Monthly Archives: June 2014

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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