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This is a "Wild Mass Guess" entry, where we pull out all the sanity stops on theorizing. The regular entry on this topic is elsewhere. Please see this programme note.
Please put your theories about the PC-98 characters under the page for Touhou PC 98 Era, crossover theories under Touhou Crossovers, and predictions for future games under ZUN and move any ones you can from here to there.

Touhou 14.3 is based around catching Seija
...But from Seija's perspective.

My theory is that the whole reason that impossible spells, being temporarily unbanned when used against Seija, are being used is just to catch her. Her stolen items are incredibly unsafe, so considering that, it could be all out war on Seija because of this.

Either that, or Seija really pissed everyone off.

  • Actually, Confirmed.

Alice was abandoned with her doll, Medicine, as a child
In Perfect Memento in Strict Sense it is stated that young children used to be left on Nameless Hill to die, and that some of these children are abducted by youkai and raised as youkai. Furthermore, Alice's dolls strongly resemble the little "doll" accompanying Medicine. And the two are connected through Shout Outs to Agatha Christie - the name Margatroid comes from one of her characters, and the author's favorite flower is the lily of the valley found where Medicine resides. This would also explain how a human child ended up in Makai, and became obsessed with dolls.

Alice was, for whatever reason, left by her parents on Nameless Hill with only her beloved doll, Medicine Melancholy. Shinki (or another Makai resident) took pity on her, and took her back to Makai where she learned magic. Though she eventually went on to replace Medicine by making other dolls, the abandoned doll grew more and more resentful until it came to life, wanting revenge against all humans.

Gensokyo is Reimu's childhood fantasy
Reimu really is the miko of her family's small, run-down shrine, but only in our world. With this comes an awful lot of free time and boredom around the shrine. In order to keep herself entertained, she thought up Gensokyo as a small child, as well as the characters, as something akin to imaginary friends in an imaginary setting. Perhaps influenced by real people and real events, Gensokyo, its residents, and the happenings that occur there are just as exaggerated and wacky as you might expect from the mind of a little girl with not much else to do. This would also explain the increase in complexity and refinement as the series has progressed - Reimu's grown up and thinks more clearly and in greater detail.
  • Perhaps Marisa is a friend of Reimu's, made after Gensokyo's initial conception, and then later playing "make-believe" together with Reimu.
  • This would logically explain what happened to the PC-98 characters. With so many imaginary friends, it's only natural that many would end up being forgotten or discarded. Some would be remembered in time, but most would vanish from memory.
  • Alternatively, Gensokyo is what happens in Reimu's mind, when she's playing with her dolls. She actually has a huge collection of victorian-dress dolls and decides to play with them, since their battles are non-lethal and it explains why everyone drinks tea after, she must've read books on Japanese folklore, every doll has a personality and it would explain the lack of men, since there are few male dolls and she's in the phase in which she must think that boys have cooties. As would say Spongebob, "Imagination!"

Satori and Koishi are the eye-heart-things
And the bodies are just hosts Orin has brought them.
  • Following this through, the eye-heart-things are actually Soul Gems. Yukari pulled them out of PMMM For the Lulz and in doing so stopped the witchification. Would also go some way to explaining their abilities, if they wished to understand people. Koishi's power breakdown could be seen as the first stage in witchification. But yeah, this is weird even for me.'

The Kappa are really Genre Savvy humans.
They have the best accessible technology in Gensokyo; they're on friendly terms with most factions; and have the direct good diplomatic relations with a goddess. They were humans who realized that calling themselves "humans" is painting a bullseye. So they looked around, picked a species that wasn't in Gensokyo; put on bathing suits and called themselves "Kappa." And then they deliberately stayed out of causing direct incidents, but did trading and negotiation to profit.
  • Kanako knows, but as long as they give their faith to her; she's not telling anyone.
  • Building Hiso Tensoku is an exception to the "staying out of direct incidents", however.
    • "Direct" in this case meaning "blatant enough to warrant an asskicking from somebody."
    • They got over excited when they watched giant mecha shows brought over by Sanae.

Patchouli Knowledge doesn't bother fighting Reimu and Marisa at full strength.
Seriously, Gensokyo has a Gameboy. They MUST have some sort of vitamin supplement. Also, Patchy's reasoning is rather nonsensical.
  • I won't argue the existence of such things, but remember, Patchouli's a borderline Hikikomori. She wouldn't ask Koa to get them, Sakuya probably wouldn't volunteer since she needs to be at the Mistresses' beck and call, and the Scarlets themselves don't go outside very much themselves.
    • Sakuya can bend space-time at will. I doubt getting vitamin pills would be very hard.

Patchouli doesn't have asthma; it's the drain of having Koakuma as a familiar.
Devils (Horny or otherwise) are more mana gluttons than shikigami. Patchy can maintain it indefinitely, but it gives her a more delicate constitution.
  • She keeps it up because she's grown to like Kaokuma (or is dependant on her; for Darker and Edgier AUs) and it's a symbol of status.

The Moriya Shrine is for REAL on our side of the Fourth Wall.
Kanako asked ZUN to place herself, Suwako, and Sanae into his series, in order to drum up more faith in OUR world. Yukari met her during a drinking session (see another WMG below concerning Yukari and ZUN's drinking friendship), and they agreed that it was a good idea.

Now, while the Moriya Shrine gains fans in the game (benefitting ZUN), the real Shrine on our side of the fourth wall enjoys more pilgrimages and more faith (helping Kanako). Just as planned.

The Hakurei Shrine is for REAL on our side of the Fourth Wall.
Same as above—only this is the origin of Touhou itself. Just replace the Moriya Shrine crew with Reimu and "faith" with "donations."
  • a manner of speaking. Strange and Bright Nature Deity has Reimu explaining that the Hakurei Shrine is the Wall between the Outside World and Gensokyo. A Wall belongs to neither side; and both at the same time.
    • Oriental Sacred Place has the Hakurei Shrine receiving mysterious offerings that include wine. Presumably ZUN knows the true location of the Shrine, and converts some of his "donations" into things that Reimu can use, since modern Japanese Yen has no trade value inside Gensokyo.

KirbyM is male.
There are simply more male fans than female fans.
  • "Kirby" is a masculine name.

KirbyM is female.
The "self-insert" character in the "Daily Flashes," Unnamed Character, is female.
  • The posts themselves have a generally more feminine tone.

KirbyM is a waffle-based robotic life form.
KirbyM is quite obviously a robot, this has been proven by science.
  • Alternatively, KirbyM is the Pyro.
  • "Walfas" sounds kind of like "Waffles".
    • Acknowledged and explained at the end of the old "about page. "Walfas" sounding like "Waffles," not KirbyM being a robot.

The PC-98 characters are actually recovering from serious injuries.
Fact: the purpose of the Spell Card rules is to allow duels without causing death or serious injury. Fact: the Spell Card rules were invented between Mystic Square and Embodiment of Scarlet Devil. One can easily conclude that, before the Spell Card rules were in place, the youkai of Gensokyo (who are extremely difficult to kill to begin with) were, in fact, seriously injured.
  • Alternatively, they all escaped into Makai to flee the crazy shrine maiden and black white witch, except Alice (for Marisa) and Yuka (cause she's nuts). Now that Reimu and Marisa went back into Makai...
  • Or maybe they left in protest of the Spell Card rules.

A bare head on a woman is considered indecent in Gensokyo.
It probably isn't as bad as e.g. going topless, but it's still probably considered somewhat rude. This would explain why virtually every character in the series wears a hat, hair-ribbon, or something else on their head. The exceptions:
  • Petting Zoo People with no other hats (e.g. Tewi Inaba, Yuugi Hoshiguma); this is probably justified in that they're like Felicia, who has strategically-placed fur-patches.
  • Kaguya Houraisan, Sara, and Yumemi Okazaki (respectively from the Moon, Makai, and the Outside) are from different worlds with separate cultures, in which this taboo doesn't exist. The same might apply to Parsee Mizuhashi; the Underground is divorced enough from the surface world that there are probably plenty of cultural differences.
  • Kogasa Tatara possibly hopes her umbrella will suffice. That, or she wants to surprise people with this behavior.
  • Yuuka Kazami is badass enough that she just plain doesn't care.
    • If that doesn't cut it, she's got those pajamas, complete with night cap.
  • Byakuren Hijiri has been sealed away for so long that she probably doesn't know that times have changed. The same can be said for Nue Houjuu.
  • Parsee Mizuhashi doesn't have a hat, and is therefore incredibly jealous of others.
    • Since her Pointy Ears have apparently ascended into canon as of Wild and Horned Hermit, Parsee may no longer need extra accessories quite as much as she thinks.
  • This theory really isn't all that unrealistic when you realize that some cultures actually DO state that women showing their hair is indecent. That's why they have to wear veils.

Yukari Yakumo had a hand in starting the Hakurei bloodline.
Her ultimate long term but somwhat plausible plan: Yukari had seen how the world of human civilisation would eventually eclipse the Old Races in terms of power and progress - the series of events that led to the Oni people moving away was merely a sign of worse things to come.

As she did not want the destructive conflicts that would result, and wanted a land where youkai could live in relative peace without decidedly intolerant monks and exterminators making trouble every so often, she decided to find a way to influence a family of priests. By manipulating their bloodline, she laid the foundations for the powerful Hakurei family of priests and miko to form in the future, their powerful Sealing Arts holding traces of her power to create Borders or Boundaries.

This is the other reason why she likes to mess with Reimu in a playful and good-natured way, as the current Hakurei miko is a one of her greatest success stories.
  • This Troper doesn't get how any youkai could peacefully live near that maniacal shrine maiden.
    • A donation or two goes a long way - Reimu's only grumpy because of her lack of donations.
      • It's actually true. In one of the Nature Deity stories, Yukari gives Reimu food. Marisa playfully accuses Reimu of accepting bribes.
  • As a corollary to this, Yukari took care of Reimu when she was younger. Reimu might not remember her youkai guardian, but that just makes it easier for Yukari's Wife Husbandry plot.

Youkai do not in fact eat humans.
All that stuff about eating outsiders, and only outsiders? Propaganda and lies. Yukari wants Touhou to be popular outside the border, so the youkai can be strengthened by the belief of the fanbase, but she certainly doesn't want anyone going looking for the Hakurei Shrine and wandering into Gensokyo. Answer: imply that intruders will be eaten.
  • If this is the case, then clearly she's failed. Many a Touhou fan has expressed their desires to visit Gensokyo despite the dangers.

Youkai still eat humans.
However, they're now considered a delicacy and the number of them eaten is very low. Perfect Memento mentions that Outsiders are eaten by youkai on sight or after they've lost interest on them. They may be fair game since it won't impact the resident human population. Also, they may have struck a deal where executed criminals are turned over to a youkai who wants to celebrate or something.
  • Yukari eats humans by putting in them in one of her gaps.
  • Utsuho's another man-(and god)-eating heavyweight, as Reimu and Suika's Subterranean Animism scenario shows (some lines cut for brevity):
    Suika: This is a hell raven. She's a humble bird that eats the corpses of the dead.
    Reimu: She must eat mostly fried meat, then. That'll be bad for her when she's older.
    Suika: But, it looks like she's eaten something pretty bad.
    Utsuho: What are you mumbling on about? Did you come on a trip here to get eaten?
    Suika: I can feel something that doesn't belong in hell. She's ... Probably eaten a god.
    Utsuho: See, your body's getting burned up pretty nicely now. I want to eat you up right now, but it's not good to rush. You have to let it fry just the right amount for it to taste the best.
  • This considered, Rumia's probably one of the nicer humanitarians in the series, since she asked politely first.
  • Counterpoint: While youkai can eat humans, in Gensokyo it can generally lead to dramatically shortened lifespans. For one thing, there is the presence of Reimu, who has "youkai extermination" in her job description and is the main character. More importantly, however, is the idea that there are quite a few powerful youkai who live away from humans and want to be left alone and would not hesitate to put an insolent youkai in their place if they do anything to bring attention to them. Even Yukari, for all of her laziness, would be very quick to put an end to something that could threaten the peaceful stability of Gensokyo. If you don't believe, just ask Tenshi.
    • Not to mention, the humans of Gensokyo are mostly descended from youkai hunters, meaning that most of them have at least some degree of magical power. Thus, a run-of-the-mill weak youkai (bear in mind that even the Team 9 members are stronger than the average youkai) would be in for more of a challenge than you might think if they try to eat a human.
      • The current line of thought is they don't eat Gensokyou natives; but they are periodically consuming humans from the other side. Reimu did explain that the Wall isn't a prison; and the zashiki-warashi were able to travel to and from easily enough.

There are buses in Gensokyo.
Cirno said that "there are no buses in Gensokyo." Do you wanna really trust an idiot's word?
  • There's no need for buses in Gensokyo, since everyone flies. But Yukari could bring them in anyday.
    • true enough, even though we always see that Yukari brings train instead, anyway.
    • There's no need for buses, Yukari can just gap in railroad for her trains whenever she needs and gap it out of it's going to get in the way of someone important.

Umbrellas are a sign of power in Gensokyo
Yuka and Yukari always carry one around, and Remilia is often seen with one...See the pattern?
  • Kogasa is an umbrella, but her power by herself isn't very impressive.
    • Kogasa is clearly just holding back. She's the EX midboss, after all.
      • Kogasa also seems like the type to not care so much about silly things like danmaku when she could be busy scaring humans instead.
    • Or maybe she chose her power stupidly, and all her strength has drained away.

Yukari Yakumo is all-powerful, and could transform people or read minds if she wanted.
Yukari has the power to "manipulate boundaries", a vaguely-defined skill if ever there was one. Furthermore, this includes abstract concepts such as the boundary between night and day, or between life and death, or between mountain and sky. With a list like that, you could make a case that there's not much that can't be considered a boundary. Between one mind and the next? Why not read minds! Between one second and the next? Control time! Your body's a boundary between your soul and the outside world? Even better for transformation! As for why she hasn't displayed any abilities like this, i.e. to singlehandedly solve the lunar crisis in Imperishable Night: she's already known to be lazy. For instance, she hasn't gotten around to fixing the hole she made in the barrier between the living world and the afterlife as of Perfect Cherry Blossom.
  • Alternatively, she hasn't discovered that she has these abilities. Mastering one's skills in Touhou's backstory involves dedication and practice, and Yukari is, as we said already, lazy. Too lazy to get off her butt and practice bending reality to her whims, even if it means the key to omnipotence? Very yes.
    • This quote from her entry in Perfect Memento in Strict Sense would indicate that she already figured everything out. "Rumor has it that she is a youkai from outside, and she simply comes to here for play. Indeed, she may spend the winters and the daytime, when she claims to be sleeping, in the outside world, and some even say that the outside world is Yukari's dream."
      • If we are a dream for the reality warper, I think it's about time we turned into a nightmare.
      • Which ties in nicely to the theory about Maribel below.

Yukari Yakumo in fact can make herself or anyone a real person and a fictional character, and actually most people from Gensokyo are missing people from different parts of our multiverse
Gensokyo is the "land of illusions" and she canonically has wandered outside. All she does is manipulate the border of real and fiction. This also includes browsing through the internet and drinking with ZUN.

Aya is in so many games because she's recording all the events.
Think: Aya is one of the major news sources to ZUN on Gensokyo, other than Yukari. She has to be at least marginally knowledgeable about the events to report on them with any accuracy... So she's there. Since she's not exactly the most unnoticeable thing in the world, anyone could see her and opens fire with a danmaku barrage at some point.

Maribel Han and Yukari Yakumo are the same person.
The basic idea of this fan-theory is that when Maribel sleeps, she dreams that she's Yukari, and when Yukari sleeps, she dreams that she's Maribel. Detailed in her entry at the Touhou Wiki. It is also worth mentioning that there is no official romanization of her name, so that instead of "Han" her name might actually be "Hearn" — as in Lafcadio Hearn, a Western author who, after he gained Japanese citizenship, became known as Koizumi Yakumo.
  • Furthermore, Hearn was the first non-Japanese-born to have written extensively on youkai, so...
  • Alternatively, Maribel is Yukari's puppet, and the true Yukari is yet to appear. When Maribel sleeps, Yukari hijacks her body and gaps her into Gensokyo. When she's done with her, Maribel is sent back but gets to keep the partial memories of what has happened. Because Yukari thinks it's funny to do so.
  • Yukari is Maribel's future self, after fully crossing over to not-quite-yet Gensokyo, and due to the strange, fluctuating nature of border, she was sent into the past, like the note she penned found in PMiSS was. Once there, she becomes a youkai, and her ability to see boundaries evolves into the ability to control them, resulting in a Stable Time Loop as she goes on to create the Great Border, which leads her past/future incarnate self to see the world beyond it and long to be a part of it.
    • Perhaps present Yukari even has a role in Maribel becoming her past self, meaning that Yukari created herself.
      • Even better, all of the above are true. She's controlling the Borders of Causality, Time, and Alternate Universes.

Maribel and Renko are direct "real-world" analogues to Marisa and Reimu, respectively.
One's a flighty blonde with some sort of connection to magic, whose romanized name begins with "Mari." The other's a Japanese brunette with a certain interest in how her world works, and the hiragana of her name begins with "Re." The two are more or less inseperable, except when circumstance dictates. Which pair am I talking about?
  • Renko and Maribel, obviously. Reimu isn't all that interested in how the world works, so long as it isn't bothering her.

Justification for Improbably Female Cast: Gensokyo's nature as a land of illusion.
Look at it like this: Rinnosuke has firmly established that, if there is sufficient active disbelief in a given phenomenon — in his words, it is considered to be "illusory" — it is at least capable of existing in Gensokyo. Meanwhile, the outside world is a patriarchal society: the idea of women calling the shots is tenuous at best. The idea of a non-adult woman being in a position of power is even more "illusory." Thus, in Gensokyo, the land of illusion, just about everyone of any importance whatsoever is female, and on top of that, very few of them look entirely grown up. In fact, it seems that lately (i.e. from the first Windows game on), the only reason any male characters are significant is because they are male and we hear about them. This allows for Schoolgirl Lesbians, as well.
  • His theory is nowhere near as firmly established as some would like to believe. Too many things from the outside world, which decidedly do not depend on belief to exist, show up in Gensokyo—for example, outside humans who get lost in Gensokyo (not just abductees), and many of the items Rinnosuke's shop. That was part of the counterexamples from the main page; too many of Rinnosuke's curios are electronics which were current-generation (such as the Apple iPod) at the time of their discovery (with the exception of things like the Nintendo Gameboy). To be honest, Rinnosuke's theory may as well be Wild Mass Guessing of his own.

    That said, outside of the obvious out-of-character explanation that the Lady Land is Author Appeal, males are known to exist in significant qualities in Gensokyo—they just aren't given the spotlight (with Rinnosuke, Unzan, and Genji being the exceptions as of this edit).
  • Perhaps the modern technology passed through Gensoukyo's border, or Reimu found it in her donation box. Canonically, the borders aren't as foolproof as they should be - Yukari's never fixed the hole Yuyuko formed in PCB, and Maribel can get through the border, as others possibly could.
    • If things exist in Gensokyo due to people not believing in them, things such as the Game Boy and iPod were items that were lost by someone in the real world, and the owner stopped believing they'd ever find it again. Which would mean there has to be an awful lot of odd socks in Gensokyo...
      • I blame Yukari.

Cirno is in fact absurdly powerful
Cirno's power is defined as "Manipulation of Cold." She mainly uses it to make ice. But who's to say that's the only use of such a power. If she can manipulate Cold, then she can make things colder... or less colder, AKA heating things up by taking away the "cold" in it. She could also instantly reduce something to Absolute Zero. This destroying it in an instant. Or perhaps taking away so much cold that it burst into flame or even melts or just vaporizes. Sadly, Cirno's not smart enough to use her power in such creative ways.
  • Kind of supported by the fact that Shikieiki judges Cirno to be a menace and thinks that she's a fairy with "a little" too much power.
  • The theory's also been put around that Cirno's ability to manipulate cold is just the only bit she's managed to understand of her true ability, the ability to manipulate matter at the atomic level, at which point she pretty much becomes Dr. Manhattan.
  • There's a fanfic (called "The Last Stand of Cirno the Valiant") about Cirno training to get stronger, getting closer to that point, but then the rest of the cast descended on her like a bomb. How would you feel when it looks like you'll be upstaged by a "weak ice fairy". On the bright side, she takes out Yuuka, who just lost the last bit of sanity she had.
    Yuuka: (After raping Cirno with her hand) You lose.
    Cirno: (After impaling Yuka on an ice spike out of thin air) You lose more.
  • Alternately, Cirno was once truly one of the strongest youkai in Gensokyo in the distant past. Due to various events, she was sealed into her current state, and will never give up stating that she's the strongest, as she refuses to accept her current status and sink into despair at being depowered into being merely the strongest fairy.
    • She was sealed along with Rumia, obviously.
      • A doujinshi along almost these exact lines: Cirno and Rumia were once among the mightiest of youkai, but both lost much of their powers and mental faculties fighting in Yukari's disastrous Lunar Invasion.
      • That doujinshi (Three Dark Times) also claimed that Yukari, Cirno and Rumia were the only three participants in the Lunar invasion, which doesn't seem too credible. Then again, this is fanon.
  • If she combines this power with Utsuho? Their combined ability will produce cold fusion.
  • Cirno has seraphim wings, 6 wings usually mean quite a lot of power.
    • Does that makes her the reincarnation of Sariel considering the Good Makai route ending in HRtP?
  • This troper has another take on Cirno's power. According to me, Cirno DOES have the power to make something drop to Absolute Zero, thus killing anyone instantly, just like the original poster theorised. According to me, she IS able to use it. However, just like every other being in Gensokyo, she's forced to abide the Spellcard rule! Her skill in Danmaku is weaker than her skill at properly manipulating cold, and that misleads everyone into thinking she's weak. Her power is on par with the most powerful beings in Gensokyo, but just like them she can't use it, for such is the rule. If Marisa ever fought Cirno without Cirno playing by the danmaku rules, Marisa would freeze instantly, and then Cirno would make her shatter to pieces and laugh.
  • Further evidence, especially of the spellcard thing: Cirno has appeared five times. First two times she was one of the wimpiest bosses in the game. In her fourth appearance she's tied for third and fourth boss, though she's fighting against Aya at the peak of her author favoritism so nothing short of Yukari stands a chance. But in her third and fifth appearances, she appears as a playable character. In PoFV she's still an "early" boss but is capable of beating up a bunch of A-listers if you follow a non-canon story path, but in Hisoutensoku she's on the same level as, and has a storyline where she beats up Marisa, Alice, Utsuho, Sanae, and Hong Meiling. Looking at China, she was a pushover in EoSD too but can hold her own in Hisoutensoku as well; it has been stated in canon that she's good at martial arts but not at spellcard battles. Why this leveling of the playing field for those two? Because in IAMP, SWR and Hisoutensoku the characters are no longer following the spellcard system, but a hybrid of the spellcard system and real fighting. So Cirno and Hong Meiling get to stop playing their solely weakest suits and get massive boosts in power... which only makes sense if Cirno also had a great deal of power which she was unable to use in spellcard battles but can draw upon in SWR. If she was allowed to fight without spellcards altogether, she would probably be able to take anyone. And now there is Fairy Wars in which she is the only playable character...
    • Addendum: Meiling was a joke character in IAMP because she was out of practice—after all, it'd been a while since anyone in Gensokyo had fought with anything except spellcards and there's no reason to keep training at martial arts if it looks like you'll never get to use that again but desperately need to get better at spellcards. After IAMP it became clear that there was definitely still a chance of getting to use her martial arts again, so she started training again, so by Hisoutensoku she's at least not intentionally weaker than the rest of the cast. Also, in EoSD Cirno was significanlty weaker than China, but in Hisoutensoku they're on par and in fact Cirno's tentatively ranked higher than her. China's as much in her element in Hisoutensoku as we can ever expect to see her, but Cirno's still probably not—fairies aren't exactly known for their physical strength, and even though it's not (entirely) spellcards they're restricting themselves to formalized offensive spells of a sot rather than directly applying their powers to making the other person dead as fast as possible.
      • Also, don't forget that the entire cast of fighting games (And so Hisoutensoku) is composed of very high ranked characters.
  • Cirno should be able to use Ice-nine, no?
  • Cirno doesn't "Manipulate Cold". That's Letty. Cirno's ability is "Manipulation of Cold AIR", according to Letty's interview.
    • Aya's material is not to be considered as very reliable. Nor are Letty's words, seeing as she is clearly annoyed by Cirno. Cirno and Letty have the same power, though one could consider Letty's to be greater, seeing as she is a youkai of winter (it is canon that she is not giving her best during that battle) and Cirno is a mere fairy. Cirno's power is clearly stated to be cold, and she can conjure up ice, which does not fit into "manipulation of cold air". She DOES however seem to control cold air among others, as evidenced by her Cold Tornado spellcard in 12.3.
  • Maybe she just has permanent brain freeze.

