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The problems of modern Touhou and how to solve them (+ some info about doujin scene)


vanyk

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I think we should have a good talk about this topic.
I have had a lot of thinking about this topic for a long time. Recent twits by nmlgc and aggressive2hu inspired me to do more research to finally build a full picture.
I understood that we should act now until it is too late.
The more info I found for this post, the worse the situation became. And it is not just about Touhou, problems are much more serious, but mostly I will talk about Touhou because I really love Touhou and I hope to change situation for better at least for Touhou.
The goal of this post is not to bring hate towards anybody in the fandom or ZUN, but to help people understand the roots of the problems to resolve them.

CAUTION!! CAUTION!! CAUTION!!
If you still want to believe that there are no serious problems in Touhou fandom, and still want to believe in Touhou and doujin magic, well this post may bring you down.
You have been warned.
CAUTION!! CAUTION!! CAUTION!!

Before we start, I hope to see criticism which will explain where I am right and where I am wrong, because this topic is rarely discussed.
Thank you.

Have you noticed that something is not right? Have you noticed that there are much less new Touhou fangames, doujinshi and doujin music than for example 8 years ago? Have you noticed that a lot of new fan content is nearly unnoticed? Have you noticed that fandom is not united and split? Have you noticed that last Touhou games are rushed and story is less well-written?

Doujin events examples:

Spoiler

image.thumb.png.f449273315fdde7de70353fc9487e4a8.png

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image.thumb.png.247265b594f4ffc8d8662eef2086c2f3.png

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image.png.911066fa5fc173c94943f2e017b2709b.png

 

Hakudenkai:

2022:
91 games
By Westerners and Chinese: at least 26 (28,6%)
Irony, most of STGs are by Westerners 

2023:
22 games
By Westerners and Chinese: 11 (50% !!!)

 

I suppose that everyone noticed at least some of those problems but I am surprised that nearly nobody tried to analyse why these have happened. Well, there are two main causes of the problems: the fandom and the franchise itself.

Fandom:

Spoiler

Let's begin with the fandom. Why I call it a fandom but not a community? Well, there is one reason:

there are Touhou fans, but there is no community.

And it is not like old conflict between "primaries" and "secondaries", the problem is much more serious. The fandom is divided in small little circles and cliques which rarely interact with each other. And each of them has its own vision of Touhou. We can easily separate each circle:

  • /r/touhou which are mostly into fanarts, memes, comics and doujinshi. You can rarely find there talks about lore, games and even music. (/r/2hujerk/ is similar community but with much more NSFW)
  • Moriya Shrine has also it is own circle and I don't think I need to describe it. The only thing I want to notice is that there are also several other Pirate circles.
  • Touhou-YouTubers (the big ones). Now we see at least the second big circle (the previous one was GensoBoiz). They are mostly into animations and games and sometimes Touhou related discussions.
  • Lunatic shmup fans. They mostly play original Touhou games, mostly 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12, 15. When they beat Touhou lunatics or LN or LNN they mostly move to other more difficult shmups. Sometimes they can touch Touhou fangames.
  • Touhou fighting fans. They mostly play Soku or AoCF. They sometimes play Touhou shmups for fan. They can also move to other fightings.
  • Lore dens. There are several of them (for example by TheOVJM (old fan), by GensouChronicle and by Mad_Dog_of_Fujiwara) and they rarely interact with each one. Mostly into lore. Most of them will defend ZUN by any cost and they mostly like the changes in modern Touhou lore. The others scold ZUN for retcons and poor writing.
  • Translators. There are 2 types of them. The first ones understand that they are just part of Touhou fandom, which tries to make the fandom better. The second ones think they are the most important part in fandom. Those ones create a lot of drama (gensokyo.org, wiki-thcrap (2013-2014), wiki (2022), thcrap (2023)). The translators are also divided into small circles (there are groups which can translate one particular big Touhou fangame).
  • Remixers are not too united, but sometimes they help each other or other circles.
  • Touhou Styled music creators are somewhat a little more united than remixers, sometimes they work with fangame creators.
  • Fangames (not shmup ones) creators (and fans) are also divided. Each big popular Touhou fangame has its own fan circle, but mostly fangame fans play different fangames, so they are more united.
  • Shmup creators. There are several groups of them. One of them is on Bullet Hell Engines server, another one on Shrines and Youkai server, there are also some other groups. Some of those groups publish their works, others prefer not to share them (no matter how good are they). Yes, this also leads to division of the community.
  • Modders (they are still somewhat alive) also have their own circle but it is not big.
  • Artists mostly work individually, but sometimes they make collabs or work with other circles (mostly fangames creators and sometimes Touhou styled music creators).

And those is not full list (I didn't included anything about Len'en, but surprisingly Len'en fans are much more united than Touhou fans (because they understand that without them Len'en will die). There is even a Touhou circle on scratch.mit.edu). What you should understand is that all those circles have their own histories, memes, local important figures, maybe fan characters, etc. And each of them has their view on Touhou. And they rarely interact with each other or even know about each over. And what is worse each drama makes the fandom even more divided.
One of the big examples of such division is that Touhou shmup creators and fans are more and more divided from other groups. Have you heard about Concealed the Conclusion, The Last Comer, Book of Star Mythology, or more modern Hollow Song of Bird, Wonderful Waking World, Dream Logical World? I think most of fans have heard at least about some of them. And what about new ones: Abyss Soul Lotus, Little Doll Queen, Treasure Castle Labyrinth (game)? Do you see? I am not talking about the modding circle because I don't think that most Touhou fans can name at least 5 game changing mods (which also shows how they are divided from other groups). Or Touhou Styled music is still not that popular (well, their situation is a little bit better, because Empyreal Garden of Amusements became somewhat well-known).

What I described above is not the whole picture. There are some (sadly not that many) fans who participates in several circles at the same time, or unite in circles of fans who are interested in different parts of fandom (tails41yoshi / IrisDescent, InceRabbit, LoafOfChihuahua, etc). But what about most of fandom? It has one big problem:

The fandom knows nearly nothing about itself.

Why it happens? Because of drama, excessive gatekeeping and wanting to be closed from others.
Drama: because hating each other cannot make you united. 
Excessive gatekeeping: this can scare the ones who want to know more about Touhou and fandom, but still have to make the step further (for example that leads to division of /r/touhou from other parts of fandom, because their rules do not help (you know what I mean) and other groups rarely help new fans from there). On this site the situation is better, because most people who visit it already know what they want, but sadly this is not the first site most new fans visit. The current gatekeeping strategy is bad and must be changed.
Wanting to be closed from others: if you don't share your works with others nobody will know about them.

There is also another reason I didn't mentioned it but its roots leads to the earlier processes of fandom division (which began in early 2010s). Back then one of the most important sites were Maidens of the Kaleidoscope, gensokyo.org and Eientei Forums (and even back then there were dramas between them). But what is important those were main sites where you could share your works and everyone could see it. But then Touhou fans became more decentralize and moved to Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Tumblr, etc. The big Touhou related sites became less and less used, especially when Discord became popular. Different circles moved to different sites or chats. And what nowadays may see new Touhou fancontent creators? They want to create new content but they cannot expect that they will be noticed and will be able to get big popularity. They have to do something big (Artificial Dream in Arcadia) or shocking/horny/R18 (Hero of Ice Fairy (not a perfect example, but I think you got what I meant)) or meme (Fumo Racing). But even those don't always help.

What all of these problems result into? A lot of fans remain "secondaries" (because nearly nobody helps them to make the next step), creators lose interest in Touhou and move to other franchises.

How we can solve those problems?
Nearly impossible solution: most of fandom (at least creators) should forget about their conflicts and became united. They should create site/page/group there they and new creators could publish their works.
More realistic solution: there should be groups who would collect content from different parts of fandom and collect it in one place. (This site is a good place, but DMCA drama, and not everyone (Copyright Crusaders) want to stop their conflicts with Moriya Shrine).

But there are other problems that may make people haters of not just fandom, but of Touhou itself.

Franchise:

Spoiler

Do you remember that Touhou is a series of doujin games? Yes? Now you can forget about it, because Touhou now (at least since 2014) is

a commercial franchise based on doujin games.

ZUN started less and less care about games quality and they start to become more broken and more easier (the only exception is LoLK and this game managed to bring some interest but this game also has its problems). Around this time some doujin circles started to move to other franchises (we will talk about it a little bit later). The big ones mostly remained and they are mostly ZUN supporters.
But what is most important he became a friend of Ruw ( https://www.shrinemaiden.org/forum/index.php/topic,14315.0.html ). The one who helped to slowly move from doujin scene to commercial side. What it leads to? Steam and Nintendo releases, big circles became more commercial, collabs with Cave, Muse Dash and Neptunia. Ruw also control most of communication with ZUN, but works ineffective ( https://www.bilibili.com/read/cv3550512/ + another drama). In april 2020 Ruw began an "anti-fandom coup" when he prohibited to use a drawing of ZUN (not real photo or image) where he said that he supports secondary works (sources: https://t.bilibili.com/382144693689904067 https://pincong.rocks/question/24317 ).
The funniest thing here is reaction of THBWiki (+ comments here: https://thwiki.cc/Ruw ), but at the same time they forget that they are part of the problem.
These bring us to nowadays when we still have conflicts because of DMCA drama...
After all of these I want to ask a question: do you want to create Touhou fancontent now?
To make it even worse ZUN himself prohibits crowdfunding (not without reason) and Ruw prohibits to do once-paid mobile games, only free-to-play ones, what results in gachas.

You may think that ZUN does not know about the problems. But he knows about them, he sometimes get direct messages from fans, messages from BeatMARIO, he saw the UDoALG tournament. He knows about the problems but he still thinks that everything is fine. And as he earns money from new games he will continue to think that problems are not that bad. He also gets nearly no direct criticism.

And ZUN already had a chance for changes for good side: UM. This game got a lot of attention from older fans, because stages (especially Extra) were better than in HSiFS and WBaWC, it felt like a wind of change (important note, not for everyone, because of scoring, broken cards and replays, lack of graze and other strange changes). But it seems like ZUN thought that the main reason why people liked UM is the card system, so now we have it everywhere.

Those are the reasons why some people hate ZUN and say that he created a cult. Haters also often say that Touhou is just a little part of doujin scene (keeping in mind that Touhou on Comikets never took more than 8% of places (but if you compare with others it is still a lot)), and if ZUN stopped working on Touhou it would disappear and nobody would notice. And as sad as it sounds in somewhat they are right. And we have already seen a really good example:

Len'en Project.

Jinx really managed to do nearly everything what Touhou haters says about Touhou. He created outstanding BPoHC, there were a lot of fans who made fan content, but Jinx decided that he wanted to make gacha (nobody asked for it) himself, so he spent at least 6 years to close it in a year after release. He spent 7 years on nothing... not really, he also retconed canon. And what we have in result? Fandom is half dead, GML is discontinued, and there are still people who continue to donate him on FANBOX and watch his streams. There are even fanatics who still say that Len'en is better than Touhou but they do not see that Jinx and ZUN have similar problems. The only difference is that all of these Jinx does himself and faster, while ZUN does it via other people (like Ruw).
And do you know what? Len'en fandom has still a glimmer of hope, because there are a lot of people who understand these problems, they understand that they cannot expect Jinx to do all the work and they try to revive Len'en themselves. There are still Len'en remixers, fanartists, Misremembered Memories was actually good, there are good VR fangames by Ayana Gaming. They continue to do it because they love Len'en.


So what can we do? There are two solutions:
1. Persuade ZUN. ZUN should stop working with Ruw and other people who has great influence on him (maybe even BeatMARIO and other doujin circles leaders), he should forget about his purse and begin to work. There are two ways for him to restore reputation: 1. create another IN (to get interest from old fans and hardcore players) 2. create another BPoHC (to get even more love from casual fans, but old fans may not understand this). In each cases he should do something that is even greater than those two games. Also he should stop doing strange retcons (because CoLA 37 is... something). But I do not know how to make him do it.

2. Take everything in our hands. There are two ways: 1. make Touhou fandom greater ourselves and do not care about ZUN, then, well, we can face Ruw and some fanatics who will defend him no matter what. 2. Create not just another Touhou, but a series which can offer something that even Touhou cannot offer for doujin sphere, but nowadays it would be hard to get attention.


But what I can say for sure if this topic is unnoticed and left undiscussed we won't be able to change the situation for better.
I thought that Touhou was an islet of safety in current sea of crisis of mass culture, but alas it is already under the water.


But wait, let's be clever and take a step further (unlike those haters): what about non-Touhou doujin scene, what is happening there? (Spoiler: the situation is similar there):

Spoiler

Well we can just watch the maps of recent Comikets we can see that gachas and VTubers take more and more parts of it

C100:

Spoiler

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C101:

Spoiler

 

image.jpeg.b37317b551bcc867bc5f88a49252116a.jpeg

C102 + statistics:

Spoiler

 

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C103 + some statistics (wow, Touhou is still top 6...): 

Spoiler

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Do you see the problem? No? Well, Touhou 18.5 100BM / HBM may explain (I don't think that even ZUN realized the next symbolism he put in this game):

Companies realized how to sell doujin (black markets), and most people (like Marisa) are not against this.

