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hakɯɽeː ɽeːmɯ (♫)
Reimu Hakurei in Double Dealing Character
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Reimu Hakurei (博麗 霊夢 Hakurei Reimu) is the main character of the Touhou Project along with Marisa Kirisame. As the shrine maiden of Hakurei, she manages the Hakurei Border of Gensokyo and exterminates troublesome youkai.
- 1 General Information
- 2 Backstory
- 3 Character Design
- 4 Story
- 5 Relationships
- 6 Gallery
- 7 Spell Cards
- 8 Additional Information
- 9 Fandom
- 10 Official Profiles
- 11 Official Sources
- 12 References
Her personality is straightforward, optimistic, and a bit curious. She is quick to anger if offended, but just as quick to offer help to those in need. According to Komachi, Reimu has an innocent heart that can't truly hate anyone. While rather lazy in her free time, she is highly devoted to her duties as the Hakurei Shrine Maiden, resulting in a "shoot first and ask questions later" attitude to youkai extermination.
It's been stated that Reimu treats everyone the same, whether they're humans, youkai or gods, giving them no particular respect or disrespect. This habit has caused her to inadvertently befriend many youkai she defeats. While she tries to keep youkai away from her shrine, this is because it makes it harder to do her job rather than because she dislikes them. At the end of the symposium in Symposium of Post-mysticism, when Reimu goes to break it up, Miko notes that though Reimu says she wants to eliminate all the youkai, she actually just wants to attain a peace in Gensokyo that doesn't require violence, like the others present wish.
Ability to float
While flight is extremely common among inhabitants of Gensokyo, Reimu's ability extends beyond that; she is capable of phasing in & out of existence, or as described in The Grimoire of Marisa, floating away from reality. Reimu can use this power to teleport short distances, but rarely seems to be aware that she is doing so. The ultimate expression of this ability is Fantasy Nature, which renders her completely invincible while active; this ability was considered too powerful for use as a spell card until Marisa gave it a name and time limit.
It's stated in the omake.txt (おまけ.txt) of Embodiment of Scarlet Devil that Reimu can control the natural spirits of living things, an ability which is not listed in any source afterwards. No clear instance of this ability has been displayed in canon.
As the Hakurei shrine maiden, Reimu can handle the Hakurei Yin-Yang Orbs, and is trained in youkai extermination techniques as well as standard duties like performing blessings. Reimu is also capable of invoking Gensokyo's native gods into her body, but she isn't well-trained enough to do so reliably.
Reimu displays great aptitude with magical barriers (beyond that normally associated with shrine maidens), presumably related to her work in maintaining the Great Hakurei Barrier. Among her techniques are barriers that explode, push enemies (or herself), or act as portals for her other attacks. Reimu is capable of dismantling barriers and seals too complex for Marisa Kirisame and Patchouli Knowledge to understand, with what Marisa calls her "cheat technique".
Reimu is the shrine maiden of the Hakurei Shrine, and one of the main "incident solvers" in Gensokyo. She and others characterize the time she spends at the shrine to be largely boring and uneventful. While she is sometimes serious about her duties, she can't seem to get many worshipers at her shrine. It appears that her youkai extermination is her only method of earning even a meager salary. Kanako Yasaka has stated that if she was to acquire a tremendous amount of faith, she could become a goddess, but at the moment she acts more like a youkai.
In most of the Touhou games, Reimu uses the Yin-Yang Orbs in combat. In Subterranean Animism they also functioned as communicators with people above the surface. In addition, she usually carries a gohei, sometimes referred to as her purification rod, originally prepared by Rinnosuke Morichika.
Not much is known about Reimu's history prior to the events of the games. ZUN does mention in one of his Shanghai Alice Correspondence documents that there was a previous Hakurei Shrine Maiden, and it is generally assumed that there is a line of them.
Reimu's full name is Reimu Hakurei (博麗 霊夢). The characters for Reimu's last name Hakurei (博麗) literally mean something along the lines of "esteemed companion". The first word Haku (博) means "wide" or "exposition" while Rei (麗) means "lovely", "graceful", or "beautiful". Her first name Reimu (霊夢, lit. "spirit/soul dream") is a relevant Japanese word that refers to a "divine revelation made through dreams".
