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Patchouli Knowledge

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"Patchouli" redirects here. For the Suguri-inspired fangame, see Patchouli (Game).
パチュリー・ノーレッジ
Patchouli Knowledge
(♫)
Patchouli Knowledge
Patchouli Knowledge in Scarlet Weather Rhapsody
The Unmoving Great Library
More Character Titles
Nickname

Pache (パチェ)

Species

Magician (Witch)

Abilities

Manipulation of fire, water, wood, metal, earth, sun, and moon

Age

About 100 years

Occupation

Intellectual, librarian, teacher, and scholar.

Location

Scarlet Devil Mansion

Music Themes
Appearances
Official Games
Print Works

Patchouli Knowledge (パチュリー・ノーレッジ Pachuri Norejji) is a witch and resident of the Scarlet Devil Mansion in the library. She's friends with the mistress of the house, Remilia Scarlet, and acts as resident librarian. She's known as a highly capable, experienced, and studious magician, usually found researching the countless tomes within the house library. But her great abilities are offset by her poor health, caused by long-time reclusivity and asthma.

General Information

Patchouli was the fourth stage boss and extra midboss of Embodiment of Scarlet Devil, along with being a level 5 target in Shoot the Bullet. She's been a player character in the fighting games, and a support character for Marisa Kirisame in Subterranean Animism. She has appeared in various manga as a secondary character. Her title is "the unmoving great library".

She is a magician (or witch) who is over 100 years old. As described in Perfect Memento in Strict Sense, she is the type of magician that was naturally born as a magician; rather than a human that has become a magician through training, such as Alice Margatroid.

She is "fairly short" and is around the height of Marisa and Youmu Konpaku[1]. She stays confined to the library of the Scarlet Devil Mansion because the books and her hair are damaged by sunlight.[2] Despite her enormous magic power, she has a weak constitution, has asthma, is anaemic and has vitamin A deficiency. Her physical ability is worse than that of humans.

After the Scarlet Mist Incident during Embodiment of Scarlet Devil, she became somewhat more active. It was commented that that Suika Ibuki's party at the shrine was the most enjoyable for her[3], and in Silent Sinner in Blue, she said that she herself came to the shrine to pull an omikuji. Incidentally, the result of the omikuji was "future blessing" (末吉), although it seemed to have been something prepared by Marisa.

Personality

She doesn't have a very proactive personality, but rather always walks her own path. However, she's always interested where knowledge is concerned and will proactively go and try to acquire it. She does everything by the book, but still makes a lot of mistakes. She's also described as very dark and taciturn, which in this case means she is introverted and silent in expression and manner.

Abilities

Ability: Manipulation of fire, water, wood, metal, earth, sun, and moon

Patchouli using the "five elements" makes her an "Eastern style Western magician", an antithesis existence to Marisa Kirisame: "Western style Eastern magician". Patchouli is able to handle the five phases (commonly called Wu Xing, sometimes known as the five elements) with the addition of the sun and moon elements. The order of elements she uses follows the days of the week on a Japanese calendar. Due to this, she's known as the "one-week girl".[4]

Element Weekday Description
Fire () Tuesday (火曜日) Change and movement. Fire assists earth and inhibits metal. Fire's ashes pile up to create earth, but it melts metal.
Water () Wednesday (水曜日) Silence and purification. Water assists wood and inhibits fire. Water nourishes wood, but it quenches fire.
Wood () Thursday (木曜日) Life and awakening. Wood assists fire and inhibits earth. Wood feeds fire, but it absorbs away water and nutrients from the earth.
Metal () Friday (金曜日) Wealth and abundance. Metal assists water and inhibits wood. Metal gives forth water (by condensation), but it tears up the roots of trees.
Earth () Saturday (土曜日) Foundation and immobility. Earth assists metal and inhibits water. Earth contains metal, but it absorbs water.
Sun (日) Sunday (日曜日) Activity and offense.
Moon () Monday (月曜日) Passivity and defense.

In the Japanese language, the weekdays were named after the classical planets, which in turn were named after the Wu Xing phases (e.g. Mercury, water star), plus the Sun and Moon as heavenly bodies. As the ordering is based off of the planetary hours, there's no direct relationship between the weekdays and Wu Xing. The ordering of Patchouli's elements is unique in two ways. First, they follow the Japanese weekday ordering ("fire water wood metal earth") instead of Wu Xing ("wood fire earth metal water"). Second, her set begins with Tuesday (fire) instead of Sunday or Monday. It begins with the Wu Xing phases rather than the conventional days chosen to start a week.

