Cirno (with a tan) in Hidden Star in Four Seasons
More Character Titles
Implied to be over 60
Cirno (チルノ Chiruno) is an ice fairy who first appeared on the second stage of Embodiment of Scarlet Devil. As a fairy, she is exceptionally strong for her kind, matching the power of some weak youkai. However, compared to most of Gensokyo's residents, she's quite weak. Her personality is childish and she is sometimes considered idiotic by other characters. She stars as the main protagonist of Fairy Wars, and one of several protagonists in Touhou Hisoutensoku and Hidden Star in Four Seasons.
- 1 General Information
- 2 Background Information
- 3 Cirno's Appearances
- 4 Relationships
- 5 Gallery
- 6 Skills
- 7 Spell Cards
- 8 Additional Information
- 9 Fandom
- 10 Official Profiles
- 11 Official Sources
- 12 References
Cirno first appeared as Stage 2 Boss in Embodiment of Scarlet Devil, then again as the Stage 1 midboss in Perfect Cherry Blossom. She then again later appears as one of the many playable characters in Phantasmagoria of Flower View and again in Touhou Hisoutensoku. She made an appearance as a background character in Hopeless Masquerade and then appeared as the Stage 1 midboss in Double Dealing Character. She also was a Day 1 Boss in Impossible Spell Card and later became a playable character in Hidden Star in Four Seasons.
While her age is unknown, she is one of the only characters in Phantasmagoria of Flower View that realized what was going on had happened sixty years prior as well. This implies that she has been around for at least sixty years.
Cirno is a childish, confident fairy who appears to have a superiority complex in regards to others. She proclaims herself to be "the strongest" on three separate occasions in Phantasmagoria of Flower View. In the game's manual, she is labeled as "9. baka" (⑨. バカ, lit. "9. Idiot") in an explanation of the game screen's layout. She was again labeled as such in the manual for Touhou Hisoutensoku. This implies that Cirno may be some kind of idiot, which does seem to be the case on some occasions - in Oriental Sacred Place, she is quite confused as to why nobody wants to buy her water-flavored shaved ice.
Despite this, she is smart enough to know when she is in deep trouble, such as her battle against Yuuka in Phantasmagoria of Flower View's story mode. She can also read, unlike some of her peers, such as Mystia Lorelei. She can also count (she shows knowledge of rounding and fractions in Fairy Wars).
Among other things, she enjoys using her abilities to freeze frogs, then watch them revive while thawing out in the water. However, about one in every three attempts fails, shattering the frog to pieces.
- Manipulating cold
Cirno has the ability to manipulate cold to the point of being able to freeze water. However, even while saying "manipulate", when coldness is in an omitted state, it seems like her surroundings are chilly even in summer. In battle, she uses this ability to attack others with icicles, huge ice cubes, or wieldable weapons like swords, but also to freeze her opponents or their danmaku. However, despite being able to freeze something hot like flaming danmaku, she is unable to freeze lasers.
How she exactly manipulates cold is unclear, but Reisen Udongein Inaba, in one of her quotes in Touhou Hisoutensoku, speculates that when Cirno does it, she warms up inside as a result. This would mean that she just absorbs the heat in the surroundings instead of "creating" cold from nothing.
In the games as she generally only shows up as stage 1~2 bosses, she isn't that strong. In particular, fairies have an existence below that of humans. However, among fairies she possesses unusually strong power. She was playable in Phantasmagoria of Flower View and was able to defeat Reimu Hakurei, Marisa Kirisame, Sakuya Izayoi, etc. Technically when she "defeats" Aya Shameimaru and Yuuka Kazami, she didn't really defeat them as they still appeared unhurt after battle, implying that it was Cirno who ran away. In Fairy Wars, even though she wins when she battled Marisa, the one whose illustration showed to be "defeated" was Cirno; it was a simple case of Marisa letting her guard down.
In Perfect Memento in Strict Sense, according to the other fairies, while such things are written as "if she schemes, she is caught, so it is good even to refresh oneself of one's habitual anger," among it, there does exist the warning "if you meet her, you should flee." Furthermore, Eiki Shiki, Yamaxanadu commented on her saying "although you are a fairy, you possess great power". Since she goes beyond the limits of fairies, there may be the possibility of dying.
If humans were to fight her gracefully, it would seem that the weapon would become frozen and it wouldn't be possible to win to begin with, but if we were to just run away, if we poke at the point that she is an idiot, we are able to run away immediately, since she is not able to answer even simple riddles.
Her known name is "Cirno"/"Chiruno" (チルノ), which has a currently unknown origin. It's likely based on the Japanese pronunciation of the English word "chill", chiru (チル) . Her name appearing as "Chilno" in Eastern and Little Nature Deity supports this possible origin. The earliest known official romanization of "チルノ" is in her Phantasmagoria of Flower View profile as "Cirno".
