Touhou Project is a series of Japanese Computer Games. You've probably never heard of it, but that's OK. A game about a bunch of LITTLE GIRLS would be probably too difficult for you, Halo-boy...
Just The Facts
- All of the Characters are little girls.
- Despite what Fact #1 may lead you to believe, the games are extremely difficult.
- The Touhou Fanbase has achieved levels of craziness that make other Fanbases look downright lazy.
This is 'ZUN', real name Junya Ota. He likes Beer and Agatha Christie Novels. He is a Japanese Programmer and Game Designer. He runs his own independent development studio, named 'Team Shanghai Alice'. In spite of what the word 'Team' may lead you believe, he is the only member. Also, in spite of what 'Programmer and Game Designer' may lead you to believe, he is UNDERweight.
He produces a series of games called 'Touhou Project'. He does all the coding, art, music, and design work by himself. You may be wondering how one man can single handily pull all of this off without a hitch. The answer to that is simple: The official character art sucks.
The series revolves around a Miko (Shinto Shrine Maiden) named Reimu Hakurei (the pale, almost zombie looking girl pictured above), who lives in a magical world named Gensokyo. Every so often, disaster strikes, and it's up to Reimu to save the world from little vampire girls, little ghost girls, little demon girls, little exiled moon princess girls... Generally, mythical entities that all look like LITTLE GIRLS.
To date there have been a total of 12 'Official' games in the series. However, the first fives games were for the now-obsolete Japanese only PC-98 Platform, so most fans simply ignore their existence altogether, similar to how Star Wars fans feel about Star Wars Holiday Special.
Starting with the sixth game, Touhou has been developed for PC. Unlike most popular Japanese PC Games, Touhou isn't an Erotic Dating Game or a Rape Simulator. In fact, instead of letting the player rape little girls, the game RAPES YOU... metaphorically speaking...
Also, the little girls are the ones that do the raping.
Touhou has practically defined the Danmaku (literally Bullet Curtain, but more commonly referred to as Bullet Hell) genre. Players move around 2D space, firing at enemies that appear while at the same time avoid enemy attacks. There are six stages and each one ends with a boss. If it sounds like the old Capcom Arcade Game '1942', then you're on the right track.
However, with the exception of any grandfather who saw action in the European Theater, no one would ever describe 1942 as 'Bullet Hell'. Touhou puts the Hell in Bullet Hell by literally showering you with ordinance. They come in a variety of colors and shapes, from knives, stars, butterflies, and even hearts. They all have two things in common though. They all look SUPER PRETTY, and they will all kill you in one hit.
But it's the boss fights that really turn the Hell dial up to eleven. In addition to a simple attack pattern, bosses will activate 'Spell Cards' after taking certain amounts of damage. These Spell Cards will take the form of even more bullets filling up the screen, and often fly in intricate patterns. Certainly an entertaining way to die. Just watch this video of the fight with little vampire girl Flandre Scarlet.
Most of what Touhou is, is generated by the Fanbase. After all, there's only so much a 110 lb Alcoholic Game Designer can do...
Stop and think about the Fanbase you hate the most. Star Trek? Kingdom Hearts? Twilight?
Now think about the crazy things you've ever seen them do. Room filling memorabilia collections. Conventions. Erotic Fanfiction. That kind of stuff...
Well, Touhou Fans have ALL of those, and more.
Memorabilia? Tonnes of it.
WHAT DO YOU MEAN THEY'RE ONLY AVAILABLE IN JAPAN?
Conventions? Well, there's Reitaisai. It's the convention for Touhou fans in Japan. It's what you would expect out of any convention. Music, games, and cute girls dressing up as characters from the game.
SUPER SEXY MIKO ARMPITS!
Erotic Fanfiction? Well, since it's a Japanese game series with a cast of characters that's all-female GEE WHAT DO YOU THINK, GENIUS?
That Miko really gets around...
Basically, a total lack of male characters has resulted in all the characters being rendered as lesbians. YAY!
But remember when I said more? I meant things like MegaMari, a fan-made PC game that plays like Megaman, but where all the Robot Masters have been replaced with Characters from Touhou.
Or how about Super Marisa World. Just like MegaMari, it's a Mario-style platformer with Touhou Characters.
Or how about TouhouMon. At this point I shouldn't even need to explain.
And then there's the music...
While fan-made remixes of classic video game tunes are nothing new, Touhou fans take it one step further. First, they like to remix the original music to EVERYTHING.
Everything is better with Full Metal Jacket!
Then, they rework the melodies into semi-original pieces in a variety of different musical styles. Some groups even release full albums of these, with production values that your cousins garage band could only dream of. Most are sold at conventions like Reitaisei, but some make it all the way to AMAZON...
Let's stop and think about all of this for a second. Can you name one game franchise that has inspired it's fans to produce entire albums of worth of remixes, set up entire conventions, and create countless comics and other merchandise?
You can't. You can't, because Touhou Fans are FUCKING INSANE. It is like a Cult. There is no other logical answer. While game publishers dole out millions in marketing budgets in the hope that it will help make their game the hit of the season, ONE JAPANESE GEEK has an army of dedicated fans who will spread the word for free...
... Like what I'm doing RIGHT NOW.