Topic: Is Touhou's time in the sun over? And why?  (Read 6945 times)

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Is Touhou's time in the sun over? And why?
« on: August 21, 2017, 11:56:58 pm »
I've gathered the circle numbers information from the past 8 Comikets, and I've noticed a few things...

c85
Touhou 2272
Kuroko's Basketball 1462
kancolle 1136

c89
kancolle 2747
Touken Ranbu 1724
Touhou 1666
idolmaster 1325
c86
kancolle 2038
touhou 1918
Kuroko's Basketball 1444

c90
Kancolle - 2678
Touhou - 1625
Touken Rabou - 1482
IdolMaster - 1328
c87
kancolle 2552
Touhou 1756
Kuroko's Basketball 1178

c91
kancolle 2824
touhou 1623
touken ranbu 1501
idolmaster 1479
c88
Kancolle - 2566
Touhou - 1508
IdolMaster - 1186

c92
kancolle 2329
touhou 1320
Idolmaster 1299
Touken Ranbu 1244
Fate series 1129
(All series with >1000 circles at Comiket)

1. Touhou is not the darling of the doujin scene anymore, Kancolle is.
2. It used to be the undisputed queen of Comiket.  Now it's fighting for second against two or three series.  (Ceding it briefly to Touken Ranbu at Comiket 89.)
3. While everyone's representation was down (except for the Fate series), Touhou's Comiket 92 representation is the smallest in years.

IMHO, Touhou's time at the top is probably over. As to why?  One, Kancolle is "new and exciting", while Touhou is "old and stale".  Two, Touken Ranbu is a big hit to a fanbase Touhou never really played to, the fujoshi, so it's here to stay too.  Three, everybody that has its roots or a presence in mobile gaming are increasing, which is extremely popular in Japan, while Touhou, whose games are PC based, a platform that's niche at best in Japan, is shrinking.

As for my first point, I don't think it's too difficult to see Touhou as a series as old and stale.  As a series it is ever expanding, but not evolving.  Negative Continuity, is a problem for the series.  Especially after the MoF-TD chain showed the series can work with storyline continuity, only for ZUN to backflop back into the old way of having each game having nothing to do with each other.  You can retcon completely any game from DDC to HSDS and it would not affect the series universe at all (save for losing a few characters, most of whom wouldn't be missed). 

And the characters aren't much better either.  For the most part, most of the series' characters remain unchanged since their debut (if they are ever seen again).

Gameplay mechanics wise.  Outside of a one-time gimmick, they haven't really changed at all either.  Same linear progression (except IM, which had two different Stage 6's, and PoFV which was practically a different genre altogether), same core gameplay systems... It's a stale series.

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Re: Is Touhou's time in the sun over? And why?
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2017, 12:05:57 am »
Very saddening to see. Especially considering Kancolle is flat out denial of Japan's past war crimes that depict the allied forces as being monsters.
It's...actually pretty fucking vile. Jesus Christ.
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Re: Is Touhou's time in the sun over? And why?
« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2017, 12:34:17 am »
The no. of fan stuff on the internet points to Touhou going as strong as ever and Kancolle being on the decline, so no, Touhou isn't dying.

You have realize that the only fan stuff KC can produce are comics and music, as Kadokawa bans all fan games and animations.  That plays a factor in keeping its fandom from growing too big.  It's not like KC has the more superior gameplay either, as it largely relies on RNG, AKA luck.  The only thing that KC has over Touhou is sex appeal, and it seems to be the only thing the producers are doing to pull in the fan base.

You're worrying too much.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2017, 12:39:23 am by game2011 »
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Re: Is Touhou's time in the sun over? And why?
« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2017, 12:39:04 am »
It's kind of dumb to compare the two, anyways. Kancolle is a very cynical pump'n'dump operation, while Touhou is a slow burn that has matured over the years.

That said, pump and dump mobas in general will continue to be a thing, so Touhou will always be fighting for space with them now.

Re: Is Touhou's time in the sun over? And why?
« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2017, 12:51:30 am »
I previously found a Twitter post that talked about someone researching on Touhou's popularity, and according to him, the series is still as strong as always and in no danger of declining.

