Author Topic: Byakuren is NOT a good character  (Read 45673 times)

Byakuren is NOT a good character
« on: December 12, 2009, 10:12:34 PM »
From what I've read in Touhou 12's dialogue, even though Reimu was not the most innocent characters of the batch, Byakuren is actually evil.

Why do I think so? She wants to bring "equality" to humans and youkai.
In Gensokyo, it is Youkai who oppress humans and even enslaves them.
Byakuren, however, believes that Youkai are the ones being oppressed.

My point? Zun is brilliant. He just highhandedly portrayed a Hitler in Touhou. A seemingly heroic, divine figure who would actually bring forth "judgment" amongst the innocent in order to "save" Gensokyo. But in reality she would ultimately destroy Gensokyo and have humans reitrbute with unrealistic expectations.
Even the fanbase was fooled.

Just my 2 cents of this plain and to the point theory.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2009, 10:14:34 PM by Lishy »

Re: Byakuren is NOT a good character
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2009, 10:13:58 PM »
She insists on fighting Marisa, who doesn't give two figs about humans or youkai.

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Re: Byakuren is NOT a good character
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2009, 10:14:09 PM »
I just thought she wanted everything to be equal between humans and youkai. Like, actual equality. Not the Jim Crow of Touhou.


But Nazi Byakuren is hot too I guess.

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Re: Byakuren is NOT a good character
« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2009, 10:15:12 PM »
lolwut?

so its Youkai hitler not Youkai Jesus?

but what about the Nazi Shrine Maidens?

Re: Byakuren is NOT a good character
« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2009, 10:16:33 PM »
She wants youkai to be "equal" to humans.
This is also an equivalent to "feminazi" groups claiming the most ridiculous things are violating their rights, in the name of equality and feminism.
This was perhaps a reference by Zun about recent feminist groups trying to ban hentai and eroge because it "violates" "equality".


Of course, on the flip side, even with good intentions, Byakuren has the wrong idea of the scenario.

Re: Byakuren is NOT a good character
« Reply #5 on: December 12, 2009, 10:17:05 PM »
I just thought she wanted everything to be equal between humans and youkai. Like, actual equality.
Marisa tells her that youkai are oppressing humans in Gensokyo and she believes Marisa is lying because youkai couldn't possibly oppress humans, prompting their battle.

People say Marisa is the only nice one, but in reality Marisa just makes Byakuren's true colors more clear.

EDIT: Yeah, I think Lishy has a point. Byakuren is like those "equal rights" groups who claim to want equality, yet at the same time want special benefits just for being themselves.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2009, 10:19:25 PM by AlexX »

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Re: Byakuren is NOT a good character
« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2009, 10:19:35 PM »
People say Marisa is the only nice one, but in reality Marisa just makes Byakuren reveal her true colors.

That must be why MariB is the cannon ending.

This was perhaps a reference by Zun about recent feminist groups trying to ban hentai and eroge because it "violates" "equality".

ZUN is usually too drunk to think about those things.

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Re: Byakuren is NOT a good character
« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2009, 10:21:59 PM »
...Hitler...

Damn, and I was all about to agree with you until that point... *coughGodwin'sLawcough*

Oh well, at least some people think somewhat on the same lines as me and don't see her as some kind of all-loving trippy-hippy messiah figure.
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Re: Byakuren is NOT a good character
« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2009, 10:22:26 PM »
Indeed.

There is no doubt that Zun purposely used irony in her dialogue because everything Byakuren says is the opposite of what she wants to do. That irony is symbolic for her character because Byakuren is actually twisted and messed up, as with her theme being so calming when she in fact attacks you, making her even more twisted. When you take into account that the environment is so eerie and the theme so tense, it creates an even more twisted effect.

This is why I find her character so dang brilliant.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2009, 10:24:21 PM by Lishy »

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Re: Byakuren is NOT a good character
« Reply #9 on: December 12, 2009, 10:26:09 PM »
I won't say too much about this, basically because bringing defining her as hitler personally disgusts me, but just think about one thing:

If I'm not completely off, Byakuren was sealed 1000 years ago, so before the creation of the Hakurei border. That would mean she was sealed in a world with a lot more residents than modern Gensokyo, in which youkai would probably be heavily outnumbered by humans. Being seen as a threat (for good reasons), oppression of youkai would be a logical and possible result. Byakuren simply wouldn't know that the situation is different in the Gensokyo in which she awakens.

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Re: Byakuren is NOT a good character
« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2009, 10:44:34 PM »
ITT we have subjective opinions about Byakuren.

