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Contemplations: Scarlet Devil Mansion

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The Scarlet Devil Mansion is where many of the most prominent residents of Gensokyo either live or are known to visit, yet there's many mysteries surrounding it. This page is for people to share thoughts and ideas concerning everything about this cryptic house. Feel free to make your own additions and comments, but try to leave as much of what was already here the way it was. -Redpanda

Uh, I think you should use horizontal rules to separate the various threads of discussion, not everything that everyone writes. Use indents to make the replies stand out more. -7HS
I was about to give subsection titles for each section for organization, but so far I can't think of more than one subsection for each section (Origin for The Scarlet Sisters section and Age for Meirin's section, for example). Maybe if more content is added later with more subjects then that change can be made. After that change is made (maybe someone wants to do it?) then formatting ideas can probably be moved to talk. Redpanda


The Scarlet Sisters

I feel more and more like the Scarlet sisters, Remilia and Flandre, are French in origin.

  • Scarlet Devil Mansion is a European style house.
  • All the maids wear French maid uniforms.
  • "de Flandre" is a French surname meaning "of Flanders," a region now part of Belgium. All my searches for the name "Remilia" are coming up with very little. There's a few people with that as a first or last name in the world, but not enough for me to pin down an origin. I found a handful of very minor connections to French and Spanish names.
Imagine: "A Sakuwan of Flanders." Fearsome. -7HS
  • Perfect Memento suggests that SDM was not originally located in Gensokyo- "Later, the Scarlet Devil Mansion relocated to within Gensokyo," maybe in the same way that the Prismriver mansion wasn't originally inside Gensokyo.
  • The same page says Sakuya is not originally from Gensokyo.
  • Another page of Perfect Memento also says Remilia is not originally from Gensokyo- "She was called the Scarlet Devil before coming to Gensokyo."
  • Patchouli is the name of a plant/oil that is used in many perfumes in Europe, and also burnt to mask the smell of burnt cannabis. France is well known for making many perfumes, and a google search for patchouli France produces many, many results.
  • Probably unrelated, but New Orleans (heavy French influence) is actually known as the "vampire capital of the world." -Redpanda
  • Remilia states she's descended from Vlad Tepes, who was Romanian. Could be a vampiric line of descent (i.e. one of Vlad's progeny bit her) rather then a physical one, though. -7HS
ZUN wrote that nobody could be sure whether she was lying or not with that statement. ZUN then directly refutes it himself (see Remilia's page). But the vampiric line of descent could still fit in with his statement. -Psieye
  • But Remilia's last name is "Scarlet"... It isn't really a french last name : "Rémilia Ecarlate" ? -Lule
  • If she came from Europe, I doubt she would have come from... say Spain or Italy. Maybe someone could try looking at her dress and try to find similar styles of dresses that are used in European countries? I also doubt she comes from England, however I may be wrong, and I don't have much reasoning behind this... ~~Takoto 09:38, October 14, 2009 (UTC)

Many people have wondered why Flandre is kept locked in the basement. It's been suggested that maybe she did something in the past or maybe Remilia is just afraid of her, since Flandre is much more powerful. Based on the article in Perfect Momento which says

"They went on a rampage when they first appeared in Gensokyo, lost against powerful youkai, and a settlement was reached as they finally made a contract" and "The details of this contract are that the youkai will offer them humans from which to feed; in return, the vampires will not attack humans living in Gensokyo"

it may be possible that Flandre, being insane, is kept locked up as a way of insuring that she doesn't break the contract by going on a rampage. -Redpanda

My answer to this is going to be in the first 2 chapters of my fanfic series. Not sure when I'll have written them, but I'll link here when I do. --Psieye
  • I think it's most likely due to her destructive power. What is she accidentally destroys something important? ~~Takoto 09:40, October 14, 2009 (UTC)

The Great Library of Patchouli

The theme song for EoSD Stage 4 (set in this library) is "Voile, the magic library". Many doujin call the library itself "Voile". However, do consider that 'Voile' is French for "tada~". -Psieye

Actually, 'Voile' means "veil" in French, though my dictionnary says it could also be translated to haze, fog, or a couple other, but I've never seen it used for anything else than veil. -Aerlinah
Might be ZUN's typo of "voila." -7HS
Patchouli's library BGM in Immaterial and Missing Power is "Locked Girl~The Girl's Secret Room." If it is meant to be spelled "voile," it could be a reference to her being secretive and veiled? Either way it's a French word, and another possible addition to the idea above that the Scarlet sisters are French in origin. Redpanda
"Locked Girl~The Girl's Secret Room" is her boss theme from EoSD. Check the night stage BGM of her library in IaMP - they decided to change the order when remixing. Same with Youmu actually.
'Voile' has in fact two main meanings: "sail" and "veil". 'Une voile' (f) is a sail and 'un voile' (m) is a veil. And 'voilà' can indeed mean "tada~" (though it usually means "here is..."). -Nanaky

Et alors? Even if the name of the Patchouli's library is french, Patchouli Knowledge is certainly english, because, in France, nobody is called "Knowledge", okay?

