“This girl appears human right now, but she’s a half-beast. Although, I think humans are beasts too, so I guess she’s a full beast?” – Yuyuko Saigyouji
Keine Kamishirasawa is a historian residing in the Human Village. While her dayjob is teaching history to the locals at her school, she’s also the village’s first line of defense against youkai and other troublemakers.
Keine is a were-hakutaku, a rather bizarre creature that requires a bit of explanation. A hakutaku is an intelligent horned-lion that in Eastern mythology that served as an advisor to virtuous kings. Keine is not a true hakutaku, but a human that transforms partially during full moons. Hieda no Akyuu claims that getting drunk, extremely angry, or wet can also trigger a transformation. Instead of becoming a beast, her hair (and strangely her clothes) change color and she grows a pair of horns. The implication is that Keine was not born as a hakutaku, but rather cursed with the transformation.
Perfect Cherry Blossom is the game in which ZUN seems to settle on a general musical feel that persists throughout the remaining game. While Embodiment of Scarlet Devil had strong singular character themes, the music of Perfect Cherry Blossom works more closely as a whole with more consistent elements shared between tracks, though there are of course anomalies.
Title Theme: Mystic Dream ~ Snow or Cherry Petal
Unlike the version of the opening theme from EoSD this is far less dramatic. Instead, its softer piano tones are indicative of the long winter the game is set in and kick off the seasonal and otherworldly theme of the music as a whole. Continue reading →
“She always wears ostentatious clothing and an unsettling smile, intimidating all who come in contact with her.” – Aya Shameimaru
Residing in the boundaries between worlds is a powerful youkai whose machinations not only drive the politics of Gensokyo, but also allow its very existence.
Yukari Yakumo has the appearance of a human, but she is actually one of the three most powerful youkai and the single most critical figure to understand in Touhou. Yukari is an enigma that prefers to control matters from the shadows via her servant Ran, but she has appeared publically in times of crisis or to maintain her reputation among the youkai as someone to fear.
To give an idea as to the importance of this youkai, Yukari has been involved in the politics of
Gensokyo from over a millennium ago and has served in a leadership role in the majority of these affairs. Examples of her involvement include leading Gensokyo’s youkai in a disastrous invasion of the Moon to curb their appetite for conquest, assisting in the creation of the Great Hakurei Barrier isolating Gensokyo, brokering a deal to allow outcast youkai to live underground, later inciting an invasion of the underground to deal with a hell raven intent on eradicating life on the surface, and ending full scale wars in favor of danmaku and spell card duels.
Yukari’s power is to manipulate boundaries, which is absolutely terrifying when you consider that the conceptual differences between objects can be thought of as boundaries. Most commonly, she manipulates boundaries of space through her network of gaps which appear as portals into a black void filled with eyes. The portals themselves are neatly tied at the ends with ribbons. The manipulation of boundaries could presumably enhance her defensive abilities as well, as individuals like Meiling have commented on an irregular resistance to her punches.
“Shooting, cutting, stabbing, hitting, killing… It’s all useless against me.” – Yukari
Ahh, it feels horrible to lose to someone with no real aim. – Sakuya
Presiding over the land of the dead is a woman with hair much like the cherry blossoms that cover the realm in spring. Her eyes fall upon the one tree that fails to bloom every year and a plan begins to form.
Yuyuko Saigyouji is the administrator who oversees the Netherworld from her shrine Hakugyokurou and essentially ensures that the dead stay in the realm of the dead.
Yuyuko likes to play the fool and often speaks apparent nonsense, but these ditzy remarks are often very obtuse or cryptic hints. These moments indicate a much sharper intellect than her behavior would otherwise suggest, with Yuyuko often being the first one to figure out the party responsible for a given incident.
Youmu: What do you think of these divine spirits, Lady Yuyuko?
Yuyuko: I doubt that some troublesome individual is about to make a return, or that there’s any secrets or anything in, say, the cemetery behind the temple…
Youmu: Hm? A-anyway, I’ll be off.
Yuyuko: Bring me back a souvenir!
Yuyuko’s history is deeply intertwined with that of the Saigyou Ayakashi, the one tree in the Netherworld that never blooms. This tree is a youkai whose origins can be traced back to the poet Saigyou, who chose the tree to lay under during his final moments. Over time, others who heard of his tale came to admire the tree’s beauty and even die as he did underneath its leaves. As this continued, the tree began to develop and became a youkai with the power to tempt mortals into resting underneath it before stripping them of their souls. To nullify its terrifying power, the tree was eventually suppressed using the corpse of Yuyuko as a seal to ensure it would never bloom again. Continue reading →
The subject of this episode is the unexpectedly hilarious sequel to the mediocre Tantei Opera Milky Holmes. Throw detective work out the window and add a combination of Golgo 13 cameos, child-abusing bomb squad robots, and lard monsters along with plenty of insanity and you have one of the most strangely effective seqels in recent memory.