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Immortal Philosophy
"We made a promise... that each of us will become a hermit and live on..."
Yoshika
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Suikakasen is a Film Comic based on Touhou created by Joyful (ジョイフル氏 ) of Nico Nico Douga, also known for creating Osana Reimu. While some elements have become victim to Outdated by Canon, it generally sticks close to the information provided or implied by official Touhou materials. It takes inspiration from various games, but it provides most of its credit to Touhou Ibarakasen ~ Wild and Horned Hermit. It is based on a previous collaboration between Joyful and the doujin group Liz Triangle, a PV called Immortal Philosophy. It was published in 2017 in the blu-ray 「RED」 as one of Liz Triangle's last works before their disbandment.

Thousands of years ago, the Oni Suika encountered a starving little girl waiting for her mother, and offered her the Ibaraki Box of a Hundred Medicines to heal her wounds and gain eternal life to get another chance to see her parent. That girl grew up to become the oni Kasen Ibaraki, and lived with the other oni as a bandit until they were all poisoned and had to go into hiding after losing a rough battle. Kasen had her arm cut off during the fight, and upon arriving at the gate Rajoumon where her severed arm might be stored, finds that a barrier prevents her from entering. A nearby poet named Yoshika mistakes Kasen for a hermit and wants to be taught her ways. Kasen sees this as an opportunity to get assistance for retrieving her arm, and both of their lives change from there...

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The full series with English subtitles is available on YouTube.

Since this is the creator of Osana Reimu, have some tissues handy.

NOTE: Information related to canon Touhou materials that qualifies for Late-Arrival Spoiler or Foregone Conclusion will be unmarked. You have been warned.


Suikakasen provides examples of:

  • Adaptational Angst Upgrade:
    • Compared to Kasen in canon, she has to deal with Parental Abandonment, suffers from Loss of Identity, and goes through enough emotional pain to cry when she has yet to cry in an official work.
    • This series shows Yoshika from before she became Seiga's Soulless Shell servant, and deals with aspects that she can't think about in canon like a fear of death and the sickness that is killing her.
    • Both characters are this compared to the Immortal Philosophy PV, which focused solely on them bonding and their reunion with many of the more darker aspects of this series not present.
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  • Adaptation Expansion: The Immortal Philosophy PV is only four minutes long compared to the one hour and eight minutes length of this series. To give an idea of how much was added, the entirety of the first and third episodes are completely original and not even half of the content from the second and fourth episodes are from the PV. No other characters besides Kasen and Yoshika appeared in the original PV either.
  • A Day in the Limelight: The third episode focuses primarily on Yoshika and Seiga with Kasen only appearing in brief flashbacks and the end of the episode.
  • Adult Fear: Let's see, child left in the woods waiting to die because her mother never came back to get her like promised. Yikes.
  • Ambiguously Absent Parent: Kasen's mother is mentioned, but not her father.
  • An Arm and a Leg: The main conflict begins once Kasen's right arm is cut off and she goes off to find it. She has her other arm smashed off by rocks during the fight with Suika, but is able to grow it back with the Box of a Hundred Medicines.
  • Animation Bump: The majority of the series is told through still images with Limited Animation at best, but Kasen's finishing blow against Suika uses many more frames than the rest of the animated segments and even features Mouth Flaps.
  • Artificial Limbs: We get to see Kasen creating her replacement arm by wrapping bandages around a smoke afterimage of her right arm.
  • Bad Samaritan: Seiga's help for Yoshika is... not.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Yoshika gains immortality, just not the way she wanted.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: Yoshika's reasoning for not getting upset at Kasen for using her is that she enjoyed the time they spent together.
  • Becoming the Mask: Kasen only pretended to want to help Yoshika become a hermit in order to get her to gather materials that she could use to get past Rajoumon where her arm might be, but she eventually makes a promise with Yoshika to become a hermit for real.
  • Big Damn Reunion: In the final episode, after her fight with Suika, Kasen finally gets to see Yoshika again after 1,200 years... but she's a Soulless Shell now and can't remember her. Kasen apologizes and says that she reminded her of someone she knew a long time ago... but then Yoshika's memory is restored and they both begin to cry tears of joy from finally seeing each other again.
