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This page is for Reimu Hakurei and Marisa Kirisame, the overall main characters of the Touhou franchise.
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    Reimu Hakurei 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/rsz_413160343401a91d24d8e006d72ffeb4.png

[PC-98]
Shrine Maiden Who Protects Dreams and Tradition
Reimu Hakureinote 

[Windows]
Shrine Maiden of Paradise
Reimu Hakurei

"Whatever, I won't lose! Let's go!"

The main protagonist of the Touhou series in general, Reimu is the shrine maiden of the Hakurei Shrine, built on the border of the Great Hakurei Barrier which surrounds Gensokyo. Apart from her traditional miko duties, the Hakurei Shrine Maiden also acts as a sort of sheriff, protecting Gensokyo's native humans by resolving disturbances and "incidents" caused by Youkai. She is the official author of the Spell Card system, a type of Wizard Dueling which allows most such conflicts to end nonlethally, though she does not appear to have been its sole inventor.

Reimu is extremely talented, but hates training and is very lazy. She's a fair, honest person who acts the same way around everyone, regardless of social status and whether they're a friend or enemy. Unfortunately that usually just means she's a cynical Jerkass to everyone equally. This passive attitude towards monsters doesn't sit well with most of the humans in Gensokyo either, which means her shrine is unpopular and receives few donations.


  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
  • Ambiguously Gay: Some fans believe Reimu's at the very least bisexual because of her flirtatious conversation with Meira in Story of Eastern Wonderland. While that moment could tenuously be interpreted as Reimu mistaking Meira for a man, this is actually pretty unlikely given the full context, especially considering that once Meira clarifies that she is a woman, Reimu's immediate reaction is not to back down, but to make "Meira carries me off" to be her own victory condition.
    Meira: And to make myself perfectly clear, I am a woman!!
    Disgusting!!

    Reimu: So☆ If I win... then
    Yeah, that works for me,
    were there any conditions you wanted to add..?

