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kot͡ɕija sanae (♫)
Sanae as she appeared in Ten Desires.
More Character Titles
|Species||Human (not native to Gensokyo), descendant of a goddess, Arahitogami|
|Abilities||Causing miracles to occur|
|Occupation||Wind Priestess, Shrine Maiden|
|Location||Moriya Shrine, was originally from the Outside World|
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|Show Official Game appearances|
|Show Print Work appearances|
|Show Music CD appearances|
Sanae Kochiya (東風谷 早苗 Kochiya Sanae) is a human, but is also a distant descendant of the goddess Suwako Moriya. Her role at the Moriya Shrine is similar to a shrine maiden, but with her inherited power Sanae has also become a minor deity herself. Originally from the Outside World, Sanae migrated to Gensokyo with the shrine and its two resident goddesses, Kanako Yasaka and Suwako Moriya. As a result, she is rather knowledgeable about the outside world and modern living, although her attempts to explain scientific concepts usually just confuse the locals. Her knowledge on things like the youkai of Gensokyo, on the other hand, seems a bit lacking for a shrine maiden.
Sanae is confident, energetic and dutiful, sometimes too much so, and tends to get carried away easily or have trouble thinking for herself. She also appears to be something of a geek, making references to popular culture and having knowledge of advanced scientific concepts. As someone who grew up in the Outside World, much of Gensokyo seems strange and novel to her; she finds unusually great fun in exterminating youkai and solving incidents, seeming to view herself as the hero of a fantasy novel or videogame. Multiple characters have noted that Sanae's dismissive attitude towards youkai and youkai power makes her too much like a youkai herself.
Ability to cause miracles
Sanae is capable of invoking miracles through her godly heritage, and many of her spell cards are themed after miracles of various religions or odd events. The exact mechanics of this ability are unknown; it may be simply generic divine power and/or shrine maiden abilities by a different name.
Abilities as a shrine maiden
Sanae is a shrine maiden, but of a different type to Reimu Hakurei. Like Reimu she is capable of summoning gods, granting her some of their powers; while she relies on this ability much more than Reimu, she is only capable of summoning her patrons Kanako and Suwako.
The kanji used for Sanae can mean "rice seedling" or "early seedling", and Kochiya "eastern wind valley". The same "east" (東) appears in Touhou (東方), and the same "wind" (風) in Fuujinroku (風神録).
Unusually among Touhou characters, both are real names used in modern Japan. Presumably Sanae's name is derived from the real world person Sanae Moriya (守矢早苗), the 78th head of the Moriya family which claims descent from "Moreyashin" (洩矢神 the god Moreya, "Moreya" is an archaic pronunciation of "Moriya"). This family were supposed to succeed one of the priests of the Suwa Grand Shrine, Jin Choukan (神長官, God Director).
In her first appearance in Mountain of Faith she wears a blue and white outfit similar to a shrine maiden's, with the blue areas covered in light blue polka dots and stripes. She has long light green hair, and yellow eyes (green in Undefined Fantastic Object and Ten Desires, blue in Touhou Hisoutensoku portraits). Wears a snake-shaped hair accessory wrapped around her hair on one side, and a hair clip shaped like a frog's head (both probably meant to represent Kanako Yasaka and Suwako Moriya). She carries a gohei with straight paper decorations as opposed to the typical gohei.
In Ten Desires her hair color is slightly paler, and she wears a shorter skirt with maroon-colored boots instead of aquamarine-colored shoes.
- Mountain of Faith
When humans on the Outside World began losing their faith in her and Kanako Yasaka, the shrine's actual deity, Kanako decided to move the shrine to Gensokyo where at least youkai might have faith in them. During the events of Mountain of Faith Sanae tried threatening the Hakurei Shrine in order to establish the Moriya Shrine as the dominant one, not realizing how powerful humans like Reimu Hakurei and Marisa Kirisame were. In response to the threats Sanae was defeated by the heroine followed shortly after by Kanako and Suwako Moriya's defeat. However, the residents of the Moriya Shrine have since come to an understanding with their new neighbors and live in peace with the other residents of Youkai Mountain.
- Subterranean Animism
- Undefined Fantastic Object
In each scenario of Undefined Fantastic Object, Sanae is ordered with a different task. Depending on this, her secondary bullet will become a snake or a frog.
- Touhou Hisoutensoku
In Touhou Hisoutensoku, thinking that a gigantic robot appeared in Gensokyo, Sanae is in pursuit of the giant figure, when she stumbles into a giant pit to the nuclear reactor run by Utsuho Reiuji and learns that Suwako Moriya is responsible for creating the "robot" figure, Hisoutensoku.
- Ten Desires
Sanae notices the strange spirit at the Moriya Shrine in Ten Desires and knows what they are: divine spirits, born from humans due to powerful fears, desires and feelings. She takes the opportunity to gather the divine spirits, as it is the same as gathering faith from humans. She can't, however, figure out why all these divine spirits have appeared in the first place.
Sanae serves as the shrine maiden of Kanako Yasaka and Suwako Moriya, and moved with them to Gensokyo. Sanae is also Suwako's distant descendant. During the events of Mountain of Faith, Kanako sends Sanae out to collect faith. Much like Yukari Yakumo's use of Ran and Chen, Sanae can summon Kanako and Suwako in her spell and skill cards in Touhou Hisoutensoku.
