Topic: Some Help With Touhou Canon And Fanfiction  (Read 723 times)

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SovereignClockwork

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Some Help With Touhou Canon And Fanfiction
« on: March 17, 2019, 05:12:56 pm »
Hello. I'm a college student that has write a paper about any topic, and so I chose Touhou. The main problem is that the paper has to be an argumentative paper where I have to argue a point or side on the topic that I choose. I decided to do Touhou because of the open ended nature of a lot of the things in the games and such. I'm aware of another thread which talked about a few of the things I was interested in (It started with Reimu's personality and then other things that were different were brought up like the dragon palace and Koishi's eye opening), but I couldn't find too much more of people discussing it.

Some of the things I'm looking for from the canon stuff: which ending in the game is the actual ending since there are multiple endings based on the character and shot type used, what's happening in Impossible Spell Card (Seija gets a bounty placed on her by who and what is the reward, what happens to Seija after this game or is this game meant to be the explanation as to why she isn't seen too often after the game), is there any specific book that talks about the backstory of the characters (I'm interested in every character's backstory, but for the sake of brevity in Yuyuko, Byakuren, Miko, Junko, and the Yorigami sisters)

The reason for the fanfiction is because I believe that so long as a fanfiction keeps the characters in the story as similar to the original work as possible, then they should at least be considered. My main problem is the volume of Touhou fanfiction and the pesky language barrier and dodgy translations. So I'd like to ask about fanfiction that actually could possibly work. For instance, I've been seeing a lot of stuff about Hollow Song of Birds, but I don't have a copy of it myself. There are also the fangames that have gone onto consoles: Adventures of Scarlet Curiosity, Genso Rondo, Genso Wanderer, etc. I've played Adventures of Scarlet Curiosity, which I haven't read enough of the Sangetsusei series to know how the fairies would act or if they would help the other youkai like Nitori, and I haven't seen the other characters enough to be able to see whether or not they'd act like they do in the game (like Mokou attacking the character you play as for assuming that you caused what was going on. I know in Touhou 9: PoFV the main characters all go out and investigate the incident separately and accuse just about anyone they find resulting in a fight, but we don't know for certain Mokou would be like that (I haven't played through to the extra stage of Touhou 8: IN)). There is also the fanime, like Fantasy Kaleidoscope, which isn't good. Good quality animation sure, but they change the story and characters so much.

Thank you ahead of time to anyone who took the time to read all of this, and at the very least thought about the topic.
Re: Some Help With Touhou Canon And Fanfiction
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2019, 10:58:29 pm »
For endings, it's safe to assume all of them happened. There are very few contradictions, and those that exist can be reconciled with minimal changes. In some cases all endings form a logical sequence, actually. A bit of a self-plug, but here are my thoughts on the matter. Plus some of the latest manga chapters (namely WaHH ch. 42 and VFiS ch. 8) pretty much confirm that all ROUTES happen, at least.

For character backgrounds, PMiSS and SoPM are closest, but the main source should actually be profiles from game-specific documents. You can find them on the wiki in character articles. (Just don't read articles themselves - they tend to have uncited info.)
« Last Edit: March 17, 2019, 11:01:47 pm by CyberAngel »

Raikaria

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Re: Some Help With Touhou Canon And Fanfiction
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2019, 10:30:59 am »
Specifically regarding endings, I generally go for a 'Everyone was involved and good endings occur unless there's a good reason why not'. Even bad endings can be useful for determining character relations.

For example; Lotus Land Story. Reimu v Marisa is a thing that happens and based on later statement that Marisa hasn't defeated Reimu [Which hadn't been overwritten at that time], we know Reimu wins, and therefor the Reimu ending is the canon ending, because we know Reimu won. However, it's likely Marisa still hung around and observed the Master Spark so got the magic she was looking for anyway.

Pretty sure the same applies for the Magic Route in IN; and the Phantasmagoria games. Marisa routes cannot be canon because it was stated she hadn't beaten Reimu ever at that point, and those routes involve her defeating Reimu.