Do you know any English people who are named Knowledge? And I have a feeling Patchouli isn't used as a name very often, if at all. -Yggdrasil325
It's probably just a random but meaningful Engrish name, like those in Death Note... --Octagon8

It's called Voile. Check the afterword of SDM for some notes on the song. ZUN did intend it as a proper noun, while noting ir has some meaning in French. -SirBastille


I was wondering just what the herb patchouli is for and where it's from, since it seems like such a random thing to choose for a character name. According to wikipedia it's from the East (originally) and West Indies and is very popular among hippies. It's also a popular perfume in Europe, apparently. Might be interesting to see a fan comic of Hippy Patchouli... *hinthint* This page from The Fifth Sense has a good description of what Patchouli smells like. Considering the East Asian connections, I might have to come up with some sort of Indian (a hindu god lives inside patchouli) or Chinese outfit for her... *hinthint* -Redpanda

I found on various websites that patchouli (presumably as an incense or aromatherapy oil) relaxes the mind and opens it to spiritual knowledge. It's also an aphrodisiac. -7HS

Actually, what are the chances Patchouli was given that name when she was born compared to Remilia giving her that name when they first met? She's about 100 years old so was born after the Sealing. Why would such a 'young' Youkai have an extremely non-Japanese name like that? Hmm... worth expanding this speculation at some later time I guess... *makes a note to do so* -Psieye


Here's some unresolved (and probably unresolvable) questions about Patchouli that come from blanks and conflicting information from her various profiles-

  • Just how old is she? Her very first profile said she's "a witch who has lived for 100 years." Perfect Momento says "it's said she's lived for over a hundred years." So is she 100 or over 100? Is it just written that way because it's from Akyu's point of view?
  • Her first profile also says being around books is "how she has spent about a hundred years." If she's 100, has she been reading from almost the day she was born?
  • Perfect Momento said "it's unknown when exactly she settled down in the Scarlet Devil Mansion, but judging by the size of the library it must have been a considerable amount of time ago" and her second profile said she's "a witch who has settled down in the Scarlet Devil Mansion." So just because she's been alive around (or over) 100 years and has been reading that whole time, it doesn't mean she's been living at SDM during that entire time? Maybe it's only 50 years or less that she's been there?
  • In her first profile it's said that "because of the asthma she was born with, she often cannot recite the spells." If Patchouli was "born" then does that mean she has (or had) a family, or that maybe she originated as a human before becoming a "magician?"

As far as story telling goes Patchouli is kind of an odd, flat character in a way. In most stories characters change over the course of events, but one of the most defining things about Patchouli is that she is now as she has always been and has no intention of changing. In a way that's characteristic of most of Scarlet Devil Mansion. Remilia still looks like a child less than 10 and still acts the same now as she always has for the past 500 years, Flandre spent 495 years locked up without ever changing during that time, and Sakuya is the poster girl for stopping time. It's like the never changing mansion. Redpanda

She is the "Unmoving Great Library", after all. -7HS

Sakuya's Deflated World

Sakuya is probably one of the most mysterious of all characters. So much is known about her because she's been so prominent since first appearing but for everything known there's many unanswered questions to go with it. In Perfect Momento it's written that Sakuya "...claims to be in her late teens, but this is unlikely judging by her refined manner and the level of her abilities. Rather, she seems to be a human who has been living for hundreds of years." This could also support the theory that Sakuya may possibly be a Lunarian that some fans have suggested. In the past I had thought, before reading some other things about her, that maybe she had at some point accidentally (or purposely) frozen her own time hundreds of years ago and was fated (by Remilia) to come out of that frozen time in the present. Maybe not.

I noticed the side comic on the article Aya wrote about Eirin, seen here, suggests that if Sakuya stops/slows time to do more work too often she'll age faster. Maybe it shouldn't be taken too seriously (like so many other "facts" in Gensokyo's tabloid- I mean the Bunbunmaru), but it could refute theories that Sakuya may be extending her age through time manipulation by saying the opposite is what would actually happen. Maybe more support for the Lunarian theory. Redpanda

Well, it's truth regardless of her life expectancy. She's not immortal so some time (whether it's decades or centuries or millennia, we don't know) she will die of old age. Or maybe Lunarians (and Youkai?) are like Elves in that they have eternal youth, yet can die from other causes... Yes I'm assuming Sakuya has Lunarian blood in her. -Psieye
I'm going to throw a wrench in all of this and make a counter note. Even though I think it'd be very interesting if Sakuya was Lunarian (and I was starting to think she might possibly be), it's mentioned in these sources that she's human-
  • Profile from Embodiment of Scarlet Devil- "The maid is a human about 10~20 years old. That power of hers distances her from the human race. She has given up trying to relate to ordinary people."
  • Profiles in Immaterial and Missing Power, Imperishable Night, and Phantasmagoria of Flower View all say the same thing- "Species: Human"
  • In Embodiment of Scarlet Devil after Reimu beats Sakuya Remilia enters and says (about Sakuya) "I knew it. Humans are useless." Of course Reimu then asks "Was that maid really human?"
  • In Perfect Cherry Blossom Lyrica threatens to eat Sakuya and starts making fun of her by singing "Dog meat, dog meat~" but Sakuya insists "Human meat!" Youmu tells her "You're a human, I see. So this is why all the ghosts here were noisy...it's because a living human has come." Later when Ran enters she says "I smell a human~ Oh, I'm mistaken." Sakuya corrects her saying "No, you aren't."
  • In Immaterial and Missing Power Reimu asks if it's Sakuya's unlucky year (19 and 33 for women). Sakuya replies "Never. You know my age, don't you?" I don't know if she means it's not either of them yet (and is under 19), or that she's already past them both and it'll never be those years again, but she expects Reimu to know her age.
  • In Imperishable Night's scarlet team scenario Mystia says "...A human and a bat? That's an unusual pair." Reisen, who's from the moon and should recognize a Lunarian if she saw one, said "You're just filthy earth-crawlers, after all" to both Sakuya and Remilia. Sakuya refers to the two of them as "An invincible lady and an invincible human" when talking to Kaguya and tells Mokou "Unfortunately, I'm a human." Although Mokou does ask "Hey, you. Are you really human?" Remilia later says "Oh, I almost forgot. Sakuya is a human that can die. How about becoming immortal, Sakuya? Then we can live together forever." Sakuya replies "I will be a mortal Human my whole life."
  • In Phantasmagoria of Flower View Mystia says to Sakuya "Tonight's dish is a human maid!" Komachi tells her "you're one troublesome human."
I think the point ZUN is trying to make is that Sakuya is a very atypical and mysterious human, but is still a human. It's hardly ever questioned that someone like Reimu is human because she obviously is, but it's stressed so many times in literally every game Sakuya has appeared that she really is human that it makes you feel that there is at least some question or doubt, and that's what adds to the mysteriousness of her character (and part of what makes her interesting). Creating a character that purposely has missing information about them can enhance the character by making fans wonder about them rather than to simply have all the facts plainly laid out. Now, then again, even if she's human it doesn't mean she can't be older than she claims as Perfect Momento suggests... -Redpanda
However, Perfect Memento lists Eirin and Kaguya under the human section of the encyclopedia. From the text Akyu is clearly aware that they come from the moon, so she, at least, considers Lunarians to be human. -7HS
Be aware that (actually you already do from IRC), that at the end of Imperishable Night (Border Team), the Lunarians were designated as half-humans. That might be the reason for the classification under Perfect Memento -CR

