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Chen

Chen is the ultimate Big Bad of the series.
Think about it. Ran(-shamaaaaaaaaa~) goes into nosebleeds and name-screaming whenever Chen is simply around her. People on Danbooru go "HNNNNNNNNNNNNGGGGGGGGG" over cute pictures of her. Chen's cuteness is simply a cover for her plot to take over not only Gensokyo, but the other side of the fourth wall!
  • There are some people who are unaffected by Moe though, including this troper. We perfer GAR anyway.
    • And even in her GAR moments, she still sets off some people's Tastes Like Diabetes radars.
    • You've obviously never seen X-CHEN! [NSFW due to ads]

Alice

Alice was abandoned with her doll, Medicine, as a child
In Perfect Memento in Strict Sense it is stated that young children used to be left on Nameless Hill to die, and that some of these children are abducted by youkai and raised as youkai. Furthermore, Alice's dolls strongly resemble the little "doll" accompanying Medicine. And the two are connected through Shout Outs to Agatha Christie - the name Margatroid comes from one of her characters, and the author's favorite flower is the lily of the valley found where Medicine resides. This would also explain how a human child ended up in Makai, and became obsessed with dolls.

Alice was, for whatever reason, left by her parents on Nameless Hill with only her beloved doll, Medicine Melancholy. Shinki (or another Makai resident) took pity on her, and took her back to Makai where she learned magic. Though she eventually went on to replace Medicine by making other dolls, the abandoned doll grew more and more resentful until it came to life, wanting revenge against all humans.

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Alice is a lich.
She is a magician who was once human, but is now a humanoid youkai. It is possible that she died, went to hell, and used her tremendous powers as a magician to restore herself back to life, although she was no longer human by the time she had done so.
  • Flesh regeneration really isn't that hard to manage. It's just most "outside" Liches are cursed by gods for accomplishing immortality. Skull faces are not pretty, and any god-like being in Gensokyo would sooner die then have anything not be pretty.
  • Not unless she went about turning into a youkai a really roundabout way. According to Perfect Memento In Strict Sense, all you need is to learn a couple of spells that apparently aren't that difficult if you have ready access to magic books.
    • The series is rather schizophrenic about that. Marisa is researching the "Elixir of Immortality" but does not say if this is like Youkai immortality or the Hourai Elixir. Also, Hermits seem to go through a lot of trouble for something "easy" for Magicians to do.
  • So if Alice is a lich, what does that imply about the contents of her locked book?

Alice Margatroid is a Doll.
PC-98 and windows are about 1 (one) year away from each other. What happened, is that this doll, called Alice Margatroid, is a reflection of what Alice could have been if she grew up, but since she opened the Grimoire, that won't happen.
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And Shinki's power is unknown, so the whole "Warping Alice to another Dimension" WMG above is possible, however unlikely, since her power has something to do with Sara, Luize, Yuki, Mai and Yumeko, since it was established, that everyone (excluding Alice) was created by Shinki. So unless she has an incredibly vague power like Yukari's Manipulation of Boundaries, it's safe to assume that Shinki's power is to give life.
With that, we move to the Alice is a Doll Theory
In Alice's description in Perfect Memento in a Strict Sense, She has blond hair and pale skin, and looks very much like a doll herself.
Which supports the theory on it's own. But there is more to support this claim, this trouper has more evidence.
But wait, the author of Perfect Memento also says that this Alice was once human, who became a Youkai. However, which Alice is she talking about? Is it Alice Margatroid? She's a doll though. So to be a moving doll, who is her puppetmaster?
That would be Alice from PC-98.
Which then links to the Momento, "She's the type of magician that was originally human and became one through training."
This can be assumed when Alice first opened the Grimoire of Alice
This makes two Alices in the same world. One who is the PC-98 Alice, and one who is the Windows Alice.
Here, if Alice of PC-98 is controlling the Windows/Alice, then she would remember losing to Reimu and Marisa is Mystic Square. Therefore, out for revenge in Perfect Cherry Blossom.
In Imperishable Night, it's seen in the prologue that W/Alice's dolls are capable of talking. If W/Alice can do it, so can PC/Alice, since with the Grimoire at hand, Alice has access to many spells.
But W/Alice has a Grimoire too. Maybe the W/Alice has a fake grimoire, only to look like PC/Alice. So PC/Alice has the real Grimoire, and W/Alice has a fake. Which also explains why W/Alice hasn't used her Grimoire yet. It's because it's fake.
With this theory, it answers why Alice suddenly came back all grown up, why she never uses her Grimoire, why she is described to look like a doll, and why Reimu didn't recognize her when she first saw her.
W/Alice Margatroid is a doll being controlled by PC/Alice.
  • Or rather, Windows Alice is an Autonomous Doll made by the PC-98 Alice, and thrown to Gensokyo without any memories of her creation. The process made Windows Alice's inner subconciousness want to make an autonomous doll too. As said above, the Grimoire is fake. The figment of memory of Reimu and Marisa is adopted by the magic flowing from PC-98 Alice. (or Alice has seen them sometime before.)

