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Fandom/Main Characters

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This sub-article lists unofficial content associated to the main characters of the Touhou Project, them being Reimu Hakurei and Marisa Kirisame. This also includes fandom content associated to the Yin-Yang Orbs and the Hakurei God.

Reimu Hakurei

Reimu turns out to be a widely popular character among the fanbase. She's usually chosen as the playable character in a lot of fangames, or at least appears in a high number of fangames. Unlike most characters, Reimu has been compared to a lot of characters, especially some of the cast from the Seihou Project. Although Reimu is known to be the same character as her PC-98 form, some fans still depict both versions as different people, sometimes even been next to each other.

Reimu in most fangames is often a middling character better used for healing/buffing than offense. Perhaps this is done in protest to her "overpowered heroine" status in the canon.


In Embodiment of Scarlet Devil, it has been said that pretty much nobody goes to the shrine. Thus, it has been a common interpretation that she gets 0 donations. Due to this, she's called 貧乏巫女 (Binbou miko, lit. "destitute shrine maiden"). As a side effect, she's also frequently portrayed by fans as being greedy or obsessed with getting money.

Armpits as a necessity

Due to how she dresses in the Windows Touhou games, her exposed armpits are sometimes a target for jokes and memes. Due to this, she's commonly called "waki miko" (腋巫女, lit. "armpit miko"). Upon hiding her armpits, anyone would notice at once, and before her back, chest, or feet, her armpits are always the first thing appealed to.


Other than the idea that "money is dirty" related to the "destitute" meme, in canon her personality is comparatively severe (in youkai extermination, she has no mercy), so she's sometimes called "Yakuza miko". Furthermore, upon facing off with Watatsuki no Toyohime in Silent Sinner in Blue, she used the words, "if one doesn't shoot down and slay without one remaining, if there's impurity on the moon, then danmaku shall be scattered," said to be a little severe and without mercy, so she occasionally doesn't spare using unfair measures.

Zombie Reimu

The drastic change in the color of Reimu's skin tone over the course of the Windows games (most noticeable in Mountain of Faith, in which her skin appears yellowish and almost jaundiced) raised eyebrows and led to a number of jokes and dubious theories, the most common of which is that she's actually an undead zombie.

  • Taoreimu, Dareimu, etc.: a defeated Reimu is sometimes called "Taoreimu" (倒れる), a hit Reimu is sometimes called "Dareimu" (), and an angry Reimu is sometimes called "Buchigireimu" (ぶち切れる), thus giving her shiritori-like names.
  • Concerning the god enshrined at the shrine: Rinnosuke knows who the god enshrined at the shrine is. However, since Reimu is completely uninterested in whatever god is enshrined, he didn't say at all. Due to this, it has been fanon to interpret this to mean that the enshrined god is Mima, Gensokyo itself, etc.
  • Oni Miko: When she shows her true strength, she becomes "Oni Miko" (鬼巫女).
  • Flight on Genji: Although Reimu is able to fly independently, she's still shown in a number of fanworks to still be sitting on Genjii, presumably either to be a show off or to have "extra power". The most notable fanwork to feature this is Touhou Soccer Moushuuden.
  • JoJo association: In the trend of JoJo associations, it appears Reimu is paired with Josuke Higashikata, the reason here being that Josuke's name has the characters for Touhou in it (東方 for Higashikata, 東方 for Touhou) although, personality-wise, he could be seen as more similar to Marisa.
  • Silent Reimu: Sora No Amagumo has made a comic series most centered around Reimu with a few major changes: She's a silent, kind, adorable girl, a contrast from the more common surly Reimus out there. This rendition is pretty popular on both sides of the fandom.
  • Paw prints: When her artwork for Wily Beast and Weakest Creature was revealed, a meme started centered around the paw prints on her dress, and how exactly they got there. Most of the time, it's assumed that a cat or some other type of animal stepped on it while she wasn't looking.

