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Fan Fic: Imperfect Metamorphosis
Guys? You might want to turn around...

Imperfect Metamorphosis is a Alternate Universe Touhou fanfic written by TakerFoxx.

It's a beautiful first day of spring in Gensokyo. Everything is fine in this paradise, right? Cirno and friends, after making a fool of Lily White, steal a strange box buried beneath the junk in Marisa's house. Opening it, they release a sort of jelly monster that immediately consumes Rumia, bringing panic into the group who run to the Hakurei Shrine. While they request help from Reimu, the monster assumes the form of a darkened version of Rumia and begins making its way to the Bamboo Forest.

Everything either collapses or escalates from there, with schemes upon schemes and plans upon plans clashing and merging with each other. There's a reason there are so many spoiler tags below.

This Darker and Edgier Fan Fiction features some of the darkest elements of the games themselves (such as Gensokyo being filled with belligerent, distrustful maniacs), some Alternative Character Interpretations popular amongst Touhou fanfiction writers (such as the Eirin being a Mad Scientist, Yukari being a scheming Manipulative Bastard, and Yuuka being a Wicked Cultured Depraved Bisexual), and runs with it. It takes lot of time exploring the politics games of Gensokyo and just how far a youkai's mind can be screwed. Yet, it still manages some occasional funny moments, and Earn Your Happy Ending is not out of the question (much like another Touhou Dark Fic). It also uses the unused character Rin Satsuki from The Embodiment of Scarlet Devil as one the principal characters.

Imperfect Metamorphosis has a side story, IM: Rhapsody of Subconscious Desire, which began after chapter 12 of the main story. It focuses on the adventures of Mokou and Kaguya in Dream Land after their encounter with the jelly monster. Lighter and Softer than the main story, but with gruesome Cheap Deaths and self-examination.

This fic also has three prequels/Christmas Specials, A Very Nineball Christmas, Over an Open Fire, and The Sorceress's Apprentice. A one-shot humoristic side-story titled Touhous in SPACE was done for the two-years anniversary and can be read here.

If you want to ask some questions, here is the first. second thread in Spacebattles.
See Touhou for the tropes of this universe.

Tropes contained in Imperfect Metamorphosis:

  • A God Am I: Marisa, when high off of massive destructive power.
    • Ex-Rumia is like this too. She even calls herself the "Alpha and Omega" in Chapter 18.
    • Considering the Shadow Youkai is the avatar of Azrael, it could actually be coming from him instead. Since Azreal is a fallen angel, this would make a lot of sense.
  • Adaptational Badass: Kotohime. In her short canon appearance, she was an insane princess who thought she was a police officer. Now? She's a police officer who was able to arrest Marisa freaking Kirisame. Granted, Kotohime was having a very, very bad day. And she had Yukari helping her.
  • Alternate Universe/Alternate Universe Fic
  • All Stories Are Real Somewhere: After The Reveal, Yuuka wonders whether the universe she lives in is real or just a fantasy inside the writer's mind, or if all the alternate universe she has seen exist or not. So far, this hasn't been neither confirmed nor denied.
  • Almighty Janitor: Genji is implied to be this. We still don't know to what extent, though, but he's apparently older and more powerful than Yukari.
  • Ambiguous Innocence: Yuyuko acts rather childlike frequently, not seeming to understand that things like eating Mystia and forcing her to remain alive throughout entire process are wrong. Her Obfuscating Stupidity makes this even more ambiguous.
  • Angels, Devils and Squid
  • Anger Bornof Worry: Since many characters in the story are Jerkasses albeit heroic ones, this seems to happen a lot when their not teasing each other or genuinely malicious. Reimu becomes this after The Storm arc, and even Alice sort of counts, but another big one happens in the beginning of Chapter 38 with Patchouli to Remilia. This happens because of Flandre being killed (or captured) by Yuuka during The Storm arc. As tragic as it is, Patchouli notices she's a bit too over dramatic over it which does not fit her reputation, becoming a drama queen much like Rarity, or perhaps a Hikikomori not too different from Satou. Surprisingly, the scene afterwords is followed by a pretty big mix of Crowning Moment of Heartwarming AND Crowning Moment of Funny as Patchouli practically becomes a hero despite all of Remilia and Sakuya's snarking just before she's about to go to bed. The funny part comes from the fairies' reactions.
  • Anti-Magic: The Mykr's Sirens have this effect.
  • Audience Surrogate: Yuuka's guest during The Storm chapters plays this part. It eventually revealed to be a magical construct used to talk directly to the readers.
  • Author Avatar: Yuuka, after The Storm arc is this, in a very twisted way. She lampshades and discusses it herself. It's very easy to compare how she makes other people suffer for no apparent reason with how the author hits the characters with every kind of calamities for the enjoyment of the readers. Or the fact that she constantly seeks to breed conflict. And we all know that without conflict, there is no story.
  • Author Catchphrase: "'Until next time, everyone!'". In chapter 31, Yuuka uses it
  • Batman Gambit: This story is 50% composed of Batman Gambits.
  • Battle in the Center of the Mind: When Rin Satsuki wants to rip Ex-Rumia out of her head, an awesome one ensues.
  • Being Good Sucks: Well, more like being good is HARD, but Reimu finds it difficult to be a "people person" with how much harder the incidents in the story are to solve. Notably in Chapter 34 she realizes that rather than being anti-heroic, some the allies working together are more like villains working under an Enemy Mine and that being selfish and evil seems to make things a lot easier... Of course, because of things like her concern for Marisa following under the acquaintance of Mima, she'd still take the path of good.
  • Berserk Button: Marisa and her hat.
    • In chapter one:
    "Play her for a fool, steal her box, shoot her in the face, all these she could forgive. But never, ever touch her hat!"
    • Also, mentioning her father.
    • Throwing a snowball at Lily White on the first day of spring will send her from joyous to foaming at the mouth in no time flat.
  • BFG: Eirin's kappa-modified black-market sawed-off shotgun.
    • She later gets a whole shipment of upgraded variants off of Nitori.
  • BFS: Ex-Rumia's.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: So far, there's the Shadow Youkai and Yuuka. Honestly, it's kind of hard to know whose stronger despite the premise, but everyone believes it's still the Shadow Youkai. Then it turns out the both of them are WAY stronger than they appear, with the Shadow Youkai actually being an avatar of Azrael whose a fallen angel all just from it's sword and Yuuka is an Eldritch Abomination most likely straight out of a H.P. Lovecraft Cosmic Horror. Yukari thinks it's an Outer God while Mima thought it was a Great Old One. Confirmed by Chapter 41, The Shadow Youkai, whose only an AVATAR of a fallen angel is stronger than the Cosmic Horror Yuuka.
    • The Dragon: Regardless of that fact, Elly is still The Dragon to Yuuka. One has to wonder if she's terribly misguided and Obliviously Evil, especially since Yuuka acts oh so nice when she's not ripping someone to shreds.
  • Big Damn Hero: In the last part of The Storm, we have the sudden arrival of Youmu, who frees Marisa from Yuuka's combat tentacles.
    Marisa (happy): "DOUBLETROUBLE!"
  • Blessed with Suck: Rin Satsuki currently has the ability to adapt to any magical attack and can absorb other people to gain their powers. Thus, she has gained fire manipulation, eternity manipulation, immortality (times two), Voluntary Shapeshifting (also time two) and is just scratching the surface of Ex-Rumia's shadow powers. All this has turned her into Gensokyo's public enemy #1. And as Gensokyo is filled with people who won the Superpower Lottery...
  • Blob Monster: Rin Satsuki
  • Blood Knight
    • Marisa freaking Kirisame
    • Yuuka Kazami
  • Blue and Orange Morality: Yuuka, which is to be expected.
    • By The Storm arc, it even says she loves both the best and worst in life, and she's quite literally capable of pulling off both just for the hell of it.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: Flandre.
    • The old Rin is like this too. Reisen can't even remember that she used to be like that when she reads her diary after The Storm arc, hoping it's just a phase. By Chapter 39, she rereads through it again and realizes that Rin doesn't discover it until 4 years later when Tewi stole it for unknown reasons, with Rin herself admitting she was a brat and being surprised. Reisen is obviously relieved.
  • Break the Cutie:
    • Rin Satsuki has gone through many ordeals. In chapter 24, she has definitely snapped.
    • Yuuka pretends to be Remilia to drive Flandre towards the Despair Event Horizon, before killing her.
  • Break the Haughty: Yukari does this to Remilia Scarlet and Tenshi Hinanai.
  • Breather Episode: Chapter 32: The Aftermath is well named.
    • In the form of an Abridged Story Summary, Chapter 43 is also this, but Played for Laughs instead of relief.
  • Brick Joke: Turns out that Patchouli actually does keep her porn stash in a box identical to the one Rin was sealed in. Said box is used to reseal Rin.
  • Broke Your Arm Punching Out Cthulhu: The overall result of the battle with Yuuka.
  • Buffy Speak: Marisa's impression of anime: "[W]hat'cha call 'em again? Those illusions with stories on that clunky screen?"
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Reimu's reaction to Meira's insistence that she dishonored her in battle and so must suffer vengeance.
  • Butt Monkey: Remilia Scarlet. No one takes her seriously after Yukari dealt with her. Dips into Jerkass Woobie after "The Storm".
    • Nyoron, the fairy from GPF.
  • Came Back Wrong: When Mima shreds the Strutter after Yuuka overrides it, Yuuka just brings it back...as what is essentially the plant equivalent of a cyborg.
  • The Cameo: Masha Kinoko makes a brief appearance in chapter 22 to give Team 9 directions.
  • Can't Hold His Liquor: Chen, notably during Chapter 11.
  • Captain Obvious: Yuyuko.
  • Chandler's Law: In chapter 39, right after the fight between the Strutter and the Hisoutensoku has been ended and Reimu is trying to convince Rin Satsuki that she's there to help her, Yuuka lets Tenshi pass through the crowd control and later helps her recover from the missile that Mima shot to her, and later uses the Strutter to challenge Reimu and her team. Why? For shits and giggles, of course. TakerFoxx himself admits to using her to get the plot moving.
  • Character Development: Reimu, much to her displeasure, is forced to admit that she's becoming more of a "people person".
  • The Chew Toy: Lily White is Team Nine's favorite fool, and all their interactions are treated with humor. After Rumia gets eaten by a strange jelly monster and everything goes to Makai in a handbasket, though, she decides to take her leave and come back again next spring.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: While in Canon she is everything but this, Reimu actually finds out that she just can't stand back and let Yukari kill an innocent child, if she can choose to Take a Third Option. Of course, Marisa lampshades it.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: The story itself, all the time, and the story is only rated T, among the other dark aspects such as implied rape. Takerfoxx himself was wondering about amping the story to an M-rating early on but by 51 Chapters, the story is still only rated T. It seems the ratings might actually be done by the site itself, not by the author's intentions. If not, then the rating is possibly Non-Indicative.
  • Combat Tentacles: Yuuka's favorite use of her vines.
  • Continuity Nod: Chapter 24 has one to A Very Nineball Christmas. When Yuuka takes Team Nineball to her mansion, Daiyousei's snowglobe is among their possessions that Yuuka has brought over.
  • Cool Sword: Reisen eventually finds Ex-Rumia's sword. It's described as obsidian black, with nasty-looking blades sticking out of everywhere.
  • Could Have Avoided This Plot: The incident that triggered the chain of events could have been mitigated, even resolved, if the characters had invoked the spellcard rules. Justifiable, though: one can't expect the Shadow Youkai to follow the rules.
    • Yukari had various opportunities to avoid it, if she had listened to Eirin in chapter 5 instead of ignoring her; if she hadn't tried to cheat in her duel with Yuuka. To be fair, she didn't know exactly how strong Yuuka was; and of course, another of Yukari's very bad ideas was to antagonize Rin and allow the bounty hunters hired by Yuuka to try and capture Rin. She still somehow thinks that she's the one Surrounded by Idiots.
    • Oh, and of course Yuuka wouldn't probably have got involved (at least not so soon) had Team 9 not asked for her help.
      • And things would have probably gone very differently had Rin accepted Reimu's help in chapter 26. Poor Communication Kills indeed!
  • Crossover Cosmology: See Fantastic Nature Reserve below.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
    • Most of Gensokyo's powerhouses join together near the beginning of the story to take down Rin Satsuki. It doesn't end well.
    • Satori literally gets curbstomped by Yuuka during Yukari's attempt to permanently get rid of her.
  • Cute and Psycho: Yuuka smiles almost constantly, and most of the time is almost pleasant to be around. Then she kills people because they happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, were in her way, or just to make a point. She used to be a lot worse about this: Yukari said she'd murder whole villages because she'd think it'd be funny.
  • Dangerously Genre Savvy: Yuuka. So much that she eventually comes to possess Medium Awareness after Yukari tries to meld their essences to kill her.
  • Darker and Edgier/Dark Fic
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Elly. When being taken in by Yuuka is the best thing that has ever happened to you, something's gone very, very wrong with your life.
  • Deader Than Dead: The Kirin have access to a way of killing youkai and faeries and keeping them dead. They did this to Rin's biological parents as punishment for the scandal and treachery they performed.
    • Yukari is also capable of this, by crushing a being's 'essence'. This causes the target to be incapable of reforming its body. Yuuka walks it off.
    • The influence of Mykr's Sirens can prevent a youkai or divinity from regenerating from bodily disruption if there's enough of them around. Fortunately they'll come back once the Sirens have been weeded out. In ch. 39, this is the only hope for Kanako and Nitori.
  • Deadly Doctor: Eirin, though supplementing her very weaponizable medical know-how with More Dakka.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Everyone has a go at this sooner or later, but Yuuka, Mima and Rumia are the most frequent ones.
    • Also, all the protagonists of Rhapsody of Subconscious Desire.
  • Death By Genre Savvy: Satori is the first one to "die" (in the sense of having her essence captured) in The Storm.
