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Benben Tsukumo

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() () ()   (ベん) (べん)
t͡sɯ̥kɯmo bembeɴ
Benben Tsukumo
Benben Tsukumo
Benben Tsukumo in Double Dealing Character
Tsukumogami of an Aging Biwa
More Character Titles
Species

Tsukumogami (biwabokuboku)

Abilities

Making sounds and performing on her own

Music Themes
Appearances
Official Games
Print Works

"All the other tools like me have gained power. We've behaved ourselves so far, but it'll be our era from now on."
Benben Tsukumo (Double Dealing Character Stage 4)


Benben Tsukumo (九十九 弁々 Tsukumo Benben) is a tsukumogami, transformed from a biwa. She is the older sister of Yatsuhashi Tsukumo, though they are technically not blood related, and just became sentient at the same time.

General Information

Benben first appeared as the Stage 4 boss and midboss of Double Dealing Character, as has also appeared as the fifth day boss of Impossible Spell Card. As a biwa tsukumogami, she carries a biwa, and uses it in her attacks and for her spell cards.

Personality

Benben plays the role of the cool and grown-up older sister, in contrast with her little sister who is reckless and hot-blooded. However, they both dream of a utopia where tools could move freely without the need of youkai or humans using them. [1]

In Double Dealing Character, Benben fights (verbally) with her sister Yatsuhashi as to who'll get to attack the player and, depending on the shot type selected, she will fight the heroine or leave in search of another opponent (though it’s important to note that she was under the effects of the Miracle Mallet at the time).

After discovering that their power was limited by the mallet's magic, they become worried that they'll revert back to being simple tools once it runs out, but with the help of Raiko Horikawa, they were able to discard their old bodies in favor of new ones, allowing them to maintain their existence as tsukumogami.

Abilities

Making sounds and performing on her own

Tsukumo sisters' stated ability. It is not known what it means specifically, but it could be a reference that they were instruments which need an user to be played, and now as tsukumogamis they can make music and perform on their own.

Backstory

Both Benben and Yatsuhashi Tsukumo were once merely an instrument used by others in the Outside World, but eventually they came to Gensokyo. When the Miracle Mallet was used, its magical power flooded into them, and they both became tsukumogami at around the same time. However, they quickly learned where their power was coming from (the Shining Needle Castle) and decided to overthrow society as tools, like Seija Kijin did as well.

Character Design

Origin

The motif of hers might be derived from "Bokuboku Biwa" (琵琶牧々), a tsukumogami transforming into biwa houshi. It should be pointed that Bokuboku and Kotofurunushi, would-be Benben's and Yatsuhashi's motives, are drawn next to each other in the facing pages of an ukiyoe aritst Sekien Toriyama's last work, and that Bokuboku is there on the left side. This means the tsukumogami of koto appears earlier and that of biwa later on the book in the traditional Japanese style, the order when the player choose Type A of any character in Double Dealing Character.

Name

Her full name is Benben Tsukumo (九十九 弁々). Her family name "Tsukumo" is a short form of "tsukumogami", her species of youkai, that was changed into different kanji, which can read as the number "99". Her given name "Benben" likely comes from the name of the goddess Benzaiten, as they both have the kanji "" in their names meaning "valve," "speech," or "petal," and because Benzaiten is often depicted holding a biwa. Another possibility is that "Benben" is derived from "ben-ben", an onomatopoeia of deep sound (two deep sounds in this case; "ben" is repeated) from the lute like biwa or shamisen; "be-be-ben" is seen in the bonus chapter of 1st volume of Forbidden Scrollery when Byakuren Hijiri is playing the shamisen.

Design

Benben has short lilac hair with two long ponytails, and purple eyes. Her outfit consists of a brown and black dress, with long white sleeves. She is barefooted and wears a small floral accessory in her hair. She also carries a biwa that is chained to her left hand.

Story

Games

Double Dealing Character
Benben's sprite in DDC

Both Benben and Yatsuhashi appear before the player character in Stage 4, though only one of them fights the player at a time. The fight the player gets is decided by which shot type they choose - if they chose to take their weapon along, they face Benben, and Yatsuhashi earlier on as a mid-boss; if they didn't take their weapon, it's vice-versa. At first, the two of them are under the impression that the heroine is looking to join their side, but it quickly turns violent. After being defeated, she points out the Shining Needle Castle, which is where they're getting their power from.

Between the main game and the extra stage, they were approached by Raiko Horikawa, who explained what had happened - and a way out of their situation. The two tsukumogami had realized that their power was coming from the Miracle Mallet. Not wanting to return to being tools, they successfully replaced the magical power they used to survive as self-aware beings with one from the outside world. The heroine must fight both of them at once.

Spin-offs

Impossible Spell Card

Presumably from hearing or seeing a wanted sign about the mischief-making amanojaku Seija Kijin, Benben appears to be one of the many youkai that tries to capture her. She uses spell cards that are considered impossible to dodge.

