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Chen

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(チェン)
Chen
(♫)
Chen
Black Cat of Bad Omens
More Character Titles
Species

Bakeneko

Abilities

Use of sorcery (possessed as shikigami), Surprising People (as bakeneko)

Occupation

Shikigami

Location

Youkai Mountain

Music Themes
Appearances
Official Games
Print Works

Chen () is Ran Yakumo's shikigami, who was guarding the village of Mayohiga during the events of Perfect Cherry Blossom. Unfortunately, she could put up little resistance due to being far away from her master.

General Information

Chen first appeared as the second stage midboss and boss of Perfect Cherry Blossom, along with being the extra stage midboss and Ran Yakumo's familiar in one of her spell cards. She was also Yukari Yakumo's familiar in both Immaterial and Missing Power and Scarlet Weather Rhapsody, and was a target on Stage 6 of Shoot the Bullet. Additionally, she made a background appearance in Hopeless Masquerade.

She has two tails and is a bakeneko youkai. She is Ran Yakumo's shikigami, but since Ran herself is a shikigami of Yukari Yakumo, she is a "shikigami of a shikigami" from Yukari's viewpoint. Chen, as a bakeneko, acquires powers of a wrathful god while possessed, but since the one of whom she is a shikigami of, Ran, is also a shikigami, her ability is fairly low. This shikigami possession is removed when she is soaked in water, and since she also hates water as a cat, she is in any case weak to water. Her height is "low"[1] and is capable of human speech. She can use impressive black arts, but only possesses the intellect of a human child.

She ordinarily lives at the Youkai Mountain.[2] In Bohemian Archive in Japanese Red, she made the village of cats and tried to stand as the leader, but the progress has been unfavorable.

Ability

The way her abilities show up in the game itself is that she runs around the screen so freely in a way that is not expected of a boss of a shooting game, which is characteristic of her (as one would expect of a cat). This could be considered cute if she were an ordinary cat, but it also makes her slightly more tricky to deal with due to her speed and deceptive movement, which can confuse her opponent. Another characteristic of her is how she spins around and around while attacking, somewhat like her master.

Use of sorcery (while possessed as shikigami)

She is able to handle simple sorcery. However, even when speaking of sorcery, the usage of this youkai power doesn't bend and distort natural phenomena, and it seems to be close to a kind of sleight of hand.[2] Concretely, by a constant rhythm, while moving to the left, she would immediately switch to moving towards the right, so that to the humans that she faces, it would seem like she disappeared, and things like that. To put it simply, since it is a trick that uses the limits of human abilities, and it would completely not work the same for youkai and others who have excellent kinetic vision.

Surprising people (as bakeneko)

When she becomes a regular bakeneko, she's not able to take up any course of action except primitive ones - like biting and scratching. Rather than saying she possesses a special ability to to surprise accompanying humans, it is more strongly an implication that she's not able to do anything other than things of this extent. (However, even so, for ordinary humans it is dangerous enough). This is the same ability that Kogasa Tatara has - thus in this aspect, they have mutuality.

Occupation

Chen serves as a shikigami to Ran Yakumo, and becomes much stronger when her master is present. However, she hates water, and splashing her will dispel the shikigami possession, making her resort to physical attacks. She is also very fond of catnip, and will lose the will to fight if some is scattered to distract her.

Character Basis

Name

Her full name is Chen (). The kanji in her name can be literally translated as the color "bitter orange" in the Japanese Language, or simply "orange" in Chinese. All of the Yakumo family are named after the names of color. Why Chen appears before Ran and Yukari comes from the fact that the orange light has physically lower energy than the indigo, Ran, and the violet, Yukari. The pronunciation of her name "Chen" is an obsolete Chinese reading of . In Japanese, the character would be read as "tou" or "daidai"; in Mandarin, "chéng".

Design

In her first appearance, Chen has dark brown eyes, brown hair and wears a green mob cap. She has black cat ears, with a gold earring in the left one, and two tails. Her dress is red with a white bow on the collar, with gold trimming and light pink frills at the bottom. The dress has light pink sleeves. She wears socks and has long hot pink fingernails.

Story

Perfect Cherry Blossom

Chen first appears in the second stage guarding the village of Mayohiga, but she is promptly defeated by the heroine. Later in the extra stage, she guards the path to Ran Yakumo, and is much more powerful due to her master's proximity, but was again defeated.

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Bohemian Archive in Japanese Red

Aya investigates an abandoned village inhabited entirely by cats. When she arrives, she finds Chen and cat anarchy. Chen explains that she gathered the cats there in search of a servant to call her own.

By the time Aya returns for an interview, Chen still has not managed to establish a solid leadership role for herself. Aya tells her that she lacks power and that she should reflect on the nature of the relationship between her and her master Ran. She recommends using a mouse (which Chen objects to).

Relationships

Ran and Yukari

Ran Yakumo is her master and Yukari Yakumo is her master's master.

Spell Cards

Additional Information

Chen's Sigil in the Grimoire of Marisa.

Fandom

  • A famous meme regarding Chen is: Ran Yakumo often yelling "CHEEEEEEEEEN" (ちぇえええええええん, the number of え/E is not determined but mostly more than seven) whenever Chen does something wrong or does something cute that attracts Ran. Derived by this, many fans comment "CHEEEEEEEEN" whenever a Chen-related event happens, mostly occurred on NicoNico Video (in fact, this reaction has become so popular that nowadays, it's considered as trolling outside and sometimes inside Nico). The origin of this meme comes from the line in the 2nd Touhou M-1 Grand Prix.
  • Yet another meme featuring Chen known in the English community is "Honk Honk". A comic strip make by bkub, showing Chen riding a bicycle, stopping in the road because Suika Ibuki is laying there drunk, and Chen honking the bicycle horn. [3] This comic was translated to English and posted on 4chan. Soon, people began rearranging the panels to create new stories from it, editing panels, and the like.
  • Rin Kaenbyou, being the only known other cat character in the series, is sometimes depicted in fanart fighting with Chen.
  • Due to her intellect and personality, Chen is often depicted as a child and about the size of one, with Ran being way taller than her.
    • She's also shown to have a cutesy personality often with her being a daughter figure to Ran.
  • Because Chen doesn't have a surname while the other Yakumo family member have one, some fans adopt theories such as "because she's not a direct shikigami of Yukari" or "she hasn't yet fully grown to receive the name" to answer the reason of this case. She is sometimes called "Chen Yakumo" (八雲橙)

Official Profiles

Official Sources

References

  1. ZUN's E-mails
  2. 2.0 2.1 Perfect Memento in Strict Sense: Chen
  3. http://www.kyon.pl/static/img/remiq.net_16153.jpg