everything that's there and the greater context. It's different to obsessing over 'lore' like some people do, but sometimes it's just as unwieldy and difficult to work around.

>failures
I don't think she does for very long. She wouldn't be as persistent a presence as she is if she did, I think. Whether that's a product of obliviousness or just Polyanna thinking, I have no clue. If she was delusional, what would she even be delusional about? Being scarier than she is? Being stronger? More important? I guess, if I'm entertaining that line, then it's probably more a matter of her being like an overgrown child; all of her shenanigans are as much play as asserting her raison d'être.

>hanging out
No idea here. It's a pretty broad space of possibility. She could be almost anywhere, bugging anyone and everyone. Or maybe she truly is alone most of the time. In a writing context, it'd depend on the story being told.

>handling mental health in writing
As someone who suffers from poor mental health, as both a reader and a writer, I prefer not to encounter/address it as an element of stories because, frankly, why do I need yet another reminder of my daily reality? Besides that, do youkai even work that way? I guess it's possible, but it's just as possible that they don't. But that's almost getting into issues of meta-physics, which I don't care to engage with.
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>>17176
You address very good points (especially the last one).
Expanding on that last point, I would argue that Touhou as a series is a way for us to escape reality itself (that is why we create fanworks to begin with).
Of course, this isn't really my idea to begin with (Check out https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZSIirBfCs4).
But overall, I would argue that stories involving depression aren't written that much as it invokes the "destruction" of immersion (as small as it may be) since it is a real-world issue that can be easily related to in real life.
(No person is perpetually happy; there will be points where they may be shocked, depressed, angry, etc.
However, no person is perpetually sad; there will be points where they may be joyful, tranquil, excited, etc.)

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>>17177
I don't really know about any of that. Speaking for myself, I don't 'immerse' in anything I read, so I don't care about 'breaking immersion'. It's more about not trusting others to not be twee or insultingly caricatured in their treatment of mental illness; I've never encountered any attempts at such, but I also don't go out of my way to find them.

Also, just as an aside, depression (in the clinical sense) isn't about being 'sad'. It's often as much about feeling nothing as feeling anything. It's an inability to engage with anything. It's an inability to perceive anything as being worthwhile. It's a feeling of merely 'existing' when you could be doing much more than that. That people conflate that with sadness is an error that is rather irritating to people who suffer from depression.

So, you know, I generally feel the premise of Kogasa being 'depressed' is probably beside the point. It could be the case, but so many other things could be the case at the same time.
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Some generic questions I'm thinking about using going forward:
- What do you consider to be the character's defining traits? What do you think the character's personality, thought processes, and interests are?
- What depictions of the character in stories, drawings, or comics have you enjoyed, and what about the work made it stand out to you?
- How do you imagine the character's presence in Gensokyo in terms of relationships with other characters and lifestyle? What do you think their niche is?
- What situations do you think would be interesting for the character to be in? What conflicts do you think they are likely to encounter? What kind of roles could they serve in a story? How might they accept change or resist it?

In general, try to think about what about the character that strikes your fancy, with less emphasis on what canon describes them as being and more on what you think they might possibly be. If you haven't already given them much consideration, pleaes try doing a little of that now. Try to find something about them that evokes some emotion besides apathy. Note that these questions aren't mandatory to answer, but merely intended to promote thinking that could lead to new ideas for using the character in a story. I'm not your high school literature teacher, just another writer.
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Rolling 1d15 => 2
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>>17181
The next character will be from PCB/IaMP.
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Rolling 1d9 => 3
1: Letty Whiterock
2: Chen
3: Alice Margatroid
4: Prismriver Sisters
5: Youmu Konpaku
6: Yuyuko Saigyouji
7: Ran Yakumo
8: Yukari Yakumo
9: Suika Ibuki

Prisimriver sisters have been consolidated into one entry. Lily White has been excluded.
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File 171236811641.jpg - (57.42KB, 386x600, chennifer.jpg)
chennifer
Ayy, it's the girl. Chen is a fun one, and strangely not one we see often. She's described in PMiSS as being a very typical Youkai, enjoying scaring people and highly independent in her activities.

What I enjoy, though, is the utility she can serve as a general purpose miscreant, but I don't often see it. I mean, she's a menacing cat Youkai for crying out loud, why does she not get used as a trouble maker?

I know the answer to that is the fandom has coveted the cutesy Chen that Ran is smitten with, but it still feels silly that she gets pegged as a needy child while what can be read from her articles is a very independent Youkai asserting themselves and attempting to further their power. Not that she'll ever really be able to make a cat her shikigami.
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>>17184
Psst, Chen was 2. The dice rolled a 3, so it's Alice this time.
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File 171237015221.png - (4.29MB, 1526x2160, Alice_Whos_Who.png)
Alice_Whos_Who
Magician, known to reside in the Forest of Magic.
First appeared in PCB (#2, 2003) and had notable appearances in IaMP, IN, SWR, SA, and Hisouten.
Official Profiles:
https://en.touhouwiki.net/wiki/Perfect_Memento_in_Strict_Sense/Alice_Margatroid
https://en.touhouwiki.net/wiki/Strange_Creators_of_Outer_World/Who%27s_Who_of_Humans_%26_Youkai_in_Gensokyo/Alice_Margatroid
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I imagine Alice to be meticulous, fussy, polite, and studious. Her use of dolls makes me think that she painstakingly handcrafts them or has some kind of fine-tuned process for manufacturing them, both of which imply a lot f attention to detail. She also seems like the sort to keep her home and work space well organized. She feels more like a 'proper' magician than Marisa but is also more approachable than Patchouli. She seems to be well known and tolerated by the human villagers, and offers hospitality and guidance to lost people similarly to Mokou. I picture her as being willing to help lost travelers and traveling across Gensokyo to collect interesting items or expand her knowledge, but also likes to immerse herself in research at home. Overall, I think she's a pretty well-adjusted person by Gensokyo's standards. She might prefer spending time with her dolls to dealing with other people and their idiosyncrasies, but I don't think she's necessarily bad at it.

Stopping for now due to brainpain but will continue later.
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I'm going to take a shortcut to typing out my thoughts on Alice all over again and simply point to somewhere where I already have:

https://www.alicemargatroid.moe/

I'll get back to you later about depictions I've enjoyed and the other, more specific, things not covered there. The image I'm posting is one that I enjoy, I think she's confident about her puppetry and her more playful side comes out when she's showing off. It's true in fights, though in a different way, and likely true in the village performances she puts on. Here in the image ... I guess ... it feels more like a one-on-one kind of thing, a rare circumstance for her to display her flair and virtuosity.
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What I notice first about Alice is probably what most notice first: her dolls. They make up the majority of her interest in things, though perhaps not to the exclusion of everything else, as with some magicians like Patchouli. At the same time, it is certainly something of a (I'll continually recycle this word because I like it) raison d'être for her, something that she clearly spends a great deal of time on. After all, when the majority of her magic seems to be based around manipulating dolls, is she just going to magically produce more dolls? I doubt it. Really, when you consider how she does things like eating and sleeping despite not strictly needing to, that points to the sort of personality that likes to do things the 'hard' way. To me, the idea that she spends a lot of her time in her workshop, carefully crafting each doll by hand, seems pretty sound. And it was probably something she enjoyed for a long time before abandoning humanity; I'm pretty sure the 'unnatural' part of her interest in dolls — and her character in general — is the degree of fixation, the willingness to exert (notionally) unlimited effort and focus on them. This is, of course, because magicians are basically ZUN's stand-in for otaku, a thing he made a fair bit of commentary on, directly and indirectly, earlier in the life of the Touhou Project.

Not to linger on the point too long, but I suppose it is interesting to consider that it's difficult to talk about Alice and not include some degree of comparison to other magicians. Whereas others like Marisa, Patchouli, and Byakuren are dedicated to magic that largely has a 'function' or is otherwise meant to emphasise the 'supernatural/superhuman/esoteric' element, Alice's own magic is largely based on a sense of the artistic. She wants to show off her skill in manipulating her dolls to mimic life. There's even her once-stated goal of creating an autonomous doll, though that's never been explored further as far as official works go. Even when it comes to combat, she prefer employing her dolls at significant risk to herself and even holds back so as not to engage in brutish displays of overwhelming force — or so she claims. Taking that for what it is, it's hard not to think of Alice as someone who has an appreciation for aesthetics. I mean, look at her outfit. Look at the lace, the ribbon, all the little details. If she were simply focused on the mundane and functional, she would look much more plain, I think. Which isn't to say that I take her for vain or overly obsessed with notions of 'beauty', but I do think she has a certain ability, perhaps more than many others in Gensokyo, to look at and perceive the effort and craft put into things done with a purpose. She can probably look at a house, a chisel, a basket, a plate... anything imaginable that was made by someone's hands and have a sense of its maker's skill, pride, and dedication (or lack thereof). Perhaps she really enjoys art, too. Perhaps she curls up with a book and really digests it, taking in any intricacies of prose. Perhaps she stares at drawings or paintings and finds herself drawn into the various details. Perhaps, even, she looks at a Japanese tea bowl and sees the natural world reflected in its imperfections.

As far as where Alice is situated in Gensokyo, I think she's not anyone particularly influential or likely to lend gravitas to a situation. She's certainly no hermit-like presence, cloistering herself away from the mundane concerns of life outside her immediate sphere of influence or interest, considering she's not unknown to go out to perform puppet shows in the village, but she doesn't strike me as especially likely to go out of her way to be present anywhere. I take her as the sort to enjoy living a quiet life engaged in doing what she loves, not wanting to be bothered much by anyone. Which isn't to say she's necessarily aloof, just that I'm not certain she would do much more than keep a pleasant, polite distance from people she doesn't take a particular interest in, never especially trying to interact with anyone more than necessary. Whether that would be due to an inherent introversion or perhaps a sense of maintaining a mystique, or any other notion of the sort, would be an interesting exercise for a writer, I suppose.

I suppose one particular bit of opinion to inject here is that I don't think Miss Margatroid has any particularly strong ties to other magicians; I also think magicians are, in general, not drawn to others and most likely, continuing the otaku allegory, bound to stick to their own particular fields of interest, not viewing each other as 'peers' or 'competitors' especially. She has had interactions with Marisa, but none of them are that friendly, and it's clear that she generally views the witchlet as a nuisance. I don't recall any actual interactions with other magicians, but I get the feeling she wouldn't really be drawn to them. Perhaps even the opposite. I think it's likely she would give the others a wide berth, or at the very least she might be cautious around them, not wanting to stray onto the topic of magic lest she ends up trapped in a conversation on something she has utterly no knowledge of. And, really, I think that's the bane of all magicians, but I think Alice would certainly hate to be perceived as dull or lacking a certain refinement, both of character and knowledge.

As to how she might be used in a story or particular situations of interest, I'm not very sure. Alice is certainly the type of character who could be present most places in Gensokyo, but I can't say off-hand what 'role' she might serve. A story that focuses on her as the principle character is very difficult for me to conceive, so I guess my instinctive answer is that she's largely a 'side' character, someone who comes in for a part of a story to support it. Beyond that, I'd need a lot more time to really consider it, and perhaps more exposure to some other people's opinions.

I haven't come across many stories prominently featuring Alice, and I honestly feel like the tendency among many writers is to depict Alice as either a madwoman or a lazy tsundere archetype, usually with a side of being romantically (or otherwise) obsessed with Marisa. Honestly, the only stand-out portrayal to me is, to the surprise of those who know, the resident Alice expert Teruyo's depiction in Theater of Youth (>>/others/44424); I'm afraid I haven't read DEFT yet, so I can't speak to that one. Despite the notional 'alternate universe' conceit of the setting, the Alice that appears in that story just feels like Alice. She doesn't take shit from anyone, especially from the main character, but she's also a caring figure in her own way, steady and levelheaded, always present despite having been snubbed in many ways, yet not without her own depth of feeling. She doesn't always completely speak her mind, but she somehow still comes off as direct when she needs to be. There's a level of human warmth there that's sorely missing from other portrayals I've seen whilst also retaining some of the mystique and strangeness of her more 'inhuman' side.
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>>17189
>to the surprise of those who know
Pfft. Figures I'd screw up and say the opposite of what I meant.

That should be:
>to the surprise of no one in the know

Also, I guess the cross-board link didn't work because it's an archived story? Well, whatever, have the full link below. Seriously, read it.

https://www.thp.moe/others/res/44424.html
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You know, despite having actually written Alice, I feel like I never truly got a good grasp of her character at the time. On the surface, she's got something of a stilted formality going. While she's not unfriendly, exactly, she's not really sociable either. She has serious power of her own, but plays to her opponents' level when fighting. She's at home when by herself and surrounded by her dolls, but put her anywhere else, and she doesn't quite fit.

It reminds me somewhat of Orianna from League of Legends (and wouldn't that be quite the crossover?) in that there's an uncanny valley aspect to Alice. In some ways she's the closest to human a youkai can get: A formerly-human magician who still looks human, is friendly with humans, and still eats and sleeps as humans do. But at the same time, that similarity makes the unsettling side of her (semi-autonomous dolls, doll army) that much worse. It doesn't really affect any of Gensokyo's major characters (given that they've all faced and seen much worse), but I could see this throwing minor characters and humans for a loop. This was used to spectacular effect with Duke's overnight stay in Alice's house in "A Wizard is You".

Really though, not quite fitting in is a good summary of Alice's status in Gensokyo, as there's not really any larger group she can be said to belong to. And honestly, I don't think that bothers her. Her behavior pattern strikes me as that of an introvert with a passion, hers being her dolls and her magic. She's not unwilling to associate with others, and goes through the correct motions to be polite and sociable, when need be, but at the same time, that's not really what she wants to do. It's an obligation that she will meet because there's such a thing as good manners, but she doesn't seek other people out and is perfectly fine on her own. A quiet evening with her dolls and a spellbook is how she would prefer to spend her time, and something that would actually recharge her after a busy day.

This would be the difference between her character and Satori's to me. Both act aloof, both treat the majority of people with polite disinterest. But while Satori (or at least, my Satori) is being cautious due to her experience, fearful of being burned, and secretly (on a level she can barely even admit to herself) desiring that closeness... Alice honestly just isn't interested. Sure, it's great that you want to spend time with her, but if she applies the runes from this spellbook to Shanghai's danmaku deflection array, it'll let her absorb an additional 3% of the energy from amulet-type bullets! Oh, sorry, did you want some more tea?

I think this is part of why Marisa and Alice as friends makes so much sense. Marisa might not be focused on dolls, but she's interested in any magic she comes across, whether she can steal it or not. That's close enough to be a common shared interest, and Marisa is also friendly and outspoken enough to bulldoze through any introversion or awkwardness. And the thing about people who are passionate about one specific topic is that if you share that interest with them, if you agree it's important and are willing to talk about it at length with them, it makes you fun to be around, someone who gets it. If you can actually make relevant contributions of your own to the discussion, (something that Marisa is more than qualified to do w.r.t. magic), that makes you someone to treasure. I think Alice being friends with Patchouli would make sense for much the same reason, though the double-introvert combination makes it less likely for the two to interact frequently.

But for your average person, the combination of not-the-best social skills, a bit of weirdness, and a passion where most people simply won't get it would make it hard for them to relate to Alice. To be clear, I wouldn't write her as autistic or anything, I think she can hold standard conversations perfectly fine, but I don't think her heart would be in it. The vast majority of people might be perfectly nice in their own way, but they're really just... not that interesting. Not worth her time. And Alice doesn't strike me as the type to fake interest in things, let alone fake it convincingly.

But that's okay. More than just making peace with being alone, I think Alice outright chose it. Nothing's stopping her from just living in the human village if she wished, but she has a cottage in the Forest of Magic instead. And while some of that is certainly convenience for doll experiments (and perhaps magical supplies), I think Alice is also self-sufficient in a way that most people simply aren't. I'm not sure if she'd be my first pick for "Character best equipped to deal with being completely isolated for a century", but she's probably in the top five. She might not fit in all that well in any other group, but she also created her own place that fits her like a glove.

As an aside, I wish I'd done this exercise before I'd started to write Alice. I feel like I understand what I want to do with the character much better now than I did back when I actually wrote her. Admittedly, the characterization isn't that different from what I actually did, but I think I could have highlighted it a little better.
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>>17189
I've thought a little on it, and I suppose there's a couple of strands of matter that might make for interesting stories involving Alice.

This was already touched on in some fashion by >>17188 on their fan shrine, but the thing with Alice and the dream pills is something that seems very ripe for exploration. I don't necessarily mean exploring Alice's dreams as such, though that could also be interesting in its own way. Rather, I guess I'd personally like to see a look into the psychology of Alice and her retreat into fantasies with the help of the little pills. Why would she want them? Curiosity? Boredom? Ennui? An ever-present dissatisfaction with life? What would she have to be dissatisfied with? How would that colour her everyday? How would that seep into her work on her dolls? I think it raises a lot of questions from the very beginning that lead to others.

Slightly more superficial but still of interest to me is the fact that Alice sometimes lodges people at least for the night. I can't help wondering, what might Alice do if a one-night lodger became a long-term one? How would her life change? Would it change at all? How would she interact with them? How would they change because of her? How would she handle the inevitable degrees of friction that come with sharing a space with someone? And though it's easy for some to immediately jump to a romantic/sexual context for such a situation, I don't necessarily mean that; really, I don't mind it, but I also think it's a little... meh as a first-resort. I've no doubt it's ground that's been covered in some form elsewhere, but I'm not aware of anything of personal interest.

There's also just the very fertile ground of Alice's former humanity and the way she perceives the world as someone who abandoned it. What does that do to someone on a psychological and spiritual level? What does everyday life feel like to them? How do they really perceive things that were already familiar to them? How do they see things in a new way? What remains? What fades away? How about as time really goes on and things have changed greatly from what they knew before? I think these are things that can be explored even without getting into actual details of Alice's background and trying to 'square the circle' of everything regarding her past. Sure, that could be covered, too, but I'm not as interested in that, personally.

I don't really know, though. These are all kind of very broad, general sorts of thoughts. For anything more particular... I'm not sure I'd be able to come up with much. Perhaps with a great deal of time.

>>17188
I do just want to stop and remark that I love your little fan shrine and appreciate that you took the time to make it. It really takes me back to an earlier age, even if its intent wasn't necessarily nostalgia. Just seeing little independent websites like that outside of giant content silos always gives me a warm feeling, and this one is no exception. Keep being your fabulous Alice-loving self.
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I think story with maternity as its central theme would really fit Alice. Her skills with her dolls might have been explained through her motive to be a good mother. Or perhaps the fan theory of her relationship with mama Shinki could be explored to make something profound.

One of my favourites fanfic as of now is Tradition's End, and coencidentally, the author also implemented this idea into Alice's character. Here's the AO3 link:
https://archiveofourown.org/works/47739919/chapters/120342058
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>>17188 here, I was waiting to see what other people said and if there was any sort of debate before jumping in again. But I guess it’s almost Friday again and no one else is going to say anything, so I might as well jump back in.

I think that some of the assumptions and, indeed, the typical depictions of Alice with other characters are misguided at best. Like, for example, treating Marisa and Alice as friends is something of a stretch if you actually look at their interactions; they’re more like acquaintances. IN has a somewhat tense working relationship between them where Alice basically badgers and entices (with grimoires) Marisa to take an active role because the latter had previous experience with incidents, Alice didn’t, and no one else was doing anything about the imperishable night. Alice very much didn’t ask for a favor and their exchanges during the game isn’t exactly warm, veering towards contentious on occasion. And, well, IaMP’s dialogue between them in their scenarios reinforces that sort of distance between them. I wouldn’t say it’s outright hostile (and it is a fighting game, after all) but it isn’t the way friends would greet one another (contrast Marisa interacting with Reimu.) While it’s less antagonistic in SA, that whole scenario comes off as a sort of joke, with Marisa treating it like some sort of dungeon crawler and using video game jargon (… which is of a meta joke by ZUN in my opinion, since it’s unlikely that she spent any time playing Dragon Quest or whatever it, even charitably imagining that a famicom had found its way into Kourindou.) And those moments are really the only basis for their relationship, with the characters not really directly interacting in the various print works otherwise.

The link with Shinki is even more tenuous. PC-98 as a whole is suspect insofar canon is concerned. But, even putting that aside, there doesn’t seem to be any sort of reference made by either character to one another or the merest hint of a relationship. Which, perhaps a little noteworthy given that other characters (mainly Yumeko) do refer to Shinki and Alice appears again, in the extra stage.

All you can reasonably say about her relations with others is that she isn’t shy, talks to people no with no issue when either she wants something or they want something (would-be lodgers for a night, the fairies of light, Eirin(/Reisen?), Marisa, other characters in the fightan’), but there’s not much else as she lives an isolated existence in the forest of magic…. That and she can have a sharp tongue and be rather assertive on occasion.

As for depictions I’ve enjoyed: for the most part the stories I’ve seen on THP haven’t really captured what I feel her character is actually like. Most are outright bad, falling back onto tropes and very fandom meme takes. Some were okay, but their titles don’t come readily to mind as I read them years ago. It’s a shame, as I think she’s an interesting character and has a lot of potential, especially with regards to her magical interests, her affinity for artisan creation of dolls, sense of aesthetics, and her own mostly isolated life. It feels a little awkward to say, but I think the best depiction I’ve encountered on THP is one I wrote myself many years ago (and I have plenty of complaints about it too!) Feels a little gauche to recommend it unprompted, so I’ll leave that there for now.

Like all magicians, she’s a weirdo and I like it when artists and writers lean into that. Even when she’s being nice, playful or otherwise pleasant I think that some sort of tension—or perhaps distance would be a better term for it—between her and others. The attached image is sort of what I mean and makes me a little curious to find out what awaits if you hang out with her long enough.
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>>17204
Lurker here. I appreciate and have read through all the posts but this really caught my eye.
>Like all magicians, she's a weirdo
>All magicians
Why do you say that? I can see the argument that Patchouli, Alice and even Sumireko are weirdos but others like Marisa and Byakuren are perfectly normal people. They go outside, have a life outside of their exclusive magical interest and in Byakuren's case, doesn't even use magic much beyond keeping herself young. I don't have an exhaustive list of touhou magicians off the top of my head but I'm pretty sure #notallmagicians.
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>>17205

Marisa is a kleptomaniac, used to be an avid liar (Zun forgot at some point, lol), and chose to study magic on (most likely) her lonesome in the forest of magic since she was young. She's basically a couple of spells away from being a true magician by species, for which we could see her do those spells in an afternoon if she was so inclined (she made a botched Hourai elixir after IN with no guidance, which is pretty good for passing interest). She's a weirdo.

Byakuren is as much a Youkai as the rest of her staff, using magic to prolong her life and what she learned in Makai for combat. Both of those things are supposedly pretty bad in Buddhist teachings. She also turns out to be somewhat slothful and hypocritical to her own teachings if we take her dream self to reflect truths that she doesn't want to tell. She's also kind of a weirdo. And a cult leader, cause ain't no way she's teaching Buddhism to Youkai by the book.

And before you counterpoint Narumi, who is the latest magician we have (sans her identity as a Youkai of a Jizo statue), I actually don't have much. She stands out in the woods, I guess? She strikes me as kindly, but there's little to no evidence to make that claim. She's... alright, I guess.

Anyway, yeah, magicians are generally weirdos, even if they're not magic crazy.
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>>17205 I'm the guy you replied to but >>17206 got most of it and would add that Marisa also is a pack rack and her home (which is also a "shop") is a mess. Plus, on a most basic level: she has dealings with youkai, which is pretty weird thing for a human.

Without further getting into Byakuren's inadequacies as a Buddhist (arguably doesn't *really* matter because some esoteric beliefs are pretty out there), she also hangs out with youkai. And, well, there's something fundamentally weird about operating a temple and maintaining a front for the sake for her own selfish desires and fear of death.

Magicians all seem to have a particular strange way of thinking and behaving and tend to be obsessive in their own distinct ways.

... Also, Sumireko isn't a magician.

Don't just lurk, say stuff more freely. That's the point of this thread.
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>>17207
That particular work wouldn't happen to be Glass Half Empty, would it?

That aside, your post above does raise points that I hadn't considered before. For instance, the question mark about Reisen makes me wonder if there isn't some ground there for a story involving them interacting in some way. Maybe Alice would encounter her at Eientei when she's buying little dream pills. Maybe she'd be out in the village doing a puppet show and recognise the 'incognito' medicine peddler as a fellow youkai. Maybe they'd encounter each other at a function at the Hakurei Shrine. Maybe Alice would attend an exhibition — impurity optional — at Eientei? Considering Alice's relative range, there are actually a fair amount of opportunities for the two to meet, even incidentally.

In all honesty, I also wish people would explore Alice's weirdness and the sort of unbridgeable(?) distance that comes from someone like her. The images chosen for >>17188 and >>17204 are both pretty good in conveying some of that sense, the former giving her a look in her eyes that seems distant and inhuman, whilst the latter gives her an expression that seems inviting at first, or at the least neutral, but then the little smirk makes it harder to read, almost sinister in a way. They both activate my almonds.

I've picked out an image of my own. I'm not sure I've got much of a point with mine other than liking the vibe of it and generally getting the sense of a scene/story of Alice looking out into the forest on a rainy day or night in quiet contemplation.

>>17206
>Narumi
She's kind of a jerk-ass. She suggests to Rinnosuke that he ought to sell Sumireko as youkai feed in one of the earlier chapters of the new CoLA. All in response to having her cheek poked.

Understandable, of course. I wouldn't want to be touched by a terrible character, either.
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>>17208
Yes, that's the story. Rather naughty to pierce my pseudo-anonymity using an unfair advantage of yours.

More to the point, would be nice to see more Alice written up outside basic takes. Though, I suppose, I feel that way about most of the cast.
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>>17210
The only unfair advantage is my enthusiasm.

Sorry, though.

But, well, I do agree that I've not seen many who can capture that certain sharpness and assertiveness of Alice's. It's a damn shame, too, because it's more interesting than Alice being 'just' a magician or 'just' a weirdo. Though, honestly, few even capture her weirdness in a way that feels true. Your above point about magicians generally being obsessive rings very true, and it's a thing I don't think I've seen much in depictions of any of them, much less Alice.
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I think this was a pretty good discussion of Alice. I got busy and couldn't say more myself, but I think everyone else was able to continue the discussion just fine. Let's keep up the good work.

Rolling 1d14 => 14
1: EoSD
2: PCB + IaMP
3: IN
4: PoFV
5: MoF + SWR
6: SA
7: UFO + Hisouten + DS + FW
8: TD + HM
9: DDC
10: LoLK + AoCF
11: HSiFS
12: WBaWC +SFW
13: UM
14: UDoALG
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Unfinished Dream of All Living Ghost

Rolling 1d5 => 4

1: Son Biten
2: Enoko Mitsugashira
3: Chiyari Tenkajin
4: Hisami Yomotsu
5: Zanmu Nipaku
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>>17217
Not sure there's going to be that much to say about any of the newesthus, but I guess we can try.

Incidentally, do you want us to get talking as soon as a new character is rolled, or should we wait until you make a header post like >>17186?
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>>17219
I don't think it's necessary to wait for me. I do think it might be a good idea to reroll and exclude the newest game.
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>>17220
I'd second the notion. Hisami is fairly one dimensional in her current portrayal. While not bad, necessarily, it does make it fairly open and shut for how much there is to unpack for this discussion. Were it a character such as Biten or Enoko I might feel different, though, but that's just me.
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>>17220
I mean, I wasn't necessarily saying we shouldn't discuss Hisami; I think there's stuff to speculate on, as little time as the newest cast has had to breathe. Just... tempering expectations? I dunno.

But, well, if you wanna re-roll, go for it.
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Up to you guys, but I'll admit I've got nothing to say on Hisami. I'd need to look up her wiki page to even remember who she is.
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Rolling 1d13 => 3
1: EoSD
2: PCB + IaMP
3: IN
4: PoFV
5: MoF + SWR
6: SA
7: UFO + Hisouten + DS + FW
8: TD + HM
9: DDC
10: LoLK + AoCF
11: HSiFS
12: WBaWC +SFW
13: UM
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Rolling 1d8 => 4
1: Wriggle Nightbug
2: Mystia Lorelei
3: Keine Kamishirasawa
4: Tewi Inaba
5: Reisen Udongein Inaba
6: Eirin Yagokoro
7: Kaguya Houraisan
8: Fujiwara no Mokou
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File 171304989642.png - (2.90MB, 1526x2160, Rabbit_Whos_Who.png)
Rabbit_Whos_Who
Youkai rabbit, known to reside at Eientei in the Bamboo Forest.
First appeared in IN (2004) and had a notable appearance in PoFV. I guess PoFV was technically her 'real' appearance as a character in the games.
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>>17217
I'll do my quick Hisami bit first: I think that ZUN would really need to focus on her as a character in order for us to really get anything out of her without taking some leaps of faith in regards to her characterization. She's obsessed with Zanmu, covets being punished by her, and when she's not busy doing that, she's convincing people to go to Hell with her by offering them Yu-Gi-Oh! cards or something. I can't see anyone writing a story that prominently features her unless it's very securely in her role as Zanmu's lackey, and therefore more of a Zanmu story that happens to also feature Hisami. I had to trawl AO3 to even find any fics with her, and obviously most of these were just yuri fics, with the only real exception being one where she tries to run a pyramid scheme pitch on a bunch of characters that, while fairly enjoyable to read, wasn't really doing much.

So, yeah. Not much to say on that front. She's the weakest of the UDoALG cast because she's a character who entirely revolves around another. I'd have rather talked about any of the others.

