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Touhou Suzunaan ~ Forbidden Scrollery


Alt Names: alt 東方鈴奈庵 ~ Forbidden Scrollery
Author: Zun
Artist: Moe Harukawa
Genres: Fantasy FantasyMystery MysterySupernatural Supernatural
Type: Manga (Japanese)
Status: Ongoing
Description: Touhou official comic published by Kadokawa in Comp Ace that began publishing on October 26, 2012. The story is written by ZUN, with illustrations by Moe Harukawa. It introduces a human book renter and collector Kosuzu Motoori as the main character, with the story centered around her mysterious ability to decipher any book no matter the language or script, and her assortment of various rare and dangerous demon books.
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Chapters

Title Group Contributor Date
Vol.7 Ch.49: Kosuzu Motoori's Conflict (Part 2)
Alpha Beta Kappa Clarste 3 days ago
Vol.7 Ch.49: El conflicto de Kosuzu Motoori, parte 2
Suzunaan Plubio 2 days ago
Vol.7 Ch.47: La Filosofía de Hieda no Akyuu (Segunda Parte)
Paty Scans Risebell 3 weeks ago
Vol.7 Ch.46: La Filosofía de Hieda no Akyuu (Primera Parte)
Paty Scans Risebell 3 weeks ago
Ch.49: El conflicto de Kosuzu Motoori, parte 2
Suzunaan Plubio 2 days ago
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154 Comments

I hope that this is a pivotal point for the series, and not the final story arc.

A major storm is outright stated to be a youkai. Why would humanity rely on youkai to protect them from youkai?
 
And yet they worship Kanako and co. They're so powerless against youkai they powerup a God surrounded by youkai to protect themselves from youkai. Brilliant.
 
The village is well aware that the weather dragon statue is youkai made. They're not ignorant.
 
You say that humans have a lot of power in the relationship but that humans can't survive the youkai. If humans can't survive the youkai, doesn't that mean the youkai hold all the power by simply threatening to not protect humans who refuse to go along with the status quo?
You're just creating a catch-22. 'Humans have power over the youkai, except when they refuse to cooperate at which point they're killed by the youkai.'

Spoiler

In the case of the village, these statements are mostly true, though. Akyuu and Marisa have talked at length about how the village would be easily wiped out from natural disasters without the protection of the youkai. They're not dependent on the youkai from day to day living and their normal lives, but if they didn't have their protection, a storm, famine, disease, or other natural disaster could easily destroy the village. This is also why Tenshi causing earthquakes was such a huge deal.

 

The humans in the village naturally aren't powerless due to spell card rules, but they are not like the outside world. In theory they could deprive the youkai of faith and fear and progress technologically to the point where they no longer need the youkai to survive, but they can't do it now, it would take a long time for them to develop to the point where they could, and the youkai will ensure it doesn't happen rapidly. Youkai could very easily kill them if they wanted to (which they do to lost Outsiders), and are going to keep working to make sure the villagers fear them or know they exist (which is why Mamizou is trying to infiltrate their stories). In the sense of a direct fight with the youkai, the wide majority of them are powerless.

 

And the wide majority of humans in the village are ignorant because they think Akyuu is boring and thus don't read her history books, nor do they go to Keine's school. Almost none of them know the youkai are actively protecting the village from disasters behind the scenes; not even Reimu and Marisa knew that before they confronted Aya about saving Kosuzu. Information is indeed manipulated in the village but we know from the success of Akyuu vs Agatha Chris Q that the majority of the villagers are willfully ignorant and only care about sensationalist things, not the history and state of their world.

 

What Akyuu and Marisa said to Kosuzu is mostly true and must remain true for the health of the village and Gensokyo as a whole. Humans have a lot of power in the relationship but the villagers also can't live without youkai; the youkai make sure of that, because the village is their lifeline. Humanity's "power" isn't their ability to explicitly fight back against the youkai, but simply pretend to be a bit more powerless than they really are, and exploit the youkai's protection and gifts for their own safety. Humans are powerless in that they'd lose direct fights with youkai and can't survive without them, but also are powerful because they can give fear to the youkai while exploiting the youkai protection and gifts to ensure they survive and prosper as well, as the youkai will give them more gifts to try and extend their influence. As Akyuu said, these aren't mutually exclusive things. It's a complicated relationship.

A major storm is outright stated to be a youkai. Why would humanity rely on youkai to protect them from youkai?

 

And yet they worship Kanako and co. They're so powerless against youkai they powerup a God surrounded by youkai to protect themselves from youkai. Brilliant.

 

The village is well aware that the weather dragon statue is youkai made. They're not ignorant.

 

You say that humans have a lot of power in the relationship but that humans can't survive the youkai. If humans can't survive the youkai, doesn't that mean the youkai hold all the power by simply threatening to not protect humans who refuse to go along with the status quo?

You're just creating a catch-22. 'Humans have power over the youkai, except when they refuse to cooperate at which point they're killed by the youkai.'

Spoiler

It's a bit more obvious than that because she talks about things Kosuzu's been doing that she has no other way of knowing about, like her secretly reading the Night Parade scroll.