So yeah, in the long run, it's safe to say that Touhou will continue to stick around.
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Re: Is Touhou's time in the sun over? And why?
« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2017, 01:03:39 am »
1. You're looking purely at Comiket and not anything past it; the doujin scene is not just Comiket. The drop in Comiket participants is easily attributable to the rise in Touhou-oriented events such as Reitaisai and Kouroumu. Circles that want to create works for more than just Touhou are naturally going to choose to represent other series for Comiket when they can make their Touhou stuff for RTS, and completely unsurprisingly this often tends to be Kancolle.

2. Touhou not absolutely destroying every other series at Comiket is healthy for the doujin scene overall. Noting that Touhou is now often a mere second place is not a point.

3. If you acknowledge that all works dropped why would you conclude that Touhou is particularly affected? Remember that circle participation is a raffle; any drop in participants is completely relative. If you hadn't noticed, Fate has nearly quadrupled its presence since C90 due to FGO.

4. Comiket has an entire day for fujoshi-oriented interests and there always has and always will be a large female otaku presence amongst participants, and as you seem to have noticed Touhou isn't heavily dependent on female participants, so pointing out Touken Ranbu as though it's even part of this equation makes no sense.

5. "Negative continuity" (get off the TVT drug) has never been a problem with Touhou; the most popular games are consistently the early ones and the popularity of each following work is completely unrelated to any kind of connecting story. If you're into Touhou looking for a clean and linear plot progression what the heck are you even doing. Touhou is and always has been a worldbuilding series.

Your last three paragraphs seem to just come from personal gripes (that I wouldn't even agree with at all) and aren't actually about anything problematic with the series. It also totally ignores that mobage, making up the vast majority of competing series, are 3000% more focused on vapid expansion of characters without any sense of coherent story than Touhou has ever been.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2017, 01:18:14 am by Drake »

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Re: Is Touhou's time in the sun over? And why?
« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2017, 01:16:19 am »
In July, they had a special Touhou promotion with exclusive merchandise at the Akihabara Atre, a large shopping center right next to the station, and it was so popular they're going to have ANOTHER starting at the end of the month. So yeah, using Comiket to judge its popularity is a mistake.

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Re: Is Touhou's time in the sun over? And why?
« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2017, 01:34:22 am »
But Drake! There's also less pr0n on Danbooru and g.ehentai!!!

Honestly, in my opinion, Touhou has slipped a bit. Not so much because it's lost out but because it is sharing room (fighting for air, I said earlier. Perhaps erroneously)  against mobas that pump and dump a dozens of characters a year. Go back about 5 years, and you don't really have all that much competition with regards to stuff that has a zillion characters, room to make a lot of headcanons, and continuing updates. Now there are several popular things that do just that.



(I could go on a rant about how Kancolle was cynically designed to exploit exactly this, which accounts for how it did so well as the first real rival, but it's neither here nor there)

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Re: Is Touhou's time in the sun over? And why?
« Reply #8 on: August 22, 2017, 02:03:19 am »
Okay, in my anger at Koncolle for being a thing, i completely forgot to read the rest of the post.

As for my first point, I don't think it's too difficult to see Touhou as a series as old and stale.  As a series it is ever expanding, but not evolving.  Negative Continuity, is a problem for the series. 

Um.....

.....What?

Negative Continuity is when there's no Continuity at all, this is not the case with the Touhou Project. The latest Three Fairies Manga literally relays on LoLK for one of its main central characters, for one thing.
Especially after the MoF-TD chain showed the series can work with storyline continuity, only for ZUN to backflop back into the old way of having each game having nothing to do with each other.  You can retcon completely any game from DDC to HSDS and it would not affect the series universe at all
Are you kidding me?

One of the characters in LoLK CAUSED ULIL. AFiEU references the events of previous games frequently.
Hell, AOCF looks like its connected to ULiL considering Reisen's story.
Actually, how many Touhou games even have anything to do with previous games plot wise in the first place? Even the "MoF-TD" chain is hardly a chain at all. In the very middle of it is SA, a game which has hardly anything to do with the Religious stuff at all, aside from some returning characters, who according to you "wouldn't be missed". On the other side of the fence, HM heavily features characters who were introduced in those games as major characters. Continuity isn't too complex but its still there.

