YMMV / Imperfect Metamorphosis

  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Eirin. Callous, coldhearted Mad Scientist who doesn't give a damn about the consequences of her unethical experiments? Or genuinely good person who acts cold and distant because she is utterly broken by the knowledge of the consequences of her misguided curiosity?
    • This is even discussed by Reisen in chapter 39:
      "Had she, like Reisen, also been struck with the full realization of what she had done? That small plea for forgiveness seemed to indicate as such. But then, why did she work so hard toward Rin's destruction? Was it all just as she had claimed earlier, a desire to put Rin out of her misery? Or had this moment been nothing more than a moment of weakness, a crack in the façade, before she had hardened her heart and returned to business as usual?
      Reisen didn't know. Eirin Yagokoro's mind had been near impossible for her to gauge even before all this had gone down, and she wasn't about to make the attempt now. There was no denying that Eirin felt a great deal of responsibility towards Rin, but whether it was driven from actual remorse or from a desire to correct what she saw as a breathtaking failure Reisen could not judge."
  • Base-Breaking Character: Yukari. Some fans will take any chance to bash her for her reckless and authoritarian behavior and general hypocrisy, as well as the shitty way she treats everyone else. Granted, it's not exactly undeserved, but some take it more personal than others. The author himself acknowledged that he didn't anticipate such a strong reaction.
  • Broken Base: The story itself: it is generally well-received among those who know it, but there are a few who bash it for being "grimderp".
  • Crazy Awesome: Marisa freaking Kirisame.
  • Creepy Awesome: Yuuka. Kazami..
  • Draco in Leather Pants: A very unusual exemple, as it doesn't come from the author, but from (some of) the readers: Yuuka in-universe is everything but this, but some readers gladly overlook some of her most villainous acts, because, among the main villains, she's still the one who gets the most (if not the only one) Pet the Dog moments. Of course, they may have some other reasons.
  • Evil Is Sexy: The three prominent "evil" characters, Yuuka, Mima and 'the Shadow Youkai' all have some shades of this. Yuuka is the most blatant, which makes her even creepier. Mima also casually flirts with Reimu and Reisen, though the two seem quite displeased about this. Lastly, the Shadow Youkai, during her Breaking Speech to Rin, threatens to rape Reisen .
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: The presence of a blue-haired mermaid here (as mentioned under The Cameo) predates Double Dealing Character and Wakasagihime.
  • "Holy Shit!" Quotient: From the spin-off Touhous IN SPACE, Yuugi being launched out of a cannon, into the cold vacuum of space, right through a magma barrier and punching Yukari's flagship in half, surviving the whole ordeal. All while not spilling a single drop of sake from her bowl.
  • Iron Woobie: Rin Satsuki. Underneath a mostly cheerful and heavily unstable exterior lies a past full of pain, abandonment, abuse, and, more recently, everyone on the list of the "big names" of Gensokyo trying to kill you. Her only "friend" is her youkai companion who in return really dislikes her. No wonder that she snaps after the Battle in the Center of the Mind. One wonders how much more thoroughly she'll snap once she discovers that Kirin society very literally considers her mere existence as an abomination, simply on account of being an unplanned child.
    • Kotohime qualifies, because she has the disadvantage of being a mere human trying to do her job and has to deal on a daily base with monsters, lack of recognition and problems in general. And she still doesn't give up.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Cirno may have been a bully and a prankster at the beginning of the story (as well as plenty of years before that), but damn can you not help but feel bad for her after getting beaten up so much, mainly by Marisa and then Yukari, and all that happened to poor Rumia which starts up the plot. The rest of her gang may count too.
    • On second thought, Rumia herself might fit this a bit more, maybe. Even Rin can also get angry if you push her too hard, but that's probably more like Beware the Nice Ones.
  • Les Yay: Being a Touhou fanfiction, it's almost required to at least have hints of this, such as Marisa's frequent sex jokes, or Wriggle being mistaken for Mystia's lover, or Rumia admiring Kaguya and Mokou's bodies, or Yuuka's... affection towards Wriggle, or the Shadow Youkai threatening to rape Reisen as part of a To the Pain speech.
    • And how can we forget this phrase Yukari said to Yuyuko:
      Yukari (as soon Yuyuko carries her in her arms after the fight with Yuuka): "You…do realize…this doesn't mean…we're going steady."
    • It's also discussed in-universe. For example, there are some... rumors... about the relationship between Marisa and Alice.
      "If anything, [Reimu] hoped that those two would move beyond subtext and make official such a relationship. Threatening to tell Alice whenever Marisa started to get out of line would at least make it easier to control her."
    • And how could we possibly forget Rin and Rumia's Innocent Innuendo-laden conversations?
      Rumia: Nuh-nuh! Every time you stick your fingers in me, bad things happen!
    • Nue also admits that she went after Rin not for the bounty, but just to protect Byakuren. Oh, and that she loves her, too.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Despite Yuuka's Blue and Orange Morality, there are many moments of this or Kick the Dog that some really stand out even if the story isn't finished yet.
      • Capturing Flandre Scarlet after mocking the weakness of her and Remilia's entire species as vampires, concealing her voice as Remilia's, stabbing her in the heart with a stake, then refusing to give her back to Remilia even if Remilia is willing to hand over a sealed Rin Satsuki to her.
      • Relieving all of Rin Satsuki's traumatic memories to figure out who she is in Chapter 45.
      • Murdering Marisa after the witch defeats her in a duel. Yuuka had said Let's Fight Like Gentlemen before, as she expected Marisa to lose; but ended up killing her because she found disgraceful to lose against a human. Things get to bad from worse afterwards, as it's Marisa's death that sends Mima to commit a Moral Event Horizon worse than Yuuka.
      • Raping Wriggle in the past. It's revealed that after Wriggle broke up with her, Yuuka resorted to abduct youkai girls to have as sex slaves. Like Sekibanki and Seija.
    • Mima was always Affably Evil, but crosses the Moral Event Horizon after the death of Marisa. She decided to take revenge on Remilia, Yukari and Yuuka, the ones responsible directly and indirectly for it.
      • Sending Sakuya and Patchouli on a suicide mission to go to Mugenkan and saving Flandre. Because of this, Patchouli dies and Sakuya crosses the Despair Event Horizon after she's unable to save Flandre (who chooses to stay with her new friend Rin rather that returning to the basement).
      • After Patchouli dies, Mima goes to her remains and gloats that she never cared about her and was just using Patchy for the sake of her revenge on Remilia. And to think Patchouli adored Mima and considered herself her biggest fan...
      • While sending Sakuya and Patchouli on the suicide mission, Mima was disguised as Yukari all the while. All because she planned to damage Yukari's reputation and for Sakuya and Patchouli to die. All for the sake of avenging Marisa.
      • After being defeated by Rin and Flandre, Sakuya resigns herself to die. Mima activates one of Patchouli's spellcards at her from the shadows with the intention to kill her. If not for Meiling's intervention, Sakuya would have died.
  • Tear Jerker
  • What Measure Is a Non-Badass?: Rin suffers from this. She has received a few criticism for being a weak character, but it must be considered that she resisted to the psychichological attacks of the Shadow Youkai (to which, if she had yield down, Gensokyo would probably be no more) and always try to find a solution.