    Meira: Do you even listen to people talking to you!!?
  • Ambiguous Innocence: Reimu is consistently described as carefree at heart, guileless, and simple in her thinking. She also just plain doesn't see things quite the way everyone else does. It never seems to occur to her that her way of doing things can cause people a lot of unnecessary grief before the resolution, or that what seems straightforward to her might be a mind-bending trick to others, or that her own natural gifts can be an unfair advantage in some things... And as the flip side to her impartial view of others, ZUN says, she's not particularly attached to anyone either; no matter how popular she is, "she's actually alone in her heart."
  • Ancestral Weapon: Reimu's main weapon are the Hakurei Yin-Yang Orbs.
  • Art Evolution: Reimu's appearance has changed particularly often and dramatically since the start of the series — after all, she's been in all games but two. Most infamous in Mountain of Faith, where an oddly jaundiced skin tone led to the joke that Reimu had become an undead zombie.
  • Badass Normal: While she possesses the powers of channeling gods now, back then in the PC-98 era she had absolutely zero powers and only relied on her giant yin-yang orb (which she used like a soccer ball) and her generic Ofuda; she also had to use her turtle Genji in order to fly. Despite that, she managed to beat, in order of status: A realm-warping human with magical powers, an absurdly powerful evil spirit who even had Marisa as a henchman, the supposedly strongest youkai of all, the angel of death, and a god that creates worlds.
  • Bad Liar: Whenever she tries to lie, it's so painfully, obviously forced that it's practically impossible to not realize it immediately. She is really that incredibly bad of a liar. An excellent example is when she disrupts the meeting in Symposium of Post-Mysticism. She claims it's to protect humans beyond all else, but it does not take long for other elements to slip out—not just her being a Slave to PR, but that she's doing this on behalf of the weaker youkai as well. One can usually see the exact moment she realizes she's been caught in a lie.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Not in canon, but it's common in fanart for Reimu's Windows-era outfit to expose her belly button whenever she lifts her arms. The closest that's appeared in canon is the title screen of Legacy of Lunatic Kingdom, where it just exposes a Sarashi.
  • Barrier Warrior: Only actually seen in the fighting games, but while not at Yukari's level she's pretty good at barrier magic.
  • Being Personal Isn't Professional: It's Reimu's job to exterminate youkai (which she does quite aggressively), but that doesn't mean she dislikes them. She will make half-hearted attempts to stop them from loitering around her shrine, though, as otherwise she would lose the Human Village's trust.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Messing with the Hakurei Shrine is a very good way to bring down Reimu's wrath on your head, as the first two games and Scarlet Weather Rhapsody demonstrated.
    • In Touhou fanworks, it is also not a good idea to cheat her out of donations, or worse, steal her donation box.
    • Forbidden Scrollery demonstrates that turning yourself into a youkai is a good way to get yourself exterminated by Reimu. Horrifically literally. She tolerates beings such as magician youkai though, who used to be humans, so presumably what infuriated her was the method of the transformation, or the specific type of youkai. Or alternatively, it could be the fact that it was a human from the village who did this. Like, for instance...
  • Beware the Nice Ones: In chapter 25 of Forbidden Scrollery it's revealed that a man from the human village set up an elaborate plan to become a youkai. When Reimu confronts the human-turned-youkai he claims that with his goal accomplished, he intends to live a peaceful life far away from humans, so there's no reason for the "youkai shrine maiden" to pretend to exterminate him. Reimu responds by unflinchingly splitting his head in two with her gohei, killing him, and states that a village human turning into a youkai is "the greatest sin there is". Yikes!
  • Bonus Boss: The last extra boss of Shuusou Gyoku, the first game of Touhou's sister series, Seihou. She also shows up in Magic Pengel.
  • Born Lucky: Reimu is downright notorious for her luck and incredible intuition. It's why her default method of problem-solving seems to be to pick a direction and go, since she'll always manage to end up headed towards the Big Bad eventually.
  • Born Winner: As the Hakurei shrine maiden, she was born with enough raw power to put her head and shoulders above her closest competition despite having never worked for it. In fact, she outright abhors working.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: As noted above. Indeed, fans have noticed that Watatsuki no Yorihime owes her Invincible Villain status to essentially being a version of Reimu who takes everything seriously.
  • Brutal Honesty: The idea of lying often never even comes across Reimu's mind, and she'll bluntly, unabashedly say exactly what she thinks no matter who she's talking to or what the situation. This is in fact one of the major contrasts between her and Marisa - while Marisa will often lie just for the heck of it, Reimu is simply far too honest to even attempt it. Her sheer honesty is one of the reasons that the two Oni of the series take a liking to her, as honesty is a favourable trait to Oni. Parodied in this fan comic.
  • Butt-Monkey: In the PC-98 games only. In many game endings, notably in those of the latter three games, either Mima or Marisa will decide to randomly bully her. Even in their bad endings. This. however, has entirely disappeared in the Windows games, where she herself is the one who comes off as a bully.
  • Canon Immigrant: Reimu's signature attack Fantasy Seal originates from her appearance as a Bonus Boss in Magic Pengel; its name is derived from that game's keyword system.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Reimu's values and views of the world are... different from everyone else's, a trait that's frequently brought up both by ZUN and Rinnosuke. This is most often shown by her occasional strange comments and the abnormal conclusions she tends to draw.
  • Colour Coded Characters: Reimu and Yukari form the "Border team" in Imperishable Night. It's rather convenient that the colors of their outfits correspond to the borders between visible and invisible light.
  • Costume Exaggeration: She wore a realistic Miko outfit in the PC-98 era, but in the Windows era she switched to a more stylized version of a miko's traditional wear.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Almost everyone she defeats tends to end up at her shrine for a tea party. Deconstructed in that Reimu has trouble keeping her new "friends" away, and since officially most of them are enemies of mankind, this leads other humans to distrust her.
  • Demonic Possession: Fell victim to this accidentally by Fujiwara no Mokou in Reisen's story mode, due to the "Perfect Possession" incident.
  • Depending on the Artist:
    • Reimu's hair varies in length and can be either black or brown, while her eyes vary between grey, brown, blue, or red. In the PC-98 games, her hair and eyes were both purple.
    • Her ultimate spell card Fantasy Nature looks different in every appearance, ranging from a Super Mode that grants temporary invincibility + Roboteching attacks (Imperishable Night), to a continuous omnidirectional Magic Missile Storm which must be charged up before use (Scarlet Weather Rhapsody), to a Counter Attack which traps her opponent inside a barrier that bombards them with Ofuda before exploding (Hopeless Masquerade). Then again, it's less of a technique and more of a state of mind. In fanworks it can look like almost anything.
  • Desperation Attack: In Highly Responsive to Prayers, her bombs can damage bosses when she's out of extra lives.
  • Detect Evil: As shown in Forbidden Scrollery chapter 16, she's able to tell when youkai have been active in an area from their lingering auras.
  • Don't Think, Feel: Reimu's powers seem to be tied to her impressive instincts; some of her most powerful spell cards have her enter a trance where she hands control over to them entirely.
  • Empowered Badass Normal: As of the Windows canon she's attained the ability to fly and summon gods.
  • Everyone Has Standards: In spite of her notoriously lazy nature, Reimu refuses to abuse Fantasy Nature even though it would make her unstoppable as well as implicitly immortal, treating it as a Dangerous Forbidden Technique and putting a time limit to its use whenever she does perform it. The reason is never given, but it might tie into her ultimate desire to remain relatively normal.
  • Expecting Someone Taller: This little exchange.
    Shou: You're the human who gathered the flying treasure? You look a lot more scrawny than I imagined.
    Reimu: How rude.
    Shou: I'm sorry, you're quite right. I simply thought that if you'd made it this far, maybe you were some sort of ascetic scholar.
  • Face Fault: Has one when talking to Rika in Story of Eastern Wonderland.
  • Fantastic Racism:
    • Zig-zagged. While she is a youkai exterminator, she'll generally beat down anyone who gets in her way, no matter who or what they are, whether they're human (as Marisa, Sakuya, and Sanae can attest to) or gods (Kanako, Suwako, and Hecatia). And afterwards, she'll sit down and have tea with them without the slightest malevolence whatsoever. Outside of duty, she treats youkai the same way she treats humans, with vague disrespect. ZUN has said that she doesn't particularly care about humans or youkai, and she personally considers everyone the same, neither negatively nor positively. This is supposedly part of why powerful youkai tend to be drawn to her.
    • Wild and Horned Hermit has given a motivation to her "jerkass" behavior. Youkai by definition oppose humanity; and they are opposed by humanity. If they didn't do this, they wouldn't be youkai. (What would happen isn't stated, but it would likely be bad.) Pranks and "youkai extermination", softened by spellcard rules, give some pretense to following this paradigm.
