Nicovideo Encyclopedia/Reimu Hakurei
Note: This is a translation of the Nicovideo article on Reimu Hakurei as of its 19 March 2012 version.
Reimu Hakurei (博麗 霊夢 Hakurei Reimu) is a character from the games and tales by Team Shanghai Alice.
She has many theme songs, so refer below for them.
Excluding in Shoot the Bullet, Double Spoiler, and Fairy Wars, she's always appeared as a playable character, and was a boss in Phantasmagoria of Dim.Dream, Lotus Land Story, Immaterial and Missing Power, Imperishable Night, Phantasmagoria of Flower View, Scarlet Weather Rhapsody, and Touhou Hisoutensoku. She was also in the omake.txt of Shoot the Bullet and she appeared as an Extra level photographic subject of Double Spoiler.
She was the only main character in the first game, Highly Responsive to Prayers, where Marisa Kirisame didn't yet appear, so she has the most appearances. However, since Marisa appeared in Fairy Wars as the Extra Stage boss, while Reimu only appeared in the ending, it wasn't much of an appearance, so excluding that, she would be equal in appearances.
Marisa appears on the
.exe file's icon on most games while Reimu appears on the title screen. She also appeared on the cover of all five PC-98 games, which didn’t have icons.
In PC-98 Canon
Reimu first appeard in Highly Responsive to Prayers as a playable character and again as playable character during the rest of the PC-98 games. As the miko of the Hakurei Shrine in an eastern country, she has spiritual power by nature, but since she does not have enough training, she brandishes the weapon, the Yin-Yang Orb, without manipulating it. It possesses the "power of Hakurei", the Ying-Yang Orb's true power, which can drawn from it. The Yin-Yang Orb exhibits some strange powers, aside from helping her attack her enemies. The greatest powers of the Yin-Yang Orb are; even if you eat sweets, you won't get fat, one of your favorite aromas can be given off, and the yin-yang orb can be disguised as a cat.
Her personality is optimistic and easy-going, and she enjoys the various strange things that occur around her. In times of abnormality, she completely does not do things like worry because of her spiritual power. Emotionally she is somewhat simple, and so is teased by Marisa Kirisame.
In Lotus Land Story, when you clear Easy Mode with Reimu and just before the Name Registry screen shows up, you get a Congratulation screen with a drawing of her wearing an outfit that very closely resembles her outfit from Embodiment of Scarlet Devil (save for non-detached sleeves).
Attacking with ofuda, she releases spiritual energy as a "spirit attack", and fighting with a technique called "spiritual rapid fire", she exterminates youkai with the power of the Ying-Yang Orb. Since in Marisa's ending in Lotus Land Story, as Marisa also exterminated Youkai, she said to Marisa, "it would not be any good to interfere with my work" thus sensing "isn't it dangerous?" but immediately afterwards it was said "who was the chief person this time?" and said "this time I also fought~". In the end, Reimu likes youkai extermination.
Reimu has made a guest appearance as the second extra stage boss of Seihou Project's first work Shuusou Gyoku, a danmaku game series by the junior doujin circle "Shunsatsu sare do?", where ZUN also contributed music and art to the game. It seems like ZUN put her in the game along with Marisa Kirisame. Her title was "Eternal Shrine Maiden" and her theme was "Dichromatic Lotus Butterfly ~ Ancients". Her name was already changed to as it was in windows, and she did not ride Genjii. Her speaking style and her clothes are both close to as they were in Embodiment of Scarlet Devil.
Reimu has made an appearance in the PlayStation 2 game Magic Pengel: The Quest for Color, a possible Action role-playing game by Taito Corporation and Garakuta Studio, as a guest graffiti "Miko of Hakurei" with ZUN as the one who made her. In the instructions, her name became "sayo-chan."
Her personality is simple and not double-sided, with tempestuous human emotions, and she has wondrous atmosphere about her that attracts both human or youkai alike. Above everything, she hates spending great effort in striving for things - she does not believe hard work pays off. She is contrasted with Marisa Kirisame, who acquired her ability through layers of unseen hard work. She is usually at the East of Gensokyo, and looks at the Gensokyo sky as a daily routine, drinking tea, and lacking any sense of danger.
She has no interest in justice, but her job is youkai extermination, so she takes a somewhat stern pose towards youkai. She is usually carefree, but in performing incident resolution, she does not go easy on anybody who stands in her way, exterminating them regardless of whether they are youkai, human, a god, or an alien. It is easy for strong youkai like her, and she is feared by weaker youkai and fairies. However, she is not particularly interested in either humans or youkai. As in Imperishable Night, "she does not anyone as a comrade. Since there are a great number of humans and youkai around her, there are instances where she works together with someone else, but even so, she usually does things by herself alone. She might just truly be a cold-hearted kind of human."