>>17225
As for Tewi, there's a lot more to say. She's a prankster character, and I think that a lot of people get caught up on that when they write her, resulting in her being little more than a prankster character. She's got a lot more depth that only really comes out in the printwork appearances and some of her PoFV dialogue, like how she runs that rabbit selling scheme to recruit more earth rabbits when their owners abandon them.

I've always thought that people try and push the Eientei lot into the same box as some of the other groups in the series of making them all close and friendly, but with Eientei specifically, all of their personalities seem to clash more. Reisen's generally quite a stiff character who follows Eirin's orders, making her conflict with Tewi's carefree playing. Eirin's a fairly serious character, but she trusts that Tewi has a reason for disappearing when she does in CiLR, and thinks that Tewi gives off the impression of a wise hermit who has achieved enlightenment.

I think that there's some merit in making her a bit sharper in the dialogue department and letting her be a more serious character than most writers consider doing. She knows a lot of things and she's seen a lot more, so even though she's carefree, she's always got thoughts about whatever is currently happening. I think she would have some more interesting perspectives on events. She is a reliable character, unless it's something she can push off on Reisen.

Essentially, I'd like people to play a bit smarter with Tewi. Have her be the carefree fun bun all you want, like when she tries to trick Marisa into giving her food at the Shrine and gets fed Devil's Trumpet, but don't forget that she can be a manipulator who's excellent at it until the final hurdle where she gets a little too into the game and gives it away, much like she does in her mythological origin. She greatly enjoys getting people off-balance, since Eirin points out in CiLR that Tewi has a habit of popping up behind people when they aren't expecting it, but she is always around when you really need her.

I think people tend to forget the other parts of her character and just use her for funny jokes a lot of the time.
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>>17217
Hisami is a fairly flat character to talk about in isolation, but having a character that acts largely in response to another isn't an inherently bad thing.

The biggest thing I think that's worth looking into on her is the dissonance between her life with and without Zanmu. By what we have, her behaviour around other people without Zanmu in the picture is fairly well-adjusted, even quite kind. If I wanted to see a hisami story without Zanmu in it, it'd be about the souls she leads to hell, and her treatment of them.

But it's not a bad thing to have a character revolve around another. She's great as a foil to the mastermind Zanmu - the spanner in the works too much for her to fully control, and one she must instead work around, rather than work on.

Speaking of masterminds and manipulators...

>>17225

This feels... timely?

Tewi is a fun character, but like >>17227 says, there's more to her than just 'little prankster'. She's a leader in her own right, and she should get her own respect.

And while being just the consistent prankster is one thing in a 4koma or something, she can bring a lot to bear in a more serious story. She's got a herd of rabbits at her beck and call, she's clever, but she's not undefeatable.

Touhou has a bit of a trend of introducing manipulators in one game or story (tewi, tsukasa, Yachie) and then humbling them a bit in the next. Even Yukari goes from being this grand mastermind in th7, to trying to go the exact opposite direction to reimu and bickering with her the whole way (and when they were pointing opposite directions, Yukari's choice was even worse than reimu's). Tewi's example is in PoFV, where she goes off just to go flower-viewing and gets herself effectively poisoned

And... no trickster is invincible, or always has the right foot in proceedings. Tewi's prone to getting overeager on the prize, and I think that speaks to a certain arrogance that's very common in manipulators. Every manipulator does so by pulling on certain... handles, and character traits of their prey. The trick to getting around them is knowing which handles they use, and why they use them - the pull can go both ways, and a manipulator that THINKS they have you is one you have instead.

And obviously, in the story I've been writing, Tewi's tricks are a bit of a way to establish control. She manipulates and tricks continually, because it means she's the one in control.
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>>17217
Not a lot to say about Hisami that everyone else hasn't said. I think it's a shame that she has a one-track personality. I think her ability might be interesting for a certain type of story like a manhunt. The "ability to never let anything slip from her grasp" would be a fun thing to write because the mechanics of the ability don't seem to be fleshed out, giving the writer more room to make it up.
>>17226
I'm really surprised with how many people characterise Tewi as a jerk on THP. I'd assume that because of her age, she'd be a lot more chill and calm compared to the rest of Eientei, especially Reisen whom I always saw as someone who gets worried and paranoid very easily. Not that I dislike those interpretations of the character, but to me it seems like Tewi acts like a jerk for the sake of it.
>>17229 provides a probable explanation for her troublemaking ways. However, if her pranks are just a means for her to think that she's in control, would that logic not work for less respectable characters like Seija? What makes Tewi's pranking acceptable but Seija's antics unacceptable?
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Luck would be a good theme to discover revolving Tewi's overall concept. Put her under a situation that involves luck like gambling and make her preach her view about luck being something one can grasp or something. Idk i never really saw her as a serious character, especially in fanworks.
Regarding Hisami, a theme that would fit her just right would be about codependency, well I have nothing else to say regarding this character other than the things that've been said by previous posts.
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I have nothing more to add about Hisami, previous posts already said practically everything about Hisami & her characterization rn.
>>17231
To be fair, I think >>17229 has a point on regards of Tewi wanting control being valid, which also indirectly explains why Seija's antics are unacceptable.
It could be due to her past, as rabbits aren't exactly the strongest of creatures and are consequently viewed as prey. Tewi could've had a bitter beginning, faced with the prospect of death at any moment as a rabbit, which may have created & amplified the necessity of "control" in Tewi's mind. Combine this with thousands of years and you can see why Tewi can be portrayed as such.
Tewi's pranking is considered "acceptable" because she's old (which may have resulted in a bit of boredom) and because it never leads to a high possibility of serious harm/death for her victims (in my opinion). Now to be fair, some writers may exaggerate the pranking that Tewi does, which may lower the "acceptability" bar of such actions by a bit. But, I would ultimately consider Tewi's pranking as "acceptable" because of the reasons stated earlier.

Now Seija is an amanojaku, which is a very powerful youkai.
Due to Seija's involvement in DDC & ISC and the fact that she basically betrayed Shinmyoumaru's trust, we can all see why her antics are considered unacceptable, right?
(I still like Seija as a character though)
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So, I'm going to flip the question on its head a bit. Just why should Tewi's antics be acceptable? I'll admit people generally treat them that way, like she's a comic relief character and that Reisen (or insert protagonist here) suffering is funny, but quite frankly, I don't see why anyone in-universe would want to associate with her. She seems to pull pranks and lie for no reason beyond feeling like it. Whether that's from a controlling nature or mischief or just knowing she won't face any real consequences from it, from the perspective of the person being pranked, what does it matter? Unless you're one of the few who can make Tewi instantly regret attempting a prank, spending time around her is pretty much asking to get conned in some form.

My personal read on her character is that she's the kind of person who just keeps pushing to see what she can get away with. And the combination of her association with Eientei's powerhouses, living in the very-hard-to-navigate Bamboo Forest of the Lost, and her own ability to manipulate good luck means that she can get away with a lot. She's smart enough to toe the line with people who can actually punish her (Kaguya/Eirin), but for those who can't? Just see her relationship with Reisen... which is mostly her ignoring the moon bunny to do whatever she feels like and pranking her six ways to Sunday.

Frankly, I think Tewi's a menace. A petty level of menace, to be sure, as she's smart enough not to get herself in any serious trouble, but any time she ends up actually facing consequences feels richly deserved.

This doesn't make her a bad character, to be clear. Stories need their villains, both for major incidents and for day-to-day, and Tewi's mischievous streak makes her an excellent instigator for those slice-of-life level schemes. That said, I do consider her to be a troublemaker first and foremost.
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>>17234

I feel like the line being drawn between Tewi and Seija is a very, very false equivalency. Tewi is not a malicious character inherently. Tewi has not caused an incident, all she's done is defend her friends when they started a defensive incident. Tewi does not actively go out of her way to be hated, or to cause chaos - she either just does things for a bit of fun, or for a larger goal of keeping her family and friends safe (e.g. her selling rabbits). She's mischievous, not malicious.

Seija is an inherently destructive individual. She outright and actively seeks to be hated and scorned. She has actively caused an incident, by pitting multiple groups against each other. If Tewi got the feeling she was pushing someone to the brink, she'd back off a bit and let them recover. If Seija got that sense, she'd push even harder and try to get a selfie with them in anguish.
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>>17235
Did I mention Seija anywhere in my post? Sure, Tewi is chaotic neutral instead of chaotic evil. But at the same time, “not being Seija” is a pretty low bar. While I agree that Tewi’s not out to ruin anyone, I don’t think she’s exactly riddled with guilt over the people she tricks. Malicious might be the wrong word, but I think there’s a reasonable argument for selfish and uncaring.

The guy who tricks you to see you suffer might be worse than the guy who tricks you to get your wallet. But neither one is a pleasant encounter, and while Tewi might have limits, that doesn’t excuse her constant unrepentant mischief.
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I'd like to preface with a disagreement I find with >>17235 in that Tewi's direct relationship with Eientei residents is very give and take oriented (cit. CiLR, Eirin's chapter), and so I would personally not assume that she's outwardly friends with them. That isn't to say it's not possible she's their friend, but Tewi is business minded enough that I double take the thought.

Something I'd like to expand on is Tewi's extremely self serving nature. It's very apparent that she tricks people to have things her way, but the more difficult part is to say why she goes through the trouble. Why does she swindle money as if they were shrine donations? Why does she accrue deals with Eirin to get into her good graces (her conversation with Medicine in 9)? Why does she sell rabbits? That last one we actually know a lot about, but it still doesn't ever tell us what she actually wants out of these activities.

It could be her attempting to keep up with the tenuous power struggle in Gensokyo, as the wiki pulls out from the void, or as some kind of means to control as >>17229 mentions for narrative structure. It could be neither of those things and instead she gets a kick out of performing these acts so much that even Eiki tells her off for her tricks in 9.

Let me restate that one: she tricks people so much that the yama tells her she'll probably go to hell for it. Not any specific con, nor their severity. She just fools around that much. This is the same yama who calls Reisen a selfish defector, and these don't sound entirely equivalent. It just makes me wonder.

All in all she's one of those characters who has a lot of mystery in how her mind works, despite being so outgoing and dopey at times.
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>>17242
I love this image.
8/8
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Saying Seija is evil for intentionally causing destruction, animosity, and strife is like saying a lion is evil for Hunting, killing, and eating gazelle. It is in a lions nature to prey on lesser animals. It's how they survive. It's how they grow. It's how they thrive. You can't say a creature is evil because it's following it's nature.

>>17242

Rationalizing Tewi's actions as an attempt to keep up with the constant power struggle in Gensokyo is kinda an interesting threadline to think about. Being several thousand years old, she would theoretically be in the same faith weight class Yuuka and the other ancient youkai. But, with Tewi's power being the ability to cause luck in humans...that's kinda muscling in on the territory of the gods, right? Imagine getting a divine "Cease and Decist" order handed down to you from the heavens.

What you see as an annoying, trickster rabbit, might very well be the desperate struggle of a faith starved youkai trying to change it's image just to survive.

This is why I wish we had more godly characters in our THP stories. Seeing things from a perspective wholly inhuman is absolutly fascinating to me.
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>>17246
You can absolutely call someone or something evil for acting according to their nature. Take the orcs in Lord of the Rings, or any always-chaotic-evil race in a fantasy setting. Raiding, pillaging, and murdering is 100% their nature, and what they do is absolutely evil. Or take a genocidal terminator-style robot. It’s perfectly possible that it was just programmed that way, that exterminating all life is just its nature. But if you excuse it from being evil on those grounds, then you’ve taken away pretty much all meaning from good and evil as concepts.

There is a conversation to be had about to what degree someone’s nature or upbringing might mitigate their responsibility for evil acts they perform, but it does not change the fact that their acts are evil, and that if they do them gleefully and unrepentantly, so are they.
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Since the character was re-rolled, despite having a few things I could say, I’ll decline to say anything about Hisami and leave that matter for another day, perhaps if a second roll turns her up again, instead focusing on Tewi.

If I had a few weeks, I think I could draw out an in-depth profile of Tewi’s character and psychology, but I don’t have that luxury, sadly. To grossly oversimplify, I think her biggest defining traits are a) her mischievousness and b) her status as an ‘elder’ youkai. She’s a character who is crafty in her own way, at least believing herself to be smarter than most people she meets, taking advantage of people she believes are fools and trying to placate or temporarily outwit those who match or exceed her. As a notably long-lived example of her species, she has a sway over other rabbits and commands them as underlings, and that probably gives her a sense of self-importance. She’s also closely associated with luck and fortune, and her very presence implies a degree of good luck, meaning she’s nearly impossible to even get a fleeting glimpse of for many. Despite these rather amazing aspects, she’s a very minor presence compared to others she associates with or who also live in the Bamboo Forest. In that respect, I find her more interesting than a lot of the Imperishible Night cast or many others besides.

There have been at least a couple of depictions of Tewi I’ve liked, but one that most immediately stands out to me is her appearance in Moral’s Hakurou story. The Tewi in that story may have her cutesy moments, but I feel like Moral has captured a bit of the idea of her as something of an ‘elder’ youkai. She shares history with the titular Hakurou and, despite his contrarian ways that frustrate even someone like her, tries to dissuade him from his most self-destructive tendencies, having witnessed much of the history that made him who he is. Even when she’s a bit mischievous, there’s none of the sort of juvenile ‘prankster’ character common in fan conception. Instead, she’s someone who’s been around a long while to see a lot happen and thus has a fair bit of insight into things, giving out precious little of what she knows to anyone beyond people who are closer to being her contemporaries.

In that sense, an even more stand-out depiction is in Teruyo’s Clever, Audacious and Wise, though she didn’t appear for very long in that story. As with many of the youkai characters in the story, her viewpoint is first presented as deceptively simple, yet it quickly becomes apparent that she knows much more than she lets on and has pretty nuanced views on things. She starts off being the cute and coquettish rabbit with Hide, the protagonist, and acting like she’s innocently sussing out his reasons for being around Eientei, only to start pushing him onto Reisen in such a way that he’s all but obliged to play along. Just the brief bits of interaction give Hide the idea that she’s easily as sharp as your average elder tengu and perhaps even wilier, feeling constantly that she’s playing with him and looking down on him as a young upstart, though she does give indication that she thinks he has promise as a ruler — assuming that’s a completely genuine sentiment.

The most immediately interesting of Tewi’s relationships to me is the one she has with Eirin. Many of the practicalities of Eientei’s operations rely on the efforts of the youkai rabbits under Tewi’s command. That would technically give Tewi a lot of pull, considering she could pull the equivalent of a trucker strike and upend things, and one might expect her to want to be something of an equal to Eirin in the command structure. Yet, Tewi instead seems to voluntarily subordinate herself to Eirin. Of course, we don’t really get much in the way of direct interactions between Tewi and Eirin. I’d like to think that, given all else, Tewi does have some degree of actual respect for her Lunarian boss, perhaps recognising how outclassed she is in relation and bowing down to the superior intellect. Conceiving of them interacting as complete equals is a bit difficult, so it seems likely that any conversation between them would be pretty one-sided, Tewi largely bemused by the degree of unintelligible one-sided mess coming from Eirin. Then again, there could be a little bit of a recognition on Eirin’s part that her high-minded, far-sighted view is often incompatible with others’ understanding, and thus she might view Tewi as a relative equal, someone who can be trusted to finesse the fiddlier, less intellectual elements of matters.

Beyond very small glimpses, we also don’t get any true idea of how Reisen and Tewi relate to each other. My own sense is that Tewi sees Reisen as an object of amusement, a strange presence that is a rabbit in the most technical sense and who has the pride of someone like Eirin yet none of the brain-power to back it up. Whatever notional authority the moon rabbit wields over her, the earth rabbit can always run circles around her, conveniently interpret her words, and generally make a fool of her, all for the sake of amusement. When it comes to her primary motivations regarding Reisen, I’d guess Tewi mostly wants to force-feed the young upstart some humble pie, her counterpart likely reluctantly accepting the sass whilst silently being exasperated that the filthy earthling isn’t apt to just do as she’s told. At the same time, I don’t think Tewi has any ill-will toward Reisen, possibly having a degree of near-kinship no matter how either might feel the other doesn’t reflect the idea of a ‘rabbit’ in her respective view.

If anything can be ascribed to Tewi as a ‘niche’, I suppose the closest would be as a steward of the Bamboo Forest and representative of a much more ancient Gensokyo. The former mostly pertains to her de facto leadership of the youkai rabbits and longtime presence in the forest. It’s not hard to imagine that there is some investment on her part in maintaining much of the nature of the forest, both ecologically and metaphysically. Of course, that might be partly simple opposition to, say, human hunting of rabbits because she is also a rabbit. On the other hand, there’s likely other elements like trying to prevent excessive encroachment upon the flora in order to keep the forest healthy and able to block ready access to Eientei by hostile parties. The latter seems like it’d probably be a rare thing to manifest, given her fleeting presence before others not involved with Eientei, but it’s not unimaginable that Tewi could speak with the experience of having seen Gensokyo in the preceding centuries. In her view, many who are there now probably strike her as upstarts, and it doesn’t seem too out of character for someone like her to voice such opinions at times, feeling that others are ignorant of what came before them.

When it comes to situations that I think would be interesting regarding Tewi, most of them would probably have to do with seeing how she relates to others, particularly characters who aren’t Eirin or Reisen. First and foremost, how in the heck does she relate to Kaguya? You’d think that they have some degree of interaction, both being around Eientei. Given that Kaguya tends to not really distinguish the rabbits too much, is it possible for the two to have any real relationship? How would someone of her very distant-from-everything nature view someone like Tewi? How would Tewi view an undying princess from the moon, banished and fugitive from her own home? Would she take issue with the princess’s view of the rabbits? There’s plenty of ground to speculate on right there.

Of course, Tewi’s nature as an ‘elder’ youkai also makes me wonder how she might interact with other older youkai. Would she exchange barbs with Yukari? Could she needle Yuuka and get away with it? Would she relate to Mamizou and her mischievous ways with humans, or would they butt heads over differences in opinion on the same subject? Could she laugh and be merry with someone as rowdy as Suika? What sort of disaster might the mountain meet if she were sat down to talk with someone like Megumu? Youkai aside, the mythological Inaba also has a connection to certain gods, so it might be interesting to see how Tewi and various Gensokyo gods interact. As fellow Gensokyan natives, would Tewi and the Akis have things to say to each other? Maybe she and Misumaru could share reminiscences and deep insights about the Hakurei Shrine? Perhaps Tewi might end up as an unwilling sympathetic ear to a milksop Chimata, fresh off another failure at marketeering? Could she find a fellow spirit in someone like Suwako, who also leads a relatively carefree existence as an ancient presence?

There’s a lot more that could be said, but I think I’m coming to the limits of what I can put down in words at the moment, and the character limit means I’d have to break anything further into parts. Basically, I think Tewi’s got the potential to be a lot deeper of a character than many would give her credit for being. It doesn’t hurt that she’s cute, too. The image I chose feels to me like a pretty good representative of her daily existence: taking it easy in the Bamboo Forest, surrounded by fellow rabbits.
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Firstly, I want to apologize because I missed this thread for the longest time, and I don't know how strict the topic of discussion will be, but Kogasa is a character I really enjoy and there were some things not mentioned about here that I think should be.

Firstly, it's so easy to see why Kogasa is a very popular character with many people. She's one of the few characters in Gensokyo that's unabashedly friendly. While there's not really many Touhou characters I'd call outright evil (though I admitedly have a more SoL-viewpoint of the setting) most Touhou characters are willing to be jerks and kinda rude to people. Kogasa conversely just comes off as someone who's eager to please, friendly, and wanting to always help. This combined with her status as an eternal underdog makes her fairly unique amongst Touhou's cast. Cirno also comes to mind when I think of underdog, but Cirno is more of a comedic character thanks to her overbearing ego. Conversely, Kogasa is almost tragic. She needs to scare people, yet she's just not scary. She wants to help people, yet she was an abandoned umbrella. And she's never really depicted as wallowing in her misery. Crying and getting sad easily, yes, but she's not a character who is always wallowing in self-pity. She's depicted as trying new pursuits and seeking ways to improve her. I can understand if other people find other Touhou characters more interesting, but I've never met anyone who disliked her (even people who dislike newhus), her personality pulls on all the right strings.

In terms of stories, a Kogasa and Medicine team up is bizarrely underused, I can't even think of a single story with them together. They seem so obvious together, since they let you explore two different youkai of similar origins. Both abandoned by humanity, but one seeking its attention still, while the other wallowing in hate. They should be as prominent a team up as Kasen and Seiga are. Additionally, several people mentioned that it can be difficult to find a place to use Kogasa in stories, but I have to disagree. I think her character is perfect for anything set in the human village. You can use Kogasa as a great way to explore more amicable human and youkai interactions on a day-to-day basis. Kogasa is a youkai who is out in the open and doesn't hide (like Sekibanki), is actually interested in interacting with humans (and needs to) unlike characters such as Cirno or Wriggle, and unlike someone like Byakuren she doesn't really have power, either institutionalized or literal, so humans can treat her as they see fit.

>>17225
Tewi, for me, has always been a much more comedic supporting-role character. That's not to say you can't write a more serious story with her, but she's often portrayed as a shifty small rabbit, who's much older than she lets on. She's arguably among Gensokyo's oldest residents, but few stories seem to utilize this fact outside of a passing mention, and she doesn't come off as a character who would be interested in this fact either. Unlike someone like Tsukasa, Tewi usually doesn't come off as outright malicious or if large overarching schemes in the works. Tsukasa as a character seems a lot like a Tewi 2.0. Both work under someone, though Tewi is a leader in her own right while Tsukasa is pretty much Wormtongue. Tewi is a jerk but probably wouldn't kill someone, or deliver more than they could handle, while Tsukasa was pretty down for killing Reimu. Tsukasa is basically the negative version of Tewi, with said negative traits pumped up to 11.

Despite usually being portrayed in many stories with a more mature demeanor she hides under her pranks, Inaba of Earth and Moon portrays Tewi in a far more genuine and simple manner. Not idiotic, but her cute antics are shown as just that, and her pranks being fairly light. It's hard to describe, but the 4koma just gives Tewi more of an aura of innocence compared to how she's usually depicted. It's pretty interesting.
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This is a doujin comic that I think is a neat depiction of Tewi. She's shown as a leader among the rabbits and something of jokester, but also someone who does care and will make a significant effort to express it. Another depiction of Tewi I like that I haven't seen mentioned yet is from Animating Gensokyo.

In general, I think that Tewi's most defining traits are being a mischievous and old youkai who is closely associated with Eientei. I think her mindset is that of someone who has lived long enough to get enough perspective to simply not care about most things anymore and go with the flow, especially since she's got something to do with good luck. Personality-wise, I think she's cunning and mischievous on the surface, but also very wise when she needs to be. She wouldn't want to get serious often though, especially since she has Eirin to do that for her. If she heard the truth about what the lunarians did to Daikokouten, though, I feel like you would see a chillingly serious expression on her face before she could hide it.

I see her mischief as similar to bugs bunny, though I don't think she's digging lots of pitfall traps in the bamboo forest all the time. It wouldn't be something that she makes an effort to set up but rather something that she does as the mood strikes her.

I remember in WaHH she told Kasen about her scheme to sell pet rabbits in the village so that they would eventually become youkai. I think it suggested that she had an interest in vying for influence in the village against other youkai. Personally, I don't think she would be terribly interested in trying to affect what goes on outside the bamboo forest and certainly not Gensokyo as a whole. Essentially, I think she acts without malice and without ambition. She doesn't screw with people to hurt them or to profit from it, she does it because it's funny - for the love of the game. In that way, I think she's distinct from similar 'tricksters' like Mamizou or Tsukasa.

I think Tewi's major relationships are with Eirin and Reisen. I don't have a clear idea on how she might interact directly with Kaguya.

With Eirin, I like the idea that Tewi is surprisingly capable of interacting with the genius lunarian with a degree of parity that few can match. I forget the source, but I remember reading that Tewi approached Eirin and Kaguya after they hid in the bamboo forest and built Eientei to offer the service of herself and her rabbits in exchange for their... knowledge? Basically, Eirin and Kaguya need Tewi more than Tewi needs them. Both parties could survive on their own, but the terms favor Tewi. I think there's a lot of mutual trust and respect in this relationship.

With Reisen, I imagine that Reisen is a de-facto subordinate to Tewi, who is far older and wiser even if she refuses to act like it most of the time. Reisen would disagree with this notion due to Tewi's antics and her own lunarian prejudice, but I think that one of Tewi's goals would be to gradually get Reisen to ease up a bit and unlearn her worse habits in a roundabout way of welcoming her as a new earth rabbit, which would be reflected in Reisen's LoLK dialogue. Basically, Tewi is an annoying trickster mentor who nonetheless does have her long term best interests at heart.

I think she would get along okay with Mamizou but would hold some scorn for Tsukasa and might outfox her if provoked to prove a point. Ringo and Seiran seem like Tewi might take an interest in them as defectors from the moon like Reisen. If they're more active in the village as dango sellers then maybe they're not really in Tewi's sphere of influence, though. Kagerou lives in the bamboo forest but I doubt she's got a real relationship with Tewi. I picture Kagerou feeling a bit embarrassed at being a werewolf who's outclassed by a rabbit.

I like the idea of Tewi having a relationship with Mokou. I imagine the two of them gradually going from cautious glimpses between the bamboo to something like drinking buddies, where one occasionally strolls through the forest to find the other so they can shoot the shit.

In terms of use in a story, I think Tewi makes more sense to me as a supporting character rather than a protagonist. I think she's generally kind of aloof and whimsical in a way that would make it difficult for her to be a good PoV character. I see her as someone who might take an interest in another character who seems sufficiently entertaining and sort of follow them around to help or hinder them from a distance to amuse herself.

I wish I could write more but I have bad time management and worse brain pain. I'm glad you guys are still here, though.
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>>17271
>I remember in WaHH she told Kasen about her scheme to sell pet rabbits in the village so that they would eventually become youkai. I think it suggested that she had an interest in vying for influence in the village against other youkai.
Tbh, I feel like I've caught discussion following this line, but it doesn't really follow from the actual chapter. I went back and read it to check, and Tewi never really says anything to indicate any interest in anything beyond, well, making money and maybe more youkai rabbits. Really, I feel like Kasen would have had more to say if there was any apparent interest in 'the balance of power', but that's straying off-topic to really get into.

>I imagine [Tewi and Mokou] gradually going from cautious glimpses between the bamboo to something like drinking buddies, where one occasionally strolls through the forest to find the other so they can shoot the shit.
You know, I never really considered that one, but I guess I kind of like it. I think Mokou doesn't have many attachments to, well, much of anything, but I guess someone as long-lived as Tewi might be as close a match to her as anyone. She'd probably pale in importance to Kaguya in Mokou's eye, but maybe they could have a casual acquaintance of a sort.

>I see her as someone who might take an interest in another character who seems sufficiently entertaining and sort of follow them around to help or hinder them from a distance to amuse herself.
Honestly, now that I'm reminded of Kagerou, this is what I'd see as any basis for any sort of acquaintance between the two. Kagerou is normally a shy, withdrawn sort of character who keeps to herself — the sort Tewi might like to mess with. Maybe it'd be for the pure fun of needling the big, bad wolf, or maybe it'd be an attempt at drawing the poor girl out of her shell. Or maybe there could be some other obscure motivation only Tewi would know. That'd be an exercise for the writer.
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>>17250
I think I'll use Kogasa as the protagonist if I ever revisit my Medicine idea.

>>17278
I see your point about Tewi's aims. It looks like that would better fit the characterization I had in mind. Regarding Tewi and Kagerou, now I'm wondering if Tewi has ever invited herself to a youkai grassroots network meeting despite absolutely not being one of the small fry the group might be intended for.
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>>17281
>youkai grassroots network
Possible, I guess, depending on whereabouts they move. I feel like it's generally implied to be more than just Becky 'banki, Feesh, and Kagewoo, so maybe Tewi's had some underlings involved? Or maybe they've got involved without her direction? Maybe some rabbits don't unquestioningly like Tewi? Always possibilities.
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Rolling 1d13 => 12
1: EoSD
2: PCB + IaMP
3: IN
4: PoFV
5: MoF + SWR
6: SA
7: UFO + Hisouten + DS + FW
8: TD + HM
9: DDC
10: LoLK + AoCF
11: HSiFS
12: WBaWC +SFW
13: UM
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Rolling 1d8 => 3
1: Eika Ebisu
2: Urumi Ushizaki
3: Kutaka Niwatari
4: Yachie Kicchou
5: Mayumi Joutouguu
6: Keiki Haniyasushin
7: Saki Kurokoma
8: Yuuma Toutetsu
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File 171357134511.png - (3.49MB, 1526x2160, Kutaka_Whos_Who.png)
Kutaka_Whos_Who
One of the myriad gods, based on Niwatarijin. According to her entry on the touhou wiki, "Niwatarijin is typically depicted as a god of agriculture, fertility, irrigation and/or safe passage, and is at times associated with chickens (niwatori) and the sacrifice thereof. One of the god's notable blessings is to cure children's whooping cough, which was associated with birds and locally referred to as tori-shabiki". This lacked a citation, so I don't know how accurate it is.

She works for the ministry of right and wrong as a guard and appears to report to Eiki.
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File 171357191969.jpg - (142.57KB, 850x1223, __shiki_eiki_and_niwatari_kutaka_touhou_drawn_by_n.jpg)
__shiki_eiki_and_niwatari_kutaka_touhou_drawn_by_n
Chimken!

Metric 1: 2.5
Metric 2: 2

I think Kutaka is a character that is interesting because she's a late addition to a largely static duo, and one that augments the existing pair in an interesting way.

For example, she's a second worker with Issues that's under Eiki's employ. It's a nice bit of testament to Eiki's actually kind nature (as opposed to the cranky midget characterisation) that a lot of her employees are allowed to be imperfect, in one way or another.