  • Final Boss: She's the last character you fight in the regular final boss's Story Mode of Immaterial and Missing Power, Phantasmagoria of Flower View, Scarlet Weather Rhapsody, and Hopeless Masquerade.
  • Flechette Storm: Her main projectile weapons besides her Paper Talismans are long throwing needles. She claims they do less spiritual damage, but have better penetrative power and aren't as affected by wind and rain.
  • Flunky Boss: As the True Final Boss of Hopeless Masquerade. The flunkies being Byakuren and Miko, just to drive the point home how hard it is.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Not shown often, unless you count the whole Defeat Means Friendship routine, but animals seem to really like Reimu. She's been seen feeding wild rabbits by hand, summoning birds with a whistle, and crossing a river without noticing it because fish rose up to form a bridge under her feet.
  • Genre Savvy: One particularly amusing example in Perfect Cherry Blossom was Reimu waiting around for a boss to arrive.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Not nearly as bad as the fans (or Kasen) believe, but when duty calls, she's a bit of a jerk.
  • Gradual Grinder: Reimu's Homing Amulets are typically the weakest shot-type in any game they appear in, at least in terms of power, but they are almost constantly dealing damage to her opponent. And her small hitbox and slower (and thus more precise) movement speed means she can usually afford to be patient.
  • Guest Fighter: Has made appearances in Seihou, Magic Pengel (as a boss) and Graffiti Kingdom (as a playable character) due to ZUN being involved in their development. She also shows up in the Massive Multiplayer Crossovers Lord Of Vermilion and Nendoroid Generation.
  • Hair Decorations: Her large red-and-white bow and her "hair tubes".
  • Hates Everyone Equally: Noted for being equally rude to humans, youkai and gods. She does, however, seem to have a soft spot for children, or at least wants to avoid setting a bad example for them (most notably in her interactions with Kosuzu).
  • Heart Is an Awesome Power:
    • Reimu's ability is the power to float in the sky, which every girl in the series is capable of doing already. Except then you reach Fantasy Nature. ZUN's description: "Supreme Master-Art. With Reimu's ability to float, she floats away from physical reality and becomes invincible. If it wasn't just for play (with time limit), no one could beat her by any method". She can't be hurt, and the only way to win is to wait for her timer to run out while she's free to bombard her opponent at her leisure.
    • One of the laughably Mundane Utility "powers" of the Hakurei Yin-Yang Orb - the power to eat sweets and never get fat - is believed to give her the smallest hitbox.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Marisa. Hard to see it in the games, because Reimu and Marisa are mutually exclusive characters, but the two are practically inseparable in the official print works.
  • Hime Cut: As a miko, this is the traditional haircut for her. She's depicted with a lot of different hairstyles throughout the series (from shoulder- to waist-length, with or without a ponytail, with or without hair tubes), but the early games and ZUN's art leans towards this more often than not.
  • Holy Burns Evil: The Yin-Yang Orbs. Before Reimu was able to use their powers properly, she exploited this trope by physically kicking them at enemies.
  • Holy Hand Grenade: Post PC-98, Reimu is a walking one. Implied to come with the territory of being the Hakurei Shrine Maiden.
  • Homing Projectile: Her signature ability in most games.
  • Hyper-Destructive Bouncing Ball: The Yin-Yang Orb in Highly Responsive to Prayers, when it was used as a bludgeoning weapon and not an orbiting Attack Drone. One of her moves in the fighting games gives a nod to this.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: Her ofuda and sealing needles. Averted in Wild and Horned Hermit chapter 27 due to Gameplay and Story Segregation: Reimu's stock of needles is small and they have become bent and rusted from overuse, forcing her to have them repaired.
  • Hyperspace Holmes Hat: A common gag for Reimu in the manga.
  • Idiot Ball: Grabs it in Wild and Horned Hermit, Chapter 35. After running around the entire day investigating the mysterious disappearances and reapparances, she eventually fingers Yukari as the apparent culprit. While the truth is more complicated than that, in-universe she chides herself for not seeing the obvious clues from the start.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: When she breaks up the gathering in Symposium of Post-Mysticism, she brings as evidence of the problematic nature of youkai some newspaper articles. Very few of which suggest anything baleful, no matter how much she fears Aya might have downplayed them—and how can anyone claim Kyouko and Mystia were guilty of anything worse than disturbing the peace? What many of them are is strange. Add in her equivalent of Hair-Trigger Temper whenever an incident manifests, and it's strongly suggested that she (and more than a few other humans) desperately want life to be predictable. She's just more...pro-active...about ensuring it. Her irritated comment about how the outside world must be barbaric in her B Extra Stage in Double Dealing Character—just from Raiko commenting on how taiko drummers prize unthinking enthusiasm—further seals it in.
    • It probably doesn't help that in traditional Shinto thought, misfortune presupposes impurity of some sort. A world with strange, startling occurrences, or otherwise not placidly predictable, is thus, by definition, defiled by something. The disturbing the peace from Kyouko and Mystia's new band? Chimeric because it jars others' routines.
    • In a way, this serves to further differentiate her from Marisa.
  • Improbable Weapon User: In the fighting games and in Double Dealing Character she can use her gohei as a melee weapon.
  • Intangibility: When using her Last Word from Imperishable Night, Fantasy Nature, she actually temporarily flies away from reality.
  • Irony: Despite being a miko, her powers and way of thinking are far more Taoist than Shinto (coming particularly close to the Taoist ideal of wei wu wei), to the point where she's been compared to a hermit. She possibly acts more Taoist than the actual hermits introduced in Ten Desires, who only achieved their status through Soul Jars (and one of whom has Shinto-based powers). Her use of yin-yang-themed weapons doesn't help.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: Her attack and speed are just barely adequate, and she has no real glaring flaws, as far as standard gameplay goes. Her attacks are highly flexible and she's good for just about any situation. Reimu A is usually a homing type, and sacrifices power for range and accuracy. Reimu B is usually the forward-focus type, similar to Marisa's gameplay, but not quite as strong; in exchange, her attacks have a wider range, making it easier for her to hit the targets. Finally, she consistently has the smallest hitbox and longest deathbomb period, making her ideal for survival play.
  • Jerkass: In canon, she beats up youkai she suspects of stealing, fights and insults multiple characters because they annoyed her, and even fights Byakuren out of sheer annoyance. In fanon, she's done just about anything from bullying everyone in reach to going Ax-Crazy and extorting donations from everyone after getting fed up of her Perpetual Poverty. However, other fans have adopted a more charitable interpretation of her as having poor social skills and/or being forced by her position to keep everyone at arm's length.
    • Symposium of Post-Mysticism reveals through Miko (the character, not the job) that despite how she acts, what Reimu truly desires is a peace that doesn't require violence.
  • Leitmotif: She has a couple, but "Maiden's Capriccio" (and its remix "Maiden's Capriccio ~ Dream Battle") is her most iconic.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: In the final story of Urban Legend in Limbo, upon realizing that Sumireko is being used by Lunarians, she discards her usual attitude and becomes really pro-active, going straight after Sumireko with little patience to anyone else getting her way. ZUN even compares it as her overcoming her "final boss" side and showing her true character.
  • Light 'em Up: Her signature attack Fantasy Seal creates large balls of light around her in different colours, which then home in on enemies and explode.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: Can pull this off with Ofuda.
  • Meaningful Name: "Reimu" can be interpreted to mean "prophetic dream".
  • Miko: In the PC-98 games she wore a traditional miko's outfit (white haori, red hakama). In the Windows games she wears a much more customized and non-standard outfit, though it still keeps the traditional red and white colours. Job-wise, she has all the usual duties a real miko would have (keeping the shrine clean, collecting donations, etc.) while also dealing with incidents.
  • Mood-Swinger:
    • Tends towards this in her off-hours, having a tendency to switch from placid to irritated at the drop of a hat. When she's actually trying to seem professional she can come across as outright Tsundere.
    • According to Reisen in Phantasmagoria of Flower View, people with short wavelengths to their personality are energetic while those with long wavelengths are carefree. She describes Reimu's as alternating between the two extremes, "a voice that matches with no one and clashes with no one".
    • Played for Laughs in a chapter of Wild and Horned Hermit set during the events of Hopeless Masquerade, where a kappa is taking bets on a duel between Reimu and Byakuren. Kasen enthusiastically cheers an embarassed Reimu on... while betting against her.
    Kasen: "Reimu always screws up when she gets cocky.[...]There's no safer bet anywhere."
  • Ms. Vice Girl: Lazy and greedy, but ultimately a good person who's devoted to her job.
