Shinmyoumaru Sukuna in Antinomy of Common Flowers
More Character Titles
Using the Miracle Mallet
- "Someone like you, who was born into power, wouldn't know the joy of finally obtaining it. However, if you look at your purification rod, you can see that you feel hesitation. I have the power of dreams here in my hand.This is our treasure, the Miracle Mallet!"— Shinmyoumaru Sukuna to Reimu Hakurei (Double Dealing Character Stage 6.)
Shinmyoumaru is a young inchling, currently residing in the Shining Needle Castle. Prior to the events of Double Dealing Character, she was ignorant to the existence of the Miracle Mallet. During the game's story, she uses it to make herself bigger, enlarging her size to that of a small human child.
Shinmyoumaru acts and speaks as if she was a young child. Along the same lines, she appears easily persuaded, as she readily accepted the fabricated history of the inchlings that Seija Kijin fed to her. Also, she has a height complex and will always seek ways to become taller, like with the Miracle Mallet or the Occult Balls.
Abilities and Possessions
- Ability to use the Miracle Mallet
The Miracle Mallet is an ancient inchling artifact, passed down through the generations, said to be able to grant any wish the user wishes. However, only inchlings are able to use it. In addition, the utilization of the Mallet to grant wishes comes with a price, and for wishes that are too large, it extracts this price before it even grants the wish.
In Double Dealing Character, Shinmyoumaru tried alongside with Seija to overturn society with the power of the Miracle Mallet, but the price she had to pay appears to have been the leakage of a lot of magical energy into Gensokyo. This magical energy was responsible for turning normally peaceful youkai into aggressive monsters, and creating tsukumogami such as Benben, Yatsuhashi, and Raiko. It caused Reimu's purification rod, Marisa's Mini-Hakkero, and a few knives belonging to Sakuya to start "acting" strangely. However, in Sakuya A's route, Shinmyoumaru says that the maid's knife is something she made into a tsukumogami as an experiment, so it's unknown whether or not all the heroines' weapons were the same, or if all of the tsukumogami were her experiments, or if Sakuya's knife was an exception.
- Shining Needle Sword
Whilst appearing as more of an accessory in Double Dealing Character, in Urban Legend in Limbo, Shinmyoumaru makes heavy use of the Shining Needle Sword in combat. Although appearing to be just an oversized needle, it seems to function very well as a weapon on its own. It seems to be able to produce beams and fishhooks made of energy, and she even uses it in a similar manner to a fishing rod in some moves and spellcards.
She was a co-conspirator to Seija, and plotted to overturn the hierarchy of society with her. After exhausting the power of the Miracle Mallet in Double Dealing Character, she began living in a cage-like doll house at the Hakurei Shrine whilst her body remained tiny and she was waiting for the Miracle Mallet to recover all of its power. She planned to return to being "tall" afterwards. As of Urban Legend in Limbo, she is once again normal-sized (albeit very short) and presumably living at the Shining Needle Castle once more.
Shinmyoumaru is a descendant of Issun-Boushi, a legendary oni-slayer who managed to obtain from them a treasure called the Miracle Mallet. At first, he only used its wish-granting power to make himself bigger and to get himself a princess. He thought that since the Miracle Mallet was an oni's tool, using it recklessly would cause his own ruin.
Several generations later, this particular mindset was all but gone in the minds of most inchlings. One of his descendants decided to use it again in order to live in luxury, thus breaking the taboo. However, the descendant wished for a grand castle and to rule over the inchling people. In that moment, the Shining Needle Castle appeared, and the Mallet's power ran out. Shortly after, the price of using the Mallet's power manifested itself: the entire castle turned upside-down, and they presumably descended into Gensokyo afterwards and joined the oni, also leading to the eventual forgetting of the inchlings by those living in the outside world. Afterwards, the Mallet was never spoken of again.