  • Bishie Sparkle: Yoshika's eyes sparkle upon meeting Kasen and believing that she is a hermit who can train her. Kasen later sparkles when pretending to want to help Yoshika.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Not much of a mystery for the viewer that Seiga is not as kind as she lets on.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The tension between Suika and Kasen is lifted and Kasen finally reunites with Yoshika, but Yoshika dies soon afterward. However, Kasen and Yoshika get to reunite years later at the Sanzu River.
  • Blood from the Mouth: The main sign of Yoshika's Soap Opera Disease is that she keeps coughing up blood. After being poisoned, Seiga was able to create an ofuda using all of the blood that came out of her mouth.
  • Bowdlerise: The Youtube version adds black squiggly lines to act as censorship in various scenes from episode 3 due to graphic violence.
  • Break Them by Talking: Suika attempts this during her fight with Kasen. It doesn't work.
  • Broken Bird: Part of Kasen's Adaptational Angst Upgrade is that she tries to throw away all aspects of her life as a human and keep mostly to herself, to the point where her first scene with Yoshika has her trying to run away once the poet takes interest in her until she realizes that she won't be able to retrieve her arm without help. In fact, once Kasen realizes that she is opening up more while spending time with Yoshika, she doesn't take it too well.
  • Card-Carrying Villain:
    • As Suika puts it:
    Suika: "That's how we oni of the great villainy and great bandits are!"
    • The end of the third episode features a recreation of the scene from Wild and Horned Hermit where Seiga presents her card as a literal example of this trope.
  • Cerebus Rollercoaster: The series shifts from lighthearted to dramatic just like that.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • The same sake that was used to poison the oni on the day they had to go into hiding is used by Kasen to poison Suika. Unfortunately, Suika pouring some of that sake into Kasen's Box of a Hundred Medicines so she could grow her left arm back means that she got poisoned too.
    • Yoshika's ascetic training is what brings back her memories of Kasen after becoming a jiang shi.
  • Clothing Damage: The rocks that temporarily smash off Kasen's left arm during her battle with Suika also tear up her clothes and give the viewer a healthy dose of Sideboob for the rest of the fight.
  • Creative Closing Credits: The credits educate the viewer about various concepts relevant to the series, such as information from mythology or Touhou. The final episode's credits include flashbacks and extra scenes involving the cast.
  • Creepy Child: During the Creative Closing Credits for the final episode, we are told a legend about an "eerie child" who was hated by everyone in her village except her mother because of her creepiness to the point where the villagers blamed her for a terrible storm because they thought she upset the water god with her presence. If you guessed that child was Kasen, you're correct.
  • Cry Cute: Kasen, Yoshika and Suika all have their moments.
  • Darker and Edgier: While still relatively optimistic with plenty of lighthearted moments, compared to Touhou Ibarakasen ~ Wild and Horned Hermit, Suikakasen is more violent and deals with themes of death and loss that even said manga's Cerebus Syndrome from chapters published after this series was released didn't touch. It's also this compared to the Immortal Philosophy PV, as most of Kasen and Yoshika's angst was not present and it features an unambiguously-happy ending compared to the Bittersweet Ending of this series.
  • Death by Adaptation: While it's up for debate about if Yoshika would be able to stay alive (well, about as alive as a jiang shi can get anyway) without her ofuda at the end of the Immortal Philosophy PV, here her death is outright confirmed. She's also still around in Touhou canon.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Kasen goes from a bandit intent on throwing away her humanity to the friendly hermit she is in the present day after meeting Yoshika.
  • Determinator: Kasen and Yoshika refuse to let anything stand in the way of their promise.
  • Distant Finale: The final scene is said to take place many years later.
  • Doomed by Canon: Yoshika's goal to become a hermit is not going to go well. Quite the opposite in fact.
  • Dying as Yourself: Yoshika has her memories and personality restored, but she doesn't have the energy to last for much longer. She spends her final moments together with Kasen.
  • Establishing Character Moment:
    • The series displays in the first episode that Kasen isn't quite the blue oni to Suika and Yuugi's red oni yet by having her break up the fight between the two of them, but once they tell her that it's just a friendly rock paper scissors match (yes, the fistfight in which they destroy the surrounding area is rock paper scissors), she happily approves and watches the fight. Her first scene after the Time Skip to her adulthood has a short period of her thinking back to past events with Dull Eyes of Unhappiness to display that she's grown out of her energetic Cheerful Child self and then indulge and join in on a poem Yoshika is making to show that her more peaceful side has taken over. Still, Kasen is shown to not yet be quite like her present-day self as she immediately tries to run away once Yoshika asks for assistance compared to how she usually is.
