Between 1996 and 1998, the first five games in the Touhou series were made for the PC-98 computer by a doujin circle known as Amusement Makers, of which ZUN was a part. However, the games and most of the characters from the PC-98 era either have been ignored by the series' continuity or have been retconned outright. So far, Reimu, Marisa, Alice and Yuuka are the only characters to have appeared in the Windows series.This page is for Touhou characters who debuted in Highly Responsive to Prayers, Story of Eastern Wonderland, Phantasmagoria of Dim.Dream, Lotus Land Story and Mystic Square. To see the characters who debuted in the Windows games, see Touhou Windows One, Touhou Windows Two, and Touhou Windows Three. For characters from related works such as short stories and manga, see Touhou Other Official Works.Wherever possible, character images come from portraits not drawn by ZUN used in official games and print works. Images of characters without quality official portraits are labeled "(fanart)".Please remember to only use examples that are either canon or have undergone mass Memetic Mutation so that the page doesn't become overcrowded with tropes that only occur in one person/circle's works.CONTAINS SPOILERSConcerning the romanization of namesFirst, there are two principal methods for transcribing Japanese names into Latin letters: the Hepburn System, which is most commonly used elsewhere and translates well to English phonology, and the Kunrei-shiki System, which is most commonly used in Japan and is simpler and more "correct". In general, ZUN favored the Hepburn System before Phantasmagoria of Flower View, but changed to the Kunrei-shiki System afterward. This page uses the Hepburn format for the sake of argument, as it is the most widely recognized and makes the pronunciation obvious to English speakers.
Ambiguous Innocence: Reimu is consistently described as carefree at heart, guileless, and simple in her thinking. She also just plain doesn't see things quite the way everyone else does. It never seems to occur to her that her way of doing things can cause people a lot of unnecessary grief before the resolution, or that what seems straightforward to her might be a mind-bending trick to others, or that her own natural gifts can be an unfair advantage in some things... And as the flip side to her impartial view of others, ZUN says, she's not particularly attached to anyone either; no matter how popular she is, "she's actually alone in her heart."
Art Evolution: Reimu's appearance has changed particularly often and dramatically since the start of the series — after all, she's been in all games but two. Most infamous in Mountain of Faith, where an oddly jaundiced skin tone led to the joke that Reimu had become an undead zombie.
Badass Normal: While she possesses the powers of channeling gods now, back then in the PC-98 era she had absolutely zero powers and only relied on her giant yin-yang orb (which she used like a soccer ball) and her generic Ofuda; she also had to use her turtle Genji in order to fly. Despite that, she managed to beat, in order of status: A realm-warping human with magical powers, an absurdly powerful evil spirit who even had Marisa as a henchman, the supposedly strongest youkai of all, the angel of death, and a god that creates worlds.
Bad Liar: Whenever she tries to lie, it's so painfully, obviously forced that it's practically impossible to not realize it immediately. She is really that incredibly bad of a liar. An excellent example is when she disrupts the meeting in Symposium of Post-Mysticism. She claims it's to protect humans beyond all else, but it does not take long for other elements to slip out—not just her being a Slave to PR, but that she's doing this on behalf of the weaker youkai as well.
Bare Your Midriff: Not in canon, but it's common in fanart for Reimu's Windows-era outfit to expose her belly button whenever she lifts her arms.
Berserk Button: Messing with the Hakurei Shrine is a very good way to bring down Reimu's wrath on your head, as the first two games and Scarlet Weather Rhapsody demonstrated.
In Touhou fanworks, it is also not a good idea to cheat her out of donations, or worse, steal her donation box.
Bonus Boss: The last extra boss of Shuusou Gyoku, the first game of Touhou's sister series, Seihou. She also shows up in Magic Pengel.
Born Lucky: Reimu is downright notorious for her luck and incredible intuition. It's why her default method of problem-solving seems to be to pick a direction and go, since she'll always manage to end up headed towards the Big Bad eventually.
Brutal Honesty: The idea of lying often never even comes across Reimu's mind, and she'll bluntly, unabashedly say exactly what she thinks no matter who she's talking to or what the situation. This is in fact one of the major contrasts between her and Marisa - while Marisa will often lie just for the heck of it, Reimu is simply far too honest to even attempt it. Her sheer honesty is one of the reasons that the two Oni of the series take a liking to her, as honesty is a favourable trait to Oni.
Cloudcuckoolander: Reimu's values and views of the world are... different from everyone else's, a trait that's frequently brought up both by ZUN and Rinnosuke. This is most often shown by her occasional strange comments and the abnormal conclusions she tends to draw.
Fantastic Racism / Pretend Prejudice: Zig-zagged. While she is a youkai exterminator, she'll generally beat down anyone who gets in her way, no matter who or what they are, whether they're human (as Marisa, Sakuya, and Sanae can attest to) or gods (Kanako, Suwako). And afterwards, she'll sit down and have tea with them without the slightest malevolence whatsoever. Outside of duty, she treats youkai the same way she treats humans, with vague disrespect. ZUN has said that she doesn't particularly care about humans or youkai, and she personally considers everyone the same, neither negatively nor positively. This is supposedly part of why powerful youkai tend to be drawn to her.
Wild And Horned Hermit has given a motivation to her "jerkass" behavior. Youkai by definition oppose humanity; and they are opposed by humanity. If they didn't do this, they wouldn't be youkai. (What would happen isn't stated, but it would likely be bad.) Pranks and "youkai extermination", softened by spellcard rules, give some pretense to following this paradigm.