Before the main events of Double Dealing Character, Shinmyoumaru was a normal inchling living in the Shining Needle Palace, unaware as to the history of the inchling race, as well as to the Miracle Mallet. However, Seija Kijin eventually approached her with the Mallet she had found, and asked her to use it. By falsifying the history of the inchlings and placing the blame for the race's destruction on powerful youkai, Seija was able to convince her to rally to her side, and to use the Mallet for what is ultimately Seija's own ambition.
The Inchling Princess is based on Issun-Boushi (literally, "One Sun Boy"), the Inchling from a series of Japanese fairy tales. He was swallowed by the youkai in some versions while trying to rescue a girl kidnapped by an oni, but managed to free himself and the girl and put the oni to flight by poking him from the inside with his needle until he spat him out again. In this sense, the story is a typical encounter between a big, strong, but also stupid, and a small, clever being. In some versions, Issun-Boushi carries a needle and uses a bowl as a boat and chopsticks as a paddle.
Her full name is Shinmyoumaru Sukuna (少名 針妙丸). Her surname Sukuna (少名) literally means "name/fame with a little volume". The meaning of the kanji "少" or word "sukunai" is "a little," or "with a little volume", but it originally meant "young" in ancient times. So "Sukuna" can be interpreted as "young" or "tiny likely in young age". This name is borrowed from "Sukunabikona" (少名毘古那, 少彦名) or its other honorific name "Sukuna mi-kami" (少名御神), the small god who created and ordered the land of Izumo with Ookuninushi in Japanese mythology.
Her given name Shinmyoumaru (針妙丸) can be roughly translated as "Needle Strange Ball." "Shin," or "needle," is what her character model, Issun-boushi, used for oni's termination. "Myou" means "strange/unnatural", but in the ancient era "elegant/moderate/vague." The kanji of "Shinmyou" is ZUN's original spelling, but it can also be written "神妙", meaning "mysterious/very serious." The "-maru" in her name is a suffix for boys in the medieval era. This therefore could interpret her given name as "mysterious boy with a needle".
In Double Dealing Character's official art Shinmyoumaru has short lavender hair, and eyes that appear to be lavender with brown flecks. She wears a pink Kimono with a pinstripe pattern, some flowers, and a black Obi. She has a black bowl covering her head with a flower-patterned border. In her left hand she carries the Miracle Mallet, and in her right hand, a sewing needle that shines, hence the name "Shining Needle Sword". The bowl, mallet and needle are the iconic possessions of Issun-boushi, and her design is largely based on him. The Miracle Mallet's power forms a circle around her, representing how the mallet takes payment equivalent to the wishes it grants. She doesn't wear any kind of footwear. She appears to be the size of a small child in-game. This is due to the Miracle Mallet's power, however. In several endings, she is shown to be only a few inches tall once its power wears off.
In Urban Legend in Limbo, Shinmyoumaru's eyes are now red. She replaces her bowl hat with a larger, flatter, unpatterned saucer, and now uses a similar bowl as a vehicle. The magical circle around her is no longer present. This same appearance would later carry over to Antinomy of Common Flowers.
- Double Dealing Character
Shinmyoumaru believes that Reimu is one of her allies as her purification rod has some of her miracle mallet's power and tells Reimu about how her purification rod is not happy with her. She asks Reimu to help her overthrow society, but Reimu refuses and fights her.
Reimu came to stop Shinmyoumaru from overthrowing society. She tells Reimu that she is causing the social upheaval because the inchlings have been ignored.
Shinmyoumaru asks Marisa if she is there to help her "turn the world upside-down", and that her heart longs for power. Marisa is only there to stop her, though, so the two do battle.
When Sakuya arrives, she realizes that her knife is something that she had experimentally turned into a tsukumogami. She is awash with joy at Sakuya's kind-heartedness, but the two are ultimately on opposite sides, so Shinmyoumaru begins the battle.
