Strange Creators of Outer World/Print Work Interview with ZUN

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Touhou Project
Printed Works


Even if you only count the Windows games, the Touhou Project celebrates its 15th anniversary.
Naturally, not only this book, but another related document was sent out to the world.
Here, let's focus on printed works, and look back through each step and backstory within the materials.
The past and future of the Touhou series is contained within here.





It feels like I started putting out books and comics right after the release of Embodiment of Scarlet Devil, but it was too long ago so I can't remember the details. Thinking back on it now, I was often planning things around that time. Looking back on the zero era, it seemed like the flow was to get discovered as doijin and then become major. Nowadays that seems obvious, but actually it hardly ever happened. Even when they were making doujins, they were already major from the beginning. With words like doujin and indie starting to be used, the line between doujin and commercial is going to get gradually smaller. In terms of, like, distribution there are more and more systems in place, or platforms I guess, to let you handle things on your own. I hear you can even sell ebooks on your own now. Actually, when I first started Curiosities of Lotus Asia, people weren't even using the word "blog" yet, and the idea of distributing something across the web seemed out of reach for that era.



That was just about when blogs were being introduced, and then a few years later there was that novelization boom, like with "Fujoshi Kanojo."[1]



The trend of picking up something online and turning it into something major started a little after that.



And it's still happening now, in the areas of comics and light novels.


ウェブ漫画をそのままコミックに出すというのは何のひねりも無いっていうか、作家に乗っかってるだけのずるいイメージだけど、昔はそうじゃなくてちゃんとメジャー化していきましょうっていうほうが多かったんじゃないですか? 一緒にやって、育てて、まあ最後はアニメ化なんでしょうけど(笑)。ちょうどその流れは見えてきた時代だった。やっぱり「月姫」が大きかったんでしょうね。当時同人から会社を興していった人たちがいろいろいたのも、その影響があったように思います。まあそういった流れで「香霖堂」の話が来たわけなんですが、最初は面白かったですよ?

Web comics that come out like that have the image of being completely unoriginal, or even that the author is sneakily trying to get in on it, but it wasn't always like that, right? Wasn't it pretty common as a way for people to make it big? Make it together, nurture it together, and in the end maybe there'll be an anime (lol). It was a time when you saw a lot of that. Like, Tsukihime was definitely big. At the time there were a lot of people who started from doujin and went on to establish companies, so I think it was an effect of that. So that's the kind of flow that led to CoLA, but the way it started was pretty interesting.

【東方Project 書籍関連略年表】

2002年   「東方紅魔郷」頒布

2003年   「東方妖々夢」頒布

2004年   小説「東方香霖堂」連載開始

2005年   漫画「東方三月精」連載開始

2006年   ビブロス倒産

2007年   漫画・小説「東方儚月抄」連載開始

2009年   書籍「The Grimoire of Marisa」発売

2010年   漫画「東方茨歌仙」連載開始

2012年   書籍「東方求聞口授」発売

2015年   ムック「東方外來韋編壱」発売

2017年   ???

"The History of Touhou's Printed Works"

2002: Distribution of "Touhou Koumakyou".

2003: Distribution of "Touhou Youyoumu"

2004: Beginning of "Touhou Kourindou" series. First Reitaisai.

2005: Manga "Touhou Sangetsusei" begins serialization. "Touhou Bunkachou" released.

2006: Byblos goes bankrupt. "Touhou Gumon Shiki" released.

2007: Manga "Touhou Bougetsushou" begins serialization.

2009: "The Grimoire of Marisa" released.

2010: Manga "Touhou Ibarakasen" begins serialization.

2012: "Touhou Suzunaan" begins serialization. "Touhou Gumon Kuju" released.

2015: "Touhou Gairai Ihen" begins serialization.

2017: ???


"Curiosities of Lotus Asia"



How so?


そんなわけで、じゃあ打ち合わせしましょうってなるんだけど、それまで編集の人なんて会ったことないですから、こちらはせめて小奇麗にしていくわけですよ。どういう人が来るんだろうと思ったら……。えっ、この人? みたいな、かなり想像とは違う人でしたよね。もっとビジネスマンみたいな人が来るかと勝手に思っていたんだけど(笑)。

I think it started when I met with an editor from BiBLOS (Editor's Note: a publishing company primarily known for putting out Boy's Love comics and magazines), and they came to me with this whole plan and were like "what do you think of this?" but the contents were like, no, so in the end I had to think about it on my own. Well, no matter what you're planning, it's always like that. The plan the other side brings is usually pretty useless. So anyway, it became like "let's arrange a planning meeting" and I'd never met with someone from the editing department before, so I got all dressed up. And when I was sitting there wondering who'd show up, it was like, wait that's them? She was completely different from how I'd pictured her. For some reason I'd had it in my head that'd they'd be some kind of businessman (lol).