She also provides an interesting contrast to Komachi; where Komachi is talented but lazy, Kutaka is motivated but a little dense. I tend to imagine Eiki is probably happier with Kutaka's earnestness than with Komachi's talented laziness. KutaEiki is a better ship than KomaEiki, I will NOT concede this point.

And you can expand those connections to the extended yama connections as well, and usually draw interesting connections. Between Akyuu, who has perfect memory, and the forgetful kutaka, and a meeting between her and Yuyuko practically writes itself.

And then there's the fact that despite being a god of chickens, of all things, she still opposes the attacks of the animal realm on the surface world - in fact, she's the face of Eiki's interference in it. That alone is a massive untapped dynamic to play at.

I mainly wish people would incorporate her more wholeheartedly into Eiki's bureau. She tends to end up entirely vestigial when she's added into existing fanons/stories featuring Eiki and Komachi, and it's just a bit of a shame she doesn't get more prominence.
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If only the dice chose Mayumi... Oh well.

I see Kutaka as a character who is tender and motherly, considering the nature of mother hens and all.

There's a line in her official profile that piques my interest.
>Her true identity is that of Niwatarijin, the god of wild chickens from before they were domesticated.

Just for your information, even though there is no exact date for when were chickens first domesticated, it was estimated that they were domesticated 8,000 years ago in Southeast Asia (Wikipedia). This could very much imply that Kutaka already exists waaaaay before Gensokyo was even a concept. Considering her status as a goddess, this theory might actually be plausible.

Ceramic Boy Third gave its own spin on her forgetful nature using this theory, implying that she has lived that long to the point that her brain has difficulty remembering due to it being overfilled with her past memories, and thus she can't be bothered to remember her recent ones.

She's a goddess who values equality and altruism above all, as said in her profile, and she's quietly considering a way to raise the status of chickens who've been reduced to livestock for humans. It's also said that, despite her work, she mostly resides at the top of a waterfall on the Youkai Mountain.

We still have no official statements regarding how her ability to cure throat illnesses works, but I remember a conversation in the old Danmaku Kagura that shows her using her ability in the form of tea. Don't question me about the legitimacy of this, though, as I've only seen screenshots of it in a YouTube video.

Though her character is quite prominent in AO3, I've only read a few stories that involved Kutaka as the main lead. There's this one story where Kutaka obliviously rizzed Satori when doing duty. It's a fun read, but there's only two chapters of it...
https://archiveofourown.org/works/42323253/chapters/106277928
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Kutaka isn’t a character I’d normally give a lot of thought to, so I’m not sure I’ll have too much to add, but I’ll give it a go.

Things like her dialogue in Gouyoku Ibun make her come off a bit to me like Nagisa, the leading girl from Clannad. She seems a little spacy and prone to missing the greater point of a conversation, but overall she means well. The last thing she wants is for people to come to harm because of hazards like blazing hells or sudden waterfalls, so she does her best to inform people of the hazards, even trying to drive them off if necessary. Of course, she does have a way of jumping to conclusions sometimes about who may or may not have messed something up, and that’s what brings her into conflict for most of Gouyoku Ibun. Then there’s also the business with Hell and being sort of a gatekeeper into it. Her whole role in Wily Beast and Weakest Creature was to test the player character and see if they were strong enough to survive Hell. Overall, she comes off as someone who is concerned with people’s safety and upholding some sense of order.

A connection I don’t recall seeing any remark on is Kutaka and the Mountain. Most of her associations seem to be with Hell and the machinery of the Gensokyan afterlife, but she lives somewhere around the top of a waterfall on the Youkai Mountain. That raises some interesting questions as to how she might relate to the tengu. Does she ever encounter Aya? Maybe they’ve talked once or twice? Maybe she’s been interviewed for the paper? Or maybe they go drinking together sometimes after-hours. Or maybe they dislike each other. It’s hard to say when there’s been no comment either way, but it’s not like there’s a zero chance either has encountered the other in some way. The same could go for Hatate, Momiji, or even Megumu. Someone like a great-tengu might occasionally get dispatches from Hell about some business or another that regards the Mountain. Who better to convey them in some fashion than someone who lives there already and is connected with Hell? In general, who knows what kind of view into tengu society she has and what sorts of opinions she might have of it.

Given her general basis on a class of gods of safe passage, among other things, the most direct (active) role she could play in a story is acting as an escort somewhere. Whether it’s to Hell or one of the peaks of Youkai Mountain, her job requires her to guarantee some degree of safe travel — even though that usually means driving people off who aren’t strong enough to be safe. What that means practically would probably depend on whom she’s dealing with. Maybe she can shield a harried office oni ferrying a message from Hell to Tenma from harrassment by the tengu authorities. Maybe she can guide a monkey from a cave leading underground to the foothills and back as a courtesy when dealing with some vengeful spirit business. Or perhaps she might accompany someone who has serious business to see to in the Beast Realm?

Of course, there’s also the association between the folk practises of Niwatari-jin and curing coughs and throat illnesses. How she accomplishes this is entirely left to the writer as an exercise. Does she use lozenges? Tea? Crystals? Hot baths? Healing hands? Surgery? Accupuncture? Being hung upside-down and dowsed with water? Well, even if it’s the most faithful to folk practise, I doubt it’s that last one. However she manages, there’s always the idea of her being a healer of a sort. Maybe it’s a bit of a side business. Maybe it’s just a kindness she does to people when she spots someone suffering whooping cough. I’m sure there’s other possibilities, but I don’t have much for that.

I’d guess the sorts of conflicts Kutaka would be likely to encounter would largely be either related to her work or her need for things to be fair and just in a world that is often anything but. How can she sit by when she sees people who suffer needlessly? How can she reconcile a want to help people like humans with her want to better the lot of poultry? What kind of orders might come down the pipe from on high that she wouldn’t want to follow? Could there ever be a situation where she puts aside the rules and her own ethics to help someone? How would she feel if someone took advantage of her kindness and manipulated her into breaking the rules for them? What about if she couldn’t prevent harm to others, even if that’s her job? Those are examples of the sorts of questions that would need to be answered, I think.

I haven’t seen any actual depictions of Kutaka as far as writing. I know there was a post on /shorts/, but yuri isn’t my thing so I can’t speak to its quality or lack thereof. Other than that, there’s nothing I’m aware of.
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No new roll this week?
RIP
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Rolling 1d13 => 1
1: EoSD
2: PCB + IaMP
3: IN
4: PoFV
5: MoF + SWR
6: SA
7: UFO + Hisouten + DS + FW
8: TD + HM
9: DDC
10: LoLK + AoCF
11: HSiFS
12: WBaWC +SFW
13: UM
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Reimu and Marisa have been excluded. I feel like it could be worth having a separate category for them.

Daiyousei and Koakuma have been excluded.

Rolling 1d7 => 6
1: Rumia
2: Cirno
3: Hong Meiling
4: Patchouli Knowledge
5: Sakuya Izayoi
6: Remilia Scarlet
7: Flandre Scarlet
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File 171422169860.png - (2.03MB, 1526x2160, Scarlet_Whos_Who.png)
Scarlet_Whos_Who
Vampire, resides in the Scarlet Devil Mansion adjacent to Misty Lake.

First appeared in EoSD (2002), with notable appearances in IN, IaMP, SWR, and SSiB.
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My bad for not rolling a new character yesterday. It's been a rough week. I also wish I could have come up with something to say about Kutaka, but you guys beat me to it.
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>>17292
>separate category
Maybe shove them in the same category with the characters from the print works?
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File 171426239042.png - (441.57KB, 512x512, DensetsuRemilia.png)
DensetsuRemilia
Remilia's a fun character. She gets as much or as little respect as you want. Can be set into a serious or comedic role. Can be a force for or against the protagonist. She's got a lot of variability in her characterization even in canon. This leads to one part of why it's so easy to slot the SDM crew into a lot of scenarios, Remilia likes to do things on a whim.

The entire plot of SSiB revolved around Remilia being so predictably whimsical that Yukari knew she would go to the moon only by suggestion. Her servants (and Patche) were able to shore up her general dependability in that plan and so she was able to strut around in the story in a very fun way. To me it's the mixture of serious maturity and childish habits that makes up Remilia. It allows her to act irrationally without it seeming out of place, and that can be both useful and fun for writing.

As for specific scenarios, she seems to lean into the more absurd the better. If it's absurd, then it's in her personality to be a part of it. If it's boring and mundane, she wouldn't care to make an appearance. That's also why when a mundane situation arises she drops any airs of sophistication (I'm looking at you, highchair in the rocket).

There's too many depictions of Remilia to go over, and she's treated with a very wide spectrum to her personality (see Imizu's Udongein vs Remilia and compare it to Moyazou's various comic depictions). One of the most notable examples, though, would be Touhouvania, mixing the dark and serious tone Remilia always uses with her undermining immaturity.

I'll leave out character interactions for now, since for Remilia it could take ages to go over everything.
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ojousammersip
The EoSD cast, particularly the Scarlet Devil Mansion characters, is pretty well covered by the fandom — and is comprised of some of the least interesting ones to me. Still, I won’t let that dissuade me from talking about Remilia.

In the grand scheme of things, Remilia and the rest of the residents of the Scarlet Devil Mansion are kind of irrelevant. They all exist in a particular little world of their own that doesn’t fully cross over into everyone else’s. Yes, Remilia is a raging, whimsy-driven little ball of ego who has jumped in on happenings in Gensokyo before. Yes, they host parties at the mansion from time to time. Yes, Sakuya is regularly making the rounds for whatever businesses she’s been set out on. However, taking the wider view, the last time Ojou-sama herself was directly involved in anything was an earlier fighting game, and even then her role there was fairly ancillary. In more recent official media, she’s largely resigned to a fill-in role as someone who appears at banquets at the shrine; if anything more notable happens, it’s usually the head maid who serves as a stand-in for the Scarlet estate, or at the very least its latent interests.

Considering all that, my view, then, is the elder Scarlet’s niche is largely restricted to being centre and god-incarnate of her private sphere of influence, i.e., her mansion and the generally small web of core relations she maintains within its auspices. She is the heartbeat of the Scarlet Devil Mansion, her whims, wants, and woes providing the impetus for everything happening in its walls. She orders, it’s done. Even over those she considers friends, she exercises degrees of authority that make any relationship far from a level one. Everyone has to be aware of her mood, mercurial as she is. Shows of disobedience have to be couched in laconic terms of irony or sarcasm in hopes that she won’t notice. She is, in other words, an imperious, unruly overgrown child-woman.

Also, just as a side-note that fits nowhere else, I personally think her supposed control over fate is malarkey that she only flimsily asserts as truth, like a child playing pretend. Personally, I think it fits with her generally posturing character if it’s a load of rubbish.

Trying to consider what would make for interesting situations with Remilia, I’d say that I’d be most interested in seeing her removed from her sphere of influence. Whether that means she’s physically removed from her mansion and unable to simply go back, or if that means she’s somehow out of touch with Sakuya et al., I can’t say I’ve seen too many depictions where she’s forced to stand on her own as a character. Would she still muster the same bravado away from her usual coterie? Would she drop all pretenses and show a completely different face? Would she become helpless? Maybe she’d think nothing of it and carry on as usual. In any case, most of the time, she’s paired almost inexorably to the other Scarlet Devil Mansion residents, and I’d prefer to see her out of her element.

Because I don’t care that much about the EoSD cast, it’s hard for me to recall most depictions I’ve encountered, probably because I either didn’t like them in particular or because they were forgettable, though I’m sure I’ve seen many. That leaves a couple of stand-out exceptions.

This is an unfair example since I was involved in the writing, but I will always stand by the Remilia in Mask of Gold’s Scarlet Tycoon. This Remilia was an attempt at reconciling the degrees of childish temper and bombacity with a wealth of experience and a cunning side. It’s hard to say how much of it is tongue-in-cheek and how much is serious, even as someone who helped put it together. There’s a lot there that was simply included for laughs, but there was also quite a bit, like parts of Remilia’s invented history, that was meant to paint a richer inner picture of her as a character. Her motivations were often simple and ridiculous, yet there were more nuanced parts of her psychologically that reflected someone drowning in regrets and fighting against the very fate she supposedly controlled.

That aside, I still like the sensuousness of the Remilia in Teruyo’s The Fifth Fellowship. Besides the fact that she and the protagonist, ahem, get to know one another quite well, she reflects a certain aspect of conspicuously luxurious living that doesn’t always come across in other portrayals. She’s ostentatious in her tastes and how she presents herself, yet it’s not the over-the-top posturing that’s often the first resort. The charisma so often treated as a joke manifests in a very subtle social command that she displays. It’s clear that she thinks much and says less than she thinks, insinuating more than she cares to say, trying to feel everyone out without showing her own hand. Honestly, I would have liked to have seen more, but the story came to a halt about the time things were happening around the Scarlet Devil Mansion.

Beyond those, I can’t remember much off-hand. Were there to be another decent portrayal of Remilia, I guess I’d be pleasantly surprised, but I can’t say I’d be setting off on an enthusiastic search.
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>>17297
Oh, sheesh, I forgot to mention another of Teruyo's stories, From the Scarlet Moon Flows the Spring. It's been a hot minute since I've read it, but I remember the Remilia in that story being fairly different to the one in the other, though they're still both identifiably Remilia. This Remilia is more of a whimsical asshole who starts off by immediately antagonising the newly en-maid-ed Kagerou and demanding a sample of her blood. The interactions between them are largely trading verbal barbs, though there are some more reasonable moments. I really need to re-read it soon.
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I find myself more or less agreeing with >>17297 in terms of the general thrust of her characterization; she is the center of her own world but otherwise has little relevance outside of it. I would add that though she does seem cocksure she’s certainly much less than the refined image she tries to project, not having that great of a palate (remiliableh.jpg – being a picky eater, in other words) and generally being anything but urbane or sophisticated (doubtful she’s a descendant of Dracula as noted in her profile.) Like the mansion maybe she’s gaudy and obvious on the outside and probably doesn’t possess enough self-consciousness to truly better herself.

That said, it doesn’t mean she’s mean or full of herself to the detriment of everything else. She does seem to treat her servants well enough and did take in the hobgoblins when they had nowhere else to go. Those relationships still have a very clear and defined power dynamic, and may just be a way of making herself feel good about herself, perhaps burnishing her internal image of being a noble and great person.

Still, I think that these self-defeating contradictions and ambiguities make for fertile ground when it comes to writing. It is always satisfying to see someone full of themselves get exposed or otherwise knocked down a peg and showing her limitations (if not to say ignorance) in certain situations can be a reliable source of comedy, if not to say endearment. I’m not partial to the super-serious takes on her character generally and, if they must be done, I would emphasize that she’s flawed and in no way the actual perfect aristocrat she tries to pass herself off as.
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>>17305
You know, I'd forgotten about the hobgoblins somehow. Also, good point in general about her possibly trying to make herself feel like a better person by treating everyone with a sort of noblesse oblige — or some interpretation thereof. That was sort of what Scarlet Tycoon's Remilia was supposed to be: someone following a self-serving definition of being a 'noble' person with little awareness of just how ridiculous it was.
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Very busy and tired from gardening, Yuuka is monopolizing my time. Will update thread tomorrow.
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I haven't dwelled on Remilia much despite her prominence in fan awareness. Most of the portrayals I can remember feel uninspired, usually as cheap jokes.

I also agree with the opinions expressed in >>17297. I should also check out the stories that were mentioned. They've been on my backlog and I think I should make an effort to correct my absence of good examples of Remilia.

As for how I envision her character, I think Remilia does have a clever mind, power, and a certain level of charisma or at least charm. However, I think she's also prone to fits of pique and childishness that are self-defeating. I think Remilia is still the 'real' head of the SDM in the sense that she isn't just playing make believe and everyone else is humoring her, but does ask to be taken more seriously than her behavior supports, to an extent.

To compare her to my idea of Tewi, Tewi's basically a lot less pretentious and presents herself as a carefree prankster while concealing her wisdom and avoids being caught at a disadvantage, while Remilia has a somewhat inflated sense of self importance and tries to present herself as an impressive and grand person worthy of awe but can be made to lose her composure or otherwise have her plans derailed relatively easily.

Of course, I still don't think Remilia is a pushover or even obnoxiously flawed, just that she may have an excess of pride. Maybe as an immortal vampire living in a fancy mansion with your retinue (of friends?), there's no compelling reason for her to behave differently.

Speaking of friends, I imagine that Remilia does actually consider Sakuya, Patchouli, and Meiling as friends and the master-servant relationship is at least in part an affectation for fun. She finds all of them interesting enough to hang around, and for their part they like her enough to play along with it. I think all of them would describe their relationship as master-servant if asked, but for some reason I don't feel like it's merely contractual. Maybe it's because I feel like such a relationship is less interesting to me. Then again, I wonder if that holds true for a lot of the other master-servant relationships. As mentioned earlier regarding the hobgoblins, I feel confident that Remilia does have some degree of kindness in her, even if it's filtered through a sort of noblesse oblige. I agree with the idea that everyone else in Gensokyo thinks of her and the SDM as eccentrics. I like to think that Remilia cares for Flandre, but I'm not sure if Flan has been shown to be in particular need of care from anyone.

I'm not sure how I would use her in a story. I've used her in Lost Bees, but as with many things in that story I think I could have done better. I think that her flaws could make for an interesting character as >>17305 mentioned, whether she struggles to overcome them or others have to compensate. Her tendency to follow her whims as well as the resources at her disposal make her well suited to be the protagonist of a story where a character wants to introduce something to Gensokyo, though I suppose templates like that are forbidden and that kind of premise has been done many times.

Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find any art of her that I feel is worth sharing.
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Rolling 1d14 => 11
1: EoSD
2: PCB + IaMP
3: IN
4: PoFV
5: MoF + SWR
6: SA
7: UFO + Hisouten + DS + FW
8: TD + HM
9: DDC
10: LoLK + AoCF
11: HSiFS
12: WBaWC +SFW
13: UM
14: Print works & Others
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Rolling 1d6 => 5
1: Eternity Larva
2: Nemuno Sakata
3: Aunn Komano
4: Narumi Yatadera
5: Mai Teireida & Satnono Nishida
6: Okina Matara
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File 171482985919.png - (4.53MB, 1526x2160, Dancers_Whos_Who.png)
Dancers_Whos_Who
Humans... sort of. Apparently they're borderline youkai at this point. I see the term "Douji" mentioned in the Strange Creators profile but do not know what it means.

First appeared in HSiFS (2017)

https://en.touhouwiki.net/wiki/Strange_Creators_of_Outer_World/Who%27s_Who_of_Humans_%26_Youkai_in_Gensokyo/Satono_Nishida_and_Mai_Teireida
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>>17314
>I see the term "Douji" mentioned in the Strange Creators profile but do not know what it means.
c.f. Okina's page on the wiki: https://www.aisf.or.jp/~jaanus/deta/d/douji.htm

>Many such images of Matarajin show two acolytes accompanying him, Chōreita Dōji (丁令多童子), who holds ginger leaves and also strikes a drum, and Nishita Dōji (爾子多童子) who holds bamboo leaves and dances.
c.f. Wikipedia article on Matarajin. The pair are a direct reference to these two, who are referred to as 'douji', probably in the sense of being underlings more than anything. This can also be seen in how (a minor spoiler for early Lotus Eaters, but I'll spoiler it nonetheless) Miyoi is referred to at one point as Suika's 'douji' in Japanese.
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I’ve got this impression from people talking about Mai and Satono in the past that they’re perceived as basically ‘mindless flesh golems’, but I disagree with that. The pair of backup dancers may be Okina’s unquestioning servants who draw their power from her, but there’s no indication anywhere that she controls them like puppets. You have to consider that the figures they’re based off of are ‘acolytes’, which implies a degree of fanatical support. Whether it’s because they’ve been warped by Okina’s power or because of a genuine sentiment, Satono and Mai are enthusiastic supporters of Okina who do what they do of their own accord. What I think is that they must have been acolytes of Matara-jin in the past who have been ‘made unnatural’ by living for an extended period of time, perhaps the length of their lives having added to their fervour.

As a pair, their chief defining trait is their loyalty to and support of Okina and her occult machinations. I think of them as ‘true believers’ who just want Okina to succeed in whatever she does by whatever mean necessary. If she were to tell them to die for her sake, they would probably do it. By that same token, a lot of their identity is probably derived from their service to their master; this is common to servant characters, but it feels particularly core to their respective identities. That said, I’m not sure it’s on the level of fawning affection, nor is it stoic servitude, but rather a fundamental acceptance of Okina as the centre of their lives. Perhaps it’s possible that they don’t fully agree with everything their master says or does and simply act without voicing their views. Maybe they don’t even necessarily spend that much time in Okina’s presence, simply carrying on in whatever is asked of them absent new instructions. Something about the relationship between them and Okina doesn’t feel quite the same to me as with others, in any case.

Taken individually, Mai is probably the easier of the two to conceptualise. She’s the more brash one who has the get-up-and-go energy to do things but perhaps little of the necessary judgement and consideration to make doing those things a wise idea. I could see her being a bit of a loudmouth, someone who often speaks without thinking and shoves her foot right in at the worst possible opportunity. She’d probably be the one who doesn’t look before she leaps, getting herself in trouble and needing to be bailed out by Satono. If she’s not doing something to serve Okina, I think she’d probably be off acting like a wide-eyed kid, running around outside, messing with things that catch her interest, and maybe making the occasional mischief. Intellectual things might be a little too low-energy for her, but maybe she might like to get Satono to read to her? Not sure why, but I get this impression that she’s curious about the world in an almost child-like way. Also, I guess if we imagine a typical household situation with her and Satono living together, she might be the one doing a lot of the chores, though perhaps not without help, considering her klutziness.

Satono is a little bit hard to tackle. Her obvious role in the duo is to be the ‘quieter’ one, but that’s not saying a lot. She’s described as being ‘careful but at times overconfident’, so that makes me think of her as someone who tries to be shrewd in her own way. I suppose it’s not beyond the pale that both dancers could be a bit mischievous, so perhaps Satono is the type to find it amusing to toy with people. Maybe she’s the type to play the coquette and lead others on, laughing as they trip over themselves for her sake. Perhaps she a bit like a certain faerie who just quietly takes advantage of situations when she sees a benefit to herself, leaving her fellow dancer to suffer the brunt of the consequences. It’s harder to get a sense of what might interest her or what she might do, honestly. I guess, in general, the broad description of her makes me think of someone who sits back whilst others act in her stead, with an unwarranted assurance that everything will go exactly as she intends. Other than that, hard to say.

The difficult part of talking about the dancers in terms of their presence in Gensokyo is not being sure whether or not they are present in Gensokyo. It’s always possible, but it doesn’t seem that likely, given all else. Then again, setting that aside and assuming they’re in Gensokyo, they could very well be quietly living in the village among ‘fellow’ humans. In this sort of scenario, they don’t make much of an impression on people beyond maybe coming off a little ‘odd’ in some way, going about their days stealthily setting about at whatever Okina’s put them up to. If there’s nothing for them to accomplish, they probably just go about living much like normal humans: eating, shopping, chatting to neighbours, finding ways to entertain themselves, etc. Maybe they even hold down non-Okina jobs, earning a bit of coin to cover their expenses? There’s a lot of variation to just a setup like that.

I have no idea what to say about relationships to other characters that aren’t Okina. Given that Yukari and Kasen are both youkai sages, I guess it’s possible that they are acquainted with the pair, though I doubt either would give them a whole lot of thought. Yukari especially doesn’t seem like she’d pay them much mind, and Kasen would probably do little more than watch them cautiously, wondering what Okina might be up to, but otherwise not finding them concerning or interesting in and of themselves. Assuming they’re living amongst normal humans, I doubt Reimu or Marisa would be aware of them, likely having long forgotten them after the events of HSiFS. Reimu might get suspicious vibes off of them, though there’d probably be little to go off of, so she’d leave it be for the most part. Much like their overall presence in Gensokyo, it all amounts to a lot of reaching speculation; it would all depend greatly on the sort of story being told, speaking in the context of writing.

In terms of personally interesting situations for Mai and Satono, I guess I’d divide the general pool into two streams.

The first stream consists of more quotidian situations where the pair aren’t directly acting according to Okina’s will. Much like what I detailed above, I think it would be interesting to see the sorts of things they’d get up to when going about their daily lives. If they encountered characters who weren’t the above-named, how might they react? How might they be reacted to? Would their first instinct be to consider how someone or something might benefit Okina in some way? Would they go about their days with little consideration of Okina until called upon? Or would they always be acting according to some shadowy and unclear plan?

The second steam deals more with situations that highlight their nature as humans turned ‘unnatural’. Whether that means delving into an imagined backstory for them as, e.g., former acolytes of Matara-jin, or more removed scenarios, they seem like they would strike others as odd and eccentric, maybe even inspiring discomfort, disgust, fear, or other emotions. A somewhat fanciful example would be something as such: Okina letting the pair out of their servitude for a period, intending to make them make the choice of whether or not to stay as her servants. How would they develop as individuals when apart from the binding context of Okina? Would they still act together? Would they grow apart? Would they come to make discoveries about themselves and the world? How would others react to them? How would they be lacking in the sense of everyday humans, being bound so long to Okina? Who would step up to teach them right from wrong? What would be their ultimate choice if given the chance to be free of servitude? That’s the sort of thing I’d find interesting.

When it comes to depictions, I’ve seen art of the two, but none of it has stuck out to me in particular. Most of what I’ve seen amounts to depictions of the dancers as Okina’s trolling servants, which is pretty ‘whatever’, in my opinion. In general, not many artists (if any?) try to differentiate between them beyond how they’re represented visually. I haven’t seen much of any convincing portrayal of either in terms of individual personalities that weren’t completely arbitrary choices that didn’t ring very true. I also think a lot of what I’ve seen is mostly in the context of the events of HSiFS rather than anything removed from that game. Very poor coverage, all in all.

I will highlight that I like their theme a lot; it’s easily the most memorable character theme from HSiFS for me. In general, I think the original in-game version is the best. That said, there have been a couple of arranges I’ve found okay. The first is Akatsuki Records’ “Trance Dance Anarchy” featuring Stack, a vocalist I’m not normally fond of. The shouted vocals give the impression of the dancers as something like cheerleaders, which feels strangely appropriate. The second is Chocofan’s “Crazy Cheers!”. This one’s mostly because I’m sucker for eurobeat — even though I don’t like most Touhou eurobeat arranges. I also just like how it lyrically portrays the dancers as somewhat psychotic sycophants who only want to enable the listener, even to the point of self-destruction.

As far as characters with little available material go, I guess Mai and Satono are relatively interesting, if only due to how eccentric they are conceptually, to say nothing of their master. There’s enough open there that a lot could apply, yet they are coupled tightly enough with Okina that there are certain limitations, both for good and for ill.
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Much like with Hisami, I've got pretty much nothing to say about the dancers. I think they're an interesting concept - Two humans who's been working for Okina for so long that their minds are halfway gone and they're thought patterns are far beyond anything anyone really gets except Okina herself. Unfortunately, they're in one game and one game only. They don't get any additional appearances, nor much more dialogue (Except, I think, a line or two in Grimoire of Usami?).

Everything I could say would essentially be me saying what I wish they could be, because there's just not enough to go off in canon. They don't even act as Okina's representatives in the way that Ran does for Yukari in Silent Sinner in Blue. Okina just takes a hands on approach in most cases, as we see in 17.5 and Grimoire of Usami. They're not even in the Wild and Horned Hermit chapter about the end of Hidden Star in Four Seasons!

Of course, I wasn't exactly expecting to see them in Taboo Japan Disentanglement, but at least they got a really good arrange of their theme. Their theme in their original appearance was good, too. Their spell cards are pretty unmemorable on their own, but work well together, and I like that they have a uniform of sorts.

So...Yeah. Not much to say, because ZUN doesn't seem interested in actually doing anything with them. Then again, it took twenty years for Ran to get Animal Realm lore, so maybe there's hope somewhere down the line.

But I don't bet on it.
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>>17323
>Everything I could say would essentially be me saying what I wish they could be, because there's just not enough to go off in canon.
I mean, that's basically what this thread is about?

c.f. OP himself:

>The kind of thinking I want to encourage is that even if someone doesn't currently have any ideas for how to use a character, they would be willing to consider ways to make them interesting even if that entails taking a lot of creative liberties. [...] So what if [character] seems one-note and there's only so far you can extrapolate based on the brief glimpses you get in the games or the comics? That's going to be true for the majority of touhou characters. I think we should extrapolate because this is a fan fiction community and worrying too much about canon compliance leaves too little conceptual space to explore.
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zounose_maisatono
I find much agreement in my personal interpretation of the duo as >>17317 describes, their general personalities being especially easy to peg down purely by their visual design. On that note, I do love how much ZUN kept their visual designs, and Okina's for that matter, based on their classical mythology counterparts, with Satono taking a more striking purple color to distinguish herself from her partner as the only major change. It's also quite neat that Mai would have the more 'straightforward' personality to Satono's 'gentle' personality as Strange Creators put it to accentuate Mai's bamboo stick having the profile of a weapon and Satono's Myoga ginger looking like a fan or a branch of olive.

That said, their visual design is perhaps the only notable thing about them, and maybe intentionally so. You'd expect the servants of Matara-jin, who are supposed to bring liveliness to solemn places as ZUN puts it, to be bombastic and maybe even brash, but the two we see so little of are somewhat... polite? They talk smack, sure, that's everyone in Touhou, but when you see their lines on the same page as Seija in the Grimoire of Usami (GoU) it really makes that stark contrast to how they act. It's not crazy, like how they're supposed to be the crazy backup dancers. I find it to be a very noteworthy mention especially going forward in what i really wanted to talk about.