That pretty much is my thought yes. Sakuya herself may not be aware that she has Lunarian blood and it's naive to think Reisen must be able to tell apart an Earth-born human from a Lunarian human just because she's from the Moon. Or at least, Reisen would need a deeper inspection to tell than outer appearances.
This is more a question of 'what defines a Lunarian and are they any biological/inherent different from regular humans aside from life expectancy?' really. As far as I'm concerned, there is no difference aside from life expectancy and Culture (the latter only applies if they were born and brought up on the Moon). Oh and access to certain types of magic - having thought about Kaguya's ability and Akyu mentioning "time magic isn't something one can learn through training, you must be born with it", I had the thought that Sakuya's time magic is from Lunarian blood. Who knows? Maybe Sakuya is descended from a noble family, exiled long ago before her birth...
In short, since none of the Gensokyo characters (including Sakuya) can (assumption yes) tell apart an Earth-born human and a Lunarian from outer appearances, whatever they say about her species can't be taken as absolute. Eirin probably could if she did a medical examination, but she hasn't done so yet and probably would just leave it aside as an amusing fact if she did find out the truth. -Psieye

There's still that enigmatic sentence in Eirin's profile stating that she "is very surprised to see Sakuya." However, I don't think this necessarily means she recognized her- perhaps she was stricken by the similarity of Sakuya's manipulation of time to her princess's manipulation of eternity. -7HS
Actually that sentence was why I thought Sakuya was descended from a Lunarian noble bloodline that got exiled long ago. Perhaps Eirin knew of one of Sakuya's relatives/ancestors and so was surprised to see the resemblance. Of course, that doesn't prove anything as Sakuya might have simply looked similar by coincidence, but this is speculation. Regardless of whether she's right or not: "Eirin wondered whether Sakuya was descended from someone she knew back on the Moon" is what I think that sentence could be interpreted as. -Psieye
Wait wait, what's this "I see, it was you that lengthened the night. I thought that..." line that Reisen says to Sakuya if you go down FinalA path? It can be interpreted in many ways (considering Sakuya likely used time magic during the fight) I guess, but could also mean Reisen also vaguely recognises Sakuya as having Lunarian blood/physical_traits.
Actually, that's just a power of observation. The night is unending and standing before her was a maid who can stop time. Reisen would have to be at the same level as Cirno not to put that one together. But the comment about Eirin recognizing her does sound convincing and gotta remember Remilia can only see a person's fate not their past. Sakuya could have only told her that she was human, or seriously believe that she is when infact she's not. Who knows, the mystery is why I love the Scarlet's Headmaid! -RandomWaha

So, yeah if can disprove the following, then Sakuya Izayoi can't be a Lunarian

Although it disheartens me to say it, overwhelming evidence points to Sakuya being Lunarian. (Reason why it bothers me so much , she'll just be another moon rabbit and we already have plenty of those...) And Now, I shall list (in no particular order) the evidence. My challenge for you expert-types is to find contradictions within Official Touhou Lore. (Anything by ZUN is fair game) Write next to the evidence for the contradiction (Please prove me wrong! I really do not like the idea, but until I see otherwise, I can never say for certain she is.

Key: E= Evidence C= Contradiction R=Rebuttle ^= Undisputed truth/Concurred U=Undecided T= Tossed,only obtainable way to answer is ZUN.