Gradual Grinder: Reimu's Homing Amulets are typically the weakest shot-type in any game they appear in, at least in terms of power, but they are almost constantly dealing damage to her opponent. And her small hitbox and slower (and thus more precise) movement speed means she can usually afford to be patient.
Hard Work Hardly Works: She's already talented. This makes her extremely lazy, to the point that the holy power of the Hakurei Shrine has weakened enough that Remilia, who is a vampire, can visit regularly without ill effects. Were she actually to train her ability, though, it's highly possible that she could reach the same level of power as Yorihime, if not more.
Reimu's ability is the power to float in the sky, which every girl in the series is capable of doing already. Except then you reach Fantasy Heaven. ZUN's description: "Supreme Master-Art. With Reimu's ability to float, she floats away from physical reality and becomes invincible. If it wasn't just for play (with time limit), no one could beat her by any method". She can't be hurt, and the only way to win is to wait for her timer to run out while she's free to bombard her opponent at her leisure.
One of the laughably Mundane Utility "powers" of the Hakurei Yin-Yang Orb - the power to eat sweets and never get fat - is believed to give her the smallest hitbox.
Hime Cut: As a miko, this is the traditional haircut for her. She's depicted with a lot of different hairstyles throughout the series (from shoulder- to waist-length, with or without a ponytail, with or without hair tubes), but the early games and ZUN's art leans towards this more often than not.
Holy Burns Evil: The Yin-Yang Orbs. Before Reimu was able to use their powers properly, she exploited this trope by physically kicking them at enemies.
Hyper Destructive Bouncing Ball: The Yin-Yang Orb in Highly Responsive to Prayers, when it was used as a bludgeoning weapon and not an orbiting Attack Drone. One of her moves in the fighting games gives a nod to this.
I Just Want to Be Normal: When she breaks up the gathering in Symposium of Post-Mysticism, she brings as evidence of the problematic nature of youkai some newspaper articles. Very few of which suggest anything baleful, no matter how much she fears Aya might have downplayed them—and how can anyone claim Kyouko and Mystia were guilty of anything worse than disturbing the peace? What many of them are is strange. Add in her equivalent of Hair-Trigger Temper whenever an incident manifests, and it's strongly suggested that she (and more than a few other humans) desperately want life to be predictable. She's just more...pro-active...about ensuring it. Her irritated comment about how the outside world must be barbaric in her B Extra Stage in Double Dealing Character—just from Raiko commenting on how taiko drummers prize unthinking enthusiasm—further seals it in.
It probably doesn't help that in traditional Shinto thought, misfortune presupposes impurity of some sort. A world with strange, startling occurrences, or otherwise not placidly predictable, is thus, by definition, defiled by something. The disturbing the peace from Kyouko and Mystia's new band? Chimeric because it jars others' routines.
In a way, this serves to further differentiate her from Marisa.
Irony: Despite being a miko, her powers and way of thinking are far more Taoist than Shinto, to the point where she's been compared to a hermit. She possibly acts more Taoist than the actual hermits introduced in Ten Desires, who only achieved their status through Soul Jars (and one of whom has Shinto-based powers). The yin-yang orb further cements this.
Jack of All Stats: Her attack and speed are just barely adequate, and she has no real glaring flaws, as far as standard gameplay goes. Her attacks are highly flexible and she's good for just about any situation. Reimu A is usually a homing type, and sacrifices power for range and accuracy. Reimu B is usually the forward-focus type, similar to Marisa's gameplay, but not quite as strong; in exchange, her attacks have a wider range, making it easier for her to hit the targets. Finally, she consistently has the smallest hitbox and longest deathbomb period, making her ideal for survival play.
Miko: In the PC-98 games she wore a traditional miko's outfit (white haori, red hakama). In the Windows games she wears a much more customized and non-standard outfit, though it still keeps the traditional red and white colours.
Played for Laughs in a chapter of Wild and Horned Hermit set during the events of Hopeless Masquerade, where a kappa is taking bets on a duel between Reimu and Byakuren. Kasen enthusiastically cheers an embarassed Reimu on... while betting against her.
Kasen: "Reimu always screws up when she gets cocky.[...]There's no safer bet anywhere."
Komachi: "That shrine maiden didn't have any evil thoughts to begin with. [...] Just about all humans have that level of worldly desires. Working hard despite that amount of desire isn't evil, it's innocent. Among the innocent ones, you get people like that shrine maiden."
Ninja Log: Reimu's Instant Dimensional Rift skill in Hisoutensoku switches her with a double that explodes into a shower of damaging Ofuda if struck.
Nun Too Holy: While she defers to gods and treats youkai as enemies, she only does so because it's her job; she doesn't discriminate by such things personally. As multiple characters have commented, Reimu's attitude would be great for a hermit (in the Taoist sense) but doesn't really fit a shrine maiden. She also has some gaps in her training, to the point where she didn't know until Double Dealing Character that tsukumogami should receive prayers to becalm them, and doesn't know what god she's serving. Part of this may be due to Yukari's influence.
Opposites Attract: Reimu is rather serious by Gensoukyou standards and has no tolerance for mischief, yet her closest friends tend to be extra-strength weird, such as the maniacal Marisa, the gregarious Suika, and the whimsical Yukari.
Onmyodo: Ofuda (rectangular paper charms) are her weapon of choice along with giant yin-yang orbs.