There are many examples that seem contrary to this, though as she often has parties in the endings, and in Sangetsusei and Curiosities of Lotus Asia she has become close to some others like Marisa Kirisame and Rinnosuke Morichika. In Subterranean Animism, according to Satori Komeiji who read her mind, it seems that she has put trust in Yukari Yakumo, and, in Chapter 7 of Strange and Bright Nature Deity, she made tempura from the sprout of an angelica tree and had an evening meal with Marisa. In Silent Sinner in Blue, she helped the fainted moon rabbit on the shrine grounds that she even acted like a physician, lending her futon without sleeping herself, and giving tea and cake, thus showing a soft side of her. However, she did take the veil as she pleased.
She resembles Alice Margatroid in the aspect of not showing her true power since there would be nothing afterwards if she lost. Furthermore, as in chapter 6 of Strange and Bright Nature Deity, when she participated in the Usokae Shinji (鷽替神事) (a festival where birds gather to peck at all the lies uttered until now), neither Reimu and Alice were pecked at by the bullfinches, so it could be seen that they do not tell lies.
In Curiosities of Lotus Asia, she made a surprise attack on Tokiko who was simply enjoying her book, when the counterattack tore her shirt, she put on Rinnosuke's clothing as she pleased, stole Tokiko's book and sold it to Rinnosuke, receiving someone else's due. Thus, compared to Marisa, who is usually thought of as the magician who does things as she pleased, she is considered by Rinnosuke to be more of the shrine maiden to do things as she pleases. Nonetheless, she did show a willingness to help others later on, when she warded off ghosts for free, worried and inquired when she heard that Rinnosuke was merely eking out a living, and had a misgiving about Marisa Kirisame taking stuff from the store without permission that she reported it.
As for how she calls other people by her first name, like calling Rinnosuke "Rinnosuke-san," it is not because of close friendship, (since their relation would have been more like calling him "Morichika-san" or "Kourindou-san"), but due to her personality that she calls him by attaching "-san" to his first name. The only times when Reimu uses "-san" are for Rinnosuke and Meira, and in Meira's case, she mistook her for a male. She also displayed unusual behaviour when she left her personal-use teacup at Kourindou - it does not seem like even Rinnosuke knows why she did this.
- Ability to the extent of flying in the air
- This is as literally stated. Almost all the characters that have appeared in the Touhou Project (and to some extent, the Seihou Project) has the ability to fly in the air, so the fact that she has this ability would only be natural. In the PC-98 canon however, she was unable fly by herself and used Genjii to ride on instead to fly, but it seems that from the very start of the windows canon, Reimu was shown to be able to fly independently.
- Fantasy Temperament
- Her secret technique is Fantasy Temperament (夢想天生 Musou Tensei), which is extreme in many ways. With it, she is able to float in midair while invulnerable, and if this is not just play (in which case there would be a time limit to this), nobody would be able to win against her. From the explanation of this spell card, attacks against Reimu would not hit at all, and is thus of a resistance type. It is probably because of this move that when ZUN was asked "Who is the strongest in Gensokyo?", he replied "Isn’t it Reimu?" (said before Mountain of Faith was released). In The Grimoire of Marisa, it was stated that when Reimu uses "Fantasy Temperament", she goes into a half-transparent state with eyes closed, automatically shooting danmaku. Originally, it was not a spell card, but Marisa playfully added a name to it. Otherwise, there is no chance of winning. ZUN himself has hinted that it is a parody of Kenshiro's Musou Tensei (無想転生), which means "blank mind reincarnation", and if Reimu ever meets another with the same ability, then the meaning of danmaku would then be lost and it would be then become a graceful fist-fight.
- Ability to the extent of manipulating auras
- The details of this ability are unknown, but this was stated in the omake.txt of Embodiment of Scarlet Devil.
- Ability as the Miko of Hakurei
- This is from Perfect Memento in Strict Sense, although there are no details about this other than what is written above, but it probably comprises things like paper charms ("ofuda"), zabuton, and other border-related things. Refer to the "Miko of Hakurei" section.
