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Trivia / Touhou Project

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  • Ascended Fanon: Quite a lot of it, though all Touhou ascended fanon is usually coincidence, as ZUN has said he doesn't look at fan games because he doesn't want to plagiarize, unintentionally or on purpose. As a result, it is quite ambiguous as to what is Ascended Fanon and what is the fans guessing right.
    • Much like with Daiyousei and Koakuma receiving fan-names, Momiji makes a cameo appearance in one panel of Oriental Sacred Place Chapter 1, looking exactly the way fanon imagines her, with wolf ears and detached sleeves, though some recent official art showed her apparently without wolf ears. The artist for Strange and Bright Nature Deity and Oriental Sacred Place was a Touhou fan doing doujinshi long before being recruited for the official project.
    • Though Daiyousei never got official art from ZUN, she has a probable cameo in one chapter of Strange and Bright Nature Deity looking and acting very much the way fan art tends to portray her, with the distinctive side ponytail. However, her Fairy Wars sprite, being based on the EoSD one, lacks it.
    • In addition to the fan-given name, Koakuma had a cameo appearance in Inaba of the Moon & Inaba of the Earth with two pairs of black wings, one on her head and one on her back, just as depicted in fan art.
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    • Because of her connection with history, her home in the human village, and a comment by Remilia, Keine was frequently cast as a teacher to other characters in fan works after Imperishable Night. Later official works made this canon (though it jossed the idea of her teaching any youkai characters, since she said she only wants to teach humans).
    • Apparently things like this were even happening in the PC-98 days, since ZUN hangs a lampshade on it in the manual for Embodiment of Scarlet Devil.
      Unintentionally, [Reimu] is a shrine maiden. Or rather, she is a shrine maiden only because the Touhou series has become the "Shrine Maiden Shooting Game" series. It feels like the cart has been placed before the horse to me.
    • Hopeless Masquerade has made quite a few fanon ideas canon, such as Marisa surfing on her broom, Mamizou smoking a pipe and Koishi having Empty Eyes.
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    • Chapter 21 of Wild and Horned Hermit depicts Sakuya wearing a pinstripe coat and lacy headdress, making her look almost exactly like she does in Koumajou Densetsu.
    • Characters calling their attacks was a relatively common thing in fanworks. This was finally made canon in Antinomy of Common Flowers, where Jo'on and Shion do it before their boss fights.
    • Reimu showing her armpits was a popular meme in the fandom for years because her official artwork could've been taken either way on it. Fast forward to Wily Beast and Weakest Creature, where her artwork shows one of her sleeves being a good length away from the holes on her top. So yes, Reimu does indeed show her armpits.
    • The term "1cc" was made official in Wily Beast and Weakest Creature. It's used in the achievements that are unlocked by beating a scenario without continuing.
  • Beam Me Up, Scotty!: The loading screen quote at the top of the Main page is often misquoted as "wait warmly" instead of "watch warmly".
  • Cut-and-Paste Translation: There is at least one instance wherein the English translators just made stuff up, namely the "only a stage 2 boss".
  • Denial of Digital Distribution: ZUN has always allowed a lot of fan works, but in the past, his guidelines specifically prohibited sale of fan works via sites primarily oriented for overseas customers (this includes stuff like iTunes and the App Store). Many creators didn't even use Japan-only download sites. This started to change in the late 2010s: After Hidden Star in Four Seasons was released on Steam in late 2017, ZUN also started allowing Touhou fan games to use Steam as long as they follow his not-that-strict guidelines. About a year later, a label that publishes Touhou Fan Music on iTunes and Google Play Music appeared. Their releases are available internationally, though they're delayed, you can't stream them, many circles are still absent, and most of the ones who are there haven't made their full discographies available.
  • Fan Nickname:
    • General - Touhou/2hu are often used as general nouns for Touhou characters, e.g. "If a touhou loses her hat, she will die", with the plural forms being touhous/2hus. Spinning off that, newhu is used for recently introduced characters.
    • Cirno - ⑨ (pronounced "Nineball").