Cirno utilizes some form of Thermosynthesis
It's mentioned that the air around Cirno is always cold. Since "cold" is merely the abscence of heat, she logically could be "creating cold" by absorbing heat. If the absorbed heat then becomes fuel for her magic powers, this could explain Cirno's power fluctuations. The colder the air around her is already, the weaker she becomes, as there's less heat to absorb to fuel her power. She's at her weakest in Perfect Cherry Blossom, when it's deep winter (despite the fact that it shouldn't be). In Embodiment of Scarlet Devil, she's at the Misty Lake, which is probably chilled by her own power, what with her living there and all, and due to the high specific heat of water, once it's chilled, it will tend to stay chilled for a while, chilling the air around it (Which would create the namesake mist!). All this chilling... chills things a bit, keeping Cirno relatively weak (but not as much as in PCB). Now we get to Phantasmogoria of Flower View and Unthinkable Natural Law, where she's a playable character. Here, Cirno leaves the Misty Lake and roams around in warmer climes... and suddenly, she's on par with typical player characters like Reimu and company. And when she gets dumped in a Nuclear Furnace, she can go toe-to-toe with resident Nuke-Girl Utusho. It's pretty apparent that Cirno's power follows a general pattern of being inversely proportional to the temperature of the area around her.
  • Then why was her reaction to Okuu to run away screaming? Not to mention that she was complaining about the heat.
    • Well, just because the heat boosts her preformance, doesn't mean it wouldn't be uncomfortable, and a walking atomic bomb would probably be frightening regardless of how powerful you are, especially if you have a childish brain that's not so good at logic. Alternativley, Cirno may be unaware of this detail of her power, for as we all know, she's not all that bright, and she has probably been living in the cold environs of Misty Lake for most of her life. I'ts perfectly reasonable that she's clueless to the fact that heat makes her stronger.
    • Actually, it says in Perfect Memento in Strict Sense that she's actually weak to fire and objects that are too hot to touch, although that could just mean that she can feel pain from being burned, just as a human does, if not worse. In other words, unless she actually makes a conscious attempt to siphon off the energy from the flame, she'll end up hurting herself instead.
  • Cirno also gains power in her game by freezing bullets, and grazing, both of which can be construed as ways to leech energy off enemy attacks.
  • Okuu even noted that there's been a significant drop in the temperature of the Reactor core, in other words, Cirno just being there was enough to notably cool down a nuclear reactor. Either she's overeacting or Cirno somehow gained a massive power boost there.

Sakuya is a Lunarian.
Her themesong is called "Lunar Clock ~ Luna Dial." Kaguya, a Lunarian, has the ability "manipulation of eternity", which is quite similar in effect to Sakuya's "manipulation of time." Also note that according to Eirin's profile, Eirin was "surprised" to see Sakuya during the events of Imperishable Night, and she doesn't seem to be concerned with her own mortality when Remilia brings up the subject after defeating Mokou — Lunarians are already immortal; nor does she seem concerned about the madness-inducing moonbeams, since presumably Lunarians are already immune (Marisa is "insane to begin with", it isn't mentioned in the Border Team's scenario, and Youmu does feel the effects).
  • Alternatively, Sakuya is Eirin. Due to an accident involving the Luna Dial, Eirin accidentally created a younger, amnesiac temporal double of herself, whom she quietly shipped to Earth's future (i.e. contemporary times) to avoid ... political problems. And then she made the Elixir for Kaguya and got actually exiled to Earth, oh well.
    • Or, Sakuya was created using Kaguya and Eirin's DNA. This explains all of the above, without the discrepancies included.
    • This editor still prefers the "Sakuya is Shirou, Eirin is Archer" theory in this case.
      • This editor feels "Eirin shot the arrow that gave Sakuya her time manipulation. Making Sakuya Dio Brando and Eirin Enya Geil" is a much more plausible explanation anyday.
      • Yeah... I'm not sure the "Sakuya is to Eirin as Jin is to Hakumen" Theory makes much sense. Unless Eirin pads or Sakuya's bust size is real.
      • They're both washboards if we go by ZUN's art.
  • Another possibility; it is mentioned that the Lunarians used Earth as a prison/place of exile, which strongly implies that Kaguya and Eirin are not the first or only Lunarians to end up on Earth. So here's what I think: either Sakuya is such an exiled Lunarian, or one of her parents was. Especially the latter possibility would explain why Sakuya is commonly considered human in spite of having time-space manipulating powers that are far beyond what even modern human technology is capable of, and it would also neatly explain why she is in possession of a Luna Dial (which might even be some kind of secret or forbidden technology, and the fact that she, or her parent, acquired one could very well be the reason he/she got exiled to Earth in the first place).

Lunarians are genetically human.
First of all: the Border Team's ending states that for the purposes of the ongoing "Youkai must kidnap humans; humans must exterminate youkai" conflict, the Lunarians (apart from Reisen, presumably) are considered half-human. If there wasn't any "humanity" to them, why would they need to bring it up? Second of all, Cage in Lunatic Runagate mentions that Lunarians originated on Earth, and throughout that and Silent Sinner in Blue, they all (except Kaguya) make much of the fact that they are more "pure" than the people of Earth.
  • Akyu considers them human, and they were apparently telling people that they're human at the expo, so this is pretty likely.
  • This also dovetails with the above theory that Sakuya is a Lunarian.

Kisume is Wriggle's sister. Or at least a close relative.
The hair color could easily be coincidental, but: They both have a reputation for kicking/bucketing Marisa in the face. Kisume's the midboss to Yamame, a spider youkai - and spiders love insects. And then there's the fact that Kisume hides in a bucket: she could be hiding pants (and/or a glowing ass) like Wriggle's.
  • Spiders love insects because they're tasty; not exactly good relationship material. Granted, many good relationships in Gensokyo have a strong foundation of abuse.

Cirno is farsighted.
Why else would she have a huge blind spot right in front of her when she casts Icicle Fall ~Easy~?
  • This troper always thought that that was her first spellcard ever, and, being rather childish, she always leads with it despite it being her weakest spellcard.
  • This troper has read a good theory on Youtube: Cirno uses this spellcard not because she's stupid, but because she's actually smart and expects, perfectly rationally, that no opponent would be idiotic enough to go and stand in front of her face. When she finds out she's wrong, it's too late...
  • This troper once saw a comic (Danbooru, NSFW ads) showing Cirno using Icicle Fall ~Lunatic~ (yes, it doesn't exist, just go with it). It created a giant iceberg in the shape of an icicle. Cirno then commented that she was scared of her own spell card.
Touhou was imagined by all the British queens...
And Hitler, as he descended from a long lineage of them. Most of the setting reminds of some British/European cultural references. The Japanese folklore characters might have been added by Queen Victoria, and greater part of their cultural references was added by Hitler, that was in the same side as the Japanese in the WW2, so, knowing a bit more about them. Elizabeth II herself just updated most of the mythos and reimagined the characters more moe than before, as she probably is secretly an anime fan. Unless William and/or Harry manage to declare their queen descendence, like Hitler, the Touhouverse might perish, as it needs the queen royalty to survive. It seems rather crazy, but sorta works.

Alice is a lich.
She is a magician who was once human, but is now a humanoid youkai. It is possible that she died, went to hell, and used her tremendous powers as a magician to restore herself back to life, although she was no longer human by the time she had done so.
  • Flesh regeneration really isn't that hard to manage. It's just most "outside" Liches are cursed by gods for accomplishing immortality. Skull faces are not pretty, and any god-like being in Gensokyo would sooner die then have anything not be pretty.
  • Not unless she went about turning into a youkai a really roundabout way. According to Perfect Memento In Strict Sense, all you need is to learn a couple of spells that apparently aren't that difficult if you have ready access to magic books.
    • The series is rather schizophrenic about that. Marisa is researching the "Elixir of Immortality" but does not say if this is like Youkai immortality or the Hourai Elixir. Also, Hermits seem to go through a lot of trouble for something "easy" for Magicians to do.
  • So if Alice is a lich, what does that imply about the contents of her locked book?

Alice Margatroid is a Doll.
PC-98 and windows are about 1 (one) year away from each other. What happened, is that this doll, called Alice Margatroid, is a reflection of what Alice could have been if she grew up, but since she opened the Grimoire, that won't happen.
And Shinki's power is unknown, so the whole "Warping Alice to another Dimension" WMG above is possible, however unlikely, since her power has something to do with Sara, Luize, Yuki, Mai and Yumeko, since it was established, that everyone (excluding Alice) was created by Shinki. So unless she has an incredibly vague power like Yukari's Manipulation of Boundaries, it's safe to assume that Shinki's power is to give life.
With that, we move to the Alice is a Doll Theory
In Alice's description in Perfect Memento in a Strict Sense, She has blond hair and pale skin, and looks very much like a doll herself.
Which supports the theory on it's own. But there is more to support this claim, this trouper has more evidence.
But wait, the author of Perfect Memento also says that this Alice was once human, who became a Youkai. However, which Alice is she talking about? Is it Alice Margatroid? She's a doll though. So to be a moving doll, who is her puppetmaster?
That would be Alice from PC-98.
Which then links to the Momento, "She's the type of magician that was originally human and became one through training."
This can be assumed when Alice first opened the Grimoire of Alice
This makes two Alices in the same world. One who is the PC-98 Alice, and one who is the Windows Alice.
Here, if Alice of PC-98 is controlling the Windows/Alice, then she would remember losing to Reimu and Marisa is Mystic Square. Therefore, out for revenge in Perfect Cherry Blossom.
In Imperishable Night, it's seen in the prologue that W/Alice's dolls are capable of talking. If W/Alice can do it, so can PC/Alice, since with the Grimoire at hand, Alice has access to many spells.
But W/Alice has a Grimoire too. Maybe the W/Alice has a fake grimoire, only to look like PC/Alice. So PC/Alice has the real Grimoire, and W/Alice has a fake. Which also explains why W/Alice hasn't used her Grimoire yet. It's because it's fake.
With this theory, it answers why Alice suddenly came back all grown up, why she never uses her Grimoire, why she is described to look like a doll, and why Reimu didn't recognize her when she first saw her.
W/Alice Margatroid is a doll being controlled by PC/Alice.
  • Or rather, Windows Alice is an Autonomous Doll made by the PC-98 Alice, and thrown to Gensokyo without any memories of her creation. The process made Windows Alice's inner subconciousness want to make an autonomous doll too. As said above, the Grimoire is fake. The figment of memory of Reimu and Marisa is adopted by the magic flowing from PC-98 Alice. (or Alice has seen them sometime before.)

Sakuya is a close relative of Youmu.
Both Sakuya and Youmu have pale gray/white hair (most likely a recesive gene). Sakuya has time magic which could have been used to train Youmu to become super fast. Sakuya may have been the "oddball" of the family and not been able to learn swordsmanship or the family was divided into certain weapon sections. It is not clarified what Sakuya's real name is, so her last name could indeed be Konpaku. Maybe she was a vampire hunter and when defeated by Remilia she was hit in the head and had severe amnesia, never remembering her previous life. Youmu may have been young at this time so she didn't remember Sakuya causing the battle in PCB. Although Sakuya is estimated to be 16-20 years old she could be the half ghost half human hybrid like other members of the family. So judging on appearance doesn't work here because Youmu and Sakuya both appear to young, but Youmu is at most 60 years old. Youmu and Sakuya first appeared with red eyes (another recesive gene in the real world). Also, sorry if this was long.
  • Alright, so where's Sakuya's "Myon"? Surely you're not forgetting the most important distinguishing feature of a half-ghost.
    • The "myon" might have wandered off when Sakuya forgot about being a Konpaku.
    • Sakuya's myon may actively be following around either Flandre or Remilia at any given time any major events happen in Gensokyo near Reimu, Marisa, or the view of anyone paying attention, or it could be supervising the maids in such a way that it is never seen onscreen. In ANY media. Or hanging around the gardens and gate supervising Meiling, or even just hiding in the library or basement, both of which are of gigantic proportions.

Yukari's first Lunar Invasion was actually a plot to eliminate the most powerful youkai of Gensokyo
Yukari's motivations behind her first lunar invasion have always remained a bit of a mystery, and popular theories postulate that she was either trying to take the riches of the Lunar Capital for herself, or that it was just her way of teaching the other youkai about the evils of war and imperialism. But what if there was something more sinister going on? It is not unthinkable that there were some very powerful youkai in Gensokyo back when Yukari came up with the whole idea - some of them may even have been so powerful that they rivalled Yukari herself. Or alternatively, they were just as old and experienced as Yukari and may have known her for a long time. They may even have known and understood Yukari a lot better than she was comfortable with (maybe they knew of an Old Shame, or maybe Yukari's a wee bit paranoid about people who might just figure out her schemes and intentions). My point is; what if there was a bunch of youkai in Gensokyo that were a potential or actual threat to her? If these youkai really did pose a serious threat to her, then it would make sense for Yukari to devise a plan to, well, get rid of them - a plan like, say, tricking them into invading the moon together, luring them into a hopeless battle against the Lunarians, and then closing the boundary between Gensokyo and the Lunar Capital before the others could retreat...

Yukari is an Eldritch Abomination disguised as a human.
What else can you call something that spends most of its time residing between dimensions? As far as I've gathered, she goes outside normal spacetime when she teleports.

  • Alternatively, the real Yukari just moves its humanlooking physical youkai body into its extradimensional innards and deposits it at the intended gap location by pushing a boundary open. If Reimu bothered to use Fantasy Heaven in the right area or right time (Say, timetravel to the Lunar Invasion and stand at the edge) she could hypothetically 'see' Yukari's physical body. In addition, Yukari had to move most of herself out of Gensokyo during the Lunar Invasion, leaving only a tentacle or something on both ends with her main body stretched between the space landmass of Gensokyo and the Moon, which is how she moved the youkai she wanted to eliminate or bring with her to the moon and went back.

A lot of characters can equal or outmatch Yukari's "Omnipotence".
  1. Remilia, she can manipulate fate, that means, she could theoretically decide what will happen. ANYTHING. She could decide, that Yukari would just relax and the next second * BAM* dead. And if someone is plotting up something against her, she could manipulate fate, that he will never succeced, or even better: Manipulate fate that no-one is standing up against her while conquering the very existence on cruise control.
  2. Kaguya, she can do pretty much the same thing than Remilia, but on a diffrent way. Her ability allows her to let stuff last eternal (aka. Time Stands Still) or she can cause things to happen at an instant. The theory of Singularity says, everything happens somewhen, you just have to wait enough. Kaguya doesn't have to wait.
  3. Ex-Keine. Being able to alter History is pretty badass, but History isn't just past, it's also FUTURE! That means, Keine is ridiculously powerful, since it's basiclly the Ability of Remilia, with the bonus that she can alter things that already happened. (You say that she can do that only while Fullmoon? She changes History, so that there is always fullmoon!)
  4. Hina, yes, she can apply every curse on someone she wants. This implies eg. "Imperius" of Harry Potter. A curse which causes the cursed person to lose it's will and that person will only do the bidding of the one, who layed the curse upon it (in this case Hina). So she has omnipotence by forcing another Omnipotent being to do what she wants.
  5. Yuyuko. Her ability is to induce death. That's it. She doesn't even have to snap her fingers, she just wills it and you're dead. Naturally, this wouldn't work on Kaguya, but she would be able to take out any of her other opponents.
  • As pointed out further down the page, Yuugi, who was explicitly holding back the only time we've seen her to now, has the "Power to control supernatural phenomena". That may mean she can just say "Oh, you want to alter my fate/rewrite my history/will me out of existence? Well I say that's not going to happen. What now?" In the end, though, I think what we end up with is a high noon standoff—with all these godly reality-bending powers, whoever shoots first will win. This probably makes for some very paranoid people at the top of the power chain.
  • Don't forget Sanae, who can create miracles.
  • Except that the powers aren't absolute. If they were, practically every character would break the scale. Yukari couldn't gap to the moon, she had to wait for specific conditions. Satori can't read people's thoughts if they're too far away. Yuyuko can't kill people who are immortal, Cirno can't freeze the nuclear furnace, Remilia's skill is implied to be tied to name-fortunes, meaning Yukari would have to accept a new name to get fate-changed, and even then it's a general fate, not a "you die in two seconds from X" deal. It's plausible that abilities flat out fail if contested against a stronger being- Yukari saw through Keine's history-hiding and ignored Suika's gathering, for example. Finally, the only (I think) specific canonical instance of one ability going against another was the last phase of the Kaguya fight, where she tries to break the eternal night enchantment. If abilities were absolute, she'd just be able to manipulate eternity to break it instantly. Instead she has to distract the protagonists with a barrage and break it in bits while they're recovering.
    • Basically, Yukari is considered above the others because she's the only character who has used her abilities to more than the most basic degree, regularly, and has a wide-ranging ability to begin with. Remi, Keine and Yuugi would probably be in the same boat if their powers were shown to be as wide ranging.

Reimu is totally inept in fighting, and wins only through cheating.
In the shooting games (where you can clearly see a spell-card based duel), Reimu has never, ever lost, for being able to rig the competition into her inevitable victory. However, in the fighters (where you clearly see that the combat is real), she hasn't won even a single battle in canon, and is the Rock bottom of the matchup table in SWR.
  • Well, nobody wants to attack her at full power due to fears that her defeat might trigger the Hakurei border's collapse, placing Gensokyo back in Japan. Nobody wants this, except possibly Sanae.
  • Nobody isn't correct - [[Baka Cirno, Rumia, Mystia]] or similarly stupid characters might not even know that part about the Hakurei barrier. Flandre might even "accidently" kill her.

In order to live along with Alice, Marisa had to find a way, to live as long as her. And since of her easygoing and careless nature, she wasn't able to use the anti-aging spell Patchy and Alice used, since it needs far more discipline than Marisa has. So she went with her burglar-nature and stole Ruukoto from the Hakurei Shrine. Afterwards she needed someone competent to fuse her and Ruukoto together. So she went with Rinnosuke and Nitori, because Rinnosuke has a good quantity of spare parts and tools, and Nitori possesses the know-how to do so. But this was a mistake. Somehow Flandre got informed of this project and during a party at SDM she informed Keine how much this insults human life and how humanity could be artificially enslaved with that. Therefore Keine erased the Knowledge of Marisa, Rinnosuke and Nitori. Marisa was told that she was VIVIT, a robot maid and Rinnosuke was told he would be Erich, an engineer in robotics. That opened the doors for Flandre's Plan to disguise herself as Marisa to get free of the SDM basement. VIVIT's enhanced optics demasked Flan-Marisa and so in Seihou her memory comes back, and she is taking revenge on her, for stealing her life.
  • I disagree with the beginning at least, because Mari's nature is not easygoing and careless. She's in fact one of the hardest workers in Gensokyo, which has allowed her to become a powerful witch even if she is a human of human blood (as opposed to her immensely gifted, horribly lazy rival Reimu). If Marisa wants to master a spell, as long as it's within her field of competence she will do it. About her stealing people's spellcards: this is a must for her, since she has no powers of her own, therefore must resort to spells developed by others. I can however guarantee you it took her lots and lots of hard work to get that Master Spark right. Somehow it seems to me there's more to it than the 4 simple steps she describes.

The Touhous are substantially less powerful than the games suggest.
This is my oft-trumped WMG, so I might as well plant this mutha here for safekeeping. The idea is this: all the characters' assorted useless-sounding superpowers, with the handful of really unspeakably stupidly powerful ones, work just as described and no further up or down the power scale. Danmaku is in fact a separate magical skill used to solve problems or blow off steam in a violent-feeling but non-violent fashion; skill at danmaku is independent of one's innate mystic powers. The 'Soak is not merely a place for monsters and such to hang out, but a sort of nature reserve to keep those too weird to live and too rare to die from getting steamrolled by superstition or the march of progress, as well as segregating the truly terrifying from a world where they would do the most bad. It is fortunate that so far all the big nasties have consented to fight using the harmless-but-flashy danmaku style, because otherwise all sorts of planetary holocausts could've gone down by now—Reimu is a tough little bitch, but that can only take her so far against an uncontrolled threat.
  • Reimu can still fly away from reality and watch as stuff passes through her while wiping her enemy out. She's still so broken.
  • Now. When you say "The Touhous" I read "A few of the Touhous". Suppose Danmaku was indeed harmless (and it's not, because no matter what you say, danmaku IS related to someone's mystic powers, Mokou throws fireballs, and Utsuho mini-stars!). Well, suppose it's harmless, for whom is it a disadvantage really? Rumia, with the power to make it dark? Lily White, with the power to announce spring? Flandre will still blow you up in one hit, and Remilia can manipulate fate with all the implications of it, and Sakuya can freeze time and beat you up, and Mokou is immortal, and Yuyuko can kill you with a thought, etc. Hell, even Cirno Baka has the power of "manipulation of cold". She chills you all the way up to absolute zero, you die, end of story. Basically, there's rather "a handful of useless superpowers" and "a lot of really powerful ones", not the other way around. You do have a point by saying, I quote, "It is fortunate that so far all the big nasties have consented to fight using the harmless-but-flashy danmaku style, because otherwise all sorts of planetary holocausts could've gone down by now". In fact Danmaku really has the objective to give mortals like Reimu and Marisa the ability to fight badasses like Flandre and Yuyuko without getting killed on the spot. But this is not a WMG anymore. It's frigging canon. It's in Perfect Memento.
    • As far as canon goes, we can be sure that danmaku can hurt and the pain degree varies. In her Grimoire, Marisa talks about spellcards such as 'Spear the Gungnir' that it feels like getting stabbed, or 'Red the Nightless Castle', which 'hurts as much as getting hit by danmaku.'
  • Danmaku is almost certainly related to magical power in so far as some amount of the later is required to do it, but beyond a certain level it's probably more a matter of skill then power. Reimu and Marisa are quite likely so good at it because they you know do it all the time. Touhou characters do tend to have there powers exaggerated sometimes to the point of lunacy in fanon though, for all the talk of Yukari's supposed neigh omnipotence for instances she's never actually demonstrated many special talents besides creating a large magical barrier (WITH HELP) and teleporting. Certainly she's never shown the kind of casual reality warping omnipotence that the most outlandish and vague interpretation of the curt description of her powers could be stretched to include.
  • Don't forget that Reimu took down many powerful humans/youkais/whatevers (Marisa, Mima, Yuka, Shinki...) before the spellcard rule creation. Not only every not so powerful youkais but even stronger HAD to accept Reimu's rule to escape a pure and merciless annihilation. Reimu was just too lazy to hunt all youkais at once, so she made a rule to prevent an uncontrolled threat. Also before mentioning any flawless hax (boundaries, fate, death manipulation), think about Reimu being THE shrine maiden and how a godly power may protect her. I guess youkais had to think about pure skill/power to accept the rule.
  • Still, why was Utsuho obeying the rules? She can't destroy Gensokyo when she abides to the rules and she wouldn't fear that Gensokyo vanishes without Reimu, because that's what she wanted. Heck, why would anyone cause a ruckus then? Due to the spellcard rules (and to your theory, without them) not a single youkai could defeat Reimu.
    • Give how smart she is, no matter how powerful, she wouldn't think about disobeying the spellcard rules just to achieve victory. Her only thought was probably just shooting around mini-suns like a maniac and hoping nothing was left.

Yuugi is at least as strong, if not stronger then Yukari.
Let's do a refresher here. Stage placement does not equate power (e.g. Chen, the Stage 2 boss AND the Extra mid-boss, due to being separated from Ran in the former causing her power to drop; also see Keine who was only trying to keep you away from the Human Village). She is part of the same group as Suika (who is one of the strongest in Gensokyo, according to Aya). 'Four Devas of the Mountains.' And, we all know she was only playing with us her sake NOT EVEN A DROP! She is more mature then Suika, in age (probably), and power (probably), and as such should be as strong (if not stronger.) Combined with her power being 'Power to control supernatural phenomena', it could possibly be the most dangerous (or useless) power in Gensokyo.
  • If dangerous she can use it to say... cause aliens to abduct someone? Bad example, but you get the idea.
    • If dangerous, she could negate all of the supernatural phenomena in Gensokyo. That's just about everything, by the way.
  • If useless, she probably could do something like... turn her water into sake? Another bad example, but you get it... hopefully.
  • Unlikely, as the main reason Suika is so powerful is her ability to manipulate density, which Yuugi doesn't have. Also, a good way to tell if someone was holding back or not is to look at their clothing after you beat them. If it's torn, they weren't. If it isn't, they were. Yuugi's is torn and her sake DOES drop, despite Memetic Mutation. That said, she is still significantly harder than any other Stage 3 boss in the entire series, and probably is the strongest in terms of sheer physical strength.
    • Everyone suffers Clothing Damage when they lose a battle, unless they are kicked off the screen, like most stage 1 bosses. That being said, most early stage bosses suffer from this, and stage 3+ bosses often say something after beating them. Plus, consider this interesting fact. Gensokyo is one giant super-natural phenomenon which could theoretically give Yuugi complete control over it. Youkai? Same. Shrine Maiden? Negate their spiritual powers.