    Komachi: "That shrine maiden didn't have any evil thoughts to begin with. [...] Just about all humans have that level of worldly desires. Working hard despite that amount of desire isn't evil, it's innocent. Among the innocent ones, you get people like that shrine maiden."
  • Mythology Gag: In the Fighting Game spin-offs, a portion of Reimu's moveset is taken from Highly Responsive to Prayers.
  • Near-Death Experience: Nearly dies after eating some spoiled leftovers in Wild and Hornet Hermit. Her soul even ended up in Shigan briefly before returning to life.
  • Ninja Log: Reimu's Instant Dimensional Rift skill in Hisoutensoku switches her with a double that explodes into a shower of damaging Ofuda if struck.
  • Not So Invincible After All: In Silent Sinner in Blue, she gets defeated for perhaps the first time in-canon by Watatsuki no Toyohime, who interpreted her presence on the moon as an invasion.
  • Nun Too Holy: While she defers to gods and treats youkai as enemies, she only does so because it's her job; she doesn't discriminate by such things personally. As multiple characters have commented, Reimu's attitude would be great for a hermit (in the Taoist sense) but doesn't really fit a shrine maiden. She also has some gaps in her training, to the point where she didn't know until Double Dealing Character that tsukumogami should receive prayers to becalm them, and doesn't know what god she's serving. Part of this may be due to Yukari's influence.
  • Off-Model: See the "zombie Reimu" meme.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: When Kosuzu goes missing in the middle of a storm during the "Let's Not Go Out On Purple Days" storyline, Reimu is uncharacteristically serious and starts acting like herself during an Incident. After learning that Kosuzu went missing because she was heading to the Shrine, Reimu asks the gods to help her find Kosuzu, something that Reimu almost never does. More seriously Marisa discovers Reimu as she was about to attack Youkai Mountain by herself. Marisa just barely stopped Reimu as she was readying her weapon to fight Aya.
  • Opposites Attract: Reimu is rather serious by Gensokyo standards and has no tolerance for mischief, yet her closest friends tend to be extra-strength weird, such as the maniacal Marisa, the gregarious Suika, the whimsical Yukari, or the erratic Aya. Topping all of them except Yukari would be Remilia, who swings between serious Noble Demon and childish little girl.
  • Onmyōdō: Ofuda (rectangular paper charms) are her weapon of choice along with giant yin-yang orbs.
  • Paper Talisman: Her main weapon, usually thrown as Homing Projectiles. Depending on the Artist, the only thing Reimu writes on her ofuda is 大入note  - Marisa suggests that this was intended as some kind of trap, but can't understand why Reimu's ofuda still work when she does this.
  • Parental Abandonment: Despite the importance of her bloodline, it's unknown exactly what happened to the rest of the Hakurei clan, just that Reimu has been living alone for as long as we've seen. In Curiosities of Lotus Asia, Marisa outright says that Reimu is an orphan.
  • Perpetual Poverty: Reimu doesn't get donations, and the Hakurei Shrine is often described as "shabby-looking", though she has no problems providing for herself. Apparently Yukari secretly provides some food donations.
  • Personality Powers:
    • Reimu is rather distant from other humans (both socially and in her level of ability); she fittingly has two powers which make her "untouchable". Her ability to float matches her habit of drifting from one emotion or idea to another without being truly attached to them, while her "treat everyone the same" attitude and concern with maintaining the balance likewise fit her use of yin-yang-themed weapons.
    • Her disposition fittingly manifests as sunny weather in Scarlet Weather Rhapsody. Bright and pure, but easily obscured by anything that passes.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • In contrast to her infamous attitude during incidents, in a chapter of Touhou Sangetsusei she kindly warns a fairy (who resembles Daiyousei) to find shelter before she gets blown away by the upcoming storm. Later on she even allows them to stay near the shrine.
    • During Touhou Bougetsushou when an injured "Earth" rabbit comes by the shrine she takes care of her and even (grumpily) informs Eientei of what happened.
    • Letting Shinmyoumaru stay with her after the events of Double Dealing Character until the Lucky Mallet recharges, and actually treating her quite well.
    • During Symposium of Post-Mysticism she breaks apart the meeting not just because the villagers were asking/nagging her to, but because the weaker youkai were afraid of some of Gensokyo's most powerful political entities all being together in one place.
  • Portal Cut: Basically how her Occult Last Word seems to work in Urban Legend in Limbo, creating a "gap" in her opponent by slashing them with her gohei.
  • Punch-Clock Hero: Reimu tends to only get involved in incidents out of duty, rather than out of an actual desire to help others. While she's not completely selfish, she's also far from an ideal hero.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Her actual eye colors aren't consistent, even in official works, but they are sometimes drawn red. If you are a Youkai, and you start causing trouble when her eyes have been drawn red, this certainly applies.
  • Resigned to the Call: A bit hypocritical about it though, in that she'll get bored if there aren't any incidents for her to resolve. In fan works, this can lead to her being depicted as a Grumpy Bear or a Knight In Sour Armor.
  • Roundhouse Kick: In the fighting games, her Ascension Kick is a backflipping vertical roundhouse which sends enemies flying upwards. She also has a Hurricane Kick upgrade Divine Arts "Sky-Conquering Wind God Kick".
  • Running Gag: In the manga a common running gag is Reimu's ignorance when it comes to subjects pertaining to the outside world. For instance, in Forbidden Scrollery when Mamizou tells a ghost story about a car with GPS, Reimu imagines a street cart being led by a spirit.
  • Sarashi: Canonically, she wears one under her clothes, but Depending on the Artist, she may or may not use one in fan works.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Signature Move: Her Spirit Sign "Fantasy Seal" spell card, which has her send homing, multicolored balls of light at any and every opponent. Also "Fantasy Nature" - a Finishing Move which is an expression of Reimu's nature and can't be used by anyone else, though its effect varies heavily between appearances.
  • Slave to PR: Later works have also started to emphasize the pressure she feels from the human village - most humans cannot accept the idea of a shrine maiden associating with youkai, and either don't know or don't care about the times she has protected them in the past. In Forbidden Scrollery it reaches the point where Reimu can't point out a disguised Mamizou even to foil her current scheme, since she'd have to reveal she knows her. Legacy of Lunatic Kingdom reveals that Reimu's "youkai shrine maiden" reputation has even spread to the Moon!
  • Spot of Tea: She takes tea breaks about every thirty seconds. Marisa ribs her about it.
  • Stepping Stones in the Sky: In Hopeless Masquerade she can create barriers in midair and kick off them to launch herself at enemies.
  • Teleport Spam: One of the many applications of her power is to allow her to teleport short distances, often in rapid succsesion. Initially she needed the help of Yukari to pull it of but eventually learned to do it herself.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: Averted, one can think this is the case due to the Spellcard Rules, but they are only in place to maintain Gensokyo's balance in the general sense, not in the individual sense. In fact she is not above "needless" killing, and she will if she finds reason to. The Jinyou from Forbidden Scrollery made the mistake of thinking she was under this rule, and it cost him dearly.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: She's simultaneously the tomboy to Yukari's girly girl, and the girly girl to Marisa's tomboy.
  • True Neutral:invoked In Gensokyo's political climate she is supposed to be of neutral standing. Aya takes advantage of this in Forbidden Scrollery, forcing Reimu's back against a wall and thus allowing the tengu to use Suzunaan as a means to spread their newspapers.
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Her portrayals in Wild and Horned Hermit tend to show her as a greedy blowhard who ends up getting what's coming to her.
  • Vague Age: Information provided in print works and the passage of seasons in the games suggest that at least six years have passed between The Embodiment of Scarlet Devil and Hisoutensoku, so Reimu should probably be over 20 years old by now — more if the PC-98 games still count. However, official artwork usually depicts her as looking somewhere in her teens. For what it's worth, the publishers of the official comics can get away with showing her drinking alcohol fairly often, so it's plausible that she's "officially" in her twenties.
  • Winds of Destiny, Change: Reimu's ultimate technique Fantasy Nature simply turns her natural ability to go with the flow Up to Eleven for a few minutes, to the point where her projectiles aim themselves and any attack passes through her without harm.
  • Wrap Around:
    • Her entire gimmick for her boss fight in Imperishable Night. For her spell cards, she creates borders around and inside the battlefield to shoot danmaku through. Those shots will eventually reach around to aim at the player character from various directions. Her last spells involve flying off one end of the screen and coming out of the other while shooting at you.
    • Her support power for her A type shot in Subterranean Animism, since Yukari is her partner.
    • Also her gimmick in Hopeless Masquerade, where performing a backdash while up against either side of the stage will allow Reimu to move to the opposite corner.
  • Zigzag Paper Tassel: She wields a gohei (as is typical of miko), which has two of these attached to it.