It's also worth noting in UFO one of the Sanae routes is 100% canon because it directly sets up Ten Desires [The Ship turning into the Myouren Temple; which is what re-awakens Toyosatomimi]. Likewise if I recall one of the Marisa endings in SA is 100% canon [I believe it's Nitori] because it leads up to the release of the Ship. MoF -> TD [And even HM] is kinda weird in how each game is a direct sequel and a chain of events. But none of these are mutually exclusive, except perhaps the SA Marisa routes with the other Marisa routes [And even then there's nothing saying Marisa isn't helped by Alice and Patchouli anyway and rotates shottypes, and said ending dosen't exclude Reimu being involved either.]

Other Muturally Exclusive endings would be the A and B shottypes from DDC; since obviously the characters can't both choose to use their possessed weapon and choose to not use it simultaneously. But events from DDC don't lead into other games. Sakuya A and Sakuya B cannot both occur.

And in LLK; the Regular endings are non-canon [Because Junko can instantly win if you've even taken a scratch and last time I checked a no-graze run of LLK isn't a thing, and the endings are basically bad endings.] and the Pointdevice endings are canon [Because the Elixir prevents Junko instawinning].

tl;dr: Endings we know:

PoDD - Marisa route cannot be canon [Note: This means Mimi-Chan is a strictly non-canon character]
LLS - Marisa route cannot be canon

IN - Magic route cannot be canon, also, obviously; bad endings are not canon for story purposes but the interactions are still useful for relations ect
PoFV - Marisa route cannot be canon [Fairly sure the Reimu v Marisa thing held until 9.5?]
SA - Marisa-Nitori is canon [But we don't know if this rules out other shottypes/Reimu]
UFO - One of the Sanae endings is canon [I forgot if it's A or B], but again, dosen't rule out others, even the other Sanae shotype ending.

DDC - A and B ending are muturally exclusive, but we don't know which character or if A/B are canon.
LLK - Pointdevice endings are canon, Regular Mode endings are non-canon.

All other games do not have contradictions as far as I'm aware.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2019, 10:48:16 am by Raikaria »


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Re: Some Help With Touhou Canon And Fanfiction
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2019, 10:59:45 am »
For UFO, one of Marisa's endings is a spelled-out setup for Extra stage, which definitely happened since Nue is around.

Also, wasn't it said somewhere that Marisa explicitly didn't take the elixir in LoLK to study it later? Then again, ZUN himself said that the canon route is no-miss Legacy, which gives you Pointdevice ending anyway.

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Re: Some Help With Touhou Canon And Fanfiction
« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2019, 06:43:14 am »
Also, wasn't it said somewhere that Marisa explicitly didn't take the elixir in LoLK to study it later?
Her Legacy ending says she kept it because it's a rare item for her collection, but yeah. Marisa's Legacy ending is mutually exclusive with all the Pointdevice endings (Reisen says nobody else took the elixir) except Reisen's, who says she'll have to go herself if nobody else would. Or then again I guess the Pointdevice endings have none of them actually use the elixir, so...

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SovereignClockwork

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Re: Some Help With Touhou Canon And Fanfiction
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2019, 06:43:00 pm »
Thank you for replying, I wasn't sure how soon people would reply. Should have checked sooner.

For endings, it's safe to assume all of them happened. There are very few contradictions, and those that exist can be reconciled with minimal changes. In some cases all endings form a logical sequence, actually. A bit of a self-plug, but here are my thoughts on the matter. Plus some of the latest manga chapters (namely WaHH ch. 42 and VFiS ch. 8) pretty much confirm that all ROUTES happen, at least.

For character backgrounds, PMiSS and SoPM are closest, but the main source should actually be profiles from game-specific documents. You can find them on the wiki in character articles. (Just don't read articles themselves - they tend to have uncited info.)

I like to think that the endings that don't in some way set up something that is about to happen (a game or a book) are more for character building. 'This is the way this character would act around and to these characters in this kind of situation.' I can see what you mean by all the endings happening, because most of the endings don't really prevent any of the other endings from happening. Most of the time. Also, thanks for the advice about the wiki. I am a wiki lurker, and it was odd to see it so outdated.

tl;dr: Endings we know:

PoDD - Marisa route cannot be canon [Note: This means Mimi-Chan is a strictly non-canon character]
LLS - Marisa route cannot be canon

IN - Magic route cannot be canon, also, obviously; bad endings are not canon for story purposes but the interactions are still useful for relations ect
PoFV - Marisa route cannot be canon [Fairly sure the Reimu v Marisa thing held until 9.5?]
SA - Marisa-Nitori is canon [But we don't know if this rules out other shottypes/Reimu]
UFO - One of the Sanae endings is canon [I forgot if it's A or B], but again, dosen't rule out others, even the other Sanae shotype ending.