And the characters aren't much better either.  For the most part, most of the series' characters remain unchanged since their debut (if they are ever seen again).
I don't see why thats a problem for the Doujin community, i mean, most Touhou Doujin generally focus on girls kissing girls, I don't think canonical character development is really needed for that kind of stuff, especially in a fandom that often ignores canon for its own fanon.

Yeah, your really freaking out about nothing. And this is from someone who really doesn't like Koncolle, btw.

EDIT: Ooops, looks like Drake already said pretty much everything i said, but better. Welp. Maybe next time i shouldn't write a long forum post and hang out on Discord at the same time.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2017, 02:04:54 am by the old guy »
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Re: Is Touhou's time in the sun over? And why?
« Reply #9 on: August 22, 2017, 03:24:01 am »
Actually I see on twitter that someone says Touhou fanbase is actually shifting to young girls instead of grownup male otaku. While they probably don't play the games, this might be the first step of Touhou becoming "mainstream".

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Re: Is Touhou's time in the sun over? And why?
« Reply #10 on: August 22, 2017, 11:45:34 am »
Just wanted to comment that you ask a yes-or-no question in the headline, but then tell us the answer is yes.

I know this isn't a news article, but the OP is still a great example of Betteridge's Law

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Re: Is Touhou's time in the sun over? And why?
« Reply #11 on: August 22, 2017, 03:49:44 pm »
Actually I see on twitter that someone says Touhou fanbase is actually shifting to young girls instead of grownup male otaku. While they probably don't play the games, this might be the first step of Touhou becoming "mainstream".
Or its death knell.  As they grow up, will they still be interested in the series?  My bets are on probably not.  And, will the next class of young girls will take on the same interests as their seniors?  That bit of prediction is foggy, at best.

Most of the counter-arguments so far don't tell me anything.  Sure it may still be going strong now, but how does it compare to how it used to be months or years ago?  Or against other series on equal footing?  Without trends for comparison, it's all meaningless.  Something can still have a good fan base and yet still be "over-the-hill" in terms of its fame.

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Re: Is Touhou's time in the sun over? And why?
« Reply #12 on: August 22, 2017, 05:31:00 pm »
Drake's got a lot of good point about it all. Personally I don't see any issues with touhou "dying" or anything. And even if it did its not something to be concerned over. ZUN will still make games when he wants and how he wants, plus there are still many dedicated touhou creators. Reitaisai looks to be fine and Comiket is something that need a registration (the others as well but its did dedicated to touhou). Comiket is really terrible to use as a reference because of it. I know plenty of artists that register but dont get accepted  to any comikets. I'm sure someone knows a bit better on how people are chosen rather than my second hand knowledge.

It really not something to worry over, touhou will be still be touhou even if numbers go down. Also remember that Kancolle and FGO got new characters this year so that can make circles jump at working on that before going back to touhou and what not~
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Re: Is Touhou's time in the sun over? And why?
« Reply #13 on: August 22, 2017, 06:48:35 pm »
Or its death knell.  As they grow up, will they still be interested in the series?  My bets are on probably not.  And, will the next class of young girls will take on the same interests as their seniors?  That bit of prediction is foggy, at best.

How does that make any sense? New fans can't be a bad thing, even if they don't last forever. It's not like the old fans are being transmogrified into young girls who will grow out of it. Everyone who is likely to abandon Touhou for the latest and greatest new thing has probably already done so, so at the very worst the population is stable (until the fans start dying of old age, I guess, but that's another problem).

I suppose maybe that's your point though? That it's no longer growing indefinitely? That's not exactly a sign of its death though. Last I checked Kancolle was also shrinking, and if those are the fans who jumped ship from Touhou, then they'll probably just migrate to FGO or something while Touhou stays in a comfortable second place. Nothing wrong with that.
Re: Is Touhou's time in the sun over? And why?
« Reply #14 on: August 22, 2017, 10:30:27 pm »
Or its death knell.  As they grow up, will they still be interested in the series?  My bets are on probably not.  And, will the next class of young girls will take on the same interests as their seniors?  That bit of prediction is foggy, at best.

Most of the counter-arguments so far don't tell me anything.  Sure it may still be going strong now, but how does it compare to how it used to be months or years ago?  Or against other series on equal footing?  Without trends for comparison, it's all meaningless.  Something can still have a good fan base and yet still be "over-the-hill" in terms of its fame.
And Kancolle will fare better in the future?

