jakɯmo ɽaɴ (♫)
Ran Yakumo in Perfect Cherry Blossom
More Character Titles
Older than 800 years
Boundary of Gensokyo
Ran first appeared as the extra stage boss of Perfect Cherry Blossom, where she also appeared as the Phantasm stage midboss of that game, so she has the strong image of being a midboss, but even as an extra boss, she also had abilities not to be ashamed of, as she is also a long difficult battle.
- Using Shikigami
While being a shikigami, she has the privilege of strong youkai of being able to use shikigami. However, perhaps because she does not have the level of power that Yukari Yakumo has, or perhaps because the power of the youkai turned into a medium wasn't enough, different from herself, Chen has only the level of wisdom of a child. Also, although she's not able to turn against what Yukari says, this doesn't mean that Chen perfectly listens to what Ran says. Because of this, she sometimes has to lure Chen with catnip to make her listen.
- Clear intellect
Matching up with Yukari, she has super-person intellect. According to Bohemian Archive in Japanese Red, she was somehow able to formulate and prove an equation for figuring out the width of the Sanzu River. Nonetheless, more than inventing new things through her intellect, it seems to be her speciality to process formulated calculations; even on this point, the shikigami of Gensokyo have been often likened to the PCs of the outside world).
As for her other abilities, one of her spellcards shows that she is capable of quickly increasing her physical capabilities, but other than this, nothing more have especially come to light. As a strong youkai, she is probably able to use various other kinds of sorcery, but since she pretty much never performs actions alone it's still unclear.
All along, she usually makes appearances as a means for Yukari to attack, so when she flies around, she often spins around. Perhaps the way Chen spins around and around may be also be related, or due to her influence.
As Yukari Yakumo's shikigami, Ran must do whatever Yukari commands her to do, such as doing Yukari's chores or checking the Great Hakurei Barrier around Gensokyo for problems. Apparently, Ran's own shikigami, Chen, is too unreliable to be entrusted with doing chores.
Because she is actually a fox that became a youkai (Kitsune) and is a shikigami herself, it's highly unusual that Ran has a shikigami of her own. Ran is supposed to be a 9-tailed fox (called a "Kyuubi") which, according to ancient Japanese folklore, would be at least 800 years old. Foxes start life with 1 tail and gain an extra tail once every hundred years. So at 100 years old they would have 2, and at 800 would have 9. At this point, assuming Ran follows traditional folklore, she will eventually start losing tails until she has 4 and will be considered a "Tenko" (heaven) type of fox and will then be one step away from divinity.
However, she's got the highest number of tails a kitsune ever has, and it's a clear sign of Ran's power and experience. Even though Ran looks similar to a human and has more than enough intelligence to speak, she is still essentially an animal and is often regarded as such by other characters.
Ran Yakumo (八雲 藍) is her name. The characters for Yakumo (八雲) literally mean "eight clouds", and Ran (藍) literally means "indigo". All of the Yakumo family are named after colors.
In Perfect Cherry Blossom's official designs, Ran has yellow eyes, short blonde hair and wears a light pink two-tailed hat with many amulets. She has fox ears hidden under her hat, has nine fox tails and wears a blue & light purple dress with a blue print on the front.
- Perfect Cherry Blossom
- Imperishable Night
Ran makes a return in Imperishable Night, somewhat as a playable character. Instead, she appears as a familiar of Yukari, where if the player chooses to focus, then Ran will appear in front of Yukari at a distance. She'll search for enemies and spin around on them until they're defeated. She'll act the same way if Yukari is unfocussed while playing solo.
- Shoot the Bullet
- Hopeless Masquerade
- Yukari Yakumo (Master)
Yukari is Ran's Master. As a shikigami, Ran must do whatever Yukari commands, but since Yukari is asleep most of the time, Ran has a lot of free time. When Ran follows Yukari's will, she can obtain power equal to Yukari's level, becoming much stronger than she usually is. However, Ran sometimes forget that she is a shikigami, and Yukari scolds her.
- Chen (Shikigami)
Ran's shikigami. Since their relation is the same that there is between Yukari and Ran, one would expect Chen following anything Ran commands, but is known that Chen is unreliable and it is difficult for Ran to depend upon her.
Ran's Sigil in the Grimoire of Marisa
Illustration of Ran in Bohemian Archive in Japanese Red
Another illustration of Ran from Bohemian Archive in Japanese Red
Another illustration of Ran in Yukari's article from Bohemian Archive in Japanese Red
Ran in Cage in Lunatic Runagate
- The name of one of her Spell Cards, "Princess Tenko," is likely a reference to a famous Japanese illusionist of the same name, considering how foxes are known for their tricks and illusions in folklore.
- Ran is the only stage mid-boss in any Touhou Project game that is immune to bombs.
- Since her master is the only Phantasm boss, Ran is also the only Phantasm stage mid-boss.
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