They run the whole gamut.


その時の話は、TINAMIの佐藤さん(※香霖堂の初代担当編集、佐藤心氏。当時はイラスト投稿サイト「TINAMI」の運営母体である株式会社多聞に所属。多聞は編集プロダクション業務も行っている)からは小説を書いてほしい、書きたくないですか? くらいだったのね。でもビブロスの担当の人(※佐藤氏は外部スタッフなので、ビブロスの会社側の担当編集のこと)からは「小説を書くっていうことは、その世界の中では何を食べて、何を着て、そういうことを全部想像できてないと書けないよ」って諭されたんです。そういうことができますか? って。たしかに、その時点ではそういうことを考えてはいませんでしたよね。

That first meeting with TINAMI's Ms. Satou (*The first editor of CoLA, Shin Satou. At the time, she belonged the illustration uploading website TINAMI's parent company, Tamon Incorporated. Tamon Incorporated was moving into the editing production business.) was pretty just "do you want to write a novel, or not?" But the editor from BiBLOS (*Satou was outside staff, so there was another editor from the BiBLOS company side), admonished me that "if you want to write a novel, you need to be able to imagine what the people in this world eat, and what they wear. If you can't do that, you'll never be able to write it. So, can you?" That was right though, I'd never though about that kind of stuff before.



This person from BiBLOS seems a little uncooperation (lol).


あとで考えると、編集担当と会社の担当が違っていたからですよね。ビブロスの人は編集として来ているわけじゃないから、僕が書かないかって依頼されている側なのに、なぜかちょっと怒られてるの。この人ほんとできるの? みたいな感じで(笑)。ドキドキものでしたよ。でも、別に僕が小説を書きたいって持ち込んだわけじゃないから、言われたところで「えええ……これどうするんだ……?」って。でもやる流れになってるからさ。「じゃあプロットとか原稿書いてみます」ってとりあえずなってね。

Thinking about it later, there's a difference between editors from the editing department and corporate editors. The person from BiBLOS wasn't here to edit, so even though they'd been called in because I might not write it, they were a little mad for some reason. Like, can this person really do it? (lol) My heart was pounding. But it's not like I really waned to write a novel, so when I heard that it was like "uh... what do I do...?" But I'd already gotten this far, so I figured I'd try writing a manuscript anyway.



At the time, Ms. Satou was at the forefront of Bishoujo game writers, she'd made quite a name for herself. She was something like a disciple of Hiroki Azuma. So that's why it was serialized in the Bishoujo game magazine "Colorful Puregirl."



I was entrusted to a person like that. Male-oriented genres had become popular in Doujinshi and Dounjin software and Bishoujo games by Leaf and Key, but this might have been a turning point. But I think we were already past the point where you needed sex to sell, and lots of people were trying new things. Now obviously Tsukihime had been sold as an eroge, and maybe you could even say that Touhou was part of the same genre. In the past especially, I used to always here "which eroge is Touhou?" Nowadays the only people who says that are core fans who know it's a joke. That's just how ingrained "doujin = eroge" was back then. As for CoLA, the original plan was to end it after 6 chapters. Each one would have two parts, running for a year in total. But while it was going, we never talked at all about prolonging it or ending it, and before I knew it, it had gone on for 7 or 8 chapters. And while I was wondering when it would end, they started up a new magazine. It was called "Magazine Elfics" (the magazine form of BiBLOS Incorporated's doujin shop site "Elfics") and it was unbelievably short-lived. It was a magazine that dealt almost exclusively with doujin software stuff, but, well, anyway that was cruel (lol).



It was reckless of them to publish things they didn't own the rights to. As you'd expect, that wasn't allowed.



Anyway, I was published there for a while, but the form of the magazine and the books was different, so I had a lot of trouble. Like, the minimum word count had changed. And then, sure enough, the magazine went away (the final issue was Volume 6, published in October 2005) and now I was being serialized online. You'd understand if you read the chapters of CoLA from back then, but I wrote stuff like "the era of paper has come."



Meaning that paper had fallen into fantasy, right? (lol).



Right. And then after that, the company went away too (*BiBLOS went bankrupt in May, 2006). Man, it was awful. The bankruptcy made the news, and when my editor went to work that morning, they weren't let in the building. So they couldn't get at the data on their computer, like the manuscript and stuff. Actually, at the time we'd been talking about publishing it in a collection, there were enough to print in two small paperback, so it was like "publish, publish" and while we were discussing nonsense like releasing it as a CD instead of in print, the company itself up and ended. And after that, it was like "what do I do now", but the editor at the time was really interested in it so they found another company who would publish it for me. And that was Dengeki. We slipped in without any trouble, and kept it going just like that. The rights to the collected volumes were transferred too, so they also published those for us. That editor handed me that new place to be serialized like a parting gift, and I honestly don't know where they ended up after that. The only contact information I had was their BiBLOS email, so I had no way to contact them. But thanks to them, CoLA started up in "Dengeki Moeoh" like nothing had happened.