Spoiler

Yukari spying on people? Le gasp! Who would've thought!

On other note, this whole manga almost leading to final conclusion of will Kosuzu be killed by Reimu before the end of it.

Spoiler

1. That implies humans are dependent on the youkai to survive, which is completely false.

 

2. That implies humans are powerless against the youkai, which is mostly false. (Yes, even if you ignore people like Reimu and Marisa, humanity is not powerless)

 

3. That implies the humans are (mostly) ignorant of the situation), which is somewhat false.

 

Long story short: Humans in the Touhou universe are in a stronger position than they seem, but are guided/baited to act in a reactive manner. 

In the case of the village, these statements are mostly true, though. Akyuu and Marisa have talked at length about how the village would be easily wiped out from natural disasters without the protection of the youkai. They're not dependent on the youkai from day to day living and their normal lives, but if they didn't have their protection, a storm, famine, disease, or other natural disaster could easily destroy the village. This is also why Tenshi causing earthquakes was such a huge deal.

 

The humans in the village naturally aren't powerless due to spell card rules, but they are not like the outside world. In theory they could deprive the youkai of faith and fear and progress technologically to the point where they no longer need the youkai to survive, but they can't do it now, it would take a long time for them to develop to the point where they could, and the youkai will ensure it doesn't happen rapidly. Youkai could very easily kill them if they wanted to (which they do to lost Outsiders), and are going to keep working to make sure the villagers fear them or know they exist (which is why Mamizou is trying to infiltrate their stories). In the sense of a direct fight with the youkai, the wide majority of them are powerless.

 

And the wide majority of humans in the village are ignorant because they think Akyuu is boring and thus don't read her history books, nor do they go to Keine's school. Almost none of them know the youkai are actively protecting the village from disasters behind the scenes; not even Reimu and Marisa knew that before they confronted Aya about saving Kosuzu. Information is indeed manipulated in the village but we know from the success of Akyuu vs Agatha Chris Q that the majority of the villagers are willfully ignorant and only care about sensationalist things, not the history and state of their world.

 

What Akyuu and Marisa said to Kosuzu is mostly true and must remain true for the health of the village and Gensokyo as a whole. Humans have a lot of power in the relationship but the villagers also can't live without youkai; the youkai make sure of that, because the village is their lifeline. Humanity's "power" isn't their ability to explicitly fight back against the youkai, but simply pretend to be a bit more powerless than they really are, and exploit the youkai's protection and gifts for their own safety. Humans are powerless in that they'd lose direct fights with youkai and can't survive without them, but also are powerful because they can give fear to the youkai while exploiting the youkai protection and gifts to ensure they survive and prosper as well, as the youkai will give them more gifts to try and extend their influence. As Akyuu said, these aren't mutually exclusive things. It's a complicated relationship.

Whoa.

The human village is basically an enclosed sheep ranch. 

 

*and a bunch of other stuff*

1. That implies humans are dependent on the youkai to survive, which is completely false.

 

2. That implies humans are powerless against the youkai, which is mostly false. (Yes, even if you ignore people like Reimu and Marisa, humanity is not powerless)

 

3. That implies the humans are (mostly) ignorant of the situation), which is somewhat false.

 

Long story short: Humans in the Touhou universe are in a stronger position than they seem, but are guided/baited to act in a reactive manner. 

Cripes, but Harukawa-sensei is a master of atmosphere. It's hard not to feel a bit of the same confusion, tension, and intimidation Kosuzu is going through, and I love how Mamizou, Aya, and Yukari all manage to be imposing in their own way.

The human village is basically an enclosed sheep ranch. 

I can't make more accurate analogy as of now, bot it seems wrong and induced by romance of human enclosure idea.

The relationships of humans and yokai are more of simbiotic nature. Both are lifelines of each other. Both are involved in cycle of creation.

Maybe it's something along the lines of disfunctional couple? They depend on each other, they are ready to kill each other, they can't call themselves friends but they are family... Just some fun idea to think of.

...Ah, I know. It's the nature of feelings towards yokai. IRL people almost always regard things exclusively from their own perspective, while you can't imply it to yokai - they are subjective matter. Can you befrend fear? Can you say that anger is your ally? Also there is nature of things. You don't look directly into the sun, you don't try to presuade northern wind, you don't treat yokai like human. I can't find exact quote (sadly) from Bakemonogatari. When loli-vampire disappeared - it was due to MC treated her as a "little girl", while kai should be feared, resented, avoided, worshipped... That kind of thing.

I'm not going to be so foolish as to try to predict what Yukari is up to. Gussing HER mind is way beyond me. But whatever it is, she doesn't necessarily have to let Kosuzu know who she is in order to make use of the things that make Kosuzu useful.

I will. It's actually not that hard. First - you should remember SSiB. Then, imply common knowledge about what are yokai and how do they exist.

Yukari's goal is basically always sustain herself and other yokai. Youkai sustain themself by freightening people, confusing people, trying to make some emotional impact.