Relationships

Yatsuhashi Tsukumo

Yatsuhashi Tsukumo is Benben's younger sister, and serves as a hot-headed, energetic counterpart to Benben's cool and collected demeanor. [1] The two of them are both tsukumogami, so they are not technically related by blood; they call themselves sisters because they were both "born" at roughly the same time.

Raiko Horikawa

Raiko Horikawa is a drum tsukumogami that approached her and Yatsuhashi, and offered to swap out their source of power.

Minor Relationships

Seija Kijin & Shinmyoumaru Sukuna

No dialogue is exchanged between these characters; when mentioned by the heroine, Seija appears to realize she's talking about tsukumogami, but no more than that. They all appear to share the same goal of overthrowing society.

Gallery

Spell Cards

Spell cards
Name Translated Comments Games Stage
Total: 11
平曲「祇園精舎の鐘の音」 Heikyoku "Sounds of Jetavana's Bell" DDC
GoU
St. 4A: E/N/H/L
怨霊「耳無し芳一」 Vengeful Spirit "Hoichi the Earless" DDC St. 4A: E/N
怨霊「平家の大怨霊」 Vengeful Spirit "Taira's Great Vengeful Spirit" DDC St. 4A: H/L
楽符「邪悪な五線譜」 Music Sign "Wicked Musical Score" DDC St. 4A: E/N
楽符「凶悪な五線譜」 Music Sign "Malicious Musical Score" DDC St. 4A: H
楽符「ダブルスコア」 Music Sign "Double Score" DDC
GoU
St. 4A: L
弦楽「嵐のアンサンブル」 String Music "Storm Ensemble" Co-owner with Yatsuhashi DDC St. Ex
弦楽「浄瑠璃世界」 String Music "Joururi World" Co-owner with Yatsuhashi DDC St. Ex
音符「大熱唱琵琶」 Noise Sign "Biwa of Euphoric Song" ISC St. 5
楽譜「スコアウェブ」 Score "Score Web" ISC St. 5
両吟「星降る唄」 Double Chant "Song of Falling Stars" Co-owner with Yatsuhashi ISC St. 5

Additional Information

Official Profiles

Benben DDC  ○4面ボス

  古びた琵琶の付喪神
  九十九 弁々(つくも べんべん)
  Tsukumo Benben

  古びた琴の付喪神
  九十九 八橋(つくも やつはし)
  Tsukumo Yatsuhashi

  種族:付喪神
  能力:自ら音を発して演奏できる程度の能力


  それぞれ伝統楽器の付喪神。
  冷静で大人びたお姉さん役の弁々と、勝ち気で無鉄砲な妹役の八橋。
  二人は姉妹だと言っているが、同時期に付喪神になっただけで血のつながりは無い。

  自分の力の源が、空中に現れた逆さ城にある事に気が付き、そこを目指していた。

  彼女らの目的は道具による世界の征服。つまり下克上であった。
  道具が自由に動き、その能力を遺憾なく発揮できる道具の理想郷の実現を夢見たのだ。

  しかしその夢は霊夢達によって阻まれる。


  だが彼女達は諦めてはいなかった。
  その思いが打ち出の小槌の魔力の影響だったことに気が付くと、別の自分の力を
  魔力に置き換える呪法を試みた。

Stage 4 Bosses

Tsukumogami of an Aging Biwa
Benben Tsukumo

Tsukumogami of an Aging Koto
Yatsuhashi Tsukumo

Species: Tsukumogami
Ability: Capable of making sounds and performing on their own

A pair of tsukumogami, each created from a traditional musical instrument.
Benben plays the part of the cool, grown-up older sister, and Yatsuhashi plays the part of the hot-blooded, reckless younger sister.
They're said to be sisters, but it's just because they became tsukumogami at the same time. They're not blood relatives.

They realized that the source of their power was the upside-down castle floating in the sky, and set their sights there.

Their goal was to conquer the world with their fellow tools. Social upheaval, in other words.
They dreamed of an utopia where tools could move freely, and display their abilities to the fullest.

However, that dream was prevented by Reimu and company.


They still didn't give up, though. When they realized that their thoughts had been influenced by the Miracle Mallet's magic,
they tried using incantations to replace their power with a different magic power.

Benben DDC  ○EX面中ボス 九十九姉妹

  自分達の力の源が打ち出の小槌の魔力だったことを知る二人。
  どうしよう、このままではただの道具に戻ってしまう。

  慌てる二人に救いの手が差し伸べられた。
  それは見た事も無い打楽器の付喪神であった。

Extra Stage Midbosses - The Tsukumo Sisters

The two learned that the source of their power was the magical power of the Miracle Mallet.
What were they going to do? At this rate they would return back to being mere tools.

A hand of salvation reached out to this panicking pair.
It was the tsukumogami of a percussion instrument that they had never seen before.

Official Sources

Official sources

References