Osana Reimu (otherwise known as "Little Reimu") is an episodic sort-of Film Comic created by Joyful (ジョイフル氏 ) of Nico Nico Douga. Set a few years before the exploits of Reimu Hakurei, this Touhou Fan Fic deals with the lives of a younger Reimu, her mother as the current Hakurei miko, and Rumia - who, going by the popular Fanon that she is Sealed Evil in a Can in present-day Gensokyo, is currently an adult in this timeline. Despite knowing that Rumia is a youkai and that Reimu and her mother are humans, the three of them have a very strong friendship, until one fateful day when the harsh realities of Gensokyo and Rumia's needs as a youkai catch up with them...
The sequel, Touhou Reireimu, returns to the present day where Reimu works as the Hakurei miko. Despite Reimu's usual attitude towards others, she is still considered a friend by her fellow humans and the resident youkai of the Forest of Magic, namely Rumia, who is now the younger, happier youkai we all remember. Things start out relatively normal until Rumia's seal breaks, whereupon the grief-stricken and wildly unstable Youkai of Darkness sets about destroying Gensokyo as an act of revenge.
Other than a few blatant Fanon elements (with the "Rumia being a sealed greater youkai" thing being the worst offender, which is the entire point of the series anyway), Osana Reimu and its sequel are both very faithful to the Touhou canon and its characters, and is arguably one of the most popular Touhou fan stories out there. English translations of both Osana Reimu and Reireimu are up on YouTube.
Oh yeah, have some tissues handy.
Tropes for the series as a whole:
- Cerebus Roller Coaster: The beginnings of both stories are light-hearted and wacky, as you'd expect from Touhou. When shit hits the fan however, it makes damn sure you know it.
- Creative Closing Credits: Each episode (or part of the episode if it's a multiparter) showcases a large number of fan creations based on the series during the credits. These range anywhere from hand-drawn art, to some amazing digital art, and even to some physical artworks like a hand-made paper mache of one of Reimu's mother's masks.
- Cry Cute: Many characters.
- Film Comic: A notably impressive one; rather than using purely computer-generated graphics or pre-existing backdrops, the characters, backgrounds and even the speech bubbles all use the same hand-drawn art style.
- Ninja Log: The Hakurei Mikos can make these out of Ofuda. Reimu's mom makes a fake replacement Rumia to trick Rumia into thinking that she just wanted to replace her all along. Reimu makes clones of herself in the fight against EX-Rumia.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: Given the fanon involved, this is obviously Rumia's fate at the end of Osana Reimu. Though it actually zig-zags between this and Sealed Badass in a Can, as Rumia wasn't really evil at the time of sealing. When the seal breaks, however...
- Tsundere: Adult Rumia is a type A. Reimu seems to inherit it despite the memory wipe.
Tropes for Osana Reimu:
- Batman Gambit: Yukari stages a soul-crushing conversation with Rumia to get her to eat humans again, because if she doesn't, she'll die of starvation. Unlike most examples of the trope and very out of form for Yukari however, Rumia still refuses to eat humans after a week's time, leaving Yukari irate and baffled.
- Beneath the Mask: Turns out that Reimu's mom has a good reason for wearing all those masks. It's because she's hated and feared by humans and youkai alike, and wears the mask to escape their terrified/condescending stares.
- Break Her Heart to Save Her: Reimu's mother crafts a pretty epic lie in order to get Rumia to fight her in Episode 7.
- Bug Catching: One of the first activities Rumia takes Reimu on.
- Cloud Cuckoolander: Reimu's mother is a cheery and whimsical person, starkly contrasting present-day Reimu. However, it seems that she was really acting like this.
- Cool Big Sis: Rumia is this to Reimu.
- Covers Always Lie: Despite being named Little Reimu, her mother and Rumia are given just as much focus as the title character. The Tagline also only alludes to Reimu and Rumia until the epilogue.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: The first meeting between Rumia and Reimu's mother before becoming friends resulted in the former getting utterly ruined. The second fight is more even, though this is only because Reimu's mother was trying to lose on purpose.
- Dark Is Not Evil: Rumia is more of a loner trying to survive than outright malicious. Reimu's mother also has the power to draw upon her own inner darkness for a huge power boost.
- The Dreaded: Reimu's mother is an amazingly powerful miko. Unfortunately, she's seen as a walking terror rather than a hero by both humans and youkai.
- Eaten Alive: Happens at the ending of Osana Reimu.