"Back in Bishoujo town!"



It was supposed to be a new serialization, but I just casually started writing it as if nothing had changed. In a certain sense, the serialization of CoLA was a miracle.


A fantastical adventure novel, in more ways than one!


"Colorful Puregirls" publication version


"Magazine Elfics" publication version


"Bohemian Archive in Japanese Red"



Bohemian Archive in Japanese Red was put into motion with Studio DNA (*Now Ichijinsha) proposed the idea at the first Hakurei Shrine Reitaisai.



At the time, I felt like the conversation focused on the anthology comics. There wasn't as much post editing as there is now.



But your actual planning meeting started before the end of the year, and at Lounge Takizawa no less (*Coffee was relatively expensive at 1000 yen, but it was popular with people in the publishing business because they'd let you stay for a long time). You somehow managed to plan it without alcohol...


基本、場所代を払う感覚の店でしたよね。あの時は「香霖堂」とかもそうだけど、ほとんど昼間に打ち合わせをしていたんです。まだサラリーマンをしてたから休日しか打ち合わせができなかったので。あの時はアンソロと設定資料集を出したいってことだったけど、僕は設定資料集を出すのが嫌だったんですよね。なんであの時あんなに嫌がったんだろう……? なんとなくだけど、設定資料集が将来的に自分の首を絞めるイメージがすごく強くて。

Basically, it felt like a shop where you pay an entrance fee. It was like this with CoLA back then too, but these meetings would last almost all day. Plus there would be a lot of salarymen around too, so we could only hold meetings on holidays. At the time, they wanted to publish an anthology along with a complete guide to Touhou, but I hated the idea of putting out a complete guide. Why did I hate it so much back then? Well, I just had the strong sense that setting down the setting was just putting a noose around my neck for the future.






I thought it'd tie my hand during game development. So I didn't want things that'd make the setting more concrete, I wanted things that would expand it. But to the people making derivative works, I'm sure it'd be better for me to establish the setting. Like, a set of instructions for how things are. But I'd embraced the idea that leaving things unexplained would expand the works. I learned this from CoLA, but since I hadn't said "I want to do it", then I could speak freely. But, well, in the end the results of me saying that was just more work for myself (lol). So we made BAiJR.



And then the conversation changed into how to present it in a way that expands...



I remember that. The first suggestion was "make a new otter character" (lol). That's not a terrible idea, and there were other good jokes, but the otter left the biggest impression. So after the idea of creating a new character for the book was brought up, I wanted to take it one step further. I thought I would expand it to having that new character in that work appear in a game at the same time. But it'd be hard to make a game with an otter. I wanted to make a tengu, so I proposed a tengu writer.



Come to think of it, in 04 you came out with simple-to-understand characters like Princess Kaguya and oni in IaMP and IN. So you must have determined that even if you released a tengu in 05, she'd have at least as much impact on Touhou as the previous youkai.



Maybe so. But it took about 3 years to get there.



In a newspaper, the characters are written about from an outside perspective, and not only it's only what they're showing to the person in question, so we get to see what the characters themselves think about it, right? So by making it a newspaper, it's been said that you added a lot of depth to the characters.



At the time, it looked like a grand adventure. You could even say that everything I publish now is following in BAiJR's footsteps. Instead of digger deeper, it goes horizontally. My thought was that wasn't this originally supposed to be fanservice? Like, aren't there any detailed explanations of their clothes for the cosplayers?



Other than that, was a music column written by "Fantasy Head Priest", an explanation of the incidents, anthology comics, an interview, and other stuff.



So many mysterious things (lol).



Lately it's been so taken for granted that people aren't aware of it, but when I thought about where the good qualities of Touhou lie in the works, I couldn't separate that from the characters' backstories, the music, and the writers themselves.



Something like BAiJR is unusual these days, or I guess it has a similar feeling of variety as Strange Creators of Outer World. add more






けっこーすっきりしてます 頭のは五角形 ひもでしばってある ペットのカラスは普通のカラス 後ろ 手帳 厚手のカバー 何か和風の柄

伝統の幻想ブン屋 射命丸文







"Perfect Memento in Strict Sense"



And after that came the long-awaited complete guide. I'm a very contrary person (lol).



A lot of postcards came in, saying stuff like "next time please show us the complete guide."



Weren't you the one who really wanted it? (lol). So I wrote it so that even the band around the book was worldbuilding.