No offense, but for someone who wishes that Touhou will stay strong forever, you seem to be bent on proving it will fail in the end...
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Re: Is Touhou's time in the sun over? And why?
« Reply #15 on: August 22, 2017, 10:38:17 pm »
I remember checking Google search trends last year and Kancolle was sinking faster than Touhou.

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Re: Is Touhou's time in the sun over? And why?
« Reply #16 on: August 22, 2017, 10:48:05 pm »
No you don't understand there's more kancolle pr0ns on danbooru!!!!

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Re: Is Touhou's time in the sun over? And why?
« Reply #17 on: August 22, 2017, 11:28:37 pm »
Here's a comparison for the last few years. I hope I have set this up correctly. Not sure if any clear prognosis can be deduced from the graph. Kancolle has greater dips and peaks than Touhou does, and seems to be dropping below Touhou as of late, but both are in steady decline since 2015. Either way, the graph does not reflect the Comiket numbers given in the OP at all, which does seem to indicate that a significant portion of Touhou fan activity has moved to dedicated events.
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Re: Is Touhou's time in the sun over? And why?
« Reply #18 on: August 23, 2017, 01:47:25 am »
Most of the counter-arguments so far don't tell me anything.
The counter-arguments show you that your arguments are bad, and you are formulating your general conclusion primarily by trying to conform reality to your personal waning interest.

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Re: Is Touhou's time in the sun over? And why?
« Reply #19 on: August 23, 2017, 06:41:11 am »
Here's a comparison for the last few years. I hope I have set this up correctly. Not sure if any clear prognosis can be deduced from the graph. Kancolle has greater dips and peaks than Touhou does, and seems to be dropping below Touhou as of late, but both are in steady decline since 2015. Either way, the graph does not reflect the Comiket numbers given in the OP at all, which does seem to indicate that a significant portion of Touhou fan activity has moved to dedicated events.

Those results are only for the English terms though, which I'm guessing are a minority of fans.

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Re: Is Touhou's time in the sun over? And why?
« Reply #20 on: August 24, 2017, 02:21:21 am »
Here's a comparision with the Japanese terms: https://s4.postimg.org/pf48ic0dp/it_tell_me_nothing.jpg
Kancolle has bursts but it's going downward slowly while touhou never really had any searches...? It's kinda flat. Adding "Project" just flattens it up...

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Re: Is Touhou's time in the sun over? And why?
« Reply #21 on: August 24, 2017, 03:29:02 am »
Trends uses a kind of relative scoring system where the top is 100, it isn't absolute numbers. It's also not all that useful for making any sort of judgment, although you can glean some context out of the different kinds of searches. With web searches alone you will probably not get a whole lot of Touhou searches because typically there aren't a whole lot of websites that people aim to search for; meanwhile Kancolle has plenty of reason for people to be searching websites. Meanwhile if you look exclusively at Youtube searches you'll find that Touhou dominates, not only for the obvious reason of Touhou's heavy basis in visual media but also because Kancolle doesn't have much emphasis on it (the amount of videos it even has is impressive tbh). If you look at image searches funnily enough you might be getting the most reasonable comparison, where they both match up pretty well with Touhou having a slight but fairly consistent lead.

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Re: Is Touhou's time in the sun over? And why?
« Reply #22 on: August 24, 2017, 11:48:59 am »
Most of the counter-arguments so far don't tell me anything.  Sure it may still be going strong now, but how does it compare to how it used to be months or years ago?  Or against other series on equal footing?  Without trends for comparison, it's all meaningless.  Something can still have a good fan base and yet still be "over-the-hill" in terms of its fame.

I dunno, seems to me like you're moving the goalposts here, and have already come to your unmoving conclusion, so I have no idea why you posted this as a question if the answer isn't going to change as far as you're concerned.

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Re: Is Touhou's time in the sun over? And why?
« Reply #23 on: August 24, 2017, 08:50:51 pm »
Asspats when everyone falls over to agree with you or you dismantle the fools who still believe.