And now I want to ask people (especially in Japan) who saw the commercialization of Touhou and hated it, because it lost "doujiness": what have you done to save the non-Touhou doujin sphere from commercialization? Now companies (like Nexon which created Blue Archive) encourage doujin, so the companies get nearly free advertisement. And the worst thing that gacha games (one of problems of modern mass culture, because these games are purposefully created just to milk money from players) mostly use such tactics.

Mainstream doujin is already being non-directly commercialized by companies.

ZUN finally met a serious concurrent, which uses the same tactics ZUN uses, but he still doesn't (want to) see it. He is already losing to it. And now I realized another (unlikely) way for ZUN to restore reputation: he should forget about money, stop working with Ruw and others, ban all Touhou gachas, begin to make good games, remove strange restrictions and revolt against all of these (now you understand why this is nearly impossible).

Does that mean we should give up on doujin? Not at all! There are still new hidden gems (which need more love) and there is a great legacy. And this may be said about Touhou. There are also new hidden gems (Treasure Castle Labyrinth, Empyreal Garden of Amusements, Artificial Dream in Arcadia, etc) and Touhou has great legacy too. But Touhou fans and doujin fans must see the problems and we all must realize:

we are sinking in the same boat (no matter you like it or not).

Hate to each other won't save this situation, it will become only worse. Not only just Touhou, the whole doujin scene has serious problems. And we should take the situation in our hands, until it is too late. Otherwise won't be surprised when on C150 at least half of places will be hold by gachas, game-services and maybe even something worse (maybe play-to-earn will become a popular thing, for example something like NFT (I just want to remind that gamers hated loot boxes when they appeared, what about now?)), but I am afraid this may happen much earlier. And then Comiket (and maybe other smaller doujin events) will just become a place where big companies will purposefully get more advertisement for free, so they can milk more money from more fans. If you call Touhou a sect, then gachas are even more a sect, because Touhou fans (at least the ones who do not play gachas) at least do not lose/spend money, while gacha fans do (and money creates even stronger connections to the games, because you do not want to lose something for which you have paid).

 

But everything is not lost! We can change the situation for better if we will stop being scattered and will work together. The worst thing now is just giving up.

 

Thank you for reading this. I would be really glad to receive criticism, corrections and proposals. I know this topic is controversial, but I think that it must be discussed. I just want Touhou fandom to become better. If you have any good ideas how to change the whole situation for better feel free to share them. Also feel free to share this post.

There are also some other related thoughts about this topic:

Spoiler

PS:
Why we must act now?
Because the worst thing can happen now is losing Chinese fandom. Western fandom is passive and divided, Japanese one is nearly lost, the only remained one is Chinese.


The unreal ideal thing ZUN can do is turning Touhou into real folklore, when nearly all restriction will be removed he will remain as formal owner and face of Touhou, just to resolve some really strange incidents (like with Yukkuri) and help fans. He can continue doing games and albums, which would be considered as canon. In the short-run he may lose some money but in long-run he will get much more money and a lot of love. Alas, I don't think he would ever do something like this.

PPS:
You may ask: how many people know about these problems?
In Western fandom not that many.
In Chinese a lot because these problems limit them.
In Japanese fandom nearly no one. If they find out about them they mostly move to over series or become haters.

PPPS:
I didn't know where to put the next observation, but I think it is important, so I will put it here
A lot of fans (and sadly content makers) forget that Touhou is not just games, music, lore or characters. Touhou is the combination of all of these. So when people try to defend UDoALG saying that yes, gameplay is bad, but story is very good, I see that people do not understand that simple idea. Creators of most iconic fangames understood it and that is we love them (I am looking at you RE: TLC).

PPPPS:
I read some more twits of aggressive2hu and died from cringe. Again "secondaries" are blamed. I want to settle the matter once and for all. This term exist just to blame somebody in problems without analyzing them (because this is much easier not to think). There are always people who only watch anime pictures and maybe read doujinshi / listen to music. But that is just part of newcomers (small one). A lot of newcomers try to understand who are the characters, what happens in lore, etc. But a lot of them are afraid to play games as they have a reputation of hard ones. Why? Because they have little experience with such games, they often see "Ez Modo?" memes, but normal is hard for them, nearly nobody helps them to do next step. You may say that Touhou games difficulty is not for everyone, but then I will ask you why there are a lot of Geometry Dash fans and Celeste fans? Maybe it would be better to represent Touhou games difficulty not as something that is impossible, but as something what you can beat, wouldn't it?
For some reason Chinese fans understand this so they created Barrage Musical ~ Basic Danmaku Tutorial ~. You have much more experience, but I have not seen any danmakufu or other scripts who will help newcomers just to play and make them stop fearing of bullets. Only recently The Danmaku Gameplay Wiki was created, just in time!

PPPPPS:
My opinion about Blue Archive?
It is a successful gacha game with strong base, which creators realized why Touhou was successful. From what I know they also control and monitor what doujin circles create (some people consider this as advantage because they say there is less trash content (I have not checked it)).
For me this game is just another "Raid Shadow Legends" (the core gameplay is similar), but with much more fan service and moe sci-fi schoolgirls (not my thing at all). But I understand why there are a lot of fans: there are a lot of Japanese fans who like such concepts, they make fanworks (they have nearly no restrictions), Japanese and Western fans see them, BA gets more fans, cycle repeats. The problem is that it is gacha, and this shows other gacha developers that they can also do this.

PPPPPPS:
You may ask: OK, but what have I done to make the situation better?
Well, I am working on making a list of Touhou fancontent creators (mostly YouTube) and sites for more than a year (it already has more than 14000 links), maybe I will publish it soon.


Afterwords:
If after reading this post you want to hate ZUN or anybody else then I think you didn't understand this post. This post shows that hate didn't change the situation for better and only made it worse.

We don't need to hate,
We need to act.
For the fans who are
Still with us.

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i'm impressed with your analysis. Well, I understand the pessimism and all of the unfortunate situations, but I still believe that touhou fandom have not yet fallen. I can't be considered an avid touhou fan (i entered the fandom 1 year and a half ago) but i guess we still have a chance, but, knowing how things happen, it's very unlikely that it'll occur (at least based on the fandom actions themselves, cited by you). Anyway, great point being brought here (i'm sure most people won't even read the first lines) and thanks for making me(us) aware of the whole thing.

 

and also, for some reason it hadn't yet sunk in for me that we are considered the black sheep of the fandom

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You've... scrambled my brain. I don't know what to say.

At first I just want to get clarification on your main points, because honestly, your post is huge.

Is this interpretation correct?

 

-Problem1:

        Bigger websites (discord, facebook, etc.) get more popular -> fans leave main touhou websites -> fans are in smaller divided circles (ex: discord servers) -> more divide/drama

-Problem2:

        Touhou getting enfranchised -> lower effort games -> more negativity towards the series

-Outcome:

        Combining outcomes of problems 1 & 2 -> harder for newcomers to get in -> less fans -> entire fanbase begins to degrade (fanworks and events)

-Solution:

        Everybody going back to centralized touhou websites OR creating a huge website list containing all fan circles

 

I'm really not too sure if I understood everything. Please let me know if I misunderstood anything.

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3 hours ago, vanyk said:

1. Persuade ZUN.

That would be near impossible. Most Fandom/Community/Whatever attempts at making a company (although you can hardly call Team Shanghai Alice a "company" as it is just one person, but I didn't have any other term to use here) notice them fail.One example I can think of is #Savetf2, which ended with TF2 team responding with a tweet and then returning to radio silence. Although because we aren't dealing with an AAA company here, we have higher chances of well.... I guess you can say "speaking up"? However the issue is that we probably would need at least a pretty sizeable minority with us and a way of persuading and forcing ZUN to stop working with Ruw, however the second part would be much easier to deal with.

Other than that I'm also quite pessmistic towards other solutions, however I don't know why as I can't really explain it. It might just be a gut-feeling though.

 

Also I apologize if I misunderstood something or didn't read something.

Edited by Funny Joke Here
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22 minutes ago, suyu_ said:

i'm impressed with your analysis. Well, I understand the pessimism and all of the unfortunate situations, but I still believe that touhou fandom have not yet fallen. I can't be considered an avid touhou fan (i entered the fandom 1 year and a half ago) but i guess we still have a chance, but, knowing how things happen, it's very unlikely that it'll occur (at least based on the fandom actions themselves, cited by you). Anyway, great point being brought here (i'm sure most people won't even read the first lines) and thanks for making me(us) aware of the whole thing.

Thank you for your reply. Yes, Touhou fandom has not fallen yet, and the more people will be aware of those problems the more chances we have to make Touhou fandom blooming again.

28 minutes ago, suyu_ said:

and also, for some reason it hadn't yet sunk in for me that we are considered the black sheep of the fandom

Sadly, yes. Because this is a pirate site, and after DMCA /r/touhou and Touhou Wiki decided to support Ruw's decision. There is even a group who wrote doujin circles to help them with DMCA. They even created hakureishrine.org (it is just redirect to Steam, and yes they still pay for this domain just for joke).

 

6 minutes ago, kymoh said:

You've... scrambled my brain. I don't know what to say.

At first I just want to get clarification on your main points, because honestly, your post is huge.

Thank you too, for your reply.

6 minutes ago, kymoh said:

Bigger websites (discord, facebook, etc.) get more popular -> fans leave main touhou websites -> fans are in smaller divided circles (ex: discord servers) -> more divide/drama

You understood it correctly. Just one more detail, there were dramas between main Touhou websites even between main websites.

12 minutes ago, kymoh said:

Touhou getting enfranchised -> lower effort games -> more negativity towards the series

Not only that but also some strange limitations from ZUN and Ruw.

13 minutes ago, kymoh said:

Combining outcomes of problems 1 & 2 -> harder for newcomers to get in -> less fans -> entire fanbase begins to degrade (fanworks and events)

You understood it correctly.

14 minutes ago, kymoh said:

Everybody going back to centralized touhou websites OR creating a huge website list containing all fan circles

Somewhat yes. The first solution also include forgetting about dramas at least between creators, so they could work together. Those are just my proposals and they maybe not ideal. I want to bring up this topic for discussion to find the best solution from realistic ones.

 

10 minutes ago, Funny Joke Here said:

That would be near impossible. Most Fandom/Community/Whatever attempts at making a company (although you can hardly call Team Shanghai Alice a "company" as it is just one person, but I didn't have any other term to use here) notice them fail.One example I can think of is #Savetf2, which ended with TF2 team responding with a tweet and then returning to radio silence. Although because we aren't dealing with an AAA company here, we have higher chances of well.... I guess you can say "speaking up"? However the issue is that we probably would need at least a pretty sizeable minority with us and a way of persuading and forcing ZUN to stop working with Ruw, however the second part would be much easier to deal with.

Thank you for your reply. I also think that persuading ZUN now is nearly impossible. Touhou is mostly made for Japanese fans and ZUN mostly listen only to them, so without their help it would be impossible to do it.

13 minutes ago, Funny Joke Here said:

Other than that I'm also quite pessmistic towards other solutions, however I don' know why as I can't really explain it. It might just be a gut-feeling though.

I understand it, but I don't have better solutions for now, I am sorry.

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It's been a long time since I have last been truly active on this forum, but I am greatly impressed to see again big threads, with a lot of interesting stuff to read and research put into it. This thread actually reminds me of something I wrote at the end of 2022, when I was a about halfway into my journey for getting into Touhou (link below, along with some bonuses). I would like to reply to multiple of the points made, but that would take me about an hour, so I will try get back to this later (it's already late in the night for me). However, you have earned my respect.

 

The thread I originally mentioned:

 

Bonus threads of potential interest (chronologically, by release date):


(a personal topic of interest back then)


(from the era of "Count reviews stuff")


(another topic of personal interest back then; oh, how the fate has turned since...)

 

(and a thread that is still going, albeit by me reviving it every once in a while; provides good example of evolving perception on a topic by regularly covering it and noticing patterns of approach and way to present the issue)

 

Alright, I will try to come back eventually with the promised reply. Until then, enjoy the lecture =) 

 

Edit: I forgot to add one thread that did waves back in the day, both here on the Moriya Shrine forum and on r/touhou, due to how dense I used to be in trying to understand why something was as appealing and prevalent as it is (and I still do not fully know too, especially as I dropped the consumption of such stuff for good, and for my own good) 

 

Edited by CountVonNumenor
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Mmmm, this topic has been something of a long time brewing, hasn't it?

1.) General groundworks, fanbase fragmentation

Spoiler

First off, uniting the fans is generally hard, if not impossible. As you said, we are made up of many circles that consist of many different goals and alignments alongside different languages that see things very differently. This sort of bloating into many different groups is partly due to how long Touhou has gone on for and what kind of goal most people saw Touhou as. (Len'en included.)