*1.E
The references to the moon such as her songs (Lunar Dial) and such. 
^C. Remi has a thing for the moon, being a vampire and all. 
Flowering Night on the Sixteenth Moon? (Sakuya Izayoi)  !8RstuPId2Y
*2.E.
Speaking of the moon, how she survives seeing it only fits in even more(Lunarians are safe from the moon). 
C. So does Marisa. They're both a little crazy in case you haven't noticed. !8RstuPId2Y
R. For Marisa,true, but Sakuya is more cold than anything.Cold ≠ crazy. Nazeo
^C. Cold, cool Sakuya? Not really. Canon!Sakuya is more of a ditz if anything else. 
She opens a window in outer  space and attempts to buy broken cups from  Rinnosuke.
 Even so, Reimu isn't affected by the beams either which could  be because of her outstanding ability as a human. 
Sakuya  may have similar circumstances where she is a human with  outstanding ability. !8RstuPId2Y
*3.E.
Her eyes turn red like Reisen,Inaba when uses time.Possibly could be only half  Lunarian, if at all. 
^C. Youmu's eyes have done the same. Is Youmu a Lunarian? !8RstuPId2Y
*4.E.
Her nightly raids at Marisa's house to collect objects in order to go to the moon... 
C. Because Remilia wanted to. !8RstuPId2Y
R.Sounds way too much like an excuse. 
Remilia is too comfy in her Scarlet Mansion to suddenly want to go to the moon. 
When  asked for future questioning by Aya, she had a sudden urge to make tea. Nazeo
^C. That further proves that Remi is fickle and does whatever she likes.
 In Imperishable Night's ending, she wanted  to go to the moon. 
And thus, we have Silent Sinner in Blue, the ultimate result of Remi's desire to go to the moon.  !8RstuPId2Y
*5.E.
Although it's up to speculation, Eirin's surprise at Sakuya (Whatever that may be.)
^C. To quote 7HS up there, 
"I don't think this necessarily means she recognized her-
 perhaps she was stricken by the  similarity of Sakuya's  
manipulation of time to her princess's manipulation of  eternity."  !8RstuPId2Y
*6.E.
This makes much less sense, but I'm throwing it out there, Sakuya = Eirin 
(Yup, they could be the same person, either one  go to the past/future) Or at least her sister. 
^C. I don't see how "they have the same hair color, therefore they must be related" works as evidence here. 
"Kaguya  and StarSapphire look similar, so Kaguya must have been a fairy very early on." 
It doesn't work. Also, not all Lunarians  have gray hair. 
The Watatsukis and Reisens are evidence. !8RstuPId2Y
*7.E.
Another one up for speculation is her watch. 
I can't confirm nor deny if this watch is the source of her powers, or merely  for show. 
If it is, it must've been made by the Lunarians, maybe even by Eirin herself... 
U C. That is assuming the watch is the source of power. 
What happens to your evidence if it isn't? 
It very well may  not be. We may never know. !8RstuPId2Y
*8.E.
Her age could or can't be a factor, as Humans in Gensokyo live way longer than us. 
But, if Lunarian, then her  age is then explained. 
That and she could be using time to keep herself young, 
although I'm not sure for how long because  
when offered to drink  the Hourai Elixir 
(or rather eat the liver containing it), she refused and told Remilia  Scarlet 
that when her time  is up, it's up. So, maybe by accidental death rather than age. 
C. Where is it stated that humans in Gensokyo have a longer life span that humans in the outside world? 
Also, how does  time manipulation play into being a Lunarian?  !8RstuPId2Y
R. The humans page tells us that Gensokyo humans have different abilities, so I'm thinking age is a default. 
As for the  Time Manipulation theory, it's muddled because her age could or can't have 3 factors Time power, 
Lunarian , or  being half  Lunarian... so, yeah, I'll file this in "undecided until further evidence. Nazeo
^C. The longevity of Lunarians is attributed to the purity of their environment, the Moon.
 The impurity of the earth  is what causes mortality which is why Lunarians are so long lived, 
not the fact that they are Lunarians. 
(Kaguya and  Eirin being exceptions due to the Hourai Elixir and knowledge of medicines respectively.) 
Remi can manipulate Sakuya's  fate anyway, so how and when she dies may be entirely up to her. !8RstuPId2Y
*9.E.
Makes an ironic foil to Eirin serving the purest of the pure, 
while Sakuya is serving  a vampire, considered to be the foulest of the foul.
It fits in well,really. (Maybe that's why she was surprised?) 
^C. How is this evidence that prove she's a Lunarian? 
All it can be interpreted as a coincidence. !8RstuPId2Y
*10.E.
Last, but not least, her true name is an enigma it's self,
 and clues tell us that she may not even be from Gensokyo  (So the Moon option is there.) 
T C. How is this evidence that prove she's a Lunarian? 
She could be anything then. Even a normal human from the  outside world. !8RstuPId2Y


Thanks, and make em good! Push the Luny thoughts out of my mind!

Nazeo Randomness is my game.... Wanna play? 03:58, July 12, 2010 (UTC)

In addition to my contradictions, as evidenced by that huge wall of bullets posted by Redpanda, there is an even more overwhelming amount of irrefutable evidence that proves Sakuya is human. !8RstuPId2Y 19:51, July 12, 2010 (UTC)
Ok, thank you! You've settled 5 out of 10 of my suspensions which is a relief. Unfortunately, the other 5 are either Undecided or rebuttled. For the rebuttled ones, figure a way to dispel them! I'm counting on you! I want, without a doubt, to know that she isn't Lunarian! While I wait, I'll check out the human evidence to see if I can contradict my own evidence!

Nazeo

Yes! Thanks so much! Without a doubt, you have disproved any theories that Sakuya is Lunarian. I can now sleep soundly at night knowing this. Unless ZUN throws us a curve ball, every theory falls flat on it's face and are not valid reasons anymore. Kudos to jigglyppuff8 for taking the time to review this, as we all know he's a busy, busy man.

Nazeo

Score:

jigglyppuff8 10, Nazeo 0


Ah, good points you wrote there. But still, I think that can't totally disprove that Sakuya isn't human (at least, fully human).
I don't say she's Lunarian or something, but one canon source still give me impressions that she's not 100% human. (yeah, I mean...Perfect Memento)
Can someone gives me explanation that she's purely, 100% human? These 2 points still make me confused:
1. "It is a top-class ability for a human to possess, and is not something that can be learned through training." (her time manipulation ability) -- this make me think that she's someone with "inhuman" blood inside her (Lunarian or something else), because of this superb ability.
2. "She claims to be in her late teens, but this is unlikely judging by her refined manner and the level of her abilities. Rather, she seems to be a human who has been living for hundreds of years." -- if she's really a pure and normal human, Akyu won't say she's a human "who has been living for hundreds of years".