Trends uses a kind of relative scoring system where the top is 100, it isn't absolute numbers. It's also not all that useful for making any sort of judgment, although you can glean some context out of the different kinds of searches. With web searches alone you will probably not get a whole lot of Touhou searches because typically there aren't a whole lot of websites that people aim to search for; meanwhile Kancolle has plenty of reason for people to be searching websites. Meanwhile if you look exclusively at Youtube searches you'll find that Touhou dominates, not only for the obvious reason of Touhou's heavy basis in visual media but also because Kancolle doesn't have much emphasis on it (the amount of videos it even has is impressive tbh). If you look at image searches funnily enough you might be getting the most reasonable comparison, where they both match up pretty well with Touhou having a slight but fairly consistent lead.

Back in the day, I used to look at the most popular pictures of the day on Danbooru and see how many of them were Touhou out of idle curiosity. I never really considered it an accurate measure, but it did seem to track to the rise of various other things.

There was a whole lot of Scarlets, lemme tell ya.

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Re: Is Touhou's time in the sun over? And why?
« Reply #24 on: August 25, 2017, 06:42:11 am »
This thread helped me discover that Danbo actually tracks searches over days/months.

For some time at around the start of 2017 until April, it seems KC had more searches, but since then, Touhou has retaken that spot. I assume this has something to do with HSiFS also being announced in April, which makes sense. ZUN doesn't shit out characters at the rate FGO/KC do, but it at least seems clear from this (relatively small) userbase on Danbo that people are plenty interested when he does.

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Re: Is Touhou's time in the sun over? And why?
« Reply #25 on: August 25, 2017, 07:50:01 am »
ZUN doesn't shit out characters at the rate FGO/KC do, but it at least seems clear from this (relatively small) userbase on Danbo that people are plenty interested when he does.

This is pretty much the key to the fandom success of most of the bigger mobas. They pump and dump dozens, if not hundreds of characters in a year. Most of them tend to have...reasonably flimsy backgrounds and characters, which leave a lot of space to jam in your favorite tropes fanons. And they tend to be sexualized a great deal more than ZUN's base designs. As well, they generally have some sort of Player Avatar character, which makes for instant easy het shipping (something Touhou stuff has struggled with and generally defaulted to either Rinnosuke or Faceless guy #1-#10). So they're primed for people to take advantage of if a character catches the public fancy.

This is probably by design!

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Re: Is Touhou's time in the sun over? And why?
« Reply #26 on: August 25, 2017, 04:34:42 pm »
This is pretty much the key to the fandom success of most of the bigger mobas. They pump and dump dozens, if not hundreds of characters in a year. Most of them tend to have...reasonably flimsy backgrounds and characters, which leave a lot of space to jam in your favorite tropes fanons. And they tend to be sexualized a great deal more than ZUN's base designs. As well, they generally have some sort of Player Avatar character, which makes for instant easy het shipping (something Touhou stuff has struggled with and generally defaulted to either Rinnosuke or Faceless guy #1-#10). So they're primed for people to take advantage of if a character catches the public fancy.

This is probably by design!

and yet even with this, they have trouble against one dude doing whatever he feels like with his sandbox world

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Re: Is Touhou's time in the sun over? And why?
« Reply #27 on: August 25, 2017, 10:29:32 pm »
Strewth.


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Re: Is Touhou's time in the sun over? And why?
« Reply #28 on: August 26, 2017, 01:18:39 am »
and yet even with this, they have trouble against one dude doing whatever he feels like with his sandbox world
Well, Touhou had a massive headstart. Touhou had a lot of time to establish its characters, setting, and lores. By the time those games have to start from scratch, Touhou already had its stable footing.

If ZUN started Touhou now, I had many doubts it would be as successful as it is.

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Re: Is Touhou's time in the sun over? And why?
« Reply #29 on: August 26, 2017, 05:24:01 am »
Sure, and if all these mobage came out in 2003, they -- oh wait, they literally couldn't. All media has its footing in the surrounding culture.

Touhou itself helped the doujin scene grow to what it is today and is part of why these new series thrive; pointing at how big the scene is now and saying that Touhou wouldn't have its current representation if it started now is completely absurd, not only because it took years for Touhou to grow into what it is, but also because it grew within the culture that it helped foster. Take out Touhou's influence and I think it would be legitimately difficult to say where the state of the culture would be.

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