It is not the fault of the fans; as you said, most, if not all, Touhou fans have come into contact with Touhou either through piracy sites such as this site or media that contains Touhou (Doujins, videos, music, and art). This, alongside the inherent age of the Touhou series, is something not much experienced with most games due to most of them corroding from a focused goal or the creators themselves losing interest, which fans themselves have to make up for what they see as the main draw of Touhou. (which is probably why such elitist culture exists and why we are here now.) Kind of ironic when ZUN himself hated the fact that back then SHMUPS had tons of bullets https://en.touhouwiki.net/wiki/Embodiment_of_Scarlet_Devil/Afterword
As translated directly:

Quote

However, to narrow the scope to only danmaku shmups, I'm feeling a bit dissatisfied with the direction that it's currently headed. The main issues are the rapid inflation of difficulty, games that have only a lot of bullets, effects that are fancy and beautiful, but are not easy on the eyes; and games with new systems that don't require dodging bullets. That is my opinion.

Many of them are usually fun to play as games, but even though that might be fine as it is, in some instances it might give the impression that "Dodging bullets is not fun; of course there are going to be a lot of bullets in an shmup." If they don't try to find dodging bullets fun, why don't they try to reconsider why they would play a shmup if the enemies' shots were gone?


Set aside the communications, if such collaboration between many parts of the fandom could accept differences and make up a whole community. There remains one key issue for these communities: the drive to continue being part of that community. Which is why this fanbase has drifted into many groups spread across many major and minor sites across many nationalities. People aren't going to agree to remain one one site for everything as more people = more complicated issues. For example, some people had an issue with an Helldivers 2 Discord server which mostly had some genuine fans but had problems with the moderation of a person. Another would be how people would run such a site for the collective whole, as many people have different interpretations of rules, you would need to exact rules while making sure to not become something like Reddit and control the moderation team (something that would require a well-meaning moderation team while making sure they don't abuse powers), while also making an incentive for people to continue being on that site. There are many more as you have provided.

2.) ZUN himself and franchising

Spoiler

There is something most people forget about ZUN, he himself is kind of old, around 47 as of time of writing (he has a family too!). His motivation to continue creating the games comes from the inherent continued support of fans while keeping it to his own way. That itself doesn't hold up well as most big creators of certain franchises have expanded upon their popularity to create studios and multiple series based off of their popular IP. This is something ZUN seems to not really want as it seems he intends his games to be his personal diary, but from events that have occurred, he has made agreements with franchising Touhou to allow Gacha games to be made. I mean it literally as he did show up in a TLW stream. It is as you said, it seems he never really cared about the quality of the games that he allows licensing to, yet I find it ironic when he himself hated the idea of AI creating garbage when TLW exists to shove garbage down the throats of many fans in exchange for a crappy gacha game that isn't even good in gameplay and continues to peddle alternate skins of an already power crept game with meat walls as an excuse to continue the farce. This, and your mention of other issues leads me to believe he is extremely blind or he knows he is allowing this type of content to exist.

 

3.) Doesn't he only interact with his JP fans?

Spoiler

Tough question, short answer probably not, long answer no
He knows that he western fanbase exists, (heck there is even a video of him recently trying to interact with some of the major sites from the west) 

I feel like probably this interaction is due to his local interaction with mostly JP friends and y'know, he doesn't know how to speak English, but keep in mind he has had some interaction with other English fans such as Toby Fox who has been kind of interacting a lot more with the JP space who has had a hand in the Pokemon music and as of recently, that music video. (you know what I mean with the Flandre Undertale thing) This might be an outlier, but who knows as ZUN's life is mostly seen interacting with his JP friends who have made works based off of Touhou in his streams that he usually does from time to time. (We don't really know if he has more people who come from the West and knows how to contact him personally as a friend) His own work mostly comes from interactions in both real life and what he thinks Touhou should be, so I do think that there is a possibility for some interaction, but only very strong goals with simple messages that have enough attention might grab the attention of ZUN from one of his English speaking friends to make it that way. So uh, impossible unless you know of somebody who knows ZUN who wants to bring up this issue and actually say this kind of issue to ZUN without the kind of negatives of criticism.
set aside that, I think this is mostly due to how most people see Touhou as a Japan thing as most of the Touhou Fans exist within Japan and the region surrounding it. This kind of stigmata isn't going to change, not in the future, nor near future. As most from the West see the focus of many JP companies advertising only to JP fans who are quite normalized to the idea of Gacha as you have mentioned with BA being kind of the new JP hot topic Gacha game in the comic market. That aside, the decrease from Reitaisai seems alarming, but gonna ask since I can't seem to find the website holding that information. 

Where exactly did you find these tables of attendance?

It seems Google can't seem to find this information (probably due to how crap it is at finding stuff) and I really want to know just to make sure this information comes from a solid source and also add to the database of important sites that I have not cataloged for information. 

I'm gonna stop here for now and let this thread build up. I'm interested in seeing how this develops as it has been some time since something like this captured my attention.

Edited by Reitisen
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 1683735564_GapEyeIcon.png.510261214f2118b1068fb86f8b100dcb.png Touhou Enjoyer & World Building Enthusiast  1683735564_GapEyeIcon.png.510261214f2118b1068fb86f8b100dcb.png

 

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4 hours ago, CountVonNumenor said:

It's been a long time since I have last been truly active on this forum, but I am greatly impressed to see again big threads, with a lot of interesting stuff to read and research put into it. This thread actually reminds me of something I wrote at the end of 2022, when I was a about halfway into my journey for getting into Touhou (link below, along with some bonuses). I would like to reply to multiple of the points made, but that would take me about an hour, so I will try get back to this later (it's already late in the night for me). However, you have earned my respect.

Thank you for your reply. I am grad you liked this post and and I would be grad for your analysis.

I have read most of your threads before I created an account here. You really made great analysis there.

 

4 hours ago, Reitisen said:

First off, uniting the fans is generally hard, if not impossible. As you said, we are made up of many circles that consist of many different goals and alignments alongside different languages that see things very differently. This sort of bloating into many different groups is partly due to how long Touhou has gone on for and what kind of goal most people saw Touhou as. (Len'en included.)

Thank you for your reply. I agree that uniting all the fans nearly impossible now. So I purposed a little more realistic solutuon (only unite creators). I didn't thought about a language factor, a really good point (but from what I know that is not that big problem in other fandoms.

 

4 hours ago, Reitisen said:

It is not the fault of the fans; as you said, most, if not all, Touhou fans have come into contact with Touhou either through piracy sites such as this site or media that contains Touhou (Doujins, videos, music, and art). This, alongside the inherent age of the Touhou series, is something not much experienced with most games due to most of them corroding from a focused goal or the creators themselves losing interest, which fans themselves have to make up for what they see as the main draw of Touhou.

Mostly agree. I hope correctly understood the second part. I don't think the age is not a serious problem I think, because if the series is really good there would be fans even after 50 years. But yes, newer Touhou games are very different from older ones (not everyone likes it, but for me it is okey if they are made well).

4 hours ago, Reitisen said:

Kind of ironic when ZUN himself hated the fact that back then SHMUPS had tons of bullets

Also kind of ironic that ZUN wanted to create a shmup for PC98 which had way more bullets than Caves shmups.

4 hours ago, Reitisen said:

Set aside the communications, if such collaboration between many parts of the fandom could accept differences and make up a whole community. There remains one key issue for these communities: the drive to continue being part of that community. Which is why this fanbase has drifted into many groups spread across many major and minor sites across many nationalities. People aren't going to agree to remain one one site for everything as more people = more complicated issues. For example, some people had an issue with an Helldivers 2 Discord server which mostly had some genuine fans but had problems with the moderation of a person. Another would be how people would run such a site for the collective whole, as many people have different interpretations of rules, you would need to exact rules while making sure to not become something like Reddit and control the moderation team (something that would require a well-meaning moderation team while making sure they don't abuse powers), while also making an incentive for people to continue being on that site. There are many more as you have provided.

Agree with everything.

5 hours ago, Reitisen said:

There is something most people forget about ZUN, he himself is kind of old, around 47 as of time of writing (he has a family too!). His motivation to continue creating the games comes from the inherent continued support of fans while keeping it to his own way. That itself doesn't hold up well as most big creators of certain franchises have expanded upon their popularity to create studios and multiple series based off of their popular IP.

Agree with everything.

 

5 hours ago, Reitisen said:

This is something ZUN seems to not really want as it seems he intends his games to be his personal diary, but from events that have occurred, he has made agreements with franchising Touhou to allow Gacha games to be made. I mean it literally as he did show up in a TLW stream. It is as you said, it seems he never really cared about the quality of the games that he allows licensing to, yet I find it ironic when he himself hated the idea of AI creating garbage when TLW exists to shove garbage down the throats of many fans in exchange for a crappy gacha game that isn't even good in gameplay and continues to peddle alternate skins of an already power crept game with meat walls as an excuse to continue the farce. This, and your mention of other issues leads me to believe he is extremely blind or he knows he is allowing this type of content to exist.

Yes, it is a big problem. That is one of the main reasons why fans leave the fandom.

 

5 hours ago, Reitisen said:

Tough question, short answer probably not, long answer no
He knows that he western fanbase exists, (heck there is even a video of him recently trying to interact with some of the major sites from the west) 

Yes, you are right. He also knows about Chinese community, because he visited China and met Touhou fans there. (Am I the only one who has strange feelings about this video?

 

5 hours ago, Reitisen said:

I feel like probably this interaction is due to his local interaction with mostly JP friends and y'know, he doesn't know how to speak English, but keep in mind he has had some interaction with other English fans such as Toby Fox who has been kind of interacting a lot more with the JP space who has had a hand in the Pokemon music and as of recently, that music video. (you know what I mean with the Flandre Undertale thing) This might be an outlier, but who knows as ZUN's life is mostly seen interacting with his JP friends who have made works based off of Touhou in his streams that he usually does from time to time. (We don't really know if he has more people who come from the West and knows how to contact him personally as a friend) His own work mostly comes from interactions in both real life and what he thinks Touhou should be, so I do think that there is a possibility for some interaction, but only very strong goals with simple messages that have enough attention might grab the attention of ZUN from one of his English speaking friends to make it that way. So uh, impossible unless you know of somebody who knows ZUN who wants to bring up this issue and actually say this kind of issue to ZUN without the kind of negatives of criticism.
set aside that, I think this is mostly due to how most people see Touhou as a Japan thing as most of the Touhou Fans exist within Japan and the region surrounding it.

Agree with all.

5 hours ago, Reitisen said:

the focus of many JP companies advertising only to JP fans who are quite normalized to the idea of Gacha as you have mentioned with BA being kind of the new JP hot topic Gacha game in the comic market.

And that is a problem that they are that used to gachas.

 

5 hours ago, Reitisen said:

Where exactly did you find these tables of attendance?

I thought that was obvious: mostly thwiki.cc

Comiket: https://thwiki.cc/Comic_Market

Reitaisai: https://thwiki.cc/Reitaisai

Kouroumu: https://thwiki.cc/东方红楼梦

Meikasai: https://thwiki.cc/东方名华祭

Autumn Reitaisai: https://thwiki.cc/博丽神社秋季例大祭

Hakudenkai 2022: https://extra.hakudenkai.games

Hakudenkai 2023: https://hakudenkai.games/

 

Again, thank you for your interesting thoughts.

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Its like you said, we're past the golden age of touhou. We are no longer in a time where touhou was as internet culturally relevant anymore. That unfortunately happens to a lot of series that are really popular on the internet. However I think we are far from dead, I think right now we are in a time where Touhou is giving rise to successors but it isn't being shown to the public more because its successors are more popular and good for them.

To me, the touhou community is like the Classic Doom Community, even though its golden age has long past its community is still thriving.  There are still people out there creating WAD's for Classic Doom and just like how people are still creating things for touhou. Both of these series still have boost of popularity with My house for Doom and Luna Nights for touhou (That was the game that got me into the franchise in the first place).

We are just passing the torch to a new generation and as far as I see it, this new generation is doing well at keeping it lit.

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3 hours ago, Banana Man 4577 said:

Its like you said, we're past the golden age of touhou. We are no longer in a time where touhou was as internet culturally relevant anymore. That unfortunately happens to a lot of series that are really popular on the internet. However I think we are far from dead, I think right now we are in a time where Touhou is giving rise to successors but it isn't being shown to the public more because its successors are more popular and good for them.

To me, the touhou community is like the Classic Doom Community, even though its golden age has long past its community is still thriving.  There are still people out there creating WAD's for Classic Doom and just like how people are still creating things for touhou. Both of these series still have boost of popularity with My house for Doom and Luna Nights for touhou (That was the game that got me into the franchise in the first place).

We are just passing the torch to a new generation and as far as I see it, this new generation is doing well at keeping it lit.

Thank you for your reply. Mostly agree with you. I understand that each series has its rises and falls, and that we probably will never have the second golden age (still hoping for seeing the silver age). Touhou is far from death now, but the problem that Touhou is slowly losing its main Japanese fanbase.