    • Hong Meiling - China is so widespread that even ZUN has admitted to using it. Before that it was Kurenai Misuzu, the Japanese pronunciation of the Chinese characters that make up her name. An ongoing debate over whether her name was supposed to use the Chinese or Japanese pronunciation was, in fact, the source of the "China" nickname, which was offered as a compromise because being Chinese was her main identifying trait anyway. It's used less and less often these days now that Meiling has more to her character than being Chinese.
      • Part of the origin of her nickname was that it was a joke on how Chinese things are unreliable, referencing her exaggerated napping status. Part of the reason it's being used less is because many fans don't care for that treatment of her.
      • This nickname is so strongly associated with her that "China" redirects to her page on the Touhou wiki.
    • Sakuya - PAD-Chou/Pad Chief. Fans noticed her bust size change considerably between her character art in Embodiment of Scarlet Devil and Immaterial and Missing Power. While this is probably because the former's art was done by ZUN, who many believe simply isn't good enough at perspective to draw breasts, the tongue-in-cheek fan theory that she started padding her bra in the interim between the two games. Fanon has it that mentioning such in her presence is a good way to wind up knifed to death. She's also called Sakuya Brando due to her similarities to Dio Brando. This really says it all.
    • Reimu - Raymoo, Armpit Miko, The Red-White, et cetera.
    • Yuuka - Japanese fans often call her Yuukarin as a take on Yukari's Yukarin. Yuuka can also be romanized as Yuka, though, so the distinction is often lost in English. She's also sometimes called Ultimate Sadistic Creature, or USC for short, due to some of her lines suggesting that she enjoys dealing out violence. Youkai Moenote  is sometimes used with her.
    • Kogasa - 2nd or New Youkai Moe, after her similar appearance to Yuukanote .
    • Merlin - Meruponote , also known as ξ・∀・
    • Lunasa - Luna-nee, reflecting her "responsible oldest sister" position among them.
    • Youmu - Referred to as Myon among Japanese fandom due to a quote of hers from Perfect Cherry Blossom. Western fandom has applied this specifically as a nickname for her ghost half. Also, "Ghost 2B", due to Yorha 2B from NieR: Automata looking pretty much like an upgraded Youmu.
    • Ran - Suppa-Tenko, translated as "Naked Heaven-Fox", from an infamous fan-comic. Because of this, some fan works often humorously portray her as a streaker.
    • Yukari - Yukarin, also Sukima ("gap"), in reference to how her powers manifest, and Babaa ("old hag") in reference to her extreme age. This would be 1300 years old minimum, as she created Gensokyo and is thus one of the oldest characters in a series filled with centuries-old characters.
    • Suika - Watermelon. Her name is a homophone for the Japanese word for the fruit. It is rumoured that the origin of watermelon is related to Suika as well.
    • Reisen's bullets were probably just intended to look like they're glowing, but the fact that most of them in Imperishable Night are colored white caused some fans to speculate that they're suppositories. The name stuck, due in no small part to another flash by IOSYS, so some call her "Suppository".
    • Kaguya - NEET. In Fanon, Mokou also uses this as an insult, although Kaguya has taken to rebutting by calling her a hobo. Also Teruyo, an intentional misreading of the kanji that make up her name. Naturally, it gets more use in Japan than the western world.
    • Aya - "Slut", or "ZUN's girlfriend". Detractors of her Creator's Pet tendencies sometimes jokingly suggest that she seduced ZUN to secure her spot in nearly every Touhou game after her debut, not to mention those spotlight-grabbing Gaiden Games and her generally high power level. It also doesn't help that ZUN once wore an outfit matching hers. It has fallen out of use these days for the most part, due to more characters being introduced that have taken prominence over her. Not to mention those nicknames would be at least as derogatory to ZUN himself, with him having a wife and children now.
    • Eiki - Yamada, a pun about her position as Yama ("Yama da" meaning "it's the Yama") and the common Japanese surname Yamada.
    • Komachi - Komachichi, a Pixiv-made nickname referencing her two most noticeable traits.
    • Kanako - Guncannon, because of a spell card of hers that attaches pillars to her shoulders. Kanako's breasts, due to their large size in most fan depictions, have a Fan Nickname of their own: "Mountains of Faith".