Rating a Touhou character's power according to his/her stage is stupid.
This is made up from one thing: Sariel is the Final Boss of The Highly Responsive to Prayers, a Stage 20 Boss. If the power scaling goes up as expected (With EX-Bosses equaling Stage7 and Yukari equaling Stage8), she could singlehandedly destroy Gensokyo, the World and Chuck Norris.
  • We also shouldn't forget Yuuka Kazami in Lotus Land Story, now should we. She was the boss for both Stage 5 and Stage 6!
  • Combined with the above post, do I even have to say it?
  • Sariel is really a stage 4 boss. Stages in HRtP are divided into 4 levels, then a boss. I think.
    • Nope: There are four stages without a boss, and a boss stage after each of those sets. And because of the split route, there are six characters that would build the top tier: YuugenMagan, Mima, Kikuri, Elis, Sariel and Konngara. Also, I'd rather rate the character's power by their win ratio, as it would imply Yukari would be at zero percent, as battles done in teams are not legit for the ladder (bad luck for you, IN pairs). Reimu's and Marisa's wins in SA still count, as they only take a skill of the youkai with them, making those not participate in battles.
      • Actually, stages in Touhou 1 are much shorter than in the shoot em ups, so a "block" of five stages would probably be a closer increase in power level to a stage in the later games, and maybe not even that.
  • However, with a few exceptions (read on), rating an individual's level of power based on their stage is useful when ranking them against characters in that same game. EoSD is perhaps the best example of this, starting at "non even worth considering" threat youkai, continuing to more powerful beings then ending with the "OHSHI-" level power of Flandre. This method isn't completely reliable though, as among other things it implies Koishi is more powerful than Utsuho and Ran is more powerful than Yuyuko (the latter is possible, just very unlikely).
    • In SA the stage 4 boss is stronger than the following two. Also in Mystic Square, you can assume Sara to be one of the strongest in Makai (even though being a stage 1 boss). Because seriously, it wouldn't make sense to fight the gatekeeper last just because she is stronger than he others.
      • Just because Satori is the leader doesn't mean she's the most powerful. It's not uncommon for The Smart Guy to take charge of stronger but less capable subordinates. Especially when one of those subordinates is as famously dumb as Okuu.
    • Koishi may not be more powerful than Utsuho (though she is very powerful), but she's definitely far more skilled than the birdbrain.
  • Being a final boss certainly requires a great deal of power of some kind (there's a difference between raw magical force, skill and subtlety, and broken Reality Warper-tier abilities, so most arguments regarding cases like Satori and Utsuho are based on misunderstandings and terminological inconsistencies), and not every powerful character was a late-game boss. It depends on their motivation and role in the story - Yuyuko was a stage 1 boss in Ten Desires, Hina might as well be monstrously powerful, and Keine, Chen and Yuugi were already mentioned in the Yuugi WMG below. Regarding THRtP and the Phantasmagoria games, it's probably better to consider their relative position in the game instead of their absolute stage number.

Yukari Yakumo is a troper
And is posting the entries that are trying to fool us into thinking our Touhous are less powerful than we know they are. Oh Yukari...don't ever change.

Patchouli Knowledge is not an elemental witch, but a Warlock/Demonologist
Justifies both her demonic assistant Koakuma, and what she's doing inside a Vampire's mansion (people dealing with demons have always been outcasted from society, Gensokyo is probably no exception, and merely living on her own as an outcast was not an option for her, due to her poor health, and the fact that she could get lynched. So Patchouli naturally went for those who could accept her as she is, who happened to be Vampires.)

Mokou and Kaguya symbolise the Sun and the Moon, respectively.
I'm not sure whether this is really a Wild Mass Guess or whether I'm just stating the obvious, because it does seem pretty obvious to me. The unending rivalry between Kaguya and Mokou is a symbol of the cycle of the Sun and the Moon. Fiery phoenix girl Mokou is the sun while shadow Lunatic princess Kaguya is the moon. As the Sun drives the Moon away during the day, only to disappear leaving the sky to the Moon at night, so does Mokou kill Kaguya, only to get killed by her later on, ad infinitum.

Mokou was given the power of a Phoenix by an actual Phoenix.
Popular fanon, putting it down here. Unless it's an mutant ability, immortality usually doesn't grant door prizes. At some point in her immortal life; Mokou met an everliving phoenix that either wanted to die or was touched by her existence such that it gave its power to her. This would have burnt a mortal to cinder; but Mokou was able to absorb it. Nevertheless, this bleached her hair white. Which is rather impressive; given that the description of Hourai Elixir is that it renders every physical aspect of someone Eternal.

Marisa's supposed insanity...
Remember in Imperishable Night Marisa says she's immune to the full moon's madness effects because "she's already insane to begin with"? I think I might have discovered what she means... Marisa fuels her magic with "phantasmal mushrooms", right? Do you know what's a "magic mushroom" in real life? Marisa must probably consume a lot of those during her travels to keep her magic level high... Hence, she must be in a permanent state of... well... you know. Which is pretty much like temporary insanity. It's just a wonder how she manages to dodge all those bullets while being in such a state... Whoa man, I'm trippin' out man... WHOA! Shiny colors! Whoa man, that's really coo... OUCH! THEY HURT!
  • And her Master Spark is just the physical projection of her mind/what she has in mind. OMG RAINBOW POWER !

Reisen Udongein Inaba is actually a Lunarian, not a moon rabbit.
But she somehow ended up in trouble with the Lunar authorities, so she disguised herself and changed her name so as to blend in with the moon rabbits. Unfortunately, the disguise worked a little too well, and she was drafted into the Lunarian army with the others. Eirin has already seen through it, of course, but keeps her around so she can have a human to test on. Plus, look at her ears in her portraits in Touhou 8 and 9. Those black dots look suspiciously like buttons or fasteners...note 
  • Every moon rabbit in the army has those buttons, as far as I know. I think they are a sort of distinctive mark. I remember reading something like that on the Touhou Wiki.

"Half-Ghost" is actually a type of tsukumogami, except with ghosts instead of objects.
Let's take a look at the existing tsukumogamis in Touhou (going by literal appearance instead of conceptual):
  • Medicine Melancholy (doll-tsukumogami) has a humanoid form, and is seen accompanied by a doll.
  • Kogasa Tatara (umbrella-tsukumogami) has a humanoid form, and is seen accompanied by an umbrella.
Now let's look at Youmu: she has a humanoid form, and is seen accompanied by a ghost. Obviously, at the very least, there's a similar principle at work here.

"Nue Houjuu" isn't her real name.
"Nue" is the name of her species, and the kanji for "Houjuu", as written, means "Sealed Beast," which is exactly what she was until immediately before the events of Undefined Fantastic Object. What do you think, boys and girls?
  • Satori is also named after her race.
  • Perhaps the names "Nue" and "Satori" are thought of as names for particularly exemplary members of their species, similar to how "Andrew," derived from a word that means "man," means "manly."
  • Nue indicates that she's exactly the same nue from the legend, and implies that she's one-of-a-kind. Thus, she wouldn't really need a name beyond "nue, the sealed beast".
    • Satori's a little trickier, but since satori are telepathic perhaps they have other ways of identifying amongst themselves and don't normally use names. Koishi likes to interact with youkai and humans outside her own species, so she named herself for their convenience, and Satori goes along with it.
      • Possibly, Koishi is the satori designation in Gensokyo for those satori who seal their third eye away. Considering the change in powerset and personality caused, it's good enough.
  • Oh Crap, it's a Forgotten Beast!

Touhou players don't play with pads because Sakuya will knife them.
It's not that they won't use pads, it's more like they can't.

Sakuya is a Dhampyr
This would explain why she has both blue and red eyes. Blue eyes is when she is her "normal" mode. Red eyes is when she is using her more "vampiric" aspect, and thus fields a generally more powerful arsenal. Plus it may explain her young apperance, yet, if you go by Akyu's account, her behavior seems to be of someone far older than she appears. And if Sakuya is a Dhampyr, Remilia would have all the more reason to keep her around.
  • Plus if you want to go the Sakuya-was-a-former-vampire-hunter route, note what is frequently a Dhampyr's employment in that entry.
  • Clever, but there's one small problem - she can go 100% human in IN, while half-ghost Youmu can only go 50%.
  • If so, she must be Dio Brando's illegitimate daughter.
    • And considering that Dio is a massive asshole in Jojo canon, this gives Sakuya all the motivation she needs to be a vampire hunter.

Despite how she seems to act, Reimu's turned into a Blood Knight.
In both of her scenarios in Unidentified Fantastic Object, she acts like she's bigoted towards Youkai when she's talking to Byakuren, but we all know she's made friends with a good number of them. It's possible that she just wanted a good adrenaline rush, and thought that Byakuren would give her the challenge she needed, so she essentially trolled her into a conflict.
  • On the other hand, Reimu may have serious identity issues about being both the Hakurei Maiden as well as a growing girl, because her emotions may get in the way of some of the harder parts of her duty (although this may not be a problem at the moment in the currently peaceful Gensokyo). Danmaku play may be something she can really identify with herself, as her identity role while in danmaku combat is very simple. Therefore, she developed an addiction to danmaku play to escape from any possible conflicts between her life and her duty.
  • It should be noted that for all the Yokai Jesus or Martin Luther King jokes we make; Hijiri focused on peace for Yokai more than for humans. Marisa and Reimu mention that humans still need protecting; and that will result in conflict with Yokai.

Reimu acts like a jerk to deliberately try and put distance between her and Youkai; as she's supposed to balance humanity and them. She is the Balance. (Yin Yang). She's failing, and is turning into a Youkai or possibly a Goddess/Celestial
She does view Yokai and humans equally; however, more yokai like her than humans do. She deliberately comes up with Super Dickery to try and distance them, but humans continue to avoid her, and the Yokai like her more and more (and she gains more and more of them as friends). Hijiri horrifies her because she sees this as her fate. Attempting to balance humans and yokai, but ultimately only have yokai as her friends and family. Not that this would be too cursed a fate, but it is a failure of her attempt at being Neutral.
  • This is why donations are so important to her. It's not the monetary value; it's the connection she has with the rest of humanity. Literally their investment in her. It's not Reimu's fault; btw. She is doing her best. But it is inevitable unless the human population in Gensokyo open up to her. (It's a two-way street.)
    • That doujinshi where she dies peacefully as an old woman with humans and yokai filling the shrine is possible future where she is successful.
  • This theory gels pretty well with Symposium of Post-Mysticism. In the end, Reimu basically barges in and behaves like a dick towards the three big-name youkai, but Miko senses her inner desire for peaceful coexistence, and tries to persuade her to join her cause. It nearly works, too.
  • There has also been many instances where Reimu is referred to as a very youkai-like Shrine Maiden. If she'd heard this she may be becoming more and more gung ho about extermination out of fear she may really become one, possbly believing that if she keeps opposing youkai she can't become one herself. The youkai's continued attraction to her may be evidence of the change already starting.

Wriggle Nightbug was originally a boy
Gensokyo has some sort of Gender Bender-inducing field, and Wriggle wears pants because she only recently made the switch-over and hasn't adjusted. This also explains why there are so few males known of in Gensokyo — only those who can resist this effect remain male — the unconvincing Word of God that there are as many men, but they virtually never show up in-game just because is intended as a cover for this dark secret.

Gensokyo actually has a matriarchal society.
There are only four known males in the land, with the rest being insignificant characters who apparently spend all their time at home. Of the male characters, two are servants for female characters. one has mysteriously vanished without a trace, and one runs a shop that, despite a prime location, is inexplicably devoid of customers except a few "nuisances." Obviously, the males Stay in the Kitchen because that's what society expects of them — similarly for the men (well, turtle and cloud) who are servants to female characters. Rinnosuke decided to defy convention and try to open his own business, and has been ostracized for it... except for a few girls who are just too weird to care. As for Youki... perhaps he decided to remove himself from a society that didn't value him. Perhaps something more sinister happened. Perhaps it's entirely unrelated. Whatever the reason, he's gone now.
  • It's likely that something in Gensokyo's gene pool or magic field causes only women to gain magical powers, and therefore the men simply don't participate in the conflicts (i.e in the games) because they can't, due to magical ineptitude. They exist, they're just so unsignificant we don't see them. The exceptions being a FEW animal youkai, such as Genjii, and some elementals, like Unzan. Rinnosuke is one of the men who would normally not be seen in the games due to absense of powers and therefore of importance. He gets introduced in a book and from what I know, never does any fighting whatsoever.
  • I might as well post my theory on the subject: Most of the major (humanoid) youkai in Gensokyo are shapeshifters, who take Moe Moe girl forms to distract youkai hunters. This in turn leads to the humans assigning youkai hunting to the religious and to women, who are less easily swayed by feminine wiles. Thus, most of the characters we encounter (youkai hunters and youkai) are female, with menfolk in minor roles and behind the scenes.
    • If most hunters are female, shapeshifting into a moe girl holds no advantage while a cute boy might have advantages.
    • Genji remains male because he's a longtime ally of the Hakurei family and won't get hunted.
    • Rinnosuke is accepted by humans in his natural state and might not be able to shapeshift due to being only half youkai.
    • Unzan is too modest to shapeshift into a girl, hence his reliance on Ichirin.
    • Doesn't explain fairies, magicians, lunarians, gods, and other non-youkai also being entirely female. Or all of characters that are too powerful to be threatened by humans.

Hong Meiling is actually a human, not a youkai.
Although she's repeatedly described as a youkai, it's never been clear what sort of youkai she would be, and indeed, she seems more like Gensokyo's human population... except for the implication that she eats people. It's possible that she's just a cannibal, and people have assumed that she's a youkai because eating people is something they do — although not very often anymore. Following the Literary Agent Hypothesis, this faulty assumption would have trickled down to ZUN, who would repeat it.
  • Remember when she described herself as "just a normal person" in Embodiment of Scarlet Devil...
  • There's been some evidence that she's a Hong, or rainbow-dragon. While it's not exactly confirmed, the fact that her fighting style uses rainbows and her Chinese origin gives some evidence in favor that she is a Hong.
    • So what you're saying is Meiling is totally a dragon, right?
    • *points at WMG below* Maybe she swam up a river like a certain species of carp and became a hong because magic?

Humans can extend their lives by becoming youkai.
Perfect Memento states that a human who learns Shashoku magic, they become magicians. In Touhou, magicians are a subclass of youkai and enjoy the relatively longer lifespans other youkai do. If Marisa ever wanted to, she could learn this spell and extend her life.
  • Reimu, on the other hand, would have to perfect her border-related powers (maybe with some help from a symphathetic Yukari) and become a sukima or her divine powers and use it to extend her life or become a celestial.
    • Keep in mind, the magic words are "if they wanted to." Word of God states it's very easy for a Magician of some skill to "stop eating food" and become immortal. That Marisa hasn't implies it's a personal choice. Reimu's reaction to Byakuren also implies she'd possibly be opposed to the idea. Of course, if time keeps passing and the characters stay the same age, it may no longer be an issue.
  • Sanae may also be able to use her divinity to extend her life or become a goddess.
    • Given Suwako's dialogue with her in 12.3, she may well be a demigoddess already, and may almost ready to fully ascend.
  • Meiling's mastery of Chi could have made her a youkai. However, since this method relies on a person's spirit only, her abilities with danmaku, or magic in general, would be lower than the average youkai.

Marisa is connected to Maribel Hearn and/or Yukari Yakumo
On the drama CD "Dolls in Pseudo Paradise", the character described in the story attached to "Reincarnation" is considered to be Mima, and her daughter is then Marisa. But Mima looks nothing like Marisa. Then who could it be? Why not look at the two people with uncanny resemblances. Descent from the human half of the youkai of boundaries would explain some of Marisa's potential.

Powers have an inverse effect on usefulness
By this of course, I mean that the more useful a power is by nature, the less potential it has. Consider Yuyuko's ability to inflict death. That's all it does. However, look at some of the more 'useless abilities.'
  • Reimu has the ability to float around in the sky. The results? Fantasy Heaven, where she floats out of existense and shoots at you.
    • This ultimately means that Reimu hasn't demonstrated her true ultimate power; the ability to eat sweets and not get fat, which if applied to combat would defeat entire pantheons of gods.
      • the above is already used in the form of Reimu having the smallest hitbox of the games she's in.
    • Yuuka has manipulation of flowers. This Troper once saw an eight panel comic showing Yuuka beating up Tenshi. When she found that her body couldn't be destroyed from the outside, she ripped of Tenshi's peach, took a bite, french kissed the seed inside her mouth... I think you see where I am going with this.
    • Through sheer focus, Youmu can slash at ridiculous speeds, create a body double, and is in decent spots on tier lists.
  • Of course, these only apply to the idea that the character has honed their power to the right degree. Yukari is still the strongest Youkai in Gensokyo, because she has totally mastered her power. Utsuho may have the most destructive power, but she doesn't really know how to use it, other then Beam Spam.
  • Point of contention: Yuyuko's ability is actually "manipulation of death", which while mainly manifesting as inflicting death also allows her absolute control over the dead. She just doesn't, because she's super nice.

Reimu is the Goddess of the Hakurei Shrine.
She even hints at it in Oriental Sacred Place. Specifically she's the Nameless, the Miko Goddess who was summoned by Watatsuki no Yorihime against Reimu. (Canon has shown you can summon a god against itself.) Reimu pretended to be puzzled on who that Miko was. She gets her Faith from the other side of the Barrier.
  • In canon, Reimu comments that she "doesn't know the name of the god of the Hakurei shrine." This is technically true; she doesn't have a deity name.
    • This is also why it's easy for her to summon other gods; being the concept of a miko; she's the god of summoning other gods.
  • This is also why she's so powerful. Think of how popular miko are in anime and manga. That's a lot of faith.

The Spellcard Rules are a Reality Warp
Anyone in Gensokyo or neighboring realities like Makai must follow them when engaging in combat with someone. It doesn't even cross their minds not to. Even if they've never heard of Spellcards, they will be RetConed in.

In order to enter Gensokyo, Kanako and Suwako completely erased themselves (and Sanae) from Outside World existence.
Even without faith, they would have existed in some non-corporeal form; at the very least through stories told by historians about what people used to believe. They may even have been able to have been "summonable" the way the Shinto Gods are in Silent Sinner in Blue. But they wanted to remain corporeal. So they took all the stories and records and memories that the Outer World had of them; and threw it into the Memory hole. Something that once existed in the Real World but then left a vacuum resulted in them appearing in Gensokyo; and not a single record of the Sky and Earth goddesses remain outside.
  • This is probably canon.
  • I'd sort of assumed they followed the Hakurei shrine example which IIRC exists on both sides, but is abandoned and run down in the outside world. So basically one day the shrine is suddenly empty and everyone is scratching their heads over where the teenage Miko living in it went.
  • Maybe they did force the barrier. And the result of ending up in Gesokyo caused the memories of their existence to vanish from the outside world. Chicken or the Egg.
  • If this is the case, they'd have a hell of a lot to erase. I remember also seeing a Mt. Moriya just a few miles away when I looked at a map of the area once, but I can't seem to find it anymore.

Maribel is a young Yukari.
Maribel and Yukari aren't dreaming that they are each other, they actually are, in different stages of their life. Yukari was born as Maribel, a human, and developed her ability to see borders until she could manipulate them as well. She and Renko entered Gensokyo and had many excellent adventures. But it wasn't the Gensokyo we know and love, it was the Gensokyo of the past, when the border was still young. Renko trained as a shrine maiden and Maribel eventually became powerful enough to become a youkai. After settling down in Gensokyo, the two had a falling out, perhaps over Maribel's becoming a youkai, and this is why they built their houses in different places, but both along the edge of Gensokyo so that they could keep an eye on the border / get luxury items from the outside / help humans coming across like themselves. Renko had children and fathered the Hakurei line. At the end of her natural life, Renko was reconciled with Maribel, and Maribel agreed to protect Renko's daughters and their descendents.
  • Alternative storyline: Maribel and Renko have their adventures in the present/future as Maribel's powers develop, but at some point Maribel goes to the past and becomes Yukari as we know her (Renko's fate is unknown).

Maribel is the reincarnation of Yukari
First off, it's very unlikely that they're the same person dreaming of being each other as in the common theory; Maribel spends most of her dreams running away from youkai and her tendency to bring back various objects implies that she's physically transported.

Maribel lives in what's clearly the future, and magic appears to be common knowledge when she lives. Sanae seems to come from the present day, and her move to Gensoukyou was due to people not having faith. It seemd likely that Maribel doesn't just live in our future, but in the rest of the series' future as well. Plenty of time for Yukari to die.
  • Yukari has lived for thousands of years. For what we know, she CANNOT die.
    • She can manipulate the boundary of life and death. So she can die, she'd just have to want to.

Eirin is genetically modifying Reisen.
In Cage in Lunatic Runagate, Kaguya muses on how "Udonge"; Eirin's nickname for Reisen is also the name of a lunar plant that becomes jewelled when exposed to "impurity". (IE, Earth) She considers that Eirin is trying to see if Reisen can become something greater than what she was on the sterile moon.
The "Punishment Time" that takes several days of Reisen being unconcious is Eirin modifying Reisen's body so that it adapts to Earth. Normally, Lunarian's have a magical shield against "impurities" like disease and bacteria (No The War of the Worlds type Deus ex Machina, no.); but long-term exposure gets past the defenses. The immortals gained immunity to Earth diseases the hard way, but Reisen doesn't have that option.
  • Why? Well, first, it IS to keep Udonge alive. But Eiren has another goal. Now, consider, Lunarians are incredibly long-lived; but still mortal. Silent Sinner In Blue has them having an almost skeletal society; despite having a powerful one half a century ago. We only see the Watatsuki sisters and two guards as humanoid Lunarians in the entire city; (There's likely others, but probably not many) the rest being moon rabbits. The zealous pursuit of purity has resulted in cultural suicide; the lesser moon rabbits ironically enough not sharing this fate. Eirin foresaw this happening; and has decided to see if she can create a treatment to allow the most prolific of the Moon culture; the moon rabbits; to live on Earth. Sometime in the next couple of centuries (Eirin is patient), the population crisis will come to a head; with Moon Rabbits outnumbering human Lunarians to the point that they cannot be the dominant caste. Eirin will offer to take some of the Lunar Rabbits off their hands. Should the population crisis continue, Eirin will offer the treatment to any Lunarian who wishes to move to Earth. (Provided they accept Eirin and Kaguya's existence as is, of course.)

Yukari's Second Invasion of the Moon was a social attack.
Yukari, like Eirin, isn't just The Chessmaster; she's an immortal chessmaster. Moves that she makes aren't always apparent until centuries down the line. It was very important for the Moon Rabbits to sense that Reimu was summoning the Shinto Gods. This served as a distraction and gave the Watatsuki sisters a motive for not immediately killing or banishing Reimu; they needed to show Reimu to the Moon Rabbits to show that they weren't the ones unauthorizedly summoning gods. Something only they could do up to know. Now, Reimu and the Watatsuki sisters may be Nay-Theist. they summon gods but they sure don't seem to worship them, but the Moon Rabbits are religious. And now, it's been revealed that those "inferior" Earthlings are capable of being conduits to the gods. This will have incredible impact on the Moon society years down the line, and severely take away one of the unique traits the Moon royalty used as a symbol of superiority.

Parsee is part Tengu
She has the same ears as Aya. This isn't a weird coincidence, but a sign of mixed ancestry on her part. When the Oni moved to hell a few of the Tengu decided to come with them. One of them fell in love with a Bridge Princess, and Parsee is the result. This even explains her weird name; Tengu have traditional Japanese names, and we don't know about Bridge Princesses. She has her father's family name and her mother gave her a name from her culture. While her species is given as 'Bridge Princess', that is simply the side she primarily took after.

Parsee is a former human/near human youkai, like Alice.
Per the story of the Hashihime, her grudge against an unfaithful husband caused her to become a jealousy-ridden youkai. Her pointy ears are fakes, which she wears out of jealousy for the more unusual-looking youkai.
  • Being a Persian plays into this; her marital strife stemmed from culture clash with her presumably-Japanese husband. Her jealousy that other people can travel freely is because she's homesick for her homeland.

