ɕʲa̠me̞ːma̠ɾ̠ɯᵝ a̠ja̠ (♫)
Aya Shameimaru in Hidden Star in Four Seasons
More Character Titles
Manipulation of wind
Over 1000 years
Newspaper writer, reporter.
Aya Shameimaru (射命丸 文 Shameimaru Aya) is the main protagonist of Shoot the Bullet and Double Spoiler. She is Gensokyo's resident reporter, known for writing "slightly" exaggerated news articles about anything that happens in Gensokyo. She's very strong and is probably stronger than she shows since she sometimes "accidentally wins" battles while only meaning to cover a news story.
- 1 General Information
- 2 Background Information
- 3 Aya's Appearances
- 4 Relationships
- 5 Gallery
- 6 Skills
- 7 Spell Cards
- 8 Additional Information
- 9 Fandom
- 10 Official Profiles
- 11 Official Sources
- 12 References
Aya first appeared in Bohemian Archive in Japanese Red official book as the reporter of its articles and made her first game debut in Phantasmagoria of Flower View. She is the main protagonist of the spin-off games Shoot the Bullet and Double Spoiler where she fights against various characters while taking pictures of them. She appears again in the mainline games as the Stage 4 Boss in Mountain of Faith and as a playable partner with Reimu Hakurei in Subterranean Animism. She is also a playable character in Scarlet Weather Rhapsody, made an appearance as a background character in Hopeless Masquerade and appeared as a Day 6 Boss in Impossible Spell Card. Hidden Star in Four Seasons reintroduces her as a playable character. Like in Bohemian Archive in Japanese Red, Aya appears as the main character in Alternative Facts in Eastern Utopia, and once again fills the role of reporter for the articles of the book.
Aya is unrelenting when it comes to getting sensationalist news stories, and she frequently twists the truth in her writing to her own advantage. It is her policy as a reporter to only report the truth, but there have been many instances where she has written blatant lies. It is said that she will come politely asking interviews of humans and youkai alike if she sees them as worth writing an article about, but will forcefully drive away any who interfere.
However, Aya has shown a serious side as well. She can be thoughtful about the effect her stories will have on those who read them. She resents the rigid tengu caste system, as even though she works hard, she is unable to advance in rank due to being a crow tengu. Hieda no Akyuu writes that she is generally the sort of youkai one does not wish to oppose, but if one somehow manages to cross her, her strength is practically unrivaled.
- Manipulating wind
With this ability, Aya can cause wind of incredible strength whenever she pleases. Somehow, this also allows Aya to "listen" to the wind to collect rumors, aiding her in the journalism business. Many of her spell cards in the fighting games show this ability a lot. Her powers are among the top class in Gensokyo, and not many can challenge her with a real chance of winning. However, she doesn't like fighting much, nor does she show off her power a lot. This seems to be a common characteristic among Tengu.
While Tengu as a whole are known for their incredible speed that few can match, Aya prides herself of being "the fastest" in Gensokyo, and has been refered to as such by ZUN. According to Marisa Kirisame not even Remilia Scarlet, that was apparently able to fly around the Moon in an extremely short amount of time, can compare to Aya's speed. One of her spell cards shows some extent of her speed, but her actual limits are unknown.
Aya runs the Bunbunmaru Newspaper, which is viewed by most humans and youkai in Gensokyo as a mildly popular gossip or tabloid paper. She has a shameless reporting style, tends to exaggerate events, and expresses her own personal opinions in her articles. As a result, many don't want to see themselves in her newspaper, and she is on less than good terms with some of the other characters. Still, she does have ethics, and is more interested in pursuing the truth (sometimes to a fault) than ruining other peoples' reputation for the sake of it.
Her depiction in Strange and Bright Nature Deity and Curiosities of Lotus Asia suggest that her newspaper isn't well received, and she is willing to jokingly trick Reimu into believing in a fictional type of ghost to boost its popularity.
ZUN once commented that the gaming concept of Shoot the Bullet was around since the same time he created Embodiment of Scarlet Devil. Since such a game required a camera-using character, Aya was created specifically to fit that purpose.