  • Death Seeker: Rin Satsuki, ever since her Battle in the Center of the Mind, but she doesn't realize it until Rumia figures it out herself and yells at her over it.
    • Also somewhat implied with Eirin, out of guilt for Rin Satsuki.
  • Deconstruction: Kotohime was crazy because of her Dark and Troubled Past, after her family was killed by youkai.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Reimu, whether willing or not. Marisa was surprised about this one.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Marisa kills Yuuka. Granted it was only one fourth of her, but it still counts.
    • For additional fun, Yuuka used to be an actual Lovecraftian Outer God. You know, the ones Cthulhu and his kin worship as gods. Since TakerFoxx is a troper, one has to wonder if he had this trope in mind when plotting that...
  • Disproportionate Retribution/Wicked Cultured: Yuuka, despite everyone in-universe saying she's unpredictable, has a method to her madness. She only lashes out when someone breaks etiquette. An example being when she killed the couple in the hotel room, because they screamed in terror upon seeing her instead of giving her a proper greeting. Another example being that she didn't attack any of Yukari's backup teams until they attacked her, thus breaking the rules of her engagement with Yukari.
    • Kanako picks up on this and manages to talk Yuuka into going home for the day.
  • Door Stopper: The word count is over 700 thousand. That's longer than any three Harry Potter books.
  • The Dreaded: Nearly everyone reacts to the news that Yuuka is becoming involved with abject horror at the possibility. Their reactions are entirely justified.
  • Dream Land: Two examples which are overlapped with Journey to the Center of the Mind.
  • Dumb Is Good: Utsuho, very childlike and naive but also the only character to befriend Flandre, and go offer condolences to Remilia (who had been rather abrasive towards her) after Flandre's death/capture.
  • Dummied Out: Referenced In-Universe with a dream done by Rin Satsuki.
  • Dysfunction Junction: Nearly everyone is messed up. Thankfully, we have some persons like Reimu.
  • Easily Forgiven: Cirno and Rumia are the only ones to forgive Rin Satsuki for what she has done.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Yuuka is a (former?) Outer God, and her true form seems to be a flower described by H. P. Lovecraft out in space, going everywhere. Satori saw it, which caused her to blank out. Later, Yuuka explains to a guest that what Satori actually saw was but a watered-down version of Yuuka's true horrific visage, and at the height of her power, she was even nastier.
    • Yuuka's true name is Yidhra.
  • Eloquent In Her Native Tongue: Whereas the Kappa normally speak with an accent appearing to be a bizarre fusion of Jamaican and Dutch, the conversation between Sanae and Nitori in the Kappa's language displays a ridiculous level of articulation.
  • Enemy to All Living Things: The Shadow Youkai.
  • Enemy Within: The Shadow Youkai.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Yuuka repeatedly she tries to express her... standards:
    • When she makes a promise or deal, she will go out of her way to make sure that both sides live up to it.
    • To Yuyuko and Youmu:
      • When she finds out that Yuyuko ate Mystia alive once, she's actually shocked and disgusted.
      • She find their use of a Kirk Summation on Elly to be absolutely disgraceful.
    • To Yukari:
      • She outright states that there are those worse than herself out there. And considering she was once an all powerful Outer God...
      • Yukari is systematically destroying any flora in an attempt to prevent Yuuka to infiltrate her little spies. She considers that it is murder.
      Yuuka: "She will pay dearly for that crime."
    • Yuuka does genuinely seem to care for Elly and possibly Team Nineball, remarking that outcasts should stick together.
    • All of these things are mainly due to her Blue and Orange Morality.
  • Even the Girls Want Her: Reimu mentions that she regularly has to shut down corny "seduction" attempts on her by youkai of both sexes when talking with Meira.
  • Evil Brit: Yuuka, apparently has a British accent.
    • And Elly actually IS British. Though she's not actually evil, it's just that she's loyal to Yuuka above everything else.
  • Evil Mentor: Mima to Marisa, causing several other characters to worry.
  • Evil Versus Evil: Yuuka vs. The Shadow Youkai. Well, if Yuuka can even be called truly evil if she has a bizarre set of standards.
    • Evil Versus Oblivion: It might also be this. Since the premise revolves around the Shadow Youkai, it might not be a spoiler for her to be said to be even stronger than Yuuka, but The Storm arc is 4 chapters long and Yuuka is still alive. The Shadow Youkai is just getting stronger too because of the inevitable power of Rin Satsuki copying legendary people's abilities.
  • Extreme Omnivore: Yuyuko. Eats everything... youkai included.
    • Medicine Melancholy too actually, by Chapter 51. It's a long story, involving Marisa being close to killing someone because she was going to get arrested, but Marisa and Alice are pissed at each other with Alice refusing to talk to her for a long time. Marisa gets fed up and tries out all sorts of odd antics, one of them trying to give Alice's "friend" a black ball of soot. She actually EATS it. This is because she's a living doll, so she can eat anything, really. Could count as a Crowning Moment of Funny.
    Alice: "Medicine, did you actually just eat that ball of soot?"
    Medicine: "It-was-not-bad-act-ual-ly."
  • Fallen Angel: Shinki and Sariel, as well as Azrael.
  • Fangirl: Patchouli was incredibly eager to meet Mima, having read all her books, and obsessively studied all of her theories.
    • In Ch. 38, Sanae is utterly unwilling to let Reimu try to stop the scuffle between the Strutter and the Hisoutensoku, or move from her vantage point. Why? It's a MECHA FIGHT!!! Then, when she gets to commandeer the Hisoutensoku in Ch. 40, she convinces Mima to let the main theme to Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann play in the control space. So it's only natural that she finishes off the Strutter in ch. 41 with a Giga Drill Breaker.
  • Fanservice: Rinnosuke in Chapter 47. Takerfoxx even says he based it off of an Old Spice commercial.
  • Fantastic Nature Reserve: In chapter 39, Mima implies that Gensokyo is not the only Fantastic Nature Reserve in the world: there seem to be others for other mythologies. Seeing how it has already been made clear that in the Imperfect Metamorphosis universe both the Judeo-Christian God and Lovecraftian Outer Gods exist, it seems likely that these reserves really exist.
    • Confirmed in chapter 42: apparently they were created when YHWH took over and offered to let the old deities live if they agreed to stay there.
  • Fantastic Racism: Nearly every denizen of the Human Village has this with youkai. They shun Reimu despite her being one of their few protectors because she's friends with youkai (as opposed to, in Touhou, simply not acknowledging her efforts). They shun the GPF despite them being the first organised law enforcement agency in Gensokyo's history because they also protect youkai. And Master Sonozika outright hates youkai, especially Yukari, and anyone who associates with them under a fairly standard "all youkai are the same" mentality.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Yuuka in spades. It just makes her all the more creepier.
  • Flashback/Pensieve Flashback: The Storm chapters.
  • Forbidden Zone: The Garden of the Sun (which, in canon, is populated by fairies who help the garden grow by pointing them towards the sun) and a city that was nuked to Hell and back by Yukari are considered like this.
  • Foregone Conclusion: The plan to kill Yuuka is being told by Yuuka herself. This is being told after the actual attempt itself.
  • For Science!: Eirin's other rationalization for being such a Jerk Ass.
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You:
  • Freudian Trio: Played with: at first Reimu, Byakuren and Yukari seem a classical Freudian Trio with Reimu as The McCoy, Byakuren as The Kirk and Yukari as The Spock. As the story goes on, though (and thanks to Reimu's Character Development), we see that things are a bit different: Reimu, for example, in the beginning of the story is apathetic and easily annoyed, hates talking and mocks Byakuren's big speeches, while Yukari is cold, calculating and particularly fond of shooting the dog. As the story progresses, though, we see that Yukari is actually as irritable as, if not even more than, Reimu, and while she hides everything under a mask of aloofness, she's as emotionally involved as Reimu is, if not more. Reimu, on the other hand, learns to make impressive speeches and even convinces Yukari to go along with her plan by using logic. Byakuren, on the other hand, has stayed pretty balanced throughout the whole story so far, and has been one of the catalysts for Reimu's Character Development.
  • From Bad to Worse
    • The four chapters of The Storm are basically a simple situation —a battle— which rapidly degrades. The results and the full implications of this battle are downright impressive: Satori was mind raped, killed by Yuuka and sealed in her team's crystal, Flandre was mentally tormented by Yuuka before being killed and sealed too, Sakuya and Remilia are terribly wounded and depressed, Yuuka is an Outer God and she learned about other dimensions, Yukari's soul has been corrupted...
  • Gambit Pileup: Everyone wants to use the Shadow Youkai to their advantage, or destroy it, or somehow save face in front of everyone else. Just try to count all the different plots, gambits, and motives running in this story. And it's not over yet.
  • Get A Hold Of Yourself Man: Patchouli does this to Remilia in chapter 38 to snap out the latter of her grief over Flandre's capture at the hands of Yuuka
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: Subverted. Rin Satsuki had these when she was trying to make amends, after having swallowed up the wrong person.
  • Grey and Gray Morality: Many sides have justifiable reasons to intervene in the conflict. Some are more valid than others. Discussed by Reisen in Chapter 37.
    • Gray and Black Morality: When everyone's not trying to stab each other in the back, there's always Ex-Rumia and Yuuka.
  • God Is Evil: Or at the very least a big jerk, seeing how he treated the ancient deities he defeated, or the fact that his angels have glassed entire planets whenever the avatar of a fallen angel appeared.
  • Gone Horribly Wrong: Rin Satsuki is full of this. You can thank Eirin.
    • Most of what Eirin has done as seen by herself. A defense program that she was involved in while still on the moon created a nearly indestructible monster species that got loose and continued to terrorize the Lunar Capital to this day. Kaguya, upon drinking the Hourai Elixer, was supposed to bring fame and fortune to both herself and Eirin, but instead was disowned and banished to Earth because if it. Rin Satsuki is just the latest on a long list.
  • Good Is Not Dumb: Byakuren.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Reimu gets some scars on her face during her fight with Nue. Though Mima thinks that they are sexy scars. Reimu isn't amused and asks her to remove them.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: An in-universe example during Chapter 33. Rin had a dream that she wrote down in an old diary that she didn't exist but she was supposed to, and when she brought it up to people they didn't care and just ignored her. Reisen was reading through them and felt choked by it. Yeah... (Tear Jerker)
  • The Heart: Byakuren.
  • The Hero: Reimu, The Lazy Ace, fills this role: she assembles her team with diplomacy, and strive for a better world with heroic means. Of course, it's doesn't mean that she is the only protagonist.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Meira does this to save Reimu and Marisa from the Strutter. Reimu doesn't take it well
  • Hope Spot: At the end of the Hide and Seek arc, it looks like things are going to get better: Reimu has managed to assemble a team of unlikely allies to help Rin, who in the meantime has managed to avoid capture and shut down the Shadow Youkai's death field. In chapter 38, they meet and this time, Rin doesn't run away. They get ambushed by Yuuka, but they manage to defeat the people she roped in (as well as a plant-enhanced Strutter) by actually cooperating, which is impressive, given how things have been going so far, and Reimu even convinces Yukari to give her a chance to solve the situation without hurting anyone. Great news, isn't it? Too bad that Rin thinks that Yukari will never be convinced and her fate is sealed, so she storms off to the SDM to at take revenge at Patchouli and Sakuya. She ends up getting trapped in a magical box by Patchouli's Indy Ploy. Then, Remilia sells the box to Yuuka, hoping to get Flandre back. Of course, Yuuka, having never promised anything else than the bounty money, gives her that in addition to a verbal and physical beatdown.