Meiling's reputation for sleeping on the job is Reimu's fault
During the actual game Meiling is never actually caught sleeping. She proactively attacks you before you even get to the mansion and attacks you again at what is probably the front gate. Assuming Remilia did the vampire thing of being active mainly at night, Meiling's job would be to keep out intruders during the day when her mistress was most vulnerable. She would then sleep at night. After Reimu beat Remilia, Remilia starts taking an interest in things outside the mansion and becomes more active during the day. In both of Reimu's endings, Remilia goes to bug her at the shrine during daytime. With her mistress spending more time awake during the day, Meiling would have to stand guard at night as well as through the day; to guard her mistress while she slept and to guard the mansion when Remilia and sometimes Sakuya were absent. Meiling probably had to switch to that sleep system where you nap throughout the day to make up for not being able to get eight straight hours.
  • Going along with this, her story mode in Unthinkable Natural Law where she sleeps through her entire scenario and dreams about fighting a giant catfish might be her crashing from not getting enough sleep and all the REM sleep she missed giving her some really messed up dreams.

Mokou and Kaguya have a noble women's agreement to tone down their feud in front of friends and family.
Even in the most vicious interpretation of their continuous killing of each other; Mokou never harms the mortals in Eientei. Kaguya tries to avoid Keine as well; but Keine tends to butt in anyways. Hence Kaguya getting other people to do it for her in the Trials of Guts.
  • Despite her burning hatred of Kaguya, Mokou is actually on rather good terms with Eientei's inhabitants and doesn't associate them with her grudge. There is nothing to indicate that Kaguya possesses a similar opinion though, and indeed Mokou could easily have become a hermit to avoid anyone becoming a target of Kaguya (or even they already did and Mokou is attempting to avoid it occuring again).
    • The point is, whenever people see them together; they seem rather relaxed despite being Immortal Enemies. This is because other people are there. When they're alone; and nobody else can get involved; that's when the mutual killing starts.

Hatate Himekaidou will be one of the Touhou 13 Bosses.
Because it happened to Aya, right?
  • Hataters gonna Hatate
  • Kinda makes sense given what's known at this point. Holy spirits. Spirit photography.

Cirno is the forger of the Idiot Ball.
Cirno used to be one of the smartest beings in any dimension. So smart she was, that she discovered the secret of stupidity. All excited by the revelation, she created a powerful weapon using her newfound knowledge... a simple crystal orb emitting a strong mind flaying aura that immediately drops the IQ of anyone to come in contact with it. It would be called the Idiot Ball...
Sadly, the creation of the Ball did not come without a price... prolonged contact irreversibly ruined the genius Cirno's mind, turning her into what she is now. The secret of stupidity was sadly lost along with Cirno's intellect.
  • Then how did Mermaid man get his paws on it?
    • Baka Cirno froze the idiot ball in question (Or just one) into the iceberg that later defrosted over Bikini Bottom. Cirno had no control over it (Barring smart!Cirno having precalculated it and left herself some extremely clear instructions loaded with the secret of intelligence) crashlanding somewhere near Shady Shoals or the Mermalair proper. Mermaid Man picks it up, kaboom, Cirno's most devastating weapon is in reach of some dangerous idiots, although giving it to superheroes might have been a last ditch intelligence recall.

The Master Spark is powered by shipping.
This is why Marisa is paired up with so many people.

Okay, two theories on Meiling:
#1: Meiling does not actually sleep on the job.
She's actually in a state of hypersensitivity, in which she can discern threats more easily. The reason she lets Marisa through is because she doesn't feel that Marisa is going to be an actual threat to the mansion. And she doesn't regard Sakuya as a threat because Sakuya is a resident of the mansion and therefore belongs there. Sakuya only perceives that China is asleep and therefore gets pissed off about it.
After all, why would Remi want a useless guard? She obviously sees something in Meiling.

#2: Sakuya never liked Meiling and gave her a form of brain damage.
All as an excuse to whale on her. One knight, while China was asleep, Sakuya sneaks up on her and stabs her in the head. Meiling gets screwed up by this and is never right again. She starts constantly falling asleep while doing her job, and who constantly checks up on her? Sakuya. This means that Sakuya gets to mistreat Meiling for failing to do her duties, and she enjoys it all too much.

Here's one more:
Patchouli has bribed or otherwise induced Meiling to let Marisa through.
Because she's tsundere for Marisa. Duh.

Remilia has bribed or otherwise induced Meiling to let Marisa through.
Because she secretly thinks Flan needs more friends. Or more practice in subduing prey without utterly annihilating it.

Reimu is not underaged!
Time line recap
PC-98 and Windows have a 1 year gap from each other.
Gensokyo moves about as quickly as our real life. Which means during from Summer and Winter Comiket (And not Retisai) one year passes.
Reimu begins Touhou 1 as a twelve(12) year old. This is very evidant in TH2. Those two game passes, and she is now Thirteen. TH3 and TH4 pass, she is now Fourteen. TH5 passes, and there there is a one year timeskip.
Reimu is 15 and a half by this time. It is now Summer and EoSD takes place, and TH7 takes place. She is 16 by IaMP. Going to TH8 and TH9, TH9.5, she is now 17.
TH10, and TH11 pass, she is now 18.
TH12 comes out during the summer, and there wasn't a touhou game for 2009 Winter Comiket. Reimu is now 19.
  • ZUN specifically says that the timeline is wonky, and encourages fans to disregard it.
    • ZUN also specifically says he doesn't want to age the girls up, so their ages are deliberately left unclear. But looking at it another way... Reimu is taller than Keine, at least in in-game graphics. Keine is almost certainly an adult or at least an adolescent, because the villagers wouldn't have a kid teaching their kids (IIRC this is cited as one reason why Akyuu isn't the one doing the teaching). QED.
    • If My Calculations Are Correct (based on what time of year games probably occurred and which games could have caused which others), then it's been... over 14 years! since Reimu came to the shrine. Aaaand she couldn't have been younger than 9 or 10 even from the start, sope... definitely not underage. But she's stayed looking about a mid-teenager throughout the Windows series, and she and Marisa are the only two girls who don't have a canon immortality. Marisa can be explained because she's researching how to become immortal and may be having more success than she lets on, but Reimu? Aside from the usual forbidden templates, the only explanation is... Kaguya is her mother.

Rumia is Satan sealed in the form of a young blonde
Her name is alternately spelled Lumia, cognate to Latin lumen, just like the name Lucifer. Her usual "the saint was crucified" pose could be construed as a sort of deliberate blasphemy. Oh, and her darkness-manipulating ability seems perfectly appropriate for the Prince of Darkness. She may also be one of the more evil characters in a world of Grey And White Morality, as she's one of only a handful of youkai who explicitly expresses an interest in eating humans.
  • Um, doesn't "lumen" mean light in Latin? Because that would mean that "Lumia" is either a victim of Nonindicative Name, or she may of had the power to control darkness and light at one time, which she could combine into one force and become enough of a threat to Gensokyo, that the Hakurei Miko of that time (and possibly Yukari as well) had to seal away that portion of her powers, leaving only a weakened version of her power over darkness afterwards.

To expand/play with the previous theory: Rumia is the Alpha youkai, and the Dark Messiah who will bring about the new Dark Age of Gensokyo.
I abide by a theory which seems to make sense with incorporating EX Rumia into canon, which is that EX Rumia was somewhat of the leader and master of all savage youkai. Back in the dark days when man-eating youkais were legion and mankind covered as night fell across the land, Rumia's screech used to strike fear in the hearts of every and all beings, as it ushered the arrival of a formidable hunter, the perfect killing machine - the perfect Youkai.
The sealing of EX Rumia, reducing her to her diminutive state nowadays, paved the path for the Gensokyo we know today, a relatively peaceful place where man-eating youkais are rare and nonlethal duels are the rule. Rumia likes to assume a "crucified" position for she is the Anti-Martyr, the Dark Messiah of Youkais. Should EX Rumia be unsealed and left unchecked, Gensokyo would return to its primal state - a vicious bloodbathed country, where youkai oppress mankind and EX Rumia is the ultimate butcher...

When ZUN said Yuuka was "Youkai Moe~", he literally meant she's a sprouting youkai.
  • Brilliant. But you'd have to ask ZUN about that.

Sakuya is a former werewolf.
In exchange for working at the Scarlet Devil Mansion, Remilia found a cure for her (although her powers are still linked to the moon). That's why she's often compared to a dog, and why Eirin is so surprised to see her in Sakuya's IN story mode.

Star Sapphire = Kaguya Houraisan.
First of all, they look exactly alike. You're probably thinking, "But Star Sapphire has wings!" Kaguya could have clip on wings, or Eirin has made a potion that can temporarily give wings to someone (most likely the former). Star Sapphire is also the only one of the Three Mischevious Fairys that isn't affected by the time of day. Neither is Kaguya. Both have resurective immortality. As for why they have different abilities, she could temporarily seal one of them while in each of her personas to prevent accidental ability discharge, or she could just choose not to use them. Also, we've never exactly seen Star's spellcards in action, so we don't know whether or not they are the same, and if they aren't, she could have two sets of spellcards. (This WMG has been brought to you by This Troper.)
  • Star Sapphire is about a meter high.
    • Kaguya takes care of that with Eirin's "shady drugs"
  • A doujin actually played with this by having Kaguya replace Sapphire.

Chen is the ultimate Big Bad of the series.
Think about it. Ran(-shamaaaaaaaaa~) goes into nosebleeds and name-screaming whenever Chen is simply around her. People on Danbooru go "HNNNNNNNNNNNNGGGGGGGGG" over cute pictures of her. Chen's cuteness is simply a cover for her plot to take over not only Gensokyo, but the other side of the fourth wall!
  • There are some people who are unaffected by Moe though, including this troper. We perfer GAR anyway.
    • And even in her GAR moments, she still sets off some people's Tastes Like Diabetes radars.
    • You've obviously never seen X-CHEN! [NSFW due to ads]

The Gensokyo Barrier has sealed the Dreams from the Earth Alternate Universe it is connected to.
A "world where children don't smile" and tender fruits are extinct; this is why Maribel's and Renko's world is a little colder and grayer than ours. Such feelings aren't completely gone, but they are harder to get to.

Keine has Yokai longevity.
She refers to a Hakutaku as a "beast" but it's really another species of Yokai. That one-three days of the month she's in Hakutaku form; her body is "not eating" that period of time. She has aged up to this point because Immortality Begins at Twenty. This will manifest one of two ways:
  1. That one-three days of the Full Moon; her Hakutaku body repairs any aging cellular damage that occurred during her human days. It will take a little longer for her to realize this as having natural white hair make lack of greying difficult to distinguish. So probably in her 40's/50's she'll realize.
  2. Her human self will age and die; and then she'll become a full Hakutaku.

There are two strongest non-god beings in the Windows continuity of Gensokyo: Koishi Komeiji, the extra boss of Subterranean Animism, and Fujiwara no Mokou, the extra boss of Imperishable Night.
Although it has been said that Suika, Yukari, Yuka or even Cirno are the strongest in Gensokyo and it has been heavily implied that it could be one of the heroines (Reimu and Marisa, namely, but also Sanae and Sakuya), this, in fact, is false. Canonically, the extra bosses of Subterranean Animism and Imperishable Night are stronger than all of them. And here's why.

(Just a note here: I'm taking the fact that every boss's power goes up by the same amount each stage; that is to say, Youmu is to Yuyuko what Shou is to Byakuren.)

Let's start with Embodiment of the Scarlet Devil. Since Reimu and Marisa defeat everyone in that continuity, that places the two of them at the top of the metaphorical food chain in Gensokyo. Next is Perfect Cherry Blossom. Since Sakuya was a stage 5 boss in Embodiment of the Scarlet Devil and she defeats everyone—even Yukari!—in that game, that must mean that youkai like Yuyuko or Yukari are weaker than Sakuya and, therefore, weaker than Remilia Scarlet. Since Reimu and Marisa defeated Remilia, though, the two of them are still at the top. They also go on to defeat Suika in Immaterial and Missing Power, which rules her out of the running as well.

Imperishable Night is where it gets a little weird. Since Reimu and Marisa are only stage 4 bosses in this game, that means that they are weaker than Reisen, Kaguya, Eirin and Mokou. Because every boss's power goes up by the same amount each stage, that means that Mokou is, canonically, the strongest up until this point. Since Mokou is never in any other games, though, we can't gauge her power level against other youkai.

Phantasmagoria of Flower View is also somewhat weird. Weak bosses such as Cirno and Mystia can go through the story and defeat a shikigami and a judge of the dead (as well as Reimu and Marisa, which further debunks their status as the strongest characters).

Reimu and Marisa hack their way through Mountain of Faith, which makes even goddesses Kanako and Suwako weaker than they are. The same goes for Iku and Tenshi from Scarlet Weather Rhapsody; since they're trumped by people we've ruled out like Yuyuko and Suika, they're out of the running.

(A word on the next two games, Subterranean Animism and Unidentified Fantastic Object: they are widely regarded as the hardest games in the Windows continuity of Touhou; therefore, I will rule their characters' power levels as a bit higher than the rest of 'em.)

Reimu and Marisa—stage 4 bosses from Imperishable Night—go to defeat every youkai underground, as well as Sanae Kochiya and Koishi Komeiji. Now, although Koishi is defeated by these stage 4 bosses, Sanae, Koishi's stage's midboss, goes on to beat the living shit out of UFO's bosses which, as stated above, is probably one of if not the hardest Windows Touhou games. Koishi, then, is stronger than even Nue, which makes her approximately around Mokou's power level, and high above youkai like Yukari or Suika.

Granted, I know that anyone can win spell-card battles (trust me, attempting to 1cc UFO lunatic will teach that to you...), but Koishi and Mokou are just the two that are the "favorites to win", shall we say.
  • You're only talking about who has the smartest and most beautiful spellcards. 'sides, Reimu and Marisa were Extra Stage bosses more than once. And the PC98 era didn't have spellcards yet.
  • Additionally, Mokou isn't really all that strong (probably equatable to Kaguya considering their similar abilities). In fact, she can be killed pretty easily, which would be great if you only had to kill her once. Her only strength is that she keeps coming back again and again. A nice in-game touch is that she has multiple, disconnected health bars; each time you kill her, she "resurrects" and moves onto the next health bar. If immortality is strength, Cirno is actually in the same boat, considering fairies, canonically, can't be permanently killed either (why Cirno doesn't have a number of lives in her game, she just has a motivation meter).
    • On the other hand, Mokou is the only character in canon to be an extra boss for Reimu, Yukari, and Ran at the same time. That's an extra boss, a main character, and the phantasm boss all at once. Anyone that can extra for all three of them simultaneously has to have a pretty high power level.
    • Mokou gets killed repeatedly because the player characters know she's immortal and thus don't have to hold back like spellcard rules normally require. They would've treated Eirin and Kaguya the same way had they known going into the fights that they were immortal too.
  • You also have to remember, Yukari would only put in enough effort to win if it was part of her plan. If not, she'd just put up enough of a fight that no one would get suspicious.

Kasen is/was an oni.
She's the titular character of a manga titled Wild and Horned Hermit. Her personal title is 'One-Armed, Horned Hermit'. It's not much of a stretch to assume that she has horns. The only horned characters so far are oni. Also has a shackle on her left arm, which is also an aesthetic so far unique to oni.

So, at some point she had a falling out with the oni (probably related to whatever cost her her right arm) and decided to live as the purest form of a human (or possibly being a hermit is the only way for youkai to be human). At this point she changed her name from Ibaraki Kasen to Ibara Kasen and broke off her horns (the remains of which are under those double buns).

  • Youkai (even the low level ones) can recover from all physical damage as long as they are not properly exterminated. According to Akyuu the knowledge of how to exterminate oni has been lost even before the creation of Gensokyo. So she must have lost the arm after becoming a hermit, especially considering eating hermits is fair game even in present days. Alternatively, she could be some kind of human/oni hybrid. Maybe she became a hermit to gain the strongest traits of both species or she needed the mental discipline (a quality not very popular among oni) in order to control her power, which she seems unusually shy about.
  • In Japanese mythology, it's entirely possible for an oni to become a hermit, and in fact that's the only real way an oni can overcome their baser desires. So if Kasen was unsatisfied with being a party animal like sake-guzzling Suika and Yugi, becoming a hermit would be the way to go.
    • That even fits in with the 'blue oni' WMG somewhere above this one on the page.
      • This is looking more and more likely, in chapter 9 of Wild And Horned Hermit she hides from Suika to "avoid being identified."

Alice is actually infertile.
When she was human, Alice was infertile. In a last ditch effort to have her own child, she became a magician, and attempted to create a living doll using human souls. She was however punished for her sins and sealed in Makai (much like Byakuren was). There she encountered the witch "Alice" and challenged the witch to duel where she kills "Alice", steals her grimoire, and stole her title of "Alice" (here Alice is a title like Beatrice is in Umineko.). The new Alice then broke out of Makai and ended up in Gensokyo, where she is still trying to create a living doll. However TH 12.3 hints that she has created a living doll.

Remilia hired Meiling for no other reason but to be a butt monkey.
First, SDM doesn't really need any protection, there are enough competent fighters in SDM (including the fairies) and nobody is bothered enough to attack SDM anyway. Second, if SDM really needed protection, Meiling's level of power hardly does a thing, both Sakuya and Patchouli can fend off invaders far more easily than Meiling. If Remilia really wanted to have the gate well defended, surely she can pick someone with a higher level of competence. Third, Meiling is a melee fighter, or martial artist, which means she is a lot more "durable". Remilia and Sakuya must be pretty bored by themselves, and Patchouli never ever comes out, so they need someone else other than the fairies to "play" with, and Meiling seems perfect for that role, more so than a gate guard.
  • Hong is there to dispatch any riff-raff that attempt to enter the mansion, something she is easily capable of doing (though she is hardly a planet-crushing menance, it is often forgotten Hong is still a capable fighter). It wouldn't make sense to bother either Sakuya or Patchouli with such things, as they both have more important duties Remilia wouldn't want them shirking. It is just that in Gensoukyou nearly everyone is a capable fighter, Reimu and Marisa among the best, and Hong is constantly Overshadowed by Awesome, which is what has turned her into a joke. Besides, Sakuya and Patchouli are too serious and obsessive to bother abusing the guard, though I wouldn't put it past Remilia.

Revenge wasn't the only reason Cirno started the war with the fairies
It was mainly to test her newly developed bullet freezing powers on weaker opponents, once she was confident it was awesome she went for the true targets of her revenge, that infernal Miko and Witch who think just becauses beat her X amount of times they're stronger! The very fact her first action after beating the fairys is going to fight Marisa in the extra stage supports this.
  • She's been able to freeze enemy bullets since PoFV.
    • Well way to kill my fun. I suppose I could argue those are more like Bombs than the Freeze near infinitly she has in 12.8.
    • Ah, but there's some evidence in Fairy Wars that suggests it may actually be taking place before Phantasmagoria of Flower View.
      • Cirno doesn't meet the Three Fairies until after MoF. Assuming that SaBND's chronology is linear, anyway.

Prior to working for Remilia, Sakuya was a murderer
Time freezing and space manipulation would make it very easy to clean up after oneself; by targeting out-of-the-way places, she could avoid attention from anybody powerful. On one occasion, by pure bad luck, she picked a house full of vampires and got smacked around by a rather irate Remi. Remilia saw the potential for easy meals and offered Sakuya job looking after the SDM instead of turning her over to Reimu/whoever handles homicides in Gensokyo/chowing down herself; when she accepted, Remilia picked a pseudonym so nobody could pin anything on her.

This explains Sakuya's fascination with knives and skill at concealing them, as well as the Serial Killer theme to a lot of her spellcards. It also might explain why an alleged human is comfortable making blood-based foods for her mistresses - she enjoys it, and perhaps even partakes herself.

  • A very interesting theory, and a highly recognized one, as far as I know.
  • And if the Lunarian theory is true and she is much older than she looks then maybee there is a chance she is THE Jack the Ripper. Since Jack the Ripper mysteriously dissapeared and Yukari having a habit of spiriting away people she finds interesting. A renowned serial killer would have been irresistable to her. The barrier was erected 1884 and the last known murder of Jack the Ripper happened 1889 witch means Gensokyou existed before Jack dissapeared.
  • Wouldn't something that significant be mentioned by Shikieki in Sakuya's path of Phantasmagoria of Flower View? All she really says to Sakuya is "you're too cold to other humans".