With vast knowledge and memories she got within 1200 years, I think Akyu can distinguish clearly, which one is fully human or not. Or...that's merely a mistake by Akyu? Ah...I'm confused @__@ LunarCrusade 11:36, August 11, 2010 (UTC)

Chinese Tea with Meirin

We really know very little about Meirin. Apart from being Chinese, a martial artist, and not the sharpest knife in the drawer, there's just not that much else. I've always wondered about her age, specifically. Gensokyo was sealed from the outside world in 1884 [edit-has been corrected]. Meirin comes from China. Last I checked, China is not located inside Gensokyo. Therefore, Meirin (along with much of the rest of the household) originally came into Gensokyo from the outside world. So the question is did she-

  • 1. come through the barrier after the sealing (supposedly very hard to do and could make her any age)
  • 2. was she already in Gensokyo before the sealing (which would make her over 120 [edit-has been corrected] and possibly older than Patchouli)
  • 3. She came into Gensokyo along with the entire rest of the Scarlet household whenever it was that SDM was transported inside Gensokyo (possibly the least likely since, if SDM originated in Europe as I think, it would require Meirin to have been all the way over in Europe at some point).

The most likely of those three options seems to be 2, which means Hong Meirin could actually be older than Patchouli Knowledge. -Redpanda

Wait hang on, what's the source for "1864"? The timeline suggests 1884 and furthermore, Meirin's boss theme is titled "Shanghai Alice of Meiji 17" which implies (Meiji 17 = 1884) the sealing was at 1884 and Meirin was alive back then. -Psieye
Originally I had written 1884 from memory, a couple edits ago, but then I looked at the Gensokyo page and saw it said 1865. I then proceeded to change what I had written to 1864 because it was 3am and I wasn't paying that much attention. Maybe the Gensokyo page needs a correction? Redpanda
The previous date was probably estimated prior to Bohemian Archive (where we first got actual calendar dates for events in Gensokyo), based on the statement that "the moon landing was nearly a century after Gensokyo's sealing." I've corrected it. -7HS
The EoSD music room for Meiling's theme says "A hint of Europe". Even if it's about the french settlement in Shanghai, for some reason her family may have wanted to get back in France and then being involved for whatever reason with the SDM. This seems to support the 3rd hypothesis, and even the hypotheses about the French origins of the SDM. -Recupel
  • Uhm, perhaps Meirin was somehow born in Gensokyo...? ~~Takoto 09:45, October 14, 2009 (UTC)

Perfect Memento in Strict Sense identifies Meirin as a Youkai. Yet her title in EoSD is "Girl of Chinese Descent". This could be interpreted to mean that she's from a line of humanoid Youkai who live in China and she happened to be caught in Gensokyo when it was sealed. -Psieye

Actually, given that humans can also become Youkai under the right conditions... Maybe Meirin was just an ordinary girl who happened to be in Japan (specifically, Gensokyo) when it got sealed. Say, does "got bitten by a vampire, but victim failed to reach vampirism" count as Youkai? Tsukihime (Type Moon) would classify them as "Walking Dead" but what are ZUN's definitions? A detachably separate detail to my speculation would be that her hair became red when she turned Youkai. -Psieye
Remi's profile: She is a light eater. In other words, she can drink only a little blood at a time and must leave the rest behind, so the humans off of whom she feeds become a bit anemic, but usually stay alive. Due to that fact, she is never able to increase the number of her kind. -7HS
Ah I'd missed that last sentence before. Still... 2 ways around that:
1) I strongly suspect Remilia (and Flandre) aren't the only vampires in the SDM. Just as Aya isn't the only Tengu in Gensokyo, I believe there are more but they simply haven't been introduced to us. For example, I have a suspicion Koakuma is a young member of the Scarlet bloodline. Akyu writes that some Youkai (presumably including vampires) don't like attacking humans in Gensokyo, and Sakuya feeds them pre-cooked humans (and other ingredients) so they don't have to unnecessarily increase their numbers. Still, Meirin might have been an unlucky early case who got sucked.
2) Meirin became Youkai after her fate got altered (knowingly or not) by Remilia. This still doesn't answer what the 'specific conditions' were that made her a Youkai of course... -Psieye
Just a note that although we do not know of any other official vampires at SDM, we do know that Kurumi and possibly Elis are vampires from other touhou games. The real problems that keep coming up is that we still (at this time) don't have a solid official definition of "devil," "demon," "vampire," "witch," and many others from ZUN. All we know is that their official profiles sometimes say things like "Species: Youkai" or "Vampire," etc., which is very confusing since some of these terms are very vague. Youkai could mean all sorts of things, and some terms like witch and magician are sometimes interchanged and sometimes specified as a definitive species. One important note though- ZUN did say "Devils are mighty race among Gensokyo, like magicians or vampires" when talking about Koakuma, which implies that she is not a vampire if devils and vampires are different things. Redpanda
Going off of Psieye's theory below, it might be interesting to note that 'magician' (魔法使い) and 'witch' (魔女) use the character 魔, 'demon; devil; evil spirit; evil influence'. I think you would need to look at the grammar of the statement in Japanese to determine if the meaning is "Much like magicians and vampires, devils are a mighty race", or "Devils (for example, magicians and vampires) are a mighty race."