Like in the Sakuya A arc, Shinmyoumaru misunderstands the maid's intentions and is extremely happy a human would support her. Again, Sakuya is a member of the "ruling class", so the two fight each other.
- Impossible Spell Card
Later on when Seija has strong humans and youkai trying to capture her thank to the tengu's newspaper, Shinmyoumaru confronts her and declares that she should return the remainder of the Mallet's magic and that they've lost the war. Seija believing that using her cheaty magic to concur Gensokyo, Shinmyoumaru states that they ought to surrender because she has had enough. Since Seija goes against her will, she goes against Seija and gets others to capture her, becoming one of the many to try and stop Seija. She uses spell cards that are considered impossible to dodge.
- Urban Legend in Limbo
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Shinmyoumaru attacks every person who thinks could have Occult Balls until gathering seven. When she accomplished that, Mamizou Futatsuiwa appears and tells her that she can't use the balls to get bigger. However, Sukuna decides to keep going to investigate what the balls do. That's when she meets Sumireko Usami, who scares her.
- Antinomy of Common Flowers
Shinmyoumaru is seen partnered with many different characters, on both the master and slave side. In the end she settles on Tenshi Hinanawi as her ideal partner. The two aim to be the strongest Perfect Posession users. They eventually encounter a second Shinmyoumaru, this one from the Dream World. The dream Shinmyoumaru swaps herself with the real Shinmyoumaru, unbeknown to Tenshi at first. Yukari Yakumo takes notice of this technique as the last piece to the puzzle of defeating the culprits behind Perfect Posession.
- Forbidden Scrollery
In chapter 12, Shinmyoumaru is interrogated by Marisa and Reimu when both saw books that seemed to be alive in the Suzunaan shop. They asked her if it could be because of the Mallet power, to which Sukuna responds affirmatively, claiming that maybe they could face some changes but that they will return to normal quickly. When Marisa asks her the reason why the books seems to got more power than other tsukumogamis and for more time, Sukuna theorizes that perhaps they found another power, as other tsukumogamis like Raiko Horikawa, Benben Tsukumo or Yatsuhashi Tsukumo.
At the end, she was right, and Marisa exterminates the culprit, a Kutsutsura, and the books return to normal shortly after.
Seija Kijin initially comes to Shinmyoumaru to give her the Miracle Mallet and convince her to overturn society with her. They were allies during Double Dealing Character, but while Shinmyoumaru gave up in overturning society after her defeat, Seija kept following her plans and "stole" some of the Miracle Mallet's power, using it during Impossible Spell Card. Since Shinmyoumaru wanted her power back, she went out hunting the amanojaku together with many others humans and youkai.
Despite what happened during the amanojaku incident, it turned out that the two are still on good terms with one another, as shown when Shinmyoumaru relied on Seija to hijack the Hakurei Fireworks Contest.
After Shinmyoumaru was defeated, she reverted to her original one-inch size. Reimu realized that Shinmyoumaru could face harm in this state, and provided her with a small cage for her to lodge in whilst the mallet was recharging. She eventually returned to her castle, but it seems she is a regular lodger at the shrine, and the two get along well.
The two tsukumogami are also in on the conspiracy, but it's unknown if they know each other at all.
Okina helped Shinmyoumaru with her plans to hijack the fireworks festival in The Grimoire of Usami.
Cover of Double Dealing Character, featuring Shinmyoumaru's silhouette
Shinmyoumaru artwork from Double Dealing Character
Shinmyoumaru's different color palettes from Antinomy of Common Flowers and Urban Legend in Limbo, the last two were added in Antinomy of Common Flowers 1.10
Shinmyoumaru from Who's Who of Humans & Youkai - Everlasting Edition
- The silhouette of Shinmyoumaru occupies the front of Double Dealing Character's jewel case.
- Incorrectly displayed in-game as 妖風符「土着蝶ストーム」(which is Yuyuko and Kanako's card from a previous scene). True name was later revealed in SCoOW Volume 7.
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