Her full name is Aya Shameimaru (射命丸 文). The characters for Shameimaru (射命丸) literally means, in sequence, "to shoot (an arrow)" (or "to shine into/onto"), "command", "decree", "order" or "life" (or "hit/target" in the word meichuu meichuu (命中)), and "circle" (common name ending, usually seen in names of crafts and swords or similar weapons, and is also a very common suffix for the names of ships). Aya (文) means "text", "sentence" or "literature", and it's also the first character of "Bunkachou". The name Shameimaru (射命丸) is derived from Sha-Mail (Shamēru → Shameimaru), which is text messages with photos, very appropriate for a fast-traveling journalist who takes pictures.
Aya owns the Bunkachou (文花帖), a tengu notebook gathering innumerable photographs and handwritten notes. Bun (文, also pronounced as aya) means "sentence, text", ka (花) means "flower", "blossom" (or "pretty", "cute thing" in a figurative sense) and chou (帖) means "notebook": therefore Bunkachou literally means "notebook of flowering sentences": her record of interesting observations for Bunbunmaru Newspaper articles and pictures of beautiful danmaku or cute girls living in Gensokyo.
Aya has red eyes and semi-long black hair. She wears a white blouse, black short skirt, and a tokin. From Phantasmagoria of Flower View to Scarlet Weather Rhapsody she can be seen holding a hauchiwa fan. In Bohemian Archive in Japanese Red, Phantasmagoria of Flower View, and Scarlet Weather Rhapsody, Aya is shown holding a notebook and being accompanied by a crow. She was depicted with black wings for the first time in Bohemian Archive in Japanese Red.
In Double Spoiler, Aya now carries a camera and wears an orange armband reading Shuzaichuu (「取材中」, lit. "collecting material/the scoop"). She is also notably depicted with pointed ears, compared to the normal-looking ears that were visible in her Mountain of Faith portrait. In Hidden Star in Four Seasons her skirt is based on Hanafuda October suit.
- Phantasmagoria of Flower View
During the events of Phantasmagoria of Flower View, she sets out to cover what promises to be an interesting news story, apparently having had completely forgotten that the exact same event had occurred 60 years ago. Even though she was alive and around during the previous flower incident, perhaps her memory is clouded by the thousands of facts and rumors she hears every day.
- Mountain of Faith
When Aya was sent by the other Tengu to see who the intruder on Youkai Mountain was during Mountain of Faith she was surprised to see it was the heroine. Although Aya doesn't want to fight the heroine, she prioritizes her bosses' orders. She decides to "go easy" on the heroine and leads her to the new shrine, believing that the heroine could get rid of a large nuisance to the Tengu.
- Subterranean Animism
During the events of Subterranean Animism, Aya assists Reimu using a device given to them by Yukari Yakumo to stay in contact between the surface and the underground to solve the incident regarding the earth spirit's sudden eruption from a newly formed geyser. Aya's secondary objective throughout the story is to gain exclusive scoops and interviews through Reimu's journey deeper in the underground.
- Hidden Star in Four Seasons
Aya goes off to investigate an incident regarding the abnormal weather in the different areas of Gensokyo to write an article asking anyone who appears if they know anything about the cause of it. She then comes to the realization that this incident might be more than meets the eye.
- Shoot the Bullet
Aya is the main protagonist and the only playable character in Shoot the Bullet. She sets out to take photographs of various Touhou bosses for reasons only she knows. Aya has three different speeds, and has a unite screen that can be used to take photos of danmaku, as well as cancelling bullets within the shot. She doesn't shoot bullets as she's no intention in defeating her opponents and that she doesn't want her own bullets in the photos.
- Scarlet Weather Rhapsody
During the events of Scarlet Weather Rhapsody, Aya goes around doing her job, and after an encounter with Reimu and Marisa she decides to infiltrate the Scarlet Devil Mansion to report on the Scarlet Devil and write an article about her. Remilia mentions something about the weather incident, and Aya goes back to the Youkai Mountain. There she meets an infuriated Reimu complaining about an earthquake destroying her shrine. In spite of the situation, Aya defeats her as an intruder.
- Touhou Hisoutensoku
If connecting Scarlet Weather Rhapsody with Touhou Hisoutensoku, then Aya can become a selectable character to play with, although she appears in no scenarios.
- Double Spoiler
Aya once again appears in Double Spoiler as a sequel to Shoot the Bullet, been the main protagonist and one of the two playable characters. She competes with Hatate Himekaidou for the best newspaper, who is the other playable character. She even appears as a Spoiler stage boss if the player is using Hatate.
