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MarkyJoe1990 Discusses: Touhou
As stated in the video announcing this forum, I said I would try to come up with some exclusive content for this forum, including screenshot Let's plays, and articles discussing my opinions on various things. I decided to start with Touhou because it's something I've considered giving extension discussion on for a long time.

Touhou and I have a love/hate relationship. While I can appreciate the excellent soundtracks, hot women (Most of them aren't lolis, Zun's just a terrible artist. Just look at art that doesn't suck, like Scarlet Weather Rhapsody's), and the interesting characters with tons of room for interpretation, I absolutely hate almost everything it's fan base has generated in terms of games and videos. They reek of bad design and immaturity and it's extremely jarring. For everything I enjoy about the series, putting a Touhou video in front of me is like activating a big berserk button.

I think the reason why the fandom angers me so much is sort of a selfish reason. I feel that the fandom doesn't appreciate Touhou the same way I do. I always get that vibe that they love Touhou for the lulz, like the memes, which are the worst thing about Touhou. I also feel people like the characters mostly for their looks. While I'm relatively superfluous myself, I've grown to appreciate the characters for their depth and their interesting characteristics.

Take Mokou for example, A LOT of people think she's hot, but they think she's some kind of yandere, and somehow this makes her even HOTTER. What? I'll never understand why people like Yandere: it's a girl who will murder just to be with you. More to the point though, Mokou is NOT a yandere, and even if she was, why the hell would you like her?

This is how I interpret Mokou. Her backstory is that she was once a villager whose father fell in love with Princess Kaguya and tried to marry her. When Kaguya denied her father's hand in marriage, Mokou's family was dishonored, and Mokou sought revenge. In the process, she drank an elixir that grants immortality, which drove her temporarily insane, and caused her to kill numerous people while in her state of madness.

After that, all we know is that Mokou now lives alone in the bamboo forest, fighting youkais and Kaguya, and escorting humans and rabbits to the Eientei manor. It's not that hard to fill in the blanks though, and that's part of the appeal of Touhou for me.

It's easy to assume that murdering all those people traumatized Mokou, and made her think she was insane, so instead of returning to her home, she decided to live alone in fear that she might take more lives. At some point, she learned about her immortality, which probably didn't help improve things (She'll live forever, even when the sun explodes and everything is gone. That CAN'T be a good feeling). However, she learned Kaguya was immortal as well, so she could at least fight off that feeling of perpetual lonliness by fighting her. Even during the period where they were still at odds, and despite the fact that killing Kaguya permanently is impossible, it was at least SOMETHING Mokou could use as a reprise from all the guilt and loneliness she copes with.

So what do we get from Mokou? She's a tragic character. An angsty, hot tempered individual who, while isolated and reserved, is caring enough to be concerned about the well being of others, thus, why she escorts people to Eientei, and why she secluded herself in the first place. Her story also serves as a lesson: Letting revenge and hate rule your life is a terrible way to live.

Compare my interpretation to the usual fandom interpretation and tell me which one is more sophisticated and interesting.

Not only that, but you can do that kind of analysis for any character with enough back story and fleshing out.

That, to me, is what Touhou is about more than anything. Yes, Zun says it's about the games, and he's not wrong. The games are definitely the focus of the series. However, I choose to appreciate the series for more than that. The world of Gensokyo is just so large, and it's got so much stuff in it that it's hard to ignore the potential it has from a story telling perspective (Though, Zun doesn't exactly do a good job with story writing most of the time...).

I might do some other character interpretations in the future. Thanks for reading!
What about Flandre? all i know about her is that she's Remillia's sister and going by a crossover fanfic she's either dangerous or utterly insane to the point where one of the greatest disaster's would be her either getting free or bored
(04-15-2013, 01:17 PM)Drinkie Wrote: What about Flandre? all i know about her is that she's Remillia's sister and going by a crossover fanfic she's either dangerous or utterly insane to the point where one of the greatest disaster's would be her either getting free or bored
I haven't really delved into Flandre much honestly, but she's not a threat because of her powers. They aren't very impressive, relatively speaking. Oh jeez, she can instantly kill you. So can so many other characters in theory. However, I DO agree that letting her out of her basement would be dangerous simply because she's been isolated from the world for so long and probably doesn't understand that she has to limit her powers.
No worries as i said i don't really know anything about her
I pretty much agree, like I've mentioned to you a few nights ago, memes are the bane of Touhou. That type of awful cancer should just simply burn.