I wonder if there are a lot of successors? I can only name Len'en, Undertale and BA.

I thought about comparing Touhou and Doom community. From what I know, there are still new records in old games, hardcore fans still are trying to beat the impossible challenges, Classic Doom community creates around 30 WADs a week, while Chinese LusSTG community creates around 15 scripts a week. But the problem here is that John Romero and other developers don't impose new strange restrictions, while ZUN and Ruw do.

Thank you for your interesting thoughts.

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On 4/21/2024 at 10:53 AM, vanyk said:

We need to act.

Counter Point: Is the state of the fandom at any time, past current or future, necessarily concerning? What is the actual impact on you or me if this state of affairs continues or gets "worse?"

I've been around a while now, and I've seen many fluctuations in the little "circle" we have here. I don't always appreciate them, but they don't bother me overly much; ultimately, my life is not going to be effected by what's happening here. Touhou is the reason I came here, but it isn't really the reason I'm still here now, and it was never going to be. My "About Me" page is forever invisible (why does this exist I don't understand it's been years), but if y'all could see it you'd see a description of what I believe defined my priorities in regard to my interactions:

Bible believer
Music enthusiast
Amateur meme propagator

That's me (although I may not live up to the last one anymore), and whatever happens to Touhou and its fandom isn't going to change that.

I get the impression you want something out of the fandom that you don't believe you can get in its current state. What is it?

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56 minutes ago, Ken Hisuag said:

Counter Point: Is the state of the fandom at any time, past current or future, necessarily concerning? What is the actual impact on you or me if this state of affairs continues or gets "worse?"

I've been around a while now, and I've seen many fluctuations in the little "circle" we have here. I don't always appreciate them, but they don't bother me overly much; ultimately, my life is not going to be effected by what's happening here. Touhou is the reason I came here, but it isn't really the reason I'm still here now, and it was never going to be. My "About Me" page is forever invisible (why does this exist I don't understand it's been years), but if y'all could see it you'd see a description of what I believe defined my priorities in regard to my interactions:

Bible believer
Music enthusiast
Amateur meme propagator

That's me (although I may not live up to the last one anymore), and whatever happens to Touhou and its fandom isn't going to change that.

Thank you for your opinion. I am grad to see criticism of my post.

I understand that we may not to care about the state of Touhou and just watch what will happen next. I understand that internet and fandoms are just part (a small one) of our real lives. I understand that if something bad happens to franchise we can move to next one. I understand that this site is not that big and not many people visit forums here.

But for some reason Touhou became something important for me. And it would be sad for me if this series would die. I am a little guy, and literally noname outside of this forum. I cannot do anything big alone, but I thought that doing a small step for changing the situation for better is better than doing nothing at lot. I hope that this discussion won't just stay in this "little circle" and would go upper (but for now it is just hope).

1 hour ago, Ken Hisuag said:

I get the impression you want something out of the fandom that you don't believe you can get in its current state. What is it?

Yes, I understand that I cannot change the situation alone greatly. I made some purposes which aren't too realistic, the others are somewhat more achievable. 

What is it?
I still cannot describe it. Maybe a hope that after this little step there would be more bigger steps. Maybe stupidity. Maybe I am just overthinking everything. Who knows?

 

And again, thank you for your reply, I really appreciate it.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 4/22/2024 at 7:40 AM, vanyk said:

Thank you for your reply. I am grad you liked this post and and I would be grad for your analysis.

I have read most of your threads before I created an account here. You really made great analysis there.

Still open to conversation in any of these suggested threads...

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This is surely a nice topic to revive my forum activity.
So far i agree with the points made here and kudos Vanyk, for having the data that shows the decrease of interest in Touhou and bringing this topic up.

Something to have in mind is that circumstances are constantly changing, the world is not the same in 2008 than in 2024.
The pandemic really hit Touhou hard, you can see that the decrease in popularity, at least with in-person events, got accelerated due to the restrictions and the economic stagnation we have been going through since 2020.
Now, Touhou is far from being in a bad spot, it just needs to adapt to the new times we are living in and that has to do with passing the torch to the new generation (basically what Banana Man said). It's very unlikely that Touhou will ever die completely, it's too big to die.

Games are in a general state of crisis in the 2020s.
The new generation of consoles (outside the Switch) got few sales, PC games are more exigent and buggier than ever and mobile games spiraled down into becoming cash cows.
Control over creativity has been removed from the hands of creators and placed on the hands of executives and business man who don't understand what the people want, or the executives try too hard to appeal with fan service (what happened to Star Wars).
This is also why AI is getting so much funding, the capitalistic world is playing too hard into the "save costs at all costs" game.
You can see the problem in action with the very recent Helldivers 2 controversy (TLDR, Sony is forcing people to create Playstation accounts to continue playing, against the devs' wishes and the players).

Another problem that hits Touhou very hard is that the principal computing device got shifted away from the PC, now the dominant force is the Phone. And this combines with phone games turning into cash cows (Lost Word and the Gachapocalypse with things like Genshin Impact, for example).

The dominance of the phone also brought in a change of how people approach computers and how Big Tech design the user experience. Back in Touhou's Golden Age, the focus of the internet was on forums, personal websites and it was overall a more intimate and slower feeling experience, the internet itself was Indie.
Nowadays, thanks to the centralization that Big Tech accomplished and the discovering of the scrolling format, the focus was shifted to fast paced content and dopamine hits.

It was a recipe for disaster, to say the least. The Touhou community got fragmented into tons of niches, but the platforms got united in a single place and the shift was changed into an addiction of consumerism from a more relaxed, "everyone is involved" enjoyment of the franchise. Everything is a lot more capitalistic nowadays.

For example, a new person who is getting into Touhou is a lot more likely to stumble across Lost Word, the Reddit or the music in YouTube. These platforms encourage a passive involvement of the franchise, promoting the idea of consuming content instead of enjoying creations. Discovering things is hard and becoming an active part of the community is even harder.

All of this relates deeply to the Dead Internet Theory.

What this theory states is that Internet activity is more and more driven by Bot/AI activity and a focus on the TikTok-like algorithmic addiction based content made to be consumed.
In reality, people activity is higher than ever, the problem is that it's passive or hidden from search engines in places like Discord. This is encouraged specially by Reddit and Twitter.
Since Twitter got rebranded, bot activity soared very high. Reddit got the API changes controversy and other small changes to the platform made it much harder to navigate, content quality decreased drastically and a trend i have been noticing is that Reddit is more focused on this new brand of entertainment.

 

And all of this leads us to... Mature content.

Touhou has always been about mature content, writing this i even found some mature Winamp skins from January 2008... There have been animated videos about Yukari doing nefarious things (look up Border of Ecstasy if you are brave).
I was chatting with CountVonNumenor before writing this and he provided me with these statistics that highlight what percentage of artwork in art websites is mature and safe for work:

Spoiler

uhohstatisticstouhou.webp.f193a84d25fd9a9029b85a2acc97f741.webp

 

theotheruhohstatistic.webp.1e44385832f0f6ca4b7af68b327d1f1b.webp


The problem is, mature content is now trying to be the main focus of the franchise. It's only thing that kept consistent activity since the Golden Age.

Memories of Phantasm is drowning any interesting things it brings to the table in gigantic boobs. Same thing with Lost Word (im not even counting how disgusting Gacha games are due to producing gambling addictions and sexualizing woman), social media is also promoting Mature Touhou like crazy!
The past months i browsed the Touhou Reddit (r/touhou), and it followed this recipe:

1) Enter Reddit, get recommended only the NSFW Touhou posts
2) A little more scrolling and i get the same posts again, but this time in the r/2hujerk reddit, with the title "Outjerked once again by the main sub"
3) Repeat
Twitter is worse, you can follow someone because they draw cool fanart, but then they also like to retweet mature content or you get shoved the political agenda of choice. Reddit depends more on what is the subreddit's style, but Twitter has no salvation and that phenomenon is universal.

And it doesn't end here, if you enter a website dedicated to fanart, like Pixiv, chances are you are going to get drowned in mature content. It's worse if you go into a more niche website like the boorus. Even if you use the "hide 18+ content" you still get mature content, it's infuriating to me.

It's very hard to be a Touhou fan when the first thing someone getting into the franchise sees is Lost Word's ooga woogas or the 100th time post of Sakuya's feet this week, let's not even get started on people drawing absolutely disgusting artwork worthy of prison time of my favorite character, Sumireko Usami.
And due to the nature of social media, you can't escape it without detaching yourself from more public community endeavors.

What's worse is that Count already tried to discuss this problem in r/touhou and he already described the horny tactics in Memories of Phantasm. Only to get some attention, but just to get the "nice wall of text you got there" response and a repost over to r/copypasta (a place where memorable texts are placed and then shared into infinity because someone finds them funny.)

His OG post: https://www.reddit.com/r/touhou/comments/w25e90/why_is_touhou_so_popular_in_terms_of_mature/
The Copypasta repost: https://www.reddit.com/r/copypasta/comments/w26pfx/why_is_touhou_so_popular_in_terms_of_mature/
823.jpg.5a6940507593d4d2ca57f8e7e620f06d.jpg

 

Another thing i want to briefly mention is that ZUN has a part of the blame of the state of the community.

Since Violet Detector, the game's quality decreased or has stayed stagnant, on par with the quality of games from the early 2000s. ZUN's extremely indie approach of doing 90% of the work is hitting a wall.
You can feel he is getting more busy, with less and less results. It took 8 years for another Hifuu Club Album (and a disappointing one in my opinion), the gameplay of the bullet hells didn't reinvent itself enough (cards are cool but the mechanic has been abused to death in 18.5 and 19) and he is burning himself out.
The programming of 16.5 and 19 is especially bad and his game engine is Windows only (even if the bullet hell games can work well on consoles).
Another funny thing is that he just doesn't place Touhou 06-08 on Steam, encouraging the piracy of the franchise as those 3 are the biggest games by far and it ends up encouraging the piracy of games that ARE available at Steam (not judging those who pirate, i'm siding with the enterprise here).

He also allowed things like Lost Word to happen.
In my opinion, the best way to revive Touhou is that ZUN lets his ego rest for a bit and that he changes his role into more of a "General Touhou Supervisor" and that he fully embraces the fact that it's a franchise now.
Make a new multi-platform bullet hell engine, Touhou 06-08 remakes, expand Shanghai Alice into a real game studio, add more finality to the Hifuu Club story-line, official anime, etc.
I think it's the best way for ZUN to control the enterprise growth of Touhou, while keeping control of the essence.

Now that i highlighted some of the problems i see in Touhou, what are the solutions i can think of?
Well, i don't have one for the mature content, as the people seem to be brainwashed into liking that sort of stuff dominating the community...
It's even stranger because even if Pokémon has more mature works than Touhou percentage wise, it's a lot less ingrained in the culture of the community and you can totally avoid it, something very hard on Touhou's case.

I will just briefly mention the state of other older franchises, Godzilla and Sailor Moon to get an understanding by comparison.

Godzilla has seen a renaissance of activity in the community since the 2014 American movie, with tons of high quality fan creations (fan 3D animations, creepypastas/analog horror, amazing drawings, healthy discussion in the community's places and the reddit is a pretty chill and welcoming place). Godzilla is in a righteous cycle of original creations giving the community inspiration for fan-works that drive the sales of original creations further. Thankfully monsters avoid most of the mature content, so it ends up being a healthy dose.

Sailor Moon is not that popular nowadays, the anime remake and movies helped (Crystal) but the community is very welcoming and you get a fair share of fan creations (an old competitive game gaining attention, healthy discussion of the anime & manga in the Reddit, etc.). Mature content is also a lot less prevalent here.

Well, the main problem i see with Touhou is that there is no "central" place for the community to enjoy things. The closest things, Reddit & Twitter, are infested with mature content and are hard to navigate for stuff that's worthy of your time without wasting a huge amount of your day in there or getting flooded by Tech Bro selling Chimatacoins or whatever.
The forums approach works really well with Touhou, allowing the prolonged survival of important posts, giving everyone a fair chance of contributing.

Now, because everyone wants power and the compartmentalization of the community has some benefits, i think it's impossible to create "The Place". But you know what we can do?

A landing page that lists everything important in the community. Official links, fangames, music circles, etc.
For example, finding the steam page of the Touhou games is pretty hard for people not versed in Japanese, but if there was a list easier to navigate than Touhou Wiki, it would be very easy.

I am currently in the process of creating this list, once i have enough things gathered i will make a post in the forum promoting this idea. It will only be successful if the community cares, but i have high hopes for it, stay tuned.

 

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9 hours ago, Pepi said:

This is surely a nice topic to revive my forum activity.
So far i agree with the points made here and kudos Vanyk, for having the data that shows the decrease of interest in Touhou and bringing this topic up.

Thank you for your reply, your post have a lot of good points.