Elemental magic (属性魔法) (also spiritual magic (精霊魔法)) borrows the powers of spirits that exist in nature.[5] Through this, she's able to receive great output from a small input. Since the Wu Xing elements interact with each other, she can combine them and multiply their power, but this runs the risk of weakening the overall effect unless the elements are precisely controlled. When she confronts enemies that likewise use spiritual magic, then the interactions of Wu Xing would imply that she can somehow effectively use her own magic and somehow inhibit the opponent's magic.

Patchouli using the spell card Fire Water Wood Metal Earth Sign "Philosopher's Stone", as illustrated in The Grimoire of Marisa.

Since the Wu Xing elements could be said to exist in living things, she touched upon them for characters who showed up in Immaterial and Missing Power. For example, Marisa Kirisame is associated with the element "water" according to Patchouli.[6] Given Marisa's last name (Kirisame, meaning "drizzle"), her black clothing, her lack of yang (due to living in the Forest of Magic), and her "Cold Inferno" shot in Mountain of Faith, this makes sense.

She uses spell cards that combine multiple elements. In addition to using combinations with good compatibility such as Earth & Metal Sign "Emerald Megalith", she also uses combinations with poor compatibility such as Water & Fire Sign "Phlogistic Rain". Sun and moon are not within Wu Xing, but they're classically opposite to each other, and these two have been combined with each other in Sun & Moon Sign "Royal Diamond Ring". In Shoot the Bullet, she devised new experimental magic that combined elements with poor compatibility. With a large diversity of element combinations, she can do many things, such as increasing her power or covering her weaknesses.[5] As of now, among the Wu Xing, the only combination that hasn't appeared is wood & earth.

While she's capable of using advanced magic with great power, her poor health, asthma, and anemia limits her ability to use it. During Embodiment of Scarlet Devil, she says "I can't finish reciting the spells because of my anemia!" and her condition limited her to using two-element spells. On another day, her asthma wasn't as bad and she felt better, so she was able to cast three advanced spells in a row: a sun, a moon, and a five-element spell.

Fitting her magic to the same attributes as the days of the week is her secret hobby, but nobody has realized this.[7] Thanks to this, she doesn't mistake the day of the week, but oddly enough she doesn't have a good sense of the date.

In Embodiment of Scarlet Devil, she had the peculiarity of using different spell cards depending on the player's character and shot type (a recurring gimmick in many stage 4 bosses of the Touhou games). Other than spell cards, she's able to use a revolving laser that focuses on herself as her regular danmaku.

Possessions

Patchouli has many books that are in the library of the Scarlet Devil Mansion that's mostly used for magic. Some of these books appear to ack "independently" that can shoot danmaku, as shown in Stage 4 and Extra of Embodiment of Scarlet Devil. She also has waterproof books that Marisa finds interest in reading in the bath.

Character Basis

Name

Her full name is Patchouli Knowledge (パチュリー・ノーレッジ). Her first name Patchouli (パチュリー) is a name of a plant of the Lamiaceae family, or the essential oil or perfume that could be made from it (originally from Tamil language). Her last name, Knowledge (ノーレッジ), appears to be a reference to her amount of knowledge, though few other characters seem to have such literal surnames. The middle dot () in the middle of her name is used in foreign names to show where the next word begins.

In order to sound more natural as a name, the katakana used doesn't exactly match that used for "patchouli" nor "knowledge", being spelled パチーレッジ ("Pa-chu-ri-i No-ledge") rather than パチリ・ーレッジ ("Pa-cho-ri Naw-ledge").

Her nickname is "Pache" (パチェ) (pronounced "pa-chae", with the "e" as in "hey"), the official nickname that Remilia Scarlet uses for her.

Design

Patchouli as illustrated in Perfect Memento in Strict Sense.

Shown in various works, her hair and eyes are purple, and has many ribbons tied to her hair and other parts of her clothing. She wears pink pajama-like clothing and a night-cap with a gold crescent moon on it, which ZUN says is her daily wear. Apparently, her dress looks like it has stripes of purple and violet. But according to ZUN, it's in fact not a stripe. This was confirmed in a talk of him and Twilight Frontier. In this talk, it says that even though they had acknowledged it by a material handed by ZUN, she ended up having a striped pattern in Immaterial and Missing Power for some reason. A conversation quoted from the talk: ZUN "Patchouli doesn't have any stripes." Twilight Frontier staff "Everybody thinks Patchouli has stripes except ZUN-san."[8]

Her alternative outfit in Immaterial and Missing Power and Scarlet Weather Rhapsody is mostly lavender while her hair is a darker shade of violet.