In the PC-98 game era, her name was written with a slight difference. 博麗靈夢 was changed to 博麗霊夢 from Shuusou Gyoku and onwards. 靈 is simply the historical form of 霊, which is identical to the former in terms of meaning. In the Japanese community, 博麗靈夢 is used to refer to Reimu in the PC-98 era specifically. Incidentally, Chinese (Taiwanese) fans who use the traditional Chinese characters also adopt this style to refer to Reimu in general (old Japanese kanji form and traditional hanzi are basically identical).
Reimu is of moderate height. She has brown-black hair which varies in length and style between games (tending towards long and loose in later works), though she always wears a large red ribbon at the back of her head, and red tubes on her sidelocks. She is usually seen in her "miko uniform", but it bears little in common with the standard uniform beyond the red-and-white colour scheme (which ZUN has acknowledged). This uniform consists of a red skirt (rather than the standard hakama), a sleeveless red top with a white collar, tied with a yellow ribbon (a red ribbon in Embodiment of Scarlet Devil and Perfect Cherry Blossom, a blue one in Phantasmagoria of Flower View, Subterranean Animism and Hopeless Masquerade), and a pair of white detached sleeves which expose her armpits and sarashi. Because of the color scheme she is occasionally called the "red-white miko". Her miko clothing and her purification rod come from Rinnosuke Morichika, but it's unknown who designs them. In chapter 7 of Strange and Bright Nature Deity, she used chopsticks with her left hand, and it was stated that she was left-handed (this statement was deleted in the collected edition), but she held a pen with her right hand in Subterranean Animism. It has been speculated by fans that, assuming this wasn't an art error, she may be ambidextrous or just used to writing with her right hand.
- Highly Responsive to Prayers
A lone shrine sits Far East: the Hakurei Shrine. The powerful seal placed there has worn away, and many strange creatures are starting to come out. Now Reimu, seeking revenge (or possibly just to sate her curiosity), and armed with the shrine's treasure, the Yin-Yang Orbs, goes to the gate to face the non-human creatures inside. The gate will lead to either Makai or Hell depending on which route the player chooses.
- Story of Eastern Wonderland
Reimu is training intensely in the harsh extremities of a mountain (or taking it easy), but when she returns to the shrine, she finds it infested by youkai, ghosts and other non-human creatures. With her faithful turtle Genjii and her trusty Yin-Yang Orbs, she sets out to find the one who caused the trouble. Her journey leads her to Rika, the culprit, as well as Mima, who has broken the seal placed on her in Highly Responsive to Prayers, and desires the power of the Yin-Yang Orbs for herself. Reimu is victorious in battle and learns the truth behind the Yin-Yang Orbs.
- Phantasmagoria of Dim.Dream
Things have been peaceful lately so Reimu has time to kill. When some old ruins appear near the shrine, promising a reward for whoever can manage to make it inside, she decides to enter a sort of tournament to decide who will go in. Assuming she is the player character, she defeats all six opponents and makes it inside to confront Chiyuri Kitashirakawa and Yumemi Okazaki, who have come from the real world in search of proof of magic. As a reward for defeating her, Yumemi gives Reimu the housekeeping robot Ruukoto.
- Lotus Land Story
Reimu mulls over on how quiet things have been, but soon enough, youkai and spirits start flooding out into Gensokyo again, putting her shrine in danger. She confronts a few, then realizes this must have been the work of something bigger, and decides to go straight to the source of the issue. She makes her way through to the Dream World, where she finally meets Yuuka Kazami and defeats her.
- Mystic Square
A large outpour of demons are appearing throughout the land from Makai, and Reimu sets out to exterminate them. She reaches the creator of Makai itself, Shinki, and defeats her in battle. Afterwards, she learns that the youkai and demon overflow in Gensokyo is the fault of some kind of Makai travel agency. Shinki promises to do something about it, but the demons make their way back to the shrine anyway.
- Embodiment of the Scarlet Devil
A scarlet mist covers the sky of Gensokyo. Reimu who is annoyed by the mist, sets out to stop the incident. Her travels lead her to the Scarlet Devil Mansion, whose owner, Remilia Scarlet, has spread the mist to try and block out the sun's rays, as she is a vampire. After defeating her, Remilia soon comes to visit her at the shrine, but Reimu has to return to the mansion when an odd rain suddenly appears over it, in order to deal with Flandre Scarlet.