This is why I say, screw that, she's Youkai Jesus!
Also, what Sakana said. She's not evil, she was selfish yes, but she became the Mask, so that redeemed her. Y'know Theo, yeah she was a coward for that but people CHANGE. It's like it can't be forgiven what people did in the past. Or that people cannot change in general.

Re: Byakuren is NOT a good character
« Reply #11 on: December 12, 2009, 10:50:17 PM »
I'm pretty sure that before the Hakurei Border, youkai were even stronger than they were in modern Gensokyo. The border establishes at 0 AD, and before that were many many events as well, such as the war for the moon's surface.
And specifically, 1000 years ago was Yuyuko's death as a human, so that had even much more youkai occurrences oppressing the innocent.

Analyzing her further:

In MarisaA's scenario, Byakuren mentions she was sealed for using magic, and that she wanted people to call Youkai equals because she could use magic.
She asked if it was "okay" to use magic.
And when MarisaA says that humans are still being oppressed, Byakuren denies it saying that humans haven't changed, hinting that things were always the same.
This makes me presume by using "magic", she means to kill people.

In SanaeB's scenario, Byakuren says she wants to create a world where all is equal because Youkai is oppressed, and she attacks Sanae because Sanae disagrees.


But what god me thinking is ReimuA
In ReimuA's scenario, she says "but youkais are hated and gods worshiped. That's because humans decided it should be that way".
What this means is that Byakuren believes that the equality is humans should worship Youkai. And when Reimu questions if it's okay to leave her alone, Byakuren jumps to the conclusion that she cannot change her opinion of youkai so Byakuren tries to kill Reimu.
Reimu, who was able to see her true colors, says "Yep. There we go", hinting that she had a theory Byakuren was suspicious. Meanwhile, Byakuren comments humans are selfish and self-centered, when they've done nothing at all but resist Youkai oppression. Exactly what was in this case scenario where Byakuren tries to attack Reimu, with this being irony.

I'm convinced that Zun wrote her as a psychologically ill character with distortions of a twisted reality. Again, Byakuren is a character who is ironic.


edit:
To further enforce my theory, here`s an analogy:

Zephiel is to Fire Emblem as Byakuren is to Touhou


edit#2:

And SanaeA
Sanae just wants to return home. Byakuren questions her and Sanae simply says she's a hunter of youkai who do bad things. "I see humans haven't changed" is what Byakuren says in response.
Byakuren "grieves for Youkai that are oppressed by humans" and she did says she did everything in her power to create an "equal world", but she was still sealed away.
"Gods and Buddhas are no different from Youkai. Yet why are Youkai and gods worshiped?" She also says.
When she asks Sanae if she believes Youkai hunting to be just, Sanae responds it's needed to keep the peace.
Byakuren then concludes herself no better than a Youkai and attacks Sanae.

This backs up my theory is that Byakuren wanted Youkai to be worshiped. And this backs up that the reason she was sealed away was because she attacked humans.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2009, 11:15:04 PM by Lishy »

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Re: Byakuren is NOT a good character
« Reply #12 on: December 12, 2009, 11:15:46 PM »
I've never thought of Byakuren as malicious. She's simply the well-intentioned extremist who doesn't understand a culture that rejects her ideals. She came to care for youkai in her selfish desire to retain her youth, and to see them exterminated by humans saddens her. What she doesn't understand is that Gensokyo's very infrastructure depends on this inequality between humans and youkai, one that has been alluded to many times throughout the series.

She's not "bad" at all; she simply doesn't get it.
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Re: Byakuren is NOT a good character
« Reply #13 on: December 12, 2009, 11:18:38 PM »
She's not "bad" at all; she simply doesn't get it.
I just updated my previous post, backing up my argument why she is bad.

And I would like to mention that Youkai are in fact treated as equals in modern Gensokyo. Hence characters like Suika and Yukari all eating feasts together at the Hakurei Shrine.

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Re: Byakuren is NOT a good character
« Reply #14 on: December 12, 2009, 11:22:24 PM »
If I could bring up one possibility:

Places like Makai and Hokkai exist outside of Gensokyo, as in, they aren't wholly within the Gensokyo cordoned off by the Hakurei Border, right?

Additionally, Byakuren's backstory, nor that of her followers, seem to really mention Gensokyo at all.  In other words, they came outside of pre-Border Gensokyo (which was indeed haunted and plagued by Youkai).  It's very possible that youkai (at least the less animalistic sorts) outside of Gensokyo were being hunted down in worse ways than they were in Gensokyo.  I remember somewhere too something being mentioned about youkai flocking to Gensokyo for various reasons (faith and belief, or lack thereof, making them weaker, strength in numbers, sanctuary, etc.).