Story

Games

Embodiment of Scarlet Devil

In Embodiment of Scarlet Devil, Patchouli attempts to stop the player from going further into the Scarlet Devil Mansion, but has trouble as her anemia is preventing her from casting spells properly. Later on, when Flandre Scarlet gets out of the basement while Remilia Scarlet is away, she casts a rain spell around the mansion to prevent her from leaving. When the player returns, she challenges them again, this time with more powerful magic as she happens to be feeling better.

Perfect Cherry Blossom

Patchouli appears in one of Sakuya's endings in Perfect Cherry Blossom, where she shows Remilia how she created a clay model diorama of cherry blossoms.

Immaterial and Missing Power

In Immaterial and Missing Power, Patchouli decides to investigate the strange events herself after shooing Marisa Kirisame out of the library. Before leaving, she puts Sakuya Izayoi in charge of keeping an eye on things. As soon as she leaves, she runs into Alice Margatroid, who's also investigating, and defeats her. From there, she makes her way to the Netherworld, where after beating Youmu Konpaku, she interrogates Yuyuko Saigyouji. Unfortunately, the ghost doesn't know anything either, but implies that Yukari Yakumo might. After fighting her at the Hakurei Shrine for a bit, Suika Ibuki finally decides to make herself known.

Imperishable Night

Patchouli appears in Sakuya and Remilia's good ending in Imperishable Night to explain how one would build a vehicle capable of taking them to the moon.

Phantasmagoria of Flower View

Patchouli appears in Sakuya's ending of Phantasmagoria of Flower View to make a few comments on the potential poison in the flowers Sakuya gathered to make tea with.

Scarlet Weather Rhapsody

In Scarlet Weather Rhapsody, Patchouli decided to find what cause of the weather disaster was.

Subterranean Animism

In Subterranean Animism, Patchouli noticed abnormalities underground, and had Marisa go investigate with the help of Yukari Yakumo preparing Marisa's options.

Touhou Hisoutensoku

Patchouli appears in the beginning of Hong Meiling's story mode when Meiling runs in and claims there is an earthquake. They fight, and while Patchouli is defeated, she gets Meiling to leave her in peace.

Literature

Bohemian Archive in Japanese Red

Patchouli appears in an article where she decides to organize a setsubun festival at the Scarlet Devil Mansion, though summer is already approaching. She claims that the word "setsubun" originally means "interval between seasons", so there should be no problem having it at that time rather than between winter and spring, when it's usually held. However, it being an outside-world holiday, Patchouli is unclear on a lot of the details. Aya Shameimaru interviews her afterwards, and she says that she's generally happy with how it turned out, though she did need to forbid the Fairy Maids from throwing beans around in her library. They also discuss the oni, and their inherent weaknesses.

The Moon Rocket
Silent Sinner in Blue

Patchouli is the main force behind the research and design of the rocket that Remilia Scarlet, Reimu Hakurei, Marisa Kirisame, and Sakuya Izayoi use to reach the Moon. However, she cannot create the rocket fuel, so she decides to get Reimu to help by using her powers. She also remains behind as the navigator as the rocket travels to the Moon.

Strange and Bright Nature Deity

Patchouli appears in a couple of chapters of Strange and Bright Nature Deity in the Scarlet Devil Mansion arc, where she enjoys a few meals with Sakuya and Remilia as the new year comes.

Oriental Sacred Place

Patchouli also appears in chapter 15 in Oriental Sacred Place, stumbling around her library for research materials. She leaves herself and goes to the shrine to recover some stolen books. The book in question had its seal unlocked, but no one knows by whom. In the meantime, the Three Fairies of Light sneak in and grab a few books and take them back home, later discovering that they're unable to read them at all.

In Fighting Games

In the fighting games by Twilight Frontier, she was a magic-oriented shot-type character. In Scarlet Weather Rhapsody and afterwards, among the characters, she has the shortest spiritual power recovery delay after using shots or skills, and thus, as a sluggish character, her speciality in using shooting skills is pushed all the more.[clarification needed]

Her movements are fundamentally dull. She possesses rotational ability among the top three in free-orbit-type flight, and even though this means that she has fast initial velocity like Yuyuko Saigyouji, this does not mean that she has transgressive reach of Iku Nagae's striking attacks, so comparatively her mobility is fairy low.

With regular shots, homing bullets, and time-delayed installation-type shots that go from rapid-firing in a straight line to making shots that spread over a wide range, she has a full set of moves. (However, strangely enough, she is only missing a laser). Her spell cards start with the truly invincible full-screen attack Sun Sign "Royal Flare", so in this aspect she also has a full set of various shots.

