Strange Creators of Outer World/Who's Who of Humans & Youkai in Gensokyo/Sakuya Izayoi

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Who's Who of Humans & Youkai in Gensokyo
Izayoi Sakuya




Places of Activity:
Scarlet Devil Mansion
Throughout Gensokyo


Main Abilities:
Capable of manipulating time


Majority of chores for Scarlet Devil Mansion
Taking care of the mistress


Example Spell Cards:
Conjuring "Misdirection"
Illusion Sign "Killing Doll"


Maid clothing


Maid of the Devil


Sakuya is a maid working for the vampire Remilia Scarlet. She made her first appearance in "Embodiment of Scarlet Devil", as the stage 5 boss, where she tried to stop Reimu from punishing her mistress, but ended up being punished by Reimu herself along the way. Afterward, she hasn't been complicit in any incidents and spends her time devoted to her mistress. Sometimes she also ends up performing youkai exterminations.


While most buildings in Gensokyo are in an old-fashioned Japanese style reminiscent of the late Edo period, one Western mansion on the edge of a lake stands out. It is called the "Scarlet Devil Mansion". The building in its entirety was brought from the Outside World by Sakuya's master, the Scarlet Devil herself, Remilia Scarlet, who lives there along with her younger sister Flandre Scarlet, and good friend, the witch Patchouli Knowledge. Truly, a mansion of devils. In order to serve them, the mansion is staffed with a large number of maids, but in charge of them all is the sole human of the household, the head maid Sakuya Izayoi. Furthermore, as the other maids are all whimsical fairies who are useless for real work, it is likely that Sakuya runs everything herself. Naturally, she's also personally responsible for fulfilling the whims of her mistresses.


Silver Knives


Regarding her appearance, she's associated with the very maid-like style of headband and apron. Perhaps in preparation for the rigors of danmaku, she often wears a rather short skirt. However, she also wears a longer skirt sometimes, so she could just be the type to wear whatever is appropriate for what her mistress is up to. Furthermore, perhaps because she's in charge of all household chores, she is very skilled with the knife and uses it as her main weapon. Despite being the maid of a vampire, her prized knives are made of silver, which has led to endless rumors that she used to be a vampire hunter who Remilia got the better of.


The Girl Who Stops Time


While Sakuya excels as both a maid and a bodyguard, she also has a special ability that's unique to her, even in the supernatural-dominated Gensokyo: the ability to control time. Specifically, she can control the flow of time to do things such as move while time is stopped or speed up time for a particular object. However, she cannot go against the flow of time itself, so she can't make things not have happened or travel back in time. With these abilities, she can deal with all of the Scarlet Devil Mansion's chores through her own effort, turn fresh wine into vintage wine, or perform magic tricks without preparation. Furthermore, as an extension of her power she can also control space. This is because slowing down time is the same thing as shrinking space, and speeding up time is likewise equivalent to expanding space. Thanks to this, the dimensions of the Scarlet Devil Mansion's interior may be a bit odd.


Distance from Humans

彼女のその特殊な能力は、周囲の人間を彼女から遠ざけた。「すでに普通の人間と仲良くやっていくのをあきらめている」(※ 『紅魔郷』おまけtxt)ところまで行っていた彼女だが、人間だろうが妖怪だろうが気にしない霊夢や魔理沙らとの出会いは、ちょっぴりささくれだっていた彼女の心を和ませたのだろう。『妖々夢』以降は、言動も表情も丸くなった様子が見て取れる。ただし、彼女はあくまでレミリアに仕えるメイド。主人と対立するものには、容赦なくその矛先が向けられることには変わらない。

Because of her special power, she is avoided by the humans around her. She'd reached the point where "she'd already given up on befriending normal humans" (EoSD Omake), but after meeting Reimu and Marisa who didn't care whether someone was human or youkai, her ever-so-slightly irritated heart may have softened. From "Perfect Cherry Blossom" onward, you can see how much friendlier she is, both in her words and her facial expressions. However, she's still Remilia's maid. If anyone goes against her mistress, she'll still mercilessly attack them.


Everything is for the Mistress


Her work for the Scarlet Devil Mansion is composed of things like going shopping in the village, executing her mistress' whims, and investigating the outskirts of the mansion if anything strange happens. Though details are often vague, events during her regular work may lead her to take part in incident resolution-- that is, youkai extermination-- herself. Although she normally only uses her ability for household chores, this is when its full potential is revealed. Unlike characters such as Marisa, her fighting style is very refined and displays an air of elegance. However, as her behavior is fundamentally "The Mistress is my top priority", she doesn't feel the need to exterminate youkai just because they're youkai, like Reimu, and therefore doesn't always resolve incidents.

Comment from ZUN

Comment from ZUN


Sakuya is pretty much just a boss from EoSD, I guess. If I had to say something, it's that before I made EoSD, back when I was just idly thinking about making a game, the first image that solidified in my mind was Sakuya. I was thinking about what kind of danmaku would be interesting for the enemy to use, and decided that there would be a maid who could stop time. Why a maid? Because I didn't want her to be the final boss. I wanted to make sure that anything too out-there as danmaku came before the final boss. And a maid certainly doesn't feel like a final boss.

Book Content

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