Eika Ebisu

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(えびす)   (えい) ()
Eika Ebisu
ebisɯ eːka
Youka Ebisu
Eika Ebisu
Stillborn Idol of the Riverbed
More Character Titles
Species

Soul of a stillborn child/God

Abilities

Stacking stones well

Location

Sai no Kawara

Music Themes
Appearances
Official Games
"How dare you mock the art of stone-stacking! Unforgivable! Dieee!"Eika Ebisu (Wily Beast and Weakest Creature Stage 1)


Eika Ebisu (戎 瓔花 Ebisu Eika) is the soul of a stillborn child and a god of fortune who resides at the riverbank of the Sanzu River, Sai no Kawara. She appears as the Stage 1 midboss and boss in Wily Beast and Weakest Creature.

General Information

Eika is the spirit of a mizuko (水子)- meaning a child that was either stillborn, or only lived for a short time. Like all such spirits, she exists in limbo at the Sai no Kawara and spends her time stacking stones into towers. Though Japanese folklore portrays the spirits' situation as tragic, Eika enjoys her work immensely and sees the Sai no Kawara as a "kingdom" where she and the other spirits can play freely. She's adored by her fellow spirits, and routinely arranges stone-stacking contests for their enjoyment.

Personality

She is described as being both cheerful and intelligent, though she also displays fierce bursts of emotion that one might expect from a young child. When the protagonists of Wily Beast and Weakest Creature knock over the stone towers while passing by, Eika is outraged on behalf of her fellow spirits and makes a threat on the protagonist's life. At the same time, she's also very flexible and quick to make the best of a bad outcome; once the protagonists leave, she casually accepts the situation and wastes no time in arranging a different type of contest instead.

Abilities

Stacking stones well

Her ability is based on the mythology surrounding Sai no Kawara, in which mizuko such as Eika make stone towers in order to try and reach paradise.

Character Design

Name

Her full name is Eika Ebisu (戎 瓔花). The character "戎" (Ebisu) is one of several used for Ebisu, one of the Seven Gods of Fortune, who presides over fishermen and luck. Ebisu was the first child of the creation gods Izanami and Izanagi, but was born without bones due to Izanami committing a transgression during the ritual of their union. Initially known as Hiruko (蛭子), meaning "leech child", the child was set adrift in a boat of reeds, and eventually grew to become Ebisu after washing ashore. "戎" is also used to refer to the Ebisu (or 'Emishi'), a former ethnic group of northern Japan with potential relation to the Ainu.

Eika (瓔花) is spelled with the characters ei (瓔)- an uncommon character meaning "necklace made of precious stones"- and ka (花), meaning "flower". "瓔" also visually resembles the characters "王" (meaning "king" or "ruler") and "嬰" (from 嬰児 / eiji, meaning "infant"), tying in to Eika's status as a "ruler" of infant ghosts. The character can also be read as you, notably seen in a spelling discrepancy in Wily Beast and Weakest Creature's demo release. Her name is read as "Eika" in the music room and her on-screen title graphic, and as "Youka" in the omake.txt and name graphic in the upper-left corner.

Design

Eika has a fluffy mass of light yellow hair with several thin braids trailing off of it, red eyes, and a noticeably darker skin tone than the majority of Touhou Project characters. She wears a white dress with red polka dots near the hems, red frills, and thin red tassels trailing off of the sleeves and waist. Both her hair and dress visually resemble a jellyfish, and the red tassels bear a resemblance to both a jellyfish's tendrils and to umbilical cords. She also has large earlobes, likely as a visual allusion to Jizo Bosatsu and Ebisu.

Her color palette seems to be based off –to an extent– of Turritopsis dohrnii (commonly known as the immortal jellyfish), a species of small, biologically immortal jellyfish found in the Mediterranean Sea and in the waters of Japan. It is one of the few known cases of animals capable of reverting completely to a sexually immature, colonial stage after having reached sexual maturity as a solitary individual. The liner notes for her boss theme Jelly Stone make a reference to jellyfish – possibly this specific species in particular.

Appearances

Eika's standing sprite in WBaWC

Games

Wily Beast and Weakest Creature

Eika was hosting a stone stacking contest on the riverbed of Sai no Kawara with the children of the afterlife. However, the contest was ruined due to the heroines thrashing around, causing the stacked stones to fall over. Enraged, Eika attacks the heroines, but is ultimately defeated. After the heroines tell her their intentions, Eika snarkily says that going to Hell sounds about right for them.

100th Black Market

In 100th Black Market, Eika appears as the one of the 3rd market bosses. Her ability card, jellyfish floating around, can be acquired.

Gallery

Illustrations

Spell Cards

Spell Cards
Name Translated Comments Games Stage
Total: 5
石符「ストーンウッズ」 Stone Sign "Stone Woods" WBaWC St. 1: E/N
石符「ストーンコニファー」 Stone Sign "Stone Conifer" WBaWC St. 1: H/L
石符「チルドレンズリンボ」 Stone Sign "Children's Limbo" WBaWC St. 1: E/N
石符「アダルトチルドレンズリンボ」 Stone Sign "Adult Children's Limbo" WBaWC St. 1: H/L
石符「エイジャの積石」 Stone Sign "Red Stone Stack of Aja" HBM 3rd Market

Additional Information

  • Eika is one of the few Touhou characters whose sprites in her debut game appearance aren't largely based on her in-game portrait. Though her pre-battle dialogue uses a set of 'sitting' sprites that match her portrait, she switches to a unique 'standing' set during the fight itself.
  • In the Strange Creators of Outer World interview about Wily Beast and Weakest Creature, ZUN states that Eika's title purposely ties into Keiki's idolatry theme. This might be a nod to gods they're based on being siblings according to the Kojiki and Nihon Shoki genealogies.

Fandom

Official Profiles

Youka Ebisu  ○1面ボス 

  河原のアイドル水子

  戎 瓔花(えびす ようか)
  Ebisu Youka

  種族:水子の霊
  能力:上手に石を積む程度の能力

  とても器用に石を積む達人。
  石を積む技術に優れていて、賽の河原の水子の霊達のリーダー的存在である。

  無駄な単純作業を、楽しくやりがいのあるものに変える、転んでもただでは
  起きない福の神でもある。
  いつも明るくそして才知に長け、石積みコンテストを開催したりと、次々と
  新しいイベントを開催して、水子達に好かれる賽の河原のアイドルである。

  主人公達が石積みコンテストを台無しにしたと、激怒しているが、実際には
  ほぼ地獄から来た動物霊達の所為である。

Stage 1 Boss: Stillborn Idol of the Riverbed

Youka Ebisu (sic)

Species: Soul of a stillborn child
Ability: Capable of stacking stones well

A master at skillfully stacking stones.
Her stone-stacking technique is superb, and she serves as a sort of leader of the spirits of stillborn children at the Sai no Kawara.

She's also a god of fortune who's able to change simple, pointless work into something that's enjoyable and worth doing, and who can make the best out of any bad situation.
Her ever-cheery demeanor, bright intellect, and penchant for constantly holding exciting new events like stone-stacking contests makes her the Sai no Kawara's resident idol, beloved by all the children's spirits there.

She's utterly furious with the protagonists for ruining the latest stone-stacking contest, but actually, it was mostly the fault of the beast spirits who arrived from Hell.

Official Sources

Official sources

References