Hopeless Masquerade/Story

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Backstory[edit]

Sometime after the events of Ten Desires, the inhabitants of the Human Village have started to lose hope and become restless, becoming people who live in the moment and enjoy whatever goes on before them. While the cause is assumed to be stress from the village's powerless in previous incidents, it is actually Hata no Kokoro, a youkai formed from a set of legendary masks that embody various emotions. Having lost her Mask of Hope, her emotions went out of control and she began draining hope from her surroundings in an attempt to stabilise herself.

Reimu, Byakuren, Miko and their disciples believe that religion will be able to ease peoples' minds, while also increasing their own influence. At the same time, Mamizou Futatsuiwa puts together a plan to help Kokoro by guiding those who have gathered the most hope to her.

Prologue[edit]

Faced with the village partying, the religious leaders go about trying to restore order while Marisa Kirisame tries to enjoy it. Nitori Kawashiro attempts to set up a stall by the temple to make some money while Koishi Komeiji, doing her wandering, ends up getting sucked into things.

General Story[edit]

All scenarios appear to be canon; while the exact chronology of the early routes is unclear, the last few stories take place in the order Futo -> Miko -> Mamizou -> Kokoro.

The religious leaders, along with some irreligious characters, end up fighting in duels to show their power. These duels succeed in building up popularity and hope, though manga chapters set around the same time reveal that the audience of the "dueling fad" had no interest in religion - they just liked watching exciting fights and gambling on them.

On stage 5 each character (other than Mamizou and Kokoro) fights an enemy who has gathered enormous amounts of popularity. In the next stage this is revealed as a ruse - the audience are tanuki and the enemy fighter is Mamizou, who fights the player again in her true form. After being defeated, Mamizou tells the heroine to visit the Human Village at night, where they encounter Kokoro and a village of emotionless masked people.

Wild and Horned Hermit chapter 18 is set early in the story, while Forbidden Scrollery chapters 10-11 are set during Kokoro's ending.

Reimu's story[edit]

After a duel with Marisa, Reimu decides to resolve the incident and as she wins she starts to notice her massive popularity and how the villagers are reacting both being unusual. Reimu fights Kokoro, assuming she's out to abduct humans.

Marisa's story[edit]

After she duels with Reimu, she decides to do missionary work/popularity gathering with the fringe locations, where she encounters Koishi whose appearance mystifies her as Koishi with her nature can't exactly appeal to the audience. She fights Kokoro due to her wanting to steal Marisa's hope.

Byakuren's story[edit]

After dealing with Futo's attempt to take the Temple's sign board, she decides to enter the fray herself to try restoring morale. She deals with Marisa (calling her an expendable character, much to Marisa's offense) and the other two big religious figures. She's caught off guard by Mamizou assuming Reimu's form but still wins. She goes to Kokoro, hoping to help her.

Miko's story[edit]

Miko goes about challenging the other religious figures (Ichirin included) when she's confronted with herself (Mamizou in disguise), after winning over the Tanuki, she goes to see the core of the incident to find that the masks she made for Hata no Kawakatsu have become a youkai and after hearing her desire of the mask of hope, she decides to fight Kokoro to calm her down then apply the new mask she'd make.

Ichirin's story[edit]

Ichirin's guarding the temple when Marisa comes by wanting to avenge her loss to Byakuren by attacking her. After winning she decides to go investigate herself. She asks Reimu about where Byakuren went and gets the idea to help increase popularity. She goes to the ravine and underground where she fights Nitori and Koishi. Interestingly enough Unzan can notice Koishi while Ichirin can't. Mamizou uses the form of Byakruen at first, something Ichirin takes great offense at. Mamizou seems to have called Unzan a youngster. Upon finding Kokoro, she decides fight her and resolve the incident.

Futo's story[edit]

It starts with encountering Marisa who mentions how Reimu lost to Miko, and after she deals with her, Futo decides to go out and find out what happened. She encounters Koishi, Ichirin, and Nitori (the last of which decided to put her faith in Shinto) and trying to find out what's happening. Mamizou assumes the form of Miko which she takes offense at and when she finds Kokoro, she gets pestered for the mask Miko's supposedly making.

Nitori's story[edit]

She's trying to run a stall by the temple when Byakuren confronts her over her pricing. They fight and after winning, Nitori finds herself getting into fights when all she wants to do is make money. She tries to convince Reimu into letting her open a stall there but she refuses, leading to a fight. Mamizou ends up surprised by Nitori appearing before her. When she finds Kokoro, she has the idea of trying to sell her some masks that might have some hope, provoking the final battle.

Koishi's story[edit]

Koishi simply wanders and getting into fights as she finds herself getting popular to the point where people notice her but she goes on wanting to see where things go. Mamizou directs her to Kokoro with hopes of helping her. Upon meeting Kokoro, Koishi reveals that the mask of hope fell into the underground and Koishi took it for herself and refuses to return it, causing the fight.