Gensokyo is the name of a mental hospital
...and all the fantasy elements and adventures are the collective result of a bunch of fractured minds coping together. Each character's individual quirks actually come from their neuroses:
  • Reimu and Marisa suffer from intense hallucinations, which is why most of the world seems to be built around them. They're also paranoid, leading to them picking fights whenever they think anything strange happens.
    • Also, the two of them, along with Yuuka, were the very first patients of the hospital. Because they didn't have much company, they started to make some imaginary "friends" that they could fight with (well, there was Yuuka, but the caretakers thought it was better not to let them in contact with her. Not that they succeded, of course), along with recurring character Mima who Marisa claimed was her teacher and that Reimu could never defeat her (thus their rivalry). Eventually, more patients ended up in the hospital, thus there was no need for any imaginary friends when the girls finally had someone to interact with(thus explaining why the PC-98-era is Retgone).
    • Marisa's father abused both her and her mother, Mima. His beatings led to Marisa's severe paranoia of most males, which is why there are next to no males in Gensokyo, (other than Rinnosuke, a friend who visits her). Mima, unfortunately, was killed when she managed to get Marisa out of the house and to the hospital. For a long time Marisa was not informed that Mima was dead, and continued to believe she was around for her. Her "visits" were some of the aforementioned hallucinations. After a while they broke the news to her, and she was devastated. Reimu managed to move on, however. Marisa still occasionally hears her voice or sees her in the distance, though. This led to her belief that Mima was a "ghost" and one of her "caretakers". She still follows hints of "advice" Mima gives her, considering her as a brave rulebreaker who would let her daughter do things like beat up other patients and steal for the greater good.
  • Yuka was a schizophrenic gardener who made friends with the flowers in her garden, believing they could talk to her. She was sent away to Gensokyo for brutalizing an unfortunate soul who accidentally ruined her garden, killing several of her imaginary friends.
  • Rumia had always been a troubled child, but her insanity finally reached a climax when one night, she crept out of bed and assassinated both her parents. She has been found eating their bodies, calling herself a "youkai".
  • It was January and -35 degrees Celsius outside when little Cirno's abusive drunkard of a father kicked his simpleton of a daughter out of the house with nothing but a dress to protect her from the biting cold. Cirno wandered around, slowly freezing to death. By the time someone helped her, it was too late. The cold had irreversibly affected her nervous system, turning an already simple child into a mental retard, as well as completely inuring her from any sensations in her members. This lack of pain and feelings has led Cirno to believe she has gained immunity to, and subsequently control over frost, of which she is extremely proud.
    • Daiyousei is a quiet, homeless, but (relatively) mentally well girl who alerted child welfare when she found Cirno. She quietly comes and goes, seeming to appear and disappear like a fairy to most of the the inmates. The nurses allow these visits since Cirno is always happy to see her.
  • Shinki was apparently a woman who was traumatized by witnessing or being part of some occult ritual, or she herself conducted it.
  • Hong Meiling is narcoleptic and a recovering drug addict (see: giant catfish), at a specialist hospital because the latter restricts treatment for the former. She comes across as a doormat in the fantasies of others because she's lucid enough to know that playing along is best for everyone.
    • Sakuya is the one who initially insisted she be institutionalized for her drug problems. Meiling jokingly says she thinks she can manipulate time and throw knives because she always seems to teleport around and start poking her mid-conversation, though she realizes she just fell asleep.
      • Alternatively, Sakuya was a batshit crazy knife nut serial killer, so skilled she never left any traces after her murders, always getting away, almost as if she could stop time. She would have gotten the death penalty (or lifetime prison), but the attorney pleaded insanity.
      • And with that alternatively, Meiling was Sakuya's partner in crime and got the pair caught when she fell asleep while on lookout. Despite the risk, they pair are allowed to stay together since they keep each other controllably calm, though they are kept a few rooms from everyone else, not least because Meiling is a masochist to Sakuya's sadist.
  • Remilia comes from a family of nobles, but their fortune was lost. In desperation, Remilia went insane, becoming a serial killer suffering from a vampire complex, hiding in her decrepit mansion during the day. She would kidnap and kill people to drink their blood until she was finally stopped. She became good friends with Sakuya, who respects her as being the more hardcore of the two. Her sister Flandre (something with the genes of this family is just wrong, maybe it's all the cosanguine marriages between nobles) suffers from psychosis, and gets violently destructive when she suffers a psychotic break. She lives in a more secure ward downstairs from the others for everyone's safety, where Remilia regularly visits her.
    • Alternatively, the two are not actually related. Both suffer from abandonment issues and have formed some sort of familial bond as a defense mechanism.
  • Yukari is an old woman who suffered a stroke that severely damaged her spatial perception - she thinks she can manipulate the borders between places because she constantly misjudges where things are. Ran and Chen are her daughter and granddaughter.
  • Youmu constantly has out-of-body experiences, leading to a delusion that she has another, "ghost" half. This is a genetic condition, as evidenced by the history of her grandfather Youki, who was similarly delusional, but was cured. He now runs a fencing dojo. Youmu used to be one of his students, but left after her condition became too disruptive.
  • Yuyuko suffers from a neurological condition that makes her think she's always starving. She has to be chained to a chair or she'd bother everyone in a hysterical search for food, or if she could find enough, eat herself to death. There's a cherry blossom tree outside her window, and Youmu is her wardmate.
  • Yoshika may suffer from the same condition Yuyuko has except she is bound to the wall of a room, completely unable to move her arms and legs lest she attempt to eat them, too.
  • Nitori has an acute case of Asperger's and an intense fascination with machinery. She's in Gensokyo to treat her debilitating social awkwardness, and has just started to come out of her shell, with some thanks to Marisa.
  • Kanako suffers from a severe God complex, or more precisely a Wind God complex. Suwako has an extremely weird combination, she has a God complex, and she also thinks she is a frog, hopping around like one.
    • Sanae is Kanako's daughter, and visits her mother often. She plays along with the patients' escapades, and, as of late, is becoming more eager to play make-believe, especially now that she's compared it to her comparatively dull reality. Her humans-first attitude is a reflection of her annoyance with many of the other patients.
  • Utsuho Reiuji worked at a nuclear central until a catastrophic nuclear accident happened and she was exposed to massive amounts of radiation, deforming her foot, forcing the amputation of one of her arms and its replacement by a prosthetic arm, and twisting her brain. Utsuho believes that she has gained superpowers (oh, and that she's a bird). She likes to wrap herself in a sanitary blanket like a cape, and make up ludicrous plans to burn the asylum to the ground.
    • Alternatively, Satori is a patient with a form of autism from so far into the deep end of the spectrum that she finds normal social interaction impossible. Instead, she keeps pets, a cat (Orin) and a raven that comes past every day because she feeds it (Utsuho). Since she can think well enough to require stimulation (just being rather sideways about it), she reads the facility's medical texts; since she has a habit of diagnosing others with the same things the nurses say, they all think she can read minds.
      • That would make Koishi the sane one, since she would have no wierdness she would have no defining characteristic and therefore be unnoticable. The fact that no one is keeping track of her means everyone thinks that no one can, leading to her "powers". This sanity would also cause some interesting interactions with her sister.
  • Aya was once a world famous journalist but one day had her cover blown while following some highly illegal lines of investigation. The ensuing storm saw her reputation and publishing history made a joke practically overnight; since she lived for her job, this was enough to make her completely snap. She was admitted for her mental wellbeing, but since she's mostly harmless (running back and forth taking photos for the big story she still believes she's chasing) she's allowed more freedom to run around than the others, also making her think she's incredibly fast.
    • Aya's co-worker, Hatate, was so shocked by Aya's fate that she went into seclusion. She's now effectively a hikikomori, giving up high-profile journalism to write relatively boring but risk-free stories from home, and really only ever leaves to pay Aya an occasional visit. Aya, in her current state of mind, believes Hatate to be her rival; Hatate plays along for Aya's sake.
  • Komachi was involved in a riverboat accident that left her with brain damage that chiefly crippled her sense of balance to the point she can't even stand on her own - she needs assistance to move anywhere in a way that isn't an undignified crawl. This, combined with her train of thought now derailing at random, gives the illusion to other wardmates that she's extremely lazy. This is actually far from the truth - she still possesses the rest of her mental faculties, has an average IQ, and can communicate just fine; she just lacks mobility, leaving her very bored a lot of the time. Consequently, she has regular visits from a tutor to continue her education:
    • This tutor - Eiki - doesn't have any training dealing with the mentally unwell (making her seem extremely moralistic to them in contrast to the nurses) and favors a light tap on the head with a ruler when Komachi loses track of what she's supposed to be doing. "Miss Shiki" is rather strict and has very traditional values, making it difficult for her to interact with the more delusional patients.
  • Parsee has an inferiority complex that she expresses through emotional abuse, and often has to be isolated for the sake of the other patients' well-being; this further cripples her self-worth.
  • Suika, Yuugi, and ZUN are patients of a nearby alcoholism recovery center. ZUN is Aya's boyfriend, and visits her fairly often. He also somehow manages to regularly smuggle beer and sake into his room, where he has parties with the other two.
  • Byakuren is a nurse who tries to make things better for everyone, but constant exposure to the patients causes her to fear for her own sanity.
  • Kaguya comes from a wealthy family, but social issues, autism, and her NEET habits eventually led the her being committed for care. Since she has such a rich family and good health care cover, she has her own private nurse, Eirin. Eirin herself should be concerned only with Kaguya's care, but her high qualifications are so useful she occasionally helps out with other patients.
    • Reisen is a soldier from the JSDF who suffers from PTSD stemming from a moment where she abandoned her unit during a crucial operation. In spite of her being unwell, she now acts as a sort of bodyguard to Kaguya and her entourage, scaring off offenders with a glare that seemingly drives its victims mad with fright. Tewi, on the other hand, is a shameless sociopath who exhibits anti-social behavior, and came to Gensokyo as a result of being found guilty of depraved-heart murder after a prank went horribly wrong.
  • 'Nue' is just the nickname of a girl with Multiple Personality Disorder severe enough that, with her parents having abandoned her, nobody can figure out which (if any) of the personalities is the original. Each personality has it's own style of dress; while it doesn't fool the nurses (and in fact helps them know 'who' they're talking to), it's enough to make other patients think she's a shapeshifter.
  • Kyouko arrived after becoming lost in the mountains during her junior-high years. Wandering around and trying to answer the calls of search-and-rescue teams, she developed severe obsessive-compulsive behavior which compels her to repeat back loudly anything anyone says to her. Her disorder is also the reason she can regularly be found sweeping the entry of the patient ward. Her habit of greeting everyone cheerfully in the mornings is the result of a phobia of being alone (also due to her unfortunate experience).
  • Kogasa was abandoned at birth to an orphanage, and due to her heterochromia, was seen as a freak by all the other orphans. Due to this, she has come to believe that she literally is a monster, and developed a compulsion for scaring people in order to gain attention. She also carries around an umbrella at all times, believing it to be her only friend.
  • Murasa was a sailor, until one day, the ship she was captaining hit a reef and sunk. Being the sole survivor of the tragedy, she believes she's directly responsible for all of those deaths, the resulting grief eating away at her sanity until she was forced to be instilled into Gensokyo after attempting to drown herself.
  • Alice was a shut-in with a rampant doll obsession, to the point of preferring to do maintenance on them than take care of herself, and occasionally having delusions of them coming to life and moving around. She believes herself to be completely sane, though, and so acts rather haughty towards other patients. She is also one of the first people after the inaugural patients Reimu, Marisa, and Yuuka, explaining why she was suddenly powerful enough that the series totally reformed after she came up.
  • Miko was a student at a nearby university majoring in Japanese History. The stress of her studies caused her to snap suddenly one day and she came to believe that she is the resurrected Prince Shotoku. Futo and Tojiko are simply two friends who are willing to play along using the historical clan names of "Mononobe" and "Soga".
  • Tenshi is one of very few patients in the "Outpatient" class, only entering the hospital when she is forced to by one of her common mental breakdowns. During these, she becomes extremely violent and causes much destruction, often referred to as a form of "Earthquake" due to her last name. Miss Iku is one of the hospital staff who takes care of Tenshi when she is outside of the ward, so her arrival often means that Tenshi and "Earthquakes" are often expected in the near future. This is why she is associated with the Oarfish. Because Tenshi is often able to enter and exit the hospital at will, it is said she lives in "Heaven" or even specifically as "Ecstasy", which more refers to her ability to do things many other patients cannot than an actual place.

...and so on. Each new 'game' is a pecking order being established as more patients are committed.

Yukari is a tanuki.
If she has human ears, they've never been shown due to her hairstyle. Her hat would conceal a pair on top of her head while her large dresses (or powers) would easily hide a tail. More importantly, the mythos of the animal would match her tricky nature, tendency to spirit away people and objects, and constant sleeping. Her household hierarchy of Shikigami even becomes Japanese wordplay. Tanuki->Kitsune->Neko.
  • Almost certainly Jossed by the appearance of Mamizou, showing that tanuki in the Touhouverse are generally very different from Yukari. On top of that, the *other* current character who's Not What She Seems has been foreshadowed all over the place. Fun idea, though, and it's not exactly impossible, just very unlikely.

Yukari has control over quantum phenomena
This explains her absolute reality warper status and manifests itself in her most powerful spellcard Boundary Between Wave and Particle. Yukari may be the ultimate quantum mechanic.

Yukari vacations in the Bermuda Triangle
Many people "disappear" in Bermuda Triangle... possibly because Yukari is bored and invites them over. If you would call opening a boundary and teleporting them an invitation.

Mokou and Kaguya were dummied out of Hisoutensoku because their planned movesets at the time made Gill look like a cakewalk.
the way i pictured them is them acting like gill when KOed after triggering a certain card only they can resurrect several times (due to being able to have several cards) which would lead to a long and boring fight which is probably why they got dummied then cut out of the game because there wasn't a way to make this balanced.

Meiling is a really sucky Chinese dragon.
This would explain Meiling's magic, her penchant for guarding things, and how exactly she is a youkai. Dragons often take the shape of humans, so it stands to reason that in Gensokyo, where even spiders are lolis, a dragon would simply stay in human form (though more likely forced to stay that way).

Besides, dragons are hard to draw.

The Hourai Elixir doesn't keep hair from graying.
An illustration in the fourth chapter of Cage in Lunatic Runagate shows pre-Elixir Mokou with dark hair, but no explanation is given as to why it turned white. This is obviously due to a flaw in the Hourai Elixir: even if you drink it, your hair still grays as if you were aging normally! (Kaguya's hair kept its color thanks to another one of Eirin's drugs.)
  • Alternatively, Mokou's hair grew out until it reached its maximum length and turned white from overexposure to sunlight, while Kaguya retained her black hair because she never goes outside.
  • Or one of them dyes/bleaches her hair. Kaguya to keep up the appearance of youth, or Mokou in order to less resemble Kaguya.
  • Another theory is that it was a side-effect from Mokou attaining the power of the Phoenix. Whatever it was that enabled this was so warping, it changed the hair-color of an Eternal. (Popular fanon is that she actually absorbed the power of a god-like Phoenix; which would have killed anyone else.)
  • My theory is that, since two sips of the Hourai elixir will make it so the drinker never gets sick, it strengthens and stimulates the immune system drastically. Mokou's immune system destroys the black pigment in her hair, along with contributing to her frequently being on the verge of death. Either Mokou's immune system was already much stronger than Kaguya's, or she drank more of the elixir, or she has multiple genes for black hair and her body intreprets the rna transcripts from it to be viral. Either that, or Kaguya's immune system was very weak before drinking the elixir (possibly part of the reason why she drank the elixir in the first place.)
  • Another personal theory (though it has less merit...): Hourai just turns your hair a funky color. What's the default hair color for Asian girls? Black. The opposite of black is white/gray. Reisen and Eirin both have white/gray hair, so we could possibly assume that white/gray is the default hair color of Lunarians. Kaguya? A Lunarian with black hair.
  • Or maybe Lunarians, unlike humans, simply never have their hair color change. Lunarians are all "immortal" in the sense that they don't age once they reach adulthood, but they can die by other means like illness, injury or starvation.
  • Mokou's hair is black...but it's all covered in ashes.
    • Rather, it is ash. A continuous state of burning to cinders instantly yet retaining form.
  • Alternative alternative theory: Mokou took the Hourai Elixer incorrectly. Now, the description for using the Elixir is simplistic, but in all probability magical potions are just as complicated as normal drugs - having too much or too little or in conjunction with certain other substances is incredibly dangerous. Eirin, having created it in the first place, would have been there to advice Kaguya on proper procedure, but Mokou had no such supervision and so while she did successfully gain immortality it came with myriad side effects, white hair being one of them.

Two females can have children in Gensokyo.
The would explain why there can be a population of near entirely females, yet there isn't a huge population drop. This would result in more females, since they only have X chromosomes to give, their child would need to be a female. The men are few and far between because they still have a 50% chance of passing their X chromosome as well, and may well eventually die out.
  • The youkai population is almost entirely female, and not only are their reproductive methods unknown but even the weakest live for extensive periods of time. The human population however, of which we almost never see, is more evenly divided between females and males.

Hakurei Shrine Maidens do not take vows of chastity.
How else is Gensokyo going to survive when Reimu inevitably dies of old age?
  • Except that the people in Gensokyo don't seem to physically age whatsoever. Everyone in Gensokyo has modified DNA that can replicate without end.
  • According to The Other Wiki, Shinto religious professions do not require chastity to begin with, so... duh? Plus, it's canon that Reimu's ancestors served the shrine before her, so logically she wouldn't exist if they were bound to chastity.

Kasen Ibara is the new version of the previously Dummied Outed Satsuki Rin
How does this make sense, you ask? Well, Kasen is called a "horned" hermit, and kirin do indeed have horns (not that I'm stating that she's a kirin, although it could be a possibility...). Also, the entry for Satsuki Rin states that she had the attack types Flower Sign and Wind Sign associated with her, and the name Kasen is written with the characters for "flower fan", so...
  • I would like this: let's see what kind of spell cards she knows, before deciding.

Marisa is part (half?) Dutch.
It's the simplest and most logical explanation for the name and hair color. Ignore the Youkai with similarly western names and blonde hair, they are stated to be thought impossible by the outside world.
  • Sanae. Green hair. Sure, she's part god, but only a bit (and Suwako is blonde).
    • I've always thought that it was a reaction to the magic of Gensokyo that made Sanae's hair green. As for Marisa, I blame the mushrooms, if not her own magical training, as the cause.

Lily White/Black is a subspecies of fairy, not an individual.
Thus, in Phantasmagoria of Flower View, when she comes back after getting shot down, it's actually a different one replacing her.
  • Perfect Memento in Strict Sense refers to Lily as an independant character, so this is unlikely. Besides, fairies can easily return even after vaporisation, as well as being deeply stupid, so her reappearing for multiple beatings isn't unusual.

Youkai, perhaps even Gensoukyou as a whole, operates under a feudal system.
Weaker beings offer their loyalty and service towards a more powerful individual in return for their protection and use of their residence. Sometimes (in the case of the Konpakus) even entire families devote themselves and their descendents to an individual. This is why so many petulant, self-obsessed control freaks manage to acquire devoted followers, as for youkai (and some humans, if Sakuya is any indication) nothing is more important than power.

This is also what makes Satori and Byakuren so unusual, the servants of the latter retaining their loyalty even without her protection and the former commanding the loyalty of beings more powerful than her simply because of her kindness.
  • It's kind of mentioned repeatedly that most youkai are independent. And the tengu have a caste system, which isn't quite the same. Oh, and the Konpaku are humans, more or less.

Marisa's father is actually her adopted father.
Mima, during one of her usual attempts to make herself more powerful, was constructing a servant worthy of her majesty, but instead of a youkai she managed to create a human that simply possessed magical abilities. Instead of going to the trouble of destroying it she opted to dispose of it instead, and one day, with absolutely no-one noticing how it got there, a blonde-haired baby appeared in the Human Village. Mister Kirisame, long obsessed with the unusual and unexplained (and predictably a frequent customer of Kourindou), decided to adopt the baby and name her Marisa. For a while things went well, until Marisa began experiencing severe Power Incontinence. Fearing that she would be banished as a youkai imposter, he had Rinnosuke care for Marisa more and more frequently to hide her abilities from the Village residents, until Marisa eventually realises that she is a Magician. She wanted to explore her abilites while he wanted her to hide them, and subsequently Marisa ran away to live in the Forest of Magic. Mister Kirisame is still bitter over his beloved daughter leaving him and has mostly stricken her from his life, but part of him still yearns for those few happy years.

Mima, meanwhile, thinks that her creation contains some potential after all and offers to train her, but after the ghost is on the receiving end of one too many beatings from Reimu Marisa decides she is too good for her and returns to her solitary training mixed with bouts of kleptomania, leading to the witch we know.

Alice is also an alchemist.
All that gunpowder she stuffs her dolls with has to come from somewhere. Given that canonically Alice tends to keep herself isolated from others, she probably makes the doll-making materials (gunpowder included) herself.
  • According to Wild and Horned Hermit, magicians in general tend to deal with things like arsenic and quicksilver. This is probably true, other than the implication that this would make Alice unusual.

Kasen broke Hell
She looked at the operating of the Hell of Blazing Fires and thought: "This much gratuitous suffering existing in the world is wrong. I shall do something about it!" Then she punched Hell so hard that it broke, and also her arm exploded, or something similar.

Thus why the shinigami is mad at her, and why she is concerned with the leakage of evil spirits out of Hell, and why considers herself a 'great villain', but also feels people ought to be grateful to her.

Meiling is the creator of Gensoukyou.
Think about it. "Team Shanghai Alice". Meiling's theme song is "Shanghai Alice of Meiji 17". What if Meiling is the "Shanghai Alice" of the title? Maribel may be a character created by Meiling and everything that she dreams is actually created by Meiling's imagination, which all the girls being avatars of people she know, and, of course, our lazy gatekeeper being an Author Avatar.
  • PC-98 was her old fantasies before moving on to present, with Eo SD being a justification.
  • [s]Then why did she bring the entire Scarlet Devil Mansion along? I can understand Remilia (Or Flan) ordering Sakuya to move the SDM to Meiling's place, but other than that, an ultra-botched Patchouli ritual, or Remilia ordering Sakuya to move it to Gensokyo when the gate was moments from being overrun by crazy villagers rather than risk Meiling's death and Flandre destroying everything in the area, but otherwise no idea.[/s]Wrong WMG.

Lily White / Lily Black is undergoing something similar to The Three Faces of Eve.
Both "Lily White" and "Lily Black" are unstable personalities that are repressing a third personality locked deep within Lily's mind after a particularly traumatic experience.
  • According to Touhoumon, the third form is Daiyousei. Just putting that out there.

The Danmaku rules work on the same principle as Magic's Golden Rule
...That is, where the rules as written and a character's powers and objectives conflict, the character's intentions win out. This is why Phantasmagoria of Flower View has different gameplay - both characters in each clash see themselves as the aggressor, so they compete head-to-head (where the main games always have an aggressor (the PC) breaking ground and a defender who got in the way).

This also explains why enemies "explode" in Double Spoiler and Shoot The Bullet: once Aya's got the photos she needs, she's "won", so the magic surrounding a danmaku duel forcibly ejects the "loser" from the area.

Alice and Medicine share a common origin.
Alice's dolls all look like little blond girls with blue eyes, wearing red ribbons in their hair. Medicine fits this description. The most obvious explanation is that Medicine is a forgotten one of Alice's dolls, perhaps one of the ones the player character encountered and shot down way back in Mystic Square, but that's way too straightforward for WMG.

My proposal, then, is that Alice's dolls have a certain look because that's just how she learned how to do them, from some unknown mentor who had the same skill, and Medicine originally belonged to that person.

Komachi is making an example of ‘em!
The reason why Komachi demands the deceased pay all their ‘money’ when crossing the Sanzu; the money represents all the people who miss them, by given away all the money the deceased loses their knowledge of those people and is freed from any lingering wish to remain with them on earth despite being dead. Those who cannot bring themselves to accept their need to leave their loved ones behind bring deep regrets with them across the river and their hesitation would surely be seen by the Yama, who would sentence them time in one of the lesser hells. So Komachi tosses them overboard to be eaten by the Sansu River’s monster fish as an example to the other watching spirits. This helps discourage the majority of deceased souls from withholding pay and thus preempts a certain amount of otherwise marginally good souls from being sent to hell.

Speculation on the Touhou Vampire
Inspiration thanks to the names of two of Youmu’s spell cards; Deva Realm Sword "Displeasure of the Seven Sins" and Deva God Sword "Components of Konpaku". The information in both their translation notes boils down to:

1. In Taoism, the most basic properties of the soul are made up by seven “hakus” –as in Kon PAKU.

2. These seven “hakus” are balanced by three “kons”, and together the kons and hakus make up the soul.

3. The body loses its three kons just before it dies, and during that time only the hakus remain. The person becomes unstable during this time due to a lack of the reason and balance that the kons provide.

4. Despite being despised, the seven hakus or “Seven Sins” are important base components of the soul and no one could live without them.

Now my lovely long idea…

Vampires drain a person’s three kons from their blood to retain their own balance, as they themselves lost their original Kons when they became vampires. They have nothing but their strengthening hakus left in their body, which grant immense physical abilities, but which will override their sense of self if not balanced by kons. Therefore, a vampire who fails to drink human blood regularly and replenish their kons will become an uncontrollable and blood thirsty killer. Or maybe just plain insane.

So strong is a vampire’s haku that they will eventually convert any kons into hakus as well, and the stronger the hakus the quicker the conversion.

Changing someone into a vampire can be accomplished by a vampire draining a human of their blood and kons, and then replacing both with a certain amount of their own hakus. The amount depends on the mental strength of the victim as well as the strength of the vampire; too many hakus in a weak person will turn them into mindless ghouls incapable of making room for any balancing kons, but still thirsting for them; while taking too many hakus out of a vampire will reduce or overrun their ability to move their body, usually only momentary, but sometimes permanently, thus making hunting and personal protection impossible and opening that vampire to attack.

Vampire conversion has the dual purposes of allowing vampire reproduction and temporarily reducing the potency of the vampire’s haku, thereby decreasing the need to acquire and balance it with human kons and so also acting as a stress reliever for the powerful vampire who is forced to drink copious amounts of blood so as to keep their hakus and mental abilities balanced.

-It's assumed that because many of their existences are on the verge of dissipating, it makes it difficult for them to act under sunlight.-Perfect Memento, The Embodiments of Spirit 気質の具現 : Phantoms 幽霊

-Although both "Kon" (魂) and "Paku" (魄) are "soul", their elements are different. "Kon" stands for a mental soul, which is separated from a body as soon as human dies and ascends to Heaven; "Paku" is a physical soul, which remains in the body a few days and goes back to the Earth. In this case, "Kon" is Youmu's phantom half, and "Paku" is the human half.- funfacts from Konpaku Youmu’s Profile Page at the Touhou wik

In light of the above, phantoms are pure ‘kon’, but the kon that can be born in plants, animals and humans rather than the kon that can only be born or reincarnated into a human. All kon is basically same besides that, thus why ghosts (the soul or ‘kon’ of a human who cannot or does not want to realize that they are dead) and phantoms (which are also ‘kon’ and may be spawned from a dead body, or simply born as a free floating spirit) are often mistaken for each other.

A kon without a body to shelter and nurture it will be quicker to dissipate then a kon housed in a body of some sort, this is due to their very precarious form of existence.

In this way, a vampire’s kon (which, while it might be housed in a body, is still under constant attack from the vampire’s leech-like haku) will be weakened when exposed to direct sun light, and thus the vampire thirst and need for balance will increase and their ability to fully control their bodies shall weaken.

Because the vampire is a kind of youkai, it is most affected by spiritual attacks, and because vampires rely on a very delicate balance of kon and haku, any spiritual attacks have a tendency to harm them more than they would other youkai. Hence the vampire’s long list of odd weaknesses, in most cases it is the faith humans put into these odd talismans or ideas that harms the vampire, not the items or ideas themselves. The humans make it real.

Water, especially clear running water, is considered by many cultures to be a purifying substance, so vampires cannot go out in the rain and have great trouble crossing rivers. (Some phantoms and ghosts might have similar reluctance in regards to rivers, most likely due to them unconsciously ‘seeing’ the similarities between a normal river and the Sanzu river, which is path to the Yama and also the representation of forgetting one’s time in life.)

Sunlight is often connected to human safety, life, and the death of the night and all devils that dwell in it, making a vampire’s original weakness to it even stronger.

Other cultural items, such as roasted beans, sardine heads, and broken holly branches, gain their power from that culture’s belief in them, thus what harms a vampire in England may be of no consequence to a vampire of Japan or Africa.

  • This is easily the best wild guess on this page. Wow.

  • Add-on guess: Remilia's haku are less violent, or she spent most of them on making Flandre a vampire (Or Flan spent relatively few converting Remi), which is why they are said to have a relatively low thirst and do not need to feed off every last human in Gensokyo very fast despite Flandre's overt power level. Flandre's haku are mostly raw power and are completely out of balance with the few kon she has drastically weakened by avoiding mass destruction by hordes of flan-haku, which would make her extremely thirsty whenever she as much as touches sunlight.

The Scarlet Sisters are Danes.
  • Factoid 1: The Order of the Elephant is headed by the Queen of Denmark. Included among Knights of the Elephant are the Emperor and Empress of Japan and their sons.
  • Factoid 2: Norse paganism was largely practiced in the Scandanavian region, which includes Denmark. Among notable items within Norse paganism are Gungnir and Laevatein.
  • Factoid 3: The Flag of Denmark is a white cross on a red background.

