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t͡ɕiɽɯno (♫)
Fairy of the Ice
More Character Titles



Manipulating cold


Implied to be over 60


Cold areas, Misty Lake near Scarlet Devil Mansion

Music Themes
Official Games
Print Works
Miscellaneous Works

Cirno (チルノ Chiruno) is an ice fairy who first appeared on the second stage of Embodiment of Scarlet Devil. As a fairy, she is exceptionally strong for her kind, matching the power of some weak youkai. However, compared to most of Gensokyo's residents, she's quite weak. Her personality is childish and she is sometimes considered stupid.

General Information

Cirno first appeared as Stage 2 Boss in Embodiment of Scarlet Devil, then again as the Stage 1 midboss in Perfect Cherry Blossom. She then again later appears as one of the many playable characters in Phantasmagoria of Flower View and again in Touhou Hisoutensoku. She made an appearance as a background character in Hopeless Masquerade and then appeared as the Stage 1 midboss in Double Dealing Character. She also was a Day 1 Boss in Impossible Spell Card.

While her age is unknown, she is one of the only characters in Phantasmagoria of Flower View that realized what was going on had happened sixty years prior as well. This implies that she has been around for at least sixty years.


Cirno is a childish, confident fairy who appears to have a superiority complex in regards to others. She proclaims herself to be "the strongest" on three separate occasions in Phantasmagoria of Flower View. In the game's manual, she is labeled as "9. baka" (⑨. バカ, lit. "9. Idiot") in an explanation of the game screen's layout. She was again labeled as such in the manual for Touhou Hisoutensoku. This implies that Cirno may be some kind of idiot. An example of Cirno's stupidity would be the spell card Ice Sign "Icicle Fall", which has a very obvious safespot to easily dodge the danmaku on Easy Difficulty.[1]

Despite this, she is smart enough to know when she is in deep trouble, such as her battle against Yuuka in Phantasmagoria of Flower View's story mode. She can also read, unlike some of her peers, such as Mystia Lorelei. She can also count (she shows knowledge of rounding and fractions in Fairy Wars).

Among other things, she greatly enjoys using her abilities to freeze frogs, then watch it revive while thawing out in the water. However, about one in every three attempts fails, shattering the frog to pieces. This has earned her a warning from Reimu Hakurei, who cautioned that she could be set upon by Suwako Moriya for her actions.


Manipulating cold

Cirno has the ability to manipulate cold to the point of being able to freeze water. However, even while saying "manipulate", when coldness is in an omitted state, it seems like her surroundings are chilly even in summer. She is even able to create blocks of icicles and ice within an instant. Since she served the role of the main character in Fairy Wars, she was able to freeze danmaku that came flying with her ability but there were also some danmaku that were unable to be frozen. However, since it is actually an ability that only freezes things by removing heat and doesn't affect momentum (frozen things would keep traveling in a "ice coat" instead of stopping suddenly in mid-air), that may be just a gameplay feature.

How she exactly manipulates cold is unclear, but Reisen Udongein Inaba, in one of her quotes in Touhou Hisoutensoku, speculates that when Cirno does it, she warms up inside as a result. This would mean that she just absorbs the heat in the surroundings instead of "creating" cold from nothing.


In the games as she generally only shows up as stage 1~2 bosses, she isn't that strong. In particular, fairies have an existence below that of humans.[2][3] However, among fairies she possesses unusually strong power.[4] She was playable in Phantasmagoria of Flower View and was able to defeat Reimu Hakurei, Marisa Kirisame, Sakuya Izayoi, etc. Technically when she "defeats" Aya Shameimaru and Yuuka Kazami, she didn't really defeat them as they still appeared unhurt after battle, implying that it was Cirno who ran away. In Fairy Wars, even though she wins when she battled Marisa, the one whose illustration showed to be "defeated" was Cirno; it was a simple case of Marisa letting her guard down.

In Perfect Memento in Strict Sense, according to the other fairies, while such things are written as "if she schemes, she is caught, so it is good even to refresh oneself of one's habitual anger," among it, there does exist the warning "if you meet her, you should flee." Furthermore, Eiki Shiki, Yamaxanadu commented on her saying "although you are a fairy, you possess great power". Since she goes beyond the limits of fairies, there may be the possibility of dying.

If humans were to fight her gracefully, it would seem that the weapon would become frozen and it wouldn't be possible to win to begin with, but if we were to just run away, if we poke at the point that she is an idiot, we are able to run away immediately, since she is not able to answer even simple riddles.[5]

Background Information

PMiSS cirno.jpg


Her known name is "Cirno" (チルノ), which has an unknown origin. It may be based on English "chill", "chilled" or "chillness". Her name's mis-spelling "Chilno" in Eastern and Little Nature Deity may prove this possible origin, as well as the name's pronounciation, which is "Chirno". The earliest known English translation of "チルノ" is in her Phantasmagoria of Flower View profile.


Her design in Embodiment of Scarlet Devil, Perfect Cherry Blossom and Double Dealing Character shows that Cirno has aqua-colored eyes and hair. She wears a blue ribbon, light pink blouse, blue jumper dress and seems to be wearing white socks. She also has icicle-shaped wings. In Phantasmagoria of Flower View and Touhou Hisoutensoku's official art, her ribbon is green instead of blue and her sprite in Phantasmagoria of Flower View still keeps the blue ribbon. In Fairy Wars, her bow is once again blue. Her blouse has been changed to white and she seems to have bigger eyebrows (because she was drawn by Makoto Hirasaka). It's been said that Cirno is one of the easiest designs ZUN has done.[6]

Her alternative outfit in Phantasmagoria of Flower View is same as her normal outfit, except her bow is a darker shade of green, her blouse appears light purple, and her dress is purple as well.

Cirno's Appearances


Embodiment of the Scarlet Devil
Cirno's sprite in EoSD

Cirno's first ever appearance in the Touhou Project was in Embodiment of Scarlet Devil as the second stage boss. During the events, she attacked Reimu Hakurei and Marisa Kirisame who were just passing by, out of instinctive aggression. During her boss battle, she uses the spell cards Ice Sign "Icicle Fall" and Freeze Sign "Perfect Freeze", but also Snow Sign "Diamond Blizzard" on Normal. On Hard and Lunatic, she instead uses Hail Sign "Hailstorm", Freeze Sign "Perfect Freeze" again, Snow Sign "Diamond Blizzard" again and Snow Sign "Diamond Blizzard". Ice Sign "Icicle Fall" on Easy mode is considered one of the most easiest spell cards in Touhou as there is an an obvious gap right in front of Cirno that'll get the spell card cleared quick and simple. Nevertheless, she was helplessly shot down.

Perfect Cherry Blossom
Cirno's sprite in PCB

Cirno unusually re-appeared as the first stage midboss of Perfect Cherry Blossom, who can be easily defeated. Cirno did not have any good reason to attack the heroine other than that they were there, as stated in her official profile. On Easy and Normal difficulty, she does not have a spell card to use, and thus uses a simple danmaku pattern. However, on Hard and Lunatic difficulties, she makes use of the spell card Frost Sign "Frost Columns", which has danmaku going in different directions and causing explosions of danmaku.

Phantasmagoria of Flower View
Cirno's back sprite in PoFV
Cirno's sprite in PoFV

In Phantasmagoria of Flower View, Cirno aimlessly wanders about, apparently unconcerned by the flower incident for any reason other than the flowers being something else for her to freeze and play with. Through her dialog, her true childish nature is revealed, leaving no doubt that she really isn't smart at all. She really wasn't meaning to do anything but play games.

Double Dealing Character
Cirno's sprite in DDC

Once again in Double Dealing Character, Cirno did not have any good reason to attack the heroine other than that they were there. Just like Perfect Cherry Blossom, she is once again the stage 1 midboss of the game, who can be easily defeated. On Easy and Normal difficulty, she does not have a spell card to use, and thus uses a simple danmaku pattern. However, on Hard and Lunatic difficulties, she makes use of the spell card Ice Sign "Ultimate Blizzard", which is basically an harder version of her previous non-spell attack. In this game, she was given a completely new sprite design to keep it with the current Touhou Project, which was re-used later on in Impossible Spell Card.


Shoot the Bullet

In Shoot the Bullet, Aya Shameimaru encountered Cirno on stage 2 and took photos of her danmaku.

Touhou Hisoutensoku

Cirno heads out, thinking that she's seen a daidarabotchi. She gets ready to leave when Sanae Kochiya asks her if she has seen a giant human-shaped object. Cirno denies seeing a daidarabotchi, which causes Sanae to be suspicious and fight Cirno. Later, Cirno passes by the Scarlet Devil Mansion when she overhears Hong Meiling mumbling about the Taisui Xingjun. Cirno becomes interested in finding the Taisui Xingjun, but focuses back on the daidarabotchi after beating Meiling. At the entrance of the Underground Geyser Center, Cirno meets Marisa Kirisame, who tells her that the daidarabotchi is inside the Underground Geyser Center (which was a complete lie). Once inside, Cirno is intercepted by Utsuho Reiuji. Utsuho attempts to eradicate the "foreign substance", but Cirno manages to escape being incinerated to death. After escaping, Cirno runs into Marisa, who tells her about a giant youkai in the Forest of Magic. Cirno then runs into Alice Margatroid. When Cirno tells her about a daidarabotchi, Alice realizes that Cirno is talking about her Goliath Doll, and lets Cirno fight with it.

Fairy Wars

Cirno is the protagonist and the only playable character of Fairy Wars, who only has one "shot type". Unlike other games, Cirno is able to freeze danmaku. Almost any bullet will freeze if it comes in contact with the ice resulting in long, elaborate chains of ice. The bomb is not that regular. It is named the "perfect freeze" which will also freeze all the bullets that are on the screen.

Following Strange and Bright Nature Deity volume 2 special "Great Fairy Wars", after the Three Fairies of Light destroyed her home, she charges off for vengeance on them. After battling trough the various fairies, and two of the three fairies, she finally meets the Three Fairies of Light. Cirno is not afraid even though they are with three. Cirno eventually wins and they become friends.

On the Extra stage, Cirno decides to fight a youkai to prove she's the strongest. After passing through strong fairies, she instead encounters a human: Marisa Kirisame. Not taking things easy, Marisa decides to play with her using her "non-deadly lasers". After a harsh battle, it appeared that Cirno was defeated, but surprised Marisa that she was able to put up a good fight. However, Marisa states that she let her guard down a bit. They both went home to settle.

Hopeless Masquerade
Cirno in HM

Cirno made a background cameo appearance in Hopeless Masquerade on the Hall of Dreams' Great Mausoleum and Youkai Tanuki Forest stage. She is seen floating and occasionally making a shock expression.

Impossible Spell Card

Presumably from hearing or seeing a wanted sign about the mischief-making amanojaku Seija Kijin, Cirno appears to be one of the many youkai that tries to capture her. She uses spell cards that are considered impossible to dodge.


Bohemian Archive in Japanese Red

Bohemian Archive in Japanese Red writes about a certain incident where Cirno got eaten by a giant toad. When interviewed by Aya Shameimaru about it, she tries to convince her to spin the story a different way, and is turned down.

Strange and Bright Nature Deity, Oriental Sacred Place

Cirno appears every now and again to join the Three Fairies of Light on their pranking adventures. One of the extra chapters leads directly into the events of Fairy Wars, as well.


Three Fairies of Light

All of the members of Three Fairies of LightSunny Milk, Luna Child and Star Sapphire – are both a friend and an enemy of Cirno. With Luna, she is later seen with Cirno in Wild and Horned Hermit watching Moriya Shrine's cold fusion experiment.

Minor Relationships


Daiyousei is first seen (presumably) associated with Cirno in Strange and Bright Nature Deity Chapter 13 when both of them were playing hide and seek. After meeting and talking with the Three Fairies of Light, Cirno appears to have completely forgotten about Daiyousei. She was later seen attacking Cirno in Fairy Wars.

Letty Whiterock

Nothing is known about Cirno's relationship with Letty Whiterock. She appears to dislike being grouped up with her as she explains her superiority when interviewed by Aya Shameimaru in Bohemian Archive in Japanese Red. She is also briefly seen talking to Letty during Silent Sinner in Blue.

Rumia, Wriggle Nightbug and Mystia Lorelei

Rumia, along with Wriggle Nightbug and Mystia Lorelei, seem to get along and appear together to help during various events prepared by the Three Fairies of Light, although Rumia appears to be of no help. It is unknown whether they are friends or just happened to be in the same place at the same time (Twice).

Reimu Hakurei

Reimu Hakurei is one of Cirno's targets for her pranks in Oriental Sacred Place. She later helped the Three Fairies of Light in supporting the Hakurei Shrine against Myouren Temple.

Giant Toad

The Giant Toad is a toad that once ate Cirno because she was freezing all the other toads.



Spell Cards

Additional Information


Cirno is a quite popular character in the Touhou Project among fans. Due to becoming a meme, Cirno is now one of the most popular characters of Touhou. Many fans now portray her, jokingly or seriously, as a misunderstood child or even as an outright genius in disguise, or as a bumbling idiot who messes up what everyone else is doing. This is mainly due to fandom making references to her in non-related topics.

Official Profiles

Official Sources


  1. On Normal difficulty however, she does cover that weak spot pretty well, making attempts attempts to exploit that safespot suicidal.
  2. "ZUN's blog" January 12, 2004 - Wayback Machine (Archived April 4, 2004)
  3. "Gensou Bulletin Board" posted December 15, 2003 (Archived by まよひがねっと) - Wayback Machine (Archived April 8, 2005)
  4. "Hakurei Jinja Kannushi/ZUN Interview Kannushi's Tale" "Sangetsusei Part 1" Special Book pp. 110-113.
  5. Phantasmagoria of Flower View's attached キャラ設定.txt and manual, Perfect Memento in Strict Sense pp. 11 and so on
  6. Notes on ZUN's Genyou Denshou Lecture