Oh yeah, that reminds me, I suddenly realized this during the second print run of Perfect Momento in Strict Sense. Since we went through the trouble of putting that spellcard declaration design on the band, shouldn't we have made it count up the "times captured" with each new printing? So you'd be able to tell which printing it was from by looking at the band.



I dunno, everything at my house is first edition (lol). All the reprints get left at my office. But come to think of it, how long was PMiSS delayed again?



About half a year. The original plan was to sell it 1 year after BAiJR.



Well, maybe thanks to that, but I played around with a lot of things in this book. If you take off the book jacket, the real cover has an indentation in it. So when you press down on the seal, it makes a breeze. A lot of people didn't know that, right? Anyway, following the pattern of BAiJR I created a new character, but I can't remember if I made her for PMiSS or if I made her for the music collections... But whatever, I think I was making them both at about the same time. But I think the reason Akyuu was created was because I'd started PMiSS.



You proposed it right after we'd published, you wanted to put out a girl with savant syndrome, a perfect memory. Because she'd be able to remember all sorts of things.



Hieda no Are was "rei = zero" so since I'd made 9 games up through PoFV, I made her A"kyuu" (kyuu = nine). By making this sort of character for the guidebook, it could be more than just a "this is how it is" presentation of the facts, and add more depth to everything, right?



The proactive smokescreen style.



Also, this time it ended up that I had to fill the entire book on my own, but writing that much was a lot of trouble. Since the articles were the main draw. Oh yeah, and the cover ullustration has a Journey to the West motif, but I can't remember why. I remember specifying that to Asai, but I can't remember why (lol).



Wasn't it because this book was to be treated as a "sacred text"?


そういえばそうだったかも? 買った人はカバーをよく見てください。かなり謎です。まあ「文花帖」が売れたから、いろいろなことができるようになりましたよね。

Maybe? To anyone who bought it, please take a good look at the cover. It's an enigma. Well, BAiJR sold, so I could do all sorts of things.












ちょっと大正風なレトロな感じにしてみました。 髪はおかっぱ風に。 着物風なんだけど、ちょっとフリルがついている
花かざり 万年筆を腰に差す 紅茶が好き

稗田阿求 ZUN 06.4.10



 タイトル『幻想郷縁起 ~Phanpedia(仮)



 稗田 阿求(ひえだのあきゅう)

 ○神に等しい者 滅多に姿を見せない
  龍    … 幻想郷での唯一の空想上の生き物。誰もが恐れ敬う。最高位(未出)
  仏様   … 温かく見守る有難い存在。滅多に姿を見せることは無い(未出)
  神    … 善悪、強弱、ピンからキリまで居る。凄く沢山いる。既に飽和気味(未出)
  鬼    … 賢く力強い。カリスマ性も高い。人間から鬼になる場合(人鬼)もある。
  天狗   … 鬼の一種。狡猾。ゴシップ好きで情報ネットワークに長けている。幻想郷のブン屋。
  修羅   … 鬼の中で戦いを好む者。平和な幻想郷には馴染まず殆ど居ない(未出)
 ○魔物 西洋系の者が多い
  悪魔   … 生粋の魔物。渡来してきた魔物を総称そう呼ぶ。ピンキリ(未出)
  吸血鬼  … 悪魔の一種。我侭な上に強大な力を持つ。自己中心的。何故か納豆と相性が良いらしい。
  魔法使い … 人に近い魔物。人間から魔法使いになる場合もある。趣味に嵌りやすい。
 ○人畜 普通に良くいる
  天人   … 毎日のんびりと暮らす。釣りが趣味。不老長寿で暇人。もしくは皇族の末裔(未出)
  仙人   … 色々と逸脱した人。仙人以上になると人間も長寿になる(未出)
  魔人   … 魔に堕ちた人。もしくは呪われた人。本人は自覚していない事も多く、迷惑な人間(未出)
  人妖   … 妖怪染みた人間。もしくは人間か妖怪か判らない者。
  人間   … 食料。美味。
  畜生   … 食料。やや美味。
 ○自然 何処にでもいる
  妖精   … 虫。
  精霊   … 空気(未出)
 ○霊体 自由な死に物
  神霊   … 主に霊体の神(未出)
  幽霊   … のん気。自由気ままで平和主義。
  亡霊   … 主に人間の霊。人間から亡霊になる場合もある。
  怨霊   … 悪意のある霊。常に退治される運命にある。やられ役(未出)
  妖怪   … 種族外のあり得ない存在(殆ど一人一種)。幻想郷では最もメジャーかつ強大。
  幻想郷外の生き物 … 死神や閻魔様(地獄の住人)







After PMiSS, you moved to start publishing Bougetsushou, so could you tell us about that? Like, the idea of showing multiple sides of a single story in different magazines.