Sanae appears to have a friendly relationship with Reimu Hakurei, as she has been seen visiting the Hakurei Shrine on numerous occasions, both in the Prologue of Undefined Fantastic Object and in Wild and Horned Hermit; Sanae is even tasked with minding the shrine while Reimu is training with Kasen Ibaraki.
Sanae frequently meets Marisa on her visits to the Hakurei Shrine, and they seem reasonably friendly.
- In Mountain of Faith, her spell card Sea Opening "The Day the Sea Split" is extremely similar to Alice Margatroid's second attack in Mystic Square's Extra Stage.
- One of Sanae's Spell Cards in Touhou Hisoutensoku strongly resembles Shin Akuma's "Misogi" from Capcom vs. SNK.
- In her last stage of Touhou Hisoutensoku, despite the fact that Sanae is fighting against Suwako Moriya, Sanae can still use skills summoning Suwako to her aid (e.g. Using Summon Earth's God: Metal Ring), to attack Suwako.
- In Touhou Hisoutensoku Sanae's character portrait shows her having blue eyes, but her sprite has yellow eyes.
- Also in Touhou Hisoutensoku, Sanae has alternate colors that resemble Rumia's, Fujiwara no Mokou's and Mystia Lorelei's outfits.
- Conversely, one of Reimu's alternate colors resembles Sanae.
- When in Wild and Horned Hermit a conversation occured about a "electric rat", a thought bubble showed up with a censored Pikachu from Pokémon.
- Since the release of Undefined Fantastic Object and Touhou Hisoutensoku, Sanae's popular image has shifted from soft spoken and demure to markedly eccentric with her knowledge of robots, anime and enthusiasm for aliens.
- Mountain of Faith hinted at this eccentric streak long before Undefined Fantastic Object came out, but since this happened only in the endings it remained relatively obscure.
- Sanae's appearance in Subterranean Animism was unexpected by many. Due to that, the fact that she says "You can't let yourself be held back by common sense in Gensokyo, right!?", and her "Miracle Fruit" spell card sounding cute and girly while all of her other spell cards from Mountain of Faith sound much more stoic has earned her the nickname of "フルーツ（笑）" ("Fruits (lol)"), based on the "スイーツ（笑）" ("Sweets (lol)") label, referring to airheaded girls who follow fads without really understanding them. In other words, Sanae is seen as kind of a ditz.
- Another nickname among the Japanese fans is "絶対許早苗" ("Zettai Yuru-Sanae"), a pun of "絶対許さない" ("Zettai Yurusanai", or "absolutely unforgiving"). This is due to her aggressiveness towards youkai, particularly Kogasa Tatara. The nickname is usually combined with a picture of her smug expression from Undefined Fantastic Object against a yellow-and-red-striped background (the Flag of Macedonia), which is a parody of a famous meme of Futaba Channel, "Maji-resu", a serious reply to a troll/joke post.
- Some fans have diagnosed Sanae as suffering from Chuunibyou.
- Since Sanae is originally from the Outside World, some fans draw her in a schoolgirl uniform.
- Sanae is often shown in fanart as rather large chested, with a few characters being jealous, mainly Reimu and Sakuya.
- Sanae's sleeves are detached from her shirt, just like Reimu Hakurei's. As a result, it is possible to use Sanae as the subject of the "armpit joke" rather than Reimu. However, Sanae armpit jokes are rare compared to Reimu armpit jokes.
- Since Sanae's outfit is similar to Reimu's, fans often refer to her as "Player 2 Reimu" or "2P Reimu", a character who, just like in most computer games, will take over Reimu's position if Reimu (as Player 1) is knocked out.
- "Sanae is a good girl" has surfaced as a meme, in the English speaking community, as a result of page 29 from one of Happy Flame Time's comics, entitled Cold Wind but Warm Winter.
- Some Western Touhou fans have noticed that when Sanae moves horizontally in Undefined Fantastic Object, her pose resembles Superman.
- Because of Sanae's appearances in numerous titles, many fans in the west have drawn parallels with her to Aya Shameimaru and refer to her as ZUN's "other girlfriend". In addition, since Sanae is often seen as somewhat ditzy and large-chested, as well as the fact that she is strongly associated with both the miko and schoolgirl fetishes, various Japanese fans (including a number of doujin artists) also portray her in a similarly lascivious manner.
- The backlash is very slight but longer lasting compared to with Aya, mostly from people who are annoyed at the lack of Sakuya and those that are increasingly annoyed at how the Moriya Shrine is gaining plot relevance. This has some people mockingly joke that Sanae will become the new main character.
- Undefined Fantastic Object and Touhou Hisoutensoku have made Sanae rather popular though the true extent is hard to tell as she's been placed below the top 10 in recent popularity contests.
- Fangames where Sanae is playable often give her a "Faith Meter" which must be built up to use her more powerful abilities, based on her preparation spells in Mountain of Faith and her Kanako/Suwako gauges in Touhou Hisoutensoku.
- Double Spoiler Hatate's comment: Youkai Extermination "Bewitching Power Spoiler"
- "登場人物 [Character]" (in Japanese). Tasogare Frontier. http://www.tasofro.net/touhou123/chara.html.
- "キャラクター紹介 [Character Introduction]" (in Japanese). Ichijinsha. June 2011. http://www.ichijinsha.co.jp/special/toho_ibarakasen/.
|This page is part of Project Characters, a Touhou Wiki project that aims to write proper descriptions for all official characters of Touhou Project.|