    • Also, Yuuka gave one to Ran, in which she allowed herself to lose her in a arm-wrestling match in order to get Chen back. She does, but Chen was already contamined by Yuuka's spores.
  • Honor Before Reason: Meira. Poor girl...
    • Also, Yukari thinks this of Reimu. The catch is that she's not acting very rationally herself, despite what she thinks.
  • Horrifying the Horror: Yuuka is a genuine Eldritch Abomination in the Lovecraftian sense, complete with Lovecraftian Superpowers and Blue and Orange Morality, and yet Rin Satsuki manages to give her an Oh, Crap moment. And apparently, she doesn't like to be in contact with the Shadow Youkai.
    • And she already had one of this moment in the end of The Storm, when she learns she's fictional. See Mind Rape below.
  • Humongous Mecha: Two of them—the Asakura sisters' Strutter and Nitori's refurbished Hisentensoku—battle it out for the rights to capture Rin. It ends in a draw—piledriving the Strutter caused too much wear to the Hisentensoku's legs.
  • Idiot Ball: Reimu gets the bright idea that she can talk Rin Satsuki into compliance, or at least more willing to accept help. Rin Satsuki's paranoia and madness, unfortunately, just make things worse, forcing Mima to save Reimu. TakerFoxx openly admits that he's doesn't usually like this Trope unless they are well written.
    • Villain Ball: Telling Yukari how you learned of her assassination plan? Really, Yuuka? Really?
  • Idiot Savant: Utsuho and her nuclear fusion.
  • I Have You Now, My Pretty: Yukari says this to Marisa in Chapter 20. Subverted though in that it's not what it sounds like. She's just trying to get Marisa arrested because Remilia was pressing charges. She even steals her witch and puts it on her head, saying the trope name.
  • The Infiltration: Yuuka manages to pull this off with spores.
  • Innocent Innuendo: It's a misunderstanding. Really!
    "Uh-huh. Only problem is that it's wicked hard even when I've only got one person inside me-"
    • Chapter 47 is like this too, when Reimu thinks Marisa and Mima are having sex. Marisa is actually just exercising though. In a way it's Double Subverted because in the past, Reimu actually DID witness her having sex once quoted as being to "Reimu's disgust, Marisa's delight, and a poor farmer boy's absolute horror."
  • Interplay of Sex and Violence: Marisa finds the use of Yukari's And the Sun Rises Red Spellcard to be nearly orgasmic. Well, well, Marisa, are you cheating on your Master Spark?
  • Innocent Fanservice Boy: Rinnosuke greets Reimu and Marisa wearing nothing but a towel. And he is oblivious to the fact Reimu is flustered about it.
  • It Amused Me:
    • The reason why Yuuka joined the fray, combined with Worthy Opponent and thinly-veiled lust for Team Nineball.
    • Mima's justification for helping in Reimu. Interestingly enough, the "it" in question is not Rin Satsuki, as was initially apparent, but rather Reisen's ability to act as an Unwitting Instigator of Doom.
  • It's All My Fault: Reisen's self-esteem was quite low to begin with, but after Mima's cruel Breaking Speech, she snaps in chapter 45. Luckily, Byakuren is always ready to help her get a grip on herself.
    • Remilia was feeling quite guilty after Yuuka took Flandre away and after her plan to take her back (by giving her Rin Satsuki, no less!) failed, but she is broken after Yukari's Breaking Speech and after realizing that while she was mourning Flandre, things got From Bad to Worse and she accidentally ruined Reimu's plans to solve everything pacifically. Hearing Reisen calling her and Sakuya out of it does not help.
  • Jerkass: A lot of people took a level in jerkass in this fic.
    • Affable Reality Warper Yukari, who at least does what she has to do.
    • Mad Scientist Eirin, who constantly treats Reisen like shit, even after fucking up her adopted daughter for minor trivialities, and quickly starts arguments over who's responsible for Ex-Rumia. Reisen calls her out on it at one point.
  • Jerkass Gods: Some deities also are this trope.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Tenshi in Chapter 15. During a council meeting, Tenshi makes a point that while magical attacks may not work on the Shadow Youkai, physical attacks might, since Suika seemed to have done the most damage. Kanako even says "As much as I hate to admit it, she has a point."
  • Jerk With A Heartof Gold: Reimu and Marisa. During Chapter 32 called The Aftermath after The Storm arc, Reimu is actually starting to care about people more which surprises even her. Marisa on the other hand despite taking lessons from her Evil Mentor Mima has a lot of standards, such as caring for her friends like Alice. Heck, she even considers Yuyuko and Youmu as friends. Also, when Reimu visited Marisa and Mima when Marisa was sick, they actually laughed at how Reimu was worried about them, and Marisa felt bad to see Reimu having to leave so soon since there's a lot of people she had to visit (or felt like she had to, much to her annoyance.) It's actually pretty damn heartwarming.
  • Jerk With A Heart Of Jerk: Mima. She may have her Pet the Dog moments with Marisa, but this is usually combined with giving her a stern lecture. On a more serious note, there's her rivalry with Yukari. When Yukari is beaten within an inch of her life against Yuuka from spiritual poisoning, she can barely form coherent sentences until Mima helps her. However, she didn't get rid of the pain which Yukari brought up. Her response was "Do I look like the altruistic type?" Yeah, she's kind of a bitch. Her final speech at the end before leaving was also rather rude. Even Yuyuko finds her to be still be rather unpleasant.
  • Journey to the Center of the Mind: Rumia had done this in the Deep Within chapters. Kaguya, Mokou and the Shadow Youkai are doing their own one in IM: Rhapsody of Subconscious Desire.
  • Karma Houdini: Mima is a prime example: despite everything she's done, she is still free and hasn't suffered any consequence whatsoever. She even lampshaded it herself.
    • Another example would be Sakuya, Patchouli, the Asakura sisters and especially Eirin. While the Asakura sisters later in the story are on the receiving end of a Butt Monkey treatment and Sakuya is forced with Remilia into exile at the Hakurei Temple when she gets called out by Reisen, Patchouli not only does not suffer any consequence whatsoever, she and Sakuya don't even show the least hint of remorse for what they've done, apparently not caring in the slightest about the fact that they basically condemned an innocent child to a Fate Worse Than Death. Eirin also seems this, at first, but her case it's a bit of a subversion. Yes, she never gets called out on it, despite her being the one most involved with the Satsuki experiment, but it's shown at a point in the story that she's been consumed by remorse for all the nine years after the incident, and has never stopped trying to find a cure to undo Rin's transformation. It's actually a very humanizing moment.
  • Kick the Dog: Yuuka makes sure to reduce Flandre to a wreck by giving her a "Reason You Suck" Speech using her sister's voice before piercing a stake in her heart.
  • Kill the Cutie: Subverted, but still a reader punch. Yuuka pierces Flandre's heart with a wood stake. Thanks to Youkai Immortality, there is her essence left. And then, Yuuka seals her.
  • Knight in Sour Armor: Byakuren knows that her ideals won't be quite achievable, not to mention how the rest of Gensokyo lives, yet, she doesn't renounce her ideals, living by them while accepting reality,however, she is one of the more polite examples.
    • Reimu is a more classic exemple: she is definitely more jaded and cynical than Byakuren, and keeps a cold and harsh fašade (at least initially), but after Reisen asked her to help Rin, she finds out that she simply can't stand on the sidelines watching while everyone tries to kill Rin because they think she's too dangerous to be let alive. This is also lampshaded often by Marisa:
    Marisa: "But still. You do have a really bad hero complex. Sure, you bitch up a storm every time you gotta go outta your way to help someone, but you still do it, ze. It's who you are."
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Remilia beating Patchouli and Sakuya could be seen as this. Even if she didn't exactly do it for noble reasons (she was more upset about the fact that they agreed to keep Rin in her house without telling her anything than the fact that the two took part in Eirin's experiment), they really deserved it. Also, the Butt Monkey treatment that Mima or Yuuka inflict on the Asakura sisters.
  • Kirk Summation: Byakuren's shtick - she even manages to convince Kanako.
    • All her speeches must have rubbed out at least a bit on Reimu, if what happens in Chapter 42 is of any indication.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Well, TakerFoxx is a Troper...
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia:
  • Laser-Guided Karma: The tarantula youkai who harasses Cirno and gets frozen for it in chapter 4 had previously stolen Daiyousei's money and gotten her kicked out of the Youkai Market in A Very Nineball Christmas. And when he tries to get back at Cirno in chapter 15, Yuuka shows up and casually vaporizes him.
  • Literal-Minded: Reimu, a little bit in Chapter 47.
    Marisa: "... Yukari sapped my mojo like the cheap bitch she is and sicced her talking monkey on me?"
    Reimu: "Yukari has a monkey?"
    Mima: "She means Kotohime Sonozika."
    Reimu: "Oh."
  • Logical Weakness/Achilles' Heel
    Elly (while fighting Youmu and Yuyuko): "Even in this world, where all rules are lightly enforced, there are certain predator-prey constants. Fire will burn, wolves will prey upon rabbits, scissors will beat paper, and against ghosts, Shinigami will always, always win. It's the circle of life and death."
  • Lovable Sex Maniac: Marisa and, surprisingly, Genji.
  • Lovecraftian Superpower:
    • Originally, Rin can adapt (slowly) to any magical projectile. Then, at the cost of her body, she gains the power of Mega Manning. By absorbing other people in a gruesome way.
    • When Yukari poisoned the ground to prevent Yuuka from growing plants in the battle field for her to exploit, Yuuka brought them in by useing herself as the carrier. Justified, due to being an Outer God, albet an extremly weakened one.
  • Mad Scientist:
    • Eirin, of course. She wanted to do some experiments and studies on her pet's adopted daughter. It created the Blob Monster.
    • The Asakura Sisters, to a slight degree.
    • Mima is hinted to be the magical version of this.
  • Madness Mantra: Rin Satsuki degenerates into this, whenever someone usually Normal!Rumia even suggests that the Shadow Youkai may still be alive.
  • Madwoman in the Attic: Flandre. While the source material isn't definite as to how it applies to her, in Imperfect Metamorphosis she is this trope all over, introduced singing Sweets Time Midnight while using dead rats as marionettes.
  • Man Behind the Man: Azrael, or its essence, or its soul, is behind the Shadow Youkai.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Reimu sees Yukari as this, and not without reason.
    • Remilia tries to be this to Yukari. It doesn't work out.
    • Genji was able to trick Yukari into not going after Reimu when she picked up the Idiot Ball.
  • Meaningful Echo: "Reimu, I may be an idealist. That doesn't mean I'm an idiot"
  • Mega Manning: Rin can absorb other people. By doing so, she will reproduce a combination of their bodies and can use their powers and abilities.
  • Mind Rape:
    • A consequence to what happened to Rin Satsuki due to the Battle in the Center of the Mind between her and Ex-Rumia.
    • What happened to Satori when she looked into Yuuka's mind.
    • Yuuka gets one at the end of The Storm.
  • Mind Screw
  • Morality Pet: Team Nineball to Yuuka.
    • Also, it is mentioned briefly that Alice might be this for Marisa. And, debatably, Rinnosuke.
  • Mood Whiplash: Done at the end of chapter one. Done each time we have a silly event in the middle of a serious event.
    • TakerFoxx admits that when Yuuka and Yukari are out of the picture Gensokyo can be a silly place.
  • Moral Myopia: Yuuka considers Yuyuko's use of psychological attacks against Elly to be unforgivable, but she did the same thing to Flandre. And what Yuuka did was about a thousand times worse.
  • Motor Mouth: Chen seems to talk this way a lot.
  • Mundane Utility: Alice is shocked at Mima using a pocket dimension as a vomit bucket for Marisa.
  • My Greatest Failure: Reisen's is Rin's confinement.
  • Mysterious Past: Mima.
  • Never My Fault: Despite being one of the main causes of the meaningless infighting throughout the story (by doing things like shutting down Eirin when she was trying to solve the situation peacefully), Yukari never even thinks she did something wrong. She even goes as far as to blame the riots in the Underground on Reimu, when she had been the one who had the brilliant idea of bringing Satori to the battle against Yuuka, and Reimu wasn't involved in any way in it. She finally gets called for it by the Dream King.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Yukari calls this on Marisa for stealing the box containing the Blob Monster, and thus unleash the GPF on her. Actually, it's only a method to coerce her.