    • Yoshika is introduced creating a poem, and then witnesses Kasen. She mistakes the oni for a hermit and gets very excited. Once Kasen calls Kume, she looks in admiration until she sees that she is trying to escape, upon which she tackles Kasen to knock her out of the air and then ties her to a tree to ensure that she can hear her pleas to want to become a hermit. Yoshika is friendly and admires the lifestyles of hermits, and will do anything to become one herself.
    • Seiga starts off things by covering Yoshika's eyes from behind by creating a hole in the wall and asking her to guess who. She then presents Yoshika with a feast as a premature celebration for meeting the reikon that ends up containing human body parts, along with another version of the hermit arriving behind Yoshika to slice up bits of her arm into the food. One Humans Are Bastards speech later, Seiga reveals that all of this is another prank and the body parts and other Seiga are puppets. Seiga seems playful and approachable, but is very twisted deep down.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Seiga knew a man named Kan Kaku, but had to give up love in favor of being a hermit. He too became a hermit to continue living with her, but it is unclear about where he is now. She also shows genuine care for Yoshika after she becomes a jiang shi, hoping that she can stay the way she is and not be like the rest of humanity.
  • Evil Is Petty: Just in case you weren't convinced that Seiga's messed up, she laughs at and mocks the now-dead Yoshika.
  • Evil Laugh: Seiga gets one after poisoning Yoshika with the only instance of voice acting in the comic to boot.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Playful and friendly as Seiga might be at first, it's pretty clear upon further inspection that she's very twisted, especially after she poisons Yoshika and laughs at her death before enslaving her.
  • Final Speech: From the final episode:
  • Food Porn: The dishes Seiga prepared consist of meals from all around the world. The pleasure of the food stops though once Yoshika sees what her main dish consists of.
  • Forbidden Friendship: A bit of an odd example in that the "forbidden" part doesn't show up until near the end of the series, but it turns out that Suika is very, very pissed about Kasen's friendship with Yoshika.
  • Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!: Before Yoshika tells Kasen that she holds no hard feelings about her using her, she shoves a bunch of peaches into her mouth.
  • Ghost Reunion Ending: Kasen encounters Yoshika's ghost at the Sanzu River in the final scene.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Kasen successfully poisons Suika by replacing her gourd with a fake containing the poisoned sake from the day of their defeat, but Suika using that same gourd to fill Kasen's Box of a Hundred Medicines means that she gets poisoned too. She admits to this miscalculation.
  • Good-Times Montage: We see most of Kasen and Yoshika's bonding through one, displaying their hermit training and them partaking in several leisure activities all while Kasen slowly begins to open up more to her new friend.
  • Go Out with a Smile: Yoshika dies peacefully singing her poem one last time with Kasen and realizing that friendship, not immortality, was what she was really searching for.
  • Heel Realization: Yoshika makes it clear how much she fears her own death when she's alone and indirectly causes Kasen to realize that she toyed with her emotions.
  • Hope Spot: Triple subverted. At the start of Kasen and Yoshika's Big Damn Reunion, the former is relieved to see her friend after so long... but she's a Soulless Shell now with no memory of her. Then it is subverted with Yoshika's memory being restored so that they can have the proper reunion, only for that to be subverted too because Yoshika dies soon afterward. Even that did not last however as Kasen meets Yoshika's ghost at the Sanzu River in the final scene, meaning that they aren't permanently separated after all.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Downplayed. Yoshika seems to realize that Seiga is evil, but she doesn't have many other options when it comes to people to trust to help her become a hermit.
  • Humans Are Bastards: Seiga does not have a very pleasant view of humans, pointing out survival revolves around killing others, but that humans are extra cruel because they cut and cook the living things they eat. While witnessing a warzone at the end of episode 3, Seiga laments that humans have begun to kill for reasons other than to gather food and likens them to pests.
    Seiga: "Humans pollute this planet of life, eat and eat and then just leave behind a mess, without ever thinking of the consequences, all whilst growing their number. If the god who created this planet were ever to see it now... to see the humans... Surely, they would get goosebumps, wouldn't they?"
  • Human Sacrifice: The Creative Closing Credits of the final episode tell us a story titled the same as the trope name. A terrible storm arrived and the members of a village blamed an "eerie child" (who is child Kasen) because they thought that she had upset the water god with her presence. They could not find Kasen because her mother had hidden her in the woods, so they decided to sacrifice the woman who gave birth to her instead.