    • Suwako - Western fans often call her Suwacko or Swackers, while her Nice Hat is known as Pyonta. Also "Kero-chan" (Froggy), derived from her Native God "Kero-chan Braves the Wind and Rain" spell card.
    • Iku - 193 (ichi kyuu san -> Iku-san). This occasionally leads to crossovers with Kamen Rider Kiva, where IXA is read similarly.
    • Tenshi - Chiquita Dragonforce, Peaches and Momoko due to the fruit in her hat. Tenko, an alternate reading of the kanji in her name, is both used as a nickname for her and as a means for linking her to Ran's Suppa-Tenko meme. The Hispanic fandom also calls her "Chile-tan" due to the earthquake she caused in Hisoutensoku.
    • Kisume - Bucket Ranka, because of her resemblance to a certain Macross Frontier character. Otherwise, she's known as Bucket Loli.
    • Parsee - Known in some circles as "Cave Alice," for her visual similarity to Alice Margatroid and for... well, living underground.
    • Utsuho - Chernobyl-tan, due to her nuclear fusion powers; Bahamuko, from Bahamut of Final Fantasy fame due to her spell cards titled "Mega Flare" and "Giga Flare"; Onric or "⑥", due to being similar, yet opposite to Cirno; and finally Deep Crow. Many use the in-game nickname Okuu.
    • Ichirin - Due to the way Unzan supports her in combat like a Stand, a noticeable number of fans have begun calling her Ichirin Kujo. Cue the fist-versus-knife-fight with Sakuya. Less flatteringly, she's also called Unzan's Hitboxnote .
    • Byakuren - Youkai Jesus, Youchrist, Gensokyo Gandhi, Suigintouhou and The Anti-Marisa, because she is a magician and is an opponent who pillages patterns from Shinki, Yukari, Yuyuko and Marisa herself.
    • Nue - U.F. Owen, due to her supposed similarities to Flandre and her UFO-themed spell cards.
    • Unnamed Giant Catfish - Primeus, in a reference to a M.U.G.E.N joke character of that name made by Ricepigeon, to the point that some people actually think that's its name. People later took to calling it Namazu, which is just the name of its species. This is somewhat justified by the fact that it is referred to as "namazu" in the game's files.
    • Reisen II or Rei'sen, for the moon rabbit introduced in SSiB, to differentiate her from Reisen Udongein Inaba.
    • Yorihime - Moonbitch, as popularized by her detractors, though her name being hard to remember didn't help her. Both Watatsukis together (or, more rarely, all Lunarians) can also be referred to as "the moonbitches", but the singular "Moonbitch" seems to be Yorihime.
    • Wakasagihime - Waggysaggy, a deliberate misspelling of her name.
    • Momiji - awoo~, a Western memetic shorthand for the character after fanart of the White Wolf Tengu howling was posted on 4chan one day in response to a request to "post the awoo one".
      • It sometimes gets extended to other lupine/canine characters too, like Kagerou or Kyouko.
      • "Momizi" was once common in the Western fanbase, after a mistranslation in certain early English patches of Mountain of Faith. It seems to have fallen out of use due to the character's Ensemble Dark Horse O.C. Stand-in status, however.
      • "MAGA-tan", coined during the 2016 US presidential elections when Trump supporters replaced her tokin hat with a "Make America Great Again" hat.
    • Several unnamed characters have officially adopted their Fan Nicknames, like Tokiko, Daiyousei and Koakumanote .
    • Mamizou and Nue, together, are for some reason being labeled "The Frat Boys".
    • After screenshots of Urban Legend in Limbo showed Mamizou wearing a suit for one of her attacks, this look for her quickly gained the nickname "OLnote  Mamizou" (though she's actually dressed as one of The Men in Black).
    • Junko - "0/99+", which is what the spell card counter will look like when confronting her, as it can take over 99 tries in Pointdevice Mode to capture a spell card even once.
    • Some fans, either having trouble remembering Yatsuhashi's name or simply seeing her as bland, refer to the sisters as "Benben and not-Benben".