    Marisa Kirisame 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/rsz_90de9ca67ee2d9125600db9a44e7d3b9.png

[PC-98]
A Being of Magic and Red Dreams
Marisa Kirisame

[Windows]
Ordinary Black Magician
Marisa Kirisame

"Move and I'll shoot!! I messed up. I mean, shoot and I'll move. In a flash."

A magician who lives in the Forest of Magic, Marisa first appeared as the Stage 4 boss of Story of Eastern Wonderland and became a playable character in every game afterwards, eventually becoming the secondary protagonist of the Touhou series. In the Windows games Marisa is established as Reimu's best friend (and friendly rival), the two having known each other since they were kids. In contrast to Reimu, who was strong from the day she was born, Marisa is a completely normal human with no innate supernatural abilities... not that she let that slow her down. Nowadays she takes pride in her status as an "Ordinary Magician" who earned her spot in Gensokyo's list of notables through nothing but persistence and hard work.

Marisa is rude, loud-mouthed, and a notorious liar and thief, but also a very straightforward person. Despite her rough edges, between her and Reimu she's portrayed as the friendlier and more sociable main character, with enough connections in town and elsewhere to always know the latest gossip. She is also more sentimental than Reimu, and tends to worry more actively about the safety of the human village even if she doesn't admit it. Due to the amount of research and experimentation required for her spells, she can be surprisingly knowledgeable about science and magical substances (albeit as a resident of Gensokyo, her understanding of Outside World science tends to be distorted at best).