9 hours ago, Pepi said:

Something to have in mind is that circumstances are constantly changing, the world is not the same in 2008 than in 2024.
The pandemic really hit Touhou hard, you can see that the decrease in popularity, at least with in-person events, got accelerated due to the restrictions and the economic stagnation we have been going through since 2020.
Now, Touhou is far from being in a bad spot, it just needs to adapt to the new times we are living in and that has to do with passing the torch to the new generation (basically what Banana Man said). It's very unlikely that Touhou will ever die completely, it's too big to die.

Games are in a general state of crisis in the 2020s.
The new generation of consoles (outside the Switch) got few sales, PC games are more exigent and buggier than ever and mobile games spiraled down into becoming cash cows.
Control over creativity has been removed from the hands of creators and placed on the hands of executives and business man who don't understand what the people want, or the executives try too hard to appeal with fan service (what happened to Star Wars).
This is also why AI is getting so much funding, the capitalistic world is playing too hard into the "save costs at all costs" game.
You can see the problem in action with the very recent Helldivers 2 controversy (TLDR, Sony is forcing people to create Playstation accounts to continue playing, against the devs' wishes and the players).

About the state of current game industry, totally agree.

9 hours ago, Pepi said:

Another problem that hits Touhou very hard is that the principal computing device got shifted away from the PC, now the dominant force is the Phone. And this combines with phone games turning into cash cows (Lost Word and the Gachapocalypse with things like Genshin Impact, for example).

About shifting from PC to phones, somewhat agree, but it could be easily solved if most people would use ExaGear or Winlator or Mobox (if you have a potato phone like me you can play most PC games from 90s and early 00s without problems, if you have a good phone, well you can try to play Elden Ring and Cyberpunk 2077 in 20-30 fps. And yes even this potato phone can run mainline Touhou games from 7 to 12 in 40-60 fps, from 13 to 15 in 30-50 fps, from 16 in 25-50 (I believe in ECL supremacy)). But the problem of those emulators that they are not too convenient (and not stable with some games).

9 hours ago, Pepi said:

The dominance of the phone also brought in a change of how people approach computers and how Big Tech design the user experience. Back in Touhou's Golden Age, the focus of the internet was on forums, personal websites and it was overall a more intimate and slower feeling experience, the internet itself was Indie.
Nowadays, thanks to the centralization that Big Tech accomplished and the discovering of the scrolling format, the focus was shifted to fast paced content and dopamine hits.

It was a recipe for disaster, to say the least. The Touhou community got fragmented into tons of niches, but the platforms got united in a single place and the shift was changed into an addiction of consumerism from a more relaxed, "everyone is involved" enjoyment of the franchise. Everything is a lot more capitalistic nowadays.

For example, a new person who is getting into Touhou is a lot more likely to stumble across Lost Word, the Reddit or the music in YouTube. These platforms encourage a passive involvement of the franchise, promoting the idea of consuming content instead of enjoying creations. Discovering things is hard and becoming an active part of the community is even harder.

Totally agree. Especially with that finding things is harder now, if you don't know about them. So that is the reason why I began making a list.

9 hours ago, Pepi said:

All of this relates deeply to the Dead Internet Theory.

What this theory states is that Internet activity is more and more driven by Bot/AI activity and a focus on the TikTok-like algorithmic addiction based content made to be consumed.
In reality, people activity is higher than ever, the problem is that it's passive or hidden from search engines in places like Discord. This is encouraged specially by Reddit and Twitter.
Since Twitter got rebranded, bot activity soared very high. Reddit got the API changes controversy and other small changes to the platform made it much harder to navigate, content quality decreased drastically and a trend i have been noticing is that Reddit is more focused on this new brand of entertainment.

I don't agree with Dead Internet Theory, because if you don't use Twitter or Reddit you won't notice these problems (except TikTok-like algorithms). I somewhat agree that there are some places each you couldn't reach using search engines (I think Discord developers wanted to make Discord servers more private than for example Facebook groups).

9 hours ago, Pepi said:

And all of this leads us to... Mature content.

About mature content, it is not a big problem of Touhou (in table you gave there is a mistake, in Touhou line it should be 8,29% of R18, still it is more than the previous time) because R18 is a big part of doujin scene (the biggest doujin archive I know (>400TB) mostly consists of such stuff, also a big number of games for PC98 are NSFW). It maybe shouldn't be that accessible. What I think is bad that Touhou fandom has one of youngest audience (in average 25 years old).

9 hours ago, Pepi said:

Memories of Phantasm is drowning any interesting things it brings to the table in gigantic boobs. Same thing with Lost Word (im not even counting how disgusting Gacha games are due to producing gambling addictions and sexualizing woman), social media is also promoting Mature Touhou like crazy!
The past months i browsed the Touhou Reddit (r/touhou), and it followed this recipe:

1) Enter Reddit, get recommended only the NSFW Touhou posts
2) A little more scrolling and i get the same posts again, but this time in the r/2hujerk reddit, with the title "Outjerked once again by the main sub"
3) Repeat
Twitter is worse, you can follow someone because they draw cool fanart, but then they also like to retweet mature content or you get shoved the political agenda of choice. Reddit depends more on what is the subreddit's style, but Twitter has no salvation and that phenomenon is universal.

And it doesn't end here, if you enter a website dedicated to fanart, like Pixiv, chances are you are going to get drowned in mature content. It's worse if you go into a more niche website like the boorus. Even if you use the "hide 18+ content" you still get mature content, it's infuriating to me.

I don't consider Memories of Phantasm as a big problem because it was made for fans (if don't like it you don't have to watch it) not for newcomers. The problem is that most fans and newcomers don't understand that, so fans recommend newcomers to watch MoP, and you know the consequences. The only somewhat good alternative is Summer day's dream (if you forget about the scene with Patchouli). With LW and Reddit agree. 
About Twitter, it is a problem of its design. open-source alternatives also have this problem, for example misskey.io . I could say "don't use Twitter", but the problem that a lot of Touhou content creators make announces there.
About Pixiv and boorus somewhat agree (but what have you expected from them?)

9 hours ago, Pepi said:

It's very hard to be a Touhou fan when the first thing someone getting into the franchise sees is Lost Word's ooga woogas or the 100th time post of Sakuya's feet this week, let's not even get started on people drawing absolutely disgusting artwork worthy of prison time of my favorite character, Sumireko Usami.
And due to the nature of social media, you can't escape it without detaching yourself from more public community endeavors.

What's worse is that Count already tried to discuss this problem in r/touhou and he already described the horny tactics in Memories of Phantasm. Only to get some attention, but just to get the "nice wall of text you got there" response and a repost over to r/copypasta (a place where memorable texts are placed and then shared into infinity because someone finds them funny.)

Agree.

9 hours ago, Pepi said:

Since Violet Detector, the game's quality decreased or has stayed stagnant, on par with the quality of games from the early 2000s. ZUN's extremely indie approach of doing 90% of the work is hitting a wall.
You can feel he is getting more busy, with less and less results. It took 8 years for another Hifuu Club Album (and a disappointing one in my opinion), the gameplay of the bullet hells didn't reinvent itself enough (cards are cool but the mechanic has been abused to death in 18.5 and 19) and he is burning himself out.
The programming of 16.5 and 19 is especially bad and his game engine is Windows only (even if the bullet hell games can work well on consoles).
Another funny thing is that he just doesn't place Touhou 06-08 on Steam, encouraging the piracy of the franchise as those 3 are the biggest games by far and it ends up encouraging the piracy of games that ARE available at Steam (not judging those who pirate, i'm siding with the enterprise here).

About recent games quality, agree. I could say that if he needs 3 years to make a game we can wait, but HBM and UDoALG look like they were made in less than half a year.
About TJD not really agree it surpassed my expectations (I expected nearly nothing from it). From what I know even the haters say this album is the best thing ZUN made since 2017. I can only agree about the story.
About the gameplay mostly agree (in UDoALG card system isn't abused. Borders, Charge 2 and Charge 3 are).
About Touhou 6-8 ZUN says that he cannot place them on Steam because he lost source code (keeping in mind that he doesn't update Steam games it is hard to say it is main reason) (also imagine installing Steam version of Touhou 6 and not be able to launch it because of locale and Windows 10/11).

9 hours ago, Pepi said:

In my opinion, the best way to revive Touhou is that ZUN lets his ego rest for a bit and that he changes his role into more of a "General Touhou Supervisor" and that he fully embraces the fact that it's a franchise now.
Make a new multi-platform bullet hell engine, Touhou 06-08 remakes, expand Shanghai Alice into a real game studio, add more finality to the Hifuu Club story-line, official anime, etc.
I think it's the best way for ZUN to control the enterprise growth of Touhou, while keeping control of the essence.

About your plan, I agree with "General Touhou Supervisor" thing but I don't agree with even more commercialization, I don't want Touhou to lose the remaining "doujiness" it has.
About "new multi-platform bullet hell engine" you are too optimistic about ZUN, he wasn't able to implement replay system in HBM and UDoALG while you are talking about other platforms (which for example don't have DirectX support, which means ZUN would have to learn how to use OpenGL/Vulkan and write a new graphic system from scratch). "finality to the Hifuu Club story-line" would mean the final for Hifuu Club, which means ZUN has to make another story or there would be no more albums with stories. I think ZUN more prefer not ending stories, so I think we won't see the final soon.
My idea is turning Touhou into folklore (I think SCP is a good example of internet folklore). (I described my vision in PS).

9 hours ago, Pepi said:

It's even stranger because even if Pokémon has more mature works than Touhou percentage wise, it's a lot less ingrained in the culture of the community and you can totally avoid it, something very hard on Touhou's case.

I don't know about Pokemon, but for me it isn't hard to avoid such content, because I rarely visit places where I can find it.

9 hours ago, Pepi said:

Thankfully monsters avoid most of the mature content, so it ends up being a healthy dose.

The only problem that monsters don't avoid child content now. Aside that it is a good example.

9 hours ago, Pepi said:

Well, the main problem i see with Touhou is that there is no "central" place for the community to enjoy things. The closest things, Reddit & Twitter, are infested with mature content and are hard to navigate for stuff that's worthy of your time without wasting a huge amount of your day in there or getting flooded by Tech Bro selling Chimatacoins or whatever.
The forums approach works really well with Touhou, allowing the prolonged survival of important posts, giving everyone a fair chance of contributing.

Agree.

9 hours ago, Pepi said:

Now, because everyone wants power and the compartmentalization of the community has some benefits, i think it's impossible to create "The Place". But you know what we can do?

A landing page that lists everything important in the community. Official links, fangames, music circles, etc.
For example, finding the steam page of the Touhou games is pretty hard for people not versed in Japanese, but if there was a list easier to navigate than Touhou Wiki, it would be very easy.

I am currently in the process of creating this list, once i have enough things gathered i will make a post in the forum promoting this idea. It will only be successful if the community cares, but i have high hopes for it, stay tuned.

As I wrote I also work on the list like that (it has more than 14500 links now). If you have something to share too, please DM me, so we can try to merge our lists and combine our efforts (I hope together we can do much more).
But if we manage to gather a lot of people and attention we may hope for "The Place" be a thing.

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Hello. MotK has found this post and they posted a lot of good criticism there. So now I will reply to each post.

Before we start I just want to explain one thing which I think I explained badly. Touhou isn't dying now, but (in my opinion) has some serious problems (which might lead to this state).
Reply to williewillus.

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Opening with a bunch of fearmongering is great! Citation needed for literally every single point here. Last point is subjective.

 

OK, I just wanted to show each which problem I see, and I agree that this introduction to the post is not good. What can you offer?
OK, more proofs:
About fangames:
English fandom, just visit bulletforge and sort by release date. You can also visit sparen's Contest Database: https://sparen.github.io/projects/contestdatabase.html
There are several big Western Touhou fangames but they come out rarely. What changed for better is appearing of Touhou Game Jams. (This is really great, but I don't think that 3-5 days is enough for creating a big game). Also Ryann1908 is working really hard (when CoUD?).
I cannot really name a lot of new fangames by Japanese fandom.
There are a lot of fangames by Chinese fans and a lot of upcoming games are made by Chinese fandom.
I do not have a really good statistics of all of games, but there are lists by THBwiki:
https://thwiki.cc/同人软件列表
https://thwiki.cc/同人软件列表2
You can just compare by year.


Doujin music and doujinshi:
Those are made mostly by Japanese fans for doujin events. If there are in total less items on those events than there are less doujin music and doujinshi on those events.
The only problem I have is statistics of online doujin shops.
Also this site ( https://touhou.arrangement-chronicle.com ) statistics (not perfect, but better than nothing):

2019: 7603
2020 (COVID): 3028
2021: 3966
2022: 3822
2023 (a good sign?): 4905
Earlier statistics:

Spoiler


 

About new content being unnoticed (by Western fandom):
STGs: EoIFW, ASL, LDQ, TCL.
Touhou Styled Music, well I don't think this thread ( https://www.shrinemaiden.com/index.php?topic=98.0 ) exists without a reason.

Do I need to explain why fandom is splited?

