Marisa Kirisame

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霧雨 (きりさめ)  魔理沙 (まりさ)
Marisa Kirisame
kʲiɽʲisame maɽʲisa (♫)
Marisa Kirisame
Marisa Kirisame in Double Dealing Character
Ordinary Magician
More Character Titles
Species

Human

Abilities

Using magic (Specialized in light and heat magic)

Age

A child in PC-98 canon; about the same age as Reimu in Windows canon[1]

Occupation

Magician, Kirisame Magic Shop owner, burglar, part-time youkai hunter

Location

The Kirisame household in the Forest of Magic

Music Themes
Appearances
Official Games
Print Works
Music CDs
Miscellaneous Works

Miscellaneous Illustrations

Other

Marisa Kirisame (霧雨 魔理沙 Kirisame Marisa) is an ordinary human magician who specializes in light and heat magic and currently resides in the Forest of Magic. Her motto is: "It ain't magic if it ain't flashy. Danmaku's all about firepower,"[2] and she has a compulsive mania for collecting things. She is considered to be one of the protagonists of the Touhou Project, with the other protagonist being Reimu Hakurei.

General Information

Marisa is a common playable character in most subsequent games throughout the series with somewhat rare alternative roles such as being an Extra stage boss. Her first ever appearance in the Touhou Project was in the second PC-98 game Story of Eastern Wonderland as the fourth stage boss and a subordinate to Mima. Although she debuted later than Reimu Hakurei, she was an Extra Stage boss in Fairy Wars, equalling Reimu in the total number of game appearances. ZUN has stated that the PC-98 era is not to be considered canon, although he admits that there are some connections between the PC-98 and the Windows era, and that the PC-98 Marisa is the same character as the Marisa known today. Additionally, she has made a guest appearance as the first Extra stage boss in the Seihou Project's first work Shuusou Gyoku.

As opposed to Reimu, ZUN has said that "concerning Marisa, if there were no humans of a level close to us, then then we could not have a conversation about anyone, which is what I feel is the reason [that she is in Touhou]. She is a supporting character" and "a supporting character with appeal. Concretely it is 'that', but, she is a sub-character."[Ref. Needed] Unlike Reimu, who is blessed with innate abilities, Marisa plays the role of serving as a contrast by being the hard working type of character instead.

Marisa has the height of a girl in her early teens and is in the "fairly short" group.[3] Unlike Patchouli Knowledge and Alice Margatroid, who are magicians by species, she is merely an ordinary human who uses magic. In the games themselves, she's a character who consistently stresses high power and quick speed. She exceeds in attack and penetration power, but her attack range is generally narrow. Her signature move is the tremendous laser Master Spark. She has good speed and power, but poor melee technique.[4]

Personality

Marisa is very straightforward and informal with everyone. She can be condescending, as if trying to make fool of others, and often has difficulty expressing sympathy.[2] She is quick to act if she hears anything interesting. Marisa is also a habitual liar, but she makes no effort to actually deceive as her lies are extremely obvious.

She has a mania for collecting things and may have a hoarding disorder. She is unyielding and unco-operative. As a hard worker, she is very diligent, but she doesn't like others to know that.

Unlike most characters, Marisa is known to speak in a distinct speech tone. The most typical and known example of this is the use of the sentence ending particle ze (). "Ze" used at the end of verb stems delivers a "mannish" and "impolite" sound to the listener/reader. Ze is mostly used in a context to express one's will to act (similar to "let's" in English), and using it in other cases sound somewhat unnatural, perhaps "phony" or "showy". While she does speak in a rather "manly" tone, she doesn't speak in a "rough" and "masculine" language, but in an "impolite/casual" and "boyish" one.

In the PC-98, Marisa's way of speaking included "~da ze" to the end of sentences and "~ka?" to the end of questions as well as using watashi (, lit. "I") (frequently considered to be a male way of speaking). However, in Story of Eastern Wonderland, she used atai (あたい, lit. "I") and the expression "kyahaha", which are female ways of speaking. And, other than the fourth stage in Phantasmagoria of Dim. Dream and Lotus Land Story, her use of "I" had become "", but she laughed with "ufufu". Furthermore, in Mystic Square she didn't laugh, and, other than female ways of speaking, she had become pretty much the same as she is now. Also, although in Embodiment of Scarlet Devil and Perfect Cherry Blossom there are a few traces of PC-98 references, she did not say "~desu wa" in the PC-98 canon as she does today.

In the endings of the later PC-98 games her speaking style was pretty much the same as she is now today, and in the earlier game Phantasmagoria of Dim.Dream, Chiyuri Kitashirakawa had a speaking style resembling Marisa in Windows canon. This could have been one source of influence. Although at first in Shuusou Gyoku, she spoke with a female speaking style, immediately she then began to use a speaking style that is the same as she uses now.

Occupation

It isn't directly stated how Marisa makes a living. She does state in Strange and Bright Nature Deity Chapter 9 that she regularly goes to the Hakurei Shrine to take away Reimu's youkai extermination jobs and Perfect Memento in Strict Sense implies it as well, making it a likely source of income. She's also written a book called The Grimoire of Marisa that reviews various spell cards by different owners of a spell; she's shown a desire to try and sell the book.[5][6].

Kirisame Magic Shop

Marisa runs a shop for anything as an attachment to her own house. Although it is her primary occupation, she is usually absent. Inside the shop, it is so unimaginably disordered that it becomes like a mini-Forest of Magic.[2]

Perfect Memento in Strict Sense provides some information on the magic shop.[2] Though Marisa is surprisingly honest with her services, refusing to take payment for a failed job, the shop sees little use due to its difficult-to-find location in the Forest of Magic and the ambiguity of what her services actually are. (In Touhou Sangetsusei, on the Kirisame Magic Shop's signboard, other than the shop name, nothing is written but "what will you do" (なんかします).) The Three Fairies of Light were her first customers to her shop, but Perfect Memento in Strict Sense implies she's had other customers since then, albeit not many.

Burglary
Marisa caught committing burglary.

According to Perfect Memento in Strict Sense, Marisa boldly breaks in from the front and openly says her motto "I'll borrow these ze" while carrying things off. She mostly steals books, so she might not be the kind who steals money. Her ability to "learn other people's moves" might originate from her nature as a thief.

As opposed to how she was commented to be a "prowler" in Bohemian Archive in Japanese Red, Marisa said: "My life is way shorter than yours anyway, so can't you just take back everythin' after I kick the bucket? I'm just borrowin' until then. It should be good for the stuff I'm taking that way, too." Aya Shameimaru's response was "The contents of the excerpt are very human-like and childish".

In Subterranean Animism, Marisa mentions "(being) a thief" concerning the book she stole from Patchouli Knowledge. In the Extra Stage of that game, Koishi Komeiji pointed out "Are you the doll-using thief". Afterwards, when there was nobody at the Moriya Shrine, she crept in, but was discovered by Kanako Yasaka and the others and was harshly punished.

Possessions

Magic broom

The Magic broom is a bamboo broom that Marisa uses to fly. It is an ordinary broom, but constant exposure to magic has caused a curious growth to begin. Although the bamboo is dead, leaves appear to be sprouting from the handle, independently from Marisa's magic.[2] Although in the shooting games, it was only something to ride on, in the fighting games, it has become a weapon for striking, and a gun barrel from which to shoot danmaku from, thus serving various purposes. The broom and her magician-like clothing is typical for an actual magician.

Mini-Hakkero
Marisa's lesson (Unofficial image)

The mini-Hakkero, Marisa's treasured item, is a furnace that she uses to power her signature move Master Spark. From the flame of a table-top stove, to that of a flamethrower, to a powerful and unmatched wide magicannon, the mini-Hakkero has a convenient range of uses.[2][7] Marisa herself said, "I can't even think of makin' a livin' without it." [8] It was given to Marisa by Rinnosuke Morichika as a farewell gift when Marisa left her family to live in the Forest of Magic, even though it'd be risky for a girl of her age to handle.

A magic lecture related to this item was written as follows:

"While shooting concentrate your mind, gently muttering the spell to the Mini-Hakkero. Aiming at someone you don't like, a magicannon of love will be unleashed! — Imperishable Night: Spell card 100 — Marisa's Magic Lecture
Mushroom Item

Marisa carries, concealed in her skirt, a dangerous finished product of mushrooms made from mushroom magic. After throwing the item, it explodes. The fact that she conceals them in her skirt seemed dangerous even to Hieda no Akyuu as noted in Perfect Memento in Strict Sense.

Ability and strength

Marisa is a normal human with no innate abilities, but her true strength lies in her ability to use one of the highest classes of magic power that humans can use – an unusual feat perhaps only possible because of the effects of the Forest of Magic.[2] She's also faced very powerful humans and youkai and was able to solve a number of incidents in various scenarios, all being high achievements. However, her existence is closest to an ordinary person; she was born without any innate abilities (unlike Reimu Hakurei) and has been compared to "humans of a level close to us" by ZUN. As a result, the interpretations of Marisa's power can go to extremes. She has an attachment to power and has self-belief in ostentatious display of power. She always finds opponents to fight and plays by finding faults. However, she's actually a hard worker, and her power is the result of her secret training.[9]

The attached text file for Imperishable Night says "Since the player characters are of the Last Boss class (But Reimu and the gang are stronger than that last boss class)..." Marisa is likely to be stronger than the last boss class, but it is unclear whether or not this is limited to just danmaku battles or if it also includes unrestricted combat ability.[clarification needed]

In her previous fights, although she was sometimes able to defeat powerful foes such as Remilia Scarlet and Yuyuko Saigyouji, there were also times in Phantasmagoria of Flower View where she was defeated by Cirno and Mystia Lorelei, among others. In Scarlet Weather Rhapsody, she defeated many youkai and human opponents, but not overwhelmingly. Also, the story of that game ends with her being defeated by Tenshi Hinanawi giving forth her true effort. In Fairy Wars, she let her guard down when fighting Cirno, but Cirno still appeared to be "defeated", where it also tired out Marisa.

Concerning her resolution of incidents, ZUN has said that "Even when Reimu and the gang are defeated, they challenge again however many times they want, but on the youkai side they don't challenge again after being defeated, and are not attached to the results of winning or losing... to say it clearly, it is assuredly an inconsequential thing^^;" Whether they win or lose is not important, and it is unclear how many tries she needed to defeat the last bosses.[10]

Using magic

Marisa has trained herself in magic that specialises in light and heat. She's an Eastern magician who takes a Western approach to magic, the opposite of Patchouli Knowledge. Although she's unable to use magic other than for destroying stuff, the destructive power alone is tremendous. It has few weaknesses, being equally effective against human or youkai. When she uses the spell card system, she makes a display of flashy magic whilst exterminating youkai without regret. Her magic makes for a good show for danmaku, but this is made possible only through her strenuous honest effort in creating layered effects. The majority of her spells rely on power over finesse and are themed after stars and other astronomical phenomena.

Marisa picks and collects various exotic mushrooms that live in the Forest of Magic. She boils them, crushes them, dries them, and furthermore mixes them, making strange chemicals or medicine. By heating them, submerging them into water, or by throwing things in directly, through trial and error, she finds a pattern from which magic-like materials come forth. Success or failure, she records the details of each experiment.[2] In her house, there are a ton of various handmade grimoires.

She isn't seen as a hard-working individual by others, so it'd seem that this hard work in performing these magical experiments is something done honestly and hidden. But, since the aforementioned was recorded in Perfect Memento in Strict Sense, people around her may've found out about it. According to Perfect Memento in Strict Sense, it's strange for a human to have mastery of magic of this level.

Also, Marisa is able to wield other kinds of magic other than light and heat magic; her best spiritual affinity being with water.[11] In Imperishable Night, the magic to stop the night might be Marisa's; she worked out magic for the sake of organising a dishevelled room, but ended up making it even more disorganised, and she hasn't had any success in it so far. In Mountain of Faith, "Cold Inferno" – an elemental magic – was introduced.[12] She also uses magic to summon hot spring veins, as well as magic to change people's clothes in an instant.[13][14]

In the PC-98, she used star magic as she does today. In Shuusou Gyoku, she fought using Orreries and was able to duplicate herself.

Fly in the sky

Fight between Marisa and Cirno in Fairy Wars, as shown in Symposium of Post-mysticism; notice her use of a broom compared to the game that doesn't show her using a broom.

Marisa is almost always depicted as riding on her broom when she flies in the sky. In the fighting spinoffs, she rides a broom only during assault skills like Witch Leyline and Stardust Reverie, while for all other occasions such as her intro sequence and her midair dash and flight, she flies without a broom. However, the graphics in those games were drawn by Twilight Frontier, not by ZUN, so this doesn't firmly confirm that Marisa is able to fly without a broom. In Shuusou Gyoku, however, she flew without a broom.

Perfect Memento in Strict Sense states she uses the magic broom to ride around on because she believes it's an essential tool for a magician. It was originally a normal broom but sprouted leaves as a side effect of Marisa using it in magic rituals. Whether she actually needs her broom to fly or if it's just for show is unconfirmed.

The speed at which she rides a broom to fly is potentially the fastest for a human, this fact being echoed in the games. Although ZUN has mentioned that Aya Shameimaru is the fastest in Gensokyo, it has never been confirmed that Aya is actually faster than Marisa, as the two never contested with each other in terms of speed.

In Fairy Wars, her broom is nowhere in sight; it is possible that Makoto Hirasaka may've simply chose not to draw the broom into the sprite or has forgot about it. She was, however, seen with one in her article with Cirno in Symposium of Post-mysticism about this fight.

Learning other people's moves

A comparison between the originator of an attack and Marisa's copy of it.

Marisa's Love Sign "Non-directional Laser" was copied from Patchouli Knowledge's regular attack from Embodiment of Scarlet Devil as confirmed by ZUN.[15] Other than that, there are also others suggested to have been stolen: the Love Sign "Master Spark" that resembles Yuuka Kazami's and Gengetsu's laser from Lotus Land Story, her Orreries Sun that resembles Mima's, and the Cold Inferno that resembles Remilia Scarlet's familiar in Imperishable Night. However, there is no official evidence that these are also copied moves.

It's unknown if Marisa is inherently talented at imitating others' moves, or if she simply manages to do so due to sheer effort. She uses her mini-Hakkero to use the Master Spark, while Yuuka uses her version of the laser through other means.[16] Thus, her copying of the master spark seems more analogous to a person copying a fire-breathing dragon by using a flamethrower rather than a person copying a fire-breathing dragon by breathing flames merely through observation. Marisa also states that she can't imitate Kaguya Houraisan's spell cards because they use special items that she doesn't possess.[17] In that case, it's analogous to a person being unable to copy a fire-breathing dragon because there are no devices on hand.

It's unlikely her implied tendency to copy other's moves is abnormal, as magicians such as Marisa build upon the work of others. Marisa claims in The Grimoire of Marisa that it's "magicians who build on observation", while Patchouli Knowledge uses the pride of magicians to add their own original touch to another's work while preserving and respecting the original.[18] Magicians seek the truth according to Patchouli.[19] They act like researchers in this sense, building upon the work of others. However, other magicians such as Patchouli and Alice Margatroid haven't been depicted using imitations as blatant as Marisa's for spell cards.

Character Design

Marisa, as illustrated in Perfect Memento in Strict Sense.

Name

Her full name is Marisa Kirisame (霧雨 魔理沙). Her surname Kirisame (霧雨, lit. "mist rain") means "drizzle" in Japanese. The kanji used in her given name ma () is highly likely to come from the "ma" in mahou (, "magic") and with ri () able to be interpreted as "logic/law/theory" ( kotowari), it can be said that they deliver the idea of her being a magician/witch. In addition, the kanji sa (, lit. "small sand") doesn't have an actual meaning, but it's often used in Japanese given names to get the sound/look of "girlishness" (different kanji, but the same idea is used in Minamitsu Murasa's name too).

Marisa is also a female given name with origins in the Romance languages, which is a variant of Latin "maris", meaning "of the sea", but may also mean "manly". If her name was based on this, then it's very likely to indicate Marisa's character being a mix of both Eastern and Western cultures.

Story of Eastern Wonderland had her name written as in-game, with the kanji meaning "pear". In that game's attached text files and bad endings it was written as . Since then, her name is still written as , so was likely a typo.

Design

In PC-98 canon, Marisa is depicted as having red eyes and red hair in Story of Eastern Wonderland, wearing a purple witch's outfit with a white bow on her hat. However, her appearance quickly changes with Phantasmagoria of Dim. Dream, where she has yellow eyes and blonde hair similar to the Windows canon. This appearance stays with her for the rest of the series. There was one instance where she grew black devil-like wings. In Mystic Square, her outfit changes from purple to black, which also stays with her for the rest of the series, and her hat gains faint pink frills.

Her clothing also changes somewhat, and her present black-and-white color scheme was achieved in the space between the PC-98 and Windows eras, when she participated in Seihou Project's first work Shuusou Gyoku; she showed up with white wings. In Embodiment of Scarlet Devil onwards, she wears a faint pink apron on top of her clothes. In Perfect Cherry Blossom, she gains a faint pink shirt under her black clothing. Marisa's appearance changes slightly with each release, such as a change in her hat bow's colour, a change in her ribbon's colour tied to her braid or a change in hair style. Also, in most of the games, she carries a broom with her.

As of Ten Desires, her hat's bow is purple, she has a purple ribbon tied to the braid on the left side of her hair, her shoes are maroon coloured with small purple ribbons on them, and she has a red ribbon tied to her neck. In Hopeless Masquerade, she uses dark blue clothes instead of her normal black clothes, she now uses dark blue boots instead of dark shoes, her hat's bow is white and she doesn't have her usual braid on the left side of her hair.

Story

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Games

Marisa as she appears in Story of Eastern Wonderland.
PC-98

Marisa's adventure in the PC-98 started in Story of Eastern Wonderland, where she was a minion of Mima, tasked with keeping Reimu Hakurei from reaching Mima, but was defeated.

Later in Phantasmagoria of Dim.Dream, Marisa followed Mima and found Reimu at some old ruins, which promise a fantastic prize for whoever enters. A battle with six others for the prize ensues. Then in Lotus Land Story, Marisa senses a great magic power and wishes to make it hers. She heads towards to the Lake of Blood without Reimu's knowledge, not letting anyone stand in her quest for power and encounters Yuuka Kazami. Her title in both of these games is "A Being Made of Magic and Red Dreams"

Finally in Mystic Square, Marisa watches Reimu ram into a gate to Makai and decides to follow behind her, her primary motivation being boredom. Her title was just "Magician".

Shuusou Gyoku
Marisa as she appears in Shuusou Gyoku.
Note: This section is part of the Seihou Project by the Doujin circle "Shunsatsu sare do?".

Marisa has made a guest appearance as the first Extra stage boss of Seihou Project's first work Shuusou Gyoku, a danmaku game series by the junior doujin circle "Shunsatsu sare do?", where ZUN also contributed music and art to the game. It seems like ZUN put her in the game along with Reimu Hakurei. Her title was "Magician of Red Dreams" and her theme was "The Witches' Ball ~ Magus". To add to this, Yuuka Kazami made a guest appearances in the following work, Kioh Gyoku.

She seems to have no view towards the Seihou World; she doesn't know that there's no vegetation and has no thoughts about scientific machinery, but she's aware of what the Holy Grail is. Curious why VIVIT and her master Erich wanting the grail, she fights her, but was defeated. She was then thudded by Reimu Hakurei for fighting at the Hakurei Shrine.

Embodiment of the Scarlet Devil

While flying through the sky, Marisa notices she suddenly cannot see the lake. She swoops in to check out the situation.

Perfect Cherry Blossom

During the May of a seemingly endless winter, cherry blossom petals land outside Marisa's house. She follows these petals in search of spring.

Immaterial and Missing Power

A strange feast catches Marisa's attention, so she goes to look for clues.

Imperishable Night

Alice is perturbed about the Moon, so she decides to bribe Marisa into coming along with her to find out who is responsible for the fake Moon.

Phantasmagoria of Flower View

The flowers are blooming out of season, but this doesn't bother Marisa much at first. She simply wants to find out who's responsible for it and will be the first to know why.

Mountain of Faith

Marisa sees that something is bothering Reimu and finds out that a rival shrine wants to take over. Marisa isn't going to sit back and let that happen, so if Reimu isn't going to do something about it, she certainly will.

Scarlet Weather Rhapsody

Marisa is unable to dry her laundry because of the constant drizzle. Deciding something is wrong, she sets out to find the perpetrator.

Subterranean Animism

A geyser appears behind the Hakurei Shrine, and Reimu and Marisa are ecstatic about their newfound hot spring. The youkai, however, are less than pleased as Earth spirits begin to spew out of the geyser. Patchouli and Yukari suspect it was an attempt to lure youkai into the geyser and decide to send Marisa instead to investigate.

Undefined Fantastic Object

Marisa notices a ship flying through the sky and hopes to be able to plunder it for its riches.

Touhou Hisoutensoku

Marisa is sitting in a hot spring when Cirno appears and asks her if she saw a Daidarabotchi. Marisa decides to give her a hard time and fights her. After Marisa was "surprisingly defeated", she point Cirno the the wrong way. After Cirno comes back after a realisation, Marisa points that she saw a giant figure in the Forest of Magic. Even Marisa was interested on what the giant was.

Taisui Xingjun is disguised as Marisa in Hong Meiling's dream, but she sees through this pseudo and battles him.

Fairy Wars

While Marisa is returning from a flower-viewing session, Cirno shows up and asks for a fight. Marisa doesn't take the request very seriously at first, but she decides to fight using her non-deadly lasers. Surprisingly, Cirno puts up a good fight and actually manages to defeat Marisa, although Cirno appears to be defeated instead. Marisa just heads back home after the fight to rest.

Ten Desires

An influx of Divine Spirits will block the flower-viewing, so Marisa wants to be the first to solve it.

Impossible Spell Card

After apparently reading the newspaper by the tengu about a mischief-making amanojaku, she becomes one of the many strong youkai and humans to try and stop Seija Kijin. She uses spell cards that are considered impossible to dodge.

Literature

Bohemian Archive in Japanese Red
Symposium of Post-mysticism

Marisa acts as the moderator for the forum held involving Kanako, Byakuren, and Miko.

Relationships

Marisa has met a major amount of characters that've appeared within the Touhou Project.

Reimu Hakurei

Reimu and Marisa fighting, as illustrated in The Grimoire of Marisa.

Marisa is good friends with Reimu Hakurei and often hangs out at the Hakurei Shrine. Although it was originally Reimu's job, Marisa also snatches requests for youkai extermination at her convenience. In addition to incidents, there are many scenes where they are together, especially in the print works. It is, however, never shown that Marisa has been inside the shrine.

Even though they are friends, they will occasionally end up fighting each other, over an incident they are trying to solve or sometimes for personal reasons. In her fights with Reimu, she wins about 40% of the time.[20] She is also jealous of how Reimu never does any training and yet is strong by her natural abilities, and so she is always bullied. In fact, if Reimu were not there, Marisa would die due to boredom, so their relationship is beneficial. However, whenever Reimu is involved in something strange, half the time it seems that Marisa induced it behind Reimu's back.[9]

Before the ninth volume of the Gensokyo Chronicles was completed, she and Reimu had already been friends for 4–5 years. This means that they have been friends since they were considerably young. In the print works, she eats together with Reimu at evening meals, which they also talk about in the games.

Marisa named Reimu's representative spell Fantasy Temperament.

During the PC-98 era, in good endings and bad endings, Marisa goes to the Hakurei Shrine to play. In the Lotus Land Story ending, the two went outside together in plain clothing, which implies that their relationship was good. In Marisa A's good ending of Lotus Land Story, Reimu said that it would not be good for Marisa to interfere with her work. Furthermore, When Reimu reminded Marisa that it was dangerous, Marisa simply laughed and disregarded the warning. It appears that her daily life has not changed much.

If Curiosities of Lotus Asia Chapter 22 took place before Story of Eastern Wonderland, she may have already known and been friends with Reimu beforehand. Dialogue of the official version of Story of Eastern Wonderland does not explicitly state that it is their first meeting, although the dialogue in the trial version does. However, the canon between the PC-98 and Windows eras is debatable.

Family

Marisa's family runs a large second-hand shop in the Human Village, called the "Kirisame Shop".[21] As an only daughter,[2] if she does not marry and leave successors she cannot legally inherit the shop. Marisa has broken off relations with her family, and avoids everything related to them. She says to Rinnosuke Morichika that she will never go back to them.[22]

In Perfect Memento in Strict Sense, it is stated that her family is a private matter and the details are unclear. Also, the Kirisame Shop does not handle things related to magic items, which may be a reason why Marisa left. What the Kirisame Shop actually sells and the organisation of the family are not revealed. Because of this, her family is a an area of wide speculation. However, her father has been confirmed to have been within Kourindou. None of her family members have been mentioned by name.

Alice Margatroid

Alice Margatroid is a fellow magician of the Forest of Magic. They were partners in Imperishable Night, and she also supported Marisa in Subterranean Animism. Within the PC-98 canon, they met during the events of Mystic Square and fought, but the dialogues leave open the possibility that they may have known each other prior to those events. They also fought each other in Perfect Cherry Blossom.

In Imperishable Night, they teamed up as a "bad relationship" combination. Alice mentions that the only reason she invited Marisa is because she was short on help. In the bad ending, while Marisa worked over the secret measures of the lunarians, Alice was tired and chose to sleep instead. By the time of the events of Subterranean Animism, Alice sent Marisa to the Underworld saying that it was a "onsen-enjoyment game". Compared to the time of Imperishable Night, they had more amicable conversations, suggesting that their relationship has improved.

Also, although Alice possesses the magic book called the Grimoire of Alice, Marisa has never stolen and returned it as she often does with books. Perhaps surprisingly, there have been no canonical instances of items being stolen from Alice.

Alice seems to have a love-hate relationship of sorts with Marisa, with the two often insulting and fighting each other, yet teaming up on several occasions. For all the bickering the two go through, they seem to be close friends, as Alice once recommended Marisa's shop to the Three Fairies of Light when they needed some youkai extermination. Furthermore, in Imperishable Night's bad ending, she is comfortable with sleeping over at Marisa's house.

Residents of the Scarlet Devil Mansion

The residents of the mansion are fully aware of Marisa sneaking into the magic library. They generally look the other way, but various incidents and win quotes from the fighting games shows that they'll fight Marisa in a duel if they actually catch her in the act. At other times, they'll simply leave her be, such as the mansion's private moon viewing party, or Marisa's endings in Embodiment of Scarlet Devil, where Sakuya even plays along with her, either serving her food or helping to conceal her from Remilia Scarlet. It's hinted Remilia already knows Marisa's there too, though, and both are just using the opportunity of playfully insulting Marisa as a rat. Though she's on friendly enough terms that these days she can walk in without any issue from most most of the residents, even if she takes books.

Patchouli Knowledge

Patchouli Knowledge is one of the victims who gets burgled by Marisa, but was supporting Marisa in Subterranean Animism. How much and in what way Marisa would "steal" Patchouli's books is not clear, but in Embodiment of Scarlet Devil, Marisa quoted "there are so many books, so I'll carry them off" to which Patchouli replied not to do so. Also, in Perfect Memento in Strict Sense, something like "for Marisa, concerning books, she feels little guilt in stealing them so she often steals them." In Subterranean Animism Marisa was told by Patchouli that she has to steal lots of books from people's houses to which Marisa replied "Guess I gotta ... Just this once!".

Patchouli also allowed Marisa to stay in the library when Marisa got stuck in the mansion during a storm. However, after an incident in Oriental Sacred Place which left Patchouli buried under a book avalanche, Patchouli tells Marisa that she has no intention to lend Marisa books in a rather serious tone.

Flandre Scarlet

Flandre Scarlet's conversation with Marisa in Embodiment of Scarlet Devil leave an impression that the two are quite friendly (especially when Flandre said, "that means, you can't use a continue!" to Marisa, but may have however been referring to the games gameplay, breaking the Fourth wall). However, in Perfect Memento in Strict Sense, Marisa commented, "sometimes when I sneak into the Scarlet Devil Mansion, I run into the little sister. I had to slip by without drawin' her attention, but after goin' through all that to get into the place, I was hopin' I wouldn't run into her."

Rinnosuke Morichika

Rinnosuke Morichika might be the second victim of the burglary profession, but in actuality, Marisa pretty much never carries off things from Kourindou at her convenience. As for why this is so, it is because Marisa is repeatedly in charge of collecting iron scraps, so though she doesn't steal, she's able to do bartering transactions. Rinnosuke also allows her to buy things on credit.

Rinnosuke's point of contact is that he helped fix Marisa's real family's Kirisame second-hand store. Although it's before Marisa was born, after Rinnosuke became independent and opened a shop, and repeatedly showed his face in the Kirisame second-hand store, and due to this connection Marisa has known Rinnosuke since she was young. Perhaps due to this, the influences he had on her were not just one or two things. The fact that Marisa uses star magic as well as her mania for collecting things are verily from the start related to Rinnosuke.

From Marisa's side, having not changed since she was young, he exists as an "onii-san", and on Rinnosuke's side, and he has known her since she was a baby, there are also occasions when he treats her as a kid. Also, as a daughter of a mentor who has come to his help, she thinks that he is more or less diffidence, but if one looks at his conversations with Marisa, there are things said quite bluntly, and therefore it can't be seen as diffidence. If it needed to be said, they are related such that when Marisa takes charge of the iron scraps, she takes charge of them on unfairly easy terms. (Marisa's collected scraps are occasionally slipped into her precious articles.)

She must have known him at least since 1996, as from Curiosities of Lotus Asia Chapter 6's prologue, Marisa once eavesdropped on a conversation between Rinnosuke and her father during one of Rinnosuke's rare visits to the Kirisame residence, and Rinnosuke stated in Chapter 20 that it's been 10 years since he last saw Marisa's father.

Marisa thinks Rinnosuke is stiff with her because of her family, but the truth is Rinnosuke keeps his guard up with her because he doesn't want her to suspect when he's lying to her, particularly when it comes to her paying Rinnosuke with items that she collects. She is seen as an annoyance who constantly imposes herself on him and takes what she likes from the shop, but they're still on good terms and he seems to welcome her company. They're friendly enough that he created and later gave her the Hakkero when she left her parents' home. She is also the only one to call him by his nickname "Kourin", although whether it implies fondness, or just that they've known each other for so long, is unknown.

Nitori Kawashiro

Nitori Kawashiro knows Marisa from the events of Mountain of Faith, and fancies herself as a friend of Marisa's. She was a support character in Subterranean Animism. Nitori is not a magician so it cannot be said that they have "good compatibility". That they are a magician with a zeal for research and an engineer with a vigourous thirst for knowledge, is something that could possibly be said to be a point at which they are alike fellows who'd get along easily. There's been no depiction where the Youkai Mountain has ever been a victim of her robbery. Nitori herself has a personality of liking humans. Nitori and her fellow kappa are seen associated with Marisa in Wild and Horned Hermit, possibly for mutual business purposes.

Even for Marisa who is habitually aloof from the world, in Subterranean Animism's conversations she was like someone in high spirits pressing on.

Mima

Within the PC-98, Marisa was subservient to Mima and she tells Marisa to "train harder" in Phantasmagoria of Dim.Dream and Marisa saying "I beat Lady Mima". Currently, she's the sole character whom Marisa calls by a title of honour. Marisa admires Mima greatly, boasting that she can make a strategy guide in Story of Eastern Wonderland's omake because "there's no way Mima-sama can be beaten", and apologising to Mima when defeated by Reimu Hakurei.

Moreover, in Story of Eastern Wonderland, there was also a bit where Marisa manipulated star magic and sent forth something like "Orreries Sun", and afterwards Mima also used star magic and Orreries. In the Windows canon, Marisa also has Orreries Sun as a spell card in Immaterial and Missing Power.

However, in the original work, there wasn't even a single scene when Marisa and Mima ever had a mutual conversation together, and the unique talk is only in Phantasmagoria of Dim. Dream's winning expressions. In Mima's character settings, there's not a single statement related to Marisa, and in Marisa's character settings, there's nothing except for Phantasmagoria of Dim. Dream where it said that she "longs for Mima and calls her 'Mima-sama.'" Additionally, ZUN himself refuses to answer any questions that's associated with this relationship.[23]

Three Fairies of Light

The Three Fairies of Light have from the beginning lived in the Forest of Magic and thus have known about Marisa before. Originally, the three fairies were simply fairies to be exterminated when Marisa caught them playing pranks on Reimu or herself. However, after the fairies became Marisa's first customers at her shop where she liberated (maybe) their house from Tsuchinoko, the three fairies who are normally scared of strong people appear to have gradually grown closer together over the series.

Instead of exterminating them outright, Marisa would join in on their games and sometimes play pranks on them instead. Although they originally ran screaming in fear from her, by chapter 16, the fairies refer to her as "just Marisa", and are close enough to her that they'll actually hug her for warmth in the winter. In the fifteenth chapter of Strange and Bright Nature Deity, under the influence of alcohol, Marisa had the three fairies hanging, clinging to her neck, thus showing their close friendship. Reimu seems a bit perplexed at this sight, and starts referring to them as those fairies that Marisa is always hanging around. Marisa and the fairies proceed to team up to play a prank on Reimu. In later chapters, the fairies are happy to see her.

Marisa is initially unable to see the fairies' house. To all humans, fairy homes appear to be normal tree, even if they are actual houses from a fairy's point of view. However, for unexplained reasons, by the time of Oriental Sacred Place, she is able to detect which tree is their new house simply by looking at it from a distance. Marisa herself seems surprised she can do this. She gives the fairies a cheerful nod and keeps it a secret from Reimu, who was attempting to find their house to evict them.

Although she didn't have a relation to the three fairies then, she also appeared in Sangetsusei's supplementary shooting game Fairy Wars.

Minor Relationships

Mimi-chan

In the PC-98 canon, Marisa is Mimi-chan's owner, and thinks Mimi is cute. She knows that Mimi-chan is a weapon from Yumemi Okazaki's world, but has no idea how to use her, and thus rides on Mimi. If she knew anything about how a intercontinental ballistic missile works, she probably wouldn't be doing so.

Satori Komeiji and Koishi Komeiji

After the events of Subterranean Animism in her scenarios with Nitori Kawashiro and Patchouli Knowledge, Marisa impressed Koishi enough with her strength that she's allowed to come and play at the Palace of Earth Spirits at any time. She may say she's a friend of Satori to get everyone down there to leave her alone, because all the underground youkai hate Satori. Although Marisa and Satori tend to put each other at unease at times, Marisa looks forward to being able to go underground whenever she wants to.

Tsuchinoko

Marisa took in Tsuchinoko as a pet in Strange and Bright Nature Deity chapter 10. She thinks he's too cute to exterminate, and doesn't see why a human couldn't keep youkai as pets.

Byakuren Hijiri

Byakuren is a magician, much like Marisa, although is much more experienced and has become a youkai while Marisa has yet to do so. Despite an initial disagreement and misunderstanding over the status of youkai and humans in the Marisa A ending of Undefined Fantastic Object, Byakuren liked Marisa's direct personality, and in thanks for Marisa's help in breaking the seal, instructed Minamitsu Murasa to take Marisa to and from Makai whenever Marisa wanted. She also told Marisa that, as a magician, she could come see Byakuren if she ever had any trouble. It is unknown if the Palanquin Ship's conversion into a temple affected the arrangement.

Spell Cards

Additional Information

  • Marisa is one of the most frequent characters to appear in the Touhou Project series, only second to Reimu after the release of Fairy Wars.
  • Marisa has seven theme songs (excluding remixes), making her the character with the most theme songs.
  • Including spin-off games and Shuusou Gyoku, Marisa has appeared as an EX boss two times more than any other EX boss.
  • Marisa has appeared on the covers of Story of Eastern Wonderland, Phantasmagoria of Dim.Dream, and Lotus Land Story.
  • According to Rinnosuke Morichika, Marisa was inspired to use star-themed magic after a meteor shower viewing party around 2001 to 2002. Marisa's strategy guide in Story of Eastern Wonderland's omake says her third attack uses star magic, although that is just one attack. However, by the time Phantasmagoria of Dim.Dream takes place, many of her attacks use stars. Her apparent mentor Mima also had an astronomy theme in her attacks. Due to the PC-98/Windows canon split, there may be inconsistencies like this between them, although attempts could be made to fit them together (like saying that she trained under Mima after seeing the shooting stars).
  • According to Hieda no Akyuu, she believes that Marisa may become a youkai magician like Alice Margatroid due to the high amount of magic she possesses.[2] In Imperishable Night, she did express interest in immortality and eternal youth. In Phantasmagoria of Flower View, Komachi Onozuka states that she is "ten years too early to say that you want to die." Since the game chronologically took place on 2005, this may therefore state that an occurrence with Marisa will take place in 2015.
  • Marisa may be somewhat of a math genius; in Mountain of Faith she utters the line "I could recite all the digits in pi before I got there." However, considering that pi has a literally infinite number of digits which never end or repeat in any pattern (really, it's endless), it's likely just an expression to say "at this rate I'll never get there."
  • Marisa holds the distinction of being one of the very few characters in any Touhou game who is known to have a living family.
  • In Imperishable Night, Marisa survives looking at the full moon, which should drive normal humans insane. When Alice asks if she is all right, she says that it's all right since she is insane to begin with. She might well be joking, since Reimu and Sakuya maintain their sanity looking at the full moon too. It could be that humans who are strong-willed enough can overcome that influence.
  • In both Mountain of Faith and Subterranean Animism, Marisa lacks her signature bomb move, Master Spark. She regains her Master Spark as a bomb in the following game Undefined Fantastic Object.
  • Marisa often refers to herself as "just an ordinary witch". This is often her character title in the games (i.e. Imperishable Night). Deneb the witch of the Ogre Battle games refers to herself in a similar, yet opposite manner: "I am a witch, but not just an ordinary witch!" She appears to make a reference to this in Perfect Cherry Blossom's third stage, when questioning whether or not Alice is an ordinary human.
  • Marisa has showed up saying "shoot and I'll move!!" in Shuusou Gyoku and Imperishable Night. This may be a reference to the Italian 1958 film Move and I'll Shoot, to which Marisa first says this instead in the latter game.
  • One of her alternate palettes in Touhou Hisoutensoku resembles Ellen from Phantasmagoria of Dim.Dream.
  • One of her alternate palettes in Hopeless Masquerade resembles her PC-98 outfit.
  • Excluding the fighting spin-offs, Double Spoiler, and Fairy Wars, Marisa's face has appeared on the icons for all of the Windows games so far. This includes Shoot the Bullet, in which she doesn't technically appear.
  • Marisa was first seen using a wand in Story of Eastern Wonderland, Phantasmagoria of Dim.Dream, and Lotus Land Story. She is not seen with a wand again until Undefined Fantastic Object, which is so far the only Windows game where she is seen with one.
  • Marisa seems knowledgeable about species not native to Japan such as the beaver in Chapter 4 of Wild and Horned Hermit and the rafflesia in Chapter 14 of Oriental Sacred Place.
  • When introducing herself or asked who she is, Marisa often blatantly lies that she is the shrine maiden Reimu Hakurei.

Fandom

Despite her self-indulgent personality and lack of concern for others (or more likely because of these things), Marisa happens to be one of the most popular characters within fanbase, winning the Touhou popularity contests of 2004 and 2005. She appear to be an icon for the Touhou Project and appear in many fangames, mostly as a playable character or a boss, and in other fan-made anime and artwork.

Relationshipping
(see also: Relationshipping)

Marisa has a tremendous amount of fan pairings and may sometimes seduce them, mostly with other popular characters like Reimu Hakurei, Alice Margatroid, Nitori Kawashiro, Flandre Scarlet, Patchouli Knowledge, and Rinnosuke Morichika. Sometimes, she is the center of a group or the cause for fights, but it has caused some dislike for Marisa in the fanbase. Due to canon, there's a tendency for her to be treated as an intrusion in fandom.

At the time when the video Marisa Stole the Precious Thing became popular as a Marisa and Alice pairing meme, many related videos were made, and among them were severe memes that tended toward perverted actions. However, due to adverse reactions and the passage of time, this has somewhat decreased in popularity.

Antagonist

Marisa is often depicted as the antagonist of many fanworks, where she may have no felling for many character. She's also depicted to serious thief in many fanworks due to her burglary in canon, nicking anything ranging from the Scarlet Devil Mansion library, Alice's dolls and the Hakurei Shrine's offertory box. Without waiting or turning back, she would use a wide Master Spark to blow apart the door, saying "I'll borrow till death ze!" while taking things away right from in front of the person, threatening violence when detected. However the victim is often not bothered about this cause.

Jojo's association

Because of Marisa's affinity with stars, fans sometimes parody her by crossing over with Jotaro Kujo of Jojo's Bizarre Adventure, although to a much lesser extent than that of Sakuya or Youmu. This seems to be a result of Jotaro's stand being called "Star Platinum", along with ZUN's rather heavy amount of references to that series already. Marisa, in some works, even quotes Jotaro's catchphrase "Yare yare da ze".

The "ze" description

Due to her popular use of "ze" () in her speech style, many fans tend to frequently or always add ze at the end of her dialogue (which is very unnatural). Putting ze in any speech is regardless even if it breaks the grammar (e.g. "what is this, ze!?" (なんなんだぜ!? nannandaze). She'll also use "ze" to mean "yes", and it can be stylisticly written with a star "ぜ☆", a tilde (~) for enphasis or capitalised Latin letters to make "ZE". Some fans take this as she's intentionally "acting"; paradoxically seeing a "girlish" expression underneath it. Because most girls don't speak in this manner normally, it has become a notable unofficial characteristic for her.

  • Similarly, many fans in the English community put "ze" or "da ze" in the end of her line too, even if it's grammatically incorrect and doesn't make any sense.
  • Although she speaks in a boyish tone, she's never seen to use ore (, lit. "I") used by males. In regard to this, some fans who aren't careful with canon details make Marisa to use ore in their fanworks and end up getting criticized.
Lux Crownguard reference

In the Western multiplayer game League of Legends, there is a character named Lux Crownguard who has a number of possible references to Marisa, such as having an ultimate spell called "Final Spark". In the lore of the game, Lux is also known to have copied and used the spell "Dark Binding" from Morgana, another character in the game. She also has a skin that resembles a cross between Mima and Marisa. In one of her voice over lines she states "Light mage? I'm just an ordinary mage", which may also be a reference. Additionally, her designer – Shurelia – is known to be a Touhou fan.

Miscellaneous
  • Handsomeness: Since she has a manly speaking style, she is typically fitted into the male role by Japanese fans, and is sometimes depicted as handsome in a male form. One extreme example of Marisa being masculine would be the muscular Cho Marisa (超魔理沙).
  • Super Marisa: Because of her love of mushrooms and the similarity in names, she has been compared to Mario from the Super Mario series.
  • Black-white: As Reimu is often referred to as red-white or "the red-white", fans frequently call Marisa "black-white" or "white-black" in parallel.
  • Jessica Ushiromiya's cosplay: In the visual novel Umineko no Naku Koro Ni, Jessica Ushiromiya performs in a concert dressed as Marisa. In episode 6 of the anime, her friends are also shown, dressed as Sakuya Izayoi, Aya Shameimaru and Alice Margatroid.
    • Additionally, in the fighting game spinoff, Ougon Musou Kyoku, Jessica's "Meta Super" has her shoot a beam similar to the Master Spark while wearing her Marisa costume.
  • TOUHOU HIJACK LOL: Marisa is the character pictured in the original "Touhou Hijack" image, a 4chan meme involving disrupting discussion in a thread by announcing a "hijack" with this image and then posting large amounts of Touhou fan-art.
  • ufufu...: Marisa's laugh "Ufu, ufu, ufufufufufufufu..." (うふ、うふ、うふふふふふふふ) from Phantasmagoria of Dim. Dream is a well-known laugh that Marisa has been portrayed to say all the time. This is usually used on her appearance with red hair from the PC-98 game Story of Eastern Wonderland.
  • Jealous of Reimu: In more serious fanworks, Marisa is often depicted as being secretly jealous of Reimu, frustrated that the Shrine Maiden wastes her full potential by not training and still manages to be stronger than Marisa herself, who needed to train heavily to have any power at all.
  • Possible speaking style origin: Since Chiyuri Kitashirakawa was one possible source of Marisa's speaking style (as mentioned earlier), there is a theory that Marisa fully picked it up from Chiyuri.
  • Informal English Dialogue: Japanese dialogue associate to Marisa, that may be written formally, tend to be a bit slangy when translated into English. Take examples such as using the contraction "ain't", the gerund spelt "-in'" rather than "-ing" and other colloquial speeches like gonna and wanna, where other characters will use formal speech. This is probably to try and reflect her general personality.

Official Profiles

Official Sources

References

  1. Lotus Land Story: Manual — "She is very intelligent, and is looking for power, but is still a child." "She looks much more like a child than Reimu (though Reimu also looks like a child) but their ages are very close."
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 Perfect Memento in Strict Sense: Marisa Kirisame
  3. ZUN's E-mails
  4. Shanghai Alice Correspondence - Immaterial and Missing Power
  5. The Grimoire of Marisa: Foreword — "Well, if it doesn't, I'll just name it something grandiose like the Illusion Danmaku Artifact Encyclopedia and palm it off to a library for a high price, so it'd be OK either way..."
  6. Touhou Hisoutensoku: Marisa's Script — "Speaking of which, I wrote a book too! It's bad of me to keep borrowing books, so I'll put my book here at the library this time! How much will you pay for it?"
  7. Silent Sinner in Blue: Chapter number needed
  8. Curiosities of Lotus Asia: Chapter 6
  9. 9.0 9.1 Shuusou Gyoku: 創曲幻想.txt
  10. "Former Mayohiga-net's Gensou Bulletin Board log" (in Japanese). 11 September, 2005. 
  11. Immaterial and Missing Power/Story/Patchouli's Script#Patchouli beats Marisa
  12. Mountain of Faith: Gameplay — MarisaC's regular shot
  13. Perfect Cherry Blossom: Manual
  14. Silent Sinner in Blue: Chapter 9 — She also even changed Reimu's clothing in an instant.
  15. Imperishable Night: spell card 087 — "...but it [Non-directional Laser]'s still an attack we've seen before."
  16. The Grimoire of Marisa: Marisa Kirisame's spell cards: "...I'm using the mini-Hakkero to create the laser (for her Master Spark)..."
  17. The Grimoire of Marisa: Kaguya Houraisan's Spell Cards — "In the end, Kaguya's spell cards all make use of special items, so I realize that they can't be referenced."
  18. Silent Sinner in Blue Chapter 6
  19. Touhou Hisoutensoku: Patchouli's Script — "If you want to sort them, tengu are the magician types. They're the same in seeking the truth."
  20. Curiosities of Lotus Asia: Chapter 19 — Although it has not been made precise, a reasonable guess would be that she wins between 35% and 45% of the time.
  21. Curiosities of Lotus Asia: Chapter 19
  22. Curiosities of Lotus Asia: Chapter 7
  23. ZUN's reply to messages on the former Gensou Bulletin Board 3