  • Acquired Poison Immunity:
    • In Wild and Horned Hermit Marisa ignores a sign warning of toxic fumes, since she's been exposed to so many poisonous substances as part of her research. It's implied that she's even become resistant to mercury poisoning in this way.
    • Her response in Chapter 33 when Kasen notes that the false morel Marisa mentions as an excellent magical ingredient is poisonous?:
    Marisa: Sure, it's poisonous. Still edible, though.
  • Always Second Best: Next to Reimu. In fact, Marisa has admitted several times that she is the second-best in Gensokyo, a fact she seems to, surprisingly, hold pride in. Given that Reimu can and, canonically, has kicked everyone's ass there, Marisa's pride is probably justified.
  • Amulet of Concentrated Awesome: The Mini-Hakkero, a pocket-sized octagonal magical furnace which Marisa uses for many things... including her Master Spark.
  • Ascended Extra: After her initial appearance as a villainous minion with no real backstory or motivation, she went on to become the second main character of the series.
  • Ass Kicks You: an attack in the fighting games, known as the "Flying Doombutt" for its surprisingly high damage and range. As it makes Marisa immune to projectiles, it has given rise to an obscure meme known as Marisa's Bulletproof Bloomers.
  • Audience Surrogate: In her profile in Strange Creators of Outer World, ZUN explicitly calls her "the player/reader stand-in character" in the series, since her presence allows him to explain things that he couldn't/wouldn't if Reimu were the sole protagonist. He credits this to her straightforward nature, saying it makes her easy to understand but at the same time occasionally makes her "un-Touhou-like".
  • Badass Bookworm:
    • In spite of her apparent unconcern for obtaining anything honestly, all of her abilities were gained by either studying the necessary magical texts or inventing them herself. Although considering The Grimoire of Marisa, and the fact that Reimu assumes that she's looking to steal someone's magic when Marisa is trying to exterminate whatever is living in the Three Fairies of Light's house, it's fair to say that she does at least get her inspiration from other people.
    • Doujins and fanvids take this further: one common and recurring storyline is her finding the secret to Alice's dolls, only for it to blow up in an accident. She didn't just steal the spellcards; she's practically remaking them. This justifies how she learned Master Spark from Yuka, and how she got the Non-Directional Laser from Patchouli and used them in later games.
  • Black Magician Girl: Specializes in offensive magic.
  • Blood Knight: Marisa enjoys beating people up a bit too much. Although her true love has always been kleptomania.
  • Bonus Boss: In both Shuusou Gyoku and Fairy Wars. Granted, in the latter case she's the Bonus Boss for Cirno.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Nearly the entire Alice scenario in Subterranean Animism. Oddly enough, however, they're treating the game as an RPG. In The Story of Eastern Wonderland Marisa is aware of how many continues you used, and in the trial version informs Reimu that the game ends on the third stage.
  • Breakout Character: Originally Marisa was just another enemy (and a minion to Mima) in the second game, but was Promoted to Playable from the third game on and has since appeared in as many games as Reimu (in Cirno's Gaiden Game, Reimu does not appear, while Marisa is the Extra Stage Boss). She also stars in way more fan games (both official and not) as the Player Character, such as Mega Mari and New Super Marisa Land. Also also, her face is the icon for every integer Touhou game available for PC.
  • Brought To You By The Letter M: In Undefined Fantastic Object, Marisa's apron has a noticable "M" stiched on it.
  • Camping a Crapper: Invoked with her last word in Urban Legend in Limbo where she slams her opponent to a bathroom stall from where Hanako-san grabs the victim and pulls them in.
  • The Charmer/Chick Magnet: Fandom quite often turns Marisa into a Les Yay version, which results in comedy/drama.
    • This is actually how she performs her infamous bookthefts from the SDM: She goes there acting like she's doing a friendly visit and most of the residents let it slide or actually hide her from Patchouli.
  • Composite Character: Spell attacks and books aren't the only things she's stolen from people. In the transition from PC-98 to Windows, she's picked up Mima's habit of lying and her general personality, Chiyuri's speech patterns and Ellen's 2P costumenote .
  • Consummate Liar: When she's not this, she's either being a Bad Liar or engaging in Blatant Lies. When the judge of the dead tells you that you're going to hell for lying too much and your immediate response is that you've never told a single lie in your life, you just might have a problem.
  • Curtains Match the Window: Blonde hair and yellow eyes.
  • Cute Witch
  • Didn't Think This Through: When Marisa begins her research into the various other character's spell cards for her book; there are two things she didn't plan for: spell cards are designed for a target and most Touhou characters are extremely fickle. Cut to Marisa's image gallery for the book and you'll sometimes see Marisa as being on the receiving end of spellcards. Some of which include seeing Marisa in the middle of Sakuya's Flechette Storm, being knocked over by Tenshi's earthquakes, or being chased by a giant Suika looking to stomp on her.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: Compared to Reimu, though games with more than two player characters sometimes have more extreme examples.
  • The Ditherer: It's not always obvious due to her being a Consummate Liar, but Marisa has issues with long-term commitment. This can be seen in things like her running away from home to set up a "magic shop" in the middle of nowhere, her desire to become immortal but reluctance to use any of the methods she knows of, and her half-hearted attempt at invoking Kanako in one of the endings of Mountain of Faith. In Hidden Star in Four Seasons she even admits privately that the idea of becoming Okina's servant sounds interesting, but she doesn't have the courage to give up her current lifestyle.
  • Does Not Like Magic: Not Marisa herself, but her father refuses to keep magic items at his shop and there's implied to be a wedge between them. Marisa considers it a private matter, so the exact details have never been explained.
  • Doppelgänger Attack: For her final attack phase in Shuusou Gyoku.
  • Edible Ammunition: The projectiles in her Stardust Reverie spell card might be some kind of candy (likely konpeitō), as we learn in Silent Sinner in Blue. During the futile series of battles on the moon, Yorihime nonchalantly dodges Marisa's star bits and even takes a bite out of one, noticing their sweet taste.
  • Evil Redhead: Her original appearance in Story of Eastern Wonderland. Her hair was changed to blonde in the next game.
  • Face Fault: She does a bunch of these in the print works, usually whenever she finds out Reimu's done something silly again. She and Reimu share a few in Forbidden Scrollery.
  • Flying Broomstick: Almost always shown riding it in the games. Oddly, she uses it for attacking but not for flight in the fighting games (though this was changed in Hopeless Masquerade, where fights take place entirely in mid-air). Word of God states that she only rides the broom for appearances, to keep up the Cute Witch motif; she can fly on her own just like anyone else if she wants to.
  • Foil: While she's most obviously one for Reimu, she also has the interesting talent of being the opposite of pretty much anyone she's paired up with. She can even play both The Straight Man And The Wise Guy with equal ease, depending who she's talking to.
  • Four Is Death: If Marisa is a boss in the game, she will ALWAYS be the fourth boss in the game, and always rather tough. In addition, she is different in nature every time. In Story of Eastern Wonderland, she is also the Penultimate Boss; in Lotus Land Story, she is a normal boss. In Imperishable Night, she is also a midboss, and in Great Fairy Wars, which only has three stages, she is the Extra Boss, making her, again, the 4th boss in the story.
  • Frickin' Laser Beams: Both Master Spark and the mini-ones. Fanon says she copied this from Patchouli.
  • Funetik Accent Adaptation: As an attempt to render her Tomboyish speech and "ze" Verbal Tic into English, fan translations usually give Marisa a mild Southern drawl or "tough kid" speech pattern, using some nonstandard grammar and droppin' letters here an' there.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: The plot of her A path in Double Dealing Character emphasizes just how powerful her bewitched mini-hakkero is... but the flamethrower is weaker than her alternative shot, and Dark Spark is exactly the same as Master Spark used to be.
  • Genre Savvy: Sometimes the wrong genre, like the Alice scenario in Subterranean Animism where she treats her adventure in Former Hell like it's an RPG instead of a Bullet Hell game.
    • She doesn't even bother asking more than one question to Yuugi, figuring that as a city NPC, she'll pull a Welcome to Corneria on her.
  • Glass Cannon: She often has high firepower and speed compared to other characters in the Windows danmaku games. Of course, as with any other Touhou character, she'll instantly die if just one bullet touches her hitbox.
  • Guest Fighter: Shows up alongside Reimu in Seihou and Nendoroid Generation.
  • Hair Decorations: Has a small bow tied to the end of her braid (that is, when she has a braid).
  • Hard Work Hardly Works:
    • Played straight when compared to Reimu, but she's still extremely powerful thanks to her training, quite possibly the next strongest human in all of Gensokyo.
    • In Symposium of Post-Mysticism, Byakuren explains the Six Buddhist Perfections. Marisa dismisses the first two (Generosity and Discipline) but...
    Byakuren: "Forbearance" is to withstand humiliation or pain from others. "Diligence" is the effort exerted to continue training.
    Marisa: Everyone does that, not like you have a choice.
  • Bromance: With Reimu. While they seem to work alone in the games (or as momentary opponents), in the official print works, it's rare to see one without the other.
  • Hihi'irokane: According to Curiosities of Lotus Asia, the mini-Hakkero is partially made out of the material.
  • Home Run Hitter: Her last word in Urban Legend in Limbo has her spin around before smacking her opponent with her broom, sending them flying into a toilet, where several demonic arms grab the victim.