The first and only notable appearance of the two that we see is in Hidden Star in Four Seasons (HSiFS), acting under Okina's motivations to spread her influence and find candidate replacements for the two of them. The first part is basically the minimum requirements for anyone to start an incident in Touhou, but the the other is an odd choice that wasn't entirely necessary to add for the game to make sense story-wise. You then pair this act with the minuscule addition that we get from GoU where Okina ends up unsatisfied with her own subordinate's performance, only acquiescing that maybe they're enough together. It's less than expected for Okina to disregard her subordinates (even if she is kinda a jerk) when before she's called them her arms and legs (cit HSiFS Marisa route).

When you re-frame the situation to Okina actually not liking their performances, some things start to click. They never show up because Okina doesn't want to use them, instead preferring to take things at her own discretion, despite having the dubious name of hidden god. Okina left Mai and Satono to their own devices so that they could work on finding their own replacements, which we haven't gotten the chance to see the after effects of post HSiFS. It makes you wonder what they're up to on that effort since Okina doesn't seem to care about them at this point.

There was the briefest moments in HSiFS where Marisa and even Cirno of all people are close to taking their positions, but it understandably gets nixed immediately. It trails well into fanworks for why Mai or Satono would do anything, seeing as that their only operating order is to find better versions of themselves. This is explored quite nicely in one of Zounose's works titled Dancers of the Boundary. I don't like all of their interpretations, but Zounose put out a very interesting character study of how they might go about recruiting outside of the seasons incident and their rather insane natures. It especially caught me because in the grounded insanity of all of their work, Mai and Satono are depicted as off but not the utter chaos Okina wants in canon.

In the end they're characters that are underutilized but that is in more ways than in stories, and it might be by design that this is the case. It really doesn't help that their personalities and duo dynamic is generally overshadowed by other similar pairs/trios with similar dynamics (such as the three fairy's Sunny and Star, Luna being an addition to the dynamic).



PS- I think my favorite arrangement of their boss theme is from Demetori's version in The Truth of the Cessation of Dukkha album. The track with the unfortunate name of Orgy of the Dead captures the exact energy I think Okina would want from her Nishida and Teireida.
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Mai 1: 2/5
Mai 2: 2/5
Satono 1: 2/5
Satono 2: 2.5/5

(cos I missed Remi, and even if she's overused she's still a character I'm fond of: 0.5 and 0.5)

I think sometimes the biggest thing slept on with regards to these characters isn't necessarily the characters as they are now, but the whole idea of them having inherited titles. If your story's set in the future or the past, you can have an entirely different set of backup dancers for Okina if she gets involved. Or maybe they have a 'Nishida' and 'Tereida' who are entirely different people to the ones here. And what about the characters themselves? What were they like before Okina's positions started chipping away at their selves? What will they be like a few years from now?

One idea I've had on the backburner is the idea of a bunch of the sage's assistants annotating another character's records for historical recording, with the two backup dancers also taking part in this endeavour. But it only becomes clear through a few of their notes that the 'Nishida Satono' and 'Teireida Mai' doing the annotations are not the two actually recorded in the journals; they explicitly say they don't match the physical descriptions of their counterparts, and don't remember the moments described at all.

Or what about a romance with one of them? Trying to keep the heart of someone you love as their job slowly breaks their heart and soul...

Hey, while we're at it, have a mix of their theme:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-GWmParsUc4
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>>17317 already made a lot of good points on the two. It's far more than I expected anyone to be able to produce, so I'm pretty pleased. I personally struggled to come up with original insights and that post covered most of what I would have tried to say but better. Personally, I don't see a significant difference between the two as individuals, but I also haven't looked for one so that could just be my fault.

https://danbooru.donmai.us/pools/14432
I like this take on Mai and Satono. As gooboi mentioned, Okina may be considering retiring the current Nishida and Teireida and replacing them. Is this because of kindness, pragmatism, or something else? The Okina here seems to be relatively benevolent. In any case, I like how Mai and Satono are shown demonstrating their agency within the confines of their loyalty, even though it goes poorly for them. The premise with the most potential for involving them in particular is exploring their response to their replacement. Do they resent it and try to sabotage their perceived competition or work harder to convince Okina to retain them? Do they earnestly attempt to find good successors or colleagues? If so, what standards do they use to evaluate a candidate's suitability?

https://danbooru.donmai.us/posts/3995493
This doujin covers a different angle and is also less dark in tone. One thing it makes me think of is the definition of humanity in gensokyo and how it can be played with. The zounose doujin strongly implied that Satono and Mai used to be poor children, possibly from the village, maybe orphans, and this one by Pote also uses the idea of a poor origin. Canon identifies them as having originally been human but now approaching youkai-ness to such a degree that it is difficult to distinguish. Is this kind of thing taboo in gensokyo? Are they only able to survive because of Okina's protection, or perhaps because their servitude to her makes them more of moral objects than moral actors? Okina herself may not be that well known so her servants may also be obscure. I'm not sure if the two are self-aware enough to ponder the matter, or if they would care about it even if they were.

Some last things before I fall asleep. I like the depictions of the two being able to 'clock out' of their work personas to an extent. The Pote doujin had an example with Mai chatting candidly with Marisa. It's a nice contrast to their backup dancer behavior. >>17317 brings up the possibility of the two leaving normal lives incognito among other humans, which is novel to me. I had imagined the two hanging out in the land of backdoors with Okina or wherever she resides. Ultimately, I think their relationship with Okina is very important to their characterization, and possibly the defining aspect of it. Maybe once upon a time, a magnificent god took in two forsaken children for reasons that might have been charitable, manipulative, or some combination.
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>>17327
>Okina may be considering retiring the current Nishida and Teireida and replacing them.
Not that it takes away from the point, but I do just want to point out that replacing Satono and Mai was only ever an excuse for the events of HSiFS. In the end, Okina decided not to replace them at all and more or less revealed that her real goal was just, well, stirring up shit to 'make her presence more felt' or whatever. So, sure, that's a thing that provided a surface-level motivation for all of the game's events, but it also wasn't that serious a thing, either.
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Rolling 1d14 => 11
1: EoSD
2: PCB + IaMP
3: IN
4: PoFV
5: MoF + SWR
6: SA
7: UFO + Hisouten + DS + FW
8: TD + HM
9: DDC
10: LoLK + AoCF
11: HSiFS
12: WBaWC +SFW
13: UM
14: Print works & Others
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Rolling 1d6 => 6
1: Eternity Larva
2: Nemuno Sakata
3: Aunn Komano
4: Narumi Yatadera
5: Mai Teireida & Satnono Nishida
6: Okina Matara

Should we avoid having consecutive discussions on the same game?
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>>17330
>Should we avoid having consecutive discussions on the same game?
I think so. Ought to spread things around as much as possible. No big deal if you don't wanna roll again, though.
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I’d be more against changing it if it wasn’t going from the backup dancers just to Pina Colada. If it’s someone less directly connected that’s a different matter.
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I also hold the sentiment that same game doesn't necessarily mean a veto, but discussing characters that are closely tied together back to back is definitely going to tint our glasses jumping between them. No disrespect to the great hidden god, of course.
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Rolling 1d14 => 12
1: EoSD
2: PCB + IaMP
3: IN
4: PoFV
5: MoF + SWR
6: SA
7: UFO + Hisouten + DS + FW
8: TD + HM
9: DDC
10: LoLK + AoCF
11: HSiFS
12: WBaWC +SFW
13: UM
14: Print works & Others
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Rolling 1d7 => 1
1: Eika Ebisu
2: Urumi Ushizaki
3: Yachie Kicchou
4: Mayumi Joutouguu
5: Keiki Haniyasushin
6: Saki Kurokoma
7: Yuuma Toutetsu

Kutaka excluded due to already being rolled
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Eika is a pretty underutilised character in all respects, so it’s hard to get a handle of her immediately. In a lot of ways, she’s very simple as a character, even if her background is sort of a downer. The majority of her interests and concerns seem to be largely stacking rocks, something she does exquisitely when player characters aren’t knocking the stacks over, and making life fun for fellow spirits of stillborns inhabiting Sai no Kawara. In that respect, she comes off as someone who’s probably pretty bright, energetic, and relatively carefree in most cases. As long as you don’t purposefully aggravate her, she’s probably easy to get along with and maybe even fun to talk to, though her worldview is probably influenced by living in the world of the dead, so maybe she might be a little ‘off-tempo’ for most humans. Of course, as the spirit of a stillborn child, she’s probably got her childish aspects, too. She strikes me as someone who might want to impress others with even really mundane things, being really proud of herself in that way that children are when they do, well, much of anything. Perhaps, this means she also feels lonely, considering all she really has is the company of other stillborns. Maybe that makes her a bit clingy when someone who’s not one of those spirits pays her any attention.

Incidentally, I personally think the references to Miruko/Ebisu are more thematic/aesthetic than anything, so they don’t mean that much. To me, she isn’t literally Ebisu, one of the Shichifuku-jin, but just the spirit of a stillborn child; in general, I don’t think Touhou Project characters who are meant to evoke other figures by allusion or reference are those figures themselves or have anything to do with them, nor do I think assertions that they are ‘secretly’ some other thing should be taken at face value.

Considering Sai no Kawara is connected to Hell and the Sanzu River in an unclear way, and thus outside of Gensokyo proper, it’s safe to say the Eika doesn’t have a presence in Gensokyo under normal circumstances. Her role as a stillborn spirit pretty much keeps her bound to the riverbed, and it seems to me like she probably wouldn’t want to leave for the most part. She’s made out to be the one who tries to keep things lighthearted and fun for the other stillborns, so that’s her basic role/niche. There’s no apparent connection to anyone known outside of Sai no Kawara.

So, getting into more extrapolatory territory, the strongest bet for any connections would be characters involved with Hell/the Sanzu River. Given her status around the riverbed, it’s not beyond the realm of possibility that Eiki knows of Eika and maybe has even had some communication. If you want to take it further, maybe Eika even works for the Ministry in some capacity, carrying a title and responsibilities over the riverbed; considering it’s a part of the afterlife in some capacity, there’s no reason to think it’s exempt from the usual managerial machinery. Taking that as a given, it’s not too far a stretch to think that she might have had some contact with Komachi as well. The reaper’s penchant for slacking could very well take her to the riverbed sometimes since it’s probably out of her usual route. Plus, Komachi might like playing with the stillborns to goof off, which would put her in contact with Eika, perhaps the two coming up with new ways to have fun. If Eika’s not completely bound to the riverbed and hang around the Sanzu River at times, then that not only puts her in contact with Komachi more often, but also likely means she’s at least encountered Urumi a time or two. It’s hard to say exactly how they’d get on, though I can’t conceive someone as bright-natured as Eika being too disagreeable to even a cow-oni. In addition, Eika might bump into Kutaka if she’s around doing Hell-related things. With Kutaka being a little bit of a ‘hall monitor’, they might conflict a little bit, but it would be along the lines of Kutaka being legitimately concerned about Eika being outside of the riverbed, the latter probably being annoyed but appreciating the concern on some level. Sort of out there, but maybe she could even visit the Netherworld and be in contact with folks like Youmu and Yuyuko? It would certainly be interesting to see how a bright and playful character like Eika might liven things up around Hakugyokurou.

As far as interesting situations, I think the majority fall into things related to Hell/the afterlife, its bureaucracy, and the myriad contradictions that make up its operations. For instance, how are the stillborn spirits treated within the machinery of the Ministry and the greater afterlife? What if they’re relatively neglected? What if they’re more like a corner case that’s handled in a very ad-hoc fashion due to budgetary constraints? If Eika found out about something like that, how would she react? Would she advocate for the stillborns, trying to push against the bureaucratic functions to improve their lot? Would she lobby to change the system? Would she create trouble for the Ministry in an effort to get their attention? Would she work within the system to try and create advantages for her fellow stillborns? Or, of lesser institutional gravity, consider something like just wanting to host a bigger event than a gathering of stillborns. Maybe Eika would try to rope in others like Komachi or Kutaka to help get attention outside of the riverbed. Perhaps she’d seek others out to help get things organised. Perhaps she’d try to recruit anyone willing to lend effort to realising these ambitions. Who would get involved? What sort of effect would it have if it such an event drew attention? What sort of roadblocks might come up? How would the Ministry and other powers-that-be view it? I think there’s a lot of ground that could be covered in just a couple of examples like that alone.

I’ve not really seen any portrayals of Eika outside of random drawings, and most of those aren’t anything special. Even then, she seems particularly forgotten years after the release of WBaWC, even moreso than the other non-Beast Realm characters, save maybe Kutaka. To an extent, I can wager that the ‘stillborn’ thing is a little too much for folks who just want to draw frilly hat girls. I can’t say I don’t understand, but I also think most characters deserve a chance. I also haven’t heard any arranges of her theme, but I think it’s one of the better ones from WBaWC. Definitely one of the more memorable ones besides Keiki’s.

Overall, she’s a little bit harder to find a particular use for, but Eika is an okay character. She ought to be given more of a chance, I think. Even if it’s not about her, even just being featured in a story in some capacity would be more than she’s got at present.
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I know the previous post practically debunked the whole point of Eika as actually Ebisu, but if we do think of her as the god Ebisu, there might be this little connection between her and Keiki. Ebisu was the first child of the creation gods Izanami and Izanagi, while Keiki's origin suggests that she emerged from the feces of Izanami, who died after giving birth to another to the fire kami. With this info, we can safely conclude that Keiki is the shit of Eika's mother, which is uh... bizarre, to say the least.

Strange Creators of the Outer World also suggests that Eika originally started as the boneless god Ebisu, which ZUN later settled on the idea of her as a jellyfish. I guess I could probably think of something with her unique biology but uh... I don't know how to make a boneless species work without defying the laws of nature.

There's this one crazy idea I saw once, if her ability to stack stones wasn't limited to any physical restraints, with what could be categorized as stones isn't limited to anything either, then we could technically classify the planets of the solar system as reaaaally big stones. Imagine if she could line up the planets and make this astronomical mess where not even the sages could do anything about it lmao. Just throwing this idea to anyone...

There's this one fanfic involving the TH17 crew, where Keiki and Co comes to peacefully "visit" the Sanzu River and disrupt the stone-stacking competition held there. Eika is pissed off with this and decided to do a full-on war with them. It's a really lovely story with good portrayals for the cast. I recommend you to read it if you want more TH17 content. https://archiveofourown.org/works/52502980
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Rolling 1d14 => 5
1: EoSD
2: PCB + IaMP
3: IN
4: PoFV
5: MoF + SWR
6: SA
7: UFO + Hisouten + DS + FW
8: TD + HM
9: DDC
10: LoLK + AoCF
11: HSiFS
12: WBaWC +SFW
13: UM
14: Print works & Others
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Rolling 1d10 => 2
1: Shizuha & Minoriko Aki
2: Hina Kagiyama
3: Nitori Kawashiro
4: Momiji Inubashiri
5: Aya Shameimaru
6: Sanae Kochiya
7: Kanako Yasaka
8: Suwako Moriya
9: Iku Nagae
10: Tenshi Hinanawi

Shizuha and Minoriko consolidated into one entry.

Will try to write late entry for Eika.
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Hina_Whos_Who
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Here before the post of a million words is posted. Also Hina spinning around constantly is always funny.

According to her main page, Hina is a friendly & sociable misfortune goddess.
In my opinion, Hina is someone who likes talking to others (like Nitori) even if some may avoid her (such as Akyuu) due to her being surrounded with misfortune (which might've actually exacerbated her loneliness as she is probably a very old goddess).

Although, that does bring up an interesting point: If you are inflicted with misfortune due to being near Hina for a substantial period of time, couldn't she just reabsorb that misfortune again and problem solved?
Either the miasma issue is false and you don't get any amount of misfortune by just being near Hina or nobody thought about asking Hina to just reabsorb the misfortune that they gathered by being around her?
There could be a third reason that I'm not thinking of, but I'm not sure.

Anyways, Hina can also spin. Although, her status as one of the older characters has resulted in that spinning characteristic (when you're fighting her in MOF) being amplified, which is absolutely funny and adorable.

On a final note, be sure to give offerings to her shrine (I assume she has one?) if you should ever retain your memories while being transported to Gensokyo.
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Thank you so much >>17340, because I honestly had trouble figuring out how to approach this character before reading your post.

I also considered Eika being bound to the riverside and being content to remain there as important aspects of her character that conflict with easily involving her in a story. Focusing on her possible relationship with the characters of the afterlife seems like the most promising approach.

Eiki: I think Eiki might feel uncomfortable about the predicament of Eika and the other stillborn children. She might recite the official line justifying this state of affairs, but privately doubt that it is actually acceptable. I like the idea of the sai no kawara weighing on Eiki's mind as an intractable argument against the self proclaimed rightness of the ministry. If Eika has some kind of formal relationship with the ministry, I can imagine something like Eiki 'deputizing' her or giving her a largely honorary role. I personally like to view Eiki as an individual who is deeply compassionate yet operates at all times under her duty to pass judgement. I don't think Eika wants for anything, so maybe the kindest thing Eiki can do is leave her to her own devices.

Komachi: I think Komachi might visit more frequently than Eiki, but that still wouldn't be saying much. The sai no kawara seems like it would have a bad atmosphere for leisurely slacking. Still, I think Komachi would make an effort to visit occasionally. Maybe she would be something of an older sister figure to these spirits.
https://danbooru.donmai.us/pools/778
This story predates Eika's introduction by a decade (which is painful for me to realize) and only briefly references the sai no kawara, but I think it's an interesting idea. Even if it's a fools errand, Komachi might still see if she can ferry those children across the river. She's got eternity to try, after all.

Urumi/Kutaka: Unfortunately, I don't really know. I think Urumi might have a unique maternal angle to a possible relationship, but I haven't thought that out well at this time. I wonder if Kutaka might be similar in a way reminiscent of a broody hen. At the very least, I think Kutaka might pay special attention to the area to let Eika and the other spirits stack stones in peace.

Overall, I see other characters viewing Eika and the mizuko predominantly with pity, and Eika in turn generally viewing them with placid amicability. She gets to play with her friends forever in a state of innocence. I suppose there are worse afterlives.

https://danbooru.donmai.us/pools/20391
Apologies for posting Zounose again. Eika shows up towards the end. Her appearance is brief but noteworthy to me. This depiction is definitely more sinister, even if Eika herself may lack malice.

Another mention of the sai no kawara I remember from THP is in tainted bonds, where the protagonist expresses outrage over its existence and names himself after it in defiance of Eiki's assertion of its justness... I think. It's been a long while since I read that story and the finer details escape me.

As for how to use Eika in a story... I remember a hiyuu (hi you?) story about Yoshika suddenly 'awakening' from Seiga's control, traveling throughout Gensokyo and meeting various other characters as she uses the opportunity presented by her consciousness and volition to experience life and understand herself. I think a similar premise with Eika might have potential. Maybe some sort of 'glitch' in the usual state of things causes Eika to be removed from the sai no kawara or leave it herself - maybe one or more spirits go missing and she sets out to retrieve them.
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Propping up Hina as a Goddess seems like an exercise in exploiting faith to me. Her power is localized around her, and doesen't seem to be fully under her control(leaking misfortune thing). Make no mistake though, complete control over something as nebulous as misfortune would make her a powerful entity worthy of being deified, but her somewhat lackadaisical demeaner and clear limitations don't really warrant the title in my opinion. Methinks Hina is just a moderately powerful youkai in disguise.

Captcha: Inaba yama

...Good point Captcha. If the power to control misfortune makes Hina a Goddess, woulden't that mean Tewi could also be a Goddess for controlling fortune?
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the_twister
Alright, let's talk Hina. She is definitely one of the few proper sweethearts in the series. She doesn't really have any bad intentions in her few appearances, and is all around interesting to dissect on an intensive basis.

First and foremost, her isolationism. Despite her outwardly kind appearance (albeit a bit goth) and demeanor her power largely prohibits people from being around for too long. We don't really see her distressed over her circumstances, though. She takes the role in stride almost like her exile from humans is an intended part of her existence. It really makes you wonder what she does on her daily, how she passes the time, if she goes out to other regions that the forests surrounding the foot of Youkai Mountain.

It also really makes you wonder about her species and origin. She's a misfortune god, as listed directly in her omake, but presently it's commonly assumed that she's the same kind of god that the Yorigamis are classified as, a pestilence god. The dubious title is further obfuscated if we ask whether a god that people fear and disdain is really a god or Youkai. The two are closely related, after all, but from different sources. Hina skirts the line for what she actually fuels herself with quite a lot. It could be the fear of misfortune or the misfortune itself that gives her existence, or it could be the people's belief that she takes bad luck into herself. And for that matter, does she absorb the misfortune? As a previous post points out, it's weird that she absorbs misfortune but doesn't have the capacity to absorb any she lets off. I'm not sure if that should mean that she absorbs like a sponge and can get too full or if she does some kind of processing on the misfortune and spits it back out like food. It's all very enigmatic past her goofy smile.

As for her relations, we kind of know that canonically nobody wants to see her, but that would be a little boring if that were the whole story. Youkai especially aren't ones to consider things like sanctimony against fortune and misfortune even if they're still subject to it.

While it may be due in part to confirmation bias, Nitori is a good candidate for someone that would ignore a lot of the red flags that Hina presents. That said aside from proximity I don't think there's much in common between the two of them. Hina's biggest business venture is her admittedly cute attempt at selling paper based Hina dolls instead of the traditional version. The Aki sisters would be closer in compatibility, but might make for an unfortunate collection that would commiserate their general lack of faith. The Yorigamis would make a comedic duo to juxtapose Hina's outlook on life, seeing as they so heavily rely on worldly desires to drive them to action. Actually, I imagine that due to how close Shion's power is to Hina's it's hard to imagine that they would never be acquainted.

And of course, works where Hina is used to her full potential. Let's not lie to ourselves and admit that we enjoy Iosys' Miracle Hinacle. But as for doujin works like manga, I can't say I have any notable items off the top of my head that used Hina in a novel way that I'd like to point out. She's always fun to see, but generally no more than a side note in most stories. I'd love to see if there's any last minute examples from others before we do the next roll, though.
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>>17347 I think what makes her a god is her tie to a semi-religious rite. She seems to be a result of using Higashi-bana dolls in order to exorcise bad luck.the belief that those dolls are actually doing something is what seems to have birthed Hina. And it's not like there aren't other 2hu gods that are weak(the Aki sisters) or can't control their abilities(Sagume, whose ability frankly verges on a disability.)

As for my thoughts on her, not much more to add from me. She's a solid tragic in a rather quiet way. She's a nice girl. And she does the funny spins.
>>17347 I think what makes her a god is her tie to a semi-religious rite. She seems to be a result of using Higashi-bana dolls in order to exorcise bad luck.the belief that those dolls are actually doing something is what seems to have birthed Hina. And it's not like there aren't other 2hu gods that are weak(the Aki sisters) or can't control their abilities(Sagume, whose ability frankly verges on a disability.)

As for my thoughts on her, not much more to add from me. She's a solid tragic in a rather quiet way. She's a nice girl. And she does the funny spins.
Sauce: https://e-shuushuu.net/image/59098/
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__kagiyama_hina_touhou_drawn_by_poco_zdrq3__b9ba2e
https://danbooru.donmai.us/pools/3845

This is a doujin with Hina and Medicine that I like very much, and I think it still informs how I imagine Hina. I think that part of Hina's core characterization is her acceptance of her role as a misfortune goddess. She might be creepy, awkward, or friendly in varying depictions, but she never seems to mind how her accumulation of misfortune causes others to avoid her, and also doesn't seem to begrudge people for that. >>17348 raised a comparison with the Yorigami sisters, and I think that Hina possesses a lot more compassion and way more dignity despite also being relatively similar in classification. She's largely comfortable alone, yet like Alice is perfectly capable of getting along with most people she meets. Still, I imagine there's some element of loneliness within her, and I think that would be a good starting point for her relationships and potential story use.

Nitori also strikes me as a likely associate of Hina. Maybe Kappa tech is volatile enough that any misfortune from Hina doesn't make things that much worse. The only other resident of youkai mountain I feel she might have a particular relationship with is Shizuha - maybe she helps the autumn goddess by sharing perspective on misfortune.

City of Harsh Fantasies had Hina as the protagonist's (a human villager) landlady. She seemed broadly similar to what I outlined above, maintaining emotional distance between her and others while still being benevolent towards humans.

Maybe it's that benevolence, which seems to be rarely emphasized to Hina's degree, that could be used to give her direction in a story. Maybe there's someone who reacts oddly to misfortune, like it doesn't stick to them or doesn't let go, and she takes it upon herself to figure out what's wrong. She's very friendly, but both she and everyone else keep their distance due to the misfortune. I wonder how she would react if there was someone who could freely come and go.
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Rolling 1d14 => 14
1: EoSD
2: PCB + IaMP
3: IN
4: PoFV
5: MoF + SWR
6: SA
7: UFO + Hisouten + DS + FW
8: TD + HM
9: DDC
10: LoLK + AoCF
11: HSiFS
12: WBaWC +SFW
13: UM
14: Print works & Others
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Rolling 1d6 => 4
1: Reimu Hakurei
2: Marisa Kirisame
3: Hieda no Akyuu
4: Kosuzu Mootori
5: Miyoi Okunoda
6: Maribel Hearn & Renko Usami

Maribel and Renko consolidated. Mizuchi Miyadeguchi excluded due to recency. I can't think of any other characters to add who aren't covered by a game.
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File 171668989569.png - (4.22MB, 1526x2160, Kosuzu_Whos_Who.png)
Kosuzu_Whos_Who
Species: Human
Place of Activity: Human Village
Main Abilities: Ability to decipher any writing

First appeared in Forbidden Scrollery (2012)
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cute and dumb little bell
I’ve got mixed feelings regarding Kosuzu, to put it mildly.

She was one of the dullest things about Forbidden Scrollery, very often being over her head and the other humans (Reimu, Marisa, Akyuu) or the various youkai actually doing much of anything of note or otherwise driving or resolving situations. Kosuzu comes off as overall pleasant, if somewhat childish (and even a little petty) and, frankly, kind of dumb—the assumptions she makes about the outside world given what she’s read is a mix of arrogance and misinformation and she’s not particularly good at deducing things or working out problems herself. That she has an eye for business and opportunity is somewhat of a redeeming trait and probably hints at an upbringing where she has been expected to partake in the family business from a very young age.

I’m not sure there’s much growth to her character by the end of FS and, sure, she gets nominally inducted in the “group of people who know about Gensokyo’s realities” but it’s really sudden and for “reasons” (if not to say, Yukari-ex-machina.) That she hasn’t appeared or been mentioned since the end of FS strongly adds to that feeling of secondary status even within her own story and overall irrelevance.

I haven’t really seen anything on THP (or looked elsewhere) that I’ve found interesting that involves Kosuzu.

… But! With all that said, there’s still a lot that can be done with her character. That she’s a villager is a cachet for sure and she’s arguably the only “normal” human that we’ve seen for an extended period of time in the series thus far; Reimu, Marisa, and Sanae don’t live there and are not typical in the least; Akyuu has privileged social status, knowledge and wealth and is not representative either.

Kosuzu has a family and is part of a small business and community and has links not only to the other human protagonists—and boasts a fair degree of intimacy with Akyuu as exemplified by their speech and manners around one another—but (after FS) to youkai who have an active interest in village affairs. Any story that involves Kosuzu could easily involve those characters and vice-versa, with Kosuzu potentially acting as a good glue or excuse to bring in others into a situation as may be needed. Yeah, could be more demon book stuff, but it could be also anything more pedestrian (or, adversely, fantastical) as the relationships are there.

I don’t think Suzunaan is anything close to an important part of the community but the shop does additionally give more pretext for all sorts of people to come in either looking for a book/information or offering to sell something along those lines. Kosuzu being active in her family’s business also can serve as a pretext in dealing with other merchants or families as deals are made or orders fulfilled.

It’s also not unthinkable to lean on the ending of FS and have her meet whichever youkai by virtue of her now being part of the cognoscenti and going a party at the shrine or whatever else. Or getting caught up in another youkai-related mystery (not that she’s ever had much to contribute on that front.) This is not an angle that I’m particularly enthused about since I think that FS is fairly haphazard and its plot under-baked, so continuing along those lines isn’t interesting. But it appears like a valid direction to potentially go in.

Personally, don’t see myself writing her except maybe if Akyuu is also involved.



I will concede that her design is decently cute.
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I’m the guy who normally posts ‘ten-thousand word’ replies. I was out of town for the past couple of weeks, so I missed a couple of discussions. Sorry about that.

With that said, I’m a little pressed for time, so I’m not sure what I’ll be able to say about Kosuzu. I’ll give it a try anyway.

I kind of struggle to come up with much to say on interesting scenarios involving Kosuzu. Most of Forbidden Scrollery was her causing trouble by messing with youkai books, but other than that, she’s not a particularly remarkable character in and of herself beyond being more or less a peer to Akyuu.

...yeah, sorry, I’m struggling too much on this. She’s not a very interesting character. She’s a human villager who moons over youkai from a distance and cowers when encountering real ones. If that changes in any reasonable way, her basis as a character is altered to the point of not being very Kosuzu-like anymore. If she shows up, it’s either to be a pain in the ass to Reimu et al. or to be ‘that friend of Akyuu’s’. Most of her time is going to be spent cooped up at Suzunaan, doing whatever needs to be done about books. Nothing reasonable can really take her out of the village, beyond maybe to the Hakurei Shrine, so her range is pretty limited. I wish I could find more to say, but I can’t.