Parental Abandonment: Despite the importance of her bloodline, it's unknown exactly what happened to the rest of the Hakurei clan, just that Reimu has been living alone since at least Highly Responsive to Prayers.
Pet the Dog: In contrast to her infamous attitude during incidents, in a chapter of the three fairies manga, she kindly warns a fairy (that looks similar to Daiyousei) to find shelter before she gets blown away by the upcoming storm.
Perpetual Poverty: Reimu doesn't get donations, and the Hakurei Shrine is often described as "shabby-looking", though she has no problems providing for herself. Apparently Yukari secretly provides some food donations.
Personality Powers: Reimu is rather distant from other humans (both socially and in her level of ability); she fittingly has twopowers which make her "untouchable". Her ability to float matches her habit of drifting from one emotion or idea to another without being truly attached to them, while her "treat everyone the same" attitude and concern with maintaining the balance likewise fit her use of yin-yang-themed weapons.
Roundhouse Kick: In the fighting games, her Ascension Kick is a backflipping vertical roundhouse which sends enemies flying upwards. She also has a Hurricane Kick upgrade Divine Arts "Sky-Conquering Wind God Kick".
Reimu's infamous Last Word card "Fantasy Heaven" is a homonym to Kenshiro's Musou Tensei of Fist of the North Star. In Hisoutensoku, using said spell card under certain conditions even causes a Fatal KO remix of Reimu's theme, "Mystic Oriental Love Consulation", to override the current music. For bonus points, if the opponent is stupid enough to actually let it activate, only a couple of characters even have the capability of dodging it long enough to avoid instant death without haxing off borders, and only one can counter it. You are already dead indeed!
One of her palettes in Hisoutensoku uses Toki's colours (even the hair), another thing fans have run away with.
Her final attack phases as the extra boss of Shuusou Gyoku, which may have been the inspiration for Fantasy Dimensional Hole.
Tomboy and Girly Girl: She's simultaneously the tomboy to Yukari's girly girl, and the girly girl to Marisa's tomboy.
Vague Age/Not Allowed to Grow Up: Information provided in print works and the passage of seasons in the games suggest that at least six years have passed between The Embodiment of Scarlet Devil and Hisoutensoku, so Reimu should probably be over 20 years old by now — more if the PC-98 games still count. However, she is always depicted as being somewhere in her teens. For what it's worth, the publishers of the official comics can get away with showing her drinking alcohol fairly often, so it's plausible that she's "officially" in her twenties.
Her entire gimmick for her boss fight in Imperishable Night. For her spell cards, she creates borders around and inside the battlefield to shoot danmaku through. Those shots will eventually reach around to aim at the player character from various directions. Her last spells involve flying off one end of the screen and coming out of the other while shooting at you.
Sariel is an angel of death and the final boss of the Makai route.
Tropes associated with Sariel:
Ambiguous Gender: All other versions of Sariel are male, and the sprite could be intended to be of either gender. The only reason to assume that this Sariel is female is that the Touhou games quickly turned into an Improbably Female Cast.
A vengeful spirit whom Reimu originally ran into during her trip into Jigoku. She later reappeared in Gensoukyou, trying to get revenge on not just Reimu, but all people. After being shot down a second time, she gives up being evil and spends her time hanging around the Hakurei Shrine and making fun of Reimu. Highly popular despite her long absence, speculation abounds as to her reappearance.
Tropes associated with Mima:
A God Am I: Contemplates about becoming a Shinto god in her Mystic Square good ending, but decides to take it easy and goes to bother Reimu instead.
Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Despite being present in four out of the five PC-98 games, a fan favorite, and having a significant connection to one of the characters who did make the transition to the Windows series, she has yet to even be mentioned in the the Windows series. She's received a Shout-Out in the form of Soga no Tojiko, however.
Before Ten Desires, one of the PC-98 music re-release CDs has her on cover.
Lunacy: In her Phantasmagoria of Dim.Dream ending, she wished that the Full Moon will always be in the sky so that she will be at full power at all times. Yumemi grants it a little too literally, by placing a moon in geosynchronous orbit.
Horned Humanoid: Due to her horn, in fan depictions where she's not a ghost, she's usually depicted instead as an Oni. The above-mentioned sake plate probably contributes to this idea as well, given that Oni (especially the Gensokyo variety) are notorious drinkers, and one of the two confirmed Oni characters also carries a sake plate in battle.
"M'lady, please don't speak in that odd tone again".
An old turtle who serves as Reimu's transportation (since she hadn't yet learned how to fly under her own power), and on occasion attempts (unsuccessfully) to be her mentor, or at least give her advice. Disappeared without a trace after Mystic Square, though Word of God has stated that he's "probably living in the lake at the back of the shrine".
Some sort of scientific genius. Before Story of Eastern Wonderland she creates a bunch of monsters and ghosts and decides to hang out at the Hakurei Shrine while Reimu was gone. Naturally, she gets her ass kicked. She later challanges Reimu on more even grounds riding Evil Eye Sigma. First boss in a Touhou shooting game, and first extra stage boss.
Tropes associated with Rika:
Bonus Boss: Manages to be both the first boss and the Bonus Boss by fighting in a new tank in the extra stage.
Breaking the Fourth Wall: Does this big time in the extra stage, with her and Reimu discussing this is what would have happened if Reimu has chased Rika instead of continuing to stage 2, and that this fight will be harder than anything else since it's the Extra stage...