Personally I think ZUN has in mind that "Vampire" is a subset of "Devil". As in, Remilia and other vampires count as Devils. Otherwise I can't think why it's the Scarlet Devil Mansion, and "Scarlet Devil" for Remilia, who also has spellcards with 'Devil' specifically mentioned in them. But yes, the vagueness of terminology really doesn't help and multiple interpretations can be equally valid at present. -Psieye

Actually, there are solid official definitions (2/3 pages) of the various races in Perfect Memento. I'm working on the one for vampires right now. Speaking of Perfect Memento, I also translated the SDM entry in the area guide, but it didn't seem to tell us anything we don't already know. -7HS

The EoSD music room for Meiling's theme mentions the French Concession. According to that webpage it was a rather quiet and unremarkable place up until the 1930s, when it became a notorious red-light district. ZUN described it in Dolls in Pseudo Paradise as "A smoke of opium is drifting all around the city. Many people are dancing waltz in a dazzling dress..." suggesting that he had the red-light district in mind, but where's Meiji 17 enter into it? -7HS

Scarlet Devil Mansion's Migration to Gensokyo

When would the SDM have moved to Gensokyo? When it was sealed or much more recently? Aya's article implies it wasn't very recent, and further theorises that it marked the end of Vampires & Maids in the outer world. When did Maids go out of fashion in France? At a guess, I'd say when the French Revolution got rid of aristocrasy (Napoleon's time) so... Maybe SDM moved to Gensokyo before the Sealing?


Assume Sakuya was already working under Remilia when the SDM moved. The Great Library could then have been tailor sized when Patchouli came to live with them, expanding as she wrote more books. Also, note that Sakuya isn't the only Maid in Gensokyo (Mugetsu and Yumeko), yet they're all dressed like French Maids. I would assume that the SDM brought the French Maid fashion into Gensokyo and it became popular enough that even a Goddess (Shinki) would model her strongest creation as a Maid. -Psieye

This would probably require Sakuya to be well over 100 years old, so gets into theories about her being 1. something other than human or 2. older than she claims as a result of time manipulation. Redpanda
I personally am fairly convinced Sakuya has Lunarian blood in her (whether she's ever lived on the Moon is an entirely different and not-relevant-here question). Who knows how many years the celestial humanoids live without the Hourai Elixir?
Well, I don't think there's any evidence Eirin ever drank it (although it might be a reasonable assumption.) Presumably the Lunarians age or die at some point though, or it wouldn't be forbidden. -7HS
True, there is no evidence but I always assumed (and still do) that she drank it. Eirin wouldn't be someone to leave her Princess alone after she died. To serve her for all eternity~ -Psieye

Maribel Han in Changeability of Strange Dream saw the mansion on her dream-visit to Gensokyo, and apparently somewhere in Perfect Memento it's mentioned that her visit was hundreds of years prior to the present day (due to some sort of time slippage.) I should find where that was said though, currently I'm going off the Japanese TouhouWiki. -7HS

The Gensokyo Timeline mentions it, but I don't know the source on that. Redpanda

Something that's been confusing me recently is the date for Flandre's birth, along with the dates for just about anything else having to do with the SDM, so I'm just going to dump it all right here. The timeline says she was born in 1508 A.D. EoSD was released in 2002. 2002-1508=494, not 495 (I know, it completely blew my socks off when I put that in my calculator), but Flandre claims to have been in the basement for 495 years. Her official profile also says that, so it's not like it's just her not remembering right. Also, if she's been locked up for 495 years and was born 495 years ago (assuming that number is right), then a 5 year old Remilia locked her then-baby sister up? Did they mean to say she became a vampire 495 years ago rather than that she was "born" at that time? Do vampires count their ages from the time they become one, like being reborn, and not count however long they lived as a human? ZUN mentioned that Remilia "is a light eater. In other words, she can drink only a little blood at a time and must leave the rest behind, so the humans off of whom she feeds become a bit anemic, but usually stay alive. Due to that fact, she is never able to increase the number of her kind." So I'm assuming that in ZUN's world vampires start out as humans just like we would expect, so then at some point in time both Remilia and Flandre were humans?

It's been theorized that the reason Flandre was locked in the basement was because of that contract the vampires signed with the youkai in Gensokyo promising not to go on a rampage attacking people again. If that's so then the SDM would have needed to be in Gensokyo 495 years ago right before Flandre was locked up. Perfect Memento does plainly state that "the mansion was moved from the outer world." According to Flandre in EoSD she hasn't gone out once in 495 years. Was she locked up before the SDM was moved only to realize one day she wasn't in Europe anymore? Why does this seem sort of like the Wizard of Oz? And if that's the case then she wouldn't have been outside of the basement to have gone on a rampage when arriving there. If the SDM actually was moved to Gensokyo 495 years ago, before Flandre was locked up, and both she and Remilia went on a rampage like Perfect Memento says they did, then was a baby Flandre running around fighting humans and youkai? That's very creepy. Also assuming that the SDM moved to Gensokyo 495 years ago, and that Remilia truly is 5 years older than Flandre, then Remilia was only 5 at the time of the moving and that's not a lot of time to absorb European culture at that young age. The SDM is extremely European though. Perfect Memento says that vampires are "of the newer youkai that have emerged only within the last few centuries." If they had appeared only in the last few years then it'd be odd to say "centuries." So it's implied that both sisters have been in Gensokyo for at least 200-300 years. Maybe 100-200 at minimum since it does say "within" the last few centuries rather than "a few centuries ago" and 100-200 would be "within" that period of time. "Few" doesn't normally mean as much as 5, to me anyways, but maybe the translator just didn't have a closer word than that. Of course if when Akyu says that "they" went on a rampage when first arriving in Gensokyo she doesn't mean both Remilia and Flandre, then disregard most of that. Maybe it was only Remilia and not Flandre.

That also means Patchouli, being only 100 years old, was probably born inside Gensokyo. She has officially lived for 100 years. She has also more or less officially been reading in that same library like a nerdy shut-in for 100 years. So it's implied that she has been living at the SDM her entire life.

Something else that has completely thrown me off was in Reimu's Perfect Memento article. It's a little complicated to just write it out, so I'm going to copypasta the section here and add my own notes in bold while putting the original Perfect Memento text in italic.