I think you already know about the quality of UDoALG, also a lot of people know an example with Chen's spinning animation which was added 5 hours before release. We still have not got any hotfixes. HBM / 100BM was a game with a good potential, but it was not fulfilled.
About lore? There are some strange things in FDS like Kogasa without the Umbrella, but what is really strange for me is CoLA 37. Appearing of old forgotten computers in Gensokyo and Ran knowing how to use them is okay and make sense. But now we have a "Spiritual Internet" which connects different worlds (at least Gensokyo and Animal Realms) and also connects Outside World. Sumireko's AI can create "holographic clones" in Gensokyo which were used to collect data for learning (that is not the way how AI works). When Sumireko was chatting with Ran she thought she was chatting with AI (so the ways of communication with AI and Gensokyo residents are the same). I have only two questions: how and why? Is Gensokyo Matrix now? And can you call this okay?

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Why is this (community division) bad? Why does there have to be a unified hivemind community?

The fact that there is so much diversity in the community is a strength, NOT a weakness as this implies.

It is good when these circles are big and strong and have good ways how to increase its size.
It would be better if the circles knew more about each other.

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This section of the post is just a general outcome of moving things to closed platforms like Facebook/Discord/Twitter/Bilibili/whatever instead of using open platforms like forums. So use forums more if this concerns you. (I'm doing my part here).

Agree here and I wrote about that in original post.

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Probably the only section of that post that has a fair point. Nothing to say here other than I believe the doujin spirit is still there for ZUN, but he delegates too much to other people. He's stated before he hates dealing with legal matters, but it's an unavoidable thing you have to deal with once your franchise gets big.

So now Ruw deals with all of those things. He also made a lot of strange limitations. It would be better if ZUN found another person for this job (which would impose much less limitations).
About doujin spirit you are somewhat right because it depends on what you call doujin spirit. If you call it the process of making doujin when yes Touhou still has it. If you call it the doujin freedom even outside doujin events, well there are some problems.

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Funny for the OP to mention Len'en when Jynx has literally overworked himself into health problems working on the series. What is being advocated for here?

Yes, I knew that Jynx worked really hard for first four Len'en games, especially for BPoHC (like ZUN for first Windows Touhou games, especially for IN).
But if somebody made something good in the past that does not mean that what they do now is also good. So I used this example because it show how someone who made good games in the past, can make serious blunders (like gacha BotC) which would really affect the whole franchise and fandom. If you do not agree that the example shows exactly this, so you can show where I am wrong here.

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This sums up my overall feeling about this post, which is that it is 1) overly pessimistic and alarmist, and 2) does not provide any realistic actionable steps.

1) Knowing about problems in your favorite franchise is always somewhat pessimistic. But at the same time I tried to show that everything is not lost and we can change the situation for better if we try.
2) Again, I introduced 2 types of solutions: the ones which (in my opinion) are more preferable but less realistic, and the ones which are much more realistic and still somewhat good. If you think that those solutions are not very realistic too, you can always offer more realistic ones.

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In the end, it's "just" a whimsical series about magical girls shooting bullets. I love Touhou with all my heart but honestly the people concern-posting here need to go touch grass.

Agree. I may be just overthinking everything.

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The only takeaway from that post is something that has guided Touhou fans for the past 20 years or more: If you want to see something, make it. It's that simple.

Agree. Yes that is goal of the post.



Reply to Suspicious person (their post is really big and it would be better to read it yourself before reading my reply, I will just discuss key points)

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Y'know, I've been through a bunch of Touhou-is-dying doomposts since the time of Kantai Collection's rise, Touhou getting to Steam, Touhou localisation, and Touhou finally getting gacha games and the linked post kinda gives me similar vibes. There is, however, a big glaring issue with the post in question : it talks about past things and how things were, and does not take in consideration the new things that weren't there before.

OK, let's watch from this side (but in my opinion Touhou is still not a "past thing").

About new series, yes I know that they have a lot of traction and they gain a lot of content creators. The problem here that (as OP noticed) they use now horny bait instead of moe bait. And I know that there have been always a lot of such stuff in doujin (the biggest doujin archive (>400 TB) I know is consisting of mostly such things), but I don't approve of using such things by casino (gacha).
OP also says about Touhou and its niche and I agree to this. And after that OP doubts that Touhou can fight against new franchises and gives good reasons. I argee with this and will give another more serious reason. Touhou is losing one of its main niches: doujin freedom for doujin creators even outside doujin events (it is being taken by BA).

Next OP says about community being atomized. OP gives an example of Touhou shmup gaming community and TWC. I agree that TWC is a really good and important event (I didn't knew Touhou Station mentioned them, interesting info).
I didn't say that those little communities cannot do good big things and events, the problems here are dramas and not knowing about each other.
About bringing new fans, somewhat agree, somewhat don't agree. Can animators, good meme creators do it. Of course. Can TWC, BHA? I doubt, because it is hard to find them if you don't know about Touhou.

Next OP gives other examples like Touhoufest (why nobody talks about THO events which are hold nearly each month), Touhou Jam, Fumos and Yukkuri. Those events mostly show that situation in mainstream Touhou community is not that bad. Yukkuri drama only shows that there are still fans who can and want to defend Touhou (which is good).
That is interesting here that OP notices that an average year of Touhou fans is decresing: 24-25 years it is the youngest along other popular franchises:

Spoiler

GGzYYkRa0AA6BPX.thumb.jpg.9f134672b3ede444d8f9f4a922731cd8.jpg

Have you asked yourself why it is happening? Have not you thought that it is not a good tendency (there are already a lot of Japanese videos which are like those cringe Minecraft videos for kids)?

I cannot say anything about VTubers, because I don't watch them (it is not my thing).
ULiL is a good example.
UDoALG is somewhat good example, because, yes, most things (aside code) which were made by ZUN are reused (he could just make remixes for each song like in PoFV and give Tsukasa an original theme). What wasn't made by ZUN is new and good.

Next OP says about games being more broken and more casual. There is one important note:

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yet the fact is that new games don't delete the old ones from existence

That is a problem (not only in Touhou but in the whole game industry). Why to care about new games and their quality if we can always play old ones. We can just remain in 1990s, 2000s.
ZUN could just make maybe casual, maybe hard, but a good game. I say about quality and technical side of the games.

About Len'en, I will explain again. Yes, Len'en is not popular (but more popular than some Touhou circles), but the problem with Len'en that Jynx made some really strange decision which costed Len'en its (small but still) popularity. Like ZUN's and Ruw's decisions but with much more harsh consequences.
Len'en's balance is not a problem here.
(I don't understand why people don't understand that in the part there I talk about strange decision by ZUN and Ruw I show exactly an example what some strange decisions by a creator can do for a series)

About the next 2 paragraphs. Mostly agree.

The next paragraph is about community.
About dramas, if you really want me to make a list of it (because I don't want to talk about this topic) just ask.
Sad irony, recently there was a Touhou-YouTubers drama which is connected to a gender drama (Twitter moment). Yes, it is a stupid drama, but still a big one.

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the ONLY groups that are MOST important are the people who CREATE stuff like music arranges, videos, models, fanarts, fanbook and what have you on one side ; and the TRANSLATORS (god bless) who bring all these goodies to our stinky little selves

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I think the community at large should just not make itself be *too* toxic or else the actual real people who do actual real work are might leave.

Absolutly agree.

After this OP gives his view of the problems of Touhou. Mostly agree. (Especially with that ZUN is easy going, the latest interview is a good example of that)

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Making a Touhou site is cool and all, but it doesn't do much for people who are already into the series. I think the sheer slowness of content dripping is what makes people seek excitement elsewhere.

Somewhat agree, but I think a Touhou site should mostly contain fancontent and easy access to it, so there would always be new content.

About Comiket, OK, I argee that it maybe early for worrying, but keeping in mind that nobody before tried to use Touhou's strategy before and now there is an example of it, this fact is somewhat worrying.

I think you confuse commercialization by big companies to make even more money with attempts by small doujin/indie circles (not all of circles!) to earn at least some money. The second ones try to care more about players, because if players won't like the products they won't earn money. Aside that mostly agree.

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Anyway, for the short of it, the linked post is probably a sincere worrypost rather than a doompost, but it just lazer focuses on what weaknesses and issues there are rather than the strenghts and boons we enjoy.

Yes I focused on problems because it is better to solve them before they would become unsolvable. Maybe we could discuss more about our strenghts which could help us to solve them.

Thank you for your post it was actually great.


There was also not serious post about #CancelZUN (if it was serious, well, you cannot solve problems in the series if you would cancel its creator and developer)

Where was a question about gensokyo.org drama. Shortly, there was a drama when they wanted to sue everyone who used materials from their translations in other places (yes, you could get sued for "pirating" from a pirate translation (because for translation you have to modify .dat file (sprites and dialogs) and .exe file (hardcoded strings), the 2 main files +config (only remains music data file))). That was one of reasons (not the main one but still) why thcrap was created.

 

Reply to Felis-Licht

Spoiler

Yes English is not my native language, I am sorry if my English is really bad.

Quote

What "strange retcons" are happening exactly

About CoLA 37 before this chapter it was stated that youkais are fine to attack oursiders if they accidentally would appear in Gensokyo (the only exeption is Sumirenko, because she already knows too much and I don't think attacking dream version of Sumirenko will have good consequences, and even keeping these in mind Sumirenko was protected in Gensokyo), but now it is stated that youkais have no right to attack outsiders. Why? Are DiPP's story(ies) and "devil contract" not canon now? 

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I can agree there is some issues with modern Touhou, but I don't think what OP suggests can fix it. Most issues come from stuff that's going on with the internet and game industry itself rather than something exclusive to Touhou, such as gacha over-saturation and social media/discord strawberries affecting fandoms and communities.

OK, somewhat agree.

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Glorious Memory Lane's been shelved? First I've heard of this, that's a shame. Part of me doubts it was because JynX decided to make BotC. What was the real problem? Also what is the issue with people donating to his FANBOX or watching his streams? Like OP doesn't elaborate on anything, what are they trying to say here?

Well yes, there have been no news about GML at least for 2-3 years.
It seem like you lost context with that was written in several previous paragraphs. The main problem like with Touhou which Suspicious person noticed that it is really hard to bring hype for your franchise if where are nearly no updates (since last update of BPoHC were were uploaded some videos on Jynx's channel, an album was released and BotC was released), so people lost interest and moved to other franchises. The problem is not in BotC itself but in fact that it was developed for 6 year and that Jynx thought making such game himself is a good idea.
I wrote in that post that I wanted to show that Jynx and ZUN have similar problems. (and they both have fans which continue to defend them at any cost even after strange controversial decisions). ZUN put some strange restrictions while Jynx... what is he doing now? Golden Chapter? He hasn't begun doing it (he wrote about that in 2022). Monochrome World? No, it seems like he switched to Danmaku Beginner's Lesson. He works alone and still dissipates his strength. The roots are different but they result in same problems.


Reply to the second Suspicious person's post (again a big one, so read it yourself first)

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The "danger" gacha / mobages poses to Touhou is grossly overstated tbh.

Somewhat agree, but ZUN in the last interview said he was afraid that people would think "Touhou is Cannonball". (Why does he keep licensing them, then?)

Next, OP says that mobile games may be really helpful for Touhou. I agree, but there is one problem: Ruw allows only free-to-play ones. So how will mobile games developers earn money for food? They would implement gacha. It would be much better if it was allowed to have paid mobile Touhou fangames, so we could have big non-gacha mobile games.
(I think it would be great if there was a mobile fangame which allows you to easily access and play custom stages and boss fights which are made by other users (like in GD), but the most similar thing I have seen is LuaSTG mobile port, which is unfinished, and still it is more comfortable to launch Touhou fangames via emulator)


After that OP gives stories about Cannonball and LW.
About Cannonball agree (but from what I remember this game was closed because after buying licensed music they had no money)
About LW somewhat agree, but there is a thread by CountVonNumeror which shows that things have been slowly getting worse. Also story writing is getting worse. This game is still gacha (a not competitive one if you compare it to others) and the developers just chose a better strategy.

I agree that it is great that Touhou fans are mostly against gachas (if you compare it to other "anime" communities). But if a mobile fangame developers would want to earn at least some money from their game how they can do it?

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ZUN is still the guy who owns the copyright anyway

Not only ZUN but also Ruw has some power. Beside that agree.


Next OP gives examples when gachas helped Touhou fandom (popularizing some not well-known circles), and I somewhat agree with those examples. (But aren't were other ways for that?)

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I will never understand why touhou mobile games always *have* to be gacha of all things, though

Again, because there are no other legal ways (except ADs and ingame purchases) how to earn money from Touhou fangames (Ruw and ZUN only allow free-to-play).

With everything else I agree. A really good post.


Reply to degradingwindow

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There's a few decent Touhou mobile games that are out there (Shout-out to Suika Combination, Mawaru Marisa, Thousand Night Anamnesis and 東方おはじきパズル). The main problem is that Gacha games are the most profitable ones. Games like Super Mario Run have proved that people aren't interested in priced mobile games and sadly most big mobile developers do depend on whales in order to keep themselves afloat.

