Tsukasa Kudamaki in Unconnected Marketeers
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Capable of slipping into places where one's soul is weak
Tsukasa is a sly kuda-gitsune who talks out of both sides of her mouth, acting as a "loyal" confidant to her mistress, Megumu Iizunamaru. Although she presents herself to be Megumu's faithful servant, she seems primarily interested in her own goals. Tsukasa's willingness to manipulate high-class youkai like Megumu, Gods like Chimata Tenkyuu, and even extremely powerful and dangerous youkai like Momoyo Himemushi, demonstrates a high degree of pride and confidence in her skills as a manipulator. Despite this, it's shown that Megumu, Chimata, and Momoyo trust her advice, even when they have good reason to be suspicious of her. When challenged, however, she can get quite vicious and mean-spirited, showing her malicious and disparaging side to the protagonist in Unconnected Marketeers.
- Capable of slipping into places where one's soul is weak
Tsukasa senses weak points in the souls of those around her, and can exploit them in order to get what she wants. She demonstrates this ability against Megumu, Chimata, and Momoyo in Unconnected Marketeers.
- Kuda-gitsune's wealth-bringing
Kuda-gitsune are capable of bringing people great wealth, but can somewhat ironically also cause financial ruin in the long-run.
Kuda-gitsune (管狐, "pipe fox") are mythological beings associated with foxes, weasels, or larval rollers, small enough to fit inside a pipe or bamboo tube. According to tradition, they answer questions to those who conjure them up, or take possession of people. In Touhou, however, the main interpretation shown is that kuda-gitsune first bring wealth, but over time multiply in such a way that they harm their owners, whether through high financial costs as in traditional mythology, or by stealing their life force as in Touhou Project. For example, in Chapter 8 of Wild and Horned Hermit, Reimu Hakurei temporarily falls victim to a trick by a kuda-gitsune who steals Reimu's life force.
Kuda-gitsune are also called iizuna (飯綱, 'fox spirit'). This is the same iizuna from Megumu Iizunamaru's surname.
Her given name, Tsukasa (典), typically read ten (てん), means "law" or "ceremony." Alternate meanings for the kana tsukasa (つかさ) also include chief (官) and hill (阜), which may be of more significance.
Her surname, Kudamaki (菅牧), means sedge pasture.
Interestingly, the aforementioned characters 官, 阜, and 菅 all share a radical with kuda (管, 'pipe'), as in kuda-gitsune (管狐).
Tsukasa has blonde, shoulder-length hair, that partially covers her face and has light-brown to yellow eyes. She has big fox ears with white points and a fluffy foxtail. She wears plain white, one-piece clothing, with green bands at the hemming. On the left thigh is a turquoise flower pattern. Besides that, she wears white socks and holds a test tube in her left hand, which is a reference to her nature as a kuda-gitsune, and is likely the very tube she lives in.
She holds her right hand in a pose shaped like a fox's head.
From stage 5 onwards, Tsukasa appears in every stage, i.e. 5, 6 and extra, as a mid-boss and in dialogue with the stage boss in order to manipulate them. The protagonist beats her every time, but is drawn into another fight each time by Tsukasa's lies and tricks. As Megumu Iizunamaru's consultant, she was also involved in building the company that triggered the Unconnected Marketeers incident and, despite her seemingly small role in the background, she can be seen as one of the central antagonists.
She is Megumu Iizunamaru's right-hand and seems loyal to her, addressing her in very polite tones. However, Tsukasa is shown to manipulate Megumu all the same. Megumu trusts her without hesitation and seems to appreciate her presence, sending her away before her boss fight, apparently out of concern that Tsukasa might be injured.
As a messenger for Megumu, Tsukasa brings her messages from Megumu to Momoyo, and vice versa. Tsukasa uses this by announcing that she will report Momoyo's apparent 'failure' to Megumu when the protagonist and Misumaru Tamatsukuri enter the cave, falsely branding them 'thieves'. Momoyo fights the protagonist, apparently more concerned with having a good fight than upholding any sense of honour with her 'employers'. Momoyo is also able to threaten Tsukasa and blackmail her into silence. While Tsukasa also addresses Momoyo with polite tones, it seems that this is mostly for appearances, as Tsukasa does not seem to respect Momoyo's intelligence very much.
Like with the other antagonists of Unconnected Marketeers, Tsukasa addresses Chimata in polite tones, but for her own gain. Chimata seems to recognize this double-sidedness in Tsukasa, refusing Tsukasa's requests and sending her away at the end of Unconnected Marketeers, considering bargaining with the kuda-gitsune to be a worthless endeavour.
Misumaru does not seem particularly enthralled by Tsukasa's manipulations, considering her a nuisance as Tsukasa disrupts Misumaru's attempts at a conflict-free resolution to the incident.
- Tsukasa is a unique character in several ways.
- She was the first midboss-only character introduced since Soga no Tojiko in Ten Desires, from ten years prior.
- She is the only midboss-only character to have dialogue portraits, an in-game name and title introduction, and a significant role in the plot.
- She and Rin Kaenbyou are the only Touhou characters to appear as midbosses in three consecutive stages.
- Unlike Rin, Tsukasa keeps the same appearance throughout all of her encounters, and was never the main boss in any stage.
- She is the only enemy character who uses spell cards but never with a spell background.
- 2021/05/04 Unconnected Marketeers - omake.txt (profile, stage 5/6/EX dialogue, Marisa's hidden ending, Sanae's ending)
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