  • The Nicknamer: Marisa, calling Youmu "Doubletrouble" or "Bodypillow", Yuyuko "Yugogo", Sanae "Mossy", and more.
  • Non-Indicative First Episode: The first chapter is absolutely not in the same tone as the rest of the story.
  • Noodle Incident: A prank Rumia pulled on Reimu. It involved noodles.
  • Not Now, Kiddo: Yukari commits a truly epic one near the beginning, turning Eirin's objections into the setup for a Pre-Asskicking One-Liner. This does not end well for either.
  • Not-So-Omniscient Council of Bickering: The Ring Leaders. Yukari thinks she is the Reasonable Authority Figure among them.
  • OC Stand In: The Dummied Out Rin Satsuki.
  • Offing the Offspring: The Kirin society strictly, strictly controls who gets born when. As in, conception has to go through bureaucracy first. Literally. Rin? She wasn't just born out of misgauging; she was the result of a noble child's affair with a commoner, with the elopement occurring right when an Arranged Marriage was supposed to be finalized. And let's face it—to the Kirin, illegitimate children are a severe abomination. Despite what Reisen might have hoped, because of the layers of Things Meant to Never Happen, not only does Kirin society at large not want Rin back, they want her dead.
  • Oh, Crap: Everyone who faces Ex-Rumia or Yuuka has at least one of these reactions. And on a few occasions hearing the latter's name is enough to provoke one.
    • And in chapter 41, when Rin gets serious, Yuuka suddenly realizes that she's no longer the biggest fish in the pond. And she's appropriately terrified
  • Offstage Villainy: Subverted with Mima. She has retired from her Evil Overlord business, so we just hear of her past misdeeds of which she is very much unrepenant and even proud. Then, in chapter 28, we see her nearly slaughtering the GPF agents because they arrested Marisa. And she would have, if Reimu and Marisa hadn't stopped her.
  • Omniscient Council of Vagueness: Yukari has the urge to generate smoke and hand out hoods whenever she's with Mima and Eirin.
  • One-Sided Arm-Wrestling: Yuuka was just playing with Ran and, after some talking, lets Ran "win", breaking Ran's arm off in the process. In fact, Ran still obtains what she has came to, but still...
  • Original Character: The named Rabbit Guards, 'Tony' and Hunter. Subverted with Hunter. The disguise may be original, but that's actually Nue, whose supposed to be working for Byakuren but is going in the opposite direction.
    • Jun is another example.
  • Our Angels Are Different: With a whole explanation of why they are different.
  • Out-of-Character Alert: A big part of how Reimu catches on to the fact that "Yukari" is actually an impostor in ch. 39; since when does Yukari speak in such a grandiose fashion?!
  • Oo C Is Serious Business: Chapter 44 shows that Elly has noticed the change in Yuuka's behavior since the events of The Storm. The poor reaper has worried herself almost to the point of insanity because she knows something is wrong with her master, but has no idea what she can do to help her.
  • Painting the Medium: This exchange between Sariel and Reimu on pronouncing the name of God:
    Sariel: "Do not refer to Him as he. Refer to Him as He. With a capital H."
    Reimu: "What? How in the flying hell am I supposed to pronounce a capital letter? And how can you tell if I am pronouncing a capital letter? It all sounds exactly the same!"
  • Pet the Dog: Two important antagonists, Yuuka and Elly regularly get some sweet scenes together.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: Rin Satsuki, as well as the series' usual suspects.
  • Please Put Some Clothes On: Reimu's reaction upon seeing Rinnosuke wearing nothing but a towel. Unsurprisingly, Marisa is okay with it.
  • Pinned Down
    • Yukari & Co. tried this on Rin Satsuki at the Battle of Eientei. It didn't work.
    • Tried again on Yuuka Kazami. Not good.
  • Please Kill Me If It Satisfies You: Rin Satsuki has shades of this after the Battle in the Center of the Mind. Turns out she's a Death Seeker.
  • Police Are Useless: Played With. Kotohime and the GPF are kinda serious and 'efficient', in spite of gathering some eccentric characters, but they have to deal with people like Marisa and Yuuka.
  • Police Brutality: Alice calls Yukari and Kotohime on this when they barge in her home in Chapter 20 when they try to arrest Marisa. Although she thought karma must be catching up to her and that she sort of deserved it, saying she was involved not even misdemeanors but "numerous felonies", she believed they were going too far in their actions. Furthermore, Yukari even tries to stop Kotohime from attacking the suspect after Marisa vaporized Nyoron, after that already happened because of Yuuka. She even thought of pressing further charges with "murder". Could count as a What the Hell, Hero? Moment. Of course, Mima is also pissed about the whole thing.
  • Porn Stash: Team Nine at first thinks this is what's inside the crystal box. Later, it turns out Marisa also thought this was how Patchouli would be hiding her porn. In ch. 34, it turns out Sanae has her own stash (whether portraying men, women, or both is not revealed)...or did, until Suwako noticed it.
  • The Power of Love: Invoked.
    "It is amazing, the sort of things people will do for love," Yukari murmured. She brought the teacup to her lips and slowly sipped the steaming liquid. "Even the proudest, the most uncontrollable, the most erratic of creatures can be swayed by its power. Mima is no different."
    Chapter 27: Wheels Within Wheels
  • Promotion to Parent: Reisen in the backstory.
  • The Protagonist/Deuteragonist: The main characters are Rumia, Reimu Hakurei, Yukari Yakumo and Rin Satsuki.
  • Rape as Drama: It's heavily implied (if not outright stated) Yuuka's raped several people before via placing substances in their tea. Wriggle knows this first-hand, apparently. If that's not enough, Yuuka also briefly plays with the idea of raping Kotohime while the latter is unconscious, only to decide against it when she starts to wake up.
  • Reality Ensues: You thought that Yuyuko eating Mystia was funny? It wasn't. Not for Mystia, and not even for Youmu.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Yukari likes to think she's this, and that everyone around her is a shortsighted idiot. Unluckily, while the Ringleaders aren't exactly the image of open-mindedness and selflesness, she's not much better: her arrogant attitude actually caused nearly as many problems as Team 9.
    • Kanako, on the other hand, is very much this. She complains a lot, but helps Reimu anyway, and she's not as cold and calculating as she wants to appear.
  • Sarcasm-Blind: Rin Satsuki, all the time. It gets on Rumia's nerves a lot...
  • Satan a.k.a Lucifer: Implied to be the leader of the Angels that rebelled. Azrael was implied to be almost as bad as it was, but was too busy with killing everything it could to take control itself.
  • Science Is Wrong: If you ask Reimu, in any case. And, this being Gensokyo and all, she might be right. Blame Eirin.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Lily White, upon seeing how badly the reception to her announcing "IT'S SPRING" as well as the attacks by Ex-Rumia, decides to try again next year, hopefully by then everything will have calmed down.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can
    • The Blob Monster was this before being released by Team Nine. Almost an Inverted Trope, because Rin was more of a Sealed Woobie In A Can but was sealed for being dangerous.
    • The Shadow Youkai is a textbook example. As soon as the story is explained Yukari is forced to defend her decision to "only" seal it.
  • Secret Test of Character: Mima of all people gives this to Reisen in Chapter 37. Also, she wants the person to answer honestly by instinct, not from what she believes is the most logical and what the mentor in question wants to hear, although she'll ironically also state what she believes to be correct or incorrect. Go against the rules though and she'll get rather pissed...
    • Q. Who is the most evil being in Gensokyo? A. The Shadow Youkai Reisen first thought about Eirin, Yukari, Yuuka, and even Mima herself to fit the answer, but then she said it was the Shadow Youkai. Even Mima quickly agrees to this.
    • Q. Who is the most deadly (powerful) being in Gensokyo? Mima Reisen believes it might be Rin as much as she hates to admit it, but Mima believes it's actually herself, which scares the crap out of her, which leads to her wanting to use the same answer for the next question.
    • . Q. Who is the most dangerous being (most likely to cause harm) in Gensokyo? A. Reisen Reisen feels like saying Mima again to the point where Mima gets pissed and is about to strike her with lightning but ends up giving her a stern lecture instead about answering correctly. She then says it might be Reisen herself.
  • Self-Deprecation: Takerfoxx himself, maybe, especially notable by the end of Chapter 43 which is the Abridged chapter. This is in the form of writing a very long and complicated story that he himself isn't sure how to fix all the time.
    Takerfoxx: I just made things more convoluted and confusing, didn't I? Goddamn it.
  • Self-Destruct Mechanism: Okuu's Third Leg has one. A very polite one.
  • Sociopathic Hero/Nominal Hero: Mima, not quite having gotten over her Evil Overlord tendencies but still firmly on the heroes' (or, at least, Marisa's) side. Would easily qualify for Token Evil Teammate, except that her side has some other very morally grey characters. Much to Reimu's dismay, Marisa takes after her in this aspect, if her encounter with Kotohime is any indication.
  • Shadow Archetype: Mima to Marisa. Apparently, Marisa takes after Mima a lot, so they are similar in many ways, such as their love of fight and explosions, their flirtatious behavior, and their calling everyone with nicknames. But where Marisa is straightforward, friendly, boisterous but well-meaning and certainly not a cold-blooded killer, Mima is sneaky, manipulative, ruthless and has absolutely no qualms about killing or horribly maiming anyone who gets in her way. Reimu's concerns about Marisa becoming like Mima certainly aren't unfounded.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: Lily White has decided to get out of there and only come back next year. Cirno's gang appears sporadically, depending where we are on the Sliding Scale of Silliness Versus Seriousness. The more they interact with Yuuka, the more their apparition are near the Seriousness end.
    • Despite this trope being in effect, there are still many good jokes to be found in the entirety of the story and its spin-offs, lightening the mood every now and then.
  • Shout-Out: Some to popular Touhou memes and/or other works.
    "...she [Reimu's mother] had the thing with the guy with the killing notebook, then that mind-controlling revolutionary, and then yet another genocidal girl, this one with invisible arms, and the list goes on."
    • A Harry Potter reference in chapter five.
    • TakerFoxx is a major fan of Neil Gaiman. He even throws in a blink-and-miss-it reference to American Gods in Chapter 10.
    • Yukari, during the second part of The Storm chapter, goes "Clever girl..."
    • Yuuka's separated forms are described to have whipfists, hammerfists...
      • And a blade arm too. The vine tentacle arms might also count, but the other three weapons are the more obvious references.
    • The Storm, last part:
    "[Yukari has] not been this roughed up since her encounter with that Ellimist fellow who had fell out of that black hole two centuries ago."
    "Maybe one the humanoids? Like Zalgo? No, that doesn't make sense. The Operator? No, that slender fellow's also accounted for. The Rake? Unlikely, but he may know something. Make sure to look him up."
  • Sliding Scale of Silliness Versus Seriousness: A really serious fic... but we can laugh, sometimes.
    • Combined with the witty writing one might sometimes forget this is a dark fic.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: The characters cover more or less the whole scale: Yukari is probably the most cynical, while Byakuren and Reimu, post Character Development are the most idealistic. Yuuka and the Shadow Youkai are in a category of their own.
    • The story itself, on the other hand, is still ambiguous: while, being a Dark Fic, it's almost required to have some cynical elements, the more cynical characters have been shown to be wrong, and the idealistic solutions aren't always the least practical. Of course, seeing how the fic is still ongoing, this could change at any point...
  • The Sociopath: Koishi. She manipulates everyone in the Old Hell in order to attack the Garden of the Sun and kill Yuuka, not caring at all that she has hostages.
