Tag Archives: Utsuho Reiuji

Introduction to Touhou 42: Utsuho

Utsuho 1

“What’s the power of the sun? Photosynthesis? Sunburn?” – Marisa Kirisame

Utsuho Reiuji, also known by her nickname Okuu, is a Hell Raven, a particular type of youkai native to Hell. Her species is notable for being born not directly from the fears of humans, but from the darkness of the abyss. I dunno about you, but that sounds metal as hell.

Suika: She’s a humble bird that eats the corpses of the dead in the Hell of Blazing Fires.

Reimu: She must eat mostly fried meat, then. That’ll be bad for her when she’s older.

Utsuho’s job is to manage the temperature of the Hell of Blazing Fires, a mindless and monotonous task best left to those of little intelligence. This same simpleness also made Utsuho the perfect target for Kanako in her plan to bring nuclear energy to Gensokyo. Within the depths of this particular hell resided Yatagarasu, the sun crow. By devouring it, Utsuho could gain the power to bring the surface world into a new age, or so Kanako’s voice told her. Tempted by the goddesses’ words, Utsuho consumed Yatagarasu and became its vessel. Though most would have been destroyed in attempting to control such a powerful being, Utsuho’s lack of willpower made her a blank slate of sorts that could coexist in the same body with the Sun Crow.

“Yatagarasu? A sun crow inside a crow? She’s like one of those Russian dolls! – Reimu Hakurei

This absorption warped the Hell Raven’s body, however, and many of these changes manifested in nuclear power-related symbols. These symbols merit some discussion and the first of these is her right leg which is encased in cement. This is a reference to the elephant’s foot of Chernobyl, which was formed when nuclear material and buffering sand leaked into the rooms below the reactor and mixed to form lava which then hardened into odd structures like the elephant’s foot. These structures were intensely radioactive and served as symbols of the terrifying lethality of radiation.
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