While looking through anime forums or simply clicking through anime-related videos on Youtube, you will at some point stumble across the word “Touhou” or “東方 Project”. Now, telling you that 東方 Project is the name of a bullet hell shooter game series developed by one man is probably not nearly enough to explain what this simple word Touhou fully involves. But let’s start at the very beginning.
The first game of this series was published in 1996 by Amusement Makers, a developer which today is called Team Shanghai Alice. This one man that also goes with the name of ZUN, did not only do the programming, but was also responsible for the music and graphics of the games. In short, he singlehandedly created Touhou.
Now, almost 17 years after the release of the first game, there are a total of 19 games released so far, and a 20th is already announced.
1The funny thing is that this title is probably more known for its huge fandom than for the game itself. By searching for Touhou-related items, you’ll find a lot of different stuff.
There are a huge number of Japanese bands that focus on remixing and rearranging the background music of the game titles. To give you an example, I’ll show you one of the most popular Touhou-related songs out there, Bad Apple!! by Alstroemeria Records.
And here you have the original background music of the game, compared to its remixed version by a band called EastNewSound. The original song of this one is U.N. Owen Was Her? (Flandre Scarlet’s theme).
Touhou doujinshi (fan-made manga) is probably even more popular than the music. Since the Touhou games have such a huge amount of different characters, the possibilities for doujinshi artists are almost endless, which is probably why there is such an incredible amount of them available.
Example: Vivit Gray
As surprising as it may sound, there are also a lot of fan-made games out that don’t necessarily have to be similar to the original ones. There are beat’em ups, strategy games, visual novels, etc.
There are also a lot of short animated clips floating around the internet. While many of them are used as music videos, you can also find a lot of short clips and short series about Touhou. Lately there are also real anime, or in this case, OVAs called Touhou Anime Project and Gensou Mangekyou ~The Memories of Phantasm.
Last but not least, there are all kinds of other Touhou-related articles out there, for example: figures, plushies, key chains, and so on.
While most of the above mentioned items can be bought in specific (online) shops, they are mostly released at conventions that take place in Japan. While there are some conventions that only focus on Touhou, like the Touhou Kouroumu or the Hakurei Jinja Reitaisai, Touhou-related articles are also sold elsewhere. The most famous convention that needs to be mentioned here would be Comiket.
This huge convention takes place twice a year in Tokyo, each time on three consecutive days on which the second day is used exclusively for Touhou-related items.
Since this is a yuri blog, let’s talk about why Touhou is so famous among the yuri fanbase as well. As mentioned above, the game series has a lot of different characters, but the decisive point here is that almost all these characters are female. There are only a few male characters, and those are mostly not that popular or are rather unimportant to the game’s story. So in the end, what we get is all kinds of different yuri pairings.
In fact, there are so many of them that I assume that each and every yuri fan can find one to their specific liking. Let me show you a few~
Sakuya (left) and Meiling (right) by Pigeon Blood
Yukari (left) and Reimu (right) by ちょんすけ
Monobe (left) and Miko (right) by Kaze
Erin (left) and Kaguya (right) by Sui