It's possible values dissonance.  I still personally have a hard time believing it to be as malevolent as it's being presented here.

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Re: Byakuren is NOT a good character
« Reply #15 on: December 12, 2009, 11:24:42 PM »
That's because "times are changing" in Gensokyo, probably because of Reimu's indifference towards youkai (only hunting them out of obligation and not hatred). The introduction of stuff like spell cards has made humans and youkai more friendly, but that does not change the fact that they're natural enemies. I'm quite certain this inequality and the need for it has been stated in the games themselves (some ending).

Quote
I just updated my previous post, backing up my argument why she is bad.

You can back up all you want, it doesn't change the fact that your points don't really condemn her. It's obvious she has a preference towards youkai, and yes she probably did bad things to humans for youkai's sake, but guess what? EVERYONE is like this in Touhou, and the fact that Byakuren has quite clearly reformed in the endings and truly wishes for equality between humans and youkai makes all your points moot.

Also FYI, the border was established in 1884, not 0 AD.
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Re: Byakuren is NOT a good character
« Reply #16 on: December 13, 2009, 12:45:03 AM »
ITT: jumping to conclusions based on what amounts to hearsay.

Byakuren's comments on youkai being reviled and gods worshipped is actually a very poignant statement, and relates to prejudice and persecution due to ignorance. The assumption that she means that youkai are to be worshipped equally to gods is hardly basis for argument, as I can equally state that she means for the gods to be reduced to the same levels of disrespect as youkai.

I should additionally point out that in current Gensokyo youkai are persecuted. Need I remind you of the Human village? It's not the Beings of all sorts are welcome village. Reimu and her ilk are special cases, as they deal with youkai on pretty much a daily basis and they would be able to develop a rapport with the youkai community, whether they like it or not. The rest of the human population have no reason to treat youkai with any kind of respect, treating them as demons regardless whether it's true or not.

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Re: Byakuren is NOT a good character
« Reply #17 on: December 13, 2009, 12:47:06 AM »
ITT: NAZI TO TOUHOU CHARACTER ANALYSIS.

Nice.

Whoa, a single EVIL Youkai Cherry Tree=ALL YOUKAI ARE KILLING HUMANS! Wow, I never knew that.

All four were stupid. Let's see...

Quote from: Raymoo, friend of Youkai
Yes, there we go!

I'll beat anyone who's a friend to youkai!
lol

Quote from: Raymoo, person equal to Youkai
Byakuren: You ... really don't think the same way
that I do, do you?

That humans and youkai can live together as equals
in the light of the Buddha ...

Raymoo: Th-there's no way!
olol

Quote from: Sanae, living god
The wholesome gods hunt the wicked youkai!
Oh yeah, telling someone that you're "holier than thou" is going to help the situation.

Quote from: Marisa, treasure hunter
A youkai like you
should just be quiet and give me my reward.
Because you know, telling someone to stfu and give you a reward is going to go places.

Quote from: Byakuren, Youkai
*Insert any final lines before the battle begins*
Because telling people that they're idiots will convince them NOT TO ATTACK YOU, or help you get your point across.

Basically, everyone decided to miscommunicate, or act like a bitch. Point of that exercise was to show how everything said there was basically "NU-UH, X IS BETTER THAN Y".

Oh, and Byakuren did let a ship full of people die to save Murasa, although more ships would've gotten sunk anyways, if Murasa wasn't removed from that general area.

And no, Byakuren didn't want Youkai to be worshipped. She was questioning why Gods are worshipped, while Youkai, who are similar to gods in her opinion, are hunted. That explains the "humans made it so" part.

/topic
« Last Edit: December 13, 2009, 12:51:10 AM by SMD-31-FX »

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Re: Byakuren is NOT a good character
« Reply #18 on: December 13, 2009, 01:14:26 AM »
I should additionally point out that in current Gensokyo youkai are persecuted. Need I remind you of the Human village? It's not the Beings of all sorts are welcome village. Reimu and her ilk are special cases, as they deal with youkai on pretty much a daily basis and they would be able to develop a rapport with the youkai community, whether they like it or not. The rest of the human population have no reason to treat youkai with any kind of respect, treating them as demons regardless whether it's true or not.

