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Ran Yakumo

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八雲 (やくも)   (らん)
Ran Yakumo
jakɯmo ɽaɴ (♫)
Ran Yakumo
Shikigami of the Gap Youkai
More Character Titles
Species

Kitsune

Abilities

Using Shikigami

Age

Older than 800 years

Occupation

Shikigami

Location

Boundary of Gensokyo

Music Themes
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Appearances
Official Games
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Print Works
Show Print Work appearances

Ran Yakumo (八雲 藍 Yakumo Ran) is a shikigami who attacks the heroine when her shikigami Chen loses to them and to avoid waking her master, Yukari Yakumo.

General Information

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.

She frequently appears as an attack option in the fighting games for Yukari Yakumo and has appeared in Imperishable Night as Yukari's attack.

Ability

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).

Other than this, her abilities have especially not come to light. As a strong youkai, she is probably able to use various kinds of sorcery, but she pretty much never performs actions alone, so it's still unclear.

All along, she makes usually 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.

Occupation

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.

In her spare time, Ran often calculates various things such as the width of the Sanzu River. She may also be seen in the Human Village shopping for tofu.

Species

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.

Character Basis

Name

Ran Yakumo (八雲 藍) is her name. The characters for Yakumo (八雲) literally mean "eight clouds", and Ran () literally means "indigo". All of the Yakumo family are named after colors.

Ran Yakumo is apparently not her real name; according to Perfect Memento, her name was given to by Yukari Yakumo. Her real name is unknown.

Design

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.

Story

Perfect Cherry Blossom

During Perfect Cherry Blossom, Ran is busy preparing for a banquet for her master Yukari, who was still asleep as usual, when Ran was suddenly interrupted by the heroine.

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Relationships

Chen (Shikigami)
Yukari Yakumo (Master)

Spell Cards

Additional Information

An illustration of Ran's sigil in The Grimoire of Marisa.
  • 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.

Fandom

  • A standard fan-name is to call her Ran-shama, where "shama" is a childish mispronunciation of "sama" that Chen would call her by. Sometimes, the "Ran-sha" part of it is rendered as 乱射, which means "random firing," a phrase commonly said whenever it seems like she is about to shoot.
  • Ran is sometime portrayed as a flasher in fan works due to the "Suppatenko" (literally, "Naked Heaven-Fox") meme spawned by this page (images on page defunct; archived here). (NSFW)
  • According to Ran's spell card, "Princess Tenko", and the phrase on the first scene of the Extra stage of Perfect Cherry Blossom, "A mysterious occurrence on the crossing to three countries", some fans of Ran think her as Tamamo no Mae, rather than White-faced Golden Fox of Nine Tails, or that being showed above.
  • She's usually portrayed as a motherly figure, especially towards Chen.
  • In certain memetic fanworks, Ran is seen to suffer from excessive nosebleeding whenever she sees Chen.
  • No one really knows how Yukari Yakumo met Ran but it's speculated that she was taken in by Yukari as a baby. The reason for this speculation is unknown but this could have something to do with the fact that Ran has known Yukari for some time and that her original name is unknown (as stated by her profile), leading to fans to think she didn't have one originally and that Yukari gave her that name upon finding her. However, as with most fan-works and theories, this completely omits what has been proven as canon and the fact that Ran was older than an infant when she became Yukari's shikigami, as proven in her interview with Aya Shameimaru in the Bohemian Archive.
    • Though, it could be said fan theory above just fits well in a typical fan art/ficion scenario.
      • In a related sense, she is often depicted as being child (usually no older than five) as having met Yukari and becoming her shikigami
  • Some fans tend to draw her taller than most characters.

Official Profiles

Official Sources