DDC - A and B ending are muturally exclusive, but we don't know which character or if A/B are canon.
LLK - Pointdevice endings are canon, Regular Mode endings are non-canon.

All other games do not have contradictions as far as I'm aware.

For DDC, I was fairly certain there was a chapter in Wild and Horned Hermit where Reimu talked about her solving the incident and nobody noticed. She also talked about it being more difficult than normal because she couldn't use her purification rod. Chapter 19 was the one. The wiki helped me with that. In the actual chapter, it does show Marisa and Sakuya behind Reimu as she talks about the incident though, so there probably was some help from them. I like to think they put down the youkai rebelling around their homes (sakuya taking down Wakasagihime and the youkai around Misty Lake, and Marisa taking down Kagerou and the youkai around the Magic Forest) with Reimu getting rid of the rest.

As for CyberAngel, Marisa B ending set up the extra stage.

Her Legacy ending says she kept it because it's a rare item for her collection, but yeah. Marisa's Legacy ending is mutually exclusive with all the Pointdevice endings (Reisen says nobody else took the elixir) except Reisen's, who says she'll have to go herself if nobody else would. Or then again I guess the Pointdevice endings have none of them actually use the elixir, so...

Would that mean that all of the endings are mutually exclusive? Marisa's being mutually exclusive and Reisen who goes by herself. I guess that could mean the two miko endings could occur together, but wasn't the endings for all the characters fairly big with what they said. Something about Sanae being the child of a god.

Either way, thanks for replying. I do need to ask about Impossible Spell Card, mainly because of the implications of what is happening in the story. The bounty was placed by someone and upheld by someone. I guess it could just be one character that everyone trusts enough to agree to hunt Seija down, but that also means they have something of enough value to drive all those characters to fight. Perhaps money is simply that influential, even in Gensokyo.

The fan made stuff is also somewhat important, but they would be a lot more based around if the events could happen and if the characters speak and act like they would in a game made by ZUN.

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Re: Some Help With Touhou Canon And Fanfiction
« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2019, 08:07:46 pm »
I was just answering CyberAngel and didnt intend to mean much there, but that's my fault for not adding asterisks going "but not really" because not everyone is familiar with how I talk about endings. Here's a copypasted blurb that I didn't remember to post earlier:

There are two different things here: who solved an incident, and what endings are canon. Effectively all good endings in the series are canon, in the sense that the information they give and events they portray all happen, even if they seem mutually exclusive. They're just a device to give you the information. As for "who solved the incident", the exact details of the incidents are always left ambiguous outside of the games themselves. In some cases it's even shown that multiple characters acknowledge the incident resolution. This is meant to allow the theoretical possibility of any route, and this ambiguity combined with all endings being relevant in some way results in the actual answer being "they're all canon and the actual details of how this works are unimportant".

Some people don't seem to like this notion because they want everything to be precise and concrete, but for ZUN doing this accomplishes what he wants.

I don't see having a fuzzy sense of incident resolution and there being no such thing as a "canon route" as an instance of "contradicting canon". People seem to find this very important, as though it's actually something that is key to the setting in some way, that one and only one particular character resolved an incident. This isn't important at all; what's important are the details that are established within each route that contribute to the setting overall.

I firmly promote the notion that all routes are canon, insofar as they convey some meaningful information about the setting that  to be used going forward (which is what I would call the actual significance of something even being called "canon"), and I think this is a natural reading of the works. ZUN uses the story within the games to worldbuild as much as possible and distributes it among each player; some character lenses offer insights that other characters have no idea about, a good recent example being Aya's confrontation with Okina, and rejecting those events as though the information given there simply "doesn't exist" for no good benefit is contrary to why they're there in the first place.

IN is an interesting case in this regard as it's one work where, due to the details of the incident, ZUN allowed himself to later (in BAiJR) acknowledge and play with this peculiarity in-universe and even take advantage of it to help push the joke that nobody wants to admit they solved that incident.

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