I'd like to add, that perhaps the humans are indeed making the problem worse. By treating the youkai as demons, they alienate them. The carnivorous youkai aren't being given reasons to see the humans as more than another source of meat, and the rest end up seeing them as enemies as well. The persecution breeds hatred on both sides, thus making it a self-perpetuating problem. 

Of course, that's not even considering youkai such as Rumia and Mystia who aren't necessarily actively malicious, just stupid <_<; They probably wouldn't even bother to think about who they're going after. Of course, youkai such as them make the problem even worse than others most likely. They wouldn't understand enough to be willing to stop attacking humans even if the situation did become better, and/or most humans were powerful enough to fight them off.

Re: Byakuren is NOT a good character
« Reply #19 on: December 13, 2009, 01:32:31 AM »
Guys, you do know that this series is about a bunch of girls playing a card game right.  And unlike that other incredibly deep and meaningful series, there isn't even a Shadow Realm.

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Re: Byakuren is NOT a good character
« Reply #20 on: December 13, 2009, 01:36:33 AM »
Whether or not they're actually playing around is up to debate too Azinth. :P I should just make a document listing all the times death is explicitly listed as the player's fate if they lose said "game." Also Touhou's deeper than most people think, but nobody believes me. :[

Quote
there isn't even a Shadow Realm.

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Re: Byakuren is NOT a good character
« Reply #21 on: December 13, 2009, 01:51:40 AM »
Touhou is deep in lore. Sadly, Zun fails at showing it in the maingames.
Note that I'm referring to the books.

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Re: Byakuren is NOT a good character
« Reply #22 on: December 13, 2009, 02:06:07 AM »
I'd like to add, that perhaps the humans are indeed making the problem worse. By treating the youkai as demons, they alienate them. The carnivorous youkai aren't being given reasons to see the humans as more than another source of meat, and the rest end up seeing them as enemies as well. The persecution breeds hatred on both sides, thus making it a self-perpetuating problem. 

Agreed. Was about to say the exact thing.

But quoted instead cuz im lazy:P

Re: Byakuren is NOT a good character
« Reply #23 on: December 13, 2009, 05:07:33 AM »
Need I remind you of the Human village? It's not the Beings of all sorts are welcome village.
You're making a lot of assumptions.

Nowhere is it stated youkai can't go into the village (example: Ran and others go there for shopping, etc.). Likewise, I can't think of any source where they drive off youkai just for being near it. It seems to me more like a settlement to keep themselves safe from the ones that ARE dangerous (Rumia, etc.), because its been established human-eating youkai are actually pretty common.

"What do you mean 'stop repeating everything you say'?"

Re: Byakuren is NOT a good character
« Reply #24 on: December 13, 2009, 05:24:07 AM »
I came into this topic thinking it was about Byakuren's design


Speaking of which I still kinda like this one better

Re: Byakuren is NOT a good character
« Reply #25 on: December 13, 2009, 05:27:14 AM »
Speaking of which I still kinda like this one better
That character looks an interestingly lot like Kanako.

"What do you mean 'stop repeating everything you say'?"

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Re: Byakuren is NOT a good character
« Reply #26 on: December 13, 2009, 05:41:20 AM »
I came into this topic thinking it was about Byakuren's design


Speaking of which I still kinda like this one better

Fake or not...I'm getting curious and curiouser O_O...eh back to the topic

Anyways yeah some Youkai probably go to the human village because they are probably trustworthy (since when Youkai are trustworthy!?) at not destroying or attacking the villagers/village. And of course obviously they're still discriminated.

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Re: Byakuren is NOT a good character
« Reply #27 on: December 13, 2009, 06:11:19 AM »
To each person is their own gensokyo.

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Re: Byakuren is NOT a good character
« Reply #28 on: December 13, 2009, 08:40:18 AM »
To each person is their own gensokyo.
^ This + Dark Tewi


About Byakuren, fanom is dumb. She is a buddhist monk, not a christian. Annoying western fanbase calling her "Youkai jesus" is just to cry for.

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Re: Byakuren is NOT a good character
« Reply #29 on: December 13, 2009, 08:52:15 AM »
About Byakuren, fanom is dumb. She is a buddhist monk, not a christian. Annoying western fanbase calling her "Youkai jesus" is just to cry for.
That exactly. She has no single Jesus-exclusive attribute that would justify the name.

She loves every living being, huh?
Well then, she could as well be Youkai Nelson Mandela, Youkai Mother Theresa, Youkai Pope Paul II, Youkai Buddha, Youkai God, etc. etc.........
......or simply an intelligent and compassionate person.