- Fairy Wars
Aya appeared as a cameo on the Route C1 ending of Fairy Wars. After Cirno defeated the Three Mischievous Fairies, she wanted to keep her status as the strongest by defeating a youkai. She finds Aya who can't be bothered to fight because she hasn't got time, but she suggested that she ought to fight a human first. It turns out to be Marisa Kirisame, to which this story extends onto the Extra stage.
- Hopeless Masquerade
Aya made a background cameo appearance in Hopeless Masquerade on the Myouren Temple and Genbu Ravine stage. She is seen standing on top of the temple in the former and on pipe in the latter, taking photographs. She also produces Bunbunmaru Newspapers that are shown after each fight.
- Impossible Spell Card
In Impossible Spell Card, Aya (been one of the tengu mentioned by Mamizou Futatsuiwa) takes notice of minorities trying to capture the mischief-making amanojaku Seija Kijin, who also appears to be one of the many youkai that tries to capture her on day 6. She uses spell cards that are considered impossible to dodge. She apparently writes up an article about this, which makes stronger humans and youkai try to capture Seija.
- Bohemian Archive in Japanese Red
Aya appears as the main character, interviewing many other characters and asking them to give information about themselves, or about various events in which they were involved.
- Silent Sinner in Blue
- Alternative Facts in Eastern Utopia
In this book, Aya attempts to write and publish a weekly periodical in the style of western "clickbait/outrage" political journalism. In it, she includes many overt and verbatim references to real-world political slogans and talking points associated with populism and nationalism, casting suspicion on or willfully misrepresenting the residents or visitors of Gensokyo she considers "immigrants" (those who live at Eientei, Hecatia Lapislazuli, and Sumireko Usami in particular), as well as chiding those responsible for maintaining "Gensokyo's isolation" (Reimu Hakurei and Yukari Yakumo in particular) as being inadequate in their positions. There are also some advertisements for local small businesses such as the Kirisame Magic Shop.
As she interviews many of the residents and visitors of Gensokyo with increasingly leading and accusatory questions, she is eventually cautioned by Hecatia Lapislazuli that spreading an ideology of isolationism and suspicion among Gensokyo's residents will only lead to Gensokyo's eventual decay and downfall, since the nature of Gensokyo is one that relies on forgotten youkai "immigrating" to Gensokyo. Aya decides, after some thought, to come clean about the way she manipulated the facts of her interviews and articles, and to not publish that edition of her newspaper.
Aya has presumably met most of the Windows-era characters at least once for Bunbunmaru News material.
Fellow tengu of Youkai Mountain. Whenever she meets her they get in a fight, so they don't get along very well. According to Aya, it seems like Momiji looks down on all crow tengu, but Hatate's comments suggest it's just something personal between Aya and Momiji.
Chief tengu of Youkai Mountain.
Fellow tengu and rival of Youkai Mountain.
Ally and potential source of interesting new articles.
Aya and Kosuzu have become business partners in the selling of the Bunbunmaru Newspaper for the Human Village.
Cover of Shoot the Bullet, featuring Aya's silhouette
Aya in the cover of Strange Creators of Outer World 3
Aya in the cover of Curiosities of Lotus Asia 30
Aya on the Vol. 6 cover of Forbidden Scrollery
Aya on the cover of Alternative Facts in Eastern Utopia
Aya artwork from Phantasmagoria of Flower View
Aya artwork from Mountain of Faith
Aya artwork from Scarlet Weather Rhapsody
Aya artwork from Touhou Hisoutensoku
Aya artwork from Double Spoiler
Aya illustration in the Grimoire of Marisa
Aya in Extra of the Wind
Aya despicted in Perfect Memento in Strict Sense
Aya in Silent Sinner in Blue
Aya as seen in Oriental Sacred Place
- Aya is the first character in the Touhou Project to originally appear in an artbook, then later in a game.
- A silhouette of Aya occupies the front of the jewel case for Shoot the Bullet.
- In Mountain of Faith, Aya is the first stage 4 boss in a Windows game not to have some sort of gimmick/variation based on the playable character (i.e. Patchouli Knowledge's different spell cards in Embodiment of Scarlet Devil, Reimu Hakurei or Marisa Kirisame in Imperishable Night, etc.).
- In Touhou Hisoutensoku, she has a palette that resembles Ranka Lee from Macross Frontier.
- She is the only character introduced in Phantasmagoria of Flower View to return in a later main game, which is Mountain of Faith.
- Aya has appeared, even as far as mention or reference, in every game in the second generation of the Windows era up until Ten Desires, from Mountain of Faith to Fairy Wars.
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