Marisa Kirisame

Despite her self-indulgent personality and lack of concern for others (or more likely due to these things), Marisa happens to be one of the most popular characters within fanbase, winning the Touhou popularity contests of 2004, 2005 and 2023. She appears to be an icon for the Touhou Project who appears in many fangames, mostly as a playable character or a boss, and in other fan-made anime and artwork.

(see also: Relationshipping)

Marisa has a tremendous amount of fan pairings and may sometimes seduce them, mostly with other popular characters like Reimu Hakurei, Alice Margatroid, Nitori Kawashiro, Flandre Scarlet, Patchouli Knowledge, and Rinnosuke Morichika. Sometimes, she's the center of a group or the cause for fights, but it has caused some dislike for Marisa in the fanbase. Due to canon, there's a tendency for her to be treated as an intrusion in fandom.

At the time when the video Marisa Stole the Precious Thing became popular as a Marisa and Alice pairing meme, many related videos were made, and among them were severe memes that tended toward perverted actions. However, due to adverse reactions and the passage of time, this has somewhat decreased in popularity.

Jojo's association

Due to Marisa's affinity with stars, fans sometimes parody her by crossing over with Jotaro Kujo of Jojo's Bizarre Adventure, although to a much lesser extent than that of Sakuya or Youmu. This seems to be a result of Jotaro's stand being called "Star Platinum", along with ZUN's rather heavy amount of references to that series already. Marisa, in some works, even quotes Jotaro's catchphrase "Yare yare da ze".

The "ze" description

Due to her popular use of "ze" () in her speech style, many fans tend to frequently or always add ze exclusively at the end of her dialogue (which is very unnatural). Putting ze in any speech is regardless even if it breaks the grammar (e.g. "what's this, ze!?" (なんなんだぜ!? nannandaze). She'll also use "ze" to mean "yes" and it can be stylisticly written with a star "ぜ☆", a tilde (~) for emphasis or capitalised Latin letters to make "ZE". Some fans take this as she's intentionally "acting"; paradoxically seeing a "girlish" expression underneath it. Since most girls don't speak in this manner normally, it's become a notable unofficial characteristic for her.

  • Similarly, many fans in the English community put "ze" or "da ze" in the end of her line too, even if it's grammatically incorrect and doesn't make any sense.
  • Although she speaks with masculinity, she's never seen using ore (, lit. "I") used by males. In regard to this, some fans who aren't careful with canon details make Marisa use ore in their fanworks and end up getting criticized.
Lux Crownguard reference

In the Western multiplayer game League of Legends, there's a character named Lux Crownguard who has a number of possible references to Marisa, such as having an ultimate spell called "Final Spark". In the lore of the game, Lux is also known to have copied and used the spell "Dark Binding" from Morgana, another character in the game. She also has a skin that resembles a cross between Mima and Marisa. In one of her voice over lines she states "Light mage? I'm just an ordinary mage", which may also be a reference. Additionally, her designer – Shurelia – is known to be a Touhou fan.

Super Marisa

Due to her love of mushrooms, the lack of flying without her broom and the similarity in names, she has been compared to Mario from the Super Mario series. Due to this, she has been given the role of the main character of works such as Super Marisa World and New Super Marisa Land, where she'll have extreme similarities in gameplay and style to Mario. This extends to other features Mario has shown throughout his franchise, even to the extend of other characters in Touhou. Also, recently westerners are calling the latest game Urban Legend in Limbo "Marisa's Mansion".