- Fighting Your Friend: The battle between Rumia and Reimu's mother in the last episode is as climactic as it is heart-wrenching.
- Grumpy Bear: Rumia was an awfully disagreeable person before meeting the Hakureis.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Reimu's mother pulls an incredibly difficult one, going as far as tricking Yukari and lying to Rumia so that the lattermost will eat her to avoid death by starvation.
- Memory-Wiping Crew: Yukari goes around to erase everyone's memories of Rumia post-sealing. In most cases it's so that Rumia will be allowed to live a new life, but Reimu is a special case because she's too young to cope with the harsh reality of what happened to her mother and her friend.
- Also happens to Rumia herself as a part of her seal, locking her memories away so she isn't crushed by grief.
- No Name Given: Reimu's mother is never named and isn't called anything besides "Mom" or "Clumsy Miko-san". This does not imply Nominal Importance.
- No Ontological Inertia: According to Reimu's mother, Rumia is so powerful that her mere existence allows nighttime to exist in Gensokyo, and that nighttime would cease to exist if she dies.
- Nothing but Skulls: Rumia sits on top of the skulls of the people she's eaten during her first fight with Reimu's mom.
- One-Winged Angel: No, it's not Rumia. It's Reimu's mother when she uses "Fantasy Nature" to draw out her inner darkness and obtain an obscene power boost.
- Origins Episode: For Reimu, her mother and Rumia.
- Parental Substitute: Rumia seems to spend more time raising Reimu than her own mother does, which she calls her out on. It's implied that Yukari looked after her after they're both gone.
- Shoot the Shaggy Dog: Averted. Yukari is about to do this to Sealed!Rumia in retaliation for killing Reimu's mother, but because her final wish was to let Rumia live and since this Rumia no longer posed a threat to anyone, she decided to let her go.
- Troubled, but Cute: Reimu's mother is almost always upbeat, but she has enough darkness in her heart to keep Rumia fed for a lifetime.
- Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Young Reimu is adorable. Definitely a far cry from the apathetic and lazy-ish shrine maiden we know today.
- Villainous Breakdown: YMMV on the "villainous" part, but Yukari is driven up the wall with how out of control Rumia ends up being. Reimu's mother knows that Yukari can't use gaps on Rumia (since Rumia is a living void of darkness, and the void has no boundaries), Rumia utterly refuses to eat humans again despite Yukari's Breaking Speech, Yukari can't simply kill Rumia because this would rob Gensokyo of its nighttime, and the inability to do anything about Rumia ends up extending to her friends. She's just barely able to scrape together a happy ending in the sequel with everything so beyond her control.
Tropes for Touhou Reireimu:
- Art Evolution: The fight scenes have been improved over the prequel's.
- Ax-Crazy / Laughing Mad: Awakened!Rumia. Suddenly remembering the circumstances of her sealing just breaks her.
- Back from the Dead: As Rumia is more like a force of nature than a physical being, Reimu's awakened Fantasy Nature is capable of bringing her back to the material world.
- Book-Ends: In Episode 2, a flashback shows Reimu hesitating and refusing to exterminate a young fox youkai, demonstrating her unwillingness to actually fulfill her Hakurei Miko duties. Come part 2 of the final episode, the same fox youkai appears at the Hakurei Miko's grave, watching over its offerings.
- Call-Back: Reimu's mother's first and only appearance in the sequel has her wearing a mask as usual. It doesn't even last one image before Rumia smashes it.
- Dissonant Serenity: Rumia acts strangely calm before Reimu engages her. She doesn't keep it up for long though.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: Rumia is reborn as her child self once again and the series ends with Reimu and everyone else holding a party at the Hakurei Miko's grave.
- The End of the World as We Know It: When Rumia wakes up from being sealed, her darkness rapidly starts to expand and dissolve Gensokyo. Everyone thinks it's because Rumia isn't aware of herself at the time, but as Reimu finds out, the spreading black death ball is quite intentional.
- Failure Gambit: Yukari wanted Reimu and Marisa to beat her, so she knew Reimu had what it took to unlock her Fantasy Nature and save Rumia and Gensokyo from herself.
- Friendly War: The "sustenance without killing" aspect of the Spell Card System is an important plot point, used by Reimu to convince Rumia that Gensokyo has changed from the cycle of killing it used to be.