Miko of Hakurei
The position of the "Miko of Hakurei" is to be the manager of the Hakurei Border between Gensokyo and the outside world. Reimu, compared to others among successive generations of the Miko of Hakurei, lacks a sense of danger and does not have enough training, but her true strength is considerable. The true nature of her intuition, her sharpness, and luck, is more than enough that she might not seem human. As in the Shanghai Alice Correspondence for Immaterial and Missing Power, "she lacks training in both melee and spells (or rather, she rarely does them), but she covers that up with the numerous talents she's born with. So she's quite tough, enough to make you wonder if she's really a human." Although she herself definitely does not use these powers to boast about them, somehow or the other she uses them. As in the character settings for Perfect Cherry Blossom, "by nature, Reimu can use various mysterious powers, but she does not use them to boast about them."
Usually, when she goes and resolves incidents, it is because she can no longer bear the effects of it on herself, but there were also cases where those around her like Yukari Yakumo told her to, which she reluctantly went along with such as Imperishable Night and Subterranean Animism.
There are also numerous examples in the written works where she performed miko-like acts:
- In Curiosities of Lotus Asia, when she was able to see the spirit that dwelled in the bone from the time when it was still living, she answered "I am a miko", stating powers which would seem to be powers as a miko. When there was an illness that has been spreading through the human village, Reimu used a piece of a jar more than a thousand years old that she borrowed from Rinnosuke Morichika, and borrowing power from Tomo-no-Yoshio, she suppressed the spreading disease. (The actual cause of the outbreak was due to Marisa damaging some of the ofuda that she collected, which had been sealing away cursed gods.) In this case, Tomo-no-Yoshio concluded that the original cause was due to the cursed gods, but according to Reimu, "this time he was quick to say 'If you want to me to cure this disease, make me into a curse god or something.' I guess he's been bored lately, so I let him handle it." Regarding this, Rinnosuke stated, "I wonder if gods and shrine maidens always have such friendly conversations, but it's a world that only shrine maidens know, being mouthpieces for the gods."
- In Silent Sinner in Blue, she was able use a technique to summon one of the Yaoyorozu gods and embody it in her own body. By Yukari's urging, she did traning so that she could summon Ama-no-Iwatowake-no-Mikoto. It is unclear what she hoped for, but as Yukari said, there was merely "weak hallucination." Also, as fuel for Patchouli Knowledge's rocket to the moon, in order to borrow power from the god of voyage Sumiyoshi sanjin, she set a household Shinto shrine into the rocket, which Reimu rode along. She did so by the standard of her own interests, and was in a bind of needing to perform prayer without failure for about half a month in a narrow rocket. In her spell card battle with Watatsuki no Yorihime, for usage against the residents of the moon who hate impurity, she summoned Oomagahitsu-no-Kami to dowse her body in calamity, which changed into her bullets. Since it became like disseminating poison bullets, her close friend Marisa Kirisame gave praise, saying "Amazin'! It's as if Reimu was a kind of youkai who should be defeated!"
- In Touhou Sangetsusei, in order to get visitors to the shrine, she started the Usokae Shinji for the sky god. However, she did it somewhat differently than how it was done originally, and did not do it skillfully. Also, at the passing of each new year, she performed a rite to seal the power of Ama-no-Kagaseo-no-Mikoto, the god of the bright morning star Venus, who symbolizes night, or in other words youkai, to prevent victory over Amaterasu Oomikami, who symbolizes the sun. However, it failed due to the pranks of Marisa and the Three Fairies of Light, leaving Reimu horrified, and the Scarlet Devil Mansion rejoicing that the year would be a year of youkai. She also had a special program to have faith deifying a Mongolian Oak tree that was struck by lightning, but she immediately grew tired of it, left it without completion, resulting in an uproar.
- In Wild and Horned Hermit, Sanae Kochiya requested for Reimu's collaboration for her cold fusion experiments at the Moriya Shrine. To get palladium for the experiment, she called forth the god of metal, Kanayamabiko-no-Mikoto. When she made the request, Kanayamabiko was joyous at hearing that a new metal could be created, and thus created it overnight, resulting in the experiment's successful completion.
The status of the position of the Miko of Hakurei and its previous generations has not been specified much, but there have been a few that suggest things related to it. In Silent Sinner in Blue, when Reimu was away for some time, Aya said, "how many times has it been that we needed to search for a new miko?" In Shanghai Alice Correspondence, Rinnosuke Morichika said "now that you mention it, although other humans have been called the predecessors of the Miko of Hakurei, you cannot call Reimu much of a 'miko' since she flat-out doesn't do her work. You reap what you sow. However, as for the predecessors, you cannot call them anything but 'miko.' I even forgot their names".