  • Speak of the Devil: Murasa uses this expression when Reimu shows up. Reimu is not amused.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Yukari and Yuuka. Even if Yukari is one the main characters and Yuuka a chaotic element who only want to wreck havoc in the story, their interactions and confrontations have taken more and more screentime in the different chapters, culminating into The Storm. After that, Yukari's soul corruption and Yuuka's injuries will take them out of the story for quite some time, and the plot was refocused on Rin and Rumia.
  • Straight Man: Youmu takes this role in Chapter 27.
  • Superpowered Evil Side: Ex-Rumia, AKA the Shadow Youkai.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: Yukari often tells Reimu that she's not trying to be a queen or anything of the sort... even when doing something that the head of a government would, like ordering death sentences, jailing people or diffusing interviews. Also, she's adamant about not letting oneself be involved emotionally... but is very emotionally involved in the whole affair, as both Reimu and Dream point out.
  • Talking the Monster to Death: The ghosts Yuyuko and Youmu win their fight against the shinigami Elly via a Kirk Summation.
  • Tarot Troubles: During Rumia's Journey to the Center of the Mind, she runs into Mima, who proceeds to read her past, present, and future, as well as that of several other characters (implied to be Rin, Yukari, Reimu and Reisen) through Tarot Cards.
    • Rumia: The Fool (Past), The Moon (Present), The Devil (Future)
    Mima: "The Fool symbolizes the end of a journey, someone who is setting forth without fully knowing or understanding the hardships that await them. That's not a bad thing either, as it implies a certain amount of innocence... The Moon. It seems your days of carefree mischief are over. Now you are lost and unsure of your path. You are without a reliable guide, and do not know where your steps will lead... The Devil, the destroyer from within, will rise up and take control. Something... crippling. Perverse. Perhaps even evil. Usually it signifies some sort of flaw that you are allowing to hold you back through inaction. But here in Gensokyo the evil could end up being quite literal. I would watch my step if I were you."
    • Rin: Eight of Pentacles (Past), The Seven of Swords (Present), The Ten of Swords (Future)
    Mima: "The Eight of Pentacles. The apprentice who desires to learn more. You have studied under a master but still wish to learn more. Ambitious, aren't you? The Seven of Swords. It would seem that despite all of the power you've accumulated, it isn't protecting you from the wiles of others. In fact, I'd go as far as to say that you are being betrayed, though not by someone you trust anyway. And now... Oh dear. The Ten of Swords? I'm sorry, but it looks like despite all that you do, it will be all for naught. Failure is your only option."
    • Yukari: The Empress (Past), The Hierophant (Inverted) (Present), Death (Future)
    Mima: "The Empress. The creating spirit. And you've done quite a bit of that, haven't you? In addition, you are quite protective of what you've created. However, I would be careful of becoming overzealous... The inverted Hierophant. The false teacher. Except you aren't the one to take on a mentor, false or otherwise, are you? Well, I suppose this must mean you. Manipulative and deceptive. But is it for the greater good? A necessary evil? ... Unfortunately for you, your path leads to... Death. The end of an era. Depressing, isn't it?"
    • Reimu: The High Priestess (Inverted) (Past), The Seven of Cups (Inverted) (Present), The World (Future)
    Mima: "The inverted High Priestess, the concealer of secrets. Are you keeping secrets to yourself, or has someone been keeping secrets from you? Or perhaps it is to be taken literally. After all, you're not exactly known for being vigilant about your job... What's this? The Seven of Cups? It's inverted as well! Looks like someone is getting a little fed up with deceptions and machinations! Good thing too, as this will lead to... The World. Ascension to something greater."
    • Reisen: The Fool (Inverted) (Past), Ten of Swords (Present), The Hanged Man (Future)
    Mima: "The Fool inverted. You've had your naivete taken advantage of, haven't you? Innocent to begin with, but that hasn't exactly turned out well... Ah, you have a Ten of Swords as well. One wonders if things can possibly get any worse. I'd beware of asking that question, because it usually can. But all is not lost. For here we have The Hanged Man. Not as dismal as it appears. Look at the smile on his face. A sacrifice will be made, but it will be made gladly, and just might be beneficial toward you."
  • Technical Pacifist: Byakuren, wavering between this and Actual Pacifist.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: The entire story.
    • Rumia is forced to stay within Rin Satsuki and sees every collaboration with her as this.
    • Reimu is gathering allies to achieve her objective, but these allies don't get along very well.
    • There's enough animosity between the Ringleaders (especially against Yukari and Mima) to ensure that nothing at all is likely to get done in anything less than an end-of-the-world scenario, and even then only with difficulty. Other than Yuyuko, Satori and her own Shikigami, almost all of the groups Yukari collaborates with have either one or both sides thinking ill of each other at best, or at worst actually betraying each other. And Satori's mostly cooperating for personally pragmatic reasons, to give her and her pets an exemption from being drafted for a task she thinks is worse.
    • And the crown jewel of the story's Teeth-Clenched Teamwork is the group Yukari drafts to kill Yuuka—one pair is genuinely on her side but is partly there to keep an eye on the least trustworthy combatant, one team is pragmatically cooperating, one team was blackmailed into it and their leader is pissed off at everyone who wasn't, one member was hunted down and offered it as an alternative to prison, then agreed willingly just because she wants to fight, and one member is royally pissed at Yukari and is only there because of another teammate. Fortunately the plan involves very little interaction between the teams and the way it goes Off the Rails involves even less.
  • That Came Out Wrong: It happens a few times with Rin and Rumia.
    Rumia:Every time you stick your fingers in me, bad things happen.
  • The Needs of the Many: Yukari gives this speech to Reimu who then proceeds to turn the tables and show that Yukari's dictatorial attitude is what has prevented a peaceful solution and why her solution is the one most likely to cause gruesome collateral damage and losses.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Yuuka gives a very cruel one to Remilia at the end of chapter 42. Especially cruel because she mocks Remilia about Flandre's "death", rubbing salt in the wound.
  • Then Let Me Be Evil: Rin Satsuki to an extent in Chapter 40. She actually sucked in Mamizou on purpose partly because she wanted to, not just because she needed her shapeshifting powers.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Eventually subverted. Someone reviewing the "Yuuka assassination team" could say that Yukari is going a little "overkill" when she recruited Flandre Scarlet, Okuu and Yuyuko among others persons of mass destruction, but, know what ? It's not enough. When fighting Yuuka, let's say that a big Wave Motion Gun is the least you must bring. Eventually, the contained power of the Sun itself is not enough for killing her.
  • This Cannot Be!: Subverted. It looks like Yuuka is pulling one, but it turns out that it's her reaction to realizing that she's fictional.
  • Title Drop: A genuine one is done in Chapter 37: All the Right Reasons.
    Mima: "Every second she runs free, countless lives teeter on the brink, all thanks to her imperfect metamorphosis!"
  • Unreliable Expositor: Several characters as well as TakerFoxx himself state that Mima is well known as a liar.
  • Unspoken Plan Guarantee: We hear all the details of Yukari's plan to kill Yuuka. And we know from the start that it didn't work.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Invoked by Mima on Reisen.
  • Vampires Are Sex Gods: Discussed Trope by Yuuka Kazami to Remilia Scarlet, while talking about the vampire kind.
    "...and don't get me started on your reputation as godlike lovers. It seems that whenever you're brought up, people are either deathly afraid of you or they want you to throw them down and jump their bones. Sometimes both."
  • Villain Protagonist: Yukari Yakumo is a main character beside Rumia, Rin and Reimu. The "villain" part comes from her conviction that the safety of Gensokyo overrides everything else.
  • Walking Wasteland: Even touching Ex-Rumia is a risk of death, and is certain death to beings below a certain level of power.
    • Utsuho, after her Third Leg was broken. Only temporarily, though.
  • Wave Motion Gun: And the Sun Rises Red.
  • Webcomic Time: By admission of the author himself: the story has currently been around for two years. In universe, it's passed only a month or two.
  • Well Done Daughter Girl: Rin Satsuki desperately wanted Eirin's (her Neglectful Adoptive Parent) approval. To the point where she agreed to participate as a test subject for Eirin's crazy experiment. Of course, it [1].
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Yukari, with emphasis on Extreme. Views on exactly how extreme or sympathetic she is varies among readers, but she is certainly capable of some very morally grey acts for (in her mind) the greater good of Gensokyo.
    • As an example, Yukari pulls a (fully crewed) oil tanker off Earth and blows it up as a weapon against Yuuka.
  • Wham Episode: Well, it's a Dark Fix so there may be numerous examples of this, but Chapter 45 is a pretty big one. It's all about what really happened when Rin Satsuki came to be the person that she is now. It's a pretty big case of Nightmare Fuel and Tearjerker. Yuuka was the one that relieved those memories for her, and she said it was more painful than actually turning into the Blob Monster that she currently is because all of those experiences were happening in a matter of seconds as she recalled all of those things.
  • What Would Yukari Do?: Inverted with Reimu: when she asks herself if she really could commit evil or at least morally dubious acts to protect Gensokyo, she answers that she'd become exactly like Yukari.
  • Who Dares?: Yuuka, all the time. It's one of the ways to see through her facade when she gets pissed off.
    Yuuka: "How dare you!"
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: It's stated by Yukari that one of the reasons why she's the jaded, cynical Manipulative Bitch she is is actually this. This, and various other unpleasant experiences she had during her life.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Subverted with Rin Satsuki, since that almost everyone who at least know about her backstory believes her to be this, with Byakuren initially being the only exception. In chapter 12, Eirin even asked Reisen what she thought would happen if "she stumbled upon some human family out on a picnic", while it is shown later in the story that when Rin does stumble upon a helpless human, eating her by mistake, she promptly reforms her body and runs away apologising. Though it is understandable why everyone thought this after the battle of Eientei, as she was under the Shadow Youkai's control at that time.
    • That doesn't stop her from wanting to go "full bad-guy" if she has too. At the very least, it's pretty tempting. Despite Reimu trying to help her because of Byakuren and Reisen, even she doesn't believe she's that good of a person, yet she condescendingly yet sympathetically thinks of her as a kid. Technically, she's actually about 19.
  • Worthy Opponent: Yuuka sees Yukari as this and starts harassing her and interfering with her plans, partially out of this and partially because it's amusing to her.
  • Wrote the Book: Mima practically wrote the book about cheating with magic!
  • Gambit Roulette: Yukari does this with basically everyone. The author even mentions it himself.
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: Mima states near the end of chapter 39 that any plan that she and the others might cook up is almost certain to fail initially, and that is why it is important that they start with a serviceable plan based on what they know at the moment, and when it fails, improvise.
  • Year Inside, Hour Outside: Mima has a spell to this effect of the 'Time Stands Still outside' variety. She can use it to have extensive conversations.
  • You Meddling Kids: Mima says this about the events of Mystic Square when it comes to ruling Makai in Chapter 37 saying she was only stopped because of Reimu. "That meddling shrine maiden".
  • You Monster!: Kazami Yuuka is treated as such - her very name frightens and disgusts people. Yukari states this reputation is well-deserved, since she used to destroy villages on a whim and it's very heavily implied she rapes and tortures people that wind up in the Garden of the Sun. And it may be because of something else about her...
  • You Need to Get Laid: Mima suggests that Reimu really needs to vent off her sexual frustration. Reimu is not amused.

