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Youmu Konpaku

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魂魄 (こんぱく)  妖夢 (ようむ)
Youmu Konpaku
kompakɯ joːmɯ (♫)
Youmu Kompaku
Youmu Konpaku
Youmu Konpaku in Ten Desires
Half-Human Half-Phantom Gardener
More Character Titles
Species

Half-human half-phantom

Abilities

Handling sword techniques

Age

Unknown, but less than 60 years old

Occupation

Gardener, swordsmanship instructor

Location

Hakugyokurou

Music Themes
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Appearances
Official Games
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Print Works
Show Print Work appearances
Miscellaneous Works
Show Miscellaneous Work appearances

Youmu Konpaku (魂魄 妖夢 Konpaku Youmu) is a half-human half-phantom who lives at Hakugyokurou in the Netherworld as a gardener and fencing instructor. She first appeared as the Stage 5 boss of Perfect Cherry Blossom, the seventh installment of the Touhou Project, and has since become a recurring playable character.

General Information

In Perfect Cherry Blossom, she gathered all of Gensokyo's spring at Yuyuko's instruction, which was the reason Gensokyo's winter did not end. In Bohemian Archive in Japanese Red and Chapter 13 of Curiosities of Lotus Asia, she took on the responsibility for collecting and returning the phantoms that wandered around Gensokyo as a result of the barrier of the Netherworld being thinned.

She belongs to the subspecies of phantoms called the "half-human half-phantoms" (半人半霊 "hannin hanrei" or "hanjin hanrei"). Half-human half-phantoms are the mixed-race of phantoms and humans (幽霊と人間のハーフ), which have a largish phantom accompanying them and a relativity long life span compared to humans. In Perfect Memento in Strict Sense, it says that "they are the lineage of mixed race between humans and phantoms", which means that even though they are a "mix", it doesn't mean they're born from a couple of human and phantom, but assumed that they're species that are born that way. The phantom that always follows them is called the "half-phantom" (半霊[1]、半幽霊[2] hanrei, hanyuurei), and they are the other half of their body.[3] In Perfect Memento in Strict Sense, it was supposed that Youmu's human half manipulates the phantom half consciously. Youmu's human half has a lower body temperature compared to normal humans, and her phantom half's body temperature is not so cold compared to normal phantoms. In the Imperishable Night manual, it was written, "she has two kinds of body: human and phantom," showing Youmu to be "human" and the phantom to be "phantom."

Half-human half-phantoms are long-lived,[4][5] but in Seasonal Dream Vision, since it has still not been 60 years since the time she was born, in Phantasmagoria of Flower View, she was not very knowledgeable about the "flower incident that occurs once every 60 years."[6]

Personality

As she has a straightforward diligent personality, she is often manipulated by those around her (especially Yuyuko).[7] For this reason, she often fails at her task, but that does not mean that she has no real power, and she particularly excels at instantaneous force and concentration power.[8] In Immaterial and Missing Power, as literally stated by the shishou, "truth-slashing is something which you know," so she often performs tsujigiri-like moves, but Suika Ibuki pointed out that she does not think that Youmu understood her shishou's teachings.

She has strong sensitivity, and in the good ending of Imperishable Night, her human half was unable to resist the insanity-inducing effects of the true Moon, causing her to become "half-insane". She is afraid of ghost stories, dares, and darkness, but she is calm around phantoms since she is half phantom herself.[9] Much further on in Ten Desires, as a result of being mistaken as a hermit, she temporarily mistook herself as being a hermit.[1]

Occupation

Youmu is, as a gardener attached to the Saigyouji family and the bodyguard of Yuyuko Saigyouji, a swordsperson of a two-sword school of fencing.

According to the Saigyouji family, Youmu is the second generation to take her position, the former generation being Youki Konpaku. Youki was Youmu's fencing shishou. Youmu is also Yuyuko's sword instructor, but she is fundamentally treated as a gardener.[2]

Possessions

Roukanken and Hakurouken

The longer sword, carried from her left shoulder to her waist on the right side, is the Roukanken (楼観剣, lit. "high-building sword"). It has been claimed to have been forged by youkai, and has the power to kill ten phantoms in one slice.[10] The shorter sword on her left waist is the Hakurouken (白楼剣, lit. "plain-building sword"), which seems to be the heirloom of the Konpaku family, and can slice through people's confusion.[4]

Character Basis

Name

The characters for Konpaku (魂魄) mean simply "soul", and Youmu (妖夢) probably means "ghostly dream" in the context regarding her characteristic.

