Touhou Deaths

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Touhou Deaths

Postby Mononobe no Futo » 20 Mar 2013 01:21

You're likely aware of it; and if you do, maybe you like it for the bittersweet feel of it, or maybe you hate it for trying to unjustifiedly evoke drama.

So what do you think about the death of Touhou characters (in fanon works, obviously)? Do you like them? Hate them? Do you think the human characters like Marisa and Sakuya should've become youkai/celestials/other creatures with longer lifespans when they have the chance? What about immortality, and those who look for it, like the cutest and most loveable characters of Touhou, the Taoists?

What do you/your character think? Also, share your favorite sad death comics/art or parodies of them if you got any.
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Re: Touhou Deaths

Postby Hong Meiling » 20 Mar 2013 01:54

I have no particular objection to character death, especially in fan works. If anything, I think Gensokyo is a little too safe, considering the massive cast of characters past and present. Not that I think we should be offing people just to be edgy, but some more danger would be welcome. I cannot quite recall any particular fanon works that appealed to me with character death, but I can recall several pictures about Marisa or Keine dying that seemed quite tastefully sad.

I'm sure Sakuya has had some too, I can recall at least one video on youtube dimly that had this theme.
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Re: Touhou Deaths

Postby Yukari Yakumo » 20 Mar 2013 02:05

Canon deaths; there have been some. Or at least one.

Certain ghost princesses aside, there's simple ways out, that I've seen; ghosts themselves are likely to be present in some form for humans at the very least. Death's not really a bar to those who have a good shot at it.

On the other hand; the acceptance of such things as death can be seen as mature, in a way - it happens, after all. And why should a single generation of humans matter so much, when they live for such fractions of a youkai's life?

-Not such fractional times, though, if one thinks about it. Even a human living for 80 years if they are lucky would last over a tenth of a youkai's life, perhaps, even a fifth. That's plenty of time for emotional connections to form, and for them to be hurt by that loss. And so, it can be poignant, if done well.

-On the other flip side, so rarely seen, is when the humans outlast the youkai. That is something not often seen! Though it's obviously rarely going to involve the humans living longer than the youkai's own age.
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Re: Touhou Deaths

Postby Sanae Kochiya » 20 Mar 2013 02:22

Most fan works tend to focus on the "after it has happened" route of thing. I'll agree with Hong's post that you don't tend to see the real dangerous Gensokyo where people could, and most likely should die. Mind you I'm not talking about Heart Throbbing levels of things, but I'd like to see doujin works where there is some sense of danger for a character. Like a deadly epic battle to the death between Sakuya and Youmu with good reasoning behind it. The "fighting for no good reason" thing only works well for laid back Gensokyo. Least in my opinion.

A character death would have more impact on me if done like how most people depict Yuyuko's death. There is story and reasoning behind it, and the impact it leaves on Yukari (at least in most works) makes the death more impacting to the reader (despite us knowing she's just gonna come back later).

I can't really say I have a favorite. The one I remember most, however, is that one Touhou PV depicting the Prismriver history and Layla's death. While not a huge fan of the natural death route in fan works, I'll say that it was still done very well to where I considered it sad and touching.
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Re: Touhou Deaths

Postby Yuyuko Saigyouji » 20 Mar 2013 05:03

Sanae Kochiya wrote:A character death would have more impact on me if done like how most people depict Yuyuko's death. There is story and reasoning behind it, and the impact it leaves on Yukari (at least in most works) makes the death more impacting to the reader (despite us knowing she's just gonna come back later).


Because the living version of myself had memories and experiences that the dead version does not, it's impossible to treat them as the same individual. She didn't come back; she left a remnant of herself that happens to resemble how she looked when she was alive. Not that she minds, because you can't miss something you can't remember having, but it's not the "same" person as far as anybody that knew her is concerned.

In that sense, she did die permanently in the sense that she ceased to exist as an individual. Is it worse to lose somebody forever, or to lose somebody forever and have a shadow of their form without any of their memories take their place in your life?

Back on topic, though...

Character deaths are an interesting thing to explore, but difficult to do properly. Who really cares about the dead person in question (after all, they're dead)? It's more a matter of exploring the effect their death has on the people around them, and how (or if) they pick up the pieces and move on with their own lives. Which, of course, leads to:

Sanae Kochiya wrote:Most fan works tend to focus on the "after it has happened" route of thing.
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Re: Touhou Deaths

Postby Yukari Yakumo » 21 Mar 2013 12:28

Yuyuko Saigyouji wrote:In that sense, she did die permanently in the sense that she ceased to exist as an individual. Is it worse to lose somebody forever, or to lose somebody forever and have a shadow of their form without any of their memories take their place in your life?
One could say children can be very much the epitome of this, in some aspects.