Alice is actually infertile.
When she was human, Alice was infertile. In a last ditch effort to have her own child, she became a magician, and attempted to create a living doll using human souls. She was however punished for her sins and sealed in Makai (much like Byakuren was). There she encountered the witch "Alice" and challenged the witch to duel where she kills "Alice", steals her grimoire, and stole her title of "Alice" (here Alice is a title like Beatrice is in Umineko.). The new Alice then broke out of Makai and ended up in Gensokyo, where she is still trying to create a living doll. However TH 12.3 hints that she has created a living doll.

Alice is also an alchemist.
All that gunpowder she stuffs her dolls with has to come from somewhere. Given that canonically Alice tends to keep herself isolated from others, she probably makes the doll-making materials (gunpowder included) herself.
  • According to Wild and Horned Hermit, magicians in general tend to deal with things like arsenic and quicksilver. This is probably true, other than the implication that this would make Alice unusual.

Alice and Medicine share a common origin.
Alice's dolls all look like little blond girls with blue eyes, wearing red ribbons in their hair. Medicine fits this description. The most obvious explanation is that Medicine is a forgotten one of Alice's dolls, perhaps one of the ones the player character encountered and shot down way back in Mystic Square, but that's way too straightforward for WMG.

My proposal, then, is that Alice's dolls have a certain look because that's just how she learned how to do them, from some unknown mentor who had the same skill, and Medicine originally belonged to that person.

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Alice has a very specific kind of split personality regarding her puppets.
She controls them, but they're often depicting doing things to seemingly act independent. She has trained herself not to think of herself as controlling her dolls; she merely "guides" them; and the part of her mind partitioned for the dolls takes the cue.
  • Alternatively, Alice is a tulpamancer and/or schizophrenic and the partitioning off a piece of mind is simply creating a seperately operating conscious. Because magic and Alice controlling the dolls anywho, the dolls act independent because it's technically an independent mind doing the controlling.
    • Interestingly, if Alice does have a split personality, the dominant one is likely "Shanghai", not Alice. Alice doesn't seem to be aware of any other personalities, while the dominant one likely would be. The personality controlling the dolls, which could be called "Shanghai" for ease of reference, would have to be both aware of Alice, and know her well enough to imitate her so no one figures out that there are two personalities in her head. Shanghai controlls her doll as her main body, puppeting her actual body instead of the doll body. After the fight ends, Shanghai supplies Alice with false memories of controlling the dolls and doing all the fighting. This would mean that Alice's spellcards are less controlling dolls, and more releasing her split personality. This does raise the question of why the dominant personality isn't in control more often, which could be answered two ways: it is, but you'd never notice the difference, or the Shanghai personality was sealed away by someone, and Alice's spells temporarily break the seal.

Alice studied manipulation of boundaries by magic just enough to open some gaps, but no further.
One of Stage 3 Alice's attack patterns in Mystic Square involves sending two dolls to open a gap-like shape which fires bullets everywhere, then closing when it's shot out of the way. This is never seen or heard of or mentioned ever again, even in the EX-stage, let alone by Windows canon. Alice might have been trying to pick up Yukari's style for the sake of easy transportation, and when it failed to hold off the protagonists and then Alice found the much more accessible Grimoire of Alice she went for that instead. Alice still doubts her mastery over anything related to gaps and doesn't use gaps beyond maybe Hammerspace for storing dolls and doll parts and such. Presumably Yukari and Alice had an offscreen exchange about very sad backstories when the latter moved (or was retconned) from Makai to Gensokyo, which warned Alice away from infringing on Yukari's territory.
  • Er. That's a magic shield. It turns player shots into bullets and protects her from harm, but doesn't last very long.
    • OP here. Well, we're Jossed unless it was actually the boundary-between-Alice's-bullets-and-player's-bullets or something. derp

Alice in sticking with her doll theme also has the ability to apply voodoo like curses.
This of course ties into my many guesses of Dolls in Pseudo Paradise. This guess is of course one way to explain the clown that appears in the story. The clown is simply how the curse looks like to it's victims.