Although both Kon () and Paku () are "soul", their elements are different. Kon stands for a "mental" soul, which is separated from a body as soon as human dies and ascends to Heaven; Paku is a "physical" soul, which remains in the body a few days and goes back to the Earth. In this case, Kon is Youmu's ghostly half, and Paku is the human half. The entire Konpaku family is comprised of half-phantom half-humans, as noted by Perfect Memento in Strict Sense.

The kanji that makes up Youmu (妖夢) are also part of the kanji for Perfect Cherry Blossom (東方 Touhou youyoumu).

In Phantasmagoria of Flower View, Youmu's name is written in Roman letters Japanese style, with her surname first, during pre-battle conversation with her, even though every other character in the game with a Japanese name has their name romanized western-style, with their first names first. This is one of several typographical inconsistencies in the game (another being the inconsistent spelling of Aya's name).

Design

In Perfect Cherry Blossom, Youmu has short silver hair worn in a bob cut, and bright red eyes. She wears a dark green and white dress with several ghost insignias along the edges and a ghost insignia as well on her breast pocket, and a black ribbon tied off-center in her hair. She carries the Roukanken; a long katana with a cherry blossom insignia and a flower attached to it, and the Hakurouken; a wakizashi (Short Japanese sword). Her ghostly half is a formless white phantom as large as her human self.

In every later game, Youmu has slight design alterations such as white hair in Immaterial and Missing Power, eye color changes, and lighter green on her dress. In every game after Perfect Cherry Blossom, Youmu wears short sleeves.

As of Ten Desires, Youmu's appearance stays mostly the same, the only major change being her hair arranged in a messy style.

According to ZUN, her height is "short."[11]

Story

Games

Perfect Cherry Blossom

During the events of Perfect Cherry Blossom, Youmu was ordered by Yuyuko Saigyouji to gather as much spring essence from Gensokyo as she could in order to get the entire cherry blossom garden, including the legendary Saigyou Ayakashi, to bloom perfectly. Youmu's efforts indirectly caused winter to continue unchecked in Gensokyo, prompting the player to find the source of the problem. Youmu tried to prevent the player from reaching Hakugyokurou, but was defeated. She also tried to stop the player's confrontation against Yuyuko, but was defeated again.

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Immaterial and Missing Power
Imperishable Night

In Imperishable Night, she traveled to the world of the living with the intent to fix the moon--although Yuyuko was more interested in having a feasting tour with a "dragon dish" as the crowning attraction.

Phantasmagoria of Flower View

In Phantasmagoria of Flower View, she was minding her own business but kept encountering various people barging into Hakugyokurou suspecting her of being behind the flower incident. When she traveled to Gensokyo herself to behold the spectacle, she had a hunch about what was going on but only realized it fully when Aya Shameimaru pointed it out. Realizing that the incident was caused by an overabundance of spirits possessing the flowers, Youmu cut down some spirits to reduce their numbers a bit. This leads her into confrontation with Komachi Onozuka, who tells her she should not be cutting down spirits while in the world of the living because they haven't received judgement yet. Youmu protests that she's always allowed to kill phantoms while in the Netherworld, to which Komachi replies that phantoms in the Netherworld and phantoms above are two different things.

Eiki Shiki, Yamaxanadu hears about Komachi's confrontation with Youmu and comes to meet Youmu herself. She explains about the phantoms inhabiting the flowers, and that the problem will go away by itself and Youmu should leave it alone. She then goes further about how Youmu's activities in the world of the living are coming dangerously close to getting Youmu classified as living and thus subject to judgement, and decides to carry out a little judgement on Youmu beforehand.

In the end, Youmu arrives back at the Netherworld. Yuyuko was also asked by Eiki to teach Youmu more about the nature of spirits. Unfortunately, Yuyuko Saigyouji ends up misinterpreting that she's supposed to teach Youmu in a general sense, and ends up teaching Youmu how to pour delicious tea. Eiki in her storyline ends up having to elaborate and clarify her lecture to Youmu when Eiki confronts her again. Youmu's sword works on spirits by severing hesitation, which is the equivalent of helping someone reach Nirvana, and Youmu is not qualified to judge such a thing. In her winquote to Eiki, Youmu apologizes for the trouble she's caused, and thanks Eiki while saying she now understands the nature of her sword.

Scarlet Weather Rhapsody

During the events of Scarlet Weather Rhapsody, she set off to investigate, concerned as to how and why someone was slaying spirits. After a hint from Yukari Yakumo, she found and defeated Tenshi Hinanawi.

Literature

Curiosities of Lotus Asia

Youmu travels out to Kourindou in search of the Soul Torch, an item given to her by Yuyuko that she had lost. Rinnosuke does in fact have it, and it turns out to be the reason for a large quantity of ghosts floating around the shop recently. Rinnosuke wasn't willing to part with it unless paid, however, so Youmu ended up shoveling the snow out of the front of the shop and off of the roof to pay for it.