- Perfect Cherry Blossom
Even though it is May, spring shows no signs of coming, leaving the inhabitants of Gensokyo in a cold winter weather that only got worse. Reimu, noticing cherry petals blowing from the Netherworld, decides to set out and stop the perpetrator from holding spring hostage. After making her way into the Netherworld, she comes to Hakugyokurou, where the ghost Yuyuko Saigyouji spends her time administrating the spirits of the dead. She was gathering the essence of spring to try and make the Saigyou Ayakashi bloom, but Reimu stops her before she completes it. Later on, Yuyuko asks Reimu to go deal with her friend Yukari Yakumo, as she is the one who has been weakening the boundary between Gensokyo and the Netherworld, and she does so, after fierce combat. Yukari then restores the strength of the boundary.
- Immaterial and Missing Power
As Reimu makes preparations for an upcoming feast, both humans and youkai are drawn to the feast and are unable to stop partying. Reimu is suspicious of a strange mist that covers Gensokyo and goes to investigate. She roams around, beating up various characters she suspects to be the culprit. She cannot find them; but on the day of the feast, Suika Ibuki finally makes herself known, and Yukari Yakumo shows Reimu to her. Suika soons becomes attached to hanging out at the Hakurei Shrine.
- Imperishable Night
Yukari is not able to sleep and discovers the full moon is nowhere to be found; it has been replaced with a fake moon, and the night appears to have stopped. She convinces Reimu into investigating the cause with her. After dealing with a few youkai, and Marisa Kirisame in particular, who demands to know why they've created this eternal night, they reach Eientei, a house hidden in the Bamboo Forest of the Lost. Once there, they either confront Eirin Yagokoro or Kaguya Houraisan. Eirin explains that she actually sealed the Earth away from the Moon in order to prevent the Lunarians from taking Kaguya back. Kaguya, however, has tired of hiding, and so challenges Reimu and Yukari to complete her five impossible requests. Once they are defeated, they undo the seal (and thus "return" the real moon to Gensokyo). Afterwards, they all decide to have a moon viewing. Later on, Kaguya sends them into another part of the Bamboo Forest of the Lost as a "test of guts" - but her true intentions are revealed to be trying to annoy Fujiwara no Mokou, another immortal human, and her eternal rival.
- Phantasmagoria of Flower View
Reimu, who is usually easy-going, is disturbed by the amount of flowers blooming and, not to be the one who shrugs off her duties, goes on to search for answers. She fights through many opponents, including news reporter Aya Shameimaru, in search of the truth. Eventually she reaches Muenzuka, where the shinigami Komachi Onozuka, who appears to have been slacking off on her job to manage said spirits. Eiki Shiki, Yamaxanadu appears after Reimu beats Komachi up, and explains what's happening - an awful lot of spirits of the dead suddenly arrived from the Human World, and they're having trouble accomodating all of them. After a lecture, they do battle, and Reimu emerges victorious. The three of them have a flower viewing later on, where it's explained that as the spirits of the dead cross the Sanzu River, the flowers' blooming will settle down.
- Mountain of Faith
Reimu's shrine has become a hotspot for youkai, so she doesn't get many human visitors to do patronage. She receives a foreboding threat from a mysterious human visitor, who demands that the Hakurei shrine be shut down and submit to another god. Reimu, always the optimist, decided to go to Youkai Mountain to face the goddess who is making these threats. She fights her way up to the Moriya Shrine and defeats its shrine maiden, Sanae Kochiya, as well as its resident god, Kanako Yasaka, thus saving her own shrine. Afterwards, Reimu summons everyone to the shrine to watch the autumn leaves, where she vouches for Sanae and Kanako and tells Nitori and Aya that they should invite them over for drinks sometime and generally get along. Sanae also tells Reimu that youkai are a good source of faith. A while later, Marisa brings Reimu the rumor that a second god is actually living at the Moriya Shrine, and she goes to check it out. She then meets Suwako Moriya and defeats her.