Schizo Tech: She drives tanks around in notably science-free Gensoukyou.
Tank Goodness: Despite both of them being destroyed by Reimu in short order, you have to give her credit given that she built them both by herself.
Unlimited Wardrobe: Despite being a relatively obscure character, Rika is noted both in the game she appears in and in fan works for having several different outfits, most of them containing a bowtie somewhere.
"I'm a woman, damn it!! What is wrong with you?!"
Attacks Reimu in an attempt to get the Hakurei powers for herself. Fails, and is never heard from again.
Sword Lines: She can carve a diamond shape in the air with these, which then starts shooting bullets.
Story of Eastern Wonderland(fanart)
Phantasmagoria of Dim. Dream(fanart)
Ordinary Black Magician
"Move and I'll shoot!! I messed up. I mean, shoot and I'll move. In a flash."
A magician who lives in the Forest of Magic, Marisa first appeared as the Stage 4 boss of Story of Eastern Wonderland and became a playable character in every game afterwards, eventually becoming the secondary protagonist of the Touhou series. She just so happens to be the "Ordinary Magician" in the middle of a crowd of superpowered beings, so she worked her ass off HARD to eventually become one of the more formidable opponents in Gensoukyou. She's rude and loud-mouthed, but is a straightforward person. Also a notorious thief, and damn proud of it.
Tropes associated with Marisa:
Acquired Poison Immunity: In Wild and Horned Hermit Marisa ignores a sign warning of toxic fumes, since she's been exposed to so many poisonous substances as part of her research. It's implied that she's even become resistant to mercury poisoning in this way.
Always Second Best: Next to Reimu. In fact, Marisa has admitted several times that she is the second-best in Gensokyo, a fact she seems to, surprisingly, hold pride in. Given that Reimu can and, canonically, has kicked everyone's ass there, Marisa's pride is probably justified.
Ascended Extra: After her initial appearance as a villainous minion with no real backstory or motivation, she went on to become the second main character of the series.
Ass Kicks You: an attack in the fighting games, known as the "Flying Doombutt" for its surprisingly high damage and range. As it makes Marisa immune to projectiles, it has given rise to an obscure meme known as Marisa's Bulletproof Bloomers.
Badass Bookworm: In spite of her apparent unconcern for obtaining anything honestly, all of her abilities were gained by either studying the necessary magical texts or inventing them herself.
Doujins and fanvids take this further: one common and recurring storyline is her finding the secret to Alice's dolls, only for it to blow up in an accident. She didn't just steal the spellcards; she's practically remaking them. This justifies how she learned Master Spark from Yuka, and how she got the Non-Directional Laser from Patchouli and used them in later games.
Breaking the Fourth Wall: Nearly the entire Alice scenario in Subterranean Animism. Oddly enough, however, they're treating the game as an RPG. In The Story of Eastern Wonderland Marisa is aware of how many continues you used, and in the trial version informs Reimu that the game ends on the third stage
This is actually how she performs her infamous bookthefts from the SDM: She goes there acting like she's doing a friendly visit and most of the residents let it slide or actually hide her from Patchouli.
Composite Character: Spell attacks and books aren't the only things she's stolen from people. In the transition from PC-98 to Windows, she's picked up Mima's habit of lying and her general personality, Chiyuri's speech patterns and Ellen's 2P costumenote Or Yuki's costume. Or Yumemi's 2P costume. It's a design ZUN liked..
Edible Ammunition: The projectiles in her Stardust Reverie spell card might be some kind of candy, as we learn in Silent Sinner in Blue. During the futile series of battles on the moon, Yorihime nonchalantly dodges Marisa's star bits, and even takes a bite out of one, noticing their sweet taste.
Evil Redhead: Her original appearance in Story of Eastern Wonderland. Her hair was changed to blonde in the next game.
Flying Broomstick: Almost always shown riding it in the games. Oddly, she uses it for attacking but not for flight in the fighting games. Word of God states that she only rides the broom for appearances, to keep up the Cute Witch motif. She can fly on her own just like anyone else if she wants to.
Sky Surfing: Surfs on the broom for her "Sungrazer" Last Word in Hopeless Masquerade, though it was common in fanart long beforehand.
Foil: While she's most obviously one for Reimu, she also has the interesting talent of being the opposite of pretty much anyone she's paired up with. She can even play both The Straight Man And The Wise Guy with equal ease, depending who she's talking to.
Four Is Death: If Marisa is a boss in the game, she will ALWAYS be the fourth boss in the game, and always rather tough. In addittion, she is 'different' in nature every time. In SoEW, she was also the Penultimate Boss, in LLS, she was a normal boss. In IN, she was also the midboss, and in Great Fairy Wars, which only has three stages, she is the Extra Boss, making her, again, the 4th boss in the story.
Frickin' Laser Beams: Both Master Spark and the mini-ones. Fanon says she copied this from Patchouli.
Gameplay and Story Segregation: The plot of her A path in Double Dealing Character emphasizes just how powerful her bewitched mini-hakkero is... but the flamethrower is weaker than her alternative shot, and Dark Spark is exactly the same as Master Spark used to be.
Glass Cannon: She often has high firepower and speed compared to other characters in the Windows danmaku games. Of course, as with any other Touhou character, she'll instantly die if just one bullet touches her hitbox.
Hard Work Hardly Works: Played straight when compared to Reimu, but she's still extremely powerful thanks to her training, quite possibly the next strongest human in all of Gensoukyou.