Though, that train of thoughts brings about some rather bleak thoughts on ghosts, and amnesia in the still living.

Who really cares about the dead person in question (after all, they're dead)?
When death is not necessarily an end to that individual, but can mean the loss of other things; that in itself can be a wealth of thought and stories. A ghostly Marisa on the run from the reaper? A vengeful spirit of Sanae, bereft of faith, cast down into the old hells? Even perhaps... vampire Youmu. Though I know vampires aren't really undead so it doesn't actually count.

Though one could say that's missing the point of death of characters.
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Re: Touhou Deaths

Postby Mononobe no Futo » 26 Mar 2013 01:49

Well, thinking more about it, death in Gensokyo doesn't necessarily lead to sad and tearful consequences. The Netherworld's gate is somewhat easily bypassed, the judge of the dead and the shinigami are so friendly that they would even personally [s]nag[/s] give advice or chat with you, and so on. Maybe the after-death fanworks that show cheerful aftermaths are closer to the spirit of Touhou after all.

Speaking of dying Touhou stories, this pool: http://danbooru.donmai.us/pools/778

(The story and images themselves are SFW, but the website isn't really, you know how it is.)

If you haven't seen the ending, don't spoil yourself! I promise you'll feel quite a mixture of emotions.
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Re: Touhou Deaths

Postby Yuyuko Saigyouji » 28 Mar 2013 20:44

Mononobe no Futo wrote:The Netherworld's gate is somewhat easily bypassed...


Unfortunately for the deceased and bereaved thereof, this doesn't really work the way you'd think it does; if you pass into or out of the Netherworld, you don't magically flip between being alive and dead (although living people that enter transition into a death-like state while inside the Netherworld).

Convenient Expository Ghost wrote:Gensokyo's Living -> Netherworld = living but in a death-like state. Still alive, regardless.
Netherworld's Dead -> Gensokyo = still just as dead.


And that's assuming that you didn't get sent to Hell when you were judged.

Anyway, moving on: It's important to understand that the dead take two forms; ghosts or phantoms.

Ghosts such as myself are the exception rather than the norm, and a human soul becoming a ghost by definition involves tragedy. Either they haven't realized that they are now dead, in which case they would revert to a phantom upon seeing proof of their demise (generally their own body), or they have a lingering attachment to the world which prevents them from moving on into the cycle of reincarnation - either way, not much cheer and happiness there.

As for the other downsides...

PMiSS wrote:The scariest thing is that they live alongside humans and can't be discerned as ghosts by the untrained eye.

Even if the ghosts doesn't have any ill will, if you're touched by one of the dead, before you know it you'll be beckoned by death.

Also, there are cases in which the ghost is a family member or friend, so people hesitate to hold a memorial ceremony and instead go on living together.

At first, it may seem like a happy thing to continue living together after someone dies, but the ghost is disconnected from the cycle of reincarnation, not only will they wander for eternity, but they'll soon realize that their entire family has died.


It's somewhat better for phantoms - they can reincarnate, or achieve nirvana and ascend to heaven, but you can't really communicate with a phantom. They're wispy, shapeless, and generally retain little, if any, memories of their living experiences (Murasa is an odd exception, but that's another story). To make things worse, all living things become phantoms when they die, and sometimes one deceased can become several phantoms, so there's no way of knowing whether you're looking at your friend or the cicada that got eaten last week.

tl;dr Dying doesn't have to be sad and tearful, but whether it is or not is mostly up to the living to decide. The living and the dead do not belong together.
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Re: Touhou Deaths

Postby Sakuya Izayoi » 03 May 2013 03:20

~~rambling~~

You guys probably already know my opinion on seeing character death in fanworks (I love it when its tastefully done) but it's generally not the character's death itself that is interesting. It's the reactions of the people who were around them. It's how its handled.

It's not about physical death anyway but emotional death. Especially in a world of immortal creatures. Death of character traits, especially major ones, can be just as impactful or even sadder, regardless of what actually triggered the emotional hurt. It seems somewhat unexplored too, with a few really good exceptions. i mean... with the main characters as humans and the human's nature to change over time, I would love to see more stories explore the future what ifs of their lives.

Just... throwing that out there and all >w>
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