- Scarlet Weather Rhapsody
The Hakurei Shrine is suddenly destroyed by an earthquake, but upon consulting with Marisa, Reimu finds out that no one else felt it, so there must be something odd going on. She goes around to various suspicious characters, including Komachi Onodzuka, who Reimu initially suspects. However, it's not her, so Reimu ends up making her way towards Heaven, where the celestials Iku Nagae and Tenshi Hinanawi reside. Tenshi reveals she started the incident simply because she was bored watching everyone else getting involved in incidents and wanted to start her own. She also claims she destroyed Reimu's shrine so Reimu would be motivated to resolve the incident; Reimu promptly resolves the incident by defeating Tenshi. Afterwards, Tenshi has a legion of celestials help rebuild her shrine.
- Subterranean Animism
A geyser appears behind Hakurei Shrine, and at first Reimu is happy, because its heat will alleviate the cold of winter. However, evil spirits begin emerging from the earth and loitering about Gensokyo. Reimu is sent to investigate with either Yukari Yakumo, Suika Ibuki, or Aya Shameimaru, depending on what shot type the player chooses. She communicates them throughout her trip via her Yin-Yang Orbs. She heads straight to the Underworld, and fights her way deeper and deeper until reaching the Palace of the Earth Spirits. There she meets Satori Komeiji, whose two pets apparently have something to do with it. Reimu defeats Rin Kaenbyou, then reaches Utsuho Reiuji, who, with her newfound powers, is maintaining the hellfire that heats the Underground, and is responsible for the geysers that let the evil spirits leak out. She defeats her as well, then returns to the surface. Rin starts frequenting the shrine, though mostly for food, and eventually they make the geyser behind the shrine into a hot spring. Utsuho later explains how she came to possess such power, and it seems to point straight towards Kanako and Suwako, so Reimu sets off for the Youkai Mountain again. When she gets to the shrine, however, she meets Koishi Komeiji, who was apparently also looking for who gave Utsuho those powers. Suwako comes out to meet them after they fight and explains it's all part of their "industrial revolution project".
- Touhou Hisoutensoku
A humanoid giant is trampling about Gensokyo. Three residents have a few theories on what that could be. Reimu has a fight with a couple of people, then reads about it later on in the newspaper.
- Undefined Fantastic Object
When the treasure ship appears in the skies of Gensokyo, Reimu decides to go after it. She forces her way into it only to discover that there's no treasure inside. However, Minamitsu Murasa tells her they're headed to Makai to revive a "saint" of some sort. She follows them there and meets Byakuren Hijiri, a Buddhist monk that loves youkai and humans equally. That certainly won't do, so Reimu beats her up. She and Byakuren later fly around the skies on the ship, but afterwards the ship is landed and renovated into the Myouren Temple. A little later, she follows up on the strange light that was following her during the journey, and it turns out to be Nue Houjuu, a straggler from Byakuren's group. Reimu defeats her and persuades her to visit the temple.
- Ten Desires
A large number of divine spirits appear, threatening the flower viewing, so it's up to Reimu to figure out what's causing it. She visits the Netherworld first; while Yuyuko Saigyouji isn't the culprit, she points the shrine maiden towards the Myouren Temple. After forcing her way to the graveyard, she discovers the spirits all flocking to the Hall of Dreams' Great Mausoleum. Once inside, she defeats the newly resurrected Mononobe no Futo and Toyosatomimi no Miko in battle.
- Curiosities of Lotus Asia
- Bohemian Archive in Japanese Red
Shortly after the events of Perfect Cherry Blossom, Aya Shameimaru attends a flower viewing at the Hakurei Shrine, where she meets Reimu, who is in a foul mood because no one wants to help her clean up after event. Aya plies her with sake and questions her about the incident, commenting in the article that "Reimu just seems to be a laid-back drunkard". In the follow-up interview, Reimu claims Aya's paper is full of lies and insists her account of the incident is true, though Aya still doesn't recognize Reimu's deeds.
- Silent Sinner in Blue
- Eastern and Little Nature Deity, Strange and Bright Nature Deity, and Oriental Sacred Place
- Symposium of Post-mysticism
- Wild and Horned Hermit
- Forbidden Scrollery
Although Reimu often shows up as the main character, she doesn't participate in mundane activities to the extent Marisa Kirisame does, limiting her familiarity with most of Gensokyo's population. Nevertheless, she has interacted with almost every other character that has ever made a physical appearance, with the exception of the Unnamed Giant Catfish, Renko Usami, and Maribel Hearn.