Agree (haven't heard about Super Mario Run, but I think the problem comes from social games from late 2000s and early 2010s).

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But just like many of the Moriya Shrine OP's points, it's less of a Touhou problem and more of a problem with the game development environment of mobile games. 

(why do people keep skipping ZUN's guideline where other ways to earn money are prohibited?)
Well, why do paid mobile games still exist, then? Yes, they aren't that profitable, but I think their creators earn enough money.

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This is the only formula that can assure us good sales

I think that is a problem that players support that formula.
And how many times we have fallen into the same trap? DLC, loot boxes, game services, gachas...

Quote

I have to admit, I personally wouldn't mind seeing Touhou have a bit more commercialisation. Yes it might "ruin" the doujin spirit in some way but it would mean more accessibility of Touhou content to the West. We got Touhou on Steam, maybe just maybe we could even have officially translated Touhou manga being sold outside of Japan or even just more Touhou merch overall but at this point I pretty much sound like a hopeless romantic.

Yes, for Western fans it is good, but for Japanese and Chinese ones it isn't. Japanese (and maybe Chinese) fans are main audience, so I think it's obvious that for ZUN it makes more sense to support them.


Reply to the third Suspicious person's post (again it is better to read it yourself before reading my reply)

Spoiler

About translations agree.

About Steam fangames agree.

About guidelines, firstly, he has already altered it (and as some doujin creators and fans say, to bad side), secondly, there are some unsaid limitations (for example crowdfunding), and I gave examples of them in the original post. And I don't think Chinese fans call Ruw a "war criminal" without a reason (I showed the reasons in my original post)
(there are also some rumors in Chinese fandom that there are limitations with OCs in paid fangames. I have no proves, so you do not have to take this information seriously).

With else mostly agree.

 

In conclusion, I want to notice that most posters from MotK discussed the parts about fandom and gachas and commercialization. They gave really good points why everything is not that bad now and that problems are not that harsh now (but in my opinion it is better to solve them until it is too late) or give points that some problems aren't problems.
Most of posters skipped the part about the franchise problems or just got triggered by seeing Len'en (and didn't connect the paragraph about Len'en with what had been written in several paragraphs before (all of this was written under the same topic, so I thought it was obvious that those paragraphs were connected, but maybe I should redo this part to make it more clear)). Because there were some offers which are prohibited by ZUN or Ruw, or there were some thoughts which contradict with this part.

But aside that the criticism was actually good. I wanted to show that everything is not lost NOW, but there are problems which can become much more serious if we won't solve them now (how Suspicious person noticed it is a worrypost not a doompost). But reading the replies helped me to understand that I failed.
There were a lot of examples that showed that everything is not bad now (and this is great). My goal was to show that beside that there are some problems which aren't that noticeable now, but may become unsolvable later.
Most posters noticed that the whole game industry has the problems which are similar to Touhou ones, with which I can only agree. But I hoped that Touhou is agile enough not to be part of those problems. Alas, Touhou has the same problems now and I wrote about that in original post. I have seen some people who say that Touhou is part of the problem, while "true" doujin scene is not, well, I showed in the post that those problems affect everything. (But there is still a hope that Touhou and doujin scene would climb out of the hole).

Thank you all for your replies this discussion was really interesting.

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Somewhat off-topic post about TJD. I just want to share some thoughts about the album and situation around it.

Spoiler

The only thing I can only say the album was awesome. This album gives hope for changes to good side. Each track was great. Maybe he mostly made this album near HSiFS relea... Wait, there is an arrange of Smoking Dragon and it is great. (Couldn't ZUN put more effort in UDoALG OST then?). Some tracks have really nostalgic vibes for some reason. My most favorite tracks are 4, 5, 6 and 11.

About story I cannot say a lot. The story is okay.

It seems like CC don't sleep. Because when I wanted to relisten to the album (the next day after release) I went to YouTube, opened the track (on Monkybiten's channel), listened to it and moved to next one I noticed that tracks 1-10 were struck by ZUN/Ruw (it happened around 4:20 (for convenience, all time points given here are GMT+0), everything happened in around 3 minutes). But track 11 was still there (it was deleted between 5:20 and 5:50), so I don't think ZUN/Ruw accidentally missed one track when they were scrolling the channel (because there was even a playlist (there is no playlist now)). I think that CC just gave links to Ruw.
After that, they also banned ParseePaseo ( https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSu2hgMIHtlFhQttxwdovmQ/videos ), who uploaded official OSTs.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=epDLGPBOCmM (Linny. Took down between 15:30 and 18:30)
kurayamanawa hid it (Took down between 9:30 and 18:30)

+ Monkybiten's screenshot:

Spoiler

3af5cecdef.jpg.6b0fb455c002b0e1cf02a285b2ac6b3b.jpg

If you want to listen to it go here: https://thwiki.cc/七夕坂梦幻能
(I wonder if CC are brave (and stupid) enouth to DMCA THBwiki and provoke a community war. Or can they fight only against weak ones?)

CC are really the ones who spoil all the fun. They are parasites: they don't create anything new, they just burn history, libraries and books (parallels are intended).

This situation only shows the problems of the community and its division. The small circle decide for the rest of the fandom if the whole fandom would have fan or not. I don't think it is good. 

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On 5/5/2024 at 3:47 AM, vanyk said:

Somewhat off-topic post about TJD. I just want to share some thoughts about the album and situation around it.

  Reveal hidden contents

The only thing I can only say the album was awesome. This album gives hope for changes to good side. Each track was great. Maybe he mostly made this album near HSiFS relea... Wait, there is an arrange of Smoking Dragon and it is great. (Couldn't ZUN put more effort in UDoALG OST then?). Some tracks have really nostalgic vibes for some reason. My most favorite tracks are 4, 5, 6 and 11.

About story I cannot say a lot. The story is okay.

It seems like CC don't sleep. Because when I wanted to relisten to the album (the next day after release) I went to YouTube, opened the track (on Monkybiten's channel), listened to it and moved to next one I noticed that tracks 1-10 were struck by ZUN/Ruw (it happened around 4:20 (for convenience, all time points given here are GMT+0), everything happened in around 3 minutes). But track 11 was still there (it was deleted between 5:20 and 5:50), so I don't think ZUN/Ruw accidentally missed one track when they were scrolling the channel (because there was even a playlist (there is no playlist now)). I think that CC just gave links to Ruw.
After that, they also banned ParseePaseo ( https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSu2hgMIHtlFhQttxwdovmQ/videos ), who uploaded official OSTs.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=epDLGPBOCmM (Linny. Took down between 15:30 and 18:30)
kurayamanawa hid it (Took down between 9:30 and 18:30)

+ Monkybiten's screenshot:

  Reveal hidden contents

3af5cecdef.jpg.6b0fb455c002b0e1cf02a285b2ac6b3b.jpg

If you want to listen to it go here: https://thwiki.cc/七夕坂梦幻能
(I wonder if CC are brave (and stupid) enouth to DMCA THBwiki and provoke a community war. Or can they fight only against weak ones?)

CC are really the ones who spoil all the fun. They are parasites: they don't create anything new, they just burn history, libraries and books (parallels are intended).

This situation only shows the problems of the community and its division. The small circle decide for the rest of the fandom if the whole fandom would have fan or not. I don't think it is good. 

When ZUN isn’t trapped by the confines of games, characters, or any of that jazz he really shines  no matter what. 
Even as the music in the games becomes more disputable, the CD’s have always stood their ground firmly and this has been shown time and time again, with basically every CD essentially reaffirming to everyone that ZUN has not lost this edge when it comes to making music.

Obviously the best case scenario is both games and other media have all the same level of extremely high quality music, though I do think some of your disappointment with UDoALG’s music is personal preference as many others love the themes, but at least we can say that ZUN still puts a lot of effort into the CD’s, though his tastes have changed with age and he probably puts less effort into the music overall, though he weirdly goes insanely hard on random things like fan album contributions or one off things like Independent Simulacrum so who knows.

tl;dr :ZUN is his own man and none of us have basically any say in what he does, if he wants to do something he does it because practically no one can tell him no, he’s the one making the music, we’re just listening to it and rearranging it-when touhou music doesn’t sound as good, you can probably bet ZUN just put less effort into it, because why the hell would he lose his ability to compose overtime? (Im not saying we shouldnt criticize touhou music when we dont like it, frankly just saying dont lose hope, zun will probably always put something out of nowhere and suprise us all again anyway) 

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Thank you for your reply.

6 hours ago, kif said:

When ZUN isn’t trapped by the confines of games, characters, or any of that jazz he really shines  no matter what.

Cannot agree, because in earlier games those things didn't limit him. The first thing he does for games is soundtrack and only after that the game itself and the whole story. I can give you examples of Touhou styled albums (for games), there the composers aren't limited by those things too and they mostly do great music.

6 hours ago, kif said:

Even as the music in the games becomes more disputable, the CD’s have always stood their ground firmly and this has been shown time and time again, with basically every CD essentially reaffirming to everyone that ZUN has not lost this edge when it comes to making music.

Mostly agree.

6 hours ago, kif said:

I do think some of your disappointment with UDoALG’s music is personal preference as many others love the themes

I like new soundtracks there, but I don't like that ZUN for most old characters just reused their old themes (with little changes) or stage themes, so we don't have Tsukasa's theme (in PoFV ZUN made a theme for Tei). (ZUN lost the original version of stage theme for Ran. So did he make a new one for her? No, he tried to make a copy from scratch). My problem with this soundtrack is that it is mostly unoriginal.

6 hours ago, kif said:

ZUN still puts a lot of effort into the CD’s, though his tastes have changed with age and he probably puts less effort into the music overall, though he weirdly goes insanely hard on random things like fan album contributions or one off things like Independent Simulacrum so who knows

Agree. I understand that his taste changes from game to game, from album to album, and I don't think it is a problem.

6 hours ago, kif said:

ZUN is his own man and none of us have basically any say in what he does, if he wants to do something he does it because practically no one can tell him no, he’s the one making the music, we’re just listening to it and rearranging it

Agree.

6 hours ago, kif said:

when touhou music doesn’t sound as good, you can probably bet ZUN just put less effort into it, because why the hell would he lose his ability to compose overtime? (Im not saying we shouldnt criticize touhou music when we dont like it, frankly just saying dont lose hope, zun will probably always put something out of nowhere and suprise us all again anyway)

Agree. One of the reason why this topic exists is that ZUN now puts less effort and he is easy going (I do recommend to read previous posts to understand why such attitude may have problems).
We should give fair criticism, so next works would be better. And yes, we shouldn't lose hope that ZUN can still do good games and albums.

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Posted (edited)

Recently I decided to read Touhou discussions on Twitter (worst mistake of my life) and I can only say that Twitter Touhou fans don't understand each other. I have found so many discussions about who are tRUE fans and who are not.
Someone made meme video about "I am a Touhou fan, look, I have a lot of Fumos" (I think the joke is obvious) . And discussions begin about that marketable plushies are bad and that the author of the video is not a tRUE fan.
A newcomer began his dive into Touhou from LostWord? What should tRUE fans do? Yes, make fan of the newcomer.
And after that Twits appear "why are there so many "secondaries" who doesn't want to understand the beauty of danmaku?" (I really recommend to read all replies from attached link (aggressive2hu found some reasons but not the roots of them)). Such tRUE fans are one of the reasons. How do you think which attitude would appeal more: "Ha-ha, a secondary plays a bad game" or "I see you are interested in Touhou. I you want to see the whole beauty you should play original games. I recommend to begin with PCB or IN or MoF on easy" (if OP doesn't have PC, recommend installing ExaGear or Winulator. Touhou games aren't very laggy even on potato phones).
(After all of these I even begin to think that /ja/ is much better and more pure place than Twitter (still /ja/ is not a good place))
(Yes, I understand that such argues are meaningless and unimportant if you compare to most things we have discussed here. But the problem is that a lot of fans from there don't understand that, what is important here is the roots of the problem (most of them we have discussed before))

One of the reasons why this happens is because nearly nobody helps the newcomers. You can say "a lot of years ago I came into Touhou myself without any help", but situation is very different from when it was (for example) 10 years ago. Newcomers don't know from where to begin and what is important in the series. A lot of people don't understand how PC or basic file system work. I have so many example of that: a lot of newcomers don't know why thcrap don't work with games from here (they tried to apply it to .torrent files or they had other difficulties) (thcrap translators help the newcomers with such problems), there are detailed videos how to install Touhou games from here and even after that a lot of people had problems (and the creators of the videos tries to help to solve them). What have you done to help them?

Why nearly nobody tries to introduce Touhou shmups not as games for Japanese weirdos, but as good games which are possible to beat and they are fun (just try a little harder) (and yes, losing is fun), and if you understand how to play them you see a beautiful world of danmaku. There are so many scripts which are just waiting for you to try them.
(And yes, I will repeat this again and again: have you thought why there are so many Geometry Dash fans (this game is really hard)?)