In Symposium of Post-mysticism, Byakuren explains the Six Buddhist Perfections. Marisa dismisses the first two (Generosity and Discipline) but...
Byakuren: "Forbearance" is to withstand humiliation or pain from others. "Diligence" is the effort exerted to continue training.
Marisa: Everyone does that, not like you have a choice.
I Let You Win: Sort of. She goes easy on Cirno during the extra stage of Fairy Wars, using variant lasers that don't actually kill her, instead chipping away at her motivation gauge. However, multiple times during the battle, she finds that Cirno is stronger than she thought, and steps up the complexity of her attacks. At the end, she thinks that Cirno might have been a problem even if she was going all out, and the effort from the battle is still enough that she has to go home and lie down afterwards. On the other hand, it's Cirno rather than Marisa who gets a "beaten up" portrait after the fight.
Immortality Seeker: On-and-off, since old age is still a fairly distant concern for her. While there are theoretically a few methods open to Marisa, she's yet to find one she likes enough to commit to.
The standard route of becoming a youkai magician would mean giving up her humanity. Not only would this affect her personality, Marisa is proud of her underdog status compared to youkai.
Becoming a Hourai immortal would require the disturbing act of cutting open an existing immortal and eating their liver (possibly against their will). The process is also completely irreversible, meaning that she wouldn't be able to die even if she later wanted to.
Hidden Heart of Gold: In some of the later games, like Subterranean Animism, Hopeless Masquerade, and Double-Dealing Character (Scenario B), she publicly acts like a jerk that solves incidents for wholly selfish reasons, but in private moments, it is revealed that she does care about the well-being of Gensokyo and its people when she sets out to solve an incident. In her SA Alice scenario, she says she wants to make the incident worse to spite Alice for stringing her along without explanation, but when Satori reads her mind, she reveals that she's actually just as concerned about the incident as Alice. In Hopeless Masquerade, she shows deep concern for the people in town when nobody's looking, but once the cause of the incident shows up, she goes back to being her usual rowdy, snarky self. In Ten Desires, she even downplays her skills and abilities, insisting with a sincere face that she is entirely ordinary, while Seiga insists that she must be someone special to make it as far as she has. Marisa responds by changing her title to "Amazingly Ordinary Magician."
"Magus Night" from her appearance as the Bonus Boss of Fairy Wars. Apparently started as a "Witches' Ball" remix that got out of hand.
Magus Night has now been remixed for Hopeless Masquerade.
Lethal Joke Item: Magic Absorber. Horrible range, low damage, and the only bomb in the series that has a shorter invincibility duration than attack duration. It also turn bullets into Ps, which, combined with Double Dealing Character's gimmick, allows a savvy player to turn it into a perpetual motion machine of lives and bombs.
Light 'em Up: Light and heat magic are her specialty. Interestingly, she has a stronger affinity for water; she just isn't particularly interested in using it.
Magic Wand: Carries one in Undefined Fantastic Object and Story of Eastern Wonderland.
Magic Mushroom: Marisa uses phantasmal mushrooms as a common ingredient/fuel source for her magic. The Forest of Magic where she lives is known for being full of them... but even better known for being full of "magic" mushrooms. Fandom pushes both ends of this routinely, with mushrooms that can have basically any effect imaginable for Marisa or her victims.
Making a Splash: Despite relying mostly on light-based magic, Marisa's elemental affinity is actually water. So far this has only come up in Mountain of Faith (where she can use the water-based shot Cold Inferno) and Scarlet Weather Rhapsody (where her associated weather is Drizzle). Of course, her weather is also just a pun on her name (Kirisame meaning "drizzle").
Mana Drain: Her B shot in Double Dealing Character is flavoured as such. Given that the game doesn't have MP, this just results in lots of power items.
More Dakka: Everyone's danmaku attacks are like this, but Marisa is notable for constantly looking for ways to get bigger firepower from her magic.
Mouthful of Pi: In Mountain of Faith, Marisa gets impatient while travelling across levels and wonders if she could finish reciting pi by the time she got to her intended destination.
Mythology Gag: Marisa's Player 2 colour scheme in Phantasmagoria of Flower View.
Also one of her color pallets in Hopeless Masquerade are a reference to her PC-98 color theme.
The Napoleon: Very outgoing and energetic, and also unusually short for her age.
Nice Hat: She's never seen without her comically oversized witch's hat.
The Brilliant, but Lazy, blunt, dispassionate Reimu, passive and tricky in her fighting style, popular despite her lack of active socialising, associated with sunshine and spring — and then the hard-working, energetic, dishonest, excitable Marisa who lives by brute force, bothers people everywhere she goes, and is associated with rain. They're competitors and rivals. They're also best friends who spend a lot of time just hanging out.
Marisa's numerous fandom couplings, romantically or otherwise, also tend to be based on this. Along with Reimu, the withdrawn bookworm Patchouli, the cold-hearted and tactically oriented Alice, and the shy Nitori are opposites of Marisa as well.
Palette Swap: In Hopeless Masquerade, one of these makes her look like in earlier games (that is, her dress is black and white). Another one makes her look like Alice (if she wore a red hat rather than red hairband).