Also, Flandre's ability most likely has a limit on what can destroy if it's descrption about how it works on "pressure" is anything to say about it while disregarding the hyperbolic part.
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So her power to kill is basically a large enough amount of pressure? or is there more to it than that? i'm not too familiar with the Touhou-verse
Notwithstanding the hyperbolic statements, the description here likely suggests the use of pressure to destroy the target. Since lots of the records of Flandre destroys leaves no trace left, it's likely atomization.
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So basically she takes the eyes of the most vunerable point of a object and crushes them reminds me of what Lucifer did on Persona 4 The Animation
Taken what I know from Embodiment of Scarlet Devil and the absolutely marvelous Gensou Shoujo Taisen (Fantasy Maiden Wars is a literal translation, but it also runs under the moniker Super Touhou Wars), Flandre is a bit of a tragic character in her own right, having abilities that rival or even surpass those of her older sibling, Remilia, but also having a rather infantile mind and viewpoint of the world. With the decline of the Scarlet bloodline, Remilia became absolutely obsessed with her sister's safety and making sure the only family she had was safe, and thus, in an attempt to "protect" the world from her and the world from her, she locked Flandre in the basement. Since Flandre could still very well hear what was going on in the mansion, she started to feel neglected and lonely, and that loneliness started to horrifically morph into childish sadism. She started breaking her toys when she grew bored of them, and soon she just saw the world as her own playroom.

And while EoSD doesn't really go a lot into her backstory in her dialogue besides "Hey, you're people! I want to beat the living crap out of you," FMW (Fantasy Maiden Wars abbreviation) kinda goes a bit further into Flandre's character, having her slowly break down as the party fights her until she outright snaps, believing that her sister and the world hates her and desires to "break" everything. This goes back to her own special ability: 'Destruction.'

I'm not all that good at explaining it, I'll just let the animation of her final move in FMW just speak for me

Essentially, Flandre has the ability to condense certain things into their base elements, their very soul, and then utterly destroy it. ... Or, at least, that's what I'm getting. Sure, the danmaku she can use is neat and everything, but that's her "playing." If she actually legitimately tries to destroy the world, she would make Utsuho look tame by comparison. Obviously, some of the more powerful Touhou characters (Shinki, Kanako, Suwako, Tenshi, essentially anything that is literally a god or divine entity) would probably be immune or at least resistant to her ability, but if Flandre so wanted to, she'd literally crush Reimu between her fingertips like she was a little, insignificant bug.

(Of course, everyone in Touhou has some "uber awesome ability" that makes them all-powerful. As mentioned before, Kaguya and Mokou simply cannot die, and Reimu has her Fantasy Heaven thing that apparently makes her ascend above everything, so take all of this as you will.)

Of course, in the end, Remilia lets her run around the mansion a lot more, and Flandre goes from "Gasai Yuno absolutely bloody insane" to "mildly insane."

I love Touhou. There is literally so much potential for all of these characters, but it usually gets scrutinized because, you know, "cuteness" and "fetishism" ascend above preserving the dignity of a franchise. ... Although I do admit that I have a soft spot for Marisa Stole the Precious Thing, or frankly most of IOSYS's more cartoonish and comedy works. That stuff is sooooo cute.

(On a side note, if you haven't and you're a fan of both Touhou and SRPGs, go check out the Fantasy Maiden Wars series. They're based on Super Robot Taisen, a great series in its own right, and they actually do craft their respective games (EoSD, MoF, PCB) into relatively good stories. While there are still comedic elements regarding some of the running jokes for the characters, no character is written as an entirely running gag (except, I guess, Rumia, but it's Rumia) and it usually downplays the more comedic elements when needed. If you need a Touhou game that is legitimately serious and doesn't have crappy artwork, go check these ones out.)
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Ok now her laugh kinda creeped me out a bit her final attack reminded of Kuu's Lunar Blaze attack from Battle Moon Wars (another SRW style game) in that just looking at it clearly gives the impression that she's as dangerous as you guys have described her and i thought Reimu was just a normal human miko that designed the dualing and spellcard systems (not the Yu-Gi-Oh version that is) i'll have to check out that wiki that Ampchu linked me to for more info thanks for enlightening me about her

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