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Shout Out / Touhou

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With a series as long running and having as many characters as Touhou, Shout Outs to one thing or another is pretty much inevitable. Full details on all of them on the character page.


  • Many, many references to Alice in Wonderland. Just to give you an idea, Alice Margatroid is heavily designed after the main character (in case her name didn't tip you off enough).
  • ZUN is an admitted fanboy of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure and as such there are lots of shout outs to that series:
    • Sakuya has several homages to Dio Brando, the overall Big Bad of JoJo, including her time-stop powers (specifically "The World", which is the name of DIO's Stand), knife-throwing skills, and she's associated with vampires (Dio is a vampire, but close enough, right?). Scarlet Weather Rhapsody takes it a step further by giving her attack animations inspired by DIO's from the Capcom fighting game JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Heritage for the Future, as well as a DIO costume just to drive the point home.
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    • "She didn't even spill one drop of sake!" during the fight with Yuugi is an homage to Part 1 Phantom Blood, where Hamon master Will A. Zeppeli tests Johnathan's skills by having him fight a vampire while holding a glass of wine, instructing him not to spill a single drop.
    • Yuugi has a star-shaped mark on her horn akin to the Joestars' star-shaped birthmark.
    • Remilia asking Marisa "Can you count the number of times you've eaten bread?" is a reference to a line uttered by Dio in Phantom Blood, who asks the exact same question as a But for Me, It Was Tuesday speech after Zeppeli demands to know how many humans he's drained just to heal a minor scar.note 
    • Marisa uses Jotaro Kujo's Catchphrase "Yare yare daze" (roughly translates as "Gimme a break" or "Good grief") after defeating Wriggle in Imperishable Night.
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    • One of Kaguya's spellcards in Shoot The Bullet is named "New Impossible Request 'Red Stone of Aja'", the Plot Device from Part 2.
    • Hatate, dressed mostly in purple, uses spirit photography using her cellphone-like camera. Joseph's Stand, Hermit Purple, has the same ability by breaking a camera.
    • Many of the characters have vague or seemingly useless abilities that can be dangerous when used effectively, which is also a recurring theme in JoJo.
    • The name of the series itself may be a JoJo reference — an alternate reading of the kanji in "Touhou" is "Higashikata", the surname of Part 4's protagonist, Josuke.
    • One of Miko's lines in Ten Desires is "Your next line is...", Joseph Joestar's catchphrase.
    • In Marisa's scenario in Hidden Star in Four Seasons, she says "But I refuse!", a line from Diamond is Unbreakable that became a meme around the same time. ZUN stated in an interview that this is his favorite line from JoJo, and him referencing it was inevitable.
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    • One of Ichirin's attacks in the fighting games has her doing Jotaro's famous Jaguar Varied Assault with Unzan.
  • They only appear onscreen for a split second, but plenty of spell card names contain references.
    • Three of Mamizou's spell cards are references to Genpei Toumaden.note 
    • One of Shinmyoumaru's spell cards is called "Attack on Dwarf".
    • One of Flandre's spell cards is called "And Then Will There Be None?". This is also where the name for "U.N. Owen Was Her?" comes from.
    • One of Kogasa's spell cards is named "Rainbow Sign "Over The Rainbow"" She also has two spells cards titled "Umbrella Sign "Parasol Star Symphony"" and "Parasol Star Memories", respectively.
    • One of Raiko's spell cards is called "Blue Lady Show".
    • One of Seija's spell cards is called "Reverse Sign 'Evil in the Mirror'"
    • Yukari's infamous train spell card got renamed in Antinomy of Common Flowers to "Unmanned Abandoned Railroad Car Bomb", a reference to a scene in Shin Godzilla, where trains filled with bombs are used to attack Godzilla.
    • One of Aunn's spell cards in Violet Detector is named "Dream Dog '101 Stray Dogs'"
  • Stage 6 of Undefined Fantastic Object has rows of fairies that move in a zig-zag pattern and fire bullets straight downwards, as a reference to Space Invaders.
  • One of Nue's spell cards has her making triangles, squares, circles, and crosses out of bullets.
  • One strip in Inaba of the Moon and Inaba of the Earth contains a reference to the Wizardry series. Also, a certain weapon in the comic is labelled "HHG of Aunty Ock".
  • In Phantasmagoria of Flower View, most times when you defeat an enemy, the game will call them a DEAD PARROT.
  • A few of the bullet patterns seem directly inspired by patterns from other Bullet Hell games. Look at this list and decide for yourself.