  • New Super Marisa Land has spawned a new variation, Invincible Marisa, a version of Marisa notably more feminine in dress and more adult in stature (taller and far curvier than normal), and implied to be quite powerful. Though this version shows up in other fanworks more for fanservice or comedic reasons that combat.
Non-Standard English Translations

Japanese dialogue associate to Marisa, that may be written formally, tend to be a bit slangy and informal when translated into English, or in other words, uses Non-Standard English. Take examples such as using the contraction "ain't", the gerund spelt "-in'" rather than "-ing" and other colloquial speeches like gonna, y'know and wanna. Various informal vocabulary and idioms would be used, as well as eye-dialect or phonetic spellings; this can extend specifically to American- or British-English way of speaking and writing, sometimes to show her level of formality. Even when in situations in fanworks (sometimes official) are shown to be strictly formal, Marisa would still speak Non-Standard English anyway. It's kind of rare to see other characters use strong informality as Marisa does in English, so this is probably to try and reflect her general personality as she's known to be informal with everyone. This also relates to her use of "ze".

Sometimes however, Marisa's dialogue in fanworks are shown to be the complete opposite, to the extend that she shows high intelligence of vocabulary.


Marisa is rarely depicted as the antagonist of some fanworks, where she may have no feelings for many characters. She's also depicted as a serious thief in many fanworks due to her burglary in canon, nicking anything ranging from the Scarlet Devil Mansion library, Alice's dolls and the Hakurei Shrine's offertory box. Without waiting or turning back, she'd use a wide Master Spark to blow apart the door, saying "I'll borrow till death ze!" while taking things away right from in front of the person, threatening violence when detected. Often however, the victim isn't bothered about this cause.

  • Handsomeness: Since she has a manly speaking style, she's typically fitted into the male role by Japanese fans, and is sometimes depicted as handsome in a male form. One extreme example of Marisa being masculine would be the muscular Cho Marisa (超魔理沙). This has been compared to Rinnosuke Morichika's "MANnosuke".
  • Black-white: As Reimu is often referred to as red-white or "the red-white", fans frequently call Marisa "black-white" or "white-black" in parallel.
  • Jessica Ushiromiya's cosplay: In the visual novel Umineko no Naku Koro Ni, Jessica Ushiromiya performs in a concert dressed as Marisa. In episode 6 of the anime, her friends are also shown, dressed as Sakuya Izayoi, Aya Shameimaru and Alice Margatroid.
    • Additionally, in the fighting game spinoff, Ougon Musou Kyoku, Jessica's "Meta Super" has her shoot a beam similar to the Master Spark while wearing her Marisa costume.
  • TOUHOU HIJACK LOL: Marisa is the character pictured in the original "Touhou Hijack" image, a 4chan meme involving disrupting discussion in a thread by announcing a "hijack" with this image and then posting large amounts of Touhou fan-art.
  • ufufu...: Marisa's laugh "Ufu, ufu, ufufufufufufufu..." (うふ、うふ、うふふふふふふふ) from Phantasmagoria of Dim. Dream is a well-known laugh that Marisa has been portrayed to say all the time. This is usually used on her appearance with red hair from the PC-98 game Story of Eastern Wonderland.
  • Jealous of Reimu: In more serious fanworks, Marisa is often depicted as being secretly jealous of Reimu, frustrated that the Shrine Maiden wastes her full potential by not training and still manages to be stronger than Marisa herself, who needed to train heavily to have any power at all.
  • Possible speaking style origin: Since Chiyuri Kitashirakawa was one possible source of Marisa's speaking style (as mentioned earlier), there's a theory that Marisa fully picked it up from Chiyuri.

Yin-Yang Orb

Since the Yin-Yang Orb is used by Reimu Hakurei, it can be said that it's an incredibly popular item, to the point where it features as an icon for the Touhou Project and appearing in many fangames and artwork along with Reimu.

  • For some reason, many fans mistook the little fairy in Highly Responsive to Prayers for a reincarnation of Sariel. Please fully note that this is speculation and there's no evidence to back this up.
  • Some fans believe that the orb's "eat sweets and not get fat" power is the reason for Reimu's small hitbox.
  • Due to the seemingly-normal football that's used in the fangame Touhou Soccer Moushuuden taking ridiculous amount of punishment, it's theorised that the football is in fact the Yin-Yang Orb.

Hakurei God