I felt like that was a troublesome experiment. As you can tell from the titles, "Bougetsushou" ("Ephemeral Moon Vignette") was an answer to "Eiyashou" ("Eternal Night Vignette" ie: Imperishible Night). Even the title was a response to it. "Ephemeral" is the opposite of "Eternal". And "Moon" is along the same lines as "Night".



I feel like the key to this was that Gensokyo is the mountains, but you wanted an ocean scene.



Yeah, so making it be about the "lunar sea" was obvious to me. Which is how it got wrapped up in IN. It was going to be serialized in 3 magazines at once, but as you'd expect that was a bit much, so we had one of them be a 4koma so I could pretty much leave it to someone else (lol). The timing matched up perfectly with the new magazine "Chara☆Mel" but no one knows what that is anymore. It's the old name of the magazine "Febri" that Wild and Horned Hermit runs in, and it used to be bigger too. Unusually, we'd already decided when Bougetsushou would end, so we had planned the whole thing out from the beginning. If we hadn't, we'd never be able to do the concurrent serializations. But thanks to that, it was the worst. At the time, people were calling it crap, but I feel like more people like Bougetsushou these days. A lot of fans were like: "why did you even make this?" but it did go too far in a lot of ways. It wasn't what people wanted. I think they wanted me to burn the whole place to the ground with none of that "Reimu losing" stuff though (lol).






It didn't end with defeating anything, so the readers were left with an unpleasant feeling.



That's because all the games you'd made so far ended with defeating a boss.



I thought maybe it'd be fine without that, so I took a gamble by intentionally avoiding it, but it was too much of a gamble. But lately, a lot of people have been asking me to sign their copies of Bougetsushou. Even, like, their copies of the "Rex" magazine from when SSiB was first started. Well, I'm fine with the "first", "middle", and "final" volume of the comic in my heart having its "final volume" replaced with "bottom volume" (lol).



Maybe it's easier to read with an ending, or rather a place to stop.



And regarding the novel, it kind of has the feel of a character anthology, so you can follow the main story without reading it. But to me, in a certain sense it ended up as a character developing work. It was hard to write a single story for that long... Weirdly, the letters in the title are different from how they were when it was serialized, so I had Tokiame write them for me. It was interesting how they'd always be carrying an old-fashioned camera whenever we met up.


キャラメル 小説

東方儚月抄 ~Cage in Lunatic Runagate
 綿月 豊姫(わたつきのとよひめ)
  海と山を繋ぐ能力 (依姫の姉)
 綿月 依姫(わたつきのよりひめ)


家の中では帽子はかけない 髪はロングで少しカール 袖が長め スカートの裏地にレース 短いブーツ



ポニーテイル 半袖 古書型ノートブック



漫画版のサブタイトルが「Silent Sinner in Blue.」で、小説版は「Cage in Lunatic Runagate」。今回は書籍の特集なので漫画の詳しい話は割愛。

The Grimoire of Marisa

"The Grimoire of Marisa"



Grimoire of Marisa was reeeally easy to make, but the ones who had it tough were the people taking all the screenshots (lol).



We must've taken about 7000 pictures for this book. There are still plenty left over. We take new ones for Strange Creators too, and every time it's simply a pain.



Personally, all I had to do was pick spellcards based on my own impressions, pick someone to draw it, and write a little article. There wasn't much writing so I had it relatively easy.



You said the book itself was "a cute book Marisa carries under her arm" so it was a little different from the previous ones.


ゲーム側にスポットをあてたいっていう話から始まって、その結果できあがったのがコレという……(笑)。「the Grimoire of Alice」っていう曲がもとにあって、それを魔理沙に変えたセルフパロディにしたらいいかなって。

It started with wanting to spotlight the game side of things, so this is what we ended up with (lol). There was already a song called "Grimoire of Alice" so this time it'd be Marisa's. It was a little self-parody.



So isn't it about time we published Alice's book too...?



Thinking about it now, I have no idea what the point of that book would be (lol). It's already compiled up through Subterranean Animism, so they'd be older and older games. The cover of this book is really shiny. It must have cost a lot, right?



To an extent.



I remember now. When I was handed a sample, like, "this is how it's made", it was some porn comic (lol). It was like, "I see, so you buy stuff like this." (*That was probably Takayuki Asaki's "Shopan!!" Published in 2008 by Akaneshinsha)



Wasn't it together with a bunch of other samples from the print shop? (lol)



There was a heart on the comic, right?


あれが加工の面積が大きくて、見てわかりやすかったんです。だから覚えてたでしょう? 実際には魔理沙なら星だろうってことで、細かい星柄になりましたけど。

That was because it was easier to see if a bigger area was processed. Don't you remember? But actually, since it was Marisa means stars, there was a small star pattern.



Come to think of it, back then I was still cursed with the idea that I had to attach a CD. At some point I started thinking "I can sell these without a CD."



