March 8, 2010

Spontaneous Otakulture 2 - Touhou Project

Otakulture 2 - Touhou Project

Today's riddle: what do satanic Ronald McDonald videos, powdered milk, and JIS art have in common. Absolutely nothing, that's what. But somehow Touhou has become all of the above.

Touhou is most likely one of the most misunderstood center of meme's ever to cause a ripple on the surface of the internet. And for that reason, Spontaneous Otakulture will be all about it.

Touhou Project is a "Danmaku," or "curtain fire" shooting game created by the one man team ZUN. It is usually sold at Japan's famous "Comiket" convention, and has gathered a fanbase unprecendented. The actual gameplay level is quite diffucult, there is hardly a moment where the screen is not covered in colorful bullet patterns. The game involves dodging these bullets while shooting down enemies and bosses.

The main characters in the Touhou universe are magical creatures, almost all of which are female. Reimu Hakurei, the game's main character, is a shrine maiden always dressed in red and attacks with amulets. The secondary character, Marisa Kirisame, is a blond haired magician who tends to be on the sarcastic side. Together they fight threats to the imaginary land of Gensokyo, which include vampiric sisters, a ditsy ice fairy "⑨", and a variety of animal-based opponents.

It's a surprise how many meme's have come from this doujin game. At first glance, the remixes of songs by IOSYS, the creepy McDonalds rendition of "UN Owen was her?," and the offbeat references only true fans understand make Touhou seem like some strange cult following. And in a way it is... but it's also a great game! I've only so much as touched the hem of Flandre, but I can appreciate the skill that is required to find gaps and the enemy while collecting powerups. The gameplay is very worth buying (or whatever your game is...) and it is high recommended.

Most of you probably know more about Touhou than me, so here are some videos I like! (Sorry no download link pals, jail time for distro isn't a part of my future.)

Ronald McDonald's "UN Owen was her?"

IOSYS: Cirno's "Chirumiru"

IOSYS: "Oyome ni Shinasai"

IOSYS: "Perfect Yukkuri Class"

Here ends the second edition of Spontaneous Otakulture. Hopefully you learned something new, or were able to relate with a smile. Keep walking the path of the otaku, and the rewards will be plentiful. Probably.


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