As an intro;
I realized that while I like to think and theorize about many, many different things, I don’t really have a decent or daily outlet for it. While I do like to post on a certain nexus for developers, gamers and enthusiast press, I don’t really get to post as much because I don’t really get a good reason or time to.
So this blog is gonna fit that role. I plan to mostly post about Touhou Project and other series I enjoy. Hopefully this turns out to be entertaining. At worst, at least it’ll benefit me instead of theorizing over concepts that I’ll never post, I’ll have somewhere to keep them and I don’t have to hold them in all the time.
So enjoy if it’s good I guess, and if it isn’t, well that doesn’t really matter to me.
An Intermediary God – Sagume Kishin and the Touhou Popularity Poll
The idea for this post came along when thinking about the results of the most recent Touhou Project popularity poll. While it was admittedly quite a while ago, I started to theorize a little too much about one of the results to not post this somewhere. Now aside from a certain, flavor of the month character getting bumped out of first place, the most notable result was Sagume Kishin hitting a fairly high spot on the list.
[Relevant comic: https://danbooru.donmai.us/posts/2251893?tags=parent%3A2099431]
For some background, Touhou 15 was the most recent game before the poll.
In terms of character popularity, I’m no expert, but things seemed to basically be:
Clownpiece > Junko/Hecatia > Sagume > Doremy > New Rabbits
Clownpiece seemed like the favorite. She was, and still does, get a lot of art on the Japanese side. Her lunatic persona has proven pretty popular (and the fitting theme certainly helps) And I guess the novelty of her outfit has yet to wear off too.
Junko, Hecatia and Sagume were kinda tied at first. Sagume’s gimmick is fairly interesting in of itself and lead to some interesting works fairly quickly (like Daily House Life of Amanojaku by jeno). Hecatia and Junko were a bit less defined (with portrayals between artists differing greatly early on), though fan creators eventually started to settle on some recurring themes
Junko: They played up her grudge against Chang’e to the point Junko being rather dumb (like mistaking Seiga or Kaguya for Chang’e due to their names) or being extremely petty (there’s a relevant picture of Junko breaking a copy of Pokemon Moon that I can’t find right now). Aside from this, knowledge of Junko being a mother, has started to spread and a… more “motherly” figure has started to become common for Junko. We also got some interesting theoretical designs for Chang’e (and to a lesser extent, Junko’s child)
Hecatia: While they started focusing on how terrible her sense of fashion is, more artists have started to play on her ability of having three different bodies on different worlds. It’s not a lot admittedly, but fans haven’t gotten sick of making fun of her shirt/using her different bodies/having other characters make fun of her fashion for her different bodies, and so she continues to get art. There’s also been a lot of redesign art (which I’ve admittedly enjoyed) so there’s that.
Then I think there’s also the strengthening via faction/proxy; since Clownpiece is rather popular, and she’s in the same faction as Hecatia and by extension, Junko, they got more art by proxy/osmosis too. Oh yeah and there’s all the shipping between Hecatia and Junko too. So the Hell/Anti-Moon Faction became a thing and that eventually put Junko and Hecatia above Sagume.
Doremy still gets a lot of content that focuses on her being a dream youkai and what that entails. While that’s not actually a lot, it is still more than our dead ringers, Seiran and Ringo.
It’s not too surprising; the previous games saw quite a few tsukumogami and each new tsukumogami youkai had less popularity than the one preceding it (except for Medicine; nobody remembers Medicine). So the same idea applies, where characters of a certain youkai type (Moon Rabbits) get less popularity due to being more of the same, except that Seiran and Ringo have less of an advantage since they’re Stage 1 and 2 bosses and are also connected to the Lunarian’s (who seem unpopular or at least, quite loathed).
Now admittedly, they did have the trial game advantage; this is the phenomenon where characters in a new game’s trial tend to stockpile fan art for a number of reasons like having new game hype or fans not being spread between six new characters, only three. Originally there was a bit of hope for Seiran when an early image of Seiran made fans believe that Seiran was some murdering psychopath (and thus many a bloodstained Seiran art was made that day). But once that interpretation was shot down, I’m afraid any chances for Seiran at all came to a crash. I do think that personally, Ringo has more potential, since she seems stronger and smarter than she lets on, if her profile is any indication; because she’s a Moon Rabbit in an authoritative role (which is unique compared to Reisen and Seiran); and lastly because her dango power gives her something at least (unlike Seiran). But I’m getting ahead of myself here; this is post isn’t about Ringo, so I’ll get into the details later on.
Fast forward to the results, it was quite surprising then to see Sagume as the highest Legacy of Lunatic Kingdom character (beating out Clownpiece), and as one of the top 20 at that.
So I started to think; why on Earth is Sagume the most popular? Well, we’re going to explore that in the next post.