- Ghost Memory: Apparentlym when Rumia eats a human, she not only consumes their inner darkness, but the memories that were the root of that darkness as well, meaning that she vividly sees all of the pain and sorrow Reimu's mother suffered through. It's so much that it motivates her to destroy Gensokyo in retaliation.
- Hates Being Alone: Reimu, not that she'd ever admit it until the very end when she saves Rumia.
- Heart Is an Awesome Power: Reimu's "Fantasy Nature" puts a literal spin on this, drawing out what's inside of the Hakurei miko's heart and converting it into something they can use to fight... though Reimu hasn't ever used it successfully. This is because she has feigned apathy and lied about her feelings for so long that she doesn't even know what's in her own heart. After her battle with Rumia fixes that for her, she finally learns how to perform her "Fantasy Nature".
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Not out of the ordinary for a Touhou fanwork, but the method is different. The temporary Valhalla that Reimu's mother has been residing in, and where Rumia after she dies, provides a peek into other "derivative realities" (which is really just a fancy way of saying Alternate Universe) of Gensokyo. These are depicted as other Touhou fanworks.
- Becomes the punchline of a joke in the final episode's cast roll, showing Yukari alongside several incarnations of herself, all rendered in different art styles. Her title even reads "The Youkai Sages" instead of just "Sage".
- Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Reimu and Marisa have a pretty epic showdown with Yukari, judging from the state of the battlefield afterwards, and win. Unfortunately, this battle is cut off by the credits, and we only see the aftermath in The Stinger.
- One-Winged Angel: This time it is Rumia, having gained the ability of Reimu's mother to cover herself in darkness.
- Only Mostly Dead: Rumia ended up in a space between worlds when she faded away after her death. So did Reimu's mother, whom the space was originally made for, courtesy of Yukari, so they could share one last moment together.
- Reality Warper: Aside from the obvious one (Yukari), Reimu's mother states that Fantasy Nature can bend the laws of physics in relation to how powerful the user's feelings are. In this case, it was enough for Reimu to bring Rumia back.
- Revenge: Given Yukari's more questionable actions, it's clear that she still holds a grudge against Awakened!Rumia and makes no effort to hide it. If it weren't for Reimu's Mother's wish to save Rumia, she may well have killed her.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Rumia is not happy when her seal breaks. Granted this is the typical scenario of an EX Rumia fanfic, but unlike most cases we're given a lot of backstory so as not to simply make her a Generic Doomsday Villain.
- Secret Keeper: Since she played the role of Memory-Wiping Crew, Yukari is the only person who knows about the events of the prequel, keeping it secret so that Rumia can live a free life like Reimu's mother had wished.
- Interestingly, Yuuka also remembers. Apparently Yukari tried to wipe her memory too, but this didn't pan out for obvious reasons. Fortunately she also keeps a lid on it for Rumia's sake.
- Senseless Sacrifice: The end of Osana Reimu shows Reimu's mother sacrificing her life to seal Rumia's power and memories so she could live freely. Unfortunately times takes its toll and the seal breaks in Reireimu, and the grief-stricken Rumia uses all of that power to (almost) destroy Gensokyo. As Reimu's mother lampshades it in the final chapter, this makes her death and sacrifice useless - until Reimu manages to save Rumia at the last second.
- Thou Shalt Not Kill: Invoked and demonstrated by Reimu. In a flashback pre-Spell Card System, Reimu admits to Yukari that she can never really get into youkai extermination. She covers it up by saying it's boring, but Yukari isn't fooled and all but points out that she understands that Reimu doesn't like the thought of killing things. This revelation sees Yukari encouraging Reimu to change the way things work in Gensokyo if she doesn't like them, prompting the creation of the Spell Card System.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: When Rumia's seal breaks, Yukari finally decides that enough and enough and attempts to have her completely exterminated before Gensokyo is destroyed. She even fights Reimu and Marisa, believing they're incapable of handling a disaster of this scale. Or at least, that's the front she puts up...
- Rumia is also one, but for more genuine reasons, as she still believes that Gensokyo is an endless cycle of death and is trying to put an end to it.
- Worf Had the Flu: Yukari gets soundly beaten by Reimu and Marisa, and she is very exhausted when she pools her power into attacking Rumia's Gensokyo-swallowing darkness ball. She herself says it's due to old age, but Rinnosuke believes she was holding back. He turns out to have been right, as Yukari was at the same time channeling her power elsewhere - namely the space between dimensions where Reimu's Mother was waiting for Rumia - and has been since she died.