Even now, I think most people would prefer it with the CD.



But in the end, it's about me not having to make one (lol). I did think it would be interesting to attach a CD to this one though. Since it's a book about the "Strange Creators" of the outside world.




"Symposium of Post-Mysticism"



The plan was clearly for a sequel to PMiSS, but I thought it'd be boring to just have a normal sequel, so it ended up with the interview part, or rather, the symposium. I just happened to being wanting to do a symposium, and the games I'd released just happened to keep using faith as a theme, so I thought why not have a discussion of religion. Mountain of Faith, Undefined Fantastic Object, and Ten Desires, you know? Subterranean Animsm was the odd one out but... Anyway, even though there's a lot of religious stuff, I took the subtitle from "Let's talk about Justice." (By Michael Sandel)[2]





当時流行ってましたからね。乗っかって「これからの幻想郷の話をしよう」でいいんじゃないのって。時事ネタに乗っかるの大好きですよね。後になるとなんのことだかわかなくなっちゃうけど、時代を感じられてよくないかい? 今回の本は座談会が中心だけど、どうしてもそこには登場できないキャラもいたから、なるべくそのあたりは新聞とかをいれて紹介することにしたんですよね。しかもこの時には文だけじゃなくて、はたてがいるからウェブニュースっぽいページを作ったりした。それでも入らないキャラは最後に無理やりインタビューを入れて……(笑)。

It was popular at the time. So I thought why not "Let's talk about Gensokyo"? I love using current events jokes. Maybe people won't get them in the future, but isn't it great how they just give you that sense of the era? Anyway, the centerpiece of this book was the symposium, but there were some characters who'd never come there, so I tried to cover them with the newspapers as much as I could. But this time it wasn't just Aya, Hatate was there too, so I made some pages to look like web news. But even so, there were some characters I didn't add so I just crammed them into the interview (lol).



About 3 years before the book came out, I took down Masakichi's contact info, thinking "I'll need to ask this person to draw something someday." And that someday was this book. We really owe them a lot.



Symposium Rough Draft (details unknown)



It's taken a while, but we've finally made it... And so, the main question for today. "Youkai Extermination: What's the Right Thing to Do?" Ah, but is it really okay to start talking about this theme if without **her** here?



There's no problem at all. Youkai extermination from now on will gladly be undertaken by the shrine maiden of the Moriya Shrine--that is to say, my shrine--and the living god, Sanae Kochiya. Isn't that right, Sanae?


While it's unclear when she was actually called, behind Kanako was Sanae. Oh, and the figure crouching beside her would be the froggy god, wouldn't it? She was wearing a rather adorable hat. Maybe I would ask her if I could borrow it later.


「ちょっと待ってください! 今日こそはハッキリ言わせてもらいますけど、私が復活したからには無意味な妖怪退治はやめていただきます。それがたとえ博麗の巫女だろうと守矢の巫女だろうと、ましてや豊郷耳! あなただろうと同様にだ。だいたいなぜ人間たちは、いつまでたっても妖怪と聞けば怯えることか退治することしか考えない。この幻想郷こそ、妖怪と人間にとっての新しい一歩を踏み出せる場所のはず」

Please hold on for a moment! I would like to make this very clear today, but I would like any further meaningless youkai extermination to cease now that I've returned. Whether it's the Hakurei shrine maiden or the Moriya shrine maiden, or even Toyosatomimi! That goes for you as well. In the first place, why is it that humans can only think of being scared or extermination when they hear of youkai? Here in Gensokyo is the perfect place for humans and youkai to take a new step forward!



My, your understanding is surprisingly low relative to how much longer you've been awake than I have.



Humans defeat youkai. This way of things cannot be changed.



Geez, are you all at your limits already? Don't just start fighting all of a sudden! And to the monk over there, you shouldn't suddenly get all fired up like that.


Miss Marisa unexpectedly takes on the tsukkomi role.



If composure befits a monk, then I will strive for it as much as I can. But that's not the question here. I'm asking if it's okay to bully the weak!



Well, it's true that recently I can't really remember any youkai with any sort of consistency when I fought 'em. Even Mamizou who came at me with a big flourish was about as strong as a rice cracker. (bluff)


「しかし、私たち流に言うと道(タオ)を高め合うことで存在が保たれている、そういうことならもっと頻繁に仕合うのがよいのではないのですか。(中略)この幻想郷はそういったルールで保たれているのでしょう? だったらそれが有用に使わないと。一度博麗の巫女に痛い目にあわされたからと言って、再び挑んではいけないと言う法は無い。貴方たちは単に退治する側に回った方が“楽”なんですよね。神などと言ってはいるが、、所詮はそこらの精霊風情が信仰を集めただけの存在。そんなものは神でもなんでもない」

However, those of us in our school of thought preserve our existence by enhancing Tao and allowing it to enhance us. In that case, isn't it better for us to have more frequent matches? (omitted) Gensokyo maintains itself on a similar rule, does it not? Then you must allow it to be used. Just because you ran into trouble with the Hakurei shrine maiden once, that doesn't mean you can't challenge her again. All of you simply think that being on the side that exterminates is "easy". You may call yourselves gods, but in the beginning you were just spirits of the deceased that managed to gather faith. That's neither gods nor anything else."