Her design in Embodiment of Scarlet Devil, Perfect Cherry Blossom and Double Dealing Character shows that Cirno has aqua-colored eyes and hair. She wears a blue ribbon, light pink blouse, blue jumper dress and seems to be wearing white socks. She also has icicle-shaped wings. In Phantasmagoria of Flower View and Touhou Hisoutensoku's official art, her ribbon is green instead of blue and her sprite in Phantasmagoria of Flower View still keeps the blue ribbon. In Fairy Wars, her bow is once again blue. Her blouse has been changed to white and she seems to have bigger eyebrows (because she was drawn by Makoto Hirasaka). It's been said that Cirno is one of the easiest designs ZUN has done.
Her alternative outfit in Phantasmagoria of Flower View is same as her normal outfit, except her bow is a darker shade of green, her blouse appears light purple, and her dress is purple as well.
Her appearance in Hidden Star in Four Seasons gives her tanned skin, a flowery vine wrapped around her body, and a sunflower ribbon around her neck. This design is a reference to the character "Tanned Sakura" from the Marvel vs. Capcom series, who in turn is a reference to the character Evil Ryu, a corrupted version of Ryu. The sunflower on her chest may be a visual reference to Evil Ryu's hole in his chest.
In the Trial+ version of Perfect Cherry Blossom, she appears with a white sash bow around her waist. This only applies to her portrait, her boss sprites lacks the extra detail. Notably, this has been the only time Cirno had this extra accessory, it has since been gone and never appeared in any other future games or print works.
- the Embodiment of the Scarlet Devil
Cirno's first ever appearance in the Touhou Project was in Embodiment of Scarlet Devil as the second stage boss. During the events, she attacked Reimu Hakurei and Marisa Kirisame who were just passing by, out of instinctive aggression. She was helplessly shot down. Her spell card Ice Sign "Icicle Fall" on Easy mode is considered one of the easiest spell cards in all of Touhou, as there is an obvious gap right in front of Cirno that'll get the spell card cleared quickly and simply.
- Perfect Cherry Blossom
Cirno unusually re-appeared as the first stage midboss of Perfect Cherry Blossom, and can be easily defeated. Cirno did not have any good reason to attack the heroines other than that they were there, as stated in her official profile. On Easy and Normal difficulty, she does not have a spell card to use, and thus uses a simple danmaku pattern. However, on Hard and Lunatic difficulties, she makes use of the spell card Frost Sign "Frost Columns", which has danmaku going in different directions and causing explosions of projectiles.
- Phantasmagoria of Flower View
In Phantasmagoria of Flower View, Cirno aimlessly wanders about, apparently unconcerned by the flower incident and seeing the flowers as just something else for her to freeze and play with. Through her dialog, her true childish nature is revealed, leaving no doubt that she really isn't smart at all. She really wasn't meaning to do anything but play games.
- Double Dealing Character
Much like in Perfect Cherry Blossom, Cirno is the stage 1 midboss of Double Dealing Character, and still did not have any good reason to attack the heroines other than that they were there. On Easy and Normal difficulty, she does not have a spell card to use, and thus uses a simple danmaku pattern. However, on Hard and Lunatic difficulties, she makes use of the spell card Ice Sign "Ultimate Blizzard", which is basically a harder version of her non-spell attack. In this game, she was given a completely new sprite design, re-used later on in Impossible Spell Card, to keep up with the current Touhou Project art style.
- Shoot the Bullet
- Touhou Hisoutensoku
Cirno heads out, thinking that she's seen a daidarabotchi. She gets ready to leave when Sanae Kochiya asks her if she has seen a giant human-shaped object. Cirno denies seeing a daidarabotchi, which causes Sanae to be suspicious and fight Cirno. Later, Cirno passes by the Scarlet Devil Mansion when she overhears Hong Meiling mumbling about the Taisui Xingjun. Cirno becomes interested in finding the Taisui Xingjun, but focuses back on the daidarabotchi after beating Meiling. At the entrance of the Underground Geyser Center, Cirno meets Marisa Kirisame, who tells her that the daidarabotchi is inside the Underground Geyser Center (which was a complete lie). Once inside, Cirno is intercepted by Utsuho Reiuji. Utsuho attempts to eradicate the "foreign substance", but Cirno manages to escape being incinerated to death. After escaping, Cirno runs into Marisa, who tells her about a giant youkai in the Forest of Magic. Cirno then runs into Alice Margatroid. When Cirno tells her about a daidarabotchi, Alice realizes that Cirno is talking about her Goliath Doll, and lets Cirno fight with it.
- Fairy Wars
Cirno is the protagonist and the only playable character of Fairy Wars, who only has one "shot type". Unlike other games, Cirno is able to freeze danmaku. Almost any bullet will freeze if it comes in contact with the ice resulting in long, elaborate chains of ice. The bomb is not that regular. It is named the "perfect freeze" which will also freeze all the bullets that are on the screen.
Following Strange and Bright Nature Deity volume 2 special "Great Fairy Wars", after the Three Fairies of Light destroyed her home, she charges off for vengeance on them. After battling trough the various fairies, and two of the three fairies, she finally meets the Three Fairies of Light. Cirno is not afraid even though they are with three. Cirno eventually wins and they become friends.