- Relation to the establishment of spell cards
She established the spell card rules widely used in Gensokyo. The role of the Miko of Hakurei is to manage the Great Hakurei Border and to protect it from the encroachment of any youkai who might threaten to remove it. Thus, youkai were previously not able to attack the Miko of Hakurei, resulting in the meaning of her existence becoming thin, but by these rules, it has become no problem for youkai to fight with the Miko of Hakurei.
Perhaps reflecting her carefree personality, she characteristically has slow movement. Also, just as fitting for her personality, the effective time after the bomb (which eats everything) deals damage is quite long, and it easily gets hazy as to when she is again able to get hit by a bullet. When she appeared as an enemy, her regular danmaku was quite messy, and since her bullets are homing, it is not necessary to have accurate aim, all of which reflect her personality. Since she does not have any peculiarities overall, she is often easier to use for beginners.
- Shooting games
When she showed up as the main character, she commonly had two choices for her attack, one with low attack power but unusually high homing ability (Homing Amulet), and one with narrow range but high attack power (Persuasion Needle). Other than these, she has the "Youkai Buster" in Mountain of Faith, which rapidly fired fan-shaped bullets, and she also "Deep Mountain Winds" in Subterranean Animism, which changed its direction depending on the direction of movement.
- Fighting games
She was also quite the standard character in the fighting games. Compared to Marisa Kirisame, her speed and power were lower, but her hitting attacks excelled in reach, and was a versatile character possessing a great variety of shooting attacks.
Although Reimu often shows up as the main character, she does not do activity as much as Marisa Kirisame, and therefore her relations do not extend so far. Nevertheless, she has interacted
- Destitute 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 is called 貧乏巫女 (Binbou miko, lit. "destitute shrine maiden"). "So I don't carry money with me. Although there won't be any even if I go back to my residence" was said to Rinnosuke Morichika in Curiosities of Lotus Asia indicating that she actually might not have any money. Since she goes to the Human Village to buy stuff, though, it does not seem that she always has none.
- In reality, although donations to the shrine is a sign of faith to the god there, other than expanding and developing costs for the shrine in order to increase faith, it also contains the meaning of the living expenses of the miko who is essential, and so it has a direct connection to why a miko would worry. Furthermore, Reimu herself does not know what god is enshrined at the Hakurei Shrine.
- In Immaterial and Missing Power, she has occasionally quoted to Sakuya Izayoi; "By the way, the offertory box is over there", "Ahh, never mind the amount. A one-yen bill would be enough", "By the way, the offertory box is over there" and "the wonderful offertory box is over there". This perhaps indicates that she likes the offertory box, as it is a frank request. She also said "I wonder if holding services for dolls on the side is profitable?" to Alice Margatroid.
- It has been stated that in Perfect Memento in Strict Sense that in the past, no one could look forward to putting in donations to the Hakurei Shrine, so for generations the miko of Hakurei has made a living by resolving incidents. In Imperishable Night, since she resolved the incident upon Yukari Yakumo's request, compensation has been agreed upon. In Subterranean Animism, she said "we've got a cart for fires at the shrine". There is a possibility that this is due to the loss of household tools due to the destruction of the shrine in Scarlet Weather Rhapsody.
- In actuality, due to the grace of the high civilization of youkai, she seems to live more prosperously than the regular humans of the Human Village. To put it together, it could be interpreted that although not much money itself is left, she has abundant food and household belongings.
- Armpits as a necessity Because of how she dresses in the Windows Touhou games, her exposed armpits are sometimes a target for jokes and memes. Due to this, she is commonly called "waki miko" (腋巫女, lit. "armpit miko"). Upon hiding her armpits, anyone would notice at once, and before her back or chest or foot, her armpits are always the first thing appealed to.
- Heretic 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 is 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 is impurity on the moon, danmaku shall be scattered", said to be a little severe and without mercy, so she occasionally does not spare using unfair measures.
- Taoreimu, Dareimu, etc. a defeated Reimu is sometimes called "Taoreimu" (from 倒れる), a hit Reimu is sometimes called "Dareimu" (from 打), and an angry Reimu is sometimes called "Buchigireimu (from 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 did not say at all. Because of this, it has been fanon to interpret this to mean that the enshrined god is Mima or Gensokyo itself etc.
When she shows her true strength, she becomes "Oni Miko" (鬼巫女)
- Perfect Cherry Blossom: Character Settings.txt — Alice Margatroid
- Meiji University talkshow "Dawn of Touhou," from "Single Inquiry" - Wayback Machine, archived July 9, 2010
- Perfect Memento in Strict Sense: p. 113 (Reimu Hakurei)