I know Kosuzu appeared in a few THP stories, but I can’t remember anything where she featured heavily enough to make much of an impression; I’m including Rural Concord in Small Scale — which I helped write — among those few. By this point, I probably ought to just disclaim that I don’t really read doujinshi or much of anything at all in the way of fan comics, so I don’t have anything to say on that count, either. I feel like Kosuzu isn’t a character that’s likely to get much in the way of a nuanced portrayal, so there wouldn’t likely be much for me to say in any case.

Sorry again. I just don’t have that much time to think of much this time around, and I’m not in the best state, so I think this rubbish is the best you’ll get from me.
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Very disappointed that there's no Fortune Teller in the Print Works. (JK)

Kosuzu is a likeable character, because of her personality & relation to major characters (Akyuu, Mamizou, Reimu, Marisa, and a bit of Aya). Other than that, Kosuzu is more suitable as a supporting character/side character for stories because there really isn't much to talk about her. I mean, you could talk about her family but that's a lot of character-building.

>>17361 brings up some great points regarding Kosuzu herself. Although, I would disagree with the notions that changing her perspective on youkai & etc would make her be not "very Kosuzu-like". Characters do adapt with time & stories involving any forms of time jumps could conceivably be written. Outside of that, it would take a lot of story-building & time, but it could be done.

>>17361, I love your posts because they're well-written & very thoughtful towards whatever character is being discussed. Sure, I could disagree with some things, but that doesn't change that your posts are very interesting to read.
Take care of yourself, ok?
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Kosuzu is actually a character I find really easy, and sometimes really beneficial, to stick into situations. Largely and especially because of her position at the very, very end of FS; the initiate into the world of the Youkai exterminators.

She can act as an in-universe character to explain any headcanons or details to that others wouldn't know. And she offers this rather unique angle to various characters: the Apprentice Incident-Resolver, where everyone else is well-established. It's a fun concept that's ripe for any number of scenarios, and can get her just about anywhere. You can get any relatively intellectual character in Kosuzu's store without issue, and the right book can get her out investigating any other youkai's story as well. But on THP and in CYOAs, it's very easy for an Original character to pull that duty instead.

At the same time, she's a good way to put a face on to the perspective of the human villagers. Geidontei's Regulars Moustache and Side Shave also suit this purpose, but she's able to see both sides more naturally, I think.

Don't sleep on Little Kosuzu!
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https://danbooru.donmai.us/pools/20310

Kosuzu's cute but also very naive. I never finished FS but apparently that had an anticlimactic and abrupt ending. In any case, what information we can glean from her paints an interesting picture of what life in the village is like. They seem to be pretty ignorant and complacent, with little ability to identify youkai, much less do anything about them.

I'm in a rush right now so I can't say much, sadly. I think Kosuzu is a good fit for stories that focus on more mundane life in Gensokyo. Other people mentioned the possibility of having a wide range of characters visit the bookstore. The doujin I linked has her venture out and get involved with the grassroots youkai. Come to think of it, maybe she would be a good character for the premise of Ecology and Lives of Minor Youkai.

I remember reading a lot of fics on Ao3 featuring her, usually dealing with the drama of her becoming a youkai and having to get exterminated by Reimu or something. None of them seem to have left an impression on me.
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Rolling 1d14 => 5
1: EoSD
2: PCB + IaMP
3: IN
4: PoFV
5: MoF + SWR
6: SA
7: UFO + Hisouten + DS + FW
8: TD + HM
9: DDC
10: LoLK + AoCF
11: HSiFS
12: WBaWC +SFW
13: UM
14: Print works & Others

I'm going to roll for a new character on Mondays now.
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Rolling 1d9 => 5
1: Shizuha & Minoriko Aki
2: Nitori Kawashiro
3: Momiji Inubashiri
4: Aya Shameimaru
5: Sanae Kochiya
6: Kanako Yasaka
7: Suwako Moriya
8: Iku Nagae
9: Tenshi Hinanawi

Hina excluded due to already being rolled.
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Sanae_Whos_Who
https://en.touhouwiki.net/wiki/Strange_Creators_of_Outer_World/Who%27s_Who_of_Humans_%26_Youkai_in_Gensokyo/Sanae_Kochiya

First appeared in MoF (2007). A living god (arahitogami/現人神), meaning that she is simultaneously a kami and a human.
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moment in shrine
Sanae is an interesting character but woefully underdeveloped in the official works. She’s been playable since UFO but has mostly only made extended cameos in the print works. Yeah, it’s enough to be able to say that she has a bit of a competitive side to her (even to the extent of courting disaster as in WaHH) and in-game dialogue seems to reflect a desire to satisfy/impress Kanako and/or Suwako (depending on the shot type). She’s industrious and takes her shrine maiden duties seriously and is consistent about them (unlike Reimu.) She’s seen ministering, offering services, generally being around the village more than once in the manga.

With that said, those are things that she is seen doing and we haven’t really gotten much in the way of what she’s actually like in her day-to-day life. She’s on good enough terms with people but not really friends with anyone (to the extent of hanging out, eg: Reimu/Marisa, Kosuzu/Akyuu, Patchouli/Remilia &c.) There’s hints of interest in stuff like science and sci-fi but even if that’s something that she does care about beyond ZUN making playful references it’s not like there’s anyone in Gensokyo who has much interest or knowledge of outside world culture (Kosuzu might come closest but she’s dumb and doesn’t understand what she’s reading) and so one wonders what Sanae might do in her down time and whom she might spend it with. The relationship with the shrine’s deities is still ultimately of priestess and goddesses despite its cordiality and definitely not familial as a lot of fanon is quick to show.

So, well, I suppose that even after all these years Sanae is still an outsider and doesn’t really relate to most of Gensokyo’s inhabitants. That doesn’t seem to affect her that much by all appearances and she’s still enthusiastic when it comes to incidents. But also maybe it also opens up a space in fanworks for seeing what kinds of relationships she might have built up over the years—a strange human, with divinity about her (an often misunderstood side in western perceptions and underutilized side of the character) , might feel more comfortable among the other inhabitants of the mountain like tengu or kappa than the generally cloistered villagers.

I’d love to see more works with her that’s willing to explore the sorts of things I’ve mentioned, the more personal side of her, seriously without falling into flat and trope-y (and wish fulfillment-y) territory like a lot of THP stories have in the past. Suwako and Kanako will always factor into her life but they wouldn’t necessarily define or even have that much of an impact on her every character facet. Nor do the politics of faith and struggle for prestige. That outsider’s perspective is also relatively unique since she also a permanent part of Gensokyo and how she might engage in non-shrine-maiden relationships and interests is something that I’d be keen on developing/seen developed.

Anyways, those are my off-the-cuff thoughts. Maybe someone will find them interesting enough to acknowledge or respond to this time around. Do wish both the rolling and the replies were more consistent as waiting days for either doesn’t make it easy to keep track of things and to participate.
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>>17371
>Maybe someone will find them interesting enough to acknowledge or respond to this time around. Do wish both the rolling and the replies were more consistent as waiting days for either doesn’t make it easy to keep track of things and to participate.
I apologise for my own part on that score. I have a hard time structuring what I want to say in a way that doesn't ultimately end up being a massive monologue. I'll try to, now that I have a moment, engage in more of a dialogue.

I do agree that Sanae isn't really shown 'off-duty', so to speak, which is an unfortunate problem for her as a character. Most of the time we see her — games notwithstanding — she's either doing what amounts to outreach for the Moriya Shrine, or she's at a banquet or other event at the Hakurei Shrine. That we can't see her in her downtime makes it a bit hard to see much of her as a person beyond a certain facets. But, well, as is the point of this thread, I suppose there is speculation and interpolation.

For my part, Sanae strikes me on the surface of it as a young woman who minds her manners and presents a cheery, socially-acceptable face to everyone she meets. Once past that initial surface, it doesn’t take very long to realise that she’s very often the odd one out in many cases, not fully in the know, not quite able to mesh with the atmosphere. She is, despite years in Gensokyo, still ultimately an outsider who can’t fully become part of her adopted home’s fabric. As someone who is attuned to a degree, by constitution and by vocation, with the inhuman, she can’t cross a certain line of cordiality with humans in Gensokyo, who are conscious of dividing lines between perceived human and non-human and probably find ambiguity in such matters unapproachable. Because of this, most contexts she’s seen in are either ones of duty or ones involving others who are not fully bound by the social fabric of Gensokyan human society, like Reimu or Marisa.

I suppose she is used to being the odd one out on some level. She strikes me as someone who would have been too independent-minded for the outside world, not willing to accept the strict bounds between ‘reality’ and ‘fantasy’ as commonly perceived. Perhaps before coming to Gensokyo she was a bookish type, escaping from the tedium of life by pursuing fantasies and/or hobbies. To me, that would explain her degree of enthusiasm when it comes to things like incidents or being involved in Moriya Shrine projects; she’s becoming involved in the sorts of fantastical things that were strictly fantasy in her previous life. And it’s that wild enthusiasm that tells me that she’s the sort to get very passionate about things, unable to really contain herself when set off. She’s someone who’s used to putting on a facade for the sake of acceptability, but it’s ultimately always been a facade, and perhaps she carries a degree of resentment over that, reveling in the chance to cut loose when it presents itself. Of course, she still did absorb degrees of human common sense of her age, like pushing back against the enforced social drinking of Japan’s popular culture, though the vehemence with which she pushes on some of those issues only enforces my view of her abnormal passion as a person. To sum it up in a very oversimplified way, I think she’s someone with a calm exterior that belies a hot-bloodedness that manifests itself in all sorts of ways, making her the sort of person many in a culture of conformity above all else wouldn’t know how to deal with.

When it comes to relationships, I also agree that Sanae likely doesn’t have very close bonds with anyone in Gensokyo, perhaps in spite of her best efforts. Those immediately closest to her are the goddesses of the Moriya Shrine, Kanako and Suwako, and her ties with them strike me as much more boss-underling than anything familiar. In general, I’d say that Kanako likely values Sanae as someone who does her bidding, but they’re probably not sitting around the dinner table together chatting about their day; it’s likely more the sort of paternalistic bond of a superior with an inferior, the latter obliged to indulge the wishes of the former and in turn being granted a degree of protection. With Suwako, I feel there’s probably less of a relationship, the Moriya goddess being something of a hidden curiosity of the shrine and less the ‘face’ of it, unlike Kanako. At most, Sanae has to listen to whatever she says as well, and they likely don’t have a lot to do with each other beyond that. For sure, Sanae takes a certain pride in serving them as a shrine maiden, and she probably wants to earn some degree of approval from them, but I’m not sure she’s truly attached to them in a higher capacity than duty.

Beyond the shrine, Sanae’s most obvious acquaintances don’t present much closer ties on the whole. Even as fellow humans and incident resolvers, it feels to me that she has little common ground with Reimu and Marisa. The most cordial relations with Reimu seem to be founded largely on social events, Sanae often being at shrine banquets, otherwise sliding into either suspicion of an occupation rival or general annoyance at a notional outsider. Any relationship with Marisa seems a bit sketchier, hard to draw a clear picture of beyond a sort of general curiosity regarding her outside origins, if only for opportunistic sorts of ends, probably bookended with the same annoyed apathy Reimu presents more often than not. Humans aside, more recent games have shown that Sanae does have a certain degree of goodwill from some youkai in spite of her extermination efforts. She probably isn’t too happy to be fawned on by someone like Tsukasa, who mostly exists to exploit others to an extent that even opportunists like Marisa rarely touch on, though their interactions in UDoALG seem strangely familiar in a way, so perhaps they can get on all right as far as Sanae can tolerate her. By contrast, though Sanae is less familiar with her on the off than vice-versa, Biten seems generally artless in her affability towards the shrine maiden. Granted, the sarugami is fairly outgoing, so there might not be a lot to read into there, but I suppose the two might be able to have something of a cheerful acquaintance not akin to amiable neighbours.

But I've sort of gassed on here and not even addressed the open question of what Sanae does 'off-screen', so to speak. I feel like I need more time to ponder it over, but I don't want to leave an extremely long time between posts, so I suppose I can just say this: my own position is that she probably spends a lot of her time on the Mountain, whether at the shrine or in other parts. I think that being the Moriya shrine maiden offers her degrees of access that the tengu wouldn't grant any other human under most circumstances, given their political engagement with the Moriya Shrine — something that woefully hasn't been all that relevant in most cases. Perhaps she's not the most welcome in tengu society or among the kappa, but I wonder if she would pay that a lot of mind, already being an outsider to everyone. Maybe she goes down to the tengu commercial centres and window shops. Maybe she intrudes upon the kappa's workshops to goggle at their work and pester them with questions. Maybe she has tea with mountain hags. Overall, I feel like someone as clearly strange as her would spend a lot of time with youkai in a non-extermination context, and she would certainly be poised to be one of the few to do so.

I will just note here that, though her original profile states she's an arahitogami, one of the endings around MoF or thereabouts pretty much states that she's more or less just a human and that she's largely accepted that idea. Sure, she's 'touched with the divine' in a sense and thus not normal by any means, but I think it is an important thing to note inasmuch as I don't think her kami-fied status factors that much into her character.

But I've somehow gone on long enough to nearly hit the character limit without addressing further points that the OP values in discussions of characters. I guess I'll have to cut it off here and take some time to think on it. I do want to add to your points about possible points of exploration for Sanae, >>17371. I just haven't had the opportunity to think too deeply about it. Forgive me.
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>>17380
Okay, I've had a minute to think on it and suppose I have things to say.

As far as roles Sanae might play in a story, I'd say there's a bit of range. First and foremost, she's someone who is an outsider to the village who is nonetheless more readily accepted (at least, on the surface) than others, able to engage in at least a cordial manner. Probably about as obvious, she's also someone who comes from and has knowledge of a more contemporary Japan than that of Gensokyo, albeit having only seen it from a fairly limited perspective of being school-aged. With the slight hints of her interest in natural sciences and such, I'd say she could be someone who takes an interest in the natural world around her and perhaps has strong feelings about its varying facets. Of course, a common theme is her outsider status, so she's always able to serve as a friendless loner, to whatever end that might serve a story. Somewhat acknowledged, she's a human from the outside who has recently settled in Gensokyo after the construction of the barrier, an exceptional rarity when you look at it. Similarly, she's someone who had an entire life that she abandoned in order to come to Gensokyo. Less tied to her history and more speculative, I'd place her as a moony fantasy-chaser, prone to daydreaming and getting lost in her own ideas of things, but also I think she could be something of a cheery go-getter who insists on helping others out, perhaps whether they want it or not.

In terms of interesting scenarios with Sanae, I've come up with a few vague ones. I think something that could be interesting to see in a story would be Sanae either interacting with some of the few other outside humans who have settled in Gensokyo or just learning about them. In general, a story that touches on comparing Sanae's life from before coming to Gensokyo and after would be interesting, depending on the details. I also think something like Sanae involving herself in some kind of social or environmental cause in Gensokyo, whether in the village or especially on the Mountain, would be both in-character and interesting. Similarly, Sanae trying to get others interested in her interests in some way, like trying to exhibit and sell sci-fi doujinshi — in the original sense of self-published writing — would be potentially amusing. Lastly, given her relative solitude, a story about Sanae forming a friendship with someone, probably a youkai, would work; I think it's something that would take a certain delicate handling, though, because it could turn very trope-y and dumb quickly.

For depictions I've enjoyed, the only one I can think of readily is Pantomime of Youth; I've regretfully not yet reached the point that she comes in in Theater of Youth. That Sanae is a very strange girl who clearly has a lot going on under the surface of a polite, cheery, and pretty face. She's burdened with the expectations of others but can't really relate to anyone despite their notional support of her, making her more of an ideal in the eyes of others than a human. When she tries to talk to others about things she cares about, they don't understand and react oddly, so she's learned to put on a facade and mask herself for the sake of others. In that sense, she's a pitiful figure, but there's a vivacity that can't be denied, not to mention a clearly unique point-of-view that's hard to truly grasp. The brief bit of interaction with her in Pantomime really makes me want to see what she's like in Theater.

I'll also just add that I really like her theme. It's easily up there in terms of character themes, and I think it's generally underappreciated. At least, I can't recall hearing that many arranges of it

A lot of what I've come up with is a bit sketchy and vague, but I hope it can invite some discussion.
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>>17380
>>17382
I think a lot of your speculation certainly is plausible and makes sense. I could see her as being inwardly passionate though it could also be good old-fashioned obstinacy. Not sure I buy the moony fantasy-chaser or cheery go-getter in abstract but I that I could perhaps enjoy it if reasonably-well executed.

As for the scenarios ... perhaps there's also something there in self-publishing sci-fi. Akyuu found success cribbing mystery novels, so there's precedent in the village. Though, how do you get a bunch of bumpkins in a land of fantasy to be interested in sci-fi? Feels like Sanae would be struggling every step of the way. Similarly, trying to rally (largely apathetic) people would certainly lead to conflict.

I don't really have much to say beyond what I initially said about her and what you've added but thanks for chiming in and giving more food for thought for whatever it's worth.
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>>17385
>Not sure I buy the moony fantasy-chaser or cheery go-getter in abstract but I that I could perhaps enjoy it if reasonably-well executed.
Well, 'moony' is probably taking it a bit far, but I could see her being someone prone to flights of fancy. Perhaps living in fantasy (i.e., Gensokyo) has lost a bit of its lustre and now more inward fantasies are of interest.

>Though, how do you get a bunch of bumpkins in a land of fantasy to be interested in sci-fi? Feels like Sanae would be struggling every step of the way. Similarly, trying to rally (largely apathetic) people would certainly lead to conflict.
I mean, folks in the village seem to be swayed to an extent, and usually for a very short interval, by novelty or things that are a certain degree of a non-threatening sort of strange. An obvious outsider like Sanae putting out writing might attract some notice just by itself. As far as sci-fi itself as a concept, it might take some re-imagining to put things in terms that people in Gensokyo might understand. And, well, it might not just be villagers; presumably youkai might notice any brief buzz and investigate for themselves. Of course, as you say, apathy and/or suspicion would prove a mighty struggle to overcome and attracting attention isn't always a good thing in Gensokyo. Perhaps Reimu might find something objectionable. Perhaps a certain tanuki might use it as an opportunity for some sort of mischief. Maybe a tube fox might even see a chance to dig a claw or two into Sanae for whatever purposes. There are certainly avenues for character conflict, I suppose.

>I don't really have much to say beyond what I initially said about her and what you've added but thanks for chiming in and giving more food for thought for whatever it's worth.
Sure. It'd be nice if there could be more of a back-and-forth here, but I can't complain if I'm not trying something myself.
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I think the discussion for Sanae was good. It was decently insightful and had people responding to each other.

I've been having trouble finding the time and energy to participate and manage the discussions. Fluffy Mask has offered to take charge going forward.
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Since I've been called out by name, I'll post with my trip.

Indeed, I have offered to take over running the thread, and Bee has been kind enough to allow me the pleasure. Starting tomorrow, I'll be conducting the rolls and generally overseeing the flow of the thread. Nothing will change as far as how things are handled, nor will the general aim of the thread. In sum, to most observing — and, I hope, participating — this change in management should signify very little. As I'm nearly always around for this thread, rolls should happen with reasonable consistency, barring unforeseen circumstance.

Thank you as always to those who participate, and thank you to Bee for starting this thread. I hope this thread lives up to all expectations under my direction.
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As there probably isn't any further discussion forthcoming, I'm going to go ahead and roll. In future, though any particularly active discussion might delay things a bit, rolls will likely happen early in the day on Monday. I hope this isn't too much of a departure from precedent.

Rolling 1d14 => 11
1: Embodiment of Scarlet Devil
2: Perfect Cherry Blossom/Immaterial and Missing Power
3: Imperishable Night
4: Phantasmagoria of Flower View
5: Mountain of Faith/Scarlet Weather Rhapsody
6: Subterranean Animism
7: Unidentified Fantastic Object/Double Spoiler
8: Ten Desires/Hopeless Masquerade
9: Double Dealing Character
10: Legacy of Lunatic Kingdom/Antinomy of Common Flowers
11: Hidden Star in Four Seasons
12: Wily Beast and Weakest Creature/Gouyoku Ibun
13: Unconnected Marketeers
14: Print works/Others
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Satono and Mai are excluded as they've already been discussed.

Rolling 1d5 => 5
1: Eternity Larva
2: Sakata Nemuno
3: Komano Aun
4: Yatadera Narumi
5: Matara Okina
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File 171802762412.png - (5.02MB, 1526x2160, Okina_Whos_Who.png)
Okina_Whos_Who
One of youkai sages involved in Gensokyo's creation, the Touhou representation of Matara-jin, and the main instigator of the events of Hidden Star in Four Seasons. As an esoteric god, she likes to muddy the waters regarding herself and act from the shadows, though she seems to be more actively acting in Gensokyo recently for unclear reasons. She can manifest doors on anyone's backs, through which she manipulates their mental and physical energies, enhancing or debilitating them, a major part of the incident she caused. Though she sits in a wheelchair, she isn't actually disabled.

https://en.touhouwiki.net/wiki/Strange_Creators_of_Outer_World/Who%27s_Who_of_Humans_%26_Youkai_in_Gensokyo/Okina_Matara

https://en.touhouwiki.net/wiki/Okina_Matara#Official_Profiles

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matara-jin
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Okina's a difficult one to say much concrete about, which is, not inappropriately, a part of her character. She very consciously wants to remain hidden and obscure, yet she also wants everyone to know that things are her doing. To that end, she tends to act by proxy, whether through Satono and Mai during the events of HSiFS or Flandre during Gouyoku Ibun. The things she involves herself in don't particularly seem connected to Gensokyo as such, despite her status as one of the sages who created it, so I wonder if she cares more than distantly about it. I suppose it's possible that Gensokyo is more of a project to her than an ideal. In general, she acts more like the fandom's past characterisation of Yukari than Yukari has ever done; she's more directly a meddler in Gensokyan affairs who hatches schemes for bizarre reasons only truly understood by herself. In that sense, she strikes me as capricious, perhaps a bit mischievous, mostly out to amuse herself if not meet some obscure goal of hers. I guess that could be extrapolated to say she might be the sort of person who can't leave others alone and has to stick her oar in at every turn. It would probably be annoying to be subject to her attention.

That said, she doesn't seem to show that much interest in others, like a lot of 'powerful' figures in the Touhou Project. She's technically present everywhere in Gensokyo, but she doesn't tend to show up in any noticeable way, largely observing things and doing everything from a distance. Whenever she's obliged by someone barging into her realm or when she wants something from someone, she'll certainly talk to them directly, but it seems to me that she's mostly passive in her dealings with others. I can't see her having a whole lot to do with Yukari or Kasen on average, though it's possible that either might have business with her from time to time. Then again, in her capriciousness, maybe she finds pretexts for bothering them, similar to the assessment of Yukari in Lotus Eaters after the episode with the whiskey(?) bottle; that said, I don't think Okina's nearly that lonely of a person. She technically 'created' Aun — though Aun is more an embodiment of the existing spirit of a lion-dog statue than an actual statue, it has to be noted — but it doesn't seem especially likely that they would have much connection, though who knows with Okina's general whimsy. It seems less likely to me that she'd have much contact with figures like Reimu outside of very particular circumstances, usually involving them going to her. A slightly interesting aside, much like her inspiration, she does seem to be slightly ill-disposed towards the tengu, which raises some questions about what might have happened in the past with them; both Matara-jin and tengu as a whole have connections with esoteric Buddhism, though not shared ones, as far as I'm aware.

Her stage six theme is one of the more memorable pieces from HSiFS, and the very obvious melodic connection to "Necro Fantasia" is interesting. I can't say I've heard any arranges of it, which is unfortunate but halfway expected.

As far as situations of interest involving Okina, I'll have to think on it. I hope in the meantime that what I've said can prompt some thoughts on the part of others.
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>>17395
Pretty quiet. I know Okina's not an exceedingly popular character, but sheesh.

Anyway, I've come up with a few general situations involving Okina I think would be interesting, though I'll admit they're not much. Maybe others might like to chew them over and add on to them? Or come up with better ones? I'm far from the most creative here.

The first would be Okina doing something or a series of somethings to meddle in tengu affairs to antagonise them. That could mean a lot of things, but my first thought is largely about getting in between the great-tengu and stoking chaos by exacerbating what are likely existing power struggles between different parties within tengu society. Maybe it would also mean playing the different species against each other, encouraging the crows and wolfs to rebel against great-tengu hegemony. There's a whole lot of territory that could probably be covered right there. In the context of a story, I don't know how it'd quite work out. Probably would need to be from someone else's perspective, but I dunno.

The second would be, given her inspiration's conflation with some Pure Land figures, Okina acting as a cultic figure among the disadvantaged or the outcastes of the human village. Perhaps among them is one of the few places where she might appear openly, convincing people who are otherwise ignored of her power. Others not among them would get the sense that there's something strange at work but probably not be able to understand. Maybe it might bring Okina into conflict with someone like Byakuren, who might look to the most vulnerable for followers, as Pure Land Buddhism tended to in the past. Again, maybe a story about such a thing might work better from a non-Okina perspective, in this case maybe Byakuren's.

Third is more of a grab-bag of similar kinds of situations based on the theme of Okina toying with or trying to lead others around. One of those would be Okina bothering Kanako, a fellow goddess and relative newcomer, maybe antagonising her, maybe just being a bit of a pest around the Moriya Shrine, all for the sake of her own amusement, to get at the tengu, or some other obscure reasoning. Another would be Okina trying to lead Akyuu into including something or other in her mystery novels by creating series of coincidences that pique the Hieda girl's curiosity and lead her into unravelling a 'mystery'. Last of them would be Okina guiding Aun, one of her 'creations' and someone who tends to listen to voices in her ear, towards various small problems that she can help with. A lot of these sorts of situations are more lighthearted in spirit, I would think, and so would lend themselves to stories that are relatively slice-of-life in character.

So, yeah, as you can see, not much super concrete there.
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doot_master
>>17399

I'd like to jump off of that last sentence specifically. Okina is weird as hell. She's the inverse of an issue we have with most characters, where others have little background information or drawn from mythology Okina has so much that it causes my head to spin. Matarajin the deity is associated with numerous other bodies in Shinto, Buddhism, and Hinduism, of which there's so many to name that you'd be better off looking at the wiki for her if it's even accurate. This is also further confused with how Matarajin eventually earned status as a god of Noh, which conflated the god with Hata no Kawakatsu and thus implies Touhou's Okina to be the same historical figure that served Miko, retained Kokoro, and stopped belief in Tokoyo no Kami (who Eternity Larva may or may not be). Lastly, Okina's first name is homophonous to the old man mask in Noh plays, just for kicks.

What do we do with this complete library of different influences, possible relations, and divine jurisdictions? I don't honestly know. There's so many ways that we can go with Okina in terms of what she's interested in, why she does things, and how she accomplishes them. In HSiFS she delegates a task to Mai and Satono, that is likely inconsequential, to draw in powerful people to fight her and show her presence. Each playable character even fights her twice since they get shafted at the end of stage 6 boss and want a rematch. Even though the player wins in the end she pulls the 'I allowed this to happen' card. Did it matter in the first place if she won or not? She just wanted to grab attention but in the end she also shows a lot of ego. And again in Gouyoku Ibun she drafts Flandre, a vampire, to solve an incident for her. Is she strong enough to beat Yuuma herself? Who knows, she'll never tell.

I find it easy to agree with >>17395 in light of her past actions, but beyond that we also have this dump of disparate parts that we can choose to use or even ignore. For instance, Okina shows up in a wheelchair, but she's also stood up in her extra stage. Is this because she is usually bound to that wheelchair unless she wants to put on airs or does she put on airs by acting like she's a disabled god when really she can stand just fine. There's a bunch of interpretations to Okina that really make her stand out as a flexible character that you can do a lot with.
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>>17400
>In HSiFS she delegates a task to Mai and Satono, that is likely inconsequential
I mean, it is inconsequential. The two 'looking for their replacements' was just a pretext.

>Yuuma
Honestly, the thing I'm still unclear on is her motivation in that whole mess. Yes, the oil was cursed and connected to Hell, but it doesn't feel like Okina has much reason to care. In the end, she basically does a deal — that nobody knows about — with Yuuma to... manage the oil or something, if I remember correctly. Honestly, Gouyoku Ibun was weird and a bit convoluted in terms of the background stuff.

>Is this because she is usually bound to that wheelchair unless she wants to put on airs or does she put on airs by acting like she's a disabled god when really she can stand just fine.
I think ZUN commented somewhere that she isn't disabled at all. Also, he mentioned the whole image of a stereotypical 'mastermind villain sitting in a chair' image in relation to her.

Overall, though, I would broadly agree that there is a lot to Okina, given all of the various associations and conflations regarding Matara-jin. That said, I wonder how much of a 'surface' sort of character she can be made; it feels like most of her character is in remaining unseen-but-felt, so trying to depict her directly seems like it would detract from that. Of course, if you're going for something comedic or whatever, I suppose that might be half the point, but I don't know otherwise.
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As I'm running this thread now, I'm going to be a little more proactive in calling out for stragglers. Speak now or forever hold your peace — or until next time Okina gets rolled, I guess.

You have until the timer expires or a small degree of wiggle room thereabouts.

[timer=2024/06/17 12:00-5]
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>>17404
Sheesh. I forgot how timers work and that I cannot set them in this thread. And it took me two tries to realise.

Whatever, though. Message remains the same. You've got until noon tomorrow (UTC-5 time) to do what must be done. After that, the dice roll.

Tripless because meh.
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And I forgot to ask an important question because I'm tired and even less right in the head.

So, important question: How is the roll frequency for people out there? Is a week too short? Do we need to go biweekly just to catch people? Is there anything in particular that keeps people from posting? Any confusion over anything?

Feedback is appreciated. Well, unless you're going to say discussions need to move faster or whatever, in which case, all I'll have to say is 'Contributions welcome.'

