The magic of Touhou started in 2002 with the release of "The Embodiment of Scarlet Devil", an RPG (rolling play game) in which the object of the game is to rape a young girl on a subway platform. An important part of the game is avoiding the police patrols which will attempt to put a stop to your activities. To survive you will need to collect the powerups to increase your abilities and grab the magic 'spell card' which destroys all enemies on the screen. Players are awarded points for how quickly and efficiently they are able to complete the task at hand, and are ranked on a high score leaderboard online. The best players compete at the highest difficulty level; "lunatic", and compete for bragging rights on the high school playground or around the office water cooler.
Did you know: Touhou is a Japanese word literally translated as "girl with fat thighs"
Marisa Kirisame, one of the most popular Touhous
Touhou has become one of the most popular anime franchises in mainstream Japanese culture, even winning multiple design awards around the world and being recognised by Andy Warhol who installed all the games on his laptop after obtaining the files at a LAN party. Recently it has started to gather steam in different countries around the world, becoming a favourite of young girls everywhere.
The rabid Touhou fans gather each year at Comiket, a Japanese comic book convention, to swap comics and engage in LARP (live action role playing) of their favourite character. It is common for fans of the series to produce their own fan works, including video games, dioramas and symphonies. Sony, the original creator of Touhou, encourages the creativity within the fanbase.
Did you know: Each year Japan exports over 700 tonnes of "hugging pillows" featuring Touhou characters.
The popularity of Touhou is due to the amount of characters in the franchise. There are well over 100 unique characters to collect (all of them female), each with their own loyal fanbase. Currently the most popular girl is Cirno, the ice demon.
In 2008 there was controversy over Touhou when a young boy brought a gun to school and shot 4 of his classmates after playing a Touhou game. This caused the Japanese government to crack down on "bullet hell" shooters, a genre of video games where players must shoot everyone and make them go to hell. Although bullet hell games where real people die are becoming increasingly rare in the marketplace.
Did you know: Pop sensation Justin Bieber owns a Touhou plushie.
With Touhou characters such as Miku Hatsune becoming well known in the West through Youtube, advertising and other media is it only a matter of time before the franchise becomes a worldwide hit into the future and beyond. Excelsior!