Alice's home is (or rather, her initial home was) on top of ruins from Makai.
It would make sense for her to want some connection to her old family, at least at first, and she does have at least some degree of Force sensitivity, judging by her way of finding the way from stage to stage. Those ruins were capable of being awakened by six boss girls (originally Sara, Louise, her, Yuki, Mai and Yumeko) and commanded by their leader. Unfortunately for Alice, any six bosses with the same frequencies could awaken those ruins too, and the God-Beasts unleashed by the eruption of the underground fit the bill. Shou filled the role of Yumeko, the loyal vigil who served the leader honestly. Murasa filled that of Yuki, the steadfast friend who stood by her opposite number, even over the leader. Nue filled that of Mai, the devious companion who took advantage of her counterpart's loyalty, but not necessarily to the leader. Ichirin filled that of Alice, the flamboyant Sissy Villain who just joined for the company. Kogasa filled that of Louise, the wild-card outsider with a flair for fashion. Nazrin filled in for Sara, the incompetent watcher who relied on The Dragon to save face with the group. And finally, the above six prepared for Byakuren to fill the throne of Shinki, the mistress who cared about her people but had trouble ensuring harmony. Alice went to the Moriyas for help, and that's why she came to Hisoutensoku. Utsuho was in it for her own delusions of godhood, the Catfish needed help to destroy the Scarlet Devil Mansion, and Alice was just in it to protect her own home. But her efforts were in vain, and the God-Beasts awakened the ruins and transformed them into the Palanquin Ship, then later into Myouren Temple.

Alice will have some role later in Forbidden Scrollery.
I mainly make this guess for two reasons, firstly is due to her Grimoire and secondly cause she used to be human who is now a youkai. That last part is due to how things has been developing for Kosuzu.

Alice has Asperger Syndrome.
Many of Alice's character traits line up very well with the symptoms of Asperger syndrome and autism in general: she's an indoor person who is often alone, she's not very eager for conversation, she only seems to focus on dolls (her special interest, perhaps?), and as shown in Chapter 6 of Strange and Bright Nature Deity, she does not tell lies. And while one might bring up the fact that Alice is empathetic towards people while people with Asperger's have a Lack of Empathy, this is actually not true- people with Asperger's have been shown to have higher empathy towards people that are in pain or in need of help, and many people with Asperger's are kind people with strong morals, so it would make sense that an Aspie like Alice would gladly give shelter to people who are lost in the Forest of Magic. Also, people with Asperger's tend to make friends based on interests and interests alone, which explains why she is friends with Marisa (who shares her interest in magic) despite the fact that the two of them are wildly different otherwise and tend to argue.

The Prismriver

The Prismriver Sisters are playing the music ingame
Who has musical instruments and lives in Gensokyo? The Prismriver Sisters, of course. Plus, some of the music seems to consist heavily of violin, keyboard, and trumpet, the instruments used by the poltergeists. They're following around the protagonist and playing fitting music.
  • That means that Raiko plays the percussion instruments (which Lyrica could, but usually doesn't, do). By extension, this means that Raiko is a time lady who went back in time after being created in DDC to play during the earlier games.
    • Or she just stayed out offscreen like the Prismrivers usually are.

Youmu

Hakurouken and Roukanken can cut outside of reality.
How else could Youmu counter the hax-tier Fantasy Heaven with Voidness Sword "Slash Clearing The Six Senses"? Being able to cut out of reality and reach where Reimu floats out to, of course!

Youmu's swords cannot become tsukumogami via the Miracle Mallet's side effects, or at all.
Roukanken was forged by youkai and can apparently kill spirits. Hakurouken can only be wielded (at least in any degree of usefulness that would count as use) by the Konpaku family. And that is why Youmu did not even bother investigating during Double-Dealing Character, since it did not concern her weapons. Alternatively, Hakugyoukurou was simply not affected by the incident, or it was quite severely and Youmu was busy clearing out rampaging youkai trying to invade the Netherworld. While Sanae's paper-on-a-stick didn't have enough of a personality from use to go tsukumogami, Youmu's signature weapons are ancestral and are probably old enough to go tsukumogami in general if malevolently discarded.