Definitely the last announcement type post today this time.
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Hey, just gonna trip for a surface level headcount.

I feel like a week is a good time frame for me to digest any thoughts I may have on a character I want to participate in the discussion of. Biweekly wouldn't really change much on the amount of opinion posts in my opinion (and not just because I forget this thread happens until the next roll each week). I also feel like we're hitting a good rhythm on what is expected of people to contribute to discussions in terms of both initial impressions and dialogue engagement.

All that said, I'm only one opinion out of several in here.
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>>17406
I'm also cool with a 2 week interval per character. I'll keep thinking about any concrete suggestions for changes to the discussion itself.

Okina, as mentioned by >>17395, may fit the half life G-Man sort of archetype more naturally than Yukari, who had filled such a role for a long time in fanon. I'm personally guilty of this. In any case, Okina does seem to actually be a mysterious extradimensional snooper and meddler with broadly ambiguous motives.

One thing I do picture as characteristic of her is a desire for people to know that whatever plot or incident was specifically her doing, but simultaneously being coy about her exact involvement. It's the kind of mind game I don't like in real life. I think she wants to occupy a sort of middle ground where she is known as a puller of strings but without clear details so that speculation can run rampant and add to her mystique.

Personality-wise, I remember reading in what I think was one of the official profiles that Okina was a 'classical' sort of god, one who pettily punishes disrespect and graciously rewards piety. I think that fits pretty well with her MO of lurking in backdoor land most of the time, but I struggle to extrapolate how she would interact with people who are not her backup dancers and/or are not trying to resolve an incident she may or may not be involved in. For whatever reason, I don't feel like the grandiose persona Okina puts on is an 'act' in the way I can see it for other characters, but I also feel like my perspective is incomplete. There's some appearances for her in lotus eaters or something I haven't read, and I'm not that familiar with what she was up to in SFW. I do like the interpretation of Okina that has her sympathetic towards the downtrodden due to one of her many mythological associations. In any case, I think she has a high opinion of herself that also happens to be generally justified. She's someone who can back up their hype.

Character relationships... I already discussed Mai and Satono's relationship when they were rolled. At the very least I think Okina treats them well in the way someone would maintain important tools, but I don't feel certain that she cares significantly for them beyond that. I think it would be interesting for her to genuinely care about them in some way, but not in a more straightforward way.

I don't really know how she would get along with Yukari or Kasen as fellow sages, unfortunately. I imagine that they all prefer to do their own thing and only work together begrudgingly when needed.

Regarding her interest in other characters like the HSIFS protags or Flan, I think she may monitor and test them partly for amusement but also to better understand them and factor them into her schemes, and maybe direct their behavior in such a way that it's a net positive for gensokyo. That last bit is mostly me speculating on my own, though.
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Rolling 1d14 => 9
1: Embodiment of Scarlet Devil
2: Perfect Cherry Blossom/Immaterial and Missing Power
3: Imperishable Night
4: Phantasmagoria of Flower View
5: Mountain of Faith/Scarlet Weather Rhapsody
6: Subterranean Animism
7: Unidentified Fantastic Object/Double Spoiler
8: Ten Desires/Hopeless Masquerade
9: Double Dealing Character
10: Legacy of Lunatic Kingdom/Antinomy of Common Flowers
11: Hidden Star in Four Seasons
12: Wily Beast and Weakest Creature/Gouyoku Ibun
13: Unconnected Marketeers
14: Print works/Others
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Rolling 1d7 => 5
1: Wakasagihime
2: Sekibanki
3: Imaizumi Kagerou
4: Tsukumo Benben/Tsukumo Yatsuhashi
5: Kijin Seija
6: Sukuna Shinmyoumaru
7: Horikawa Raiko
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File 171864516652.png - (2.54MB, 1526x2160, Seija_Whos_Who.png)
Seija_Whos_Who
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I don't personally find Seija a very exciting or interesting character, but I suppose there's not nothing there. As an amanojaku does, she largely exists to be a contrarian for the sake of it and generally be unpleasant. Given a dearth of non-game appearances, it's hard to say a lot about that very basic nature of her as a character, but I suppose it also means there's room for interpretation. The most straightforward is that she's simply malicious and possibly outright evil by nature. However, in the manga pages for Grimoire of Usami, she clearly corrects herself when trying to declare the opposite of something, leaving the door open to say that perhaps there is perhaps a hint of self-conscious to her contrarianism rather than simply 'doing it because that's what she does'. I'd say that angle is a little more personally interesting, because it's at least a bit of complication to her character. After all, what if she is, underneath all the posturing, just kind of a small-fry who feels a need to make herself seen? A rebel without a cause — or possibly without a clue, either?

In any case, those are my opening remarks. Perhaps others might take up the point whilst I think things over.
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I've thought about Seija to try to come up with something different to say and I can't say that I've got much. She's an unpleasant contrarian who manipulated Shinmyoumaru and would likely have no compunction against doing so again if she could. A great deal of that may be due to her nature and I agree with >>17418 that if there is an ambiguity and self-consciousness about her actions, it would be far more interesting.

I can't say that I've found any depictions on THP of hers (rare as they may be) to be convincing and I think that instead of trying to square that circle of finding genuine likeability in her it's best to consign her to playing the role of an antagonistic force. I've yet to see any depictions that try something different that are also persuasive and don't ultimately fall into the camp of logic of "because reasons" or outright wish fulfillment. Getting past this unjustified contrivance would likely need masterly buildup and context within a story for me to buy it.

That said, outside of a more sober role, I can think of maybe her being used for comedic effect where her desire to always be against whatever and whomever would lead to quick reversals and manic realignments.
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Following on >>17418, I guess.

I'll invert the usual order of my post to mention the sole Seija appearance in fanworks of note to me. Once more, I'll point to Theater of Youth. In that story, Seija doesn't get more than a couple of very brief appearances, but the occasion she properly appears does present a character I generally agree with. In the context of ToY, she's an underclassman who presents herself as a pseudo-leftist 'revolutionary' type, spouting off about overthrowing 'the system' and so forth, styling herself as a bit of a punk or something thereabouts. Normally, that would be obnoxious as hell, but it's pretty clear in her case that it's sort of a chuuni thing, a put-on for the sake of asserting one's own identity. So, it's kind of cute for what it is. Shame she didn't really get any real appearances elsewise.

I bring that characterisation up because it largely coincides with my general view of Seija as a character. Personally, I think she's largely, at center, just kind of a bratty character. She's a small-fry in the order of things who needs to put on a show of spitting in the faces of the strong, which makes me think that she probably a) would hate to be actually outright viewed as 'weak' and b) gets a lot of motivation from spite. Given that kind of motivation, I think her contrarianism is largely a conscious thing; she doesn't actually think in terms of valuing things in a contrary way, but rather only outwardly asserts as such. Of course, she also strikes me as someone who is probably a bit too impulsive to hatch evil schemes and largely acts based on opportunity more than any dedication to a cause, and probably isn't very imaginative, either. In a word: she's closer to a juvenile delinquent than a hardened criminal.

With the way she is, it's not hard to say that she doesn't have many real relationships with anyone. That said, Grimoire of Usami does suggest that she and Shinmyoumaru might still have something of an acquaintance that borders on familiar in spite of the events of Double Dealing Character. If that's the case, then I'd guess Seija might hang around the inchling by default, though perhaps not proactively, only drifting in and out as boredom or loneliness drives her. Other than Shinmyoumaru, it seems doubtful that Seija would hang around anyone that isn't similarly kind of a small-fry nobody like herself, assuming she hangs around anyone at all. Whether that means she would have any sort of genuine acquaintance with characters like Sekibanki, Mystia, or any one of the many faeries, I don't know. Some part of me doubts it, but who knows? I guess she could also like being around the more 'organised' youkai, like the kappa or the tengu, for the sake of antagonising them.

As far as interesting scenarios with Seija, I find myself generally agreeing with >>17420, though I've still tried to give a bit of thought to things. In general, as mentioned, Seija could always be something of a comedic figure, largely existing to be shown to be incompetent, ineffective, and insignificant in her actions; she tries to make trouble, then her antics unwind on themselves, or someone stops her with the most trivial of countermeasures. If we're talking something slightly less (outright) comedic, a random thought was Seija joining the Myouren Temple with the intention of 'toppling them from within', only to find her efforts largely ineffective or counteracted by existing dysfunction, perhaps even contrarily motivating her to act to 'fix' their problems. Another less concentrated thought would be something like Seija needling the (as yet rather underutilised on THP) yamawaro into being more belligerent towards the kappa, or vice-versa. Perhaps slightly similar to the Myouren Temple example, but more personally interesting to me, is the idea of Seija becoming acquainted with someone weaker than herself — think like a dying old man or someone like that — and becoming conflicted in her motivations towards them, feeling drawn to betraying them and abusing what little power she has but sometimes also towards sympathy towards the weak.

>>17420
>genuine likeability
For my own part, I feel like it's not necessary to find such a thing in Seija. But I get what you mean, I think. Even if she's probably self-conscious in her contrarianism, I still think her values are ambiguous and perhaps ultimately too alien to be a completely sympathetic character.
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When it comes to contrarian and troublemaker because of species characters in touhou, there's often two interpretations of them; Asshole by Nature, and asshole by choice. Does she choose to be an asshole, or does it come naturally because of her nature? What can you do to bring her on the side of the good guys in a situation? There's fun stuff to be done with her, that's for sure. And she's a reliable answer to any plot-defining question that starts with 'who'd be enough of a belligerent asshole to do...'

But I don't want to talk about that.

So sit down, buckle up, and get ready for my rant on SeiShin as a ship.

There are three ways this usually goes. One is fun, one is situational, and one is just infuriating to me. The one that's the most enjoyable to me is neutral Seija to Yandere Shinmyoumaru, partially because it's such a humourous concept. Seija's wiles, along with encouraging Shinmyoumaru's recklessness, combine to make Shinmy become possessive of her. And it makes sense that Seija would be genuinely unable to deal with something like yandere impulses, mixing up signals on her like that.

The midrange one is tsundere seija. You can at least do some interesting things with this one. Better depictions, like Aoshimas, tend to focus on the contrast between Seija's real feelings, and her nature as an amanojaku. Worse depictions are just tsundere with nothing more than that compelling them.

The absolute worst is also the most virulent, and frankly the nadir of touhou shipping without dipping into fucked-up fetish territory. And I'm sure you've all seen it, because it's the go-to ship of the worst parts of every fandom; the Seija-did-nothing-wrong stories. While it's an interesting concept to explore the two of them having a point, 99.99% of the time it's taken to a frankly insulting extreme.

Everyone else is a psychopath who swerves to hit the puppies crossing the road, nobody listens even slightly to the two of them, and anyone who aligns with them is also super perfect and idealised. Like, I'm talking not just that character's canon flaws are exaggerated, their canon characterizations positive and negatively are entirely ignored in favour of being the absolute worst charicatures of the author's critics vaguely cosplaying as whatever 2hu they are. Like, in a seishin did nothing wrong story, Marisa won't steal books, Reimu won't seek donations, they will just run about trying to take seija's head like they can only survive by eating amanojakus

Seija and Shinmy are presented purely as perfect angels, and the absolute depths of depravity the amanojaku gets up to is being a little indirect about returning the inchling's preening affection. You could be shoulder-deep up a hog's ass and still be less hamfisted than these seishin stories.

And they suck the breath out of every other possible ship the two could have. Like, shinmy has a small fun mix of characters she can be put with, like Tenshi and sumireko and Reimu and Raiko, but nope it's time for the usual combination of vagueposting and preaching that makes up nearly every. fucking. seishin story. but hey, this one will surely work, 4237603464653756th time's the charm, right?

it is a disgrace that one of the most popular ships in the entire fandom is also one of the LEAST explored in terms of it's greatest narrative potential, putting an earnest shinmy with an outright evil seija, and losing the age-old battle of 'i can fix her'. Or perhaps it's more accurate to say that rather than exploring the potential of the ship in stormy seas, nearly everyone just stands behind a cut-out of a boat on the other side of town and pretends they're fucking Marco Polo.
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>>17422
Eh, dunno. I don't think Seija and Shinmyoumaru have nearly that strong of a relationship. It's possible to vaguely interpret them as being something like friends if you turn your head and squint enough, but that's being really optimistic. At best, Seija's probably indifferent to Shinmyoumaru, and I'm not sure it doesn't go both ways. In all honesty, I feel like pairing them up is kind of a lazy 'default' to begin with. They've got the general story connection, and then what? Not a lot else. Even if it's not Shinmyoumaru, it's hard to see Seija being that close to anyone unless her character is fairly distorted. Seems like a lot of effort that could be spent on better characters.

But, in general, I've got nothing to say on shipping. Less than nothing, really.
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>>17422
What in the sam hill are you talking about?
Strongly worded character discussion post to follow
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Seija in my opinion is a character who has one of the most creative potential, considering the tools she has in her possession combined with the fact that her ability is reeeaally versatile. Her profile outright states that she has the ability to turn over anything, this implies not just directions, but also the properties of a matter. What will happen if she reverses the property of a rubber? Will it become sturdy like rock? What if she turns over the temperature of cold ice? Will it instantly turn into a really hot vapor of sorts? The possibilities are endless! Heck, even Warugaki uses her ability to reverse someone's gender lol

I never really touched her character in any of my writings, but I imagine that if I did, I would affiliate her with the theme of free will, considering her rebellious trait and her ultimate goal of defying the established social customs. There's one fic I've read with a fairly good characterization of Seija, here's the link if you want to check it out too.
https://archiveofourown.org/works/26872756/chapters/65567434

There's also the Wife Seija series that's worth mentioning, but I'm afraid that I might have steeped a little too far...
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>>17426
Her ability is far more literal than you're thinking. If it was anything more powerful, a) it would likely have been mentioned in the various interviews even as an off-hand joke, b) would likely have been shown in her fight, like the flipping aspect was, c) she may have not needed the miracle mallet to begin with

> I would affiliate her with the theme of free will, considering her rebellious trait and her ultimate goal of defying the established social customs.
Unless it's something where she is able to be not to be evil and contrarian, I don't think the free will angle works. Look at the linked SCoOW comments and her profile. It is her nature to be like that. She's a very simple character in that regard. In another interview (https://en.touhouwiki.net/wiki/Strange_Creators_of_Outer_World/Double_Dealing_Character_and_Impossible_Spell_Card_Interview_with_ZUN), ZUN drives home the point that she doesn't really care about social customs or change, it's more a matter of self-expression of her nature.
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>>17426
>>17427
I mean, she could certainly take up the banner of 'free will' cynically, I guess. That wouldn't be too out of step with her as a character. But, yeah, she's more of a bratty teenager having a permanent rebellious phase than anything, so it's not exactly like she's thinking too hard on whatever she does. She may or may not even have that capacity, honestly.

And, yeah, agreed that her ability basically amounts to flipping physical things upside-down, which I wouldn't be surprised if it was just another way of saying she takes things and physically attempts to invert them. I don't put much stock in in-game portrayals of anything, but different strokes and all.
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I personally really like Seija for her very villain of the week nature. There's wiggle room in her weakness for interpreting her actions as being petty without any intended maliciousness or desiring maliciousness that she isn't able to achieve on her own. It's somewhat in the air if she wants to have large scale ambitions that her personality doesn't lend itself to plan or work for or if she wants to be the gadfly, a constant nuisance that will never go away. Both interpretations of her amanojaku nature to want 'evil' still pins her as largely inept to accomplish things greater than herself. Everything she does is largely on the basis of other people or things, which she happily gases up when she appears.

Her talking in reverse is also a funny little thing. She very clearly only does it to play up her nature as an amanojaku since she also speaks directly about things in equal amounts. It means she's screwing around as much as she wants, which is to be expected. In fact, since she talks in tongues so much, we aren't allowed to get interpretative senses of what she really likes or dislikes, even when it should be obvious there's still that bothersome attitude of hers that can cause second guessing. Added bonus, it's really cute that when she gives a score in the judges panel of Grimoire of Usami she uses zeros, meaning she is giving everyone max scores by her definition.

As for her ability, I've never personally understood how people state that she flips physical things and is therefore weak. Like, that's kinda ridiculous to just take an object and turn it over? At the bare minimum we know she can do it to a person since she does it to the player. So, without any sort of physical interaction at all, she takes something and flips it, no questions asked. Fittingly for a character like Seija, you need to define a lot of rules to make her power unimpressive. A short list for discretion: incapable of truly inverting things physical or conceptual, unable to rotate/turn items that are fixed to the ground such as flora, unable to arbitrate the point of rotation such that she doesn't teleport things from one point to another, unable to define the constraints of the object being rotated such that she can't rotate partial amounts of things. Does anyone see how silly this gets? On the bright side, if we consider her ability as simple as possible, she can probably still rotate a cow, and that's funny.
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>>17427
I know the canon might have never mentioned anything regarding the extent of her power, but it also never mentioned anything about its limitations either. It is true that she probably would've done crazier things had her ability could do more than just flipping things over. I just want to say that if someone were to interpret her ability as I do, it'd still make sense to me.
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>>17429
>There's wiggle room in her weakness for interpreting her actions as being petty without any intended maliciousness
ZUN outright states:
>She's just a simple rebellious attention-seeker. She's pretty unusual for a Touhou character, in that she's clearly malicious and evil.

>It's somewhat in the air if she wants to have large scale ambitions [...]
Think it's clear-cut. From the link in >>17427:
>She didn't actually want to overthrow society or start a revolution. It might have been something more like self-expression. I don't think she cares much about what would happen afterwards. She's more like a rebellious teenager who enjoys being against what everyone else thinks, not someone who really wants to change things.

>>17432
Sure, fair enough. Fandom sometimes takes things to silly extremes by interpreting abilities too broadly, I feel. That said, if the execution of something is interesting I'm willing to overlook stuff that I wouldn't necessarily write myself.
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>>17429
>>17432
>>17433
>how people state that she flips physical things and is therefore weak
Not sure anyone actually says that. At least, nobody's said that here. That said, Seija is factually a small-fry in Gensokyo, which means she likely isn't too strong or clever; you could (trivially) argue she's likely to be stronger than a typical human because, well, youkai, but the fact still stands that she's low on Gensokyo's food-chain, broadly speaking.

>without any sort of physical interaction at all
There's no basis to say this beyond 'in-game depiction', which is already a whole thing, and even that's more assumption than fact. We have no real official non-game media depictions of Seija beyond Grimoire of Usami, which gives us precious little to go on, much less the assertion here.

Anyway, any sort of real fixation on 2hus' stated abilities feels like pointless squaring-the-circle half the time. I myself don't care that much and don't read or not read stories based on that at all. I generally agree with >>17433 on overlooking stuff based on execution, though I'll still argue a point on what I feel is more left-field interpretation.
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Friendly neighbourhood thread-runner popping in to tell you that you've got until noon (UTC-5) tomorrow before the next roll.

If you have yet to say your piece, say it sooner rather than later. Remember: you don't have to write a massive wall-of-text to have something to say.
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I see Seija as a small-fry troublemaker. People mentioned during the discussion on Kogasa that it may be helpful to not assume that human psychopathology translates directly for youkai. In Seija's case, I have a hard time understanding what it might be like for an amanojaku to be compulsively contrarian and unpleasant. Now that I write it out, maybe it's not so outlandish given the sort of behavior you can see on the internet.

The contrarianism is the most significant part of Seija's characterization to me. What does it entail? Is she compelled to disagree with and antagonize people? What would she be like in a vacuum, then? Can she act against the impulse? Does she even want to?

I mentioned trying to acknowledge that youkai psychology doesn't necessarily follow human rules, but Seija gives me more difficulty than most. Taken to an extreme, the compulsion from her nature as an amanojaku to disagree with others seems to suggest that Seija literally would not have any personality of her own. For that reason, I tend to picture her as motivated by more recognizable things like spite and pettiness. I agree with >>17433 on her having no genuine beliefs and only caring about causing trouble for fun. I don't even think of her as particularly intelligent - for example, she brought up the issue of the weak being subjugated by the strong, but wouldn't be able to discuss it at length if pressed and in any case would not because she only cares about it as a flimsy pretext for mischief. Just like many internet users, there's no point in trying to converse with her in good faith.

I do think that Seija has a sort of cunning with matters of survival instinct and manipulating people via their worse impulses. If she was really flipping people off all the time, I imagine someone would have offed her, so she probably understands on some level to not cross certain lines. Unlike other troublemakers, she doesn't really have anyone to back her up, and I don't think she's got, say, Yuuka's sort of personal power that grants a certain degree of impunity. Still, she doesn't seem completely excluded from gatherings. Rather than being persona non grata or having a bounty on her head, I get the feeling that her niche is that of an unpleasant and spitefully tenacious troublemaker who ultimately isn't worth the effort to exterminate more permanently. She's an asshole, not an criminal mastermind existential threat to gensokyo.

>>17429 I'm not sure if her giving everyone 0s is a sign that she actually thinks highly of them. I think it's likely that it's just her trying to antagonize them.

I agree with >>17434 on the limited use of dwelling on the exact nature of touhou character abilities. Assuming that they work on the conceptual level makes things pretty incoherent. Can Seija reverse the chirality of molecules, the spin of electrons, or the attraction and repulsion of the fundamental interactions? If she loses, can she reverse that into winning? Can she instantly kill people by turning them inside out? Can Yukari manipulate the boundary between true and false to edit reality on a whim? Can she manipulate the boundary between herself and someone else to subsume their identity? Can Flan destroy the possibility of outcomes she doesn't like? Does Tewi enjoy quantum immortality? Does Youmu actually move faster than light like the title of that one spellcard suggests? Can Miyoi serve the people who ask these questions food delicious enough to make them finally develop better taste? I personally imagine Seija's ability as rotating things 180 degrees along an axis of her choosing. In any case, I don't think it's the most interesting part to spend attention on.

Relationships:
Shinmyoumaru: I think Seija and Shimmy have what almost looks like a friendship. Shimmy isn't dumb enough to forget Seija's manipulation and Seija is too antisocial to really do better. Still, I think they could reach a sort of mutual understanding on the level of 'partners in crime' where they can cooperate and even enjoy each other's company to an extent while having perfect awareness of the lack of real trust between them. >>17422 has a very different way of picturing relationships between these characters and seems to read very different stories to the extent that I have no productive comments to make.
Sagume: The most I have on a relationship is Seija commenting "Whoa, THE Ame-no-Sagume?! We're, like, the same race! This party's bearing more fruit than I thought! I really should be sticking with the inchling for the long haul!" from the Grimoire of Usami. She recognizes what Sagume is and the significance of the relationship that entails, but I'm not able to get more concrete info from that.

In terms of stories, I think the concept I'm most interested in regarding Seija is an exploration of the relationship between her and Sagume. Does Sagume feel any kinship towards Seija? Do they make each other better, for whatever value the term might given who they are? Do they make each other worse?

Another idea is how Seija might interact with other troublemakers - the Yorigamis, Medicine, or Seiga. I don't think any of them really have the brains, ambition, power, etc. to cause real trouble, and any attempt to cooperate would probably be a net loss for their side. Rather, I have a morbid curiosity about how they would mistreat each other or snipe at each other's wounds. If nothing else, it's kind of funny to imagine someone so disagreeable that even the homicidal poison doll or cartoonishly evil wicked hermit get fed up with them.

In terms of stories with Seija that stand out to me, Green Eyes and a Monster (https://archiveofourown.org/works/4208736) is the strongest in my mind. It features Parsee offering shelter to Seija when the latter flees into the underground following DDC. The premise resembles the "seija and another abrasive character" idea I just mentioned, but I feel like the writer gave both characters a lot of depth, explored what it would be like to live with their respective compulsions, and managed to show how they might help each other more than hurt. It's been a while since I read it and I fear that it would not seem so impressive on a reread, but I still would recommend trying it out.

https://archiveofourown.org/works/11856846 is another one by the same writer. This one is much shorter and depicts a relationship between Seija and Nemuno. Similarly to the above, it gives Seija's behavior and mindset more depth, and attempts an interesting background for her.

I know about the wife seija series. I like cute self insert wish fulfillment waifu romance as much as the next guy, but there's a typical lack of depth to this one. It's sweet but not filling at all. It doesn't have much to say.
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>>17436
Eh, don't think there's any real connection with Sagume; the spell card comments in Grimoire of Usami are all kind of ZUN-making-funnies more than anything. I mean, even if there was, I doubt they'd have much occasion to interact. How would Seija even get to the moon? Why would Sagume bother coming down to the kegare-infested surface?

Interesting point on characters like the Yorigamis, though. I'm not so sure on Seiga, since she follows her own strange logic, but perhaps a chance interaction between Seija and the Yorigamis would be at least funny. Considering they're not as small-fry-ish as Seija, they'd probably ignore her at first, which would gall her into messing with them. Meanwhile, Reimu and company look on and deem it a victimless crime.
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Rolling 1d14 => 5
1: Embodiment of Scarlet Devil
2: Perfect Cherry Blossom/Immaterial and Missing Power
3: Imperishable Night
4: Phantasmagoria of Flower View
5: Mountain of Faith/Scarlet Weather Rhapsody
6: Subterranean Animism
7: Unidentified Fantastic Object/Double Spoiler
8: Ten Desires/Hopeless Masquerade
9: Double Dealing Character
10: Legacy of Lunatic Kingdom/Antinomy of Common Flowers
11: Hidden Star in Four Seasons
12: Wily Beast and Weakest Creature/Gouyoku Ibun
13: Unconnected Marketeers
14: Print works/Others
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Hina and Sanae omitted because, of course, they've had a turn.

Rolling 1d7 => 3
1: Aki Minoriko & Aki Shizuha
2: Kawashiro Nitori
3: Inubashiri Momiji
4: Yasaka Kanako
5: Moriya Suwako
6: Nagae Iku
7: Hinanawi Tenshi
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Momiji_Whos_Who
A wolf tengu who acts as a guard on Youkai Mountain. Seems to have poor relations with Shameimaru Aya. Related the player characters' movements to her superiors during the events of Mountain of Faith.

https://en.touhouwiki.net/wiki/Strange_Creators_of_Outer_World/Who's_Who_of_Humans_%26_Youkai_in_Gensokyo/Momiji_Inubashiri

https://en.touhouwiki.net/wiki/Momiji_Inubashiri#Official_Profiles
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As with all 'lesser' 2hus — meaning those who lack much in the way of clear depictions in official media — I would say the parameters are going to be very loose and the space for interpretation pretty wide for someone like Momiji.

Just taking her at symbolic value, she's just a stand-in for all other wolf tengu, who otherwise don't play much of a role in happenings in the games or other media. As far as we're ever presented, the wolfs largely serve in guard roles on the Mountain, though we don't know anything more concrete regarding things like organisational structure. We don't even have a clear picture of where Momiji in particular would sit in the hierarchy of wolfs. Is she someone important? Is she just a grunt? Does she command others? Does she have duties beyond the general 'patrolling and reconnaissance'? Already, these are questions that could be answered in a number of ways, and there would be little to clearly contradict any of them.

Given her very stand-in nature, I'd say she's probably fairly unremarkable for a wolf tengu. The touted ability-to-the-extent-of seeing really far is probably one that a great number of fellow wolfs have, though perhaps she has fractionally better vision than others. If she were anyone of any note, she'd probably have more of a profile than she has, so I'm guessing she occupies something of a foot-soldier role, probably towards the bottom of the pack. As far as her personality, the general suggestion is that she's 'cooperative and loyal', and that's probably true to some extent, though I wonder if she isn't just good at hiding her true feelings; I've always leaned towards viewing the wolf tengu as something akin to samurai stereotypes, embodying an ethos of belligerence cloaked by a conscious image of self-control and self-denial. I'd place her as the type who has very harsh things to say about people when pushed to talk, and perhaps she's also a bit personally rigid, conventional, and weirdly stubborn about a lot of things.

I think I'll have to give more thought to things like relationships and the like. I feel like a lot of my thoughts here are rather preliminary.
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There’s not much to say about Momizi. Not only does she not have in-game dialogue but she didn’t even have a portrait. The few bits and pieces that we’ve gotten over the years have been scarce and the only direct quotes we have is some mild complaining when the ropeway opened and more about the outside’s development of shogi. Her job and a hobby (that’s likely by default because there’s not much else to do) isn’t much of a hint as to her personality or interests otherwise. There’s a bit of friction between her and Aya as per the spellcard comments in DS but it doesn’t sound too serious to me and more along the lines that Aya can be pushy, annoying and likely patronizing.

So maybe she is pretty much just a stand-in for the generic wolf tengu as suggested above? Any characterization about her is pretty much going to be made from whole cloth and so, yeah, that can be done. As can any number of other things, including using her as a vehicle to explore tengu society, wolf tengu in particular, or things on the mountain via patrols. These latter things would interest me more as a reader and/or writer if she appeared in a story. There’s an undisguised degree of arrogance and xenophobia in Tengu society and there doesn’t to be any indication that she would see humans or non-mountain youkai through any sort of different lens so maybe that’s fodder for stories as well.

As for depictions I’ve found interesting… I can’t recall any off the top of my head. The things I’ve read on the site have had her, at best, as a generic support character and in other cases basically an un-tengu wish fulfillment waifu.
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>>17442
>There’s a bit of friction between her and Aya [...] but it doesn’t sound too serious to me [...]
I've never seen it as anything particularly serious, either. If anything, it's probably a pretty one-way thing if it even extends into outright dislike sort of territory. Aya's certainly the sort to goad and prod, so it's not hard to see how someone already subject to tengu society pressures like a busy wolf might react poorly. But, hey, maybe it's all meant in good fun? Who knows.

