The Let's Play Archive

Fantasy Maiden Wars E

by BlitzBlast

Part 102: Shanghai Doll, Crossing Over, Kourindou, Great Hakurei Barrier

Shanghai Doll


Introduced in "Imperishable Night"

The name of one of the dolls that Alice carries around.
The first appearance of the name comes from [Curse Sign "Eerily Luminous Shanghai Dolls"], a spellcard from "Perfect Cherry Blossom". At that time, there were several other spellcards that ended with "Dolls", so it was unclear whether they were the names of the dolls, or merely the names of the spellcards. But in "Imperishable Night", a "Shanghai Doll" made its appearance as Alice's familiar. Ever since then, the Shanghai Doll has maintained the image of being a representative of Alice's dolls. Though Alice herself has never called her dolls by name in canon, so the details remain a mystery.
In FMW, Shanghai Doll appears as a doll that Alice is particularly fond of. She often makes cute sounds to indicate comprehension while Alice converses with her. However, she is not just an ordinary cute doll; she is Alice's secret weapon as well.
Shanghai Doll was red in its first appearance, but at some point it became blue. Also it's not alive; whenever Alice speaks with it, she's just talking to herself. Alice has issues.

Crossing Over


Touhou Project terminology.

In a narrow sense, it is an effect of the "Boundary of Illusion and Substance", where things from the outside world become things in Gensokyo. In a broader sense, it's when, due to sheer chance or Yukari's usual border-manipulating whims, something gets lost into Gensokyo. For purposes of convenience, it is denoted as "crossing over".
The "Boundary of Illusion and Substance" is a border governed by Yukari, with the power to make things whose existences have disappeared from the outside world reappear in Gensokyo. The power allows youkai that were thought of as mere legends, or other things that were not believed in, to appear in Gensokyo. Thus, they have "crossed over".
Canonically, many relatively recent things have crossed over, such as vampires and the Scarlet Devil Mansion. Materials for a rocket that was not believed to have existed have also shown up in Kourindou.
As the special event where humans and things show up in Gensokyo happens surprisingly often, the process is commonly referred to as "crossing over". However, there are cases where the aforementioned border is not functioning correctly, and the thing that is transported has not been forgotten. This is differentiated from the usual process and is called being "spirited away" instead.
FMW makes the distinction between "crossing over" and being "spirited away" clear. It is important for both accuracy to the source material, and for production purposes.
Chapter 10's pre-battle conversation covered this much more succinctly. And if you didn't understand the not-so-subtle hintings, somehow Sakuya crossed over into Gensokyo. Which is rather depressing, but backstory's just backstory. The major point of Sakuya's story was to stop worrying about things like that and just enjoy life.



Introduced in: "Curiosities of Lotus Asia"

A secondhand items shop located at the entrance to the Forest of Magic. The shopkeeper's name is Rinnosuke Morichika.
It appears to be a formal shop with the products displayed to be sold, but none of the products have price tags. If you do not negotiate with the shopkeeper, you will not be able to buy anything from the shop.
The products it carries are diverse. "Perfect Memento in Strict Sense" introduces Kourindou as a shop that "deals with outside world, youkai, Netherworld and magical items".
As an items shop, it has several problems. It's hard to say that it is convenient for people to get there from the human village, the shopkeeper is not particularly sociable, and he also refuses to sell any items that he likes.
However, since there are items that can only be found in Kourindou, the shop maintains many regular customers. As mentioned above, the variety in products is huge, and the reason for that is because Rinnosuke puts much effort into stocking up on products and proactively finding items that have flowed in from the outside world.
Kourindou's location is purposeful: Rinnosuke chose it in hopes of having both human and youkai customers.

Namtab already did the Mini-Hakkero.

Great Hakurei Barrier


Introduced in "Perfect Mementio in Strict Sense"

The barrier that divides Gensokyo and the outside world into two. It was erected several centuries ago by youkai sages who feared for the continued existence of youkai in the face of human society's modernization.
To borrow a phrase from "Perfect Mementio in Strict Sense", it is basically a "boundary of common sense." The common sense of the world outside is divided from the world inside the barrier (Gensokyo), the world lacking common sense. Any movement between the two worlds is heavily restricted by the barrier.
The effects of the barrier in the game are, to put it simply, twofold. Firstly, it prevents anyone from travelling between the two worlds, thus enforcing Gensokyo's independence. As the two worlds are essentially connected by land, the barrier is severely important in ensuring that humans from the outside do not enter Gensokyo, excepting special cases. Secondly, it has the effect of taking into Gensokyo things that the outside world no longer considers "common sense". The powers and items that used to be sensible, but are later rejected as lacking common sense will then arrive into Gensokyo.
The barrier that divides the two worlds is thus a hugely important cornerstone to the unique worldview of Gensokyo. In the "Gensokyo Chronicles" and the Bunbunmaru Newspaper, references to years such as "XXth season" can often be seen. The starting point for this counting system is the year the Great Hakurei Barrier was constructed, and serves as a reminder of the changes that took place before and after.

The management of the Great Hakurei Barrier is performed by the Hakurei shrine maiden. There is nothing concrete about how this management is supposed to take place, but given that another duty of the Hakurei shrine's representative is to perform youkai extermination in order to maintain the balance of the world inside the barrier... It could be said that rather than maintaining or preserving the barrier directly, all the duties of the Hakurei shrine maiden are linked towards managing the barrier in some form or fashion.
Exactly how important the Hakurei shrine maiden is to the structural integrity of the barrier is still really vague. Some works have it so that the barrier is tied to Reimu's life, others state that all she does is maintain it. FMW seems to be going with the latter.