  • I Let You Win: Sort of. She goes easy on Cirno during the extra stage of Fairy Wars, using variant lasers that don't actually kill her, instead chipping away at her motivation gauge. However, multiple times during the battle, she finds that Cirno is stronger than she thought, and so steps up the complexity of her attacks. At the end, she thinks that Cirno might have been a problem even if she was going all out, and the effort from the battle is still enough that she has to go home and lie down afterwards. On the other hand, it's Cirno rather than Marisa who gets a "beaten up" portrait after the fight.
  • Immortality Seeker: On-and-off, since old age is still a fairly distant concern for her. While there are theoretically a few methods open to Marisa, she's yet to find one she likes enough to commit to:
    • The standard route of becoming a youkai magician would mean giving up her humanity. Not only would this affect her personality, Marisa is proud of her underdog status compared to youkai. There is also the way Reimu reacts to Humans-Turned Youkai in Forbidden Scrollery; specifically killing them that means Marisa would certainly have to surpass Reimu before even attempting this; as Reimu would likly try and kill her for such an action.
    • Becoming a Hourai immortal would require the disturbing act of cutting open an existing immortal and eating their liver (possibly against their will). The process is also completely irreversible, meaning that she wouldn't be able to die even if she later wanted to.
    • Becoming a hermit requires devotion to Taoism (and/or a dangerous Soul Jar ritual), and Marisa has little interest in religion.
  • Insistent Terminology: She's not stealing! She's just borrowing stuff until she dies! (Of course, that's not mentioning the fact that she's also looking for a way to be immortal...)
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold:
    • Her motivations in solving the incidents vary from simply wanting to loot the mansions she visits, to being bribed to solve the incident (Imperishable Night), to just having nothing else to do at the time. In Undefined Fantastic Object, however, she raises the fair point of humans being unprotected from youkai to Byakuren. On the minus side, she's rude, condescending, arrogant, and a notorious thief; on the plus side, she's hardworking, straightforward, and has Chronic Hero Syndrome (although most of the time, she solves incidents just to beat Reimu to it). At the very least, her character alignment is firmly Chaotic Good.
    • In some of the later games, like Subterranean Animism, Hopeless Masquerade, and Double-Dealing Character (Scenario B), she publicly acts like a jerk that solves incidents for wholly selfish reasons, but in private moments, it is revealed that she does care about the well-being of Gensokyo and its people when she sets out to solve an incident. In her Subterranean Animism Alice scenario, she says she wants to make the incident worse to spite Alice for stringing her along without explanation, but when Satori reads her mind, she reveals that she's actually just as concerned about the incident as Alice. In Hopeless Masquerade, she shows deep concern for the people in town when nobody's looking, but once the cause of the incident shows up, she goes back to being her usual rowdy, snarky self. In Ten Desires, she even downplays her skills and abilities, insisting with a sincere face that she is entirely ordinary, while Seiga insists that she must be someone special to make it as far as she has. Marisa responds by changing her title to "Amazingly Ordinary Magician."
  • Kamehame Hadoken: One of her attacks in the fighting games.
  • Kill It with Fire: Adapts that mindset in her A path of Double Dealing Character, due to her possessed hakkero messing with her head.
  • Kleptomaniac Hero: Taken Up to Eleven in the fandom.
  • Kung-Fu Wizard: Mild example. Marisa is a lot more physically fit than most spellcasters of the setting, and in the fighting games she has a larger number of physical attacks than fellow magicians Alice and Patchouli. Even in the Bullet Hell games she has some attacks where she tries to ram into her opponent on her broom.
  • Leitmotif: More so than any other character. Marisa has six themes so far with "Love-Colored Magic" / "Love-Colored Master Spark" being the most recognisable.
  • Lethal Chef: In Wild and Horned Hermit Chapter 34, Marisa decides to cook a meal for Reimu to cheer her up; but unfortunately for Reimu Marisa's cooking skills are exotic; and her palate even more so. One of her main dishes is a Hemlock Salad (aka the poisonous plant used to kill Socrates); and her other dishes include Fire Belly Newt soup (which is poisonous), and pickled Narcissus (which is also poisonous). Marisa attempts to assuage Reimu's fears by telling her she cooked out all the poison only for Reimu to question how she managed to cook the poison out of a salad. The rest of Marisa's meal was pixelated.
  • Lethal Joke Item: Magic Absorber. Horrible range, low damage, and the only bomb in the series that has a shorter invincibility duration than attack duration. It also turn bullets into Ps, which, combined with Double Dealing Character's gimmick, allows a savvy player to turn it into a perpetual motion machine of lives and bombs.
  • Light 'em Up: Light and heat magic are her specialty. Interestingly, she has a stronger affinity for water; she just isn't particularly interested in using it.
  • Loveable Rogue: She's a compulsive liar, a borderline Blood Knight, and a frequent spell and book thief. Despite this, she still has a large number of friends and acquaintances in Gensokyo and the fandom has since then portrayed her as a barely-even-trying Chick Magnet who could practically win over everyone.
  • Magic Missile Storm: Perfect Memento in Strict Sense states that while she is quite a powerful magician, she exclusively relies on offensive spells when fighting due to a lack of magical skill in other areas and a desire for extremely powerful and flashy spells above all else. Marisa even agrees with this statement, in her own grimoire Marisa writes that she is unable to create effective slave projectiles (remote controlled danmaku) and as such her slave projectiles merely rotate around her and not much else.
  • Magic Mushroom: Marisa uses phantasmal mushrooms as a common ingredient/fuel source for her magic. The Forest of Magic where she lives is known for being full of them...but even better known for being full of "magic" mushrooms. Fandom pushes both ends of this routinely, with mushrooms that can have basically any effect imaginable for Marisa or her victims.
  • Magic Wand: Carries one in Undefined Fantastic Object and Story of Eastern Wonderland.
  • Making a Splash: Despite relying mostly on light-based magic, Marisa's best elemental affinity is actually with water. So far, this has only come up in Mountain of Faith (where she can use the water-based shot Cold Inferno) and Scarlet Weather Rhapsody (where her associated weather is Drizzle) while her affinity with water is mentioned by Patchouli in Immaterial and Missing Power and Futo in Antinomy of Common Flowers. Of course, her weather is also just a pun on her name (Kirisame meaning "drizzle").
  • Mana Drain: Her B shot in Double Dealing Character is flavoured as such. Given that the game doesn't have MP, this just results in lots of power items.
  • More Dakka: Everyone's danmaku attacks are like this, but Marisa is notable for constantly looking for ways to get bigger firepower from her magic.
  • Mouthful of Pi: In Mountain of Faith, Marisa gets impatient while travelling across levels and wonders if she could finish reciting pi by the time she got to her intended destination.
  • Mundane Utility: One of the abilities of the mini-Hakkero is to blow cold air, so it can be used like an air conditioner during the summer.
    • She also runs a side business of creating summer fireworks displays using her very flashy and destructive spells if she is paid for it, she even offers refunds if her spells do not go off as planned.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Marisa's Player 2 colour scheme in Phantasmagoria of Flower View is purple like her PC-98 color theme.
    • Also one of her color palettes in Hopeless Masquerade is a reference to her PC-98 color theme.
  • The Napoleon: Very outgoing and energetic, and also unusually short for her age.
  • Nice Hat: She's never seen without her comically oversized witch's hat.
  • Ojou Ringlets: Back in the PC-98 days. Ultimately morphed into the side-braid of the Windows games.
  • One-Hit Polykill: Her most common shot type, Illusion Laser, fires straight ahead at high speed and is usually capable of passing through multiple enemies.
  • Opposites Attract:
    • The Brilliant, but Lazy, blunt, dispassionate Reimu, passive and tricky in her fighting style, popular despite her lack of active socialising, associated with sunshine and spring—and then the hard-working, energetic, dishonest, excitable Marisa, who lives by brute force, bothers people everywhere she goes, and is associated with rain. They're competitors and rivals. They're also best friends who spend a lot of time just hanging out.
    • Marisa's numerous fandom couplings, romantically or otherwise, also tend to be based on this. The withdrawn bookworm Patchouli, the cold-hearted and tactically oriented Alice, and the shy Nitori are, like Reimu, also opposites of Marisa. Other than these, her most popular Fanon pairing is with Flandre, which still fits the trope; Flandre likes playing around and causing explosions, and is easily excitable, but unlike Marisa, she doesn't lie and always plays by the rules.
  • Palette Swap: In Hopeless Masquerade, one of these makes her look like she does in earlier games (that is, her dress is black and white). Another one makes her look like Alice (if she wore a red hat rather than red hairband).
  • Parental Abandonment:
    • It's notable that Marisa is one of the few Touhou characters to have a still-living family; All There in the Manual mentions she has a father who runs a second-hand shop in the human village. It's also notable that she's apparently cut off all contact with him; it's hinted Marisa's father doesn't like magic. In Curiosities of Lotus Asia, when Rinnosuke brings up her father, Marisa responds that she can't hear him, and it's unclear whether she's lying or not.
    • A popular Fanon is that Mima was a sort of parental figure for Marisa... and she's now absent. Hoarding can be interpreted as a sign of loss, in which people are trying to fill a hole that could never be filled by material things. Considering that her house is most often portrayed as filled with every possible object imaginable in fanon...
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: She's noted in ZUN's e-mails to be one of the shorter characters, and in Forbidden Scrollery, she's even shorter than Akyuu. Her fighting style based around raw power suffers none because of it.
  • Power Copying:
    • She has stolen several spells from other characters she has fought over time. Even her signature Master Spark was originally held by Yuuka Kazami. The whole point of the Grimoire Of Marisa is her cataloguing the spell cards of everyone she meets, with the stated plan of using them to learn more magic.