Relationships

Yuyuko Saigyouji

Youmu's mistress, ever since Youmu was born (stated by Youmu in Bohemian Archive in Japanese Red). Youmu is completely loyal to her, but has trouble understanding her.

Yukari Yakumo

The friend of Youmu's mistress. Youmu respects her greatly and she helps Youmu with lessons and advice, but Youmu doesn't understand her, either. She also treats Yukari's servant, Ran Yakumo, with professional respect, even though Yuyuko says she doesn't have to.

Residents of Eientei

From Imperishable Night, Youmu is one of the few characters that is aware that three of the residents of Eientei are from the Moon, and presumably keeping it a secret like the others.

Eiki Shiki, Yamaxanadu

As a yama, Eiki is one of the superiors of Youmu's mistress, Yuyuko. Youmu is aware of the role of the yama and respects Eiki greatly, but hadn't met her in-person until Phantasmagoria of Flower View. In Youmu's ending, Eiki also asked Yuyuko to teach Youmu more about the nature of cutting down spirits. Eiki notes if Youmu loses to her in the story mode that Youmu would normally not go to Eiki for judging upon death.

Komachi Onozuka

Youmu and Komachi first met in Phantasmagoria of Flower View. As a ferryman under the yama, Komachi could also be considered a fellow employee of sorts with Youmu, although their lines of work do not cross very often. Youmu is aware of Komachi's position and respects her a lot, often thanking her for her work on ferrying the dead whenever the two meet. Komachi also tries to teach Youmu about how Youmu should not cut down ghosts too often, and sees Youmu as "an interesting fellow" in Scarlet Weather Rhapsody.

Others in general

Youmu is acquainted with many other major characters (be it from their visits to the Netherworld or Youmu's own investigations), but generally not close to them personally. Being straight forward and earnest, Youmu tends to get picked on a lot.

Spell Cards

Additional Information

Trivia

Youmu'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.
  • Her theme song is titled "Hiroari Shoots A Strange Bird ~ Till When?", named after a story in Taiheiki, which a warrior named Hiroari slays a youkai known as Itsumade (以津真天). This is an homage to the storyline. Judging from the story of Perfect Cherry Blossom, the heroine plays the role of Hiroari, Youmu is Itsumade, and the corpse is probably Yuyuko Saigyouji. (See also Flandre Scarlet and Yukari Yakumo.)
  • Ironically enough, considering her species, Youmu is afraid of ghosts, as shown in Imperishable Night's Extra. After defeating Fujiwara no Mokou, Yuyuko pretends there is a ghost under a tree, earning a terrified shriek from Youmu. It is a wonder why she doesn't cower away from Yuyuko, whom herself is a ghost.
  • There is a reference to Youmu in the game League of Legends. There is an item called "Youmuu's Ghostblade" which fits with Youmu since it shares her name, she is a half ghost and uses a blade for her attacks. Another reference to Youmu in League of Legends is the New champion Orianna: Her "pet" ball is referring to Youmu and her ghost half.
  • In Touhou Hisoutensoku, one of Youmu's new Spell Cards resembles one of Grant's supers from Garou: Mark of the Wolves.
    • Also in Touhou Hisoutensoku, one of Youmu's palette swaps seems to resemble Nue Houjuu.
  • Due to artworks and her sprite in Touhou Hisoutensoku, Youmu may be ambidextrous.

Fandom

Compared to many other characters, Youmu has relatively little fanon that deserves special mention. The usual image of Youmu is "the role of the regular person", "abused by Yuyuko", and "pressed to do regular tasks (being good at all regular tasks, despite having specified to be a gardener)". However, she still appears in many fanworks and is loved by many fans.

Myon~

Many fans call Youmu "Myon", but this is partly canon since this term originates from something she has said when she asked Yuyuko Saigyouji why she is present at such a "myon" place in the Perfect Cherry Blossom extra back story. "Myon-na" is a portmanteau of "hyon-na" (unexpected) and "myou-na" (strange). Western fans more commonly use "Myon" to refer to her phantom half.