The Vampire Incident Which one? Akyu, stop confusing me.


Originally, attacking humans was the point of the youkai existence, but since the erection of the Great Barrier it's become troublesome for them to do so, and they've had to find sources of food outside their normal choices; consequently, the collective willpower of the youkai began to drop. So the setting of this story is any time after the sealing, which was 1884. No where near 495 years ago.


It was into this situation that a powerful youkai from outside, a vampire, appeared, and quickly amassed a great number of subordinates. Was that vampire Remilia?


She was eventually able to disperse this rebellion by defeating the powerful vampire and establishing a contract of behavior prohibiting various actions. Who is "she?" It's Reimu's article, is it referring to her? Was -this- the famous contract with the vampires that keeps them from going on a rampage? If so then the vampire mentioned here and above would have to be Remilia because it was her that the contract was made with and that'd also mean it was no more than around 120ish years ago that Remilia and the SDM showed up in Gensokyo, and that would further mean that Flandre couldn't have taken part in that initial rampage (still assuming she truly did not go out once in 495 years).

However it can't be the case that the "she" being mentioned here is Reimu because EoSD was the first time Reimu and Remilia met each other, as apparent from their dialog, and as noted below the spell card rules were established -after- this initial incident (or maybe as a result of it) but -before- EoSD.


Some of the more willful youkai found these terms distasteful and entered into discussions with the Hakurei shrine maiden. Is this part of the story happening immediately after the line above, in which case it would have to be happening within Reimu's lifetime (i.e. just recently)?


The shrine maiden, who was also tiring of a peaceful daily life with no out-of-the-ordinary occurrences, agreed to the youkai point of view that some battles were necessary. Worst. Miko. EVER.


The result of this were the spell card rules, which allowed duelists to (seemingly) stake their lives in individual combat.(*4) So the spell card rules were made -after- the events described above.


It's said that the Scarlet Mist incident caused by the vampires that had stirred up such a fuss was the first time the spell card rule was put to use. These are the same vampires as mentioned above? If so, then the SDM would have to have arrived in Gensokyo after the sealing. But Scarlet Mist Incident can't be what's being talked about in the lines above because the spell card rules were used for the first time before that incident was resolved. So it seems there's two events being described, both of which happened after the sealing and at least one of which happened just a few years ago.

The next two lines have not been translated yet at this time. I think that's about all I can manage right now. Actually, as confused as I am while trying to make sense of all these scraps of partial information, it wouldn't surprise me if I completely misread something or left something out that would have explained it all...

The way I'm understanding it so far is like this-

pre-1508 A.D. - Remilia is born as a human.
5 years later - Flandre is born as a human.
1508 A.D. - both Remilia and Flandre become vampires. Remilia locks Flandre in basement (unclear reason).
1884 A.D. - The sealing takes place and the barrier is set up.
sometime between 1884-1900ish - SDM moves to Gensokyo. Remilia goes on rampage doing whatever she wants like the brat she really is and gets beaten. A contract is made.
roughly 1900 - Patchouli is born(?) and moves into SDM.
1998 - The events of Mystic Square take place. There are no spell card rules yet.
sometime between 1998-2002 - A bunch of youkai complain to Reimu and the spell card rules are made.
2002 - EoSD. Spell cards are used for the first time. Reimu and Remilia meet for the first time.

I don't really know, but this is what makes the most sense to me. And don't even ask where Sakuya fits into that timeline because that's a whole different mess. ...and I just realized a huge problem with this. Mary was suppose to have visited Gensokyo in a dream which, due to some weird time slip or whatever, happened "hundreds of years ago," and the SDM was part of her dream. I'm pretty sure Hong Meiling was in it too, or at least that section was titled "Chinese Tea," so she's hundreds of years old too? But if, based on that excerpt from Reimu's article, the SDM arrived in Gensokyo after the sealing then there's no way Mary could have seen it in a dream of "hundreds" of years ago. I really don't know, now I'm more confused that ever about it. I can't help but wonder if ZUN made a few mistakes with his own timeline because it's just not making sense to me. -Redpanda


Hah? I came up with an interpretation that I'm happy with. Of course, no guarantees others will accept it.
A few centuries ago, vampires first appear in Gensokyo and go on a rampage, attacking humans. Eventually they were put down by Gensokyo's powerful Youkai and a Contract was established, that Youkai would deliver them food in return for vampires not doing any hunting of their own. The Scarlet vampires may or may not have been involved in this rampage, my personal preference was that the SDM moved a little after this was over.
More recently (possibly between MS and EoSD, maybe before LLS given how tame Kurumi seems) - i.e. during Reimu's lifetime - a vampire (not Remilia) gathered together disgruntled (due to not being able to eat humans) Youkai and started a rebellion against the general state of Gensokyo. Why didn't they act sooner, instead of waiting ~110+ years since the Sealing? Youkai have a different sense of time to humans, see Aya treating decades as short periods of time. This rebellion required some time for Reimu to eventually put down. Possibly it was through this prolonged combat experience that she mastered flight but that's a non-consequential thought.
I'm extremely doubtful Remilia would have submitted to someone else's leadership. Therefore, Remilia stayed shut in in her Mansion, paying no heed to the outside world's issues since her food was still being delivered (the contract from a few centuries ago).
When the Rebellion toppled over, Reimu established a contract with all Youkai on general behaviour. A while passed and both sides got dis-satisfied with the lack of combat. Thus, the contract was re-negotiated... or rather the Spellcard rules were designed to pass through loopholes found in the contract? Either way, the spellcard rules were born that satisfied the 'non-aggression' contract. "Spellcard paper" may have been provided by Reimu herself and became widespread. Gensokyo entered a 'golden era' where huge disputes could be solved 'relatively peacefully' with both sides being satisfied they got to exercise some power.
--Psieye
I've always been under the impression that the vampires involved in that initial rampage were Remilia and maybe Flandre too, and that the contract was made with them specifically. The reason for this is that even though the Perfect Memento article that talks about the contract never mentions either of them by name (or anyone by name for that matter) at the beginning it says "During the day they spend their time in their mansion." There's only one known vampire mansion in Gensokyo, so I assume it's the SDM and Scarlet sisters being referred to in that article. The Perfect Memento article for Remilia also says "If one refers to vampires that are known to exist in Gensokyo, they must be the Scarlet family living in the Scarlet Devil Mansion." So I'm further left with the impression that whenever Akyu mentions a vampire she always means one of those two since she never mentions any other by name and says right there than whenever a vampire is talked about it must be one of that family. If she was to talk about another one it'd only be proper of her to specify that she's refering to an unintroduced subject. Now there was actually one other confirmed vampire in Lotus Land Story, Kurumi, so I suppose there really could be others out there, but it doesn't seem as though Akyu mentions anything or anyone from any PC-98 game unless they made the transition to the windows games. It's like TH01-5 are unknown to her. I can't really think of any specific character/person she mentions in any article that she doesn't call by name, so it would be odd of her to describe exact events caused by an exact person but not say who. But yes, it is definately possible that there could be other vampires and she was refering to them, I'm just going by the impressions I get as I read the material. -Redpanda