Tropes contained only in IM: Rhapsody of Subconscious Desire:

  • Asteroids Monster: Kaguya herself.
    • In the finale, Mokou as well.
  • Bystander Syndrome: Kaguya's subconscious, when agreeing to let Rumia break free, says it's someone else's problem.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Kaguya's trial in chapter 6, though contrary to her expectations, the dream goes after her (long since settled) Gayngst rather than her acquisition of immortality. She is unperturbed, to say the least.
  • The Cameo: Oktavia from Resonance Days appears in a fish tank in Prime Minister Kaguya's office.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: Kaguya's imagination turns Mokou into an Idol Singer
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Mokou's and Kaguya's are explored.
  • Decapitation Presentation: Mokou's brother, in a flashback.
  • Deus ex Machina: The way Kaguya, Mokou and Rumia are saved from the Zerg in chapter 4: a giant storm pops out of nowhere and slaughters most of the Zerg Subverted in that the storm was, in fact, summoned by EX-Rumia, who has... less than noble intentions for Mokou and Kaguya. And for the rest of Gensokyo, too.
  • Everyone Is Bi: Well, not everyone literally, but in the author's notes at the end of Chapter 6, TakerFoxx provides us with an insight about youkai sexual orientation in Gensokyo, and while Youkai who reproduce through conventional means like the Satori or the Kirin can have any sexual orientation, just like humans, and the same applies to Youkai derived from animals (they retain whatever orientation they had as animals), Youkai derived from concepts or inanimate objects are all bisexual.
  • Expendable Clone: Rumia's opinion about Kaguya once she starts losing her temper. Also, Mokou's plan for the finale.
  • Femme Fatalons: EX-Rumia uses these to horrific effect when separating a rabbit guard and his face.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Downplayed: we know that neither Kaguya and Mokou nor Rumia Yagami have managed to get out of Rin's body because the Time Skip in the main story does not affect Rhapsody of Subconscious Desire, which means that by the time the Time Skip has happened, RoSD has already ended. We still don't know what has actually happened, though.
  • Good Thing You Can Heal: The maiming and regenerating of our immortal protagonists simply does not end, and they're so entirely used to it that they don't even care (many minor injuries aren't even noticed until they physically impede whatever the victim was doing). The one with the least regenerative power suffers the least injury, however.
  • Homage: IM: Rhapsody of Subconscious Desire doesn't only make shout outs. In chapter 4, the group meets Zerg. Yes. Fucking Zerg.
  • Hormone-Addled Teenager: Kaguya, despite being some millennia old, behaves like a very narcissistic version of one.
  • Idol Singer: In Kaguyaland, Mokou is one.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: Mokou's plan for the finale, twice.
  • Ironic Echo: Rumia warns one of Kaguya's figments not to try stabbing her in the back with some pithy one liner like "Here's your exit!" Later, it literally stabs her in the back while shouting the same line.
  • Journey to the Center of the Mind: Literally, as that's where Rumia thinks they need to go to get out.
  • Kill It with Fire: Aside from Mokou's usual shenanigans, the villagers employ this tactic against her in turn.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: Why Kaguya's subconscious thinks that it's better to let Rumia Yagami escape.
  • Lipstick Lesbian: Kaguya
  • Not Herself: Mokou eventually finds Kaguya's mental respresentation of Eirin to be a pitiful mock up of the actual deal, and reacts accordingly.
  • Off with His Head!: Several accounts, though only the one listed above sticks. Notably, it takes longer to come back from than most deaths.
  • Really Gets Around: Kaguya apparently had this reputation among the rabbit tribes.
  • Recycled In Space: Again, lunar sand worm.
  • Remembered I Could Fly: In chapter 4, Ex-Rumia and Mokou are going down a steep path, and her companion has to remind Mokou that she doesn't have to descend on foot. Justified in that Mokou's flight had been disabled before, on two separate occasions (in chapters 1 and 2).
    • She does it again during the very next encounter, much to her embarassment.
  • Sand Worm: The dreadful velmick is a bioengineered sand worm. A lunar sand worm.
  • Screw Yourself
  • Shout-Out:
  • Token Evil Teammate: Kaguya explains this to Mokou, describing Ex-Rumia as this, although none of the group are exactly paragons of virtue.
  • World of Snark: Given that the only real characters here are Gensokyo's three biggest DeadpanSnarkers, and the whole sidestory takes place inside their minds, it's bound to happen. Every time someone opens their mouth, one time out of three it will be to snark about one of their travelling companions.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Kaguya takes the whole Journey to the Center of the Mind as a JRPG. Although she might be questioning that after chapter 4.