Suwako wants Sanae to become a goddess.
She is particularly insistent in UFO to have her defeat youkai, which arguably is the work of a shrine maiden... However, she could have been testing her abilities. In Hisoutensoku, she pretty much tells her that she's basically a god. And now in Ten Desires she seems to be looking to have the god spirits under her command.
  • However Sanae is happy listening to Kanako, so this only has the side-effect of having more confidence with herself.

Utsuho Reiuji will received alot of flak after the events of the March 11, 2011 Japan Earthquake ...
If the Dai-ichi nuclear power plant does become the next Chernobyl, there would be a huge chance real people would distance and disassociate themselves away from our beloved Utsuho. Why? Because of the power she personify. When that disaster happens, the least thing people would want to see is a simple minded hell raven powered by nuclear energy.
  • Case in point. When thisTroper saw a video clip of a Japanese town with its tsunami warning klaxons wailing, the first that came to thisTroper's head was Utsuho. How much more if the disaster was nuclear!
  • Shouldn't Tenshi be blamed also for the Earthquake AND Tsunami?
    • Clearly Tenshi caused the earthquake. But the tsunami was probably Murasa being woken up rather abruptly from her nap.
  • Earthquakes and Tsunamis are natural disasters and they can easily be associated as the works of any Shinto gods but a nuclear disaster... Zun might be compelled to drop Utsuho from the Touhou franchise completely!
    • I sincerely doubt that peer pressure of that sort will cause ZUN to drop a character, since he stated once in an interview that he makes the games because he wants to, not to please the crowd. So unless ZUN himself wants to distance himself from her, she's not going to be dropped so easily. Plus, fanon will always make stuff for her, even if canon doesn't, so she'll always have fans somewhere, keeping her in mind.
  • Utsuho ALWAYS could have been considered a controversial character, given the history of Japan with nukes. She's not one of the closest things to a villain in the setting for nothing. As it goes, the recent disaster just adds on to her controversiality. As for the earthquake and the tsunami alike, I blame Namazu aka That Unnamed Giant Catfish.
  • Coincidentally, Tenshi and Utsuho are partners in the long running 4koma series Touhou Tag Dream, which by this point in its 4th year run probably deserves its own page.
  • Actually, nuclear fusion and nuclear fission are two very different things. For one, fusion does not release radioactive waste. Fusion combines hydrogen atoms and is currently impossible for humans (but not Utsuho) to achieve. And despite that, this troper still thought of Utsuho when he heard of the disaster...

The players are the only ones that see cute girls.
To everyone else, the various youkai look like, well, youkai. Reimu/Marisa/Sanae are excluded from society because they don't mind the appearances of the youkai, either because they are insane (Marisa), are used to it (Reimu) or are just going along with everything because they were placed on the top of the youkai mountain (Sanae).
  • So the player is actually Akyuu? Because she has drawings of the characters the way we see them, and describes a number of them as looking human
  • Alternately, the player characters see through the "cute girl" disguises of the youkai— Reimu instantly recognizes Yamame as an "enemy arthropod" and asks Suika about her— but the players themselves, being ordinary nonmagical humans, do not.

Various theories on characters.
  • Reimu lives alone at the Hakurei Shrine, but she's not the only Hakurei alive. The rest of the Hakurei bloodline lives outside Gensokyo, and send their eldest daughter to manage the shrine in Gensokyo every generation as a means of safeguarding the bloodline. If the Shrine Maiden gets killed before she can have a family, they can just send in another Hakurei of the same generation to resume the duties. This way there is no actual threat of losing the entire Hakurei family to rogue youkai.
  • Marisa is more than just a pupil of Mima, she's her next incarnation. Mima taught Marisa to use magic in order to save herself some time in her return, and her disappearance from the series means that she's taken residence within Marisa. This is even hinted towards by her old theme, Vessel of Stars ~ Casket of Star. She's to serve as the vessel for Mima's return. A 'casket' for a dead 'star', as she was an important character for the first 5 or so games. With Marisa now donning a star and white bow on her hat in Fairy War, very similar to how Mima's hat appeared, it seems that she's dropping hints towards this.
  • Rumia and Alice are two halves of a whole story. The Alice that we know of the Windows series is, indeed, a human that became a youkai magician, but her name isn't originally Alice. Rumia is the original Alice. The Windows version took advantage of the aftermath of the chaos in Makai and subsequently PC-98 Alice's return with the Grimoire to steal the book from the defeated young demon girl and steal her identity, sealing her memories and most of her power with a magic amulet. Being the daughter of the old ruler of Pandemonium, naturally Rumia would have power over darkness. That's all that she can manage however. The new Alice has largely used her stolen power to benefit herself, granting herself youkai immortality, and using the magical control she has over dolls to earn money from performances in the village.
  • Sakuya used to be a circus performer, who used that public role to assist her on her double identity as a legendary thief. Her skill with throwing knives comes from part of her act, which she practiced often to find even more unbelievable tricks she could pull off with the use of her innate ability to stop time, to keep people focused on her act. She would use their intense focus against them while she stole their possessions while time stopped, and then resumed to finish the trick. Her servitude to Remilia began when she marked her during a performance, but the vampire noticed her theft and had Sakuya arrested. Rather than have her face whatever punishment she would have normally, she took Sakuya as a servant, a role that she has since come to prefer over her old life.
  • Yukari isn't actually a youkai, she's really asleep all the time. Her power over boundaries allows her to fudge the Border of Dream and Reality in order to act in the real world. She does this to protect her real body, in case anyone should manage to circumvent her power and defeat her, they can't force her to do anything. Her flightyness and odd behaviour comes from the fact that she's essentially living with the consideration of dream logic as the real thing, and her odd attacks in the fighting games stems from dream logic as well. With her real body in Mayohiga where no one can find it on purpose, and two shikigami protecting it, she can safely putz around all she wants without true fear of retribution.
  • Keine is actually a friend of Mokou's from her life prior to the Hourai Elixir. Kamishirasawa is only her surname for the present time as part of her plan to extend her own life to be with her friend. She uses her power to rewrite history to shift her birthdate up one year, writing herself as the child of whatever women of age she knows and retroactively integrates into their family through this. She bumps up her birth year as long as feasible, then changes to another woman as soon as possible. She uses her role as a teacher to find prospective future 'mothers' for herself, as it allows her to get close enough to observe prospective girls lives before she makes a choice, condition them to her liking, or even outright propose they become part of her plan.
  • Reisen is an ex-member of some kind of Lunarian Special Forces team, which her powers made her a prime candidate for. Her usage of explosive bullet like shots is part of her skillset, and it works alongside her natural abilities. She would be perfect for infiltration, sabotage and even assassination, as anyone that saw her could likely be convinced it was an illusion, or otherwise driven insane by her manipulation. Reisen took an issue with this life at some point, and ran away.
    • This one is canon, more or less

Yoshika Miyako is Meiling's dead sister
She has Chinese origins (She's a Jiang-shi, or in other words, a chinese zombie), and that hat with a star.

Yoshika Miyako's stretch exercises are why there are "fast zombies" in movies lately.
Just as Romero's works influenced the Jiangshi existence; Miyako choosing to believe she can change the nature of her very existence is having a reverse effect on said zombie legends in the outside world. (The very fact that Miyako is aware of outside trends is...interesting.)

Mokou has always had the ability to manipulate fire
Reimu has the ability to "float", and Sakuya can manipulate time and space, so there's a possibility that some humans can be born with an innate magical ability, albeit an extremely rare possibility outside of Gensokyo. Granted, fire being fire, she probably had little to no control over it besides causing things to spontaneously combust (including things she didn't want to burn) until she spent centuries learning to tame it.

None of this contradicts the possibility that she might have encountered, and might have taken in power from the Phoenix, mind you (which would probably involve refining and amplifying both her fires, and her immortality).
  • Supported by Forbidden Scrollery, Kosuzu tells Reimu and Marisa that she suddenly gained a strange power one day; and the two just nod and comment on how that sometimes happens.

There is a master manipulator behind every game since Phantasmagoria of Flower View.
All the events of the games, starting with Mountain of Faith, have been canonically connected. Kanako provided Utsuho with the Yatagarasu, triggering Subterranean Animism. Orin's panicked geyser blast also freed the Palanquin ship, triggering Undefined Fantastic Object. The unsealing of Hokkai is no doubt the source of the spirits in Ten Desires.

Wall of text time.

This Troper thus theorises that there is a manipulator, seperate from and possibly undetected by Yukari, that has guided the whole thing. He gave Kanako the means to move the Moreya Shrine into Gensokyo, thus providing a cover for his own entrance into the same. By taking advantage of her love for science and industry, he not only provided her with the Yatagarasu, but he told her where and how to deliver it. Since he helped her before, she would be quite willing to repay him in this way. Now an easily-manipulated Hell Raven has immense power, enough to free the Palanquin ship. Her antics do the job... partly. He then convinces Orin that informing her master of Okuu's insanity is a bad idea, and has her blow open a geyser to attract outside help. This frees the Palanquin and its crew, which are the ones he needed all along. He may well have been in communication with them, and may have enabled their ship for flight. He had long ago obtained the Jeweled Pagoda, and planted it at Kourindou where Nazrin would find it. All this together, he now had the means to get into his ultimate destination, Makai.

But! Things began to break down at the last minute. While he anticipated, indeed planned, the release of the Palanquin, he did not anticipate Nue's release. He had always accounted for Reimu and Marisa in his operations, but with Nue and her seeds of non-identification in play, the heroines felt more pressured than ever, and thus fought harder. They very nearly derailed his plans, forcing him to improvise. He intercepted Nue, and enlisted her help. Possibly via force. Nue then distracts the heroines via the Extra stage, while he slips into Hokkai. In now-unsealed Makai, he can enlist the help of old PC-98 bosses for whatever devious plans he may have. The spirits in Ten Desires? A side-affect of Hokkai's unsealing that may cause him even more touble down the line.

Convoluted, yes, but after Silent Sinner in Blue, and Yukari's brilliant masterplay, I have no doubt that this is not only a logical possibility, but a workable one. If this, or anything like it, is accurate, then we have the perfect setup for a beautiful endgame storyline in a later game.

  • And now, with the Touhou 13 demo out, this theory has additional support, if anything else. Simply, Yuyuko has started to suspect our hidden chessmaster (Told by Yukari over a dish of sake?), and has decided to send our heroines to either a)Determine his plans, or b)Stop them entirely. As such, she taught the heroines how to fight from beyond death (namely, the Trance mechanic from 13, a player version of Yuyuko's Ressurection Butterfly from 7), and directed them to a likely location. This explains both why she was the first boss, and explains her seemingly random hint to the graveyard. Fast forward to Stage 3. Our opponent, Miyako Yoshika, is a Jiang-shi, a Chinese vampire/zombie. She was revived and is controlled by the seal on her head. Now, the nature of Gensokyo's creation would leave absolutely no Chinese within when the barrier went up. The only known Chinese, Hong Meiling, is an import. Thus, noone should know how to create Jiang-shi... unless our chessmaster brought the secret with him from the outside! Thus, Yoshika and her fellow zombies are either his creations, or the creations of a subordinate. He's making his move.
    • Don't you mean "she"? There's no reason for said manipulator to not be a woman...
      • True, but given that ZUN wanted the final boss of 12 to be Byrauken's older brother (at first), there is a chance at the manipulator being male. And besides, proper English grammar requires that in the case of unknown gender, the masculine pronoun is to be used.
      • The fact that ZUN changed it shows that he doesn't want to use a male even if they're a historical figure. And most people use the singular 'they' in the case of unknown gender

  • Add-on guess: The destructive god behind the giant catfish in Meiling's dream-campaign in Hisentouku may be responsible for the zombies and/or may be the manipulator himself. Meiling somehow knows the secret for Jiang-shi, and she was fighting the catfish-avatar in her dream to attempt to avoid being killed, possessed, or stuff. The catfish managed to find and copy the secrets for what is necessary before being forcibly ejected by Meiling.

The "human" characters become more powerful during every interval between games.
  • In Mystic Square, Alice is a stage 3 boss, but powers herself up to become an EX boss. Two games later, she's dropped down to being a stage 3 boss again.
  • In Perfect Cherry Blossom, Yuyuko is a stage 6 boss. Imperishable Night, Phantasmagoria of Flower View, Mountain of Faith, Subterranean Animism, and Undefined Fantastic Object happen, and when Yuyuko shows up as a boss again in Ten Desires, she's fallen all the way down to being a stage one boss.
    • More than likely, Youmu has it right; Yuyuko only fights in Ten Desires because she's bored and has somewhat useful information. She has no reason to stop the heroines (except maybe Youmu if she suspects the incident to not be worth being gardener-less for a day or so), and she did the exact same thing to Youmu in Scarlet Weather Rhapsody (also in Stage 1). If she isn't fighting because she's bored, then I'd have to imagine she's doing it because she realizes that danmaku must be exchanged before information can be.
  • Reimu and Marisa are consistently both stage 4 bosses to each other. When Aya fights them in Mountain of Faith, she's a stage 4 boss to them, too, which would presumably put them all on about the same level. When Aya encounters them again in Double Spoiler, they're suddenly EX bosses.
  • Similarly, in Embodiment of Scarlet Devil, Cirno is a stage 2 boss. In the very next game she's a mere stage 1 mid-boss. By the time of Fairy Wars she's fallen so far behind that Marisa is an EX boss from her point of view.
  • Kogasa is the exception that proves the rule, in a slightly more literal sense than usual. Stage 2 boss in Undefined Fantastic Object. She's now stage 3 in Ten Desires, now as the mid-boss. Aren't you surprised?

Clearly, Reimu and Marisa are steadily getting more powerful every game. Youmu can presumably be assumed to be doing the same, since she also experiences stage 1 Yuyuko in Ten Desires. Sakuya is most likely similar as well. Sanae's harder to pin down, given that she raced on ahead and became an EX mid-boss in Subterranean Animism, but that's just because she knows better than to worry about common sense.

  • Actually, Kogasa is the Stage 3 midboss, so she is actually stronger, Yuyuko wasn't even trying to stop them and probably was just bored so she was weak on purpose. Alice needs to use her grimoire to be strong and she didn't use it in her PCB battle. But that doesn't mean that Marisa and Reimu aren't getting stronger, I believe you're right, but your logic is a bit wrong.
    • ...Kogasa's appearance is so surprising that she made me lose count?

Yukari is Gensokyo's Hidden Evil Overlord. Reimu and Marisa are her Unwitting Pawns.
Gensokyo was once a haunted region of Japan, a place of total chaos caused by youkai, until it was sealed from the outside world. That was when Yukari brought down the other youkai's power and dominated the area. Some youkai began obeying her, and she gathered enough youkai to try and invade the moon. This failed, and it's likely that the youkai began losing trust in her with this bold move. Many youkai are also rebelling against her, trying to reset Gensokyo's state to a pure, uncontrolled anarchy. Reimu (and probably, her ancestors) was appointed by Yukari (knowingly to Reimu or not) to exterminate hostile youkai who threaten Yukari's power, as Yukari was too occupied always doing it by herself, or she was simply lazy. Most of the incidents are either caused by said rebellious youkai, or Yukari causing it herself behind the scenes, as a way to test Reimu/Marisa's skill.

The Scarlet Mist Incident was unlikely to be Yukari's doing (Remilia doesn't seem like someone who would obey orders). The SDM inhabitants might be a rebel group with the mansion as their base. Remilia could be a rival to Yukari, seeking to overthrow her. Spreading mist was a tactic so that the mistress could go outside during daytime. Remilia's trump card is her sister, Flandre, whom she would unleash in a desperate situation. The mist bothered Reimu/Marisa so they went out to seek the perpetrator. Yukari didn't get involved, she knew that her underlings, the two heroes, would notice a youkai causing trouble and go out to defeat them. They even defeated Flandre, who might've been released by Patchy or Sakuya on Remilia's orders after her defeat. Or, she broke out on her own and went on a rampage, Remilia's plan backfiring as her mansion was hugely damaged by her own petard.

Yuyuko's spring theft happened with Yukari canonically being involved in it. Yukari helped Yuyuko to enact her plan, but she knew that the human protagonists would eventually stop her mischief. Later, Yukari herself was confronted by the heroes. She tested their power with relatively difficult spellcards, and she was defeated. A successful test.

Imperishable Night also had Yukari involved, but on the heroes' side. She teamed up with Reimu to defeat the Lunarians. Yukari knows that Lunarians aren't to be taken lightly, so she thought Reimu might've needed her personal help this time.

Mountain of Faith is where it gets interesting. Kanako, a goddess, has decided to intervene Yukari's dictatorship. Not only did she see Gensokyo as a desolate place with no faith, but also frozen in time with no technological advancement like the rest of the world. She moved her shrine straight into Gensokyo, which probably cost much effort because of Gensokyo's strongly protected border (Maybe Yukari didn't stop it because she was sleeping at the time, or she couldn't match the power of a god). The Moriya Shrine appeared right onto Youkai Mountain, a mountain infested by youkai (as the title suggests), many of whom didn't want a stranger to take over their mountain, such as the Tengu.

In Subterranean Animism, it's said that Kanako is the one who granted Utsuho her powers, and later in Hisoutensoku, her powers are used to supply a power plant. Utsuho might've ran a little amok, or it was also part of her purpose; to destroy Yukari's pawns, who have been (unconsciously) guarding Yukari by fighting Kanako and keeping her busy. Okuu is Kanako's trump card much how Flandre was Remilia's, as mentioned earlier.

Either Yukari vs Kanako is a youkai dictator versus a zealot goddess, or Kanako is the leader of the good forces, despite being the antagonist to the so-called heroes. Of course the "heroes", Reimu and Marisa, are pawns unaware that they're aiding a behind the curtains dictatorship, rather than simply defeating dangerous youkai. They're not doing it intentionally. It's all part of her plan.

So, Kanako & Okuu were the good guys (or rather, gals) in the story, seeking to turn a wasteland filled with human eating monsters ruled by an insane Reality Warper, into a prosperous land filled with technological advancement. You, the player, stopped them.

Eirin is a giant troll and the Hourai Elixir turns you into a human-sized fairy
Think about it. Both fairies and people who have taken the Elixir regenerate on death. Why bother figuring out human immortality when there is already an immortal species?

Sakuya really DOESN'T wear pads. She just used her powers to create that effect.
Here's a bit of Fridge Brilliance. The controversy over Sakuya's pads all started because she had a practically flat chest in one game, but a larger one in the subsequent game. But keep in mind that Sakuya has the ability to manipulate time. She's even demonstrated the ability to accelerate time when she caused bamboo flowers to bloom instantly, when normally they would've taken 60 years to do so. Thus, she could've simply accelerated time on her chest to cause her breasts to grow.
  • That's a recipe for saggy, wrinkled breasts. Watch Slayers to find out more.
  • Sakuya REDUCES timerate around her chest. That way she has both rudimentary emergency armor, and her breasts won't sag.

Koakuma is a third Scarlet sister
While Remilia locked Flandre into a basement, she made Koakuma assist Patchy in the library to keep her occupied. This way she could rule the mansion alone, while keeping her sisters below her in the SDM hierarchy. Koakuma is usually portrayed as someone overly obedient and oblivious to her master's intentions. Maybe she realizes that she's a Scarlet, but prefers to stay in the background? Maybe she doesn't know at all, by her memory being wiped out somehow, or she has a very short memory span (like Dory from Finding Nemo).

Patchouli is an Aspie
Everyone who has some basic Knowledge about Asperger's symptoms would've noticed it in her by now; her Hikikomori lifestyle, her complete devotion to gathering knowledge rather than social interaction, her formal, monotone speech, expertizing in only a few specific subjects (witchcraft) and only talking about their interests (read her SWR quotes), not showing emotions, and only wearing pajama's all day.

Like nearly all members of Myouren, Kyouko Kasodani has other non-religious reasons for joining.
She was lonely and the fact that Byakuren is nice to her is the usual draw; but she also gets to follow her affinity all day long; echoing the sutras chanted in the shrine; and get praised for it.
  • Her Punk Rock hobby goes along with this; it's another field where she gets to repeat things multiple times.

Yukari is not quite what she seems to be
That pretty 17 year old girl? Simply an avatar, no, Yukari is something a little different. Simply put, that horrible red mesh of Eyes in her gaps? THAT'S Yukari, a small small part of her body, yes, she is an Eldritch Abomination through and through, probably the size of Gensoukyo at least, hiding in her own dimension parallel to it. When she uses gaps she's not so much teleporting as she is moving the 'avatar' to another part of her body and throwing it out there. This also answers a question that's bugged me for a while, why she didn't just gap to the Moon in S Si B and had to manipulate a border to reach it, her body doesn't reach that far.

  • I thought during the Lunar Invasion she moved her body to the area between Gensokyo and the Moon while they were at their closest and stretched a little.
Hong Meiling is a member of The Triads
Supporting this:
  • Her name is Hong Meiling, and she is a gatekeeper. An alternate reading for hong is the character 洪, and "gate" is men (either 門 (kanji) or 门 (simplified Chinese)). Combine the two, and you have "Hongmen," the name of an influential Chinese secret society sometimes also called "Chinese Freemasonry" and with alleged ties to the Triads.
  • She is extremely proficient in martial arts. According to legend, the Triads were founded as a resistance movement by the Five Elders of Shaolin after their monastery was destroyed by the Qing Emperor.
  • In the Hisoutensoku fighting game, one of the other characters seems to think that the Green Dragon Crescent Blade, the legendary spear of Guan Yu, would make a fitting weapon for her. Guan Yu is highly revered by both the Triads and the Hongmen.

The Yamata No Orochi exists somewhere in Gensokyo
ZUN just hasn't introduced us to him yet. The fact that he is mentioned by Rinnosuke in Chapter 26 of Curiosities of Lotus Asia as "the great many-headed demon Yamata no Orochi," which further supports my theory.
  • If that happens, said "Orochi" could end up being a she, if anything. I mean, look at Miko as an example.
  • Also, if it does happen, there would probably be a Susano'o equivalent showing up as well, and the story would likely be tied to the sword that Rinnosuke has in his shop (the Ame-no-Murakumo-no-Tsurugi), not to mention that someone may end playing the role of Kushinada-hime (the maiden described in the legend)... Hm...

The revival of the Ten Desires antagonists is a Moriya Shrine conspiracy.
Supposedly they woke up because Byakuren's Buddhist temple was built on top of their mausoleum... but Kanako is the one who built Byakuren the temple, and Byakuren was cutting in on her market, so to speak. Conversely the Taoists don't seem to have any interest in converting youkai, so they're Reimu's problem to deal with.

Sanae knew about the above Moriya plan regarding the Buddhists and Taoists; and intentionally sabotaged it to prevent a Temple War.
In her scenario; she doesn't have any reason to be there. She's mostly just wandering around. She doesn't even justify it as "Yokai Extermination" when Kyouko attacks her. She says she's just checking things out; wandering her way all the way to Miko. In actuality, she knew that her goddess wanted the two shrines to war with each other; and instead more or less peacefully (through spell card rules) suppressed the conflict before it could begin.
  • She's not even disobeying her goddess; because Kanako and Suwako don't involve her in their schemes. They didn't tell her to keep out of it.
    • Sanae is a good girl.

Lily White is in fact a love goddess.
It's said that she announces spring. But, think about her name. It's Lily White. And white lily is a symbol of yuri. It can be a suggestion that she's able to bring love between Gensokyo's residents (the outbursts of spring she brings with herself can be explained by Power of Love).

Alice has a very specific kind of split personality regarding her puppets.
She controls them, but they're often depicting doing things to seemingly act independent. She has trained herself not to think of herself as controlling her dolls; she merely "guides" them; and the part of her mind partitioned for the dolls takes the cue.
  • Alternatively, Alice is a tulpamancer and/or schizophrenic and the partitioning off a piece of mind is simply creating a seperately operating conscious. Because magic and Alice controlling the dolls anywho, the dolls act independent because it's technically an independent mind doing the controlling.

Toyosatomimi no Miko's headphones aren't actually headphones.
They're merely ear covers. Miko has the ability to hear people's desires, so she doesn't necessarily need to hear what people are saying as her powers allow her to discern their wishes anyway. The way she talks to Youmu, who lacks two of the ten desires, supports this fact as she ignores everything Youmu says, only going by the eight desires she senses from Youmu.
  • They're like blindfolds on a Blind Weaponmaster.
  • Symposium of Post-Mysticism has confirmed them to be earmuffs, not headphones, and she uses them to block out people's thoughts when she wants to.

Soga no Tojiko is an immortal ghost.
The shikaisen did work...just not for her physical body. Normally, ectoplasmic beings quickly processed by Shinigami and sent to an afterlife unless they're tied to something. (Yuyuko is binding the Saigyou Ayakashi.) Soga no Tojiko is...unprocessable. She is thus immune to shinigami or even Rin.