Endless Fairy Maids

Given the above assumption that SDM was in Gensokyo from slightly before the Sealing, we can assume that any ordinary human Maids the SDM previously employed either died of old age or left before the SDM came here. Again assume that Sakuya was with them at this early time. Could it be that the Scarlet vampires wanted to recreate the atmosphere of having an array of Maid servants, thus didn't care what ability the fairies were when they 'recruited' them to be the next generation of Scarlet Maids? -Psieye


I thought it was odd that Sakuya's Perfect Momento page would describe the fairy maids as "The fairy maids are mostly useless" and "Cleaning their own shirts and making their own food is about the best they can do." If they're receiving free food (and uniforms) for doing nothing but picking up after themselves and sometimes uselessly dying at the hands of an intruder then it makes you wonder why they're even kept around. Just the food alone must be a huge expense for Remilia, who isn't exactly known for her generosity. Unless they somehow pay for and get their own food, maybe Remilia is really just paying to have company? Maybe Akyu was exaggerating in Perfect Momento? Redpanda

My hypothesis is the Scarlet Devil Mansion probably has trouble recruiting anyone else. Humans hate and fear the Scarlet Devil too much to work for her, and youkai see maid work as below them; it's rare enough for them to hold any job at all, as Meiling does. While Sakuya can (and does) do all the work herself, Remilia still wanted an army of servants, and thus decided to employ a lot of useless fairies merely for the sake of appearances.
Also, food and board is all they get. SDM maids receive no salary, this is mentioned in the help wanted ad in Bohemian Archive. Another reason why humans and youkai aren't interested in the job. -7HS

Actually, on the subject of 'endless'... do the fairies ever actually die when we shoot them? We can safely assume that all bosses are skilled enough to not die from a formal danmaku duel. But what of the fairies - death or unconsciousness? For that matter, where do fairies come from? Do they just get 'reincarnated' by Nature to replenish numbers? -Psieye

It's specifically said in Perfect Memento that Faeries are essentially immortal. That is, they'll just come back. http://teruteru.mine.nu/summary.txt for source.
I just noticed that in Cirno's PoFV scenario Shikieiki talks about Cirno's possible death, judging her, and deciding whether she'll go to heaven or hell. Is Shikieiki just tricking Cirno into being afraid of such things while knowing it's not really possible (lying is a sin, yama-sama) for Cirno to permanently die, or is she saying that fairies actually can die? At the end of it Shikieiki says "A small stream's flow, a bird's cry, an insect's song. Even mother nature will die at times." So I guess fairies can revive when hurt (normally) but are not truly immortal or indestructable in the view of eternity. -Redpanda
On the other hand, Cirno is known to be a unique fairy (given her strength). The endless fairies might be viewed of like blood cells - if some are lost, Nature just makes more to replenish. All known fairies seem to have similar personalities anyway, it could be that they don't retain their exact memories when they get 'reincarnated'. Still... these are just speculations. Cirno may truly be immortal (that's a scary thought in a way...). Then again, there is also the interpretation that even beings who reincarnate (Hourai Elixir drinkers likely being exceptions) face judgement. At least, all human ghosts eventually reincarnate and we know they face Sikieiki's judgement. -Psieye


I believe the traditional Buddhist belief is that sinners are judged after death, spend a period of time in hell until their bad karma is cleansed, then reincarnate as normal. -7HS
That reminds me of dialogue between Onozuzuka Komachi and Tenshi Hinanai from Scarlet Weather Rhapsody Onozuka mentions how even Tenshi who is an immortal celestial will some day die or as Onozuka put it "Even celestials have lifespans as well as humans. However, their lifespans do not end as their lifespans. " and she also says how Tenshi must fight with a Death God so she can remain an immortal. Which does hint that even immortals are not totally out of reach of the arms of death and Sikieiki's judgements. I think this would apply to fairies too. -Broma
Perhaps Shikieiki knew it'd be possible for Cirno to die because Cirno's practically on the very edge of the border between Fairy and Youkai? I assume, possibly erroneously, that a sufficiently powerful fairy would become a Youkai eventually, given the time, power, and training. So, indeed, Cirno might have to be careful because some of her favorite activities don't fall under the Spell Card system! -KliffUndrensn

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