You can just say "don't visit Twitter". And it is obvious for many people who don't live in Western countries because in most cases they have better alternatives (and Touhou communities are better there for example Chinese Touhou fandom. I have examples from Touhou fandom in my country, where after questions like "what anime is this?" what the fans reply? No, they don't say something like "ha-ha, stupid anime fans", they reply "it is a game series. If you are interested I recommend to begin with [a game the poster think is best for beginning, mostly 6, 7, 10, 15, 12.3 or manga]"). But what alternatives for Twitter and Reddit are there in the West and how many people do know about them? I don't think most of newcomers know about them. Also, a lot of Touhou fancontent creators mostly use Twitter, so it is difficult not to use it.

And for me it is quite sad that a lot of fans cannot make a step further in Touhou and avoid Twitter and Reddit. And I don't know how we can help them from here.
And it is sad that most newcomers won't see this list, which could help them:

 

 

I wonder do you have ideas how we can help the newcomers?

Edited by vanyk
added more link related to topic
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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi,

I know this forum hasn't been active for almost a month, but I found it so interesting that I wanted to chime in.

First, I wanted to say that I'm a newcomer in the most literal sense. I've known about Touhou for a while, with Bad Apple being my first introduction, along with fumo memes and such. I downloaded Touhou 6 for the first time about a year ago, but I recently redownloaded it because I'm really interested in learning the lore and characters, especially to understand the famous doujins like Osana Reimu. I'm emphasizing that I'm a total newcomer, someone who had zero knowledge of this series for the longest time, and I want to share my perspective.

There are a lot of points brought up here that are very interesting and can explain the recent situation regarding Touhou. As someone with no knowledge of most of them—like ZUN's work, his recent games, the doujinshi scene, etc.—I want to focus more on the community as a whole and what I think of it.

One of the problems Vanyk mentions, which I found interesting, is the decentralization of the Touhou community. As someone still looking from the outside, I can say that even with my little knowledge of the whole history of this community, it's clear Touhou doesn't have a centralized way for fans to interact with each other. This makes it difficult for people like me who don't know where to start. One of the best ways is to ask the fans themselves, but with such dispersed fans, it's really difficult to know where to ask about Touhou. This might be explained by how Touhou has always been like this since the inception of the game and the online days, or how Touhou is such an old series and inevitably, old series with rare releases start dwindling in community size. But still, as someone from the outside, I can say that it's really difficult to know where to ask about Touhou and get useful responses.

This leads to my biggest difficulty with Touhou: where to ask about Touhou itself. My first instinct (and I think most people's) is either Google or YouTube. Google gives almost no useful results and always recommends Reddit (which I'll mention shortly) or YouTube. YouTube helped me get into it, particularly with the help of AspreyFM's video "What is Touhou? A Brief Explanation" and another YouTuber, GensouChronicle, who made a similar video. These videos are perfect for someone like me to get into Touhou, as they explain in great detail what games are available, which ones they recommend playing, and the history of the community and memes, which is always fun to watch. I don't know if there are others or if these are even considered good in the community, but they helped me get to know more about Touhou. If there are others, let me know, as it will help me get into the games more.

However, regarding these two, there aren't many people I know who talk about Touhou, and as Vanyk mentioned, they barely interact with each other or even with the fandom. This is fine if they do it just as a passion, but to get people more invested in Touhou, they should collaborate more. They can help each other grow, introduce other content creators, and spread and amplify the reach of Touhou. Regarding Reddit, it seems mostly to post art and talk about random stuff, which doesn't appeal much to newcomers like me who have no idea what they're talking about most of the time.

Another important point is where to find other places to get to know the fandom. As I said, for most of us, it's either Google or YouTube, and even with YouTube, things are not organized or big enough to reach a wider audience. Then there's this website, which I thankfully found. I found it by pure luck while looking for a place to play the games, as Touhou 6 to 9 aren't on Steam, and I wanted to start with the first. This website is a godsend, as it has everything I wanted, but it's not well-known, requiring persistence and luck to find. I know this website is connected to piracy, which complicates things, and some people don't like piracy and don't inform about places like this. However, as someone who wants to get into the game and the community, it's really useful. Vanyk mentioned other piracy circles, which if you know about, please share. It's a shame that it's even more divided in this semi-circle of Touhou, as too many small circles make getting into Touhou more difficult. There should be a way to redirect people here safely and prominently, so it's the first place people are recommended to talk about the fandom or just play the games.

In conclusion, I see the community as too shut down. I understand very well that when you are in a community, you want it to be active and prosperous, but you also fear attracting annoying people who might ruin the community and complicate things. This leads to gatekeeping newcomers out of fear, which I understand, but it also means newcomers with good intentions have no means to get into the community. Even with this website and those YouTube videos I mentioned, which are great and informative, I still feel it's very little and not connected. All these things have their own communities instead of one united. I know centralizing everything is no easy task and might not be possible, but there should be a way to connect content creators, forums/piracy websites, other communities like Reddit or Discord servers, to have more of a united connection. This would allow tiny communities within each other to interact correctly and nicely with each other, or else newcomers will never get a chance to get into Touhou properly.

I'm not here to give answers on how to resolve the community, as I'm just new, but I wanted to share my perspective as a newcomer. There are most likely people out there in the same boat as me but with no means or reason to ask or talk about it. I'm here because I had nothing new to do and saw the controversy with the DMCA affecting the official games, so I wanted to dive into the whole thing to see what's up. I hope you guys can see this, so at least you have a new perspective from someone outside the community and maybe find a way to resolve all of this. This was still a great thread, and I'm glad I came across it. Good work, guys and hope things get better. 

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Hello.

It is quite interesting to see here a newcomer, because I don't think this topic is for newcomers (I wonder how you found this thread).


I want to give you some recommendations for Touhou games. If you are really new to Danmaku games I can recommend to begin with Touhou 8 Imperishable Night because this game has the easiest Easy, Normal and Hard modes. It would be good to learn how to play the games at first and after that you can begin to learn lore and play games in release (chronological) order. There is also a good fangame which is a tutorial for shmup beginners:

 

It is important to note that not only music but attacks and spellcards' names say a lot about characters.

Before Osana Reimu I would recommend to play EoSD (Touhou 6) and PCB (Touhou 7) (+ Extra + Phantasm) and maybe IN (Touhou 8) for more characters' details. There are some other doujins by the same creators but they require to know and understand much more characters and lore.

 

12 hours ago, Nixarian said:

As someone still looking from the outside, I can say that even with my little knowledge of the whole history of this community, it's clear Touhou doesn't have a centralized way for fans to interact with each other. This makes it difficult for people like me who don't know where to start. One of the best ways is to ask the fans themselves, but with such dispersed fans, it's really difficult to know where to ask about Touhou.

Yes, this is a problem. Where to ask about Touhou? You can try to ask here, community here is friendly.

12 hours ago, Nixarian said:

This might be explained by how Touhou has always been like this since the inception of the game and the online days, or how Touhou is such an old series and inevitably, old series with rare releases start dwindling in community size.

It wasn't always like that, from what I know in around 2007-2012 the community was much more united. About rare releases it is somewhat true (but it is not the main problem).

12 hours ago, Nixarian said:

YouTube helped me get into it, particularly with the help of AspreyFM's video "What is Touhou? A Brief Explanation" and another YouTuber, GensouChronicle, who made a similar video. These videos are perfect for someone like me to get into Touhou, as they explain in great detail what games are available, which ones they recommend playing, and the history of the community and memes, which is always fun to watch. I don't know if there are others or if these are even considered good in the community, but they helped me get to know more about Touhou. If there are others, let me know, as it will help me get into the games more.

It is quite hard to find something good via YouTube, but I do really recommend to watch MegamanOmega (https://www.youtube.com/user/MegamanOmega184 ) because he makes videos with comments how to pass certain parts in games (which really helped me when I was playing SoEW (yes, the first games I played were Touhou 1-5)), he also makes videos about fangames. AspreyFM is good, GensouChronicle is OK, he makes good videos but sometimes he say some really strange things. There are much more Touhou-Youtubers but most of them don't make content for newcomers (Magiftw may be for newcomers but he mostly read facts from Touhou wiki). It is hard for me to offer something because I don't know if you are afraid of spoilers or not.

12 hours ago, Nixarian said:

However, regarding these two, there aren't many people I know who talk about Touhou, and as Vanyk mentioned, they barely interact with each other or even with the fandom. This is fine if they do it just as a passion, but to get people more invested in Touhou, they should collaborate more. They can help each other grow, introduce other content creators, and spread and amplify the reach of Touhou.

Again, there are much more of them and some of them collaborate (people like MegaFrog, Megapig9001), but I understand your
point. And yes, it quite sad they don't popularize a lot of things. (Though, there are PigeonVoyageur
( https://www.youtube.com/c/PigeonxHunter/videos ) and yeashie ( https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSRDYLJi4KZgRalkDZFdZzA/videos )
who play a lot of different fangames))

12 hours ago, Nixarian said:

Regarding Reddit, it seems mostly to post art and talk about random stuff, which doesn't appeal much to newcomers like me who have no idea what they're talking about most of the time.

About Reddit, it was not always like that, but from what I know this is a common problem on subreddits.

12 hours ago, Nixarian said:

I know this website is connected to piracy, which complicates things, and some people don't like piracy and don't inform about places like this.

Yes, that is the reason why this site is not popular now.

12 hours ago, Nixarian said:

Vanyk mentioned other piracy circles, which if you know about, please share.

About other circles: there is DoujinStyle (https://doujinstyle.com), there are several posters on nyaa (example: https://nyaa.si/view/1792784 ).

12 hours ago, Nixarian said:

There should be a way to redirect people here safely and prominently, so it's the first place people are recommended to talk about the fandom or just play the games.

It would be a good idea. But if you are in English speaking fandom and say that piracy is good then Touhou Reddit and Touhou Wiki would not like you. But if you are not in English speaking part of fandom it is much easier. Youtube, though, would not care about that.

12 hours ago, Nixarian said:

In conclusion, I see the community as too shut down. I understand very well that when you are in a community, you want it to be active and prosperous, but you also fear attracting annoying people who might ruin the community and complicate things. This leads to gatekeeping newcomers out of fear, which I understand, but it also means newcomers with good intentions have no means to get into the community. Even with this website and those YouTube videos I mentioned, which are great and informative, I still feel it's very little and not connected. All these things have their own communities instead of one united.

The main problem that the "face of the community" (Touhou Reddit and Touhou Wiki) chose a bad strategy for gatekeeping which lead to that the people who really want to get into Touhou and not just watch fanarts don't know how to do it.

12 hours ago, Nixarian said:

I know centralizing everything is no easy task and might not be possible, but there should be a way to connect content creators, forums/piracy websites, other communities like Reddit or Discord servers, to have more of a united connection. This would allow tiny communities within each other to interact correctly and nicely with each other, or else newcomers will never get a chance to get into Touhou properly.

Yes, that is what I want too. Surprisingly Chinese Touhou fandom somewhat managed to do it ( https://thwiki.cc ), so this is mostly Western fandom problem.

12 hours ago, Nixarian said:

I'm not here to give answers on how to resolve the community, as I'm just new, but I wanted to share my perspective as a newcomer. There are most likely people out there in the same boat as me but with no means or reason to ask or talk about it. I'm here because I had nothing new to do and saw the controversy with the DMCA affecting the official games, so I wanted to dive into the whole thing to see what's up. I hope you guys can see this, so at least you have a new perspective from someone outside the community and maybe find a way to resolve all of this. This was still a great thread, and I'm glad I came across it. Good work, guys and hope things get better. 

Thank you for your post. It was interesting to watch it from outside.

At the end I can offer some really good memes and fan animators if you are interested:

Spoiler

 (this creator also makes good sprite animations)

 

 

 

 

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkoNwhfCPUiWbkmoUoa7XNg/videos (Mirae Somang)

Old, but still good (maybe some spoilers):

 

I can give more things like these if you want.

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Hi, thank u so much for taking your time to reply to my messahe. I came across this thread as I went into the forum looking for stuff related to if downloading the games here was still safe, and what changed with the whole ordeal. I just looked at the title of this and thought it was interesting enough to peep it and was really interesting. Thank u a lot for that tutorial, it was honestly realy useful and helped me get to know some mechanics I wouldn't have otherwise know about. Also I'll start with touhou 8 if that's what u recomend, I was playing Touhou 6 before but got to stage 4 and got destroed many many times lol. Also thank u a lot for the recomendations of other channels and content regarding Touhou, I always knew Touhou was known for it's infnite amount of fan content going from music, fan games, and memes, so it's nice having some recomended that are not the typical stuff. And sure, if u want to recomend me other stuff feel free to send them my way, anything u find interesting really, though if music the better as Touhou fan made music is out of this world.

Thanks again for replying to everything I had to say, it's always fun seeing what others have to say regarding stuff like this so thank u a lot. Sry if it's more of a short message but u responded everything I talked about and more lmao, so yeah, feel free to send me anything u want. See ya around man

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