    • Clownpiece - "Itpiece" or "Pennywisepiece", coined after the 2017 movie remake due to her terrifying difficulty.
    • Shion Yorigami — "Blue Mokou" or "Player 2 Mokou", due to her visual similarity to a color-swapped Mokou. Also "Venezuela-tan", due to her extremely impoverished appearance.
    • Jo'on Yorigami - The Hispanic fandom calls her "Coppel-tan" or "Elektra-tan", after two local chains of discount credit stores that are infamous for making people squander their hard-earned money through credit card debt.
    • Fans of other shoot em ups tend to refer to Fanwork-Only Fans of the series as "secondaries", and always in a derisive tone.
    • The series' main trumpet soundfont (known as "Romantic Tp" on the Edirol SD-90) is often called the "ZUNpet".
    • Eika - "Rock", from the rock stacks she's associated with, or "dead baby", since that's exactly what she is, the spirit of a dead foetus.
    • Urumi - "Cow", due to her bovine characteristics, or "cow mom"/"cow milf", due to her apparent age and her stone baby.
    • Kutaka - "Chicken", because she's a god of wild chickens, and has chicken motifs and traits.
    • Keiki - "Cake", based off her name.
  • Follow the Leader:
    • Phantasmagoria of Dim. Dream was made shortly after Twinkle Star Sprites.
    • Seihou was rather obviously inspired by Touhou.
    • Len'en Project was created by JynX, who is also known for their PC-98 remakes.
    • Bullet Heaven, a sort of 'westernized' Touhou game note  — the achievements have shoutouts to Imperishable Night and Ten Desires.
    • Project Nite Festival combines the bomb-power system from Mountain of Faith with a gameplay similar to Imperishable Night, custom characters and spellcards.
  • Hey, It's That Sound!: "Windows XP Balloon.wav" can be heard around the two minute mark in "Interdimensional Voyage of a Ghostly Passenger Ship", by complete accident.
  • Killer App: The early games have prompted a lot of Western fans to get into PC-98 emulation or collecting physical PC-98 systems.
  • Marth Debuted in "Smash Bros.": While Touhou itself never had an official English release until 2015, Reimu Hakurei appears in Magic Pengel and Graffiti Kingdom, which have.
  • Meaningful Release Date:
    • The English patch for Yousei Daisensou was released on September 9. The game stars Cirno, who has a memetic association with the number 9.
    • The Steam release for Impossible Spell Card came out on April Fools' Day.
  • The Merch: A good amount, considering it's a doujin series. It includes, but is not limited to: doujinshi, costumes, mouse pads, jewelry, plushes, and high-quality figures, including Figmas.
  • Name's the Same:
  • No Export for You: ZUN expressed he is not willing to sell to western audiences. Supposedly, this is mostly due to shipping costs and the potential for cultural misunderstanding. (Ran's swastika spellcards were cited as an example.)
    • It seems some people believe that he doesn't want people selling it via "downloads aimed at overseas buyers", either, according to the official Touhou Project Guidelines. However, this is due to a mistranslation; the original guidelines are clearly labelled as applying to fanworks based on the Touhou series, and state that such works shouldn't be sold via the App Store, Android Market, Xbox Live or downloads aimed at overseas buyers. Of course, this isn't happening.
    • Obviously, this hasn't stopped fans from legally importing or downloading the game. Unfortunately, the games are stupidly expensive thanks to import costs and shady dealers who like to mark up prices ($30 for one game is considered fair); it's no wonder 99% of the western fandom simply pirates the games.
    • ZUN changed his mind over time; at Anime Weekend Atlanta 2013, he said he was interested in bringing the franchise to the US, and specifically mentioned that he liked Steam as a possible avenue for distribution. However, he said the biggest issue was that someone else would have to do the translation, and he really preferred being able to handle the games from start to finish. In March 2014, he officially announced his intention to digitally distribute the games for an international audience.
    • On May 7th, 2015, Double Dealing Character was released in the West on Playism, bringing the cycle to a close.
    • As for the manga, Yen Press licensed an English translation of Forbidden Scrollery, which began release in November 2017 (sadly, the CD that was originally included with volume 6 was omitted). Along with physical copies, the scanlation is also available digitally on various storefronts.