>using her as a vehicle to explore tengu society, wolf tengu in particular, or things on the mountain via patrols
I think just like her characterisation, any of these points are probably going to involve a lot of whole-cloth invention, considering how little we know in particular regarding tengu beyond essentially a) what we can observe from a generally human standpoint or b) things that are broadly asserted in material that's of questionable value. I'd certainly find it interesting myself, depending on the choices made.
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What I love about Momiji as a character is that she demonstrates the love the fans have for the franchise itself. Sure, it helps that she is usually illustrated as a cute doggo, but it's impressive how a barely-named character (as of her first appearance), without a portrait or dialogue can be so popular. Of course she is not the first or the only character with those traits, but she is arguably the most popular of the handful of them.
Design-wise she's nothing spectacular, but she was supposed to just a sprite seen for a few moments so it makes sense. She is the characterization of a tengu grunt, she just happened to be named. The only thing that makes her stand-out, is that she has a shield. You might think "yeah so what's special about a shield anyways?" but when you think "japanese warrior" the last thing you picture is a shield. Which is cool, I love that.
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Following on >>17441.

Considering her near-non-character status, it's hard to make any kind of definite statement about any possible relationships with Momiji. There is the general notion that she has some kind of frictional interactions with Aya, though that's nothing that's been elaborated upon anywhere, nor is it likely to be. Beyond that, all else is left to personal interpretation. For the sake of discussion, I'll share a bit of my own broad interpretation.

As I already said in >>17443, I'm not of the opinion that Momiji and Aya have any serious animosity for each other. If anything, I think it's a fairly one-way thing, with Momiji being more irked by Aya than anything. Given that sort of premise, Momiji probably sees Aya as someone she's obliged to interact with under varying contexts and begrudgingly does so. Considering her position as a guard, even someone who likely shows up to rib her could be at least a small respite from the boredom of her duties.

I'm not sure if she knows Hatate or not. Hatate seems to be kind of obscure among tengu, not to mention kind of a shut-in, so I don't know if they'd have any real occasion to interact. Then again, she has seemingly witnessed Aya and Momiji's interactions at some point, so it's always possible they have some passing acquaintance. If that's the case, I think it's probably on the level of being vaguely familiar with a security guard at the front of a building you regularly visit or something of that nature; you might not even know their name or have spoken to them very much, but you know each other by sight and probably generally acknowledge each other in some way.

Similarly, I have severe doubts Momiji has any acquaintance with Megumu beyond the most obligatory. It's hard to say how much command any given great-tengu like Megumu would have over anyone on the Mountain beyond the general expectation of deference, so it's hard to say whether or not they would come across each other. My overall assumption is that, if they've crossed paths at all, it's probably been under the auspices of some big event that required both the presence of the great-tengu and the greater part of the wolfs. That said, if they'd have interacted in any way seems doubtful to me. In general, I'd say Momiji probably has the same passive recognition of someone like Megumu that many other tengu might have and probably not much in the way of a true opinion.

For others based on or near the Mountain — Kutaka, Kasen, Sanae, Kanako, the Akis, etc. — I think that's about the level of familiarity as well. To one extent or another, they're more likely to have directly crossed paths in moving about the Mountain, but interactions have probably been pretty by-the-numbers. A slightly open question would be Nitori, who occupies an ambiguous place among kappa. Could Nitori be one of ones Momiji has sat and played dai-shougi with? It's always possible, but I wouldn't say so for sure. Similarly, with this somewhat wide grab-bag of characters, there's always the vaguest chance that one or more has stopped to chat with a bored Momiji at one point or another. Whether or not that would mean anything in particular would be down to either party's impressions of the other, I suppose.

>>17444
Love for the franchise itself? Eh, dunno. Love for an assumed design on the part of various artists? More like it. Recall that Momiji's sprite doesn't actually show ears or a tail, so the 'cute doggo' design is more interpretive than factual.

I've never seen any artistic depictions of Momiji that felt more than surface-level in their Touhou-ness. It feels more about 'moé dog wolf girl waifu' than anything. At best, she's often 'a character to contrast Aya' but that has little to do with tengu per se or anything that relevant.
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>>17445
>> Love for an assumed design on the part of various artists? More like it.
Fair.
I'm bad with words, but what I meant more or less was that people love the franchise so much, that they shaped the most generic looking midbosses into a character, which was later expanded upon by the creator. Which by itself means not only Momiji, but the other midbosses as well, and the more fleshed-out characters. But yeah, I agree that applying this to only Momiji's discussion was a mistake on my part, since it's more of a "whole franchise" thing rather than for a single character.

The wolf/dog part in Momiji's interpretation was in part due to her surname which means something like "dog path" or something like that, so it has basis on her own character and I doubt it would be like that is she were named something else. Also I don't remember mentions of wolf tengu in japanese folklore so it might be something Zun took from the fandom and went along with it?
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>>17446
I mean, she is explicitly mentioned to be a wolf tengu in her profile. That much is incontrovertible. It's just that the actual in-game sprite — the only official depiction of her I'm aware of that actually comes from ZUN — doesn't clearly show any actual canine/lupine features. That's more what I was referring to.

Wolf tengu aren't really a thing as such in Japanese folklore, but the characters for the word 'tengu' come from the Chinese 'tiangou', which is an entirely different thing that somehow got conflated with a native Japanese idea... or something. I can't remember any depictions of dog-like tengu off the top of my head, but I feel like the coincidence with tiangou is part of it.

As to fans influencing ZUN, dunno. That's getting a bit meta for this thread, so I'm not going to go into that.
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Following on >>17441 and >>17445.

Trying to think it over, I've found it hard to really come to any real conclusion on premises featuring Momiji specifically that would be interesting. There is a lot of wide-open ground there, considering all of the speculation that could be made about Momiji's relation to any number of characters, but that is a double-edged sword in that, with a premise that is 'just so', perhaps nearly anything could work.

I guess I'm ultimately in agreement with >>17442 on this: Due to her stand-in nature as a character, Momiji is probably best suited to being used to explore the surrounding tengu/Mountain context she inhabits. Overall, more than Momiji herself, I'm more interested in interpretations of how tengu society manifests itself in things like institutions, government, media, social phenomena, and all manner of quotidian ephemera that we have little chance of seeing official comment on. In that sense, whether or not Momiji is even directly involved is of little consequence. That said, if she is involved, then I suppose to some extent or another we'd be getting into matters that deal with wolf tengu in particular. For instance, are they all obliged to be guards? Is it simply a 'cultural' thing? Do wolfs have their own culture aside from the 'mainstream'? What might wolfs who aren't guards do? What are their prospects? What does the typical career lifetime of a wolf look like? How has it changed? What sort of pressures might wolfs be under historically? More recently? There are many, many such questions that could be asked, and Momiji could certainly be present in addressing any of them.

Which, I suppose, brings me to my usual statement of not seeing much interesting as far as depictions. Yes, I have a slight soft spot for Moral's An Excuse for Awoo An Excuse for Aya, but it's... well, more of a community in-joke that outgrew itself than anything at this point. For the most part, I've not seen anything on THP that really involves Momiji where she isn't an unremarkable side character. Understandable, considering the high degree of ex nihilo construction needed to render Momiji more than an archetype, but the point still stands.
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Seeing as there's no more discussion forthcoming on Momiji, I guess we can consider that chapter closed for now. Moving on.

Rolling 1d14 => 4
1: Embodiment of Scarlet Devil
2: Perfect Cherry Blossom/Immaterial and Missing Power
3: Imperishable Night
4: Phantasmagoria of Flower View
5: Mountain of Faith/Scarlet Weather Rhapsody
6: Subterranean Animism
7: Unidentified Fantastic Object/Double Spoiler
8: Ten Desires/Hopeless Masquerade
9: Double Dealing Character
10: Legacy of Lunatic Kingdom/Antinomy of Common Flowers
11: Hidden Star in Four Seasons
12: Wily Beast and Weakest Creature/Gouyoku Ibun
13: Unconnected Marketeers
14: Print works/Others
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Yes, a couple of these characters are associated with other games/casts, but these are their first proper appearances in any Windows games, so this is how it shall be.

Rolling 1d5 => 1
1: Shameimaru Aya
2: Medicine Melancholy
3: Kazami Yuuka
4: Onozuka Komachi
5: Shiki Eiki
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File 171985448869.png - (3.83MB, 1526x2160, Aya_Whos_Who.png)
Aya_Whos_Who
A crow tengu journalist who runs the Bunbunmaru Newspaper. Seeks out information on things happening in Gensokyo and writes articles that tend to be heavily slanted based on her own opinion. Present just about everywhere in Gensokyo, especially where she's not wanted.

https://en.touhouwiki.net/wiki/Strange_Creators_of_Outer_World/Who's_Who_of_Humans_%26_Youkai_in_Gensokyo/Aya_Shameimaru

https://en.touhouwiki.net/wiki/Aya_Shameimaru#Official_Profiles

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tengu
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Aya's always tended to be at least in my top twenty characters, often edging towards or into the top ten.

I feel like people often misread her in weird ways, trying to cast her as a liar, manipulator, malicious slanderer, and so on. The thing about Aya is that she's fairly up-front about wanting things from people and tends to be opportunistic and transactional in all things. If Aya talks to you, you generally know where you stand with her. If she wants something from you, she makes it clear what it is. She doesn't really like things being farcical or full of pretext; during Mountain of Faith, she reluctantly puts on a show of resisting the player character(s) before allowing them to go on to the Moriya Shrine. In that sense, she's a pretty straightforward sort of character.

As far as her journalistic work, yes, she's biased. She doesn't exactly hide that. What you get in her paper is her viewpoint and not much more. To put it another way, it is the truth as she sees it. Could it be misleading? Perhaps. However, when was there any expectation that what she prints has to reflect the 'objective truth'? There never was, because the Bunbunmaru is clearly her passion project and something fairly personal, not a public informational organ.

In general, I like her for her nosy streak. Perhaps it'd be annoying to be on the receiving end, but she strikes me as someone who can be fun to talk to if she has any interest in you. She's not going to be shy or excessively reserved in dealing with you. All you have to do is be willing to meet her on the same terms and you'll probably have no problems.

There's a lot more I could say, but I'll leave it at that for the moment.
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print crow
Aya is a very interesting character and, unlike many of the other characters we’ve rolled, she has a lot of appearances in the various official media. Additionally, both AFiEU and BAiJR are presented as largely written by her. So we have a more developed view of her character and there’s a lot of different facets to it that are worth exploring.

For starters, there’s the obvious newspaperwoman side. As dialogue with Hatate in DS states, Aya hasn’t made it into the newspaper competition rankings so I think it’s reasonable to assume that she’s not really doing it for money or prestige. It strikes me more as perhaps a compulsion (or more charitably, a passion) and the prolific nature of her information gathering and publishing may well tie into that. As a result, Aya often comes off as pushy and is not above stirring things up to get a better story out of an interview or event.

That said, I’ll preemptively push back on claims that she invents things or otherwise lies as a result. That’s far too simplistic and ignores that the articles that we’ve seen (that include interviews) are more or less fair and that in other places like FS we’ve seen other comments who would be skeptical comment that her articles were on the level. The things that she omits or decides to not publish have been under implicit threat (Megumu talking aloud) or because being convinced that going the alternative facts angle would be useful for people who don’t mean Gensokyo well (debatable if that would be the case, but that’s at least the reason Aya cites.) So overall it’s neither a matter of telling some sort of objective truth nor is it about making up things from whole cloth with her, but I suppose of generally presenting things that happened in an interesting way for her readers. Who knows what her circulation numbers actually are and I think that her paper might be more popular among the village and the heroines than at the youkai mountain.

The pushiness and inserting herself into a story side of her isn’t the only thing about her, however. She’s not particularly unkind though, like many youkai, she seems to have a high opinion of herself. In various manga, like LE or SaBND, she gets along with other youkai and fairies (to the detriment of Reimu.) But there’s certainly a friction or rivalry with other youkai as influencing the human village seems to be something that various factions care about. Still, I would be willing to bet that if you casually encountered her in the village or something she would be pleasant enough to chat with.

As a writer, I’d say Aya is fun to write as she’s an energetic force that is earnest in her own way. She’s incisive and knowledgeable on a number of subjects so can be used as a general stepping stone into the world of youkai or, perhaps more specifically, into tengu society. Good as either an investigator or instigator. And, well, there’s a lot that can be done about tengu specifically as they have an unclear relationship with oni and their own society is fairly underdeveloped in the print works. As she seems to be something of a small fry there, she can still provide something of an outsider’s perspective when it comes to things like Gensokyo’s subtle power struggles. But most importantly, her nose for news and familiarity with most of the cast makes the possibility of using her with other characters far easier than with most others.

I might have more to say later, but I guess I felt bad for not contributing to the thread in a timely fashion so just vomited the above out.
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>>17466
>As dialogue with Hatate in DS states, Aya hasn’t made it into the newspaper competition rankings so I think
You know, I had completely forgotten that bit.

Though, really, I've always been of the opinion that Aya's circulation is probably low, comment from others or no. In CoLA, she throws extras around indiscriminately, to Rinnosuke's chagrin, and I think she was shown doing more or less the same in another mango. There's also the general comment in CoLA about tengu newspapers being fairly different content-wise to the Bunbunmaru. Among the tengu, it's pretty clear that Aya's more or less an unknown at best in journalism, certainly low on whatever constitutes the hierarchy. Whether or not her paper is more popular in the village or among the various 2hus, who knows. It seems a little inconsistent between depictions; sometimes it's an unknown rag nobody reads, other times (FS, chiefly) everyone in the village reads it — seemingly unaware that it's a youkai-run paper, never mind the lack of other obvious periodicals in the village. I tend to think that her readership is often more incidental than enthusiastic, with her pushing papers onto people more than getting actual subscribers.

But does such a state of affairs bother Aya? I'm not sure. I have a feeling it might, though there's no real basis to say so. It's pretty clear that she runs the Bunbunmaru as something she's passionate about, otherwise I'm not sure she'd zip around Gensokyo chasing after the often fairly minor things she does. Circling closer to her personal circumstances, and thus into fairly interpretive territory, I can't help feeling that it might be basically a hobby, with operating costs more often than not running into the red, so it ends up being something she does outside of her 'day job'. What that 'day job' is? Skies the limit, I suppose. I think many common interpretations would put her as being part of the Mountain's greater informational apparatus, though even within that sort of occupation, there are many roles Aya could fall under.

Personally, I've interpreted Aya as being not only low on the tengu social ladder but also possibly on the level of a pariah. In her MoF profile, it's noted that she was tapped as someone who would have the most contact with the player characters. It's a pretty weak link, admittedly, but I suppose it's the kind of thing that says to me that her link with the Mountain is weaker than other tengu. Besides that, her paper, as far as we ever see, largely seems to focus on things outside the Mountain, and she's always seen more in the context of being in contact with humans and non-tengu. If she's in that position, it wouldn't be surprising if she was more or less in a social position that puts her on the outside of normal tengu society. How far that goes in terms of how others within tengu society treat her, again, who knows. Maybe she's treated with open contempt. Maybe she's just ignored and overlooked. Maybe it's because of something beyond her control. Maybe it's because of something she did in the past. There are a lot of ways it could go.

As yet another random point in this very unstructured bit of thought-vomit, the mention of oni is an interesting one, as we don't really know that much about their relationship with the tengu beyond that the former had enslaved the latter in the past. I don't recall too much direct interaction between Aya and Suika, even in the context of Lotus Eaters, so it would be interesting to know how that goes. Would all tengu have an inherent fear of oni? Would Aya share in that? Is that lack of sustained interaction a product of fear? Or is it a simple dislike born of long-standing grudges? Considering how long ago their enslavement is implied to be, how many among the tengu now even remember that period? How many are aware? Does it feature culturally in their reckoning of history? Do they try to whitewash it away for the sake of their own pride? It raises a lot of questions, though I suppose few of them are directly relevant to Aya.

There's still a lot more I could say, but I think I need to think it over more and try to actually structure what I want to say.
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Continuing on >>17470.

I realised that I haven't even addressed things like character relationships for Aya yet. Then again, I think there's probably a lot to say, so perhaps I was merely procrastinating.

The most obvious are Hatate and Momiji as fellow tengu characters. Unfortunately, I don't think there's all that much to any figurative relationship between Aya and these two. For starters, none of the three is particularly high-up in the hierarchy, so it feels doubtful that they might know each other except perhaps in passing. There is the 'rivalry' between Hatate and Aya, but it's a fairly one-sided one, with Aya not seeming to pay it much mind. It could be that the two of them run in similar circles, but with Hatate being more of a shut-in, even that seems a little unlikely. At best, I think the two of them cross paths incredibly infrequently and probably in the context of newspaper things. As to Momiji, I already sort of covered this in the previous discussion, but I think tengu society is stratified/caste-divided enough that there's little chance Aya sees herself as equals with someone like Momiji, much less someone to keep a regular acquaintance with. Even assuming Aya is low-status among crows and outside the mainstream, I think there's probably a barrier of pride and self-regard that wouldn't let them interact in any normal way. Again, any interactions are probably in passing, up to and including whatever bickering they might engage in.

Similarly, I strongly doubt Aya has any direct dealings with Megumu. We of course see in Lotus Eaters that she has a healthy fear of the great-tengu, but that could mean anything. Personally, given various bits here and there that indicate the great-tengu as a class head this and that on the Mountain, I think that crows, wolfs, and others are inherently submissive to the great-tengu on a societal level. Accordingly, I believe Aya has had fleeting contact with Megumu if any. If either knows the other, it's probably by name alone or perhaps reputation or lack thereof. Should either cross paths, Megumu is going to be the one that commands respect by default, and I would wager that any treatment of Aya by the former is going to be high-handed and imperious.

Those characters aside, the real upside of a character like Aya is her pushy, nosy nature, which means she can potentially insinuate herself in the lives of everyone else — to the point that ZUN considers her a common point for a lot of the greater cast. As such, I guess it would probably be better to just highlight a few personally interesting ideas regarding Aya's relations with others, rather than exhaustively going through them.

Much can and has been said regarding Reimu and Aya, but how much is ever said about Marisa and Aya? Sure, the witchlet can be found often alongside the Hakurei miko, but there are likely just as many occasions that she strikes out on her own. In those instances, how often might Aya swoop in to nose in on her business? Given all else, I think it would be pretty often. She's always up to something, and it doesn't seem beyond belief that Aya would be around to see what's up. How would they interact? Relatively friendly, though I think Marisa would have an inherent distrust of Aya as a youkai, a tengu, and a busybody. Much of the interactions would probably have an 'angle' of some sort, perhaps transactional, with either wanting something from the other. To an outside observer, it might look like hostile dealings, but it would probably amount to Aya toying with Marisa as the latter tries to get one over on the former, a slightly less vermicidal Tom-and-Jerry sort of relationship. To Aya, there's probably the fun of teasing a witchlet and the paternalistic self-satisfaction of perhaps helping out an 'inferior'. To Marisa, there's probably the thrill of getting something from a tricky opponent.

Similarly, less commonly tied to Reimu, though by no means unattached, what of Aya and Sanae? The two are both Mountain-dwellers, so it seems like there would be more than trivial chance of their crossing paths regularly. It's not hard to conceive of Aya dropping in on the Moriya Shrine to sound Sanae out on the Mountain-side miko's view on happenings. As a fairly strange person, Sanae isn't indisposed to dealing with youkai in a non-combative manner, so I think they could easily chat a while without incident. Sanae strikes me as a little weak to pressure, so I think someone like Aya could probably press things out of her fairly easily with persistence. That might lead Sanae to hesitate a little around Aya, though she'd very quickly be led back into a conversation, no matter her determination otherwise. For her part, Aya would probably not think much of her own forcefulness and just see it as natural; no human is a match for a tengu's wit and inner strength. That said, given this general pitying attitude, I think Aya would probably think of Sanae fondly, seeing her as a strange little human who's pleasant enough in being dealt with, someone to gently tease and enjoy the (delayed) reactions of, in a sense, something of an adorable pet.

...I've already hit half the character limit and there's yet more I could probably say. I'm going to break off here for now and give someone else a chance to say something.
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>>17470
>>17472
There's a lot for food for thought there in terms of speculation but it just that—speculation. I do like the idea of Aya as sort of an outsider and someone who isn't necessarily appreciated even by her own kind. Perhaps the reason she focuses on the rest of Gensokyo and writes stories about them is because they are different to, perhaps, an ossified tengu caste society. Gaining influence on her own terms might be a strong motivator, even if what she tries to do would not be accepted by fellow crows, much less great tengu.

I certainly do think that it's more plausible for Aya to have more direct interactions with Marisa and Sanae as opposed to Reimu who is likely to just hunker down and dismiss anything youkai as trouble and/or annoying. Probably would be cordial enough, but likely not that deeps in terms of relationships. A stronger case might be made for Sanae interacting with her, I feel, but we really don't know much about life at the shrine to draw informed conclusions; we mostly see Sanae either at the village or engaging with Reimu et al.

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>>17474
>Gaining influence on her own terms might be a strong motivator
I suppose. Honestly, it's the kind of thing where I wish there was something that gave stronger hints as to tengu values. I have this general notion that they have a mindset alien to humans overall, but I'm not sure what that would be like in principle. And then that begs the question of how Aya's own outlook might differ from the average. It's hard to say anything concrete, and it's a little frustrating, if I'm honest.

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A little late. Life and such.

Rolling 1d14 => 5
1: Embodiment of Scarlet Devil
2: Perfect Cherry Blossom/Immaterial and Missing Power
3: Imperishable Night
4: Phantasmagoria of Flower View
5: Mountain of Faith/Scarlet Weather Rhapsody
6: Subterranean Animism
7: Unidentified Fantastic Object/Double Spoiler
8: Ten Desires/Hopeless Masquerade
9: Double Dealing Character
10: Legacy of Lunatic Kingdom/Antinomy of Common Flowers
11: Hidden Star in Four Seasons
12: Wily Beast and Weakest Creature/Gouyoku Ibun
13: Unconnected Marketeers
14: Print works/Others

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Momiji and others excluded because, &c, &c.

Rolling 1d6 => 3
1: Aki Minoriko & Aki Shizuha
2: Kawashiro Nitori
3: Yasaka Kanako
4: Moriya Suwako
5: Nagae Iku
6: Hinanawi Tenshi

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Kanako_Whos_Who

The current chief god of the Moriya Shrine. She and the shrine came to Gensokyo from the outside, an event that played into the incident in Mountain of Faith. She often concerns herself with the material and spiritual development of humanity in Gensokyo. Some of her many projects include the underground nuclear reactor and the Mountain ropeway. She is something of a 'classical' god, prideful, wrathful, but swayed by shows of fealty.

https://en.touhouwiki.net/wiki/Kanako_Yasaka#Official_Profiles

https://en.touhouwiki.net/wiki/Strange_Creators_of_Outer_World/Who's_Who_of_Humans_%26_Youkai_in_Gensokyo/Kanako_Yasaka

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suwa-taisha

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Kanako is a character I find often misunderstood and misused, assuming she appears in stories at all. From what I've seen, she's tends to be practically vilified, taken to be a schemer threatening Gensokyan order out of greed and/or antipathy for the rival Hakurei Shrine, assuming there's even much motivation ascribed. Even in more benign forms, she seems to be seen as something on the order of a sleazy businessman, valuing profit over virtue.

Whilst she certainly speaks in somewhat corporate-ese terms at times, I think that speaks more to Kanako's ambition than her aims. Really, grandstanding is a fair component to her character. She's a larger-than-life existence who needs to project herself outwards, leaving an imprint on everything around her. However, she's not foolish about it and tries to put everything in terms that can be acceptable to everyone, trying to find the point of mutual benefit, even if it's not readily apparent.

But, well, that's more relevant to the broad strokes of her character as the Moriya Shrine god. As an individual, it's hard to say a lot without more direct portrayals in official works. The best we really have at this point is her appearance in Lotus Eaters — which I'll admit made me take more notice of Kanako in general — something that gives us a slight glimpse into her character but nothing substantial. We certainly get a picture of her as someone particular about the qualities of things, perhaps to the point of snobbishness. However, she also has an appreciation for the imperfections of things, at least vis-a-vis Gensokyo's pre-modern sake production. In that instance, something of a refinement comes across in her character, even if there's something a little insufferably self-aggrandising along with it.

The lack of clarity about her character does make it tricky to say a lot at once, and most of what I've had to say here are more rough impressions than thoughtful judgements. I'll have to ponder a bit before saying more, I think.

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refined normal lady and also aunn

In her various profiles and appearances Kanako comes off as what might be considered an archetypal god—dignified, powerful, and in control. I would add to that bold, as her plans for relocation into Gensokyo were a calculated gamble, as was the technological focus leading to the fusion reactor and establishment of working relationships with the kappa and tengu, and the expansion of the shrine beyond the mountain which resulted in the branch shrine and the construction of the ropeway. She displays a hard-nosed realism about things which often borders on cynicism, as when she calls the Akis feral goddesses and doesn’t think too highly of Reimu and her approach to faith. That said, she’s not overly aloof nor imperious and, indeed, seems relatively affable in spite of those other traits.

Her appearance in LE was delightful to see and, putting aside ZUN’s hot takes on traditional vs modern sake-brewing methods, does reinforce that feeling that she’s interested, to a degree, in understanding humanity. It may be for the ultimate goal of more efficiently getting faith (making a shrine festival better) but I think that it might not be merely be for the sake of maximizing faith. I don’t want to overstate my case either but an interest in humans can be an interesting launching point for explorations of her character in a story; it could just be more surface-level “Kanako’s incognito adventures in the village” but it could also be something about improving the lives of the villagers after spending time among them and leveraging that goddess of technology angle that she’s been pivoting towards. While she might not ever be overly familiar with anyone—retaining that godly distance and dignity—I could see a certain fondness arising for individuals, especially maybe those who display a more strategic way of thinking like her. Though, given her exacting nature and standards, that may be rare indeed.

Veering back from story speculation briefly, her relationships are few and curious. If she has anything approaching a friend it’s in Suwako, but I think it’s closer to an understanding and appreciation honed by time and circumstances rather than an innate liking of one another. We don’t see much of them interacting with one another by themselves but given what we do see of them interacting with Sanae at times, and dialogue in the games, it’s not like they act like a family for better or worse. Additionally, the interactions we do know about with Sanae is mostly to instruct her to be a proper priestess and to do as what be expected for one in Gensokyo (whether it’s exterminating youkai, appearing at drinking parties, helping humans during storms) so there’s some distance there as well. Even when there’s some lightness and joking around with Sanae in LE, it seems to underscore the boss-subordinate dynamics as Sanae is ultimately complaining about her ideas (for the shrine?) being dismissed. I really wouldn’t expect there to be any sort of discussion about anyone at the shrine’s personal life, such as it may be, unless it is in the greater interest of the shrine as an entity.

I suspect that Kanako’s relationships on the mountain are also business-first type things, where maybe hosting or attending a banquet for a great tengu or kappa to celebrate a deal or something might be done but that isn’t out of personal warmth. But all this seems to be enough for her and the shrine (and her continued existence) seems to be assured for the time being.

Not sure what stories I can recall that may have had depictions that I liked. Most on THP were written ages ago, and only a few that feature her heavily might have come out after SoPM and fewer still after other official works. As a result a lot of them are weighted towards either the cold and manipulative or the pillar (hah!) of the family unit, both of which I think are largely incorrect. I would have liked to have seen more of her in A (Lion-)Dog Among Gods as that seemed to be exploring her personal side in a different manner.

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>>17480
>That said, she’s not overly aloof nor imperious and, indeed, seems relatively affable in spite of those other traits.
Thinking on this particular point, I find it more true than I think I might have at first blush. Kanako does feel like someone who can be friendly and open in a sense — though I have to wonder how much of it would have a level of calculation to it. Besides, if we're talking the Goddess Yasaka in her proper role, then that's probably always going to present a certain barrier that can't be transgressed. If you 'forget your place' with her, she probably won't be very forgiving.

>Her appearance in LE [...] does reinforce that feeling that she’s interested, to a degree, in understanding humanity.
Is it humanity in general or humanity in Gensokyo? My lingering impressions of SoPM tell me that she has a certain understanding of humans outside Gensokyo already, and she already has a general understanding of Gensokyan humans on some level as well. Then again, I suppose that's on the level of a god looking down on humans. I do wonder, though, if she doesn't harbour some genuine liking for humans, even if she sort of pigeonholes herself into a role in relation to them. I guess if she was completely cynical about them, she might not go to the lengths she has.

>Kanako’s relationships on the mountain
Not directly related to what you said, but I'm reminded that Kanako is the only(?) character known to have directly met with Tenma in any capacity. That fact feels like fodder for exploration as well, and I don't think I've seen anyone do so.

>I would have liked to have seen more of her in A (Lion-)Dog Among Gods as that seemed to be exploring her personal side in a different manner.
I'll drop my pretense to pseudonymity for a moment to speak to this.

Whilst I don't disagree with what you've said, I feel like I ended up going about things in a very strange way that I'm not sure is totally in-character. Really, the same could be said about the rest of the Moriyas as well. The story sort of rose from a spiteful impulse to repudiate the idea of the Moriyas as a 'family unit', and yet I feel I also sort of fell into the same trap. In a lot of ways, it's a product of not understanding the characters well enough and using them more as actors in arbitrary roles than as themselves. There is a 'point' to Kanako acting like a homey shut-in, but it feels a bit more like a stupid punchline than a real point. At least, it did last time I had (putting it generously) anything approaching a clear plan.

In the end, I'd like to continue with Lion-Dog, but I sincerely don't know how to do so. I would also like to see more of Kanako because I think she's interesting. It's just, well, I'm not sure of my own understanding of anyone, including her. And that's not even getting into the issues of lacking a direction for the story at large. I'd like to address it as a problem, but I don't know how to get any handhold; I don't know how to even start approaching the issue in any actionable sense.