    • This tendency spawned the fan-made game Mega Mari, which is Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
    • Then in Ten Desires, her shots have picked up the explosive abilities of Sanae's Cobalt Spread, while Sanae herself ends up with something resembling Marisa's Super Shortwave. A con job rather than theft this time, it would seem.
  • Power Gives You Wings: She sports a demonic pair of wings for her boss attack in Phantasmagoria of Dim. Dream, and a pair of angelic ones in Shuusou Gyoku's Extra stage.
  • Power of Love: The description of the aforementioned Love Sign: Master Spark includes the instructions "Mutter the spell to the Mini-Hakkero tenderly; aim at someone you don't like; now unleash your annihilation of love!" What exactly that means is still a matter for debate.
  • Power-Up Magnet: Fitting with her Sticky Fingers habits, Marisa often has an expanded hitbox for collecting Power-Up items, and/or a lower Point of Collection (the invisible line above which Power Ups fly towards the player automatically). In Imperishable Night she's the only character who can use the Point of Collection at all times, rather than needing to be focused or at full power.
  • Ramming Always Works: Marisa's final spell card, Comet "Blazing Star", consists of her firing a Master Spark backwards and trying to ram her opponent repeatedly.
  • Roboteching: In Hopeless Masquerade, her "Nano Spark" makes a sharp turn mid-flight if she is using a Shinto-aligned set.
  • Running Gag: While she isn't aware of it herself, in the manga series various youkai tend to transform into Marisa when trying to trick or outsmart Reimu. This isn't restricted to a single species as Youkai foxes and Tanuki have at one point or another turned into Marisa.
  • Secular Hero: While she's experimented with religious methods once or twice (even managing to summon a tiny Kanako in one of her endings), it doesn't carry much deeper meaning for her. In Hopeless Masquerade, a story about representatives of different religions, Marisa is considered the human representative. More implicitly, she is also the moderator of the debates between various priests and deities in Symposium of Post-Mysticism. Her motto in Phantasmagoria of Flower View is "Sturm und Drang".
  • Self-Made Woman: Not in the wealth sense, but Marisa is quite proud of her status as a self-sufficient "Ordinary Magician" who can stand toe-to-toe with Youkai despite not being a Youkai herself, having no innate powers like Reimu does, and being mostly self-taught.
  • The Seven Mysteries: Her occult theme in Urban Legend in Limbo, specifically of the "seven school mysteries" variety.
  • Shoryuken: Her Miasma Sweep move in the fighting games.
  • Shoto Clone: Her default skill set in the fighting games include a Kamehame Hadoken, a Shoryuken, and a flying horizontal attack, all with the traditional button inputs to use them.
  • Signature Move: Her famous Love Sign "Master Spark", which takes the form of a massive, rainbow-colored laser. In addition to the standard version, she's come up with a number of variants:
  • Smarter Than You Look: Marisa rarely draws attention to how hard she trains/researches, either because she doesn't want the attention or she doesn't want people like Reimu taking pity on her.
  • Spam Attack: Marisa's modus operandi in spellcard duels or youkai extermination is to overwhelm with extreme firepower and not much else, she leaves any technical aspects such as sealing or exorcism to Reimu.
  • Star Power: Marisa loves watching stars and meteor showers, she even has a large observatory built into her house in Forbidden Scrollery, and as a result, most of her spells are themed after space or heavenly bodies.
  • Sticky Fingers: In terms of items and skills. Her presence in both Lotus Land Story and The Embodiment of Scarlet Devil is explicitly due to her searching for new theft victims, and in Imperishable Night she introduces herself to the Eientei staff as a thief, much to Alice's exasperation. She figures that human lifespans are so short compared to those of Youkai, that the Youkai can have their stuff back after she's dead, so they shouldn't mind.
  • Supernatural Is Purple: Wears purple in her PC-98 appearances.
  • Sweet Polly Oliver: In Forbidden Scrollery chapter 17, she (reluctantly) disguises herself as a boy as part of a plan to catch a youkai that's been controlling the men of the village.
  • This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!: In A Fan Translation Woolseyism version of her Pre-duel dialogue from Imperishable Night stage 4.
    Alice: (About Reimu) Why the stuttering? Just yell at her like you always do. "Bitch, get out of the way!" Like that.
    ...
    Marisa: (To Reimu) Okay, okay, I give up. You're right. The endless night, stealing the full moon, hiding the human village, and putting hats on stone statues, it's all Alice's fault. Now, bitch, get out of the way!
  • Throw Down the Bomblet: In the first-gen fighting games, she has a number of attacks involving explosive flasks.
  • Tomboy: Marisa speaks roughly for a girl (while she is notably not a Bokukko, she does use other masculine grammar) and has a fighting style based around brute force. Fan portrayals sometimes exaggerate this to Testosterone Poisoning levels.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: Much like Reimu Marisa subverts this, if the situation calls for it she won't hesitate to use lethal force. In Chapter 13 of Forbidden Scrollery Marisa was able to track down a fledgling youkai that was on the cusp of turning into a Kutsutsura. Because it being born in the Human Village would cause problems for Kosuzu if anyone found out it was born from her lost shoe, Marisa immediately stomps on it, killing it before it could do anything.
  • Tomboy with a Girly Streak: Despite her tomboyish traits, her wardrobe seems to consist entirely of frilly dresses (when forced on one occasion to wear male clothing she found it uncomfortable), and she's been shown to Squee! at cute things. Her Forbidden Scrollery design also features more prominent eyelashes than Reimu.
  • Too Fast to Stop: Compared to Reimu, Marisa's high movement speed and large hitbox can lead players to overshoot while dodging and run into another bullet by mistake. However, in skilled hands this makes her superior at grazing, meaning she's usually the better option when going for a high score.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Fanon tends to expand the Magic Mushroom thing to her being fond of mushrooms in general, which is shown to be canon in chapter 33 of Wild and Horned Hermit.
  • Trash of the Titans: Her house is a real mess, crammed with everything she has stolen but hasn't yet bothered to sort. Legendary treasures have actually been found in her junk piles, completely unknown to her.
    Marisa: (flying through Eientei) It'd take one hell of a janitor to clean a hall that long.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: Subverts the "unskilled" part somewhat, as she worked very hard for her powers, unlike most other inhabitants of Gensokyo. However, her personal philosophy is that danmaku is all about power, so her basic attacks are usually very dense and unstructured. And when push comes to shove, she will throw all pretense of finesse out the window and just start Master Sparking half the screen and/or trying to ram her opponent, which is borderline breaking the Spell Card rules, as lampshaded by ZUN himself.
  • Useless Useful Spell: The laser shot-type that hits the top of the screen instantly and pierces through enemies has no particularly great uses and is invariably weaker than the game's forward concentration shot-typenote ... except in Undefined Fantastic Object, where there's actually enough things to hit at one time for piercing to be really useful. This is generally to balance the fact that her laser shot-types also tend to have the most powerful bomb(s).
  • Vague Age/Not Allowed to Grow Up: Like Reimu, she always seems to be in her mid-teens, regardless of the passage of time.
  • Verbal Tic: Marisa tends to end her sentences with the masculine, informal and assertive "ze" particle.
  • Wave Motion Gun: Love Sign "Master Spark", her signature attack. ZUN's comments on the spell literally translate to "a freaking huge magical laser".
  • Weak, but Skilled: Compared to most of Gensokyo's inhabitants, who rely on innate abilities and rarely improve upon them, while Marisa has none and is constantly seeking new spells. Zig-Zagged in that she mostly just studies ways to blow stuff up with maximum firepower and minimum finesse. Marisa's skill in magic is also somewhat of an inversion, while she does possess very destructive spells she isn't capable of using technically complex danmaku so most of her spells end up being either giant lasers or rudimentary patterns that overwhelm with numbers.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: In her ending in Legacy of Lunatic Kingdom, Yukari shows up wanting to see the Lunar Capital orb. Marisa proceeds to chew out Yukari for seemingly ignoring both the crack in the barrier and the invasion. Yukari simply states that they weren't worth her attention and that even Gensokyo is capable of change, a remark that leaves Marisa uneasy.
  • Witch Classic: Aside from not having a cat, Marisa is an example in both the modern Windows games and the (completely different appearance-wise) PC-9801 era Marisa.
  • Wolverine Publicity: Has been in every Touhou game since her debut in Story of Eastern Wonderland except for Shoot the Bullet... where she appears as the game's logo anyway. Furthermore, she has been the game logo for every ZUN-made Touhou game made in the Windows era except for Double Spoiler and Fairy Wars, even though she does appear in both games.
    • A fan game lampshades this with the remark "You're still the icon for the games?"
  • Wrong Context Magic: Oddly for the deuteragonist of the entire franchise. The constantly building mythology of the series will explain many sources of magic and faith-gained powers. Marisa is none of these things, or perhaps a little bit of everything. There are no human magicians besides her.
  • Why Didn't I Think of That?: This dialogue from Perfect Cherry Blossom:
    Marisa: Well, will you open the door?
    Prismriver Sisters: This door does not open.
    Marisa: Don't you go through it now and then?
    Prismriver Sisters: We just fly over it.
    Marisa: ... Oh.
  • The Worf Effect: Is on the receiving end in Antinomy of Common Flowers, being one of the first to fall for the Yorigami sisters's slave-switching strategy, causing her and Koishi to defeat each other.
  • Yellow Eyes of Sneakiness: Fitting of her habits of lying and stealing.

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