Mamizou's story[edit]

Mamizou's going around seeing how the Menreiki is doing, with most of the fighting being done for the sake of the audience. She finds out while Miko made a new mask for her, she's not wearing it during her investigations and finds out she's looking for another mask of hope. She goes to Kokoro as they formally meet for the first time, Mamizou finds out the truth of Miko's mask and agrees to help her, starting with a fight against her, urging her to develop a sense of self.

Kokoro's story[edit]

Kokoro's going around and learning emotions from other people with the idea of fighting for the title of the strongest. It's revealed that she doesn't need a mask of hope anymore as she actually has emotions beyond the masks. After fighting Mamizou, she realizes she must fight the religious heads as they're the ones making emotions flare up for their own gain. She finds them and challenges all three to a fight for emotions to return to normal.

Endings[edit]

Spoiler Warning: Plot and/or ending details follow

Reimu's ending[edit]

At the Shrine, Reimu's musing over the events when Kokoro arrives to ask about the original mask of hope. Reimu said she didn't find it and she finds out the hope she gave Kokoro will only last 10 more days as Kokoro urges her to find it. It goes on to mention the missing mask and that Reimu feels she'd have to investigate it more.

Marisa's ending[edit]

At the Village, Marisa thinks over the events when Yuugi appears expecting another day of partying but surprised by how calm things are. Yuugi mentions no one cared about her visiting as it goes into the nature of Kokoro's masks, Marisa's hope being a temporary mask and the notion that hope seems to encourage normal living as opposed to adventurers.

Byakuren's ending[edit]

It notes that while things have calmed down, the temple benefited. Byakuren finishes a lecture about emotions, mainly stating that controlling them is the key not abandoning them. (It raises a question about Koishi unintentionally as Koishi doesn't seem to have them in the normal sense) Kokoro talks with her afterwards on the nature of controlling emotions and her ability. The notion she can control her ability and emotions herself gives her some hope (in which to make a new mask with). Byakuren wonders silently about her nature and the root of her emotions though she looks forward to Kokoro's real emotions.

Miko's ending[edit]

At the Village, Reimu and Miko talk about masks and their possibility of emotion manipulation in relation to the incident. The topic moves to the mask Miko has which is based off of her: the new mask she made for Kokoro. Miko remarks it would make her more popular with Reimu conceeding such boldness being required to win a regilious war. It notes that with the freshly made mask, things should be resolved as she's surprised how the mask collection she's made became a youkai and her own mask making skills (as Kokoro managed to have such an effect on things).

Ichirin's ending[edit]

At the temple, Ichirin tells Byakuren what she's seen, leaving the part of Mamizou disguising as her out. They figure Kokoro is the root of the incident as Ichirin expresses a desire to go see the dark noh play again and wants Byakuren to see it as well. She agrees to look into it as the ending notes the incident has yet to be resolved and dark noh is something that brings one's dark side forth. It suggests Kokoro herself is a victim of it. This likely occurs before Byakuren's ending.

Futo's ending[edit]

At the Divine Spirit Mausoleum, Futo and Miko talk about Kokoro as Miko has Futo help out on making a new mask, with Miko figuring making a new one would be easier than finding the old after Futo asks about the old one. Futo has doubts about some of the material but Miko assures her it'll go well. No one knows what would happen once Kokoro is given the mask.

Nitori's ending[edit]

Nitori was able to convince Reimu to let her have stalls at the shrine. She talks with one of her fairy salesgirls (which looks alot like Sunny Milk) about sales as she encourages her to work harder so she'd get her cut. She wonders about the incident but knows she profited by it. Kokoro comes up looking for a hopeful mask, Which Nitori gladly gets, telling the menreiki that she's her best customer. It goes to reveal that children's masks can have some hope in them and that it's a beneficial relationship for both, adding that Nitori isn't inclined to butt in as she's mainly interested in making money.

Koishi's ending[edit]

It starts by saying that humans are losing more and more of their emotions as it shows Koishi beating Marisa (at the village) as it mentions that she's a new ray of hope. Kokoro appears wanting a rematch. Their match wound up drawing a big crowd and wound up making a new mask for Kokoro as it notes that in time Kokoro's new one will grow while the old one would lose power and once that happens, Koishi'll go back to being mostly unnoticed.

Mamizou's ending[edit]

Mamizou and Kokoro are at the Hakurei shrine after the victory (noting that since most people bet on Mamizou, there wasn't much of a payout), she tells Kokoro that she's emotionless and gives her some pointers as to find her emotions and thus her sense of self. It notes that the day she finds her emotion is closely anticipated by the crowd.

Kokoro's ending[edit]

It starts by mentioning the major locations and how things have calmed down. It switches to the shrine where Kokoro's doing the Kagura noh dance as Byakuren and Miko bicker over who did the most to help her but agree it's good she stabilized. Kokoro tries to thank Reimu for the chance to show it when Reimu says it's natural as it's an offering to the gods. Kokoro then reveals a new play called Shinkirou based on the summer's (and this game's) events. It goes to say what she learned from it and that she continued doing Kagura dances for a while with the stopping point being unknown, noting the Shrine should have profited.

Spoilers end here.