Introduction to Touhou 60: The Prismriver Sisters

Prismriver Sisters

“What comes out of a trumpet isn’t a laser but a happy sound.” – Merlin

Lyrica, Lunasa, and Merlin Prismriver are a trio of ghostly musicians and together they’re known as the Prismriver Sisters. Despite being dressed like they could come out of a cuckoo clock, they’re quite popular and renowned for their magnificent performances. As for me, I know them for this:

Their backstage activities aside, the Prismrivers are probably the most well-known musicians in Gensokyo and they’re constantly on tour, playing at various locales including Hakugyokurou during Perfect Cherry Blossom and the Garden of the Sun during Phantasmagoria of Flower View. In the former case, they’re frequently hired by Yuyuko Saigyouji to be entertainment at her ghostly banquets while in the latter case, they seem to have enough goodwill to make tremendous noise on Yuuka’s turf and get away with it. Apparently, they have agents that manage their venues and ticket sales, though it’s not terribly clear where this money goes since their mansion is in a perpetual state of disrepair.
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Introduction to Touhou 59: Maribel

Maribel 1

“Am I myself a butterfly of night, human of daytime?”

In a not too distant Japan, there is one who dreams of worlds unseen by human eyes. Tired of the stale, creatively sterile world of modernity, she dreams of exotic locales filled with unusual creatures and, surely enough, they become reality. This dreamer is Maribel Hearn.

Maribel is a very curious character as she has never been in an official Touhou game. Instead, she’s the protagonist of a series of music CDs and their attached stories. Along with her friend Renko Usami, Maribel forms the Sealing Club, which is ostensibly a club for spiritual mediums (or in some translations, necromancers), but rather than doing activities associated with either of those terms, they really just go on adventures while investigating supernatural phenomena or otherwise philosophizing.

Maribel possesses the ability to see and interact with the boundaries that separate Modern Japan from realms like the Netherworld, Gensokyo, and the Lunar Capital. This power plays a key role in the events of the Sealing Club stories, beginning with glimpses or fleeting visits to other worlds during her dreams, but developing into something far more potent.
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Introduction to Touhou 58: Mima

Mima 1

“The misanthrope lives!” – ZUN

In Touhou’s past, Reimu clashed regularly with a vengeful spirit wielding powerful sorcery and an intimate knowledge of the Hakurei Shrine’s secrets. This spirit was Mima and in the transition between the PC-98 and Windows canons, she vanished without a trace.

In Highly Responsive to Prayers, the first Touhou game, Reimu initially encounters Mima as she breaks free from a smaller shrine connected to the Hakurei Shrine. Though they don’t exchange any words at this stage, Mima’s appearance may provide some insight, specifically the bloody knife she holds.

This knife isn’t visible in her future portrayals and it’s never discussed in any canonical materials, but it may hint at her reasons for turning into a vengeful spirit. Perhaps she was murdered and unable to find peace or, given how she possesses the knife, maybe she’s the spirit of a murderer.
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Introduction to Touhou 57: Seija

Seija 1
WARNING: This article contains partial spoilers for Impossible Spell Card. Reader beware.

“No matter who’s after my life, I have no reason to return this wonderful power!”

Seija Kijin is the contrarian mastermind behind the incident in Double Dealing Character and as of the newest game, Impossible Spell Card, a wanted criminal.

No one likes Seija. This isn’t an exaggeration. It’s completely intentional and Seija wouldn’t have it any other way. She is an Amanojaku, a particularly sinister type of youkai that drives people to commit wicked deeds by drawing out their darkest desires. Some Amanojaku, Seija included, revel in being hated and loving what others despise. Essentially, they’re supernatural hipsters.

While she has horns and is described as having a vaguely Oni-esque appearance, Seija is not an Oni and her deceitful nature would likely make the comparison quite insulting to Oni like Suika and Yuugi. Indeed, she made her entrance into Touhou by deceiving Shinmyoumaru into declaring war against the youkai of Gensokyo, simply to get her to use the Miracle Mallet to cause chaos.
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The Nine Hells of Anime Episode 62: Garden of Words

On rainy days, a student and an adult meet underneath a park gazebo to escape the troubles of their real lives. While they initially find comfort in conversation, their relationship becomes strained as they learn more about each other’s circumstances.

Taking a step away from the mediocrity of Children Who Chase Lost Voices, director Makoto Shinkai draws elements from the romances of his more successful distance trilogy in order to shore up Garden of Words. Has he learned anything from the experience or will Garden of Words simply become the fourth distance film?


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