  • There are references to Fist of the North Star in the fighting games, most notably Hisoutensoku. If Reimu's ultimate spellcard "Fantasy Heaven" ("Musou Tensei" in Japanese, which happens to be a homonym for Kenshiro's ultimate technique, "Unconscious Transmigration of Souls", also pronounced "Musou Tensei") is successfully activated in the third round of a match, the background music will change to a mashup remix of Mystic Oriental Love Consultation and the Fatal KO theme from the Fist Of The North Star fighting games. Fitting because said spellcard is a guaranteed knock-out unless the opponent gets very lucky (no, it is not a One-Hit Kill).
  • Miko's powerbar image in Hopeless Masquerade is a modified gaijin 4koma.
  • Nitori's Last Word in Hopeless Masquerade is a homage to Snake's Final Smash in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Its name also references the Super Scope, which, coincidentally, is an item in the Smash series.
  • One of Ichirin's skins in the fighting games resembles Index's outfit.
  • Seija default pose is a reference to an expression often found in Studio Shaft projects.
  • The plot of Double Dealing Character is a Whole Plot Reference to Revolutionary Girl Utena, where people (youkai) are given power by the resident of an upside-down floating castle to "start a revolution", but their benefactor's actual goals are far more selfish.
  • The description for one of Eirin's spellcards refer to "the wheelchair man" and the song "Future Universe of Wheelchair", both being references to Stephen Hawking.
  • In the PS4 port of Urban Legend in Limbo, if Reisen beats herself in VS mode, she will comment on the similarity of the Kune-kune to the Hattifnatter.
  • The entry for therianthropes in Perfect Memento in Strict Sense mentions "being doused with water" as one of the potential causes for transformation, much like how transformations in Ranma ½ work. In a footnote, some of the animals it mentions are cats, pandas, and piglets, which are what Shampoo, Genma, and Ryōga transform into.
  • The entire plot of Hidden Star in Four Seasons is pretty much a Whole Plot Reference and Homage to Len'en's first game Evanescent Existence, right down to the respective culprits of the incident kick-starting the whole event by secretly pitting the main characters against other characters, while also secretly finding a worthy successor as a protector of their respective Fantasy Kitchen Sinks. The game also implements a flash bomb system, similar to those from Earthen Miraculous Sword onwards.
  • The soundtrack CD for Urban Legend in Limbo is called "Sumireko Usami and the Clubroom of Secrets".
  • Symposium of Post-mysticism reveals that Kogasa got a babysitting job because she thinks all babysitters fly through the sky using an umbrella.
  • If Futo beats Mamizou in Hopeless Masquerade, she states that she finds dressing like a tanuki giving one the ability to fly ridiculous.
  • In The Grimoire of Marisa, she questions if riding keystones works like The Flying Nimbus.
  • Alernative Facts in Eastern Utopia contains an ad spoofing Hells of Beppu.
  • Raiko states in Double Dealing Character that people in the Outside World call skilled drummers "Taiko Drum Masters". Coincidentally, actual Touhou arrangements have appeared in Taiko games beforehand.
  • In Chapter 11 of ''Curiosities of Lotus Asia", Yukari finds what's implied to be an iPod Classic inside of Kourindou. She's the only one there who knows how to use it.
  • Cirno's scene in Impossible Spell Card is titled "Gee Cirno, You Sure Are Conceited"
  • In Alternative Facts in Eastern Utopia, Kokoro names a group of her masks "KKR48".
  • In Forbidden Scrollery Akyuu started writing detective novels under the pen name "Agatha Chris Q".
    • One of her novels was submitted in Alternative Facts in Eastern Utopia titled "The Mythical Detective: Melissa". It's a straight up fanfiction, complete with suspiciously named OCs.
  • In The Grimoire of Usami, Sumireko compares the zombie fairies in Orin's "Corpse Shopping District" Spell Card to The Walking Dead.
  • One of Reimu's skins in the fighting games makes her look like Nanoha Takamachi.
  • Reisen has skins that make her look like various Vocaloid characters. These include Hatsune Miku, Rin Kagamine, Luka Megurine, Meiko, Kaito, Gakupo Kamui, and Gumi.
  • If Komachi beats Patchouli in Scarlet Weather Rhapsody she mentions a book that kills the person whose name is written in it.
  • When Mamizou uses "Transformation: Futatsuiwa Family's Clan" on Ichirin, she turns into a monkey.
  • Eternity Larva's theme is named "A Midsummer Fairy's Dream".
  • Kokoro has a costume that makes her look like Kyouko Kirigiri.
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