Elly is a Scythe Tsukumogami.
Why else would she carry around what appears to be a horribly mutilated scythe? Even if the curve can be explained away by ZUN being unable to draw a straight line, why is it's blade sharpened the wrong way? It would also explain why she can boomerang it for no particular reason. If it's her real body, of course she can do odd things like that. Maybe her power involves telekinesis, sure, we can infer that from the floor tiles, but still. It may also explain how she blocks attacks with it. She's much more used to controlling her true body than her human disguise, right?

Cirno is evolving from a fairy into a youkai that is quite a bit more powerful — and we've already seen an example of what kind.
From Shikieiki's talk with her in PoFV, Cirno may develop into something more than a fairy, and this appears to be happening as of Fairy Wars. But what is she becoming?

Now, from EaLND/SaBND/OSP (the Three Fairies manga), we know that fairies are nature spirits, embodying aspects of nature and reinforcing the proper growth and development of plants and natural places. They seem, in fact, to be lesser versions of gods (though in Shinto, the lines between gods, mere spirits, and youkai are pretty fuzzy to start with). Gods have the ability to divide themselves infinitely, manifesting in different places with full power.

Which brings us to this: we already know a character who embodies an aspect of nature, enhances and expands plant growth, and can divide herself into multiple bodies, and is thus the template for the power level Cirno is attaining: Kazami Yuuka.
  • In other words, Cirno will one day become as powerful as Yuuka? Wouldn't that herald the coming of the Second Ice Age that's said to occur if we mess around with nature too much? Hm...
  • The corollary of this WMG is to settle the mystery over what kind of youkai Yuuka is; she is an Ascended Fairy.
  • Either that, or a God with the manipulation of ice.
    • Which would pit her and Suwako as gods that actually hate each other, and if Cirno's power over ice becomes as such that it can overpower Kanako, then Suwako may be the only one who can stop her...
  • There's a doujin you might want to take a look at.

Kazami Yuuka and Lily White are friends.
Yuuka loves flowers and can control them. Lily makes flowers bloom with her cheerfulness on the start of every spring. Considering their affinity towards flowers, it's not hard to make the connection between them.
  • Alternatively Lily White lives with Yuuka to help replace dead flowers with new ones. Yuuka doesn't mind because she may need the help every now and then.

Kaguya refusing the proposal for marriage by Mokou's father held greater consequences than ZUN lets on.
All it says in Mokou's profile for the eighth game is that her father proposed to the supposed "commoner," Kaguya Houraisan, and was presented with an impossible request. Naturally, he failed the impossible request and Kaguya denied his proposal. Now, all we know beyond that was that Mokou is very angry with Kaguya and that's where the rivalry starts, but let's think about things for a second. It says in Mokou's profile that she wasn't usually allowed out of the house, implying that she was an unwanted child. Her father was an aristocrat, which means his life would have depended very heavily on what his fellows thought of him. When he found Kaguya and proposed to her, he thought she was a commoner. The fact that she demanded he complete an impossible request would have been insulting enough, but when he failed and she refused his offer that would have been the ultimate blow to his honour: being shot down by a commoner of all people. This sort of dishonour most likely wouldn't have gone over well with the man's fellow aristocrats, and his standard of living would have dropped fast. The fact that Mokou was already stated to be unwanted before he was dishonoured would mean that Mokou would have also been hit hard by this. Her father likely would take all his anger and sorrows out on her, which means Mokou could have and probably did suffer a lot of abuse as her father fell and hit rock bottom. It wouldn't be much of a stretch to assume that the man eventually committed suicide, his life in shambles, leaving Mokou alone. Who would Mokou have to blame for the abuse she received from her father and his eventual demise? Kaguya. She wouldn't have simply dishonoured Mokou's family, she would have completely destroyed her life.
  • Now that sounds like it could actually hold alot of water.

Yukari is in fact the Empress of Gensokyo.
Her actions in the games and the Expanded Universe follow the pattern of a hands-on royal head of state.
  • She is the only official Phantasm boss in the series, placing her at a higher rank than even EX-bosses.
  • She personally led the youkai army in the First Lunar War.
  • One of her main duties is the maintaining of the Hakurei Border, which would ensure the continued existence and sovereignty of Gensokyo.
  • She is obsessed with keeping the balance of power between humans and youkai even, thus preventing civil war.
  • She has acted in controlling foreign incursions (namely the Lunarians and Celestials.)
  • She uses Reimu as a proxy to deal with Old Hell when she is forbidden by treaty to do it herself.
  • She is associated with the color purple, which for millennia has been regarded a royal color.
  • This would tie into the titles held by other characters: Kaguya is the Princess of Eientei, Toyosatomimi no Miko is a resurrected prince, and Remilia is addressed as "My Lady". Even though the last may be just out of respect for the lady of the manor, it is also the proper form of address for a noblewoman ranking from a baroness up to a marchioness.
    • Remilia's theme is Septette for the Dead Princess, so she may be a princess if her theme isn't just flair.

Recycled IN SPACE!? Maybe it was stuck next to Japan for a few years in 1884, then was ejected into magical-filled SPACE by the Hakurei Barrer.

Rin Satsuki was Yukari's sister and she was the one who killed Mima
Because of this, Yukari retgoned Rin Satsuki to prevent her from killing anyone else. However, this activated Rin's Manipulation of Revenge, which allowed her to be reincarnated as Meimu, and is secretly planning to take revenge on Yukari by killing Reimu. But she'll likely fail.

Keine's transformation into a hakutaku is extremely painful.
Thus the apparent anger in her IN extra stage appearance. She's not only protecting Mokou; she's lashing out from physical torment.

Koishi, Flandre and Mokou represent three ways emotionally troubled people react to stress and grief.
Flandre Scarlet pretty much deals with things in such an agressive way, like people would go for violence and anger to try to solve said problems.

Fujiwara no Mokou is the victim of all this, some people blame everything and everybody and make themselves the victim even if the trouble they're struggle upon was caused by them in first place.

Koishi Komeiji evades trouble and laughts at it, just like some troubled people that are in a profound denial and while they're through serious grief in the inside on the outside they want to look carefree and that they're happy all time and on their happy denial even being troublesome to others; all this in order to hide their grief rather than deal with it until find a solution.

"Koakuma" does not refer to a single entity
The Scarlet Devil Mansion's library is large enough for an entire Touhou stage to take place inside it. We're never actually told how fast the characters are flying, but it does appear to be fast. On top of that, it contains enough books to keep Patchouli-who is quite literally a superhuman bookworm-occupied and with no reason to leave for over a century. No matter what you say, a library like that is going to be huge. Do you suppose it's at all easy for one person to maintain a library like that, even if they are a demon? "Koakuma" refers not to a single character but rather an entire class of them, a template for the familiars Patchy summons. This also helps explain why she just pops up out of nowhere, vanishes without a shred of story and, from what I can tell, just blows up after being defeated rather than flying off. All other stage 4 midbosses in the Windows series go on to act as bosses-with the exception of Lily White, but she is a (admittedly powerful) fairy-and even then she reappears in Touhou 9. She's certainly more powerful than the Mooks populating the stage, but not quite boss material-the rest of the SDM crew probably just see them in the same way-and Patchy, beiing Patchy, probably made no effort to stop them being expendable, seeing as she can just summon more-although she might have taken a liking to a particular one. (Do correct me if I'm wrong about the stage 4 midboss thing-I've pretty much only played PCB and IN.)

Worth mentioning I concocted this WMG after seeing this picture.

  • When ZUN acknowledged the terms "Koakuma" and "Daiyousei" he stated that they refer to a specific sub-class of youkai, and made no statement regarding the names of the particular individuals that appeared in EoSD, so this WMG is entirely plausible.

    • Koakuma army. YES.

Yukari, Sakuya, and Yuuka (and possibly other uber-powerful characters) have lived several times their lifespan.
As we know from what Komachi said in SWR, Tenshi has lived several times her normal lifespan. Now, Yukari and Yuuka are stated to be some of Gensokyo's oldest yokai. They're also some of it's most powerful yokai. It's perfectly possible that yokai aren't immortal, just extraordinarily long lived. Yukari and Yuuka, like Tenshi, just fight off the Shinigami every time they come for her, and it may even be possible that Shikieiki has stopped sending shinigami after them because she knows they'll lose. This also might tie in to in Po FV, when Shikieiki told Yuuka she was 'a little too old': Shikieiki knew Yuuka was waaaaaay past her lifespan, but since her role was not to gather souls, she merely lectured Yuuka. For Sakuya, I believe it was stated somewhere that she's lived longer than most humans do. Rather than being ghouled like some WMG say, it's plausible that she's stronger than most Shinigami are. As for why Komachi only called out Tenshi? Only Tenshi was being all high and mighty about it, and it hit a pet peeve of Komachi's. She can tolerate people like Sakuya and Yuuka because they at least don't brag about it, it's not her job to deal with in since she's a ferrywoman shinigami anyways, and doing so would, plain and simple, just be more work.

Remilia Scarlet isn't lying when she says she's a descendant of Vlad Tepes.
Remilia has been alive for nearly 500 years. It is entirely possible she was born in Europe and later moved to Japan. During said time in Europe, she met Patchouli, which would explain Patchouli's relatively western magic.note  During this trip is when she met Meiling as she passed through China. When she met Sakuya is unknown.
  • But ZUN flat out says she's lying.
    • Alternatively, she was turned by some vampire whose vampires converting trace back to Vlad Tepes Dracul, instead of being physically descended from him. Or vice versa, depending on which way ZUN specifically stated.
      • Actually, that's a pretty good explanation.

Seiga killed Miyako no Yoshika
Yoshika's symposium profile indicates that she may have been murdered with poison, as she died at a young age with seemingly no visible wounds on her body. It's possible that Seiga found Yoshika too interesting and murdered her to keep her around as an undead servant.

Mary is the reincarnation of Yukari's human half
Yukari was originally half-human, half-youkai (boundaries!), but being involved in the creation of the Hakurei barrier caused her human half to be expelled as a separate person. This human half is mostly unremarkable aside from having a weaker version of Yukari's ability (likely caused by the supernatural in general being weaker in the outside world), except upon her death. Since she's part of Yukari, and Yukari is very much alive, instead of going through the normal death process, a new Hearn girl with a vaguely European name is immediately created somewhere in Japan

Utsuho Reiuji is really Obfuscating Stupidity to troll people
The only hint that Utsuho is considered "dumb" is Orin calls her a bird brain (and an indirect comment from Word of God, but barring that). But Utsuho is a raven, and ravens are one of the smartest animals alive, it wouldn't really make a lot of sense that Utsuho is just flat out stupid.
  • On a side note, there are suggestions that ravens and crows are assholes when they think they can get away with it.
    • Corvids in general are well-known to be jerks among birds.
  • Also, it should be noted that Utsuho picked up on nuclear physics fast enough in Hisoutensoku, which either confirms that she's faking it or simply means she's a Genius Ditz instead of a total birdbrain.

Kanako wanting to modernize Gensoukyo is just a cover story for the real reason trying to.
She and Suwako and Sanae are addicted to modern gaming and are suffering withdraw from it and thus the idea was to try to modernize gensoukyo so that they could at least play some games together.

Kosuzu Motoori has an extremely changed consciousness due to her hobby of reading Eldritch Tomes.
The reason she hasn't turned into eyes and tentacles is her ability and that she's a resident of Gensokyo; Land of Illusion. However; even in the brightest depictions, consider; language isn't just translation. There's idioms, values, assumptions, etc. that are fundamentally different in each language. See Paradigms To understand completely a language (which her ability does) is to be able to comprehend and somewhat accept the paradigms and fundamental thought processes of the mind and culture that created said language. Overcoming the language barrier of a book of poetry, or even a simple instruction manual for a simple task; is to change one's Self. She's doing this with ancient youkai cultures that no longer exist, books turned into yokai, books that are the written souls of unmanifested youkai, field guides for Hell, magic grimoires; and the Necronomicon.
  • In short, she's Weird (Wyrd); in the oldest; original meaning of the word. This isn't necessarily a bad thing in Gensokyo; but it will be interesting to she how she handles having this mindset and being human.
    • At the rate she's going, she may not be human much longer.

The reason why there are no males in the games... spite what Word of God said that there are as many males than females in Gensokyo is because danmaku is too girly. "It appears various other rules were also considered, but as the beauty and volume of danmaku especially appealed to youkai and women, they aren't as popular." So a male youkai or human using danmaku has the same cultural bias than a man using a pink shirt or reading shojo mangas for our culture.
  • "...than a man using a pink shirt". Sure, it's not a shirt, but you dare say Ragnar isn't manly?
  • Rinnosuke needs an excuse. A playful Yukari dare?

Flandre is Rumia... AND Nue.
Because Flandrumia keeps getting mistaken for Nue. Those wings!

What happens to the inside of Gensokyo when the barrier goes down varies due to how the Hakurei Barrier is removed.
For example, if Yukari just dissolves the barrier slowly to avoid mass destruction, she can gently tease Gensokyo over the boundary until it lands safely. If Reimu dies horribly and there are no Hakurei left to replace her (And all auxiliary personnel like Genjii, the Hakurei Orbs, possibly Marisa, possibly Sakuya, and definitely Yukari are either dead, broke, or unwilling and/or unable to help), the barrier turns off and Gensokyo impacts Japan with the force of a giant meteor from above, with cute pretty shows for the Lunarians watching from the moon. The barrier is drained of power extremely fast? Kablooey, Gensokyo goes pop and everything within gets hit by the wrath of the universe's plot hole. The barrier slowly loses power? Gensokyo safely plops down in Japan and the Hakurei Shrine is no longer a dual-existing location.

Miko will become Head Human Administrator; and it won't be what she's expecting.
Akyuu and Keine will go, "Fine, you want to administrate? Have fun." and give her the next 20 years of work on road and building construction; overturned ox-cart hauling, actual community organization, and accounting. (the boring math part. Miko wouldn't embezzle.) She'll be a very busy mundane mayor; not Emperor.

Flandre's wings are mineral crystals.
And her wingspan is BONE. There really IS a volcano in the Scarlet Devil Basement, and Remilia tossed Flandre in there for her 495-year sentence. At one point, Flandre's wings were dipped in lava, but her raw epicness or something kept the bone itself from being burnt up. A shell of cracked igneous rocks usually coat the bone itself to prevent it from looking scarier than it needs to be. The lower bones forming the wing proper were coated in mineral crystals: The coloring matching is because magic, Gensokyo's mineral composition, and pure luck.

Large portions of Gensokyo have ironically perfect counterpart characters or equipment.
Flandre's short-term kill-them-all power is paired with Laetevinn's long-term magic. Remilia's long-term fate manipulation is paired with Gungnir's perfect-aim short-term. Youmu's peerless swordfighting, highly physical, is met with spirituality because she's half-ghost. Yukari's theme Necrofantasia to Border of Life, Yuyuko's theme. They're friends. ZUN is setting up a lot of connections here. Reimu's shrine-maidening to Marisa's MASTER-SPARK-THEM-ALL! Keine to hakutaku!Keine. Satori's opened eye to Koishi's closed. Byakuren's Buddhism to the Moyira Shrine's Shinto. Et cetera.

The reason to why everyone in Gensokyo can fly is due to Reimu's power.
Well her power is to float and she is the cornerstone for Gensokyo it's safe to assume that her power affects everyone living in there. And by extension all in the Hakurei line inherits this power.

Daiyousei isn't just a great fairy. She's actually The Great Fairy.
As in not a sub-class of fairy, but the leader of all fairies in Gensokyo. Her name is unknown because if you name her, you can control her. Then, anyone who controls her would be the master of Gensokyo's most populous race and disrupt the delicate balance of power. Her shyness is an act designed to prevent this by misleading anyone from attempting such a power grab.
  • And Cirno is her unwitting bodyguard. She was only the midboss in Eo SD because she was surprised and Cirno is slightly stronger for trying.
  • Her going DIE-yousei in Fairy Wars and fighting Cirno was for training purposes of both of them. Since Cirno was much more likely to actually attack someone (The entire rest of the game), Daiyousei served as the defending spellcard-caster whilst Cirno did the player-character act.
    • Her midboss appearance in the EX stage was a surprise training with Lily to stop Cirno from dealing with Marisa for her own sake, but Cirno won.

Gensokyo and Makai are locked in a cold war.
Since the fall of Pandaemonium in Mystic Square, the two lands have been separated by a hostile no-man's-land. The lock-step formations of Makai's fairies in UFO's sixth stage are due to the strict militarization that now dominates the land. It is also the reason Captain Murasa sailed the Palanquin Ship into a relatively unpopulated sector of Makai. She was trying to help the player character by attracting as little attention as possible from Makai's army.

Every snowflake in Gensokyo is a miniature Cirno, or other ice fairy.
Cirno's just so big and strong because she's Sariel's reincarnation. She's got 6 wings, has ice powers, isn't that smart, may be able to melt and reform, and has fan-popularity like numerousness. Why not?

Cirno's religion is Baha'i
Everyone was just insulting every aspect of her during Cirno's Perfect Math Class.

The soccer ball from Touhou Soccer is the container of the remaining Hourai Elixir
Kaguya had leftovers. Why else is that ball immune to anything and everything thrown at it, including 4 master sparks at once, Flandre, Gungnir, Patchouli/Alice/Marisa combo, the Hakurei Barrier, Shinki's hair, Eiki's judgement attack, Youmu's moon-destroying swords, thousands of explosions, beating through several people, and lots of other stuff? It regenerates instantly due to the Hourai Elixir.

The Soccer Ball is actually Reimu's Yin-Yang Orb painted over for the occasion. That's how it survives every city-razing blast it receives.
Credit goes to Fenrirknight7 in the Youtube comments.
  • This would explain how Reimu somehow comes up with a "Super Technique" just from Soccer. ...okay, Soccer that has everyone concentrating their super god-like powers on the ball.

Eirin is behind EVERYTHING in the Touhou and Seihou series
Eirin is millions of years old. Who's to say she hasn't been manipulating everything? Everything from Kaguya-Hime to Gensokyo was part of her plan. Even Yukari. The Brain of the Moon planned ALL of it. For her own amusement, of course.

Reimu WAS a zombie, but she isn't now.
PC-98 Reimu was Windows Reimu's mother. Shingyoku is the parents of PC-98 Reimu. Windows Reimu died, so Shingyoku, guarding the gate to Makai, just went inside and bribed Alice with free passage to resurrect Reimu. Unfortunately, Reimu is too special, so Alice had to sew doll components and resurrect her awkwardly. Shingyoku then called Yukari to boundaryhax Zombie!Reimu into a human over time.

Remilia can just fate that Gensokyo will never disappear.
Since Remilia has the power to control fate, why doesn't she just fate that Gensokyo will be around forever?

The Necronomicon will become a Chekhov's Gun.

Kasen wants to become more human. Kosozu wants to be more youkai.
Kasen became a hermit to escape the restrictions that Youkai have. Kosozu is getting more and more seduced by the Youkai side of the Force through her books and Mamizou. Even if they never change, they are the "eyes" in the Yin-Yang symbol; the part that resembles the other side.

Kogasa gets stronger when she successfully surprises somebody.
She's said to feed on humans' surprise, yet she isn't showing any signs of starvation from her lack of success. So it's not so much like food to her as a power boost. Hence her being strong enough to be the Extra Stage midboss when...she surprises the player by being the the Extra Stage midboss.

Cirno's power will increase and she will become able to create, instead of just regular ice, ice-nine.
Cirno is the ⑨ isn't she?

Kasen is a Hermit because she genuinely wants Enlightenment.
Whether she's an Oni or not; she wants understanding of humans and youkai. She doesn't seem interested in Hermit Longevity. Granted, if she is an Oni; she wouldn't need that anyways.

Kasen is not an Oni.
She's a Kishin.

More specifically, female Youkai become Cute Monster Girls while the male ones look like the more traditional depiction. We have seen male Youkais in Genji and Unzan, who both are non-humanoid. In the mangas, especially Forbidden Scrollery, we also see more non-humanoid ones such as En en ra and the various Tsukumogamis. The tsukumogamis are particularly jarring since we have seen a humanoid one before, Kogasa, and the ones in the manga don't. Therefore, either Kogasa is not a tsukumogami, or the ones in the manga are males and we have Bizarre Sexual Dimorphism in this case.
  • At least for the animal youkai, this could be explained by the fact that in most of animal species there are more females than males (humans are one of the few animal species in which the gender ratio is more-or-less equal) and even fewer of them become youkai. So this mean that, at least for animal youkai, it's more probable to find more female youkai than male ones.

Yuuka has just awakened her power to manipulate flowers
Hence why her ability is stated as useless in battle, because she hasn't fully mastered it yet. Forbidden Scrollery showed us with Kosuzu that some abilities awaken at certain times, not from birth. For Yuuka, this time is between the end of Mystic Square and her reappearance in Phantasmagoria of Flower View. This also explains why Yuuka has no association with flowers at all in PC-98 times, she has not awakened yet. Her love and knowledge of flowers are side-effects of her ability. Since Yuuka has just awakened her abilities after living for a very long time, we could say that she's a late BLOOMer.

Shinigami rely on a "mortality point" system that that rises and falls for people who are Enemies with Death.
A kind of Equivalent Exchange; the servants of Yama have to follow dharma which isn't like human law. The path of the Hermit; if followed correctly; lowers these points through ritual, sutras, and doing what the shinigami tell you to do. Accumulate enough points; and a certain level of shinigami is allocated to collect you. Defeat this shinigami; and this resets your mortality points; or at least delays further collection until the next point tab is accrued. Accumulate a lot of points; and they send a Kishin. Just getting away from the Kishin is sufficient to offset the tally.
  • This is why defeating shinigami isn't treated as an immediate crime that results in more shinigami or a Kishin being sent as reinforcements immediately. Or why the Kishin just went away after Seiga escaped its trap.
    • Whether or not the path of fighting shinigami will count against you while standing in Yama's court when you finally do die is unknown. It's likely such a path will result in other behaviors that will be judged.

Yuyuko and Layla were friends of Maribel and Renko
This is especially true if one accepts the theory that Maribel is Yukari and/or is the creator of Gensoukyou. Yuyuko and Layla were part of a Four Girl Ensemble with Maribel and Renko, but died in some sort of accident. If Gensoukyou is a dream world created by Maribel, it make sense that shades of two recently and prematurely deceased friends of hers would "live on" there.

Gensoukyou is a role playing game
Maribel is playing Marisa and Renko is playing Reimu. All the other playable characters are unnamed friends of theirs. Mima's player was the original GM, and her games correspond to the PC-98 games. The original GM left the group after the fifth story arc, which explains Mima's disappearance after the switch to the Windows era.
  • The similarities between Yukari and Maribel can also be explained as a bit of GM trolling.

Yukari is Reimu's Ancestor or at Least the First Hakurei Shrine Maiden
Reimu's ability to float could easily be interpreted as her transcending the boundry of physical reality it's entirely possible that the power could evolve into something similar to Yukari's boundry manipulation. Based on that it's entirely possible that Reimu inherited these powers from Yukari. Think about it why would the Hakurei shrine maidens specifically be the barrier maidens unless the ability to manipulate boundries already runs in the family. Also Yukari predates the founding of Gensokyo and was also instrumental in getting the Hakurei barrier built in the first place. Perhaps nstead of exterminating youkai she hung out with them (sorta like reimu does now but more benign) because of her relatively passive ability. As such when youkai began to die out she was one of the people advocating for Gensokyo to become a youkai paradise. Obviously having all the youkai in one place would be terrible if a large group of exterminators were to appear so using her ability she would misguide any hostile elements getting them lost or something. Eventually continued use of her powers and possibly her association with youkai caused her to become one herself. After that she either left the shrine to her descendants if she had any. Though considering Yukari and Reimu look nothing alike (thoguh Yukari could have changed her form) it's entirely possible that she just keeps taking girls who exhibit a similar enough power to become a Hakurei shrine maiden and trains each generation personally till they become viable then goes back to sleep. The only reason she started visiting Reimu again is because she's either A) an actual descendant of hers (possibly related through a branch family if Yukari didn't have children herself) or B) it's because Reimu is the first shrine maiden other than herself who's exhibited enough power to possibly become a Goddess or youkai herself.

Marisa is trying to develop a controlled Elixir of Life.
She doesn't want to become a Youkai Magician; and she doesn't want eternal life that can never be taken off like the Hourai Medicine. She wants to be able to lengthen her lifespan at will...and should she decide she's ready for the next life; be able to switch it off.
  • Perfect Cherry Blossom does say that the problem she is having in her research is that it's "too big for consumption." This could mean it's a pill the size of a house; or it could mean it would make her too immortal.

Yukari steals peoples' socks.
See the last part of "Justification for Improbably Female Cast: Gensokyo's nature as a land of illusion." above.