- Marisa Kirisame
Reimu's best friend is likely Marisa Kirisame, who spends a lot of her time at the shrine. They are there together the majority of the time in various print works, prologues, and extra stage prologues, hanging out together and discussing or attending the latest events in Gensokyo. Reimu has known Marisa since Story of Eastern Wonderland, where Mima had Marisa fight Reimu. Their friendship may have started soon after that, as in all of the bad endings, Marisa decides she needs to train more, and drags Reimu along to train with her, much to Reimu's chagrin.
- Yukari Yakumo
Despite her antagonistic personality, Yukari Yakumo mentors Reimu by pushing her to increase her spiritual powers, such as learning how to invoke the gods in Silent Sinner in Blue. She also occasionally seeks Reimu's assistance in resolving incidents in Imperishable Night and Subterranean Animism.
- Rinnosuke Morichika
Reimu is familiar with Rinnosuke Morichika, a shopkeeper who owns Kourindou, who she sometimes visits to hang out or for wares (and sometimes shoplifts). She apparently has a large unpaid tab for requested items and services, but denies it since Rinnosuke "never accepts money" (which he denies being the case). Rinnosuke was also the one that originally prepared her purification rod for her use.
- Sanae Kochiya
Despite being the priestess of a rival shrine, Sanae Kochiya is on friendly terms with Reimu and appears frequently in Wild and Horned Hermit alongside Reimu and Marisa. She came on a bit strongly when she and Reimu first met, but she really thought she was helping the Hakurei Shrine out by attempting to get it to switch gods to Kanako Yasaka. After Mountain of Faith, Sanae offered to help Reimu as a fellow miko to gather faith for the shrine, and appears to have been friends with Reimu since then.
- Three Fairies of Light
Reimu is often the target of pranks by the Three Fairies of Light, and Reimu tends to exterminate them on sight whenever she catches them (unless Marisa is escorting them). As of Oriental Sacred Place, the three fairies moved into a tree near the Hakurei Shrine and become Reimu's neighbors, increasing the amount of pranks even more. Reimu aims to evict the fairies, but cannot find their treehouse, which is actually located on the Hakurei Border. Eventually, in an attempt to befriend Reimu so she'll no longer threaten them, the three fairies challenge her to a battle, reasoning that Reimu tends to befriend many youkai after fighting them. After an intense battle, Reimu finally defeats the fairies (instantly), and points out that their line of reasoning is utterly ridiculous. Despite this, Marisa finds that Reimu befriended the fairies after all, and as of the end of Oriental Sacred Place, the fairies now happily openly spend time at the shrine while helping Reimu out with various chores.
- Byakuren Hijiri
Reimu views Byakuren Hijiri and the Myouren Temple as a rival of sorts to herself and the Hakurei Shrine. In Ten Desires, Toyosatomimi no Miko points out that Reimu is friendly towards Byakuren. Although Reimu says they're religious rivals, she does not seem to deny it. In one of her Undefined Fantastic Object endings, Reimu is depressed at how quickly Byakuren's temple is picking up followers compared to her own shrine. By the time of Strange and Bright Nature Deity, Reimu is angry at the temple for stealing away her shrine's followers (ignoring that her shrine never had (m)any followers in the first place), but Byakuren seems unaware of this.
- Kasen Ibaraki
Kasen Ibaraki is a regular at the shrine and acts as a mentor (and sometimes guardian) of Reimu, whom she fears is too concerned with worldly desires.
- Unnamed kitsune & Unnamed kuda-gitsune
In Wild and Horned Hermit Chapter 8, The Unnamed kitsune offered to help Reimu gain worshipers after being caught disguised as Marisa during a party at Hakurei Shrine. She was, however, deceiving Reimu by letting her use the powers of her kuda-gitsune. Using her ability, they gathered worshipers. Kasen Ibaraki discovered that these fox youkai had been consuming Reimu's willpower and wealth as payment for their help. However, they managed to walk away from the Hakurei Shrine with all her wealth.
- The Hakurei God
Reimu knows next to nothing about the god dwelling in her shrine, making her unable to provide it with faith despite her efforts. Byakuren stated in one of the endings for Undefined Fantastic Object that the god is mad because of this.
- Suika Ibuki
Suika Ibuki, who often freeloads her shrine after the events of Immaterial and Missing Power is also is her ally during Subterranean Animism. Reimu saw Suika's presence as a nuisance at first, but never really bothered with driving her away.