Relationshipping

Since she is generally confined to Hakugyokurou, compared to how often she has showed up in the works, she has few definite friendship relations. Fortunately, as she has become a player character several times, in the stories of those games, she has had much experience in meeting others. She is generally paired with the following characters in fanon:

  • Yuyuko Saigyouji: Self-explanatory. Master and servant banzai.
  • Reisen Udongein Inaba: As they are both worldly-wise people in fanon, they are a duo with the common trait of being servants. In the fifth stage of Imperishable Night, she felt a little sympathy with Reisen. Other than that, in the ending of Imperishable Night, as her eyes became like Reisen's red eyes of insanity, there was a scene where she received a medical examination.
  • Sakuya Izayoi: In fanworks, they are connected by battle as they both fight with edged tools. In this case, Sakuya's perfectly elegant style is contrasted with the half-human Youmu full of feelings of adoration and envy. They are also comrades as they are both servants. Youmu also sometimes addresses Sakuya as "Onee-sama", a title usually used to refer respectfully to an older sister or to an older woman one respects or admires.
Jojo association

Youmu frequently gets crossed over with Jean-Pierre Polnareff from the JoJo's Bizarre Adventure series. He is a fast-moving sword stand-user. This is even present in Touhou Hisoutensoku, where one of her alternate palettes turns her completely silver, a subtle reference to Polnareff's stand Silver Chariot. One of her spell cards has her assault her opponent with multiple copies of herself, just like one of Polnareff's supers in the Jojo's Bizarre Adventure fighting game. Both Sakuya and Youmu can be seen in the style of "gold&silver" due to these palettes.

League of Legends Item Reference

In the Western multiplayer game League of Legends there is an item called Youmuu's Ghostblade, which design clearly shows a katana with cherry blossoms around it. This may be a reference to Youmu's Roukanken.

Miscellaneous

  • Phantom half abuse: Youmu's phantom half often receives terrible treatment in canon (for example, in Touhou Hisoutensoku, upon losing to Sanae Kochiya, Sanae asks her how "the marshmallow looking-like thing" tastes). In fanon Yuyuko is frequently seen abusing it, sometimes treating it as food.
  • ZUN art: Since ZUN's drawing style changes a lot in each work, she has been called "Youyoumu Youmu" (妖々夢妖夢 or YYY) from Perfect Cherry Blossom and "The face that knew men" (男を知った顔) from Ten Desires.
    • The face that knew men: Japanese fans have noticed that her portrait in Ten Desires makes her look cuter, charming and youthful compared to her portraits in previous games, with notable emphasis placed on her hairstyle change. For some reason, some fans have taken this as a sign that Youmu may have made a boyfriend, speculating that she has made efforts to better take care of her appearance as a result. This resulted in 男を知った顔 becoming a nickname for her drawing in Ten Desires. Reactions have ranged from agreeance to complete outrage.

Official Profiles

Official Sources

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Youmu's Parallel Ending in Ten Desires
  2. 2.0 2.1 『永夜抄』付属のマニュアル。
  3. According to the ZUN's comment in the 2nd Touhou Series Popularity Poll (「第2回東方シリーズ人気投票」(2003年9月開催)キャラ部門・魂魄妖夢 におけるZUNの投稿)
  4. 4.0 4.1 Page in Perfect Memento in Strict Sense related to Youmu Konpaku
  5. 『永夜抄』付属の「キャラ設定.txt」。
  6. 『紫香花』収録の小説「六十年ぶりに紫に香る花」。ただし、妖夢自身の発言による。
  7. 『永夜抄』付属のマニュアル、『萃夢想』付属の「上海アリス通信.txt」。
  8. 『三月精 第2部』「上海アリス通信 三精版 第6号」(『月刊コンプエース』vol.8 p.174。実質的には「第7号」なのだが誤植で「第6号」になっている。単行本未収録)
  9. 『永夜抄』付属の「おまけ.txt」、『三月精 第2部』第2話、『三月精 第3部』第3-4話、『儚月抄 小説版』第7話。
  10. Perfect Cherry Blossom - 5th stage's dialog, "Shanghai Alice Correspondence Vol.5" in Immaterial and Missing Power, Perfect Memento in Strict Sense pp.22-24。
  11. ZUN's answer to a fan's inquiry in an e-mail. These e-mails have been published by the inquirer, and can be confirmed within "game_1522.lzh" in the 旧うpろだ観測 of the fansite "Coolier." The date of the file is 2 March 2004. ZUNによれば、「game_1522.lzh」で説明されている登場人物に関して「身長は大体成長期の10代前半の少女達となります」とのことである。「高」は人間でいえば「10代後半以降程度の身長」、「低」は「10代前半の人間だとしたらかなり低い部類」となる。
  12. Yojana (योजन) is a unit of the distance that was used in ancient India. The exact length of the unit was not defined, but it's said that 1 yojana equals about 10-15 kilometers. In other words, if you taken Yuyuko's word as it is, then the Saigyouji's garden is supposed to be about 2,000-3,000 kilometers long.