Parental Abandonment: It's notable that Marisa is one of the few Touhou characters to have a still-living family; All There in the Manual mentions she has a father that runs a second-hand shop in the human village. It's also notable that she's apparently cut off all contact with him; it's hinted Marisa's father doesn't like magic. In Curiosities of Lotus Asia, when Rinnosuke brings up her father Marisa responds that she can't hear him and it's unclear whether she's lying or not.
A popular fanon is that Mima was sort of a parental figure for Marisa... and she's now absent.
She has stolen several spells from other characters she has fought over time. Even her signature Master Spark was originally held by Yuuka Kazami. The whole point of the Grimoire Of Marisa is her cataloguing the spell cards of everyone she meets, with the stated plan of using them to learn more magic.
Then in Ten Desires her shots have picked up the explosive abilities of Sanae's Cobalt Spread, while Sanae herself ended up with something resembling Marisa's Super Shortwave. A con job rather than theft this time, it would seem.
Power of Love: The description of the aforementioned Love Sign: Master Spark includes the instructions "Mutter the spell to the Mini-Hakkero tenderly; aim at someone you don't like; now unleash your annihilation of love!". What exactly that means is still a matter for debate.
Roboteching: In Hopeless Masquerade, her "Nano Spark" makes a sharp turn mid-flight, if she is using a Shinto-aligned set.
Secular Hero: While she's experimented with religious methods once or twice (even managing to summon a tiny Kanako in one of her endings), it doesn't carry much deeper meaning for her. In Hopeless Masquerade, a story about representatives of different religions, Marisa is considered the human representative.
Shoryuken: Her Miasma Sweep move in the fighting games.
Sociopathic Hero: Marisa enjoys beating people up a bit too much. Although her true love has always been kleptomania.
Star Power: Marisa loves watching stars and meteor showers, she even has a large observatory built into her house in Forbidden Scrollery, and as a result most of her spells are themed after space or heavenly bodies. If the PC-98 games are canon then she learned her first few spells of this type by copying Mima.
Sticky Fingers: In terms of items and skills. Her presence in both Lotus Land Story and The Embodiment of Scarlet Devil is explicitly due to her searching for new theft victims, and in Imperishable Night she introduces herself to the Eientei staff as a thief, much to Alice's exasperation. She figures that human lifespans are so short compared to those of Youkai, that the Youkai can have their stuff back after she's dead, so they shouldn't mind.
Alice: (About Reimu) Why the stuttering? Just yell at her like you always do. "Bitch, get out of the way!" Like that. ... Marisa: (To Reimu) Okay, okay, I give up. You're right. The endless night, stealing the full moon, hiding the human village, and putting hats on stone statues, it's all Alice's fault. Now, bitch, get out of the way!
Tomboy: Marisa speaks roughly for a girl and has a fighting style based around brute force. She's sometimes joked to be the manliest character in the series (though newer characters like Unzan give her competition).
Trash of the Titans: Her house is a real mess, crammed with everything she has stolen but hasn't yet bothered to sort. Legendary treasures have actually been found in her junk piles, completely unknown to her.
Marisa:(flying through Eientei) It'd take one hell of a janitor to clean a hall that long.
Unskilled, but Strong: Subverts the "unskilled" part somewhat, as she worked very hard for her powers, unlike most other inhabitants of Gensoukyo. However, her personal philosophy is that danmaku is all about power, so her basic attacks are usually very dense and unstructured. And when push comes to shove she will throw all pretense of finesse out the window and just start Master Sparking half the screen and/or trying to ram her opponent, which is borderline breaking the Spell Card rules as lampshaded by ZUN himself.
Useless Useful Spell: The laser shot-type that hits the top of the screen instantly and pierces through enemies has no particularly great uses and is invariably weaker than the game's forward concentration shot-typenote Except in Lotus Land Story, where it is the forward concentration shot-type... except in Undefined Fantastic Object, where there's actually enough things to hit at one time for piercing to be really useful. This is generally to balance the fact that her laser shot-types also tend to have the most powerful bomb(s).
Weak, but Skilled: Compared to most of Gensoukyou's inhabitants, who rely on innate abilities and rarely improve upon them, while Marisa has none and is constantly seeking new spells.
It's a bit dubious however, as her attacks are actually more powerful than those of other characters.
Wolverine Publicity: Has been in every Touhou game since her debut in Story of Eastern Wonderland except for Shoot the Bullet... where she appears as the game's logo anyway. Furthermore, she has been the game logo for every ZUN-made Touhou game made in the Windows era except for Double Spoiler and Fairy Wars, even though she does appear in both games.
A a fan game lampshades this with the remark "You're still the icon for the games?"
Genius Ditz: Despite telling Yumemi to her face that science is heresy, Kotohime recognizes the electrical equipment in the ship, and her victory quote to Chiyuri is to start reciting the Periodic Table.
Chiyuri: ... You'd better do what I say if you know what's good for you!
Kotohime: Okay, I will. ♥
Sheltered Aristocrat: According to her profile, she isn't allowed to leave home very often because of her strange personality. In addition, the characters who do recognize her tell her she should go home, suggesting that she doesn't have permission to be out this time, either.
Willfully Weak: She's quite strong magically, but she dislikes magic too much to use it often.
Resident of fantasy that runs through time
"No way out of this, huh...Let's fight!!"
Chiyuri is Yumemi's assistant and mostly spends time collating her research data. She also put out the fliers advertising the contest to reach the center of the "ruins" that recently appeared in Gensoukyou. She doesn't always have a clear idea of what her boss intends, which results in her getting whacked over the head when she treats the contest winner rudely (read: threatens them with a gun). Yumemi then orders her to fight the heroines in order to collect more data. Oh, and her major is in "comparative physics". Whatever that means.