    • On November 3, 2017, ZUN announced that Hidden Star in Four Seasons and Antinomy of Common Flowers would be released on Steam. HSiFS came out a couple of weeks later, with AoCF following in 2018. Legacy of Lunatic Kingdom, Impossible Spell Card, Double Dealing Character, Ten Desires, Fairy Wars, Double Spoiler and Wily Beast and Weakest Creature came to Steam in 2019.
    • As for the music CDs, those were only available in Japan for a long time as well. However, in October of 2018 a Japanese company called "Ban Dai" started offering a free service for called "Touhou Doujin Music Distribution" so doujin circles could finally release thier albums worldwide on iTunes and Google Play Musicnote . Not only did the soundtrack CDs and ZUN's Music Collection get this treatment, but a good number of well-known doujin artists got in on this as well.
  • No Adaptations Allowed: ZUN has turned away multiple investors seeking to make an official Anime adaptation of the project or translate it into other languages, largely because he would lack control over such a project, and doesn't like retreading old ground in general. He is, however, very supportive of Fanime and Fan Translations as long as their unofficial nature is obvious. Due to Touhou's nature as a niche format within a niche medium, it gets a lot of its fame from Pop-Cultural Osmosis; something as mainstream as an anime would run a real risk of displacing the original in the public consciousness.
  • Promoted Fanboy: In Urban Legend in Limbo, several music doujin groups, including the likes of Crow's Claw and dBu music among others, ended up doing official remixes of classic Touhou tracks for use in the game.
  • Reclusive Artist: While ZUN himself is seen fairly often, the manga illustrators appear to prefer to stay out of the spotlight. For instance, all we really know about Moe Harukawa, the illustrator for Forbidden Scrollery, is that according to ZUN she's fairly young and highly skilled, and also attends university.
  • Sleeper Hit: Even the fandom is baffled at how a simple shooting game series got so popular.
  • Throw It In!: Windows XP's balloon sound snuck its way into the recording for UFO's Stage 4 theme.
  • Trolling Creator: When SOPM came out, a lot of the profiles subverted the moe treatment many characters got (Nitori is not a shy kappa, she's a racist asshole; Hina is not someone you want to be near), and in the interviews following after, ZUN claimed Kisume - another shy youkai - is a Serial Killer who decapitates people and throws skulls at others. In case anyone doubted what SOPM had to say about Nitori, her dialogue in Hopeless Masquerade is extremely different from her dialogue in Mountain of Faith (and even Subterranean Animism, where she encourages the player to beat up their opponents), which consists of insulting her opponents and openly bragging about being a scammer. The only person she isn't mean to who isn't a customer is Marisa, her old comrade, and even then it's pretty neutral.
    • Though the Kisume remark was made loosely (likely as a joke, not definitive Word of God), and while SOPM's articles written by Akyuu might be questionable, Hopeless Masquerade supports some of it.
    • ZUN did this a bit earlier with sinking the popular fanon ship of Aya and Momiji in Aya's notes for Double Spoiler: Momiji really dislikes Aya. Not that this has stopped fanon. Result: Momiji is Tsundere to Aya...
    • Mokou's popular portrayal of being a vengeful, tsundere rageaholic obsessed with Kaguya was upended in Cage in Lunatic Runagate, where Mokou admits she actually forgot about Kaguya until recently and only fights with her out of boredom. She's also much less angry - more like an apathetic, quiet slacker who hangs around in the forest. Though her chapter does show the notion of Kaguya leaving is greatly upsetting.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Byakuren wasn't the original intended final boss of UFO; her brother Myouren was the planned final boss instead. However, ZUN didn't want players to beat up an old man, and having a lone male in an overwhelmingly female cast would have been too jarring, so Myouren was relegated to Byakuren's backstory.
    • Similarly, Word of God states that Kasen was considered for the position of Extra Stage Boss of Ten Desires. Fans have, of course, made their own version of what could have been. Kasen eventually became playable in Urban Legend in Limbo instead.