  • It's the Journey That Counts: Yoshika's Final Speech has her realize that gaining immortality wasn't what was important, but rather spending time together with Kasen.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: The closest thing Seiga gets a display of remorse turns out to be false as her initial tears after Yoshika dies soon turn into a burst of laughter over Yoshika falling for her trick and she proceeds to mock her goals before fulfilling the Foregone Conclusion involving Yoshika's role in the present day.
  • Karma Houdini:
    • No one ever really calls out or punishes Seiga for poisoning Yoshika. Possibly justified as things worked out for the better anyway.
    • Played with for the villagers who sacrificed Kasen's mother to the water god. From our perspective, they are responsible for much of the pain in the story, but the legend treats their actions as a case of Earn Your Happy Ending.
  • Last Episode, New Character: The final episode takes place in modern-day Gensokyo and permits many of the series regulars to appear, most of them in the Creative Closing Credits.
  • Loss of Identity: Between the Box of a Hundred Medicines turning Kasen into an oni and her arm being cut off (an arm can be considered someone's power), she's unsure about if she's really an oni or a human. Yoshika points out that if she's unsure about who she is, she could just become a hermit together with her.
  • Love at First Sight: When Kan Kaku first laid eyes upon Seiga, he instantly fell in love. Seiga was reluctant at first however.
  • Milholland Relationship Moment: After Kasen confesses to Yoshika that she is an oni who was using her to get the information needed to get past the barrier, Yoshika shoves several peaches into her mouth before asking her to stop apologizing because Kasen still gave her happiness and that she wants them both to live together as hermits.
  • A Minor Kidroduction: The first episode shows Kasen as a child before the first Time Skip in the next episode where she is an adult.
  • Mood Whiplash: Constantly. Things can go from lighthearted and comical to sad and creepy in an instant.
  • Morality Pet: Kasen wasn't exactly evil before she met Yoshika, but she was part of a group of bandits. Once Kasen realizes that this trope is in action, she attempts to kill Yoshika so that she can get rid of the last traces of her humanity. She stops once Yoshika (who's completely unaware of Kasen's intentions by this point) makes it clear how much she fears her own death and Kasen realizes how much she toyed with Yoshika's emotions.
  • Mortality Phobia: Yoshika's reason for wanting to become a hermit is because she is very, very scared of dying. Kasen was going to kill her initially, but has a Heel Realization once Yoshika makes this fear very clear. She's willing to believe "fairy-tales" like hermits because she's dying of a Soap Opera Disease. After being rejected by the reikon, she (wrongly) puts her trust in Seiga. She seems to have finally gotten over her fear by the end though because she dies smiling.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Suika and Yuugi's idea of playing rock paper scissors is a fistfight in which they slice mountains in half and send all surrounding oni flying.
  • Nonstandard Character Design: The oni besides Kasen, Suika and Yuugi have more monstrous designs than the Cute Monster Girl style used for everyone else, although even those three can change their appearance to resemble them more (Suika first meets Kasen in this form for instance).
  • Oblivious Guilt Slinging: Kasen attempts to kill Yoshika after gathering all of the information she needs to pass the Rajoumon barrier, but stops moments before dealing the killing blow because Yoshika tells her that meeting her was a wonderful experience and that she keeps thinking about and fearing the day of her death whenever they are apart. She then has a Heel Realization and a change of plans.
  • O.C. Stand-in: Yoshika more or less has an original personality in this series, as her time in canon is always spent as a mindless jiang shi while she is a human during most of her scenes here.
  • Ocular Gushers: The start of the second episode has Suika cry this way.
  • Offscreen Villainy: The oni bandits don't actually get shown doing any crimes with the ending narration for episode one saying that they were feared by the humans because they kidnapped people.
  • Oh, Crap!: Kasen's reaction to finding out that Suika was watching her the entire time.
  • Origins Episode: For Kasen and Yoshika. We also get a glimpse at Seiga's and Suika's pasts.
  • Parental Abandonment:
    • The reason that Kasen got into such bad shape and needed the Box of a Hundred Medicines is because her mother never came to get her like promised. It turns out that angry villagers sacrificed her mother to the water god to stop a terrible storm because they couldn't sacrifice Kasen.