"I want to take you home and make you my guinea pig, and learn all the secrets of your power and make it mine!!"
Yumemi is a professor of "comparative physics" at a university in another dimension where all natural forces have been explained by a Grand Unified Theory. When she dares to suggest that the theory doesn't explain magic, she is laughed out of the university and sets off on a journey to prove that it exists. Her ship lands in Gensoukyou to capture someone to use in her experiments. Asskicking ensues and she leaves empty-handed. In spite of her disappointing failure, she still rewards the heroinesgenerously.
Tropes associated with Yumemi:
Badass Normal: The only human final boss in the series without any powers whatsoever.
Difficulty Spike/SNK Boss: Getting to her isn't terribly difficult if you know what you're doing. Getting past her will probably take a continue or two to drive the Dynamic Difficulty down enough to make her reasonably beatable. Good thing you still get the good ending after continuing.
Earth-Shattering Kaboom: Threatens to blow up the Earth with a "four-dimensional positron bomb" after her defeat. She's only kidding, but that doesn't stop Chiyuri from whacking her over the head with a folding chair.
Make a Wish: As a result of the ad that Chiyuri put up, Yumemi agrees to grant the player character's wish to the best of her abilities if she defeats her. She gets a bit frustrated when Kotohime can't think of one.
Make Me Wanna Shout: Her powers are implied to be sound based, due to her theme name (Phoneme), the danmaku reflecting off the borders and her being a vampire, and thus the bat-like analogies with the echolocation.
Recurring Boss: She's both the mid-boss and end boss of stage 2. Kurumi is the only PC-98 character to do this.
The gatekeeper to Yuuka's mansion. She's completely useless at her job, letting both Reimu and Marisa by. Not that Yuuka even needs a gatekeeper, considering her own power and how isolated her mansion is...
Tropes associated with Elly:
Battle Butler: An unusual instance in which the Battle Butler is not the second-to-last enemy in the game. Elly is only the stage 3 boss.
"It doesn't matter if you're a god, power is everything!"
An old and extremely powerful flower youkai first found living in the dream world, Mugenkan. She is sleeping at the time and only defends herself because Reimu and Marisa broke in and woke her up. Naturally, she loves her flowers and is actually more like a force of nature than a typical youkai.
Tropes associated with Yuuka:
Ax-Crazy: In Fanon, due to her motivation in Mystic Square being "I was bored", "I'm going to kill you" dialogue, and her "genocide is a game" joke. In Phantasmagoria of Flower View, she says her previous creepy claims were just teasing. Fanon has her anywhere from a sadistic psychopath to an out-and-out raging Blood Knight.
Berserk Button: Those caught disturbing her flowers have a nasty habit of getting vaporized on the spot.
Breaking the Fourth Wall: Mainly in her bad ending in Mystic Square where she talks to the player, asking them to try again another time in a kind fashion.
Cute and Psycho: One of her quotes in the PC-98 games says she treats genocide as a game. She's teasing about it, but it's creepy none the less. Not helped by her article in Perfect Memento in Strict Sense, containing a drawing of her◊ smiling serenely in a field of flowers while explaining her aforementioned Berserk Button - and it's canon that she scares people. In a lot of fanon, she could be endearing and smiling innocently one second, and snapping your head off in the next.
Doppelgänger Attack: A few of her attacks as Lotus Land Story's final boss. Fandom remembers the Dual Spark.
Let's Fight Like Gentlemen: Provided the opponent isn't someone who crossed her, Yuuka enjoys a good, fair fight with rules discussed beforehand to prevent unnecessary deaths.
Mighty Glacier: Relatively speaking, with the slowest move speeds in Phantasmagoria of Flower View but very high charge speeds. Since in most Touhou games the protagonist is a One-Hit-Point Wonder who relies on dodging to survive (and she's never appeared in the fighting games), in her playable appearances she's technically more of a Glass Cannon. Fan works, on the other hand, play this straight.
Moe: Invoked in her bizarre character profile in Kioh Gyoku, with ZUN repeatedly referring to her as "youkai moe~" and the term became almost endemic. Possibly a pun - moe literally means budding. That and various offical things casting her in a cute light.
Not Me This Time: She's the prime suspect behind the flowers blooming in Phantasmagoria of Flower View, as she has caused an incident before and is a youkai of flowers, but it turns out to be a (mostly) natural phenomenon.
Parasol of Pain: She always carries a parasol (though it is actually a flower that never withers). She casts Dual Spark with it, and in most fandom, uses all her attacks via it.
Peek-a-Bangs: During the final battle with her in Lotus Land Story.
Perfect Run Final Boss: Just like with Kaguya, if you used a continue before the final stage, you never saw it. If you lost all your lives during it, it would end immediately. Unlike Kaguya, it also doubles as Easy-Mode Mockery.
Yuuka: In a few hours, you'll become a mist of atoms. ♥
Stronger with Age: One of the most powerful beings in Gensoukyou, purely as a result of being around for so long.
Wave Motion Gun: She's the original wielder of the Master Spark, although it didn't have a name at the time. Yuuka's version tops Marisa's - it is an attack that covers almost the entire screen, leaving very little room to dodge it. Oh, and she can clone herself to make a two-way Master Spark.