- Aya Shameimaru
VIVIT first met Reimu Hakurei at the Hakurei Shrine in Gensokyo during the Extra stage of Shuusou Gyoku, where Reimu attacked her before she could explain what she was doing. After Reimu lost, VIVIT told her that she was looking for the Holy Grail, causing Reimu to become confused and start asking questions.
Illustration from Perfect Memento in Strict Sense
Reimu's sigil from Grimoire of Marisa
Illustration from Grimoire of Marisa
- Reimu seems to be scared before and after the boss battle with the Five Magic Stones, making this the only ever time that Reimu was scared and/or afraid of a boss before and after the battle.
- Reimu is known for exterminating youkai indiscriminately, regardless of how much of a threat they represent to her or others. The most notable example of this was Tokiko, who was ambushed by Reimu while she was, in Reimu's own words, "reading and minding her own business".
- Most of her theme from Lotus Land Story sounds similar to Elis and Kikuri's theme from Highly Responsive to Prayers, "Magic Mirror".
- It is originally stated that she lives alone at the shrine, but other rarely seen characters (Mima and SinGyoku) are known to stay there or near there as well. Even then, she claims that most youkai visitors are nuisances, and she'd prefer to be left alone. Marisa Kirisame seems to be one of the few who she wouldn't drive away.
- In Imperishable Night, Reimu is the only one whose partner doesn't mention the danger of the full moon.
- Reimu's ultimate technique Fantasy Nature (夢想天生 musou tensei, "innate fantasy gained at birth") is homophonous with the ultimate technique of the Hokuto Shinken school in Fist of the North Star, Musou Tensei (無想転生 musou tensei, "nil-thought rebirth"), and has much the same effect.
- In Touhou Hisoutensoku, if you activate Fantasy Nature successfully in a 3rd round, a remix of "Eastern Mystical Love Consultation" will play which resembles Ai wo Torimodose, the opening theme of the Fist of the North Star anime (an instrumental version of which usually plays whenever Kenshiro is about to win a fight).
- In Touhou Hisoutensoku, one of her alternative palettes looks similar to VIVIT, the heroine of the Seihou Project. Also, one of her palettes seems to be another maid homage, Ruukoto, or possibly Sanae Kochiya's colours. The palette also seems to resemble Mima from Highly Responsive to Prayers. Her white/light gray palette seems to resemble Toki from Hokuto no Ken and possibly somewhat similar to her white outfit from the fangame Concealed the Conclusion.
- When playing Yukari's story mode in Scarlet Weather Rhapsody, Reimu breaks down in tears in the ending after Yukari defeats Tenshi and reduces the Hakurei Shrine to rubble for the second time, with Sakuya and Youmu looking on helplessly (although Suika offers to help rebuild it). This marks the first and only time where she is seen crying in a storyline scenario.
- The shrine maiden at the end of Dolls in Pseudo Paradise is probably Reimu. She has Reimu's title, "Shrine Maiden of Paradise" (and her personality), and according to Bohemian Archive in Japanese Red's Music Column, the shrine maiden in the song that accompanies the ending section is Reimu (so basically, this shrine maiden has Reimu's song and title). However, only the shrine maiden at the end is referred to as the shrine maiden of paradise. Thus it is possible that the shrine maiden seen in the first half of the story is a different person altogether.
- A "13th Shrine Maiden" signs off the Gensokyo Record in Perfect Cherry Blossom's prologue. ZUN has stated in an e-mail that the Gensokyo Record is unreliable (for one thing, the writing style of each section shows it was written by a different person each time), thus "there is a high possibility that Reimu is not the 13th Hakurei shrine maiden." (technically, this also means there is no proof that the person who wrote that section of the record is a shrine maiden at all).
- It is shown in Oriental Sacred Place that the shrine sometimes gets various donations (including wine) from unknown sources (implied to be from the outside world, as the Hakurei Shrine lies on the border) and Yukari is shown in Oriental Sacred Place to sneak yen donations into the offering box when Reimu isn't looking.
- Although Reimu has successfully resolved the incidents in each major Touhou game, it's possible that her win rate throughout the actual events of the games was not 100%. Perfect Memento in Strict Sense states that Reimu likes to request rematches until she finally wins. In essence, Reimu apparently has had to use a few continues every once in a while, but she still manages to get a good ending.