In that way she is most basic yokai there can be. If I had to define her - she is yokai of mystery. No matter how strong she really is (and she is pretty strong), she always tries to make an impression that she is much stronger (and it works: a lot of Touhou fans think she is pretty much of a limitless capabilities). No matter how simple her train of thought is, she tries to put up airs so that noone would grasped her intentions. And it's obvious why: she seases to exist othervise.

But once you think about her motive, it becames quite easy to induce her actions. Also she is very smart and it's hard to predict particular movements, she often predictable with her same manipulative tactics. Like seriously: she does same things all the time. Manipulation, presuation, deception and rogue actor are her tropes.

P.S. This post looks like attempt to kill Yukari, isn't it?

The human village is basically an enclosed sheep ranch.  The sheep are protected and given enough room to exercise and feed themselves, and in the event of a problem the ranchers will deal with it to the best of their ability.  A sheep may get out and wander but it will be brought back since it has nowhere else to go.  Periodically the sheep's wool is collected which is how the ranchers sustain their way of life, and thus the ranchers would be troubled if all the sheep were to all suddenly disappear, though if a particular sheep is excessively unruly or past its usefulness then they have no issue with slaughtering it for food or to eliminate its influence on the rest.

 

The sheep therefore rely on the ranchers for their security, and the ranchers rely on the sheep for their way of life, but while there is reciprocal consideration they are not friends.  There is no attachment here, and the sheep are simply resources for the ranchers who supply resources and security to the sheep.  Furthermore, the sheep are largely blissfully unaware of the true state of things, as they are only concerned with their day-to-day needs, and the ranchers have no intention of trying to educate a resource they prefer to control.

So Kosuzu... how does it feel to sit face to face to one of the Youkai that created the Great Hakurei Barrier?

 

I know that I'll be shitting bricks because she came in her work clothes...

 

If Kosuzu knew who she was talking to she'd probably be terrified. But one of Kosuzu's defining traits is her ability to make accomplishments in ignorance. The number of things she's done, people she's met, situations she's been involved with, all without knowing what was going on, are really remarkable.

 

I'm not going to be so foolish as to try to predict what Yukari is up to. Gussing HER mind is way beyond me. But whatever it is, she doesn't necessarily have to let Kosuzu know who she is in order to make use of the things that make Kosuzu useful.

Are there any other times in the Touhou Project canon where they go this in depth with the relationship between the human village and youkai? The games probably don't unless there's one in the text files I don't read.

Akyuu's Gensokyo Chronicle, Perfect Memento in Strict Sense and especially Symposium of Post-mysticism, talk about it a lot. The titular symposium in SoPM often discusses the human village and what it means and such. Akyuu is pretty much echoing what she writes about when she talks about such things in FS. That is to say, humans and youkai are enemies, and this must never change. Youkai are dangerous. Fairies are dumb and you can catch and beat them up if you're feeling grumpy (Akyuu is sassy and smartmouthed as hell in those books, she's great).

 

That said FS can be more explicit and it's definitely more intimate. Like, I don't think we knew about youkai protection (we knew they don't attack human villagers, they just generally attack and eat Outsiders, we didn't know they protect against famine and weather and such) and I don't believe it's ever been said that there's a threat of youkai subjugating humans (just an unspoken implication). We've also never gotten the real and constant perspective of a human villager like Kosuzu. The humans quoted in the Gensokyo Chronicle often are surprisingly adventurous or just scared of youkai, though. They seriously are pretty outgoing, even if it's dangerous.

Are there any other times in the Touhou Project canon where they go this in depth with the relationship between the human village and youkai? The games probably don't unless there's one in the text files I don't read.

To this length? No way!

 

That said, the Touhou canon ignores a lot of things for the sake of convenience. For example, the Human Village is apparently large enough to have a library, a sake production facility, farmland, a school, multiple mansions, restaurants, and everything else needed for a basic human settlement (ie. houses to sleep in). But they still call it a "village".

Yukari hijinks time.

Ah, there she is (for real this time).

 

Nasty, but I've been waiting.

Are there any other times in the Touhou Project canon where they go this in depth with the relationship between the human village and youkai? The games probably don't unless there's one in the text files I don't read.

If there were, probably not in the games but in other literature ZUN writes. There are quite a lot of them, I haven't got to read anything other than the manga's.

So Kosuzu... how does it feel to sit face to face to one of the Youkai that created the Great Hakurei Barrier?

 

I know that I'll be shitting bricks because she came in her work clothes...

Are there any other times in the Touhou Project canon where they go this in depth with the relationship between the human village and youkai? The games probably don't unless there's one in the text files I don't read.

i know Akyu is smart but she's smarter than i tought! Having Reimu as her backup if something goes wrong and make a human choose their own side. this stories is getting more and more interesting! i hope it's getting deeper relation with Ibarakasen series.
and poor Kosuzu

Is Akyuu actually observant? Oh, wait, it's just Mamizou popping up her tail... So much for wise old yokai.

+
Poor oblivious Kosuzu.

Just casually dropping bombshell revelations on Kosuzu, huh? I didn't expect that.

Mamizou doing some fine work. Best girl of the series so far (because best girl Yuuka hasn't been given any screen time)


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