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So, thinking it over, I'd say I broadly agree with >>17480 on Kanako's relationships with the other Moriyas. Still, I'll say a little bit regarding those relationships.

>Suwako
I'd say they're definitely not friends as such. I think they have a strange bond that's hard to conveniently sum up; I came across a word in Japanese once that basically indicates the kind of relation to someone where you can be distantly fond of them but there's also a sense that you're shackled to them no matter what you do, and I wish I could remember it now. There's too much history to simply overlook that one is the conquerer and the other the conquered, but that also sort of creates a weird intimacy between them, I think. I believe Kanako has something vaguely resembling a fondness for Suwako, though she might not fully let it show beyond paternalistic gestures, as a senpai to a kouhai.

>Sanae
Absolutely no familial bond whatsoever. It is a strictly hierarchical relationship with Kanako as the superior and Sanae the inferior. That said, there is probably also the paternalistic sense of protection towards Sanae, any kind of harm or insult to the shrine maiden taken as an affront to her own honour. Of course, she's probably not the most indulgent boss ever and demands a lot out of Sanae, maybe sometimes to unreasonable degrees.

I was tempted to say more about others on the Mountain, but I'm afraid I honestly don't know where to start in speculating in most cases. It seems very hard for Kanako to have anything approaching normal interactions with most unless she's incognito, owing to her position. Someone like Kutaka might be able to stand her ground because of her own relative position, but someone like Megumu has to make strong political considerations in all likelihood. Outside of the Mountain, it's even harder to say much beyond either 'distant respect' or 'beneath notice' for most, depending on who they are. I kind of wonder if she wouldn't harbour some kind of fondness for the human characters, but that's based on very little beyond her general regard for humans as a whole.

As far as interesting scenarios with Kanako, I think most of what I'd find personally interesting is explorations of her political manoeuvring in Gensokyo, both with the Mountain and others, or the inner machinations of the various Moriya projects, like the Geyser Centre. Perhaps not as a direct focus of a story, though. More like the backdrop to Kanako interacting with various figures. For instance, what if she actually had to speak with Satori for once regarding something Underground? What if she met Yuuma or other figures from the Beast Realm under similar circumstances? What if she got involved with the tengu mines and met Misumaru or had to deal with Megumu? I think there's at least some ground to explore there, even if they're not the most revolutionary premises.

When it comes to works featuring Kanako that I liked, the only one that comes to mind is Clever, Audacious and Wise, though she wasn't featured heavily at all. The few times she does show up, she feels appropriately self-aggrandising without being flat. Unfortunately, the readers seemed to lean more towards Suwako, so there was less of Kanako than there probably could have been. Other than that, I guess there is Lion-Dog, as mentioned, but I cannot say unconditionally that I like my own handling of Kanako. It's just, well, there's little else on THP where she isn't either a one-note villain or a pseudo-maternal figure to Sanae.

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Kanako and Suwako are gods who were almost forgotten. Who for years existed in a world that was moved beyond them. When Kanako plans her schemes is it just ambition pushing her forward or is it fear. That one day this she will be forgotten again. That if she doesn’t do something and keep doing something this age of plenty will disappear just like the last one did.

Normally you don’t see it. Kanako has a great amount of self control and knows the value of projecting strength but it’s there. In the darkest parts of her heart even a god as mighty as her knows fear.

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>When Kanako plans her schemes is it just ambition pushing her forward or is it fear.
I mean, certainly, Kanako, unlike the other Moriya god, is a divine spirit who needs faith to sustain herself, so it's not out of entirely selfless aims, but I don't think her motivation is quite that simple. She's shown to have a certain regard for humans that isn't simply 'tanks of faith'. On some level, I think it can be said that she has a love of humanity, albeit perhaps an overbearingly paternalistic one; she feels that Gensokyan humanity needs to be guided in a particular way to suit the needs of faith and material development. So, does she know fear? Sure. Is it a great motivator for her? I'm not so sure. She might be trying to survive, but I think it's for greater aims than simple survival, perhaps even benevolent ones.

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I think that Kanako's relationship with Suwako is best described as "business partners". Like you said, it may require excessive projection to portray the Moriya trio as a family unit. That being said, this stance makes me wonder about Sanae. You mentioned the boss-subordinate relationship, but cohabiting with your boss, or bosses, strikes me as odd. Maybe under a different cultural context it would make sense, but I imagine that it would still be unusual for Sanae's context. I wonder if, as time passes, that could be a source of conflict between them. Maybe Sanae feels, consciously or not, that with a employee-employer relationship and not a parent-child one, she hasn't emotionally matured much? That's assuming that such a thing would be necessary for her position in gensokyo, or as a living god, though.

I think the most interesting thing about Kanako is how she's one of a few characters who have recently emigrated from the outside. I'm reasonably confident that their reason was to find greener pastures in terms of faith. I've seen manynworks play this for drama, with Suwako usually in danger of wasting away and Kanako resorting to gensokyo to keep her alive. I'm not sure if things need to be this desperate. Still, I think it gives Kanako a unique advantage in perspective that she's able to use with her charisma and ambition.

I agree that the Moriya shrine conspiracy meme is pretty dumb. I don't think Kanako is a schemer worth noting by gensokyo standards, which isn't to say that she's dumb, just that she's more forthright in the way a keen businessperson looking to close a deal is. She's got the vision, the will, and the means to meaningfully attempt to reconfigure gensokyo to her liking by picking and choosing the favorable parts of the outside to add in terms of technology.

The idea that she's relatively benevolent towards humans is novel to me. I remember her depiction in AWiY that had her as a manipulative schemer, and I think that stuck with me. Regarding technology, my view (which I think traces back to a tvtropes entry) was that she wanted to carefully meter it out to the villagers so that tech would be something they received from the gods and not something devised by themselves, which would secure her position in contrast to how things played out in the outside. I guess that sort of self interest could still be compatible with enough altruism towards humans to be worth noting. Maybe her view is something like "the rising tide raises all boats", and she sincerely believes that her efforts to establish herself as a preeminent figure will benefit everyone in gensokyo. Perhaps she underestimated how weird things would get when her nuclear power plan resulted in 3 incidents and spawned 2 competitors out of nowhere. I wonder if she feels embarrassed or exasperated by that.

Oh, and I remember hearing that Kanako might have been a human who ascended to godhood somehow, maybe through accumulating enough worship. If she did use to be human, that might explain some attachment or affection towards humans.

Speaking of competitors, I think Symposium showed that she gets along pretty fine with Byakuren and Miko. I think it would be exaggerating to portray them as locked in some kind of bitter struggle for control, but I do get the feeling that Miko may be similar to Kanako in terms of personality, goals, and approach. Maybe they're friendly business rivals? For some reason, I don't see Byakuren as operating on Kanako's level enough to be a competitor.

I think Kanako might interact mainly with Tengu like Megumu, which probably would require a lot of power plays and maneuvering. Maybe the bulk of Kanako's political efforts are spent on keeping things functional with the crows and wolves after she dropped her shrine on one of their peaks without warning. In comparison, dealing with humans and figures like Miko who aren't immediately surrounding her at all times might feel like a reprieve. Maybe she's someone who can converse with her as equals.

There may be interesting contrasts between Kanako and fellow gods Okina and Chimata. In Okina's case, she is a schemer who probably does get up to "Moriya shrine conspiracy" stuff or at least hint as much, but while she tries to keep people guessing about everything, Kanako simply does what she says she'll do for clear reasons. Okina hides in backdoor land and Kanako has a mailing address and had a cable car built to make it easier for villagers to reach her. I wonder if they'd criticize each other's approaches, probably trading barbs about each other's majesty as gods.

I think Kanako's contrast with Chimata would be around the theme of business as a metaphor for her approach to faith. Chimata might handle the concept of trade, transactions, and deals, but Kanako is someone who actually does those things with appreciable success. Unfortunately I don't know much about Chimata's character and I'm sleepy so I can't speculate further.

The ideas for Kanako expressed here make me particularly wish I could retcon my brief portrayal of her in Lost Bees. I see now that she had potential that I didn't use. I've been meaning to read Lion Dog to see her depiction there. I can't think of any other notable depictions right now.

One last thing. I remember an Ao3 fic having Kanako work in insurance as a cover immediately prior to entering gensokyo. I thought that was a clever way to express the service gods provide in exchange for worship.

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>I guess that sort of self interest could still be compatible with enough altruism towards humans to be worth noting
She is certainly self-interested; faith is of the utmost importance, even if it comes from youkai. At the same time, she recognizes the balance of power in Gensokyo and including the humans (leading to the “shrine” coming down the mountain and into the village, setting off the events of games) is a way of offsetting too much youkai empowerment. Her pivot, or reinvention of herself, as a goddess of technology is also a mix of self-interest in sustaining her existence and providing tangible benefits to her believers … it’s probably worth keeping in mind the shinto perspective on what gods are fundamentally.

>I remember hearing that Kanako might have been a human who ascended to godhood somehow
That is from SoPM and it is vaguely stated in the way of “it is believed […]” but, more importantly, her identity or even if she was a single person (or a group) is unknown. It’s nothing definitive.

>I think Symposium showed that she gets along pretty fine with Byakuren and Miko.
At the very least they’re incredibly passive-aggressive and verbally skewer one another when the opportunity presents itself. It’s not an existential hostility but they don’t approve of one another’s approach. They are competitors, for sure, but it’s more philosophical and not generally expressed in overtly hostile actions.

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>>17485
>You mentioned the boss-subordinate relationship, but cohabiting with your boss, or bosses, strikes me as odd. Maybe under a different cultural context it would make sense, but I imagine that it would still be unusual for Sanae's context.
The thing is that even the notion that Sanae cohabits with the Moriya Shrine's gods is a pretty strong assumption. Even if they all live at the shrine, they might not even spend all that much time around each other. That quibble aside, I think it's not that strange that someone like Kanako would perhaps take custody of her shrine maiden. She is very paternalistic in the same sense as a lot of hierarchical relationships are in places influenced by strands of Confucian thinking; Sanae is, as her underling, someone Kanako has to look out for, and who in turn has a duty to her. To Sanae, it might be strange or it might not be. To Kanako, it's probably a no-brainer.

>Chimata and Okina
Honestly, I'm not sure Okina would engage with even someone like Kanako. Not to retread the Okina discussion too much, but she doesn't seem to care that much about Gensokyo as a whole; her various shenanigans seem more self-interested than anything Kanako's ever done. Then again, it's hard to say for sure. Maybe Okina does have some objection in principle towards others influencing a thing she helped create. Still, I don't think they'd necessarily conflict, considering Kanako is aware of the balance of Gensokyo and only seeks to foment change in gradual and controlled ways.

As to Chimata, who knows. Chimata is such a small-timer and a pathetic mess of a god that I'm not sure Kanako would even acknowledge her. She represents something that Kanako might find quaint and outdated, so the latter might be somewhat derisive toward the former at best. It helps to remember that the Ability Cards incident was the equivalent of a playground fad that ultimately meant very little to Gensokyo as a whole.

>>17486
>it’s probably worth keeping in mind the shinto perspective on what gods are fundamentally
Come to think of it, I don't think it's ever really been explored what sort of — for lack of a more fitting term — 'benefit/blessing' the Moriya Shrine offers worshippers. Yes, they can be a pretty broad range, but usually shrines are known for a particular benefit, e.g., shrines to Hachiman as a tutelary deity for academic success, shrines to Inari being primarily agricultural, etc.

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I'm late. Excuses, excuses.

Rolling 1d14 => 14
1: Embodiment of Scarlet Devil
2: Perfect Cherry Blossom/Immaterial and Missing Power
3: Imperishable Night
4: Phantasmagoria of Flower View
5: Mountain of Faith/Scarlet Weather Rhapsody
6: Subterranean Animism
7: Unidentified Fantastic Object/Double Spoiler
8: Ten Desires/Hopeless Masquerade
9: Double Dealing Character
10: Legacy of Lunatic Kingdom/Antinomy of Common Flowers
11: Hidden Star in Four Seasons
12: Wily Beast and Weakest Creature/Gouyoku Ibun
13: Unconnected Marketeers
14: Print works/Others

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Whoops, forgot my name the first time. That was actually me, yes.

Rolling 1d8 => 5
1: Hakurei Reimu
2: Kirisame Marisa
3: Morichika Rinnosuke
4: The Three Faeries of Light
5: Watatsuki no Yorihime/Watatsuki no Toyohime
6: Ibaraki Kasen
7: Moto'ori Kosuzu
8: Hieda no Akyuu

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File 172106815013.png - (4.38MB, 1526x2160, Watatsuki_Whos_Who.png)
Watatsuki_Whos_Who

Lunarian sisters charged with the defence of the lunar capital. Together, the two foiled Yakumo Yukari's plot to wage war on the moon again — on the surface of things. Either way, they proved too much for a pack of Gensokyans to handle. Not that relevant since Silent Sinner in Blue. Part of their background can be seen as inspired by the story of Urashima Tarou.

https://en.touhouwiki.net/wiki/Strange_Creators_of_Outer_World/Who's_Who_of_Humans_%26_Youkai_in_Gensokyo/Watatsuki_no_Toyohime,_Watatsuki_no_Yor
ihime_and_Reisen

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urashima_Tarō

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It's hard for me to find much to say specifically about the Watatsukis, I'll admit. Since the Lunarians are outside of Gensokyo and generally not of any consequence to its happenings, I generally don't care that much.

That said, they are interesting on a very general level in terms of being, in a sense, on the level of gods. Yorihime has the same sort of ability as Reimu to channel gods, but she's overwhelmingly powerful in comparison; there really is no contest, no matter how you try to spin it. Meanwhile, Toyohime can presumably open and close pathways between the earth and moon basically at will. Together, they're the vanguard of the lunar capital, repelling anyone and everyone from outside, a fairly infrequent thing to happen. So, well, they're kind of security guards.

I suppose, even more than the tengu, the moon-dwellers are a fairly mysterious society. We've got some very, very minor glances at superficial things about the moon, but we really don't know all that much about them as a whole. What we do know is gleaned more from outside than inside, and what little inner insight we get is pretty muddled. Case in point, it's hard to really tell where the Watatsukis sit in any sort of position in Lunarian society. We know what their occupation is, but what does that truly mean? There's rarely much in the way of serious speculation. For my part, I got the impression that they're not even that important in the grand scheme of things, probably not held in very high regard, even considering their association with Eirin. Perhaps that's the point of their appearance; any figures of current importance on the moon are far beyond our ken.

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I’ll keep this short, might extend with a larger post later, but one thing I’ve always liked about the Watatsukis as character tools is that they always seem to me to be what you’d get if you crossed Reimu’s natural talent with Marisa’s work ethic. That’s really all it takes to become one of the strongest characters in Gensokyo, and them being shelved on the moon is a good way to keep that status from messing up the greater setting.

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🐊 🐊 🐊 🐊 🐊 🐊 🐊 🐊

... Memes aside, I think Toyohime is an incredibly important character when it comes to understanding the Lunarians, because she's the only one who presents to us a coherent philosophy of impurity, above and beyond the typical conceptions of "ritual uncleanness" or "vague poison". She's explicitly unusual in this regard, and there's maybe the implication that the bulk of other Lunarians, who aren't natural prodigies and also direct disciples of Yagokoro Eirin, don't really understand why impurity works the way that it does, or have individual theories of their own which differ from the one that Toyohime gives us. I won't rehash what that particular philosophy is in this post, because I think it's important that you READ Cage in Lunatic Runagate and develop an understanding of it yourself, and because I've added further elements to my own understanding of it that I personally think are important, but that aren't necessarily supportable by canon alone.

Yorihime, meanwhile... There's not a whole lot to say about her. She's played fairly straightly downhill from her source material: sister of Toyo(tama)hime; shamaness who channels gods; incestuous boy-grooming fiend. Of course this is just another part of the parallel between the Lunarians and the heavenly line of descent posited by the imperial myth cycle.

Going a little wider in scope, there's a simultaneous parallel going on, between the Moon and the ocean—the latter, of course, a feature conspicuously removed from Gensokyo's inland mountain setting. Watatsumi is the god of the ocean, Toyohime's power is phrased in terms of the mountain and the sea, and Mizue no Urashimako is led to believe that the otherworld he's happened upon is actually the Dragon King's Palace under the sea, rather than Hourai (as he initially thinks he's found) or the Lunar Capital. I was surprised to learn that this wasn't just wholly some piece of cleverness by ZUN, modifying a folk tale with a sci-fi twist: it's true that the modern recounting of the Urashima Tarou story is set unambiguously underwater, but the earliest version we have of the Mizunoe no Urashimako story (from the Tango Fudoki, of the same time period as the Kojiki) actually makes no mention of the Dragon King or being underwater, instead having our (reportedly unusually handsome and refined) fisherman arrive in an unnamed land of immortals, where he's hosted by the daughters of Watatsumi, shown around a palace that maintains the comforts of all four seasons simultaneously year-round, and entertained by the Pleiades and Hyades star clusters, in the form of dancing children. Sound familiar at all...?

Being a folk tale, this might be a manifestation of an older "horizontal" islander worldview, where otherworlds like Hourai or Tokoyo (or the Lunar Capital) are reached via the ocean simply because everything is reached via the ocean—in contrast with the Eurasian "vertical" worldview, perhaps more dominant in Japan, with heavens above and underworlds below. Anyways, I guess it's an angle on the Moon that seems kind of frivolous at first glance, compared to the imperial descent myth cycle, but that's very much equal in provenance and merit when you take a closer look. Much like Toyohime herself.

There's a little throwaway line from ZUN in their SCoOW article which seems to hint at this...

>In the first place, their boss, Eirin, had the idea that all things were one side of a half, as shown by her clothes and possibly her subordinates as well.

... but I think I'll wait to talk more about the other half, the imperial myth side of things, until another Lunarian gets rolled ;)

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>>17493
>there's maybe the implication that the bulk of other Lunarians [...] don't really understand why impurity works the way that it does, or have individual theories of their own which differ from the one that Toyohime gives us
You know, this raises an interesting point in that the nature of kegare is largely assumed by people discussing Touhou, and yet it's quite possible that the Lunarians aren't unified in their understanding of it beyond as something to be reviled and avoided. And the idea that what's posed in CiLR is more Toyohime's (or probably Eirin's) conception than anything is also interesting.

I've read CiLR and don't really get it, though, beyond the vaguest notion that kegare comes from being part of the greater cycle of things killing each other.

Anyway, do you suppose Toyohime did, in fact, turn into a crocodile in her birthing hut?

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FElkAUAX0Ag-8Ze

>>17494
Eight metres long.

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Still finding it hard to say a whole lot about either.

As far as character relationships, I'd be most interested in how they would interact — if at all — with Sagume, Yukari, Yuyuko, or Kaguya.

Yukari and Yuyuko are both relevant to the events of SSiB, so I think it's commonly assumed the Watatsukis would be hostile towards them, but I do wonder. Consider that Yuyuko and Youmu are basically able to openly wander the streets of the lunar capital unmolested. Yes, there's the conceit of Yuyuko living in a pure land, being dead (and thus unchangeable and absent of kegare), etc., but what about Youmu? Plus, considering their role, one would suspect the Watatsukis would end up having some idea of the Netherworldly pair's presence. I think the door's open to think that, though they're certainly not unconditionally welcome and with open arms, the Watatsukis might be able to find some cordiality for Yuyuko and Yukari. Considering their probable disconnect from the upper echelons of Lunarian society, it doesn't seem all that unlikely that they might be reasonably sociable with either away from prying eyes. Perhaps such an episode could have very well happened when Yuyuko was there? We only have unreliable words to go off of, after all.

Considering we don't know all that much about Sagume's exact position in the lunar capital, it's hard to say where she and Watatsukis would stand in relation to each other. Is Sagume their superior? Is she an equal? Do they simply occupy separate spheres? Does Sagume share in the implied prejudices against the Watatsukis for their association with Eirin? I wonder about how either party would view the other. If Sagume is a figure of any importance, then I suppose they might be deferential at the least.

Kaguya is a case I'd be fairly curious about, considering her exact position prior to exile is something of an unknown. Yes, she's a 'princess', but that means nothing when you consider that the word in Japanese doesn't have inherent connotations of royalty or, indeed, importance of any sort. Would Kaguya have even been known to the Watatsukis in any non-trivial sense? Would they have ever even met her directly? It would be of some minor interest to know how Kaguya might be received by them if she suddenly appeared back on the moon.

There's also a passive curiosity regarding (non-bootleg) moon rabbits, but I don't know if there's that much interesting that could transpire between them.

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The Watatsukis are unfortunately underutilized in fiction which, in part, is a matter of their remoteness to Gensokyo (same as with games) but also I think in part due a memetic antagonism of the earlier (Western) fandom. Doesn’t help that Bougetsushou is also marred by a less-than-stellar translation (and scans in the case of SSiB) and ZUN going through a phase where he’s too excited about science and physics (also notable in the Music CDs and their story of around the time) to the point that I think it detracts from the storytelling.

Others have touched upon their abilities in some depth so I’ll skip that and instead talk about their personalities since it’s been largely ignored. Toyohime is the more affable of the two and even goes as far to spoil the rabbits, pretending that she’s come around to train with them on their off days, walking off “disappointed” and otherwise interacting them on days where they are training by sneaking them snacks; Reisen 2 says that she’s interesting to talk to and knowledgeable. Yorihime is more straight-laced and presents a more sober front to the rabbits, which makes sense as she’s also drilling them and supposedly preparing them for conflict; given the slacking off that happens, could be said that she’s not pushing them that hard. And, add to that, how they handled Urashima Taro and didn’t want to kill him, I think that they’re both essentially kind softies—Reimu speaks well of the capital and the time she spends there and happily gets sloppy drunk with the sisters. They handle the intruders without any sort of cruelty (beyond returning them to Earth, a punishment given its impurity.)

>For my part, I got the impression that they're not even that important in the grand scheme of things, probably not held in very high regard, even considering their association with Eirin.
I’ll agree with >>17491 with their likely not-so-high status. The way the emissaries are described and how few resources they seem to have and how remote they seem to be from other lunarians plus the general Chinese theme to lunar society makes me think about those remote garrison postings in Imperial China by the desert or up north, near bandits and barbarians; they’re the first line of defense but also sort of apart from the rest of society. Eirin being seen as a traitor and their devotion to her makes the Watatsukis possibly an afterthought for other lunarians or, perhaps, weirdos that should not rub elbows with those in charge. We know so little about the capital, however, that this is all tenuous speculation.

I’ll take a slight detour to remark about their technology—they seem to be proud of it but also very much the whole “any sufficiently advanced technology […]” type of thing where of course since they can manipulate things on the quantum level and on the femto level as exemplified by the unbreakable rope (instantaneousness; ties in to why Kaguya’s powers are nothing to sneeze at) and terrible destructive potential of Toyohime’s fan. ZUN remarks in their SCoOW article that Yorihime’s book is actually a computer styled in a deliberate old fashion, and Kaguya tells Reimu at the end of CiLR that the apparent simplicity of things on the moon is really just a style thing and that the moon is much more advanced than can be appreciated by outsiders—this last thing tracks with the exhibition Eientei hosts and is described by Aya. The marriage of sophisticated tech and innate abilities is an interesting thing and I would enjoy to learning more about the day-to-day of the capital and what is done for fun by lunarians.

>Plus, considering their role, one would suspect the Watatsukis would end up having some idea of the Netherworldly pair's presence
It's played off for a laugh in SSiB but Yuyuko and Youmu were incredibly conspicuous and Yuyuko hung out with the rabbits of the Yorihime's troop. Would be incredibly strange if they didn't run into not only more rabbits but also other lunarians. Kinda makes me think that the capital doesn't even recognize the possibility of intruders being able to infiltrate. But I'm sure that the Watatsuki's went through the equivalent of surveillance footage after the heist.

... As to the point of interacting with other characters: yeah, could see that, they're hospitable enough. See more Yukari still being unpleasant in an encounter but she's a complete weirdo with ideas of her own as to what societies should be like. Think most characters could probably have some sake and/or tea with them if they weren't hostile to the capital.

I normally don’t really care about power levels or things of that nature but I’ll say that despite the SoPM interview that was referenced to in the ScoOW article about the sisters being too powerful to appear in a game and the events of Bougetsushou, ZUN states that Hecatia—in the ScoOW interview about LoLK—surpasses everyone on the moon. This is most likely ZUN forgetting things again (laughs) but it is a somewhat annoying inconsistency because I would like the Watatsukis to appear again in some capacity.

>I think Toyohime is an incredibly important character when it comes to understanding the Lunarians, because she's the only one who presents to us a coherent philosophy of impurity, above and beyond the typical conceptions of "ritual uncleanness" or "vague poison".
Yeah, I’d agree that you do get presented a coherent idea but I think Kaguya’s chapter is also important to get the notion of change and life. Also important for Kaguya, Reisen, and Eirin’s characterizations but those finer points are maybe best left if/when they are rolled.

... Sadly, can't think of any depictions in stories of the sisters that I've enjoyed. That said, I can only recall a single story that has them at all off the top of my head.

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>>17503
>And, add to that, how they handled Urashima Taro and didn’t want to kill him, I think that they’re both essentially kind softies
You know, I honestly didn't appreciate this point until I re-read that chapter of CiLR. It's not clear in SSiB that they're not simply antagonists who just want to, to borrow a phrase, remove kegare. That said, Toyohime is fine and all, but I'd have liked to get Yorihime's perspective, too. She strikes me as someone who has trouble being honest with herself; as you point out, she presents a hard-ass face, but it's clear that she's not quite that.

>I think Kaguya’s chapter is also important to get the notion of change and life
Re-reading that chapter makes me wonder even more if the different things said suggest a lack of coherence in Lunarian views of kegare. Kaguya's chapter certainly makes it sound like the possibility of change is what makes things impure, which isn't entirely incompatible with Yorihime's view, but it seems like the focus is different, with Kaguya's 'change/time' being an inherent property and Yorihime's 'consumption/bloodshed' being more a pollution. But I could also perhaps be seeing a conflict where there isn't one.

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6a00d8341c464853ef016762722f74970b-500wi

>>17509
To me, Kaguya's view seems pretty Buddhistic in nature; mainly focused on the inevitability of decline and decay, and with specific exemplars to be found in the downfall of politically powerful figures (induced via Hourai branch, if need be). To what extent that should be read as a Lunarian theory of impurity, and to what extent it's cultural influence from her time spent on Earth, is up for individual interpretation I suppose, but I kind of view it as moreso the latter; tinged with some vaguely sciencey flavouring re: "entropy" as befits her Mooninite origins.

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Fuck, sorry, I'm late. IRL things. Excuses. Anyway.

Rolling 1d14 => 11
1: Embodiment of Scarlet Devil
2: Perfect Cherry Blossom/Immaterial and Missing Power
3: Imperishable Night
4: Phantasmagoria of Flower View
5: Mountain of Faith/Scarlet Weather Rhapsody
6: Subterranean Animism
7: Unidentified Fantastic Object/Double Spoiler
8: Ten Desires/Hopeless Masquerade
9: Double Dealing Character
10: Legacy of Lunatic Kingdom/Antinomy of Common Flowers
11: Hidden Star in Four Seasons
12: Wily Beast and Weakest Creature/Gouyoku Ibun
13: Unconnected Marketeers
14: Print works/Others

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Dancers and Okina excluded because they've already been rolled.

Rolling 1d4 => 2
1: Eternity Larva
2: Sakata Nemuno
3: Komano Aun
4: Yatadera Narumi

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Nemuno_Whos_Who

A mountain hag who assailed the playable characters in their survey of the mountain during the events of Hidden Star in Four Seasons. Like others of her species, lives alone within her designated territory and doesn't take kindly to intruders. Possibly helps out people by at least getting scaring off the mountain if they're lost.

https://en.touhouwiki.net/wiki/Nemuno_Sakata#Official_Profiles

https://en.touhouwiki.net/wiki/Strange_Creators_of_Outer_World/Who's_Who_of_Humans_%26_Youkai_in_Gensokyo/Nemuno_Sakata

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yama-uba

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I wonder if it might not be time to take HSiFS off the rotation, considering all that's left are characters that are hard to say a lot about. Well, I suppose this thread is here to give everybody a fair shot, so maybe not.

Anyway, I like Nemuno from a design perspective and for her down-to-earth-ness, but she is someone who's hard to talk about. If we take her concept at complete face-value, then she literally never leaves her little patch of Gensokyo and only comes into contact with interlopers. In general, she comes off as pretty bellicose towards anyone coming into her territory, yet she also turns fairly outgoing and friendly towards them as soon as they beat her, if not outright hospitable. I can't help wondering if it isn't entirely true that she stays completely in place. It's even said in her profile that mountain hags have 'business-like' relations with other species, implying some kind of transactional dealings. Perhaps she hauls wood into tengu settlements? Maybe she hunts and drags in meat and hides? Maybe she shares excess from her foraging in exchange for booze or random trinkets? Or maybe she does any number of other more sophisticated forms of labour.

It does kind of make me wonder how she might be viewed by other youkai on the mountain. Obviously, they probably tend to view her as 'brutish' and 'primitive', but other than that, what impression might she leave on people individually? Would she treat tengu the same as kappa? Could anyone build a rapport with her? What would that even mean? What benefit would that bring to them? The fact that mountain hags are sort of their own special case among the Mountain societies, it does raise all sorts of questions as to their exact place.

In general, mountain hags are an interesting and diverse bit of Japanese folklore. Their stories vary so much from region to region that it's hard to really put together much in the way of commonalities. That very fact seems to play into why Touhou mountain hags are looked at as something a bit mysterious and self-isolated.

Also, her Tohoku-tinged dialect is cute in Japanese.

Back with more when I've had more time and space to think.

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