    • Mokou, alongside her rival Kaguya, was considered for the playable roster of Touhou Hisoutensoku, but was scrapped due to balancing issues. However, Mokou eventually made her proper debut in a fighting game in Urban Legend in Limbo, almost six years later.
    • EoSD was originally going to have three characters with the third, Rin Satsuki, being an original character. She holds the distinction of never having appeared in any Touhou related media at all.
    • In PCB, Yukari was originally going to have more distinct attacks when compared to Ran but it was scrapped due to time constraint.
    • According to ZUN in his interview in Volume 4 of Strange Creators of Outer World, he originally wanted to have Okina Matara debut in a wheelchair but found it too difficult to implement, opting to just have her sit in a chair during her Stage 6 boss fight. The idea eventually made it into canon in Visionary Fairies in Shrine.
    • Immaterial and Missing Power was originally going to include SC-88Pro-compatible MIDIs like the games that came before it. However, they could not fit on the 700 MB CDs the game was burned on. This is also the reason why the game's soundtrack is formatted in OGG instead of the usual WAV.
    • Like with Immaterial and Missing Power above, Phantasmagoria of Flower View was going to have an SC-88Pro MIDI soundtrack. However, only the songs up to White Flag of Usa Shrine were ever finished, and can only be accessed in the demo. Interestingly, the option for it is still there in the final game, though it's disabled with a message reading "MIDI isn't yet currently supported". This implies that the MIDI soundtrack was actually going to be finished at some point, but of course, that never happened.
  • The Wiki Rule: The Touhou Wiki.

  • ZUN had been thinking of making a team-up game (which later became Imperishable Night) before the Windows games even came out. EoSD was originally supposed to be the team-up game, but ZUN felt it would be odd to have sets of previously unintroduced characters be playable. EoSD and PCB were then made to introduce the player to several sets of new characters in preparation for IN.
  • Shoot The Bullet was a game he'd had an idea for since the time of EoSD, but it wasn't until Aya came along that he could really make it — that, and a collection of otherwise impossible-to-beat spell cards.
  • When Embodiment of Scarlet Devil introduced the spell card system, it became the first shooting game ever to give an official name to one of its bullet patterns. (Naturally, some patterns are given names by the fans. Touhou itself has "Gengetsu Rape Time", after all.)
  • Nonstandard boss fights:
    • Alice in Perfect Cherry Blossom appears twice as a mid-boss (the first after only a single wave of fairies) before the full boss fight later on.
      • Seiran in Legacy of Lunatic Kingdom follows the same trend.
    • Mystia in Imperishable Night starts her boss fight immediately after losing as a mid-boss.
      • Nemuno Sakata in Hidden Star in Four Seasons follows the same trend.
    • Kanako's stage in Mountain of Faith has no mid-boss at all.
      • Miko's stage in Ten Desires follows the same trend.
      • Junko's stage in Legacy of Lunatic Kingdom also has no mid-boss and instead opts for a bullet rain endurance with the duration of a mid-boss fight.
      • Okina's stage in Hidden Star in Four Seasons also follows the same trend, having some great fairies serving as the midboss portion.
    • Yuugi in Subterranean Animism stays on the screen after mid-boss fight and continues shooting at you.
    • Nue, the extra stage boss in Undefined Fantastic Object, appears as the mid-boss in Stages 4 and 6, but in the form of a ball of light.
      • Rin, the Stage 5 boss in Subterranean Animism, is a mid-boss in Stage 4 (twice), Stage 5, and Stage 6. She's infamous for her persistence.
    • Soga no Tojiko, the stage 5 mid-boss in Ten Desires, has no hitbox.
    • Clownpiece, the stage 5 boss in Legacy of Lunatic Kingdom, appears in the middle of the stage only to say a few sentences (and create a flashy effect that does nothing) before retreating until her boss fight.
    • Kurumi in Lotus Land Story is the only PC-98 character to act as her own mid-boss. The Windows games made this the standard.
    • Reimu Hakurei and Marisa Kirisame in both Lotus Land Story and Imperishable Night are the only instances where you fight another playable character (in that game) as a boss, not counting the fighting games.
    • Okina in Hidden Star in Four Seasons serves as both the final boss and extra boss.


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