Well, maybe~.





After this and that, 18 hours had passed. Everyone is tough.






Extra: About the comics



By the way, the comics that run in Kadakawa magazines keep highlighting characters who'd be hard to put in games. First it was fairies, and next a human villager.



Obviously I planned everything that way. If I'm going to be writing comics, then this is how it'll be, kinda thing. I mean, back with "Sangatsusei" the editor proposed that I comicify IN. I thought that proposal was a mess (lol).



With Wild and Horned Hermit, I thought drawing characters who lecture people must be you specialty.



For now, it's less about lectures and more about showing the hopeless sides of Reimu (lol). It's hard to put that in my other works, but that's how a character becomes more charming. Actually, hasn't Reimu gotten a lot more popular after WaHH? At first there was going to be a hermit protagonist, so she'd be on the run from shinigami, but then I thought maybe it'd be better if she were an oni.


Strange Creators of Outer World


「外來韋編」は何でこんな形になったんだっけ? 雑誌を作りたいってことだっけ。

So how did SCoOW end up like this again? We wanted to make a magazine or something?



There were a lot of plans, but among those we'd never done a magazine before, so why not a magazine? It went like that.



There was something about how it'd gotten so popular that a lot of new fans pretty much only knew the character's names, right? So we'd release it regularly, or something?



I wouldn't say "regularly"... Well, it was because there were more young people at Retaisai, and it'd expanded into a consumer platform. There are a lot of people who got into Touhou from a completely different route.


この話をまとめると、つまり同人が変わってきたんですよね。それが東方にもろ影響をあたえていて、「Play, Doujin!」みたいに二次創作がそのままコンシューマになったり、ユーザーも同人大好きみたいな人じゃなくても気軽にコミケとかに参加するようになって、おかげで例大祭にも若い子がいっぱいになってきた。そういう時代の移り変わりがモロに出ているんじゃないかな。その人たちにとってみれば、公式や二次創作なんていう区切りはなんの意味も無くて、ただ「東方」っていう部分だけしか見ていないのかもしれないですよね。そういう時代が来たんですよ。

To sum it up, doujin had changed. It was affecting Touhou too, with things like "Play, Doujin!" turning derivative works into a consumer good, users being able to freely attend Comiket without being "I love doujins!" people, and thanks to that there were a lot of young kids coming to Reitaisai too. The era had changed completely. To those people, maybe they don't see a line between official and derivative, to them it's all just part of "Touhou". That's the era we're in now.



I'm still shocked whenever I see a big chain like Yodobashi with Touhou games on the shelf.



They just put it there like it's normal, that's just how it is now. You might think that'd be like, "look how far we've come..." but nope, not at all (lol). The times really have changed. In the past, I might've been moved to see Yodobashi selling my games, but now I don't feel anything in particular. Why? Because the times are always changing, and I've desperately tried to keep up with that. You can't think "I've gotta do it this way." You have to be flexible, without going too far. Of course without getting caught up in the current either, but while treating your own thoughts as precious. Ideals are the ship that will carry you over both rapids and calm waters, but I'd like a boat that keep going underwater. But man, this has brought back a lot of memories. But everyone always comes to me with just the proposal, but I'm the one who has to come up with this stuff and do everything else. It's hard. Anyway, I feel it out. It's fine to come ask if I'll do it, but it adds a lot of work for me, and even if you say "I'll handle all the unfamiliar parts" I always end up having to do it anyway.



You say that, but in the you're the one most likely to say "I want to do that."



Because I can't leave it to anyone else. Well, I think it's important that the things I've made are entirely my own thing. When people who make things keep saying "no" to their past works, they might end up eating their foot later. The moment you let go of it with "enough already, that's not mine" the work loses value. And after that, even if you think you'll try to use it again, it may have gotten beyond your reach. Doesn't this actually happen a lot?



A child has no idea what the original work is. Like even with "Yokai Watch" if there are people who think it started with the comic, there are people who think it started with the anime too.



"Pokemon" might be like that too. But, well, even when you're first bringing these proposals to me I'm thinking "wow, thanks" but at the same time half of me is feeling worried, thinking stuff like "maybe I can do that on my own, will it really go well?" And "why'd you have to come talk to someone like me about this?" But it's not a bad feeling. It's like, if I can do it, then I might as well give it a shot, so I'd glad you came to me with it.