Tropes contained only in A Very Nineball Christmas:

  • Christmas Special
  • Karma Houdini: Averted. The tarantula youkai who steals Daiyousei's money and has her kicked out of the Youkai Market later harasses Cirno and gets frozen for it in Imperfect Metamorphosis chapter 4. And when he tries to get back at Cirno in Imperfect Metamorphosis chapter 15, Yuuka shows up and casually vaporizes him.
  • Prequel

Tropes contained only in Touhous in SPACE:

Tropes contained only in The Sorceress's Apprentice:

  • Awesome but Impractical: The Receptacle for evil magic users. Not only does it take 50 years to "charge up", its requirements for a sacrifice are very precise (see Powered by a Forsaken Child), all for destroying any physical object in an untraceable way.
  • Child Prodigy: Mary (aka Marisa), who has no magical ability whatsoever but instantly grasps runes better than what most adults ever manage.
  • Gonk: Roccio.
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: The Receptacle not only requires you to sacrifice a child, you have to get the child to trust you, since it runs off the sense of horror and betrayal.
  • Prequel: Specifically showing how Marisa came to be Mima's apprentice.
Gensokyo 20 XXFanWorks/TouhouThe Madness Of Laevateinn
Proud Warrior Race GuyShip TeaseTeenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Gensokyo 20 XXFanFic/Video GamesKomeiji Koishi No Dokidoki Daibouken

alternative title(s): Imperfect Metamorphosis
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