Part 43Hi, Golden Battler here. I'll be the one doing the source material comparison since Blitz doesn't feel like rereading Silent Sinner in Blue. Speaking of, SSiB was also created alongside two companion pieces: Cage in Lunatic Runagate, a light novel; and a 4-koma comedy stripp called Inaba of the Moon and Inaba of the Earth. I've never bothered with the latter since I don't like 4-komas and I didn't feel like re-reading CiLR so this won't really cover those. The only thing I really remember being important from CiLR is that there's a scene about Mokou worrying if Kaguya is going to leave her behind which is super adorable.
Anyway, the tl;dr version is that FMW's version of SSiB is almost completely different from the source. The basic framework is there, kindasorta, but even by FMW's standards the plot, motivations, and background events are all altered by significant degrees to fit with their own canon.
One thing they didn't miss was setting the story up with Yukari training Reimu. FMW has Suika helping out too, but that's not a big deal. Interestingly, they both set this up months in advance - canonically the story starts pre-MoF and then picks up a few months post-MoF, where-as FMW places this scene before IN. (As a completely personal aside, I called SSiB happening in FMW3 from the demo because I was apparently the only one who recognized this scene from SSiB).
Despite SSiB taking place shortly after MoF, none of the characters from it really show up or do anything. At most they make a cameo appearance, and Reimu makes a few passing mentions of being annoyed with how many decidedly-not-youkai enemies she's been facing lately. This should come as no surprise, but every scene you see involving any post-MoF characters is a complete fabrication (but then again, so is almost every scene in this arc).
One big difference is who the instigators of the plot is. In FMW they are basically just helping Rabbit get home and delivering a letter for Eirin in the meanwhile. In SSiB, it is essentially one giant chess game Yukari is playing to get back at the Lunarians for owning her a thousand years ago.
The two other big players are the SDM and Yuyuko. