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Minoriko Aki

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(あき)  穣子 (みのりこ)
Minoriko Aki
akʲi mʲinoɽʲiko (♫)
Minoriko Aki
Minoriko Aki in Mountain of Faith
Symbol of Abundance and Plenty
More Character Titles
Species

Harvest goddess

Abilities

Controlling abundant harvest

Location

Near Youkai Mountain

Music Themes
Appearances
Official Games
Print Works

Minoriko Aki (秋 穣子 Aki Minoriko) is the goddess of abundant harvest in Gensokyo. Along with Shizuha, her older sister, they control the autumn season. She visits the Human Village to give humans a good harvest, and she also runs a sweet potato stand.

General Information

Her first appearance was in Mountain of Faith as a stage 1 boss. Minoriko is one of the myriad gods. She appears during the autumn season in various places in Gensokyo to bless, or curs, the humans' crops.

Personality

Minoriko is simplistic and cheerful. For a goddess, she isn't very dignified, however. She also has a superiority complex with regards to Shizuha, and along with her sister they become disappointed when winter comes. In her dialogue with Reimu she said that gods puts lots of time into themselves. That is why she wears a freshly-harvested sweet potato smelling perfume.

Occupation

Minoriko is a harvest goddess. However, it appears that she's lesser-known, as there are many other, more famous harvest gods. Because of this, she's considered a "wild" or "feral" goddess who has great difficulty acquiring any kind of faith. It is for this reason that she is nearly indistinguishable from a regular youkai. Compared to her sister, Shizuha, she has a more difficult time at it, as harvest gods and goddesses are plentiful. However, she appreciates the lower workload, and despite not having many shrines dedicated to her, she gets enough faith from individual people. She regularly attends the harvest festival for the humans every year to bless their crops.

Ability

Controlling abundant harvest

Her ability is to control the autumn harvest. Thus, she can either bring about a plentiful harvest, or destroy crops altogether. When this god goes near a field, just from that, it becomes an abundant harvest. Apparently she works hard to cultivate the crops one at a time, and this power is limited to just plants that mature in the autumn. However, if she is not called before the harvest, it does not become an abundant harvest. Every year in autumn, she is called to the harvest festival in the Human Village. Even when she is called to the harvest festival, it does not seem like she delves into the fact that there is no benefit in calling her at that time.

From the view of the residents of Gensokyo, the ability to make crops have an abundant harvest is a god-like power, and at looking at how she is called to the harvest festival every year, it can be considered that among gods, she considerably close and intimate to humans.

Although there is no benefit in calling her to the harvest festival, it may just simply be a way for the villagers to show their feelings of gratitude.

Character Basis

Minoriko as depicted in Symposium of Post-mysticism

Name

Minoriko Aki (秋 穣子) is her name. The character for Aki () means "Autumn" or "Fall. Minoriko (穣子) can be split into minori () what could mean "Bountiful", "Harvest" or "Seed-spreading" and ko () what could mean "child". "Minori" could also possibly refer to 実り which means "ripening" or "harvest."

In her official profile of Mountain of Faith, her name in Japanese was misspelled as Aki Minoruko ().

Design

Minoriko's Mountain of Faith portrait shows her having red eyes and blond hair. She wears a yellow blouse with poofy sleeves and a red dress which goes about halfway up her chest and has black straps over the shoulders. Over the dress there is a red apron which has a wheat pattern at the bottom, and her red hat has a cluster of blue grapes on the front. She doesn't have any footwear.

It's supposed that ZUN likened her to a Japanese one-legged scarecrow which guards farms, due to her having two left feet. The Japanese term for "scarecrow" (かかし kakashi), came from kagashi, which means "smeller". This may explain why Minoriko talks about her smell in Reimu's scenario.

Story

Games

Mountain of Faith

Minoriko fights Reimu or Marisa in Mountain of Faith near the Youkai Mountain.

Minoriko is afraid to be eaten by Reimu in their dialogue, as Reimu smells something tasty. Minoriko says the smell comes from her perfume made of freshly-harvested sweet potatoes. She is still afraid of getting eaten by Reimu when the fight starts, and gets defeated.

Marisa says she could use some practice, and then Minoriko shows up. Minoriko says that the youkai in the Youkai Mountain are much different from those Marisa has already met and that she should be afraid of them, but Marisa isn't. Then Minoriko starts to fight, but is easily defeated by Marisa.

Spin-offs

Double Spoiler

In Double Spoiler, Minoriko was Aya's practice partner, but she got annoyed and started to attack Aya. She appeared as a stage 1 target, where she uses a few spell cards and had Aya Shameimaru and Hatate Himekaidou take photos of her and her danmaku.

Hopeless Masquerade
Minoriko in HM

Minoriko made a background cameo appearance in Hopeless Masquerade on the Genbu Ravine and Youkai Tanuki Forest stage. She is seen with her sister Shizuha Aki cheering.

Relationships

Shizuha Aki

Shizuha is her older sister. Together they control the season of fall.

Other Minor or Unknown Meetings or Associations

Aya Shameimaru

She helped Aya for practicing photo shooting in Double Spoiler. Eventually she got annoyed and attacked.

People from the Human Village

Every year she is called by the villagers for the harvest festival. She guarantees them an abundant harvest.

Gallery

Spell Cards

Additional Information

  • It makes very much sense for Minoriko to be the younger sister who is the goddess of the harvest as the harvest comes after the changing of the leaves in the season.
  • Minoriko appeared on the cover of the demo CD of Mountain of Faith.
  • Minoriko got a small reference in Sanae's part of the Ten Desires prologue.[1]

Fandom

  • Because she and her sister were ranked the lowest of the Windows characters in the 5th annual Touhou Popularity Poll, with Minoriko at 54th and Shizuha at 52nd, there is a running joke in Japan that they are "original characters" (i.e. fanmade characters), an increase in popularity in 2008 when they were introduced as representing one of the four seasons, when many people did not even know they actually showed up in the games. There is a doujin anthology project dedicated to the Aki Sisters, perhaps to compensate for this.
    • In later years Minoriko's theme has dramatically increased in rank since the 6th Touhou Popularity Poll. The Aki sisters have experienced an increase in 22 ranks for Minoriko and 18 ranks for Shizuha when all the new characters from the games after Mountain of Faith are not considered.
    • In later years the sisters possibly reached a stable position, staying around the 50th place.
  • In most fanart, she is shown to be curvier than her older sister. The exact reason isn't known but it's speculated that it's due to her being the goddess of harvest and bountiful crops while Shizuha is a leaf goddess. Naturally there's jokes about her "bumper crops". This has also lead to cases of Shizuha molesting her sister on top of occasionally being jealous of Minoriko's figure.
    • She is often considered a bit more popular than her sister for this reason and being an actual boss.
  • Aoneko (Nicovideo, Pixiv), noted to be one of the biggest fans of the Aki sisters, started an Aki sisters-only video website called AkiTube.
  • Fans tend to call her by her nickname, "Minorin" (みのりん).

Official Profiles

Official Sources

References

  1. Ten Desires: Prologue — "For example, prayers for a great harvest, or protection from misfortune..."