Aside from her spell cards, her shot-skills have also been set to have fire, water, wood, metal, and earth attributes. Each of the commands, "236", "214", "623", "421" and "22", have been assigned to a particular attribute. This guarantees that she is able to use any one of the five attributes at any given instance, regardless of how one re-writes her skills. The attributes themselves do not affect gameplay except in one of her spell cards.

Her spell card Fire Water Wood Metal Earth Sign "Philosopher's Stone" makes five gems appear around her governing the five colours (just like in the extra stage of Embodiment of Scarlet Devil). When Patchouli uses shot attack skills for each attribute, the jewel for the corresponding attribute breaks and becomes a homing-shot attack. Since the broken jewels need some time in order to reappear, it is not possible to put Philosopher's Stone to practical use by rapidly using attacks of the same attribute.

Although she is a character specialising in shots, her strike-type skills are also quite wild. These skills are also mostly making lights of magic from the front of her hand, striking the opponent with the soul of wind etc., so it doesn't look like they change much from her shot-type skills, but some of them are skills to hit the opponent at close range with the book that she has. Her close-A does striking with the book, like a quip in a comedy act, and 6A makes a stance to the extent of bending backwards, striking down with the book. Upon a hit, the opponent is sent all the way to the wall. Other than that, 3A has a kneeling posture of sliding with both feet with both arms horizontal, and upon repeating it, one is able to slip-slide forward in an amazing manner.

Relationships

Residents of the Scarlet Devil Mansion

Patchouli Knowledge is Remilia Scarlet's old friend.[9] In Perfect Cherry Blossom, they called each other "Remi" (レミィ) and "Pache" (パチェ) respectively. The two have been depicted having tea and casual conversations together in Silent Sinner in Blue and Oriental Sacred Place, where Patchouli offhandedly commented that they're both creatures of the night. As stated in Perfect Memento in Strict Sense, Patchouli's role at the mansion is to solve problems and to cause them. Patchouli will often volunteer her services when she sees Remilia in need of them.[10][11]

Patchouli is unlikely to be formally employed by Remilia. Sakuya Izayoi referred to Patchouli as "The Mistress's magician friend" while talking to Rinnosuke Morichika about her.[12], as opposed to any sort of employee title. She is referred to as Remilia's friend in other materials, as well.

The head maid Sakuya Izayoi is occasionally seen serving Patchouli. Patchouli tends to be rather sarcastic and condescending with her and Hong Meiling, but seems to appreciate her, as she always remembers to thank Sakuya for tea or for completion of other jobs. With Meiling however, she tends to tell her to read books as to improve her brain. Koakuma is an employee of Scarlet Devil Mansion seen working in the library; any dialogue interactions between the two are unknown.

Not much is known about the relationship between Patchouli and Flandre Scarlet. Patchouli is aware of Flandre's existence and the need to keep her confined to the mansion, as Remilia noted Patchouli was probably causing a rainstorm around the mansion to keep Flandre from getting out.

Marisa Kirisame

Marisa Kirisame is a thief who steals books from the library of the Scarlet Devil Mansion. She states that she's only borrowing but Patchouli reacts by telling Marisa in Oriental Sacred Place that she has no intention to lend Marisa books in a rather serious tone.[13] However, she's one of three people who assists Marisa during Subterranean Animism's events, showing some sort of affinity despite Patchouli having her own agenda. Marisa has copied Patchouli's regular danmaku attack and named it Love Sign "Non-directional Laser", used as her normal B-type bomb in Perfect Cherry Blossom and as a spell card in Imperishable Night and other games.