Reimu turns out to be a widely popular character among the fanbase. She is usually chosen as the playable character on a lot of fangames, or at least appears on a high number of fangames. Unlike most characters, Reimu has been compared to a lot of characters, especially some of the cast from the Seihou Project. Although Reimu is known to be the same character as her PC-98 form, some fans still depict both versions as different people, sometimes even been next to each other.
Reimu in most fangames is often a middling character better used for healing/buffing than offense. Perhaps this is done in protest to her "overpowered heroine" status in the canon.
In Embodiment of Scarlet Devil, it has been said that pretty much nobody goes to the shrine. Thus, it has been a common interpretation that she gets 0 donations. Due to this, she is called 貧乏巫女 (Binbou miko, lit. "destitute shrine maiden"). As a side effect, she is also frequently portrayed by fans as being greedy or obsessed with getting money.
- Armpits as a necessity
Because of how she dresses in the Windows Touhou games, her exposed armpits are sometimes a target for jokes and memes. Due to this, she is commonly called "waki miko" (腋巫女, lit. "armpit miko"). Upon hiding her armpits, anyone would notice at once, and before her back, chest, or feet, her armpits are always the first thing appealed to.
Other than the idea that "money is dirty" related to the "destitute" meme, in canon her personality is comparatively severe (in youkai extermination, she has no mercy), so she is sometimes called "Yakuza miko". Furthermore, upon facing off with Watatsuki no Toyohime in Silent Sinner in Blue, she used the words, "if one doesn't shoot down and slay without one remaining, if there is impurity on the moon, then danmaku shall be scattered," said to be a little severe and without mercy, so she occasionally does not spare using unfair measures.
- Zombie Reimu
The drastic change in the color of Reimu's skin tone over the course of the Windows games (most noticeable in Mountain of Faith, in which her skin appears yellowish and almost jaundiced) raised eyebrows and led to a number of jokes and dubious theories, the most common of which is that she is actually an undead zombie.
- Taoreimu, Dareimu, etc.: a defeated Reimu is sometimes called "Taoreimu" (from 倒れる), a hit Reimu is sometimes called "Dareimu" (from 打), and an angry Reimu is sometimes called "Buchigireimu (from ぶち切れる), thus giving her shiritori-like names.
- Concerning the god enshrined at the shrine: Rinnosuke knows who the god enshrined at the shrine is. However, since Reimu is completely uninterested in whatever god is enshrined, he did not say at all. Because of this, it has been fanon to interpret this to mean that the enshrined god is Mima, Gensokyo itself, etc.
- Oni Miko: When she shows her true strength, she becomes "Oni Miko" (鬼巫女).
- Flight on Genji: Although Reimu is able to fly independently, she is still shown in a number of fanworks to still be sitting on Genjii, presumably either to be a show off or to have "extra power". The most notable fanwork to feature this is Touhou Soccer Moushuuden.
- JoJo association: In the trend of JoJo associations, it appears Reimu is paired with Josuke Higashikata, the reason here being that Josuke's name has the characters for Touhou in it (東方仗助 for Josuke, 東方 for Touhou) although, personality-wise, he could be more similar to Marisa.
- Silent Reimu: Sora No Amagumo has made a comic series most centered around Reimu with a few major changes: She's a silent, kind, adorable girl, a contrast from the more common surly Reimus out there. This rendition is pretty popular on both sides of the fandom.
- Although it is a stage 1 theme, ZUN's comments in th4_02.txt state that it is her theme.
- Wild and Horned Hermit chapter 5
- Perfect Cherry Blossom: Marisa's scenario - "This barrier is amazing. There's no way a novice like me can solve its mystery. Is there something I'm missing?"; Reimu's scenario - "You broke the barrier on the way here, didn't you!" "That one opened right up."
- Oriental Sacred Place chapter 15
- Forbidden Scrollery chapter 7 - "Ah, that gesture is bad. That will dissolve any seal; Reimu's cheat technique."
- ZUN's reply to messages on the former Gensou Bulletin Board 3
- Embodiment of Scarlet Devil - Extra stage
|This page is part of Project Characters, a Touhou Wiki project that aims to write proper descriptions for all official characters of Touhou Project, other gaming series' by former members of Amusement Makers and fan-made characters.|