World's Strongest Woman: Despite the debateable uselessness of her flower manipulation, her raw physical and magical power are quite possibly the strongest in all of Gensoukyou, to the point where it's all she needs to compete with the rest of the cast who were favored by the Superpower Lottery. Fanon consisting of an Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny between her and Yukari are common.
"I'm Mugetsu. And this is my world."
The god of the dream world the player character stumbles into during the Extra stage, apparently.
Tropes associated with Mugetsu:
Bonus Boss: One of the two extra stage bosses of Lotus Land Story.
"Silly shrine maiden, your two-colored powers are a mere twenty-eight-point-five-seven-one-four percent as powerful as mine!"
Another magician that lives in the Forest of Magic, and neighbor to Marisa. Her power seems to center around the manipulation of her dolls. She's mostly aloof and self-confident, but is still willing (if reluctant) to work together with Marisa and isn't above showing kindness to others.
Tropes associated with Alice:
Action Bomb: She sends dolls stuffed with gunpowder to blow up in people's faces.
Alice Allusion: Aside from the obvious references, her name becomes a Stealth Pun when you remember that she now lives in Gensokyo (since "Gensokyo" literally means "fantasy land"...or "Wonderland", if you will).
Ascended Extra: Not Alice herself, but one of her spell cards. Curse "Eerily Luminous Shanghai Dolls" was just Alice's final spell card on most difficulties in Perfect Cherry Blossom, but after a solo doll was used in the spell card and artwork in Immaterial and Missing Power, fans latched onto the concept of Shanghai being a unique doll that's always with Alice. How much of a personality Shanghai has varies from work to work, although canonically all the dolls are controlled directly by Alice. The hardest version of the card, Curse "Hanged Hourai Dolls", also tends to get depicted as her own character, but somewhat less frequently.
Bonus Boss: In Mystic Square. She's also the only Bonus Boss in all of Touhou that gives the player an ending and credit sequence after beating her, although it is actually a list of all the PC-98 characters.
Breaking the Fourth Wall: Along with Marisa in Subterranean Animism. This continues into the Extra stage, where after defeating the mid-boss, Alice says to Marisa: "Look, it's the extra dungeon for after you beat the game. Good luck!"
Creating Life: Her greatest ambition is to create a doll that can act independently.
Creepy Doll: Her dolls are usually depicted as more cute than creepy in fanworks, but some of her spellcards certainly suggest this trope with names like "Eerily Luminous Shanghai Dolls" and "Hanged Hourai Dolls". Not to forget that most of them are armed, shoot, or explode.
Deadpan Snarker: Her dialogue with Marisa in Imperishable Night and to a lesser extent Subterranean Animism consists essentially of the two witches throwing snarky comments at each other and occasionally at their opponent. She's much more polite and subdued when speaking alone to the other characters, so we can just blame the black-white's bad influence.
Marionette Mistress: Her puppets, however, have no degree of automation, so even though she uses them to clean her house, it doesn't really make it much easier since she has to micromanage every single one of them. It makes her habit of holding one-sided conversations with them a little odder, too.
Recurring Boss: In Mystic Square, she is the stage 3 boss and the Extra stage boss, then in Perfect Cherry Blossom, she appears multiple times in stage 3.
Retcon: In Mystic Square, Alice is a resident of Makai, supposedly created by Shinki like everyone else there. However, when she was reintroduced for the Windows series, her background was changed so that she is a human-turned-youkai living in the Forest of Magic. (Though, the only source that supports this background is Akyuu's entry on her. The official profiles never mention her backstory.) She also looks much older, despite there only being one game between appearances and no one else aging as distinctly, and gains a last name. Fans have come up with numerous theories to explain this discrepancy.
Location Theme Naming: Many of Alice's spell cards are named for places. Most famous are her "Eerily Luminous Shanghai Dolls" and "Hanged Hourai Dolls", to the point where fanworks almost universally portray her with individual dolls named Shanghai and Hourai, although in Perfect Cherry Blossom she seems to have quite a large collection from all over the world, such as "Chalk White Russian Dolls" and "Benevolent French Dolls".
Colourful Theme Naming: Using a color theme similar to the one used in Ran, Chen, and Yukari's names, Alice's title is the "Seven-Colored Puppeteer". Since Reimu is only a red and white shrine maiden, Alice asserts that Reimu is only 28.5714% (or 2/7ths) as strong as her in the dialogue before her boss fight.note Ignoring the fact that white contains every color of the spectrum.
Tsundere: In canon, she's more a loner engrossed in her studies who doesn't speak much. When she does get away from her books long enough, she's known to be friendly to anyone who isn't Marisa. Fans just liked her better as a tsundere.
Unknown Rival: Reimu doesn't recall her name both times they fight after her initial appearance, first in the extra stage of Mystic Square. She fails to recognize her completely in their reunion in Perfect Cherry Blossom. Naturally, Alice was annoyed. She didn't really seem to care much after that, and they're shown to be on at least decent terms later on.
Willfully Weak: She never fights at her full strength, because she's afraid of what it might mean if she lost while going all out. This idea is often connected to the fact that she carries a grimoire that she's never been seen opening since her PC-98 appearance.
"I'll lead you to a place where you can rest forever ♥."
Tries to stop the player character once she gets into Makai, alongside Mai. Looks a bit like Windows era Marisa.
Space Master: Implied to be this, with her being intangible when moving, the background being distorted during her fight, and her swords having fancier materializing animations compared to other projectiles in the game.