I see.



Even when Ichijinsha came to me, at first they proposed an anthology comic.



That's just what their company focused on before the merger.



I'm not too big on anthologies, because there isn't much space for me to participate. Plus, at the time there were already derivative doujinshi works, so in order to let them run wild, and not in the bad sense, I thought I couldn't release them officially.



Did you contribute to "Fey, Scarlet Caprice"...? (*A doujinshi made through the though editing production that the aforementioned Shin Satou was a member of) Well, making doujin of a doujin is already unusual, but maybe things were developing quickly around you.



I feel like back in that era, many people thought that they'd be releasing a lot of exciting works like in the future. But when I think about whether they succeeded after that... not many did. Everyone went off somewhere... Afterward there was the doujin software boom brought on by Nico Nico Douga, where we got stuff liek "Blue Oni", but anyway, maybe the doujin of back then, and the circumstances surrounding it, were a bit different from the doujin people think of now.



The way we absorb information is changing.



But wasn't the scope of information circulation back then overwhelmingly smaller than it is now?





People these days take the internet for granted. You used to have to go out of your way to "check the net" or "surf the net", so the hurdle was at least a little higher. Like, you used to only check it during "Telephodai" (*A fixed monthly rate for up to two monthly phone numbers for activity between 23:00 and the next 8:00). That was like, "internet time" and you'd disconnect the rest of the time.



Like, "I wish they'd install ISDN." (*A line slightly faster than a telephone line)



These days, even when you're outdoors you're always connected to the net with just a touch of your smartphone. The difference is enormous. Once that happened, I started thinking about what the meaning of a book is. Like, what's the meaning of releasing a book.


New Works



So that's why I decided to change the format of my new book. This time it's going to have content like a tabloid. Last year was a little, you know. Sleazy.



Trust in the news is wavering.


なぜか週刊誌のスクープは信じられやすい傾向にあって、そこだけが真実みたいになってないですか? あそこで出てくるものって基本的に芸能人のどうでもいい話が多くて、たまに社会派なモノもあるけどさ。でも今回のネタの発端は「不倫」ですよね。芸能人のプライベートなんてどうでもいいのに、そこを報道するのが正義みたいなことになってるのって、おかしくないかい? なんで周りの人がその報道に乗っかって叩いているのかも全くわからない。ただ、それを逆手に取って考えてみると、ゲームのキャラクターの私生活はみんなが求めているんじゃないかなって。本来、設定資料集は週刊誌的なものであるべきじゃないかな。そういう風に去年思ったんですよ。

For whatever reason, there's a trend pf these tabloid scoops being easier to believe, and haven't those alone become something like the truth? For the most part they just say whatever they want about celebrities, although there is some social awareness stuff mixed in. But the basis of what they release is "immorality". Even though they're just saying whatever they want about celebrities, somehow reporting on that has become almost proper. Isn't something wrong with that? And I'll never understand why everyone takes that info and starts attacking them. But when I tried thinking about it the other way around, doesn't everyone want to know about the private lives of game characters? A guide book should fundamentally be something like a tabloid. That's what I thought last year. It's funny how modern society is fine with anything when it comes to celebrities, but not for 2D characters. So I went beyond newspapers and tried to make a tabloid.



The world is overflowing with Alternative Facts.


ただの週刊誌じゃない。Post Truthな内容になっている。けっこういろいろな冒険をしているから、見たことが無いタイプの本になると思います。絶賛制作中すぎて、あまり言えることが無いけれど。誰かを叩いて快感を得るタイプの本ではないですね。流れとしては、やっぱりこれまでの本に出てないキャラを登場させようっていうことはあります。『文花帖』のころにあった、「設定資料集? いや、東方としてやるべき本はこういうものだよ」っていうところに戻ってきました。そういう意味では「文花帖」の正統な続編ですよね。それにしても、どんどんと本を出すたびに、1冊にかかる制作期間が長くなってますね。この本に何年かかってるんだか(笑)。

It's not just tabloids. It's become Post Truth. I'm taking a lot of risks here, so I think it's a type of book we've never seen before. I'd be shocked speechless if it gets high praise though. It's not the type of book where you get to feel good by attacking someone. Following the flow, I put in characters who haven't appeared in many books before. It's a return to how it was with BAiJR, when it was "a guide book? No, the book we should make for Touhou is "i>this." So in that sense it's a true sequel to BAiJR. But still, every time I release a new book it takes longer and longer. How many years did this one take? (lol)



Alternative Facts in Eastern Utopia.

  1. Sold in English by Yen Press as "My Girlfriend's a Geek."
  2. This is the Japanese translation of "Justice: What's the right thing to do?"