    • Turns out that Suika was an abandoned child too and her original name was Sute Douji (Throw-away Kid).
  • Peaceful in Death: When Yoshika dies the second time, her dead body is smiling. Ironic considering how much she feared death before.
  • The Promise: Kasen and Yoshika promise to become hermits and meet again someday.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Kan Kaku fell in love with Seiga at once and told her as such. Seiga on the other hand is rather upset about a man breaking into her house and sleeping beside her.
    • In contrast to the various magical items in the story, Seiga's Tan'yaku (Philosopher's Stone) is treated exactly like what it really is: Not as a magic drug, but as mercury sulfide poison.
  • Reforged into a Minion: People familiar with the source material will know that Yoshika is going to have to become Seiga's jiang shi, but this series goes into detail about how. Seiga pretends to get medicine from the reikon and gives Yoshika poison, and then takes the opportunity to make use of her corpse.
    Seiga: "I'll blow some life into you then, just like I said. From there, you'll be free to do as you like. That is. If. You. Can. Move. On. Your. Own. Well then, go ahead, defy me... with that rotten brain and body of yours..."
  • Rewatch Bonus:
    • If you're wondering about the significance of the rain in the first episode, the Creative Closing Credits of the final episode show that the rain is the entire reason Kasen and her mother got separated.
    • During the second episode, Yoshika buys some books from a hooded woman in blue robes. This seemingly-insignificant figure is likely to be forgotten about until one rewatches and recognizes her as the one who appears at the end of the episode to reveal herself as Seiga.
  • Satellite Character:
    • Yuugi has no real character arc of her own and mostly serves as someone for Suika and Kasen to interact with besides each other (and Yoshika for the latter).
    • Everything about Kan Kaku in the story revolves around his relationship with Seiga, serving as her humanization.
  • Second Episode Introduction: Deuteragonist Yoshika makes her debut in episode 2, as does Seiga.
  • Soap Opera Disease: Yoshika is dying of one. The only signs of it are Blood from the Mouth and that it is apparently terminal.
  • Some Kind of Force Field: Upon arriving at Rajoumon, Kasen burns up her hand upon trying to reach over it because there is a barrier. She pretends to want to train Yoshika so she can gather the information needed to get past it.
  • Soulless Shell: Yoshika is reduced to one after becoming Seiga's jiang shi. She gets better, if only for a short time.
  • Speak Ill of the Dead: Right after Yoshika dies, Seiga laughs and calls her an idiot.
  • Spice Up the Subtitles: The English translation for episode 4 gives us this gem right after Yoshika dies:
    "The translator, too, has finally given in and died during this scene - from dehydration through crying and a heart attack caused by too much heartache..."
  • Stock Footage: Some of the art is lifted directly from the Immortal Philosophy PV that this series adapts.
  • Time Skip: Happens between each episode, with the largest one being the 1,200 year gap between the third and fourth episodes.
  • Trauma Conga Line: Both Kasen and Yoshika get put through tons of misery, but don't let that stand in their way.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Kan Kaku's current whereabouts are not stated, as him becoming a hermit makes it unlikely that he died of natural causes.
  • Wimp Fight: Played with for the second half of Kasen and Suika's battle, as both characters are very skilled fighters, but the former's plan got both of them (there was a self-admitted miscalculation) so drunk that they lose all of their coordination until the finishing blows.
  • "World of Cardboard" Speech: Kasen gets one as a Shut Up, Hannibal! moment during her fight with Suika.
    Kasen: "A Hermit is someone who shows salvation through the Way of Heaven... That girl... healed the wounds I had when I was still human. No doubt, Yoshika was my "Hermit". Is it painful? I... I was saved a long, long time ago! Neither will I throw away the Hermit thing nor my promise. I will not betray that girl!"
  • Wound That Will Not Heal: Kasen's right arm cannot be grown back with her Box of a Hundred Medicines because of the special properties of the blade that made the cut. By contrast, her left arm gets injured various times and can be healed without issue.
  • Wrong Assumption: Yoshika's conclusion upon seeing Kasen's "mysterious appearance" is that she is a hermit rather than an oni like she actually is.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: After Kasen gathers all of the information she needs on barriers, she prepares to kill Yoshika. Fortunately, she snaps out of it before she can do the deed.
  • Your Days Are Numbered: Yoshika is dying of a Soap Opera Disease and it's why she wants to become a hermit.


"Ascetic training to remember everything..."

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