On the Extra stage, Cirno decides to fight a youkai to prove she's the strongest. After passing through strong fairies, she instead encounters a human: Marisa Kirisame. Not taking things easy, Marisa decides to play with her using her "non-deadly lasers". After a harsh battle, it appeared that Cirno was defeated, but surprised Marisa that she was able to put up a good fight. However, Marisa states that she let her guard down a bit. They both went home to settle.
- Hopeless Masquerade
- Impossible Spell Card
Presumably from hearing or seeing a wanted sign about the mischief-making amanojaku Seija Kijin, Cirno appears to be one of the many youkai that tries to capture her. She uses spell cards that are considered impossible to dodge.
- Bohemian Archive in Japanese Red
Bohemian Archive in Japanese Red writes about a certain incident where Cirno got eaten by a giant toad. When interviewed by Aya Shameimaru about it, she tries to convince her to spin the story a different way, and is turned down.
- Strange and Bright Nature Deity, Oriental Sacred Place
Three Fairies of Light
All of the members of Three Fairies of Light – Sunny Milk, Luna Child and Star Sapphire – are both a friend and an enemy of Cirno. With Luna, she is later seen with Cirno in Wild and Horned Hermit watching Moriya Shrine's cold fusion experiment.
Daiyousei is first seen (presumably) associated with Cirno in Strange and Bright Nature Deity Chapter 13 when both of them were playing hide and seek. After meeting and talking with the Three Fairies of Light, Cirno appears to have completely forgotten about Daiyousei. She was later seen attacking Cirno in Fairy Wars.
- Letty Whiterock
Nothing is known about Cirno's relationship with Letty Whiterock. She appears to dislike being grouped up with her as she explains her superiority when interviewed by Aya Shameimaru in Bohemian Archive in Japanese Red. She is also briefly seen talking to Letty during Silent Sinner in Blue.
- Rumia, Wriggle Nightbug and Mystia Lorelei
Rumia, along with Wriggle Nightbug and Mystia Lorelei, seem to get along and appear together to help during various events prepared by the Three Fairies of Light, although Rumia appears to be of no help. It is unknown whether they are friends or just happened to be in the same place at the same time (Twice).
- Reimu Hakurei
- Giant Toad
Cover of Touhou Hisoutensoku, featuring Cirno's silhouette.
Cover of Fairy Wars, featuring Cirno's silhouette.
Cirno in the Strange Creators of Outer World Vol. 2 cover
Cirno artwork from Embodiment of Scarlet Devil
Cirno artwork from Perfect Cherry Blossom
Cirno artwork from Phantasmagoria of Flower View
Cirno artwork from Touhou Hisoutensoku
Cirno artwork from Fairy Wars
Cirno artwork from Double Dealing Character
Cirno's colors from Touhou Hisoutensoku
Cirno about to be eaten by a giant toad (from Bohemian Archive in Japanese Red
Cirno suggesting an "alternate take" on the article about the giant toad to Aya Shameimaru
Cirno as seen in Oriental Sacred Place
Cirno attempting (and failing) to sell water-flavored shaved ice in Oriental Sacred Place
Depiction of Cirno (with a tan) from Visionary Fairies in Shrine'
Cirno's sigil in Grimoire of Marisa
Cirno's sigil from Touhou Hisoutensoku
A depiction of Cirno in one of the ability cards from Unconnected Marketeers
- Even though Cirno isn't the final boss of Touhou Hisoutensoku and Fairy Wars, she appears as the silhouette on both jewel cases. Along with Sumireko Usami, she's the only character to appear as the silhouette for two games' jewel cases in the Windows games.
- A palette in Touhou Hisoutensoku resembles Alice Margatroid during the PC-98 era. Another palette resembles Reimu Hakurei's hairstyle.
Cirno is a quite popular character in the Touhou Project among fans. Due to becoming a meme, Cirno is now one of the most popular characters of Touhou. Many fans now portray her, jokingly or seriously, as a misunderstood child or even as an outright genius in disguise, or as a bumbling idiot who messes up what everyone else is doing. This is mainly due to fandom making references to her in non-related topics.
- Embodiment of Scarlet Devil - Cirno's profile
- Touhou Hisoutensoku - Cirno's Spell Cards
- Fairy Wars - Cirno's Perfect Freeze spell card and Ice Barrier skill
- "ZUN's blog" January 12, 2004 - Wayback Machine (Archived April 4, 2004)
- "Gensou Bulletin Board" posted December 15, 2003 (Archived by まよひがねっと) - Wayback Machine (Archived April 8, 2005)
- "Hakurei Jinja Kannushi/ZUN Interview Kannushi's Tale" "Sangetsusei Part 1" Special Book pp. 110-113.
- Phantasmagoria of Flower View's attached キャラ設定.txt and manual, Perfect Memento in Strict Sense pp. 11 and so on
- Notes on ZUN's Genyou Denshou Lecture - Wayback Machine (Archived September 17, 2019)
- Who's Who of Humans and Youkai in Gensokyo - Tanned Cirno
- Portraits used in the Trial+ version of Perfect Cherry Blossom