Spell Cards

Additional Information

Patchouli's different color palettes from Touhou Hisoutensoku. The 2nd one corresponds to her second color palette in Scarlet Weather Rhapsody, while the 3rd one corresponds to her Immaterial and Missing Power palette.
  • Patchouli often refers to the science and technology of the outside world as magic. This is actually not ignorance, but more due to her personal beliefs, as she tells Marisa Kirisame in her Touhou Hisoutensoku victory quote that science and magic are the same.
  • In Immaterial and Missing Power, Patchouli refers to intruders/thieves (e.g., Marisa Kirisame) as "rats" and guards (e.g., Sakuya Izayoi and Hong Meiling) as "cats". She rates the catness/effectiveness of a guard on a scale of 1 to 96, because that's the highest number under 100 that is divisible by both 2 and 3. After defeating Sakuya in Immaterial and Missing Power, she gave her a rating of 24. As for Hong Meiling, Patchouli compares that cat to a sieve in her Immaterial and Missing Power victory quote.
  • The crescent on Patchouli's hat could be the crescent in the Sanskrit "Hum", part of the Mantra "Om mani padme hum". In Buddhism, it stands for knowledge and purity and is associated with the color white—all the 7 colors combined.
  • As of Double Spoiler, Patchouli has had appearances in 9 of the 13 Windows games (counting Touhou Hisoutensoku as a standalone). This makes her the third most featured character, behind Reimu Hakurei and Marisa.
  • In Touhou Hisoutensoku, one of Patchouli's alternate colors resembles Hina Kagiyama's outfit.
  • The books in Patchouli's spell card, Fire Water Wood Metal Earth Sign "Philosopher's Stone", are arranged in a similar way to the Five Magic Stones.
  • It's suggested in Immaterial and Missing Power that Patchouli drinks coffee occasionally when she's studying, unlike the other resident of Scarlet Devil Mansion who almost always drink tea.
  • In Patchouli's theme Locked Girl ~ The Girl's Secret Room when the melody is made into morse code "・-・・ --- ・・・- ・" it spells "love". There's also a song by ShibayanRecords called "・-・・ --- ・・・- ・" that's a cover of the very song.[14]

Fandom

  • After being defeated in Marisa's scenario in Immaterial and Missing Power, she utters "mukyu~". Since then, fan works have often depicted her using this sound as a sign of surprise or pouting.
  • Along with "One-week Girl", she's also referred to as the "One-week Wizard" or the "Wizard of the Week" due to her elemental magics coinciding with the days of the week on a Japanese calendar.
  • Multiple nicknames are used for Patchouli. Her canon nickname "Pache" (パチェ) is commonly used in fandom. Non-canon nicknames used include "Pachu" (パチュ), a less common name shortened from "Pachurii" (パチュリー), and "Patchy" that's used mainly by Western fans.
  • Patchouli has been rumored to be the inspiration for the character Yue Ayase from the manga Negima! Magister Negi Magi. Like Patchouli, Yue is a short, quiet girl with long purple hair, an unexcitable personality, an affinity for books and magic. She's also known to dress in a witch outfit similar to Marisa's.
  • In other fan comics, Patchouli is considered a hikikomori due to her apparent habit of spending all her time in one room (the library) and rarely ever stepping outside. She would only have to keep this up for 6 months to meet the time span given in the definition, and she's been living like that for the past 100 years.
  • She is infamous for having a "Variable figure" as she could very well have any kind of figure under her robes, from stick-thin to outright fat. Barring any remark from ZUN, it's unlikely that fans will make up their minds on this matter. Her lifestyle and health are often factors in the possible figures.
  • June 9th is considered her day due to how the kanji for the date combines to make "mukyuu".
  • The book held by the Patchouli figurine Kourindou ver. by Griffon Enterprises features a heptagram with corresponding days of the week and their elements, as well as the introductory text of this very article.[15][16]

Official Profiles

Official Sources

References

  1. ZUN's E-mails
  2. Bohemian Archive in Japanese Red/Patchouli
  3. Immaterial and Missing Power - Ending 8
  4. Embodiment of Scarlet Devil omake.txt
  5. 5.0 5.1 Perfect Memento in Strict Sense: Patchouli Knowledge
  6. Immaterial and Missing Power/Story/Patchouli's Script
  7. Immaterial and Missing Power Shanghai Alice Correspondence
  8. パチュリー・ノーレッジ 【ピクシブ百科事典】 her article on pixiv Encyclopedia.
  9. Relationship flowcharts in Silent Sinner in Blue say Patchouli is an "old friend" of Remilia's
  10. Embodiment of Scarlet Devil: Extra Story: Patchouli caused a localised rainstorm to keep Flandre confined to the mansion.
  11. Imperishable Night Ending 3: Patchouli helps Remilia in planning a trip to the moon.
  12. Curiosities of Lotus Asia Chapter 18 "The Mistress's magician friend said 'I have enough of the ingredients,'"
  13. Oriental Sacred Place Chapter 15
  14. VGMdb ShibayanRecords, Magico Catastrofe, Track 08.
  15. Picture of Patchouli's book
  16. Patchouli Knowledge 6 January 2012: "Patchouli Knowledge is a very smart, asthmatic magician from the Scarlet Devil Mansion. Although she has only been a boss in one game, and playable character in three others, she is still a very popular character, showing up in many endings and is referenced quite often..."