Reimu is behind everything in the game-to-game plot.
Who has been in the series THE longest? Reimu! Who has appeared almost always a protagonist? Reimu! Whose shrine has no definite deity? Reimu! Suspicious!

The theme songs are some variant of the I Know Your True Name trope.
What seems to be an excellent descriptor of the characters? Their theme song. Think: Very few of the characters are humans rather than youkai, and those that are humans and not partially something else are at least somewhat magical or otherwise special. Eastern wonderland is still a wonderland, and as such can operate on rules completely different from our own, such as the spellcard system. Considering how unpronounceable some names are intended to be, what's more hard to pronounce than an entire song which may or may not be describing enough of the essence to work, as emphasized by the spirit world versions, changes between games, etc. And this is without taking into account location themes, which usually do not fall under said trope, mostly being objects or collective thoughts. Woe to those who annoy the Prismriver Sisters, who could play your theme song and call you. Unless they're hovering out of view following around the protagonist playing theme music all the time.

The Prismriver Sisters are playing the music ingame
Who has musical instruments and lives in Gensokyo? The Prismriver Sisters, of course. Plus, some of the music seems to consist heavily of violin, keyboard, and trumpet, the instruments used by the poltergeists. They're following around the protagonist and playing fitting music.
  • That means that Raiko plays the percussion instruments (which Lyrica could, but usually doesn't, do). By extension, this means that Raiko is a time lady who went back in time after being created in DDC to play during the earlier games.
    • Or she just stayed out offscreen like the Prismrivers usually are.

Flandre's crazy because...
She can hear her music. All. The. Time. And you thought the Master had it bad.

Remilia hid the sun in the mist...
...Because she wanted an excuse to meet the shrine maiden she'd heard so much about, and since she couldn't leave, an incident like this would be win-win: either it would attract Reimu, or she'd be able to go out and meet her if it didn't. If she'd thought of using a parasol earlier, the game wouldn't have happened.

Renko is...
Ran Yakumo! If Maribel eventually becomes Yukari, she's going to outlive her friend by a great margin. Eventually, she finds out about the art of summoning shikigamis, and, with Yuyuko's help, manages to bring Renko's spirit back as a shikigami, finally reuniting the two after hundreds of years. She also made her a Kitsune, for some reason. Maybe she has a thing for foxgirls?

Renko's ability to determine her location and the current time from the moon and stars could actually be highly advanced mathematics, but she just hasn't figured it out yet; this would also give an excuse for her power not growing stronger: it has, but she's unable to use the full extent of it until she realises that it's actually the ability to perform complex calculations in her head at high speeds. She already has her own ability, putting her on a level above normal humans; if she was to be turned into a youkai, this would likely translate over as increased magical powers, possibly enough to summon her own shikigami. It could be argued that Chen was someone she met after Maribel was Trapped in the Past, who passed on at some point; she then summoned her friend's spirit as a shikigami like Maribel!Yukari did for her.

Reimu's only strapped for cash because...
...she relies on donations. If she were to actively invest in something, her ability to float would keep her in the black by preventing her to sink into the red. She'd at least break even on any investments, maybe even turn a profit, but she just doesn't make any.
  • On the other hand, Wild and Horned Hermit shows that Reimu is just plain bad at making money, even when actively trying to.

If you put Seija next to Koishi, she'll short-circuit.
Because the opposite of having no emotions or thoughts is having every emotion, all those conflicting emotions, and more thoughts than any brain can handle, at the same time.

The spellcard system was modified during Phantasmagoria of Flower View and is being modified regularly.
The games before that had more progressively impressive bombs and stuff that you hoarded, while PoFV had you spamming them to drown the enemy with a clearing effect on your end. Mountain of Faith had completely different bombs focusing solely on the clearing. Considering the slight changes on even returning or blatantly stolen (BYAKUREN!) spellcards between games, the spellcard system is likely modifying itself to accomodate for rapidly shifting powers and people to make sure that everyone can still beat everyone.

Why hats are so popular in gensokyo.
Because they are the only thing that can stop the lunarians fearsome gaze.

Renko Usami is secretly a lunar rabbit.
Usami. Usagitl  mimitl . And she can tell time just by looking at the moon. Most likely that hat is hiding her bunny ears.

Gensokyo won't last forever
Gensokyo was never meant to be a permanent solution to the growing lack of belief in the fantastic in the outside world. Consider that canonically, the Hakurei Barrier has only existed since 1885. Now consider how relatively small an area Gensokyo is. It's in Japan, which is itself not a particularly large country. Gensokyo is probably only a few hundred square miles large, if that. The more long-lived residents of Gensokyo are already starting to get restless from the confinement, as shown by the fairly frequent incidents that Reimu has to deal with. Yukari planned this from the beginning, and has further plans for when Gensokyo can no longer stand as it is.

Renko is Yuyuko
Following the Maribel is Yukari theory, it's unlikely that Maribel would forget her one friend who shared her enthusiasm for Gensokyo before being plunged headfirst into it. It would be fairly simple for Yukari to meet Renko at some point after Maribel becomes Trapped in the Past, and send her back as well, perhaps with some advice to try and get adopted by a noble family. Plus, it would make so much sense for Maribel's best friend to also be Yukari's best friend. As for the difference between Renko and Yuyuko's powers, it could easily be a case of her power growing in an unexpected way, or perhaps Yukari messing around with them.

Mokou and Kaguya don't hate each other
Sure, initially Mokou hated Kaguya's guts, but after centuries of catharsis from killing the object of your ire, even the strongest of hatreds will eventually fade. The only reason that they're still killing each other is out of a sense of tradition, and the only reason that Mokou claims to still hate Kaguya is so that people won't question why they're still doing it.
  • That, or they're both really Tsundere for each other. Or sadomasochists. It could be foreplay. xD

The girl on the cover of Dolls in Pseudo Paradise is that same girl mentioned in the story.
Another thing is that she might be based on U.N. Owen and her power causes her to appear as a clown to her victims.

Reimu will not have to pay Komachi anything when the former dies somehow.
Reimu's power is to float. The Sanzu river's main methods of barricading things include that nothing besides shinigami and their boats float on it. A few quotes from Patchouli winning on Yuyuko in the fighters imply that the dead gain the ability to use magic sometimes, which implies that magical humans would retain their powers. Reimu's power is to float. Therefore, she just floats over the river like she normally flies and Komachi is deprived of any payment from the Hakurei shrine maiden. While the Yama may get annoyed that Reimu attempted to ignore the system in place and send her to hell for any other sins she'd committed, it still gets Reimu across.

Marisa has eaten her own bullets on more than one occasion.
Watatsuki no Yorihime ate part of a star bullet that was pretty much not moving and it was implied to taste sweet by her comment. Who says some of the less obviously weapon danmaku projectiles can't be an edible dessert in addition to a hail of bullets?

Some shinigami end up having to work two separate jobs in Hell's system.
This is why Komachi seems to perform the lifespan-judging functions of shinigami at the Ministry of Right and Wrong (or at least know about this information to the point she's allowed to make claims about lifespans) and make so many Death Note references despite being a ferrywoman shinigami: She's actually performing both positions, though as she slacks off with ferrying sometimes it's unlikely she actually helps with very much calculation and just ends up moving around the physical paperwork for Eiki or something equally minor but helpful. This assumes her SWR win quotes are either not jokes or jokes that are based on things she would actually be in the know about.

The characters' hitboxes are their shirikodama.
They seem to be at around the right place, and they definitely exist within Gensokyo...

Reimu really is an undead zombie.
She's probably been dead for a while, but never noticed it. She likely died sometime around when she fought Yuyuko, but her soul just floated back into her body before anyone realised it. She took a turn for the worst around Mo F, but somehow found a cure for corpse rot without figuring out that she wasn't alive anymore. ...Of course, this means she can't actually die, and probably won't ever age.

Hina is monstrously powerful.
...Well, stage placement does not necessarily equate to power level, and Stage 2 bosses have been overpowered in context as well. Cirno IS the strongest fairy, Chen is the shikigami of the shikigami of boundary hax incarnate as youkai, and Mystia survived being eaten by a ghost whose power is to invoke death and control the dead and whatnot to reappear in Po FV.
  • Plus, Hina is apparently some form of curse goddess, and the last time curse-related deities went on a rampage it took Suwako to stop them, and even Kanako conquering Suwako with hax vine didn't change how impressive it apparently was to the people of the Moriya Shrine's original location at the time. And Hina has been gathering misfortune for a while now...
  • Someone even said Hina might as well be monstrously powerful on this page, so I did this. Meh.

Sakuya attacked Gensokyo in retaliation for Yukari's invasion.
An epileptic branch of the Sakuya is a Lunarian theory, taking from the Sakuya was originally a murderer one too. Basically, Sakuya heard the legends of the invasion by Yukari and, knowing that no one had gotten revenge, decided to do it herself. She was only stopped by Remilia, who she agreed to serve from then on.

Rumia is from Poland.
Rumia was a youkai who was born in the (real) town of Rumia, Poland during the 1920s. When Nazi Germany took over Poland in 1939, Rumia was sent to a concentration camp, where she attempted to escape using her powers. However, her escape failed and the Nazis, having learned of her powers, moved her to a secret research facility so that she could be experimented on and brainwashed. Fortunately, Yukari gapped Rumia into Gensokyo to prevent the outsiders from learning of the youkai. Yukari then sealed Rumia's memories into a ribbon. The only thing Rumia can remember of her former life was the name of the town she was born in and the image of 'the saint being crucified on the cross'.
  • Touching her ribbon causes her to experience painful memories from being trapped in a concentration camp, which as without any psychological help or even knowing what she is flashbacking through is absolutely horrifying to her. She COULD be made to touch her ribbon, it would just be a prospect too horrifying for her to consider willingly to the point her body subconsciously resists the experience.
  • Thanks for the historical lesson there. I also was convinced there was a town of Dali before I learned there actually was.

All the Windows incidents have been caused by an energy called Dark Force.
After Touhou 5, Mima combined the evil energy of Makai with that from her home of Hell to create a powerful corrupting force. She sent Marisa out into Gensokyo with the core of this energy to corrupt all the inhabitants. In the outside world, Remilia sensed a disturbance and came to Gensokyo to stop Marisa. Remilia attacked Mima and Marisa, killing Mima and stealing the Dark Force seed, but used it herself to attack Gensokyo. Reimu and Yukari stepped in to stop Remilia, and Yukari shattered the Dark Force seed while the two together established the spell card rules in case anyone found the seeds. And every time before every Windows game, someone has, and barely any of the seeds have been found.
  • Remilia is remembered as the sole perpetrator because of propaganda by Reimu (who Marisa befriended once she was purged of Dark Force) and Yukari.

Gensokyo feeds off human beliefs and fantasies in the outside world.
No, it's not a creature of them, more in the sense of the Sacred Realm, which is said to change its appearance depending on who visits: It's a beautiful paradise to one of good heart, a nightmare land of death to one of evil heart. Which would explain not only the incredible beauty coexisting with terrible Nightmare Fuel, but also why there's no official overall layout of things geographically, and every fan game that feels the need to lay things out does so differently.

Hakurouken and Roukanken can cut outside of reality.
How else could Youmu counter the hax-tier Fantasy Heaven with Voidness Sword "Slash Clearing The Six Senses"? Being able to cut out of reality and reach where Reimu floats out to, of course!

There used to be a Hakurei order much like the Jedi Order
. In the PC-98 days, Reimu was the equivalent of a Padawan or Knight, and was promoted to Knight or Master as a reward for her skill and bravery in the five PC-98 incidents. Then most of them were killed in the Vampire Incident, perhaps in a similar manner to the Jedi Purge. When this run of incidents stops, Reimu will found a New Hakurei Order. For one thing, it would explain Reimu's Frilly Upgrade.

As a reference to Komachi's win quote, Marisa will at some point say "I'm dying" in a Touhou material that comes out in 10 years from the events of Touhou 9
She will actually be in no peril whatsoever, but it will still happen. Because why not, it's Gensokyo.

There is a Dark Side Cave under Youkai Mountain.
Hina used to be one of the cave's dark gods. Then, when Marisa was rampaging around as a Dark Force (see a previous WMG), the Aki sisters fled to near the cave to escape her notice by masking their Light side aura. Once Marisa became peaceful, the mountain became strong with both sides of the Force, attracting youkai like Nitori, Momiji and Aya... and, eventually, the Moriyans. But the Moriyans scared away the Aki sisters with their immense power, and the power of the Dark Side Cave began to seep out again, and then Nitori gradually Took a Level in Jerkass, Aya became perverted and her friendship with Momiji fell apart, Sanae began her Descent Into Madness, and Kanako though up a bird-brained scheme to gather faith.

Cirno's personality
Why is Cirno the way she is? Maybe she realised that as a fairy, she's basically stuck in a child's mind for all of eternity, and that's her way to cope. Some children try to mask insecurities by making claims similar to hers, after all.

Rumia's true identity as a youkai
All youkai have some kind of human origin. Some are simply superstitions made real, some are beings born from people's attempts to explain the world around them and some are creatures born from people's fear of the unknown. Rumia embodies one of the most basic fears of all: The fear of the dark, or rather, the fear of the unknown that hides in the darknote ... As many of us know, the dark is something a lot of children fear and, in her sealed state, Rumia embodies the childishness of being afraid of the dark: She's a very childish monster; a blond little girl far too mentally undeveloped to be able to catch anything. As long as you're smart enough to run away from her, you're safe. She's, to be frank, the kind of monster a child's mind could think up... On the other hand there's a much deeper reason why humans are afraid of the dark, and that fear is different from the childish fear described above. That fear harkens back to the days before humanity even lived in houses. That fear is there to remind us that in the darkness is where the predators lurk. The darkness is to where your loved ones go and then never return. EX-Rumia embodies the Primal Fear of the dark that's ingrained into our very genes. She embodies Darkness Equals Death. This also makes her a, if not the, progenitor youkai as she embodies the nameless fear mankind felt for the unknown things in the dark before we gave it names such as "Boogiemen", "Vampires" or, indeed, "Youkai"...

Sariel and 'angels' like her are a Makai defensive grid
It explains the two angels in spheres in one attack phase and the background spheres in the opener, along with the star motifs of Mystic Square stage 2. The hole opened up into Makai by Reimu whacking Sariel in the chest and neck area with the Hakurei orb and multiple exorcisms is where Sara was defending, and the similar name is because Shinki didn't feel like being original about names that day. The gate into the fractal cave before Yuugen Magaan was the original entry in the mountains by the Hakurei shrine, probably closed after Reimu blasted her way in, and Yuugen Magaan was an advanced defensive system for that specific opening in the angel-star grid. They didn't show up in UFO because they were scrapped after Mystic Square by Shinki when she blew up much of Makai, because the Palanquin hopped dimensions directly and thus didn't use a gate, because Hokkai being so heavily sealed meant it didn't need to be defended that much or uses a unique defense like the Shinki-winged fairies, or some combination of the above.

The brief invulnerability period when bosses enter is because of stage fairies
Since fairies respawn, there's no need to hold back against them. Since some of the bosses are quite capable of dying of extreme extermination violence, there's entry invuln to keep them safe.

The bloodthirsty ying-yang orb is actually relatively harmless
All it wants is to see what blood tastes like, the killing people and being bloodthirsty is incidental to that. If Seija threw it into Remilia's emergency blood storage it would happily start absorbing blood for whatever.

Sakuya is Momiji.
Well, she's often referred to as dog-like, and fandom even gives her wolf ears and tail, and from there it's not too far till you have Momiji. Plus, Sakuya was not present for any of the Moriya Conspiracy arc save for Touhou 10.5, which may have taken place before 10 as no Touhou 10 characters appear (same as with Touhou 7.5, although in that game's case it was more like Touhou 8.5) and Momiji appears solely within that arc.

The Tasofro games take place earlier than their slots among the ZUN games.
The first three include no characters from the immediately previous ZUN game, and the last was released well after the ZUN game that preceded it and tied more into the story arc that game was part of than the next ZUN game, which was released closer to it and was not part of that arc.
  • Congratulations, you successfully noticed that the fighting games take longer to make than the shooters. They do take place where the numbering suggests they do, though— even if they're missing some characters, the victory quotes make the timeline clear.

The Tasofro games are a separate continuity intertwined with the ZUN games.
They merge whenever a fighting game occurs.

Wakasagihime and Kagerou are in Impossible Spell Card because they're looking for payback.
Because of Seija, they got beat up by Reimu, Marisa and Sakuya. They decided to take some kind of revenge on the one they hold responsible for making them go crazy in the first place.

Impossible spell cards are legal when they're not truly impossible due to the opponent's non-bomb abilities.
Some of the photography games levels and other spinoffs have cards that are only impossible if you don't use bullet cancellation or similar not-just-shooting tactics. Considering Aya does not appear to be breaking any laws when she's going out to photograph people and neither are her opponents, we can assume this is a legitimate form of danmaku battle. If you have good clearance abilities or something else keeping you from being walled, the opponent is free to use practically solid walls. Seija merits these cards for having her stolen/dangerous items.

Alice studied manipulation of boundaries by magic just enough to open some gaps, but no further.
One of Stage 3 Alice's attack patterns in Mystic Square involves sending two dolls to open a gap-like shape which fires bullets everywhere, then closing when it's shot out of the way. This is never seen or heard of or mentioned ever again, even in the EX-stage, let alone by Windows canon. Alice might have been trying to pick up Yukari's style for the sake of easy transportation, and when it failed to hold off the protagonists and then Alice found the much more accessible Grimoire of Alice she went for that instead. Alice still doubts her mastery over anything related to gaps and doesn't use gaps beyond maybe Hammerspace for storing dolls and doll parts and such. Presumably Yukari and Alice had an offscreen exchange about very sad backstories when the latter moved (or was retconned) from Makai to Gensokyo, which warned Alice away from infringing on Yukari's territory.
  • Er. That's a magic shield. It turns player shots into bullets and protects her from harm, but doesn't last very long.
    • OP here. Well, we're Jossed unless it was actually the boundary-between-Alice's-bullets-and-player's-bullets or something. derp

Rumia and Meiling are acquaintances.
It explains why Meiling made a comeback to a comment Reimu made to Rumia, because Rumia actually popped by and told Meiling about the incoming miko. It also explains why Meiling attacks you as a midboss then a boss rather quickly: She knew you were coming.

Sakuya's power is not stopping time.
I belive that the time stopping comes from the Luna Dial, her actual power is something else entierly.
  • Perhaps her ability is manipulation of spacetime plus required secondary powers and whatever and the Luna Dial is just a backup or something she uses to bring others into her timestop? We know from Hisoutensoku that a mysterious pocketwatch (probably the luna dial in question) from Sakuya can be used to stop time, but it doesn't let you attack, only move. Both of Sakuya's full timestop cards (including the one throwing the luna dial at the enemy) allow her to attack freely. The Luna Dial version lacks Required Secondary Powers and maybe some tertiary not-essential-but-nice-to-have-powers like being able to affect things besides the bare minimum air to move around, which Sakuya has on her own timestops. ZUN and Patchouli's theorization that Sakuya can play with space as well as time is probably right. Her real power is said spacetime manipulation plus some unknown powers and the Luna Dial is just an accessory that gives her even better timestops and maybe lunarian characteristics like purity-to-the-point-of-almost-no-aging (she acts like someone with centuries of refined service and looks in her twenties at latest, with no signs of aging from aging-during-timestops that might nearly double her physical age with cleaning work or sneaking naps during timestops, etc.) and being able to beat up anyone who isn't too far ahead of her in narrative importance or sheer power.

Tewi's ability isn't to give people luck, but rather solace.

It's stated in her article in Bohemian Archive that she can give anyone who meets her a little happiness. It's possible that when people are more happy/ content, they work more efficiently, bringing in more fortune, and thus over time, the humans associated Tewi with fortune and luck altogether. Tewi, being who she is, didn't exactly object to this potentially useful belief.

  • According to her (admittedly not very trustworthy) statement in her interview: "I don't lie just for my own happiness, it's for theirs too. If you want someone to be happy you've got to lie.", it's possible that she doesn't have any magical abilities at all, but is just so good that she can trick people into feeling happy. Certainly fits her personality well.

Patchouli really can speak multiple incantations at once, using even more magic.
Marisa was right. It does explain how even on a rather sickly day she can fire complicated and quite strong multiple-element spells, since presumably the chanting voices are secondary and magical in origin and are not affected as much by her illness.

Sakuya's lifespan is because she's also magician.
Everyone is just confused because she doesn't actually use magic very much, preferring her time powers and knives.

Sakuya is from Makai.
ZUN compared Yuki and Mai to Sakuya in species when asked about the survival of the former two after Mystic Square. Since Yuki and Mai are magicians created by Shinki, that presumably would mean Sakuya is a Shinki-brand makaian too.

In the Touhou universe, maid is a species and profession, like magician.
ZUN referred to maids as mythical creatures. Maids are a type of youkai, presumably one that like regular maids are paid to clean houses and be a servant. Sakuya is one of these, and has youkai longevity, thus explaining the lack of clarity about her actual age and origins.

Seija turned her power against the Spell Card System itself.
Impossible Spell Card is the result of this. The Spell Card System itself is omnipresent throughout Gensokyo and the neighboring realities. Entities use the spell card rules even if they're not aware of them; and winning or losing the contests is Defeat Means Friendship as a result of the system.
  • Seija turned her inversion power against this itself after Double Dealing Character; thus not only her not being Befriended in the end, but EVERYONE turning against her in Impossible Spell Card and breaking the spell card rules themselves. IE, an inversion of what usually happens.
    • Her victory in the end of Impossible Spell Card caused her "rebellion to make the weak rule the strong" short itself out in paradox; and the resulting infinite loop ended the attack against the Spell Card System itself; not to mention the System is strong enough to correct itself eventually. However....everyone remembers breaking the Spell Card System to fight her. And the seeds of that make it Worth It to the Rebel Counterattacking Amanojaku.

Renko Usami is a men's rights activist.
That fedora(-like hat).

Maribel and Renko's world is actually from a distant past.
In her chapter in Cage of Lunatic Runagate, Watatsuki no Toyohime mentioned having observed lives coming out of the sea, implying she and the Lunarians existed before humans. However, it is also implied that Lunarians were originally humans, creating a paradox.

However, what if, they were humans from the past? Their world was so technologically advanced that every mystery of the world has been solved, and even the supernatural can be explained by science. Because they have known everything, the humans forgot their fear and became arrogant and careless. Through this, an Apocalypse How ranging from Class 3 to Class 5 happened, destroying their civilization.

There were survivors, however. These survivors, horrified of the apocalypse, seeks a pure land freed from death and impurity: The Moon. They traveled to the moon and built a pure, deathless civilization there. We know them as the Lunarians. Among these was Eirin Yagokoro.

The apocalypse didn't end all life, however. Some species survived, and continued to live and evolve, effectvely resetting the world. Humans once again rise to sapience and started civilization again.

The Lunarians weren't the only survivors. There were other group of people that refused to go to the moon, and instead stayed on Earth. Knowing that the lack of fear of the unknown was what brought the old world's destruction, they turned themselves into the 'unknowns' themselves, and kept the humans from finding out the secrets of the 'unknown'. They were then called gods, demons, monsters, youkai, etc.

Yet, human civilization keeps advancing. Realizing humans would soon know of the 'unknowns' at that rate, one of them, erected a barrier to keep the unknowns as unknowns. The land inside the barrier, where humans keep fearing the unknown, is acting as a failsafe in case that the humans outside repeat the mistake and destroyed the world again. The one who came up with this was Maribel Hearn, now adopting the name of Yukari Yakumo.

The Seihou world is the PC-98 era's future.
The future. Somehow.

The Touhou WMG page will get a second page.
This page is already on the Overly Long Pages list.
  • It's a little under 6000 characters away from 500,000, but the servers have probably been upgraded in all these years. I could even make sub-pages.
  • Confirmed, in a way. I'm making sub-pages.

Youmu's swords cannot become tsukumogami via the Miracle Mallet's side effects, or at all.
Roukanken was forged by youkai and can apparently kill spirits. Hakurouken can only be wielded (at least in any degree of usefulness that would count as use) by the Konpaku family. And that is why Youmu did not even bother investigating during Double-Dealing Character, since it did not concern her weapons. Alternatively, Hakugyoukurou was simply not affected by the incident, or it was quite severely and Youmu was busy clearing out rampaging youkai trying to invade the Netherworld. While Sanae's paper-on-a-stick didn't have enough of a personality from use to go tsukumogami, Youmu's signature weapons are ancestral and are probably old enough to go tsukumogami in general if malevolently discarded.

Remilia's charisma is actually sexual attractiveness.
It would explain both why Sakuya serves her so loyally despite her own obviously greater competence and why she and Reimu have such fun conversations without ever wanting to kill the other. It would also mean that Remilia's "charisma break" is no charisma break at all.
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