"Half-Ghost" is actually a type of tsukumogami, except with ghosts instead of objects.
Let's take a look at the existing tsukumogamis in Touhou (going by literal appearance instead of conceptual):
  • Medicine Melancholy (doll-tsukumogami) has a humanoid form, and is seen accompanied by a doll.
  • Kogasa Tatara (umbrella-tsukumogami) has a humanoid form, and is seen accompanied by an umbrella.
Now let's look at Youmu: she has a humanoid form, and is seen accompanied by a ghost. Obviously, at the very least, there's a similar principle at work here.Alternately...

"Half-Ghost" is not so much a species as a state of being: specifically, the state of being on the border of life and death.
The canonical explanation of the state of the Konpaku ghost-half is that it's their kon, which is conceptually the western soul, while the body is animated by the paku, which is more of an animating life-force which returns to the earth sometime after its host body's death. So perhaps a "Half-Ghost" is someone who went partway through the process of dying, only for it to be halted—the kon separates, but still retains a connection to the body, and the paku, which returns to the earth some time after the kon has left, remains. (Perhaps Yuyuko partially killed Youki but managed to stop herself before he was all the way gone?)

Yuyuko

Yuyuko and Layla were friends of Maribel and Renko
This is especially true if one accepts the theory that Maribel is Yukari and/or is the creator of Gensoukyou. Yuyuko and Layla were part of a Four-Girl Ensemble with Maribel and Renko, but died in some sort of accident. If Gensoukyou is a dream world created by Maribel, it make sense that shades of two recently and prematurely deceased friends of hers would "live on" there.

Renko is Yuyuko
Following the Maribel is Yukari theory, it's unlikely that Maribel would forget her one friend who shared her enthusiasm for Gensokyo before being plunged headfirst into it. It would be fairly simple for Yukari to meet Renko at some point after Maribel becomes Trapped in the Past, and send her back as well, perhaps with some advice to try and get adopted by a noble family. Plus, it would make so much sense for Maribel's best friend to also be Yukari's best friend. As for the difference between Renko and Yuyuko's powers, it could easily be a case of her power growing in an unexpected way, or perhaps Yukari messing around with them.
  • This would also be a case of Be Careful What You Wish For, since Renko is a bit jealous of Maribel's powers (and dreams). So she got some. But they turned out to be rather...scary...

Ran and Yukari

Yukari Yakumo had a hand in starting the Hakurei bloodline.
Her ultimate long term but somwhat plausible plan: Yukari had seen how the world of human civilisation would eventually eclipse the Old Races in terms of power and progress - the series of events that led to the Oni people moving away was merely a sign of worse things to come.

As she did not want the destructive conflicts that would result, and wanted a land where youkai could live in relative peace without decidedly intolerant monks and exterminators making trouble every so often, she decided to find a way to influence a family of priests. By manipulating their bloodline, she laid the foundations for the powerful Hakurei family of priests and miko to form in the future, their powerful Sealing Arts holding traces of her power to create Borders or Boundaries.

Yukari Yakumo is all-powerful, and could transform people or read minds if she wanted.
Yukari has the power to "manipulate boundaries", a vaguely-defined skill if ever there was one. Furthermore, this includes abstract concepts such as the boundary between night and day, or between life and death, or between mountain and sky. With a list like that, you could make a case that there's not much that can't be considered a boundary. Between one mind and the next? Why not read minds! Between one second and the next? Control time! Your body's a boundary between your soul and the outside world? Even better for transformation! As for why she hasn't displayed any abilities like this, i.e. to singlehandedly solve the lunar crisis in Imperishable Night: she's already known to be lazy. For instance, she hasn't gotten around to fixing the hole she made in the barrier between the living world and the afterlife as of Perfect Cherry Blossom.
  • Alternatively, she hasn't discovered that she has these abilities. Mastering one's skills in Touhou's backstory involves dedication and practice, and Yukari is, as we said already, lazy. Too lazy to get off her butt and practice bending reality to her whims, even if it means the key to omnipotence? Very yes.
    • This quote from her entry in Perfect Memento in Strict Sense would indicate that she already figured everything out. "Rumor has it that she is a youkai from outside, and she simply comes to here for play. Indeed, she may spend the winters and the daytime, when she claims to be sleeping, in the outside world, and some even say that the outside world is Yukari's dream."
      • If we are a dream for the reality warper, I think it's about time we turned into a nightmare.
      • Which ties in nicely to the theory about Maribel below.

Yukari Yakumo in fact can make herself or anyone a real person and a fictional character, and actually most people from Gensokyo are missing people from different parts of our multiverse
Gensokyo is the "land of illusions" and she canonically has wandered outside. All she does is manipulate the border of real and fiction. This also includes browsing through the internet and drinking with ZUN.

This is the other reason why she likes to mess with Reimu in a playful and good-natured way, as the current Hakurei miko is a one of her greatest success stories.

  • This Troper doesn't get how any youkai could peacefully live near that maniacal shrine maiden.
    • A donation or two goes a long way - Reimu's only grumpy because of her lack of donations.
      • It's actually true. In one of the Nature Deity stories, Yukari gives Reimu food. Marisa playfully accuses Reimu of accepting bribes.
  • As a corollary to this, Yukari took care of Reimu when she was younger. Reimu might not remember her youkai guardian, but that just makes it easier for Yukari's Wife Husbandry plot.

Maribel Han and Yukari Yakumo are the same person.
The basic idea of this fan-theory is that when Maribel sleeps, she dreams that she's Yukari, and when Yukari sleeps, she dreams that she's Maribel. Detailed in her entry at the Touhou Wiki. It is also worth mentioning that there is no official romanization of her name, so that instead of "Han" her name might actually be "Hearn" — as in Lafcadio Hearn, a Western author who, after he gained Japanese citizenship, became known as Koizumi Yakumo.
  • Furthermore, Hearn was the first non-Japanese-born to have written extensively on youkai, so...
  • Alternatively, Maribel is Yukari's puppet, and the true Yukari is yet to appear. When Maribel sleeps, Yukari hijacks her body and gaps her into Gensokyo. When she's done with her, Maribel is sent back but gets to keep the partial memories of what has happened. Because Yukari thinks it's funny to do so.
  • Yukari is Maribel's future self, after fully crossing over to not-quite-yet Gensokyo, and due to the strange, fluctuating nature of border, she was sent into the past, like the note she penned found in PMiSS was. Once there, she becomes a youkai, and her ability to see boundaries evolves into the ability to control them, resulting in a Stable Time Loop as she goes on to create the Great Border, which leads her past/future incarnate self to see the world beyond it and long to be a part of it.
    • Perhaps present Yukari even has a role in Maribel becoming her past self, meaning that Yukari created herself.
      • Even better, all of the above are true. She's controlling the Borders of Causality, Time, and Alternate Universes.
  • Bonus WMG: Ran is Maribel's attempt to recreate her laptop. She is a portable computer, after all.

Alternatively, Yukari both is and isn't Maribel at the same time.
Rather I think that Yukari is Maribel's Doppelgänger brought about when she enters Gensokyou in her dreams. That would mean that Yukari is not a Youkai but rather a Dream Soul that has own sentience. Yukari isn't sleeping when Maribel is awake, that is just a lie, she outright don't exist during that time. That also would explain why she is only active during the night and only rarely during the day. But then you might wonder how she has appeared so far in the past. Well Maribel has limited time travel abilities when she sleeps so then perhaps Yukari has the same abilities she has, only cranked up a serious notch. Or perhaps, since she is a dream made manifest, she can exist wherever and whenever she pleases, the time of day is the only limitation. This WMG would also answer another question that bugged me, Yukari has never directly interacted with Maribel. Only Yuyuko, Yukari's closest friend has. If she truly is a Doppelgänger it would lead to an Reality-Breaking Paradox if they made contact.

Yukari's first Lunar Invasion was actually a plot to eliminate the most powerful youkai of Gensokyo
Yukari's motivations behind her first lunar invasion have always remained a bit of a mystery, and popular theories postulate that she was either trying to take the riches of the Lunar Capital for herself, or that it was just her way of teaching the other youkai about the evils of war and imperialism. But what if there was something more sinister going on? It is not unthinkable that there were some very powerful youkai in Gensokyo back when Yukari came up with the whole idea - some of them may even have been so powerful that they rivalled Yukari herself. Or alternatively, they were just as old and experienced as Yukari and may have known her for a long time. They may even have known and understood Yukari a lot better than she was comfortable with (maybe they knew of an Old Shame, or maybe Yukari's a wee bit paranoid about people who might just figure out her schemes and intentions). My point is; what if there was a bunch of youkai in Gensokyo that were a potential or actual threat to her? If these youkai really did pose a serious threat to her, then it would make sense for Yukari to devise a plan to, well, get rid of them - a plan like, say, tricking them into invading the moon together, luring them into a hopeless battle against the Lunarians, and then closing the boundary between Gensokyo and the Lunar Capital before the others could retreat...

Yukari is an Eldritch Abomination disguised as a human.
What else can you call something that spends most of its time residing between dimensions? As far as I've gathered, she goes outside normal spacetime when she teleports.

  • Alternatively, the real Yukari just moves its humanlooking physical youkai body into its extradimensional innards and deposits it at the intended gap location by pushing a boundary open. If Reimu bothered to use Fantasy Heaven in the right area or right time (Say, timetravel to the Lunar Invasion and stand at the edge) she could hypothetically 'see' Yukari's physical body. In addition, Yukari had to move most of herself out of Gensokyo during the Lunar Invasion, leaving only a tentacle or something on both ends with her main body stretched between the space landmass of Gensokyo and the Moon, which is how she moved the youkai she wanted to eliminate or bring with her to the moon and went back.

Yukari Yakumo is a troper
And is posting the entries that are trying to fool us into thinking our Touhous are less powerful than we know they are. Oh Yukari...don't ever change.

Maribel is a young Yukari.
Maribel and Yukari aren't dreaming that they are each other, they actually are, in different stages of their life. Yukari was born as Maribel, a human, and developed her ability to see borders until she could manipulate them as well. She and Renko entered Gensokyo and had many excellent adventures. But it wasn't the Gensokyo we know and love, it was the Gensokyo of the past, when the border was still young. Renko trained as a shrine maiden and Maribel eventually became powerful enough to become a youkai. After settling down in Gensokyo, the two had a falling out, perhaps over Maribel's becoming a youkai, and this is why they built their houses in different places, but both along the edge of Gensokyo so that they could keep an eye on the border / get luxury items from the outside / help humans coming across like themselves. Renko had children and fathered the Hakurei line. At the end of her natural life, Renko was reconciled with Maribel, and Maribel agreed to protect Renko's daughters and their descendents.
  • Alternative storyline: Maribel and Renko have their adventures in the present/future as Maribel's powers develop, but at some point Maribel goes to the past and becomes Yukari as we know her (Renko's fate is unknown).

Maribel is the reincarnation of Yukari
First off, it's very unlikely that they're the same person dreaming of being each other as in the common theory; Maribel spends most of her dreams running away from youkai and her tendency to bring back various objects implies that she's physically transported.

Maribel lives in what's clearly the future, and magic appears to be common knowledge when she lives. Sanae seems to come from the present day, and her move to Gensoukyou was due to people not having faith. It seemd likely that Maribel doesn't just live in our future, but in the rest of the series' future as well. Plenty of time for Yukari to die.

  • Yukari has lived for thousands of years. For what we know, she CANNOT die.
    • She can manipulate the boundary of life and death. So she can die, she'd just have to want to.

Yukari's Second Invasion of the Moon was a social attack.
Yukari, like Eirin, isn't just The Chessmaster; she's an immortal chessmaster. Moves that she makes aren't always apparent until centuries down the line. It was very important for the Moon Rabbits to sense that Reimu was summoning the Shinto Gods. This served as a distraction and gave the Watatsuki sisters a motive for not immediately killing or banishing Reimu; they needed to show Reimu to the Moon Rabbits to show that they weren't the ones unauthorizedly summoning gods. Something only they could do up to know. Now, Reimu and the Watatsuki sisters may be Nay-Theist. they summon gods but they sure don't seem to worship them, but the Moon Rabbits are religious. And now, it's been revealed that those "inferior" Earthlings are capable of being conduits to the gods. This will have incredible impact on the Moon society years down the line, and severely take away one of the unique traits the Moon royalty used as a symbol of superiority.

Yukari is a tanuki.
If she has human ears, they've never been shown due to her hairstyle. Her hat would conceal a pair on top of her head while her large dresses (or powers) would easily hide a tail. More importantly, the mythos of the animal would match her tricky nature, tendency to spirit away people and objects, and constant sleeping. Her household hierarchy of Shikigami even becomes Japanese wordplay. Tanuki->Kitsune->Neko.
  • Almost certainly Jossed by the appearance of Mamizou, showing that tanuki in the Touhouverse are generally very different from Yukari. On top of that, the *other* current character who's Not What She Seems has been foreshadowed all over the place. Fun idea, though, and it's not exactly impossible, just very unlikely.

Yukari has control over quantum phenomena
This explains her absolute reality warper status and manifests itself in her most powerful spellcard Boundary Between Wave and Particle. Yukari may be the ultimate quantum mechanic.

Yukari vacations in the Bermuda Triangle
Many people "disappear" in Bermuda Triangle... possibly because Yukari is bored and invites them over. If you would call opening a boundary and teleporting them an invitation.

Yukari is Gensokyo's Hidden Evil Overlord. Reimu and Marisa are her Unwitting Pawns.
Gensokyo was once a haunted region of Japan, a place of total chaos caused by youkai, until it was sealed from the outside world. That was when Yukari brought down the other youkai's power and dominated the area. Some youkai began obeying her, and she gathered enough youkai to try and invade the moon. This failed, and it's likely that the youkai began losing trust in her with this bold move. Many youkai are also rebelling against her, trying to reset Gensokyo's state to a pure, uncontrolled anarchy. Reimu (and probably, her ancestors) was appointed by Yukari (knowingly to Reimu or not) to exterminate hostile youkai who threaten Yukari's power, as Yukari was too occupied always doing it by herself, or she was simply lazy. Most of the incidents are either caused by said rebellious youkai, or Yukari causing it herself behind the scenes, as a way to test Reimu/Marisa's skill.

The Scarlet Mist Incident was unlikely to be Yukari's doing (Remilia doesn't seem like someone who would obey orders). The SDM inhabitants might be a rebel group with the mansion as their base. Remilia could be a rival to Yukari, seeking to overthrow her. Spreading mist was a tactic so that the mistress could go outside during daytime. Remilia's trump card is her sister, Flandre, whom she would unleash in a desperate situation. The mist bothered Reimu/Marisa so they went out to seek the perpetrator. Yukari didn't get involved, she knew that her underlings, the two heroes, would notice a youkai causing trouble and go out to defeat them. They even defeated Flandre, who might've been released by Patchy or Sakuya on Remilia's orders after her defeat. Or, she broke out on her own and went on a rampage, Remilia's plan backfiring as her mansion was hugely damaged by her own petard.

Yuyuko's spring theft happened with Yukari canonically being involved in it. Yukari helped Yuyuko to enact her plan, but she knew that the human protagonists would eventually stop her mischief. Later, Yukari herself was confronted by the heroes. She tested their power with relatively difficult spellcards, and she was defeated. A successful test.

Imperishable Night also had Yukari involved, but on the heroes' side. She teamed up with Reimu to defeat the Lunarians. Yukari knows that Lunarians aren't to be taken lightly, so she thought Reimu might've needed her personal help this time.

Mountain of Faith is where it gets interesting. Kanako, a goddess, has decided to intervene Yukari's dictatorship. Not only did she see Gensokyo as a desolate place with no faith, but also frozen in time with no technological advancement like the rest of the world. She moved her shrine straight into Gensokyo, which probably cost much effort because of Gensokyo's strongly protected border (Maybe Yukari didn't stop it because she was sleeping at the time, or she couldn't match the power of a god). The Moriya Shrine appeared right onto Youkai Mountain, a mountain infested by youkai (as the title suggests), many of whom didn't want a stranger to take over their mountain, such as the Tengu.

In Subterranean Animism, it's said that Kanako is the one who granted Utsuho her powers, and later in Hisoutensoku, her powers are used to supply a power plant. Utsuho might've ran a little amok, or it was also part of her purpose; to destroy Yukari's pawns, who have been (unconsciously) guarding Yukari by fighting Kanako and keeping her busy. Okuu is Kanako's trump card much how Flandre was Remilia's, as mentioned earlier.

Either Yukari vs Kanako is a youkai dictator versus a zealot goddess, or Kanako is the leader of the good forces, despite being the antagonist to the so-called heroes. Of course the "heroes", Reimu and Marisa, are pawns unaware that they're aiding a behind the curtains dictatorship, rather than simply defeating dangerous youkai. They're not doing it intentionally. It's all part of her plan.

So, Kanako & Okuu were the good guys (or rather, gals) in the story, seeking to turn a wasteland filled with human eating monsters ruled by an insane Reality Warper, into a prosperous land filled with technological advancement. You, the player, stopped them.

Yukari is not quite what she seems to be
That pretty 17 year old girl? Simply an avatar, no, Yukari is something a little different. Simply put, that horrible red mesh of Eyes in her gaps? THAT'S Yukari, a small small part of her body, yes, she is an Eldritch Abomination through and through, probably the size of Gensoukyo at least, hiding in her own dimension parallel to it. When she uses gaps she's not so much teleporting as she is moving the 'avatar' to another part of her body and throwing it out there.This also answers a question that's bugged me for a while, why she didn't just gap to the Moon in S Si B and had to manipulate a border to reach it, her body doesn't reach that far.

  • I thought during the Lunar Invasion she moved her body to the area between Gensokyo and the Moon while they were at their closest and stretched a little.

Yukari is in fact the Empress of Gensokyo.
Her actions in the games and the Expanded Universe follow the pattern of a hands-on royal head of state.
  • She is the only official Phantasm boss in the series, placing her at a higher rank than even EX-bosses.
  • She personally led the youkai army in the First Lunar War.
  • One of her main duties is the maintaining of the Hakurei Border, which would ensure the continued existence and sovereignty of Gensokyo.
  • She is obsessed with keeping the balance of power between humans and youkai even, thus preventing civil war.
  • She has acted in controlling foreign incursions (namely the Lunarians and Celestials.)
  • She uses Reimu as a proxy to deal with Old Hell when she is forbidden by treaty to do it herself.
  • She is associated with the color purple, which for millennia has been regarded a royal color.
  • This would tie into the titles held by other characters: Kaguya is the Princess of Eientei, Toyosatomimi no Miko is a resurrected prince, and Remilia is addressed as "My Lady". Even though the last may be just out of respect for the lady of the manor, it is also the proper form of address for a noblewoman ranking from a baroness up to a marchioness.
    • Remilia's theme is Septette for the Dead Princess, so she may be a princess if her theme isn't just flair.
Recycled In Space? Maybe it was stuck next to Japan for a few years in 1884, then was ejected into magical-filled SPACE by the Hakurei Barrer.

Mary is the reincarnation of Yukari's human half
Yukari was originally half-human, half-youkai (boundaries!), but being involved in the creation of the Hakurei barrier caused her human half to be expelled as a separate person. This human half is mostly unremarkable aside from having a weaker version of Yukari's ability (likely caused by the supernatural in general being weaker in the outside world), except upon her death. Since she's part of Yukari, and Yukari is very much alive, instead of going through the normal death process, a new Hearn girl with a vaguely European name is immediately created somewhere in Japan

Yukari is Reimu's Ancestor or at Least the First Hakurei Shrine Maiden
Reimu's ability to float could easily be interpreted as her transcending the boundry of physical reality it's entirely possible that the power could evolve into something similar to Yukari's boundry manipulation. Based on that it's entirely possible that Reimu inherited these powers from Yukari. Think about it why would the Hakurei shrine maidens specifically be the barrier maidens unless the ability to manipulate boundries already runs in the family. Also Yukari predates the founding of Gensokyo and was also instrumental in getting the Hakurei barrier built in the first place. Perhaps nstead of exterminating youkai she hung out with them (sorta like reimu does now but more benign) because of her relatively passive ability. As such when youkai began to die out she was one of the people advocating for Gensokyo to become a youkai paradise. Obviously having all the youkai in one place would be terrible if a large group of exterminators were to appear so using her ability she would misguide any hostile elements getting them lost or something. Eventually continued use of her powers and possibly her association with youkai caused her to become one herself. After that she either left the shrine to her descendants if she had any. Though considering Yukari and Reimu look nothing alike (thoguh Yukari could have changed her form) it's entirely possible that she just keeps taking girls who exhibit a similar enough power to become a Hakurei shrine maiden and trains each generation personally till they become viable then goes back to sleep. The only reason she started visiting Reimu again is because she's either A) an actual descendant of hers (possibly related through a branch family if Yukari didn't have children herself) or B) it's because Reimu is the first shrine maiden other than herself who's exhibited enough power to possibly become a Goddess or youkai herself.

Yukari steals peoples' socks.
See the last part of "Justification for Improbably Female Cast: Gensokyo's nature as a land of illusion." on the main page.

Yukari's species.
Yukari is a youkai but it has never been specified what kind of youkai. But given her nature and abilities (and some liberal use of headcannon) my guess is that she is a/the Laplace Demon. If she is, then calling her The Omniscient would be a massive understatement.
  • One of Yukari's spellcards in Hisoutensoku actually references Laplace's Demon, notably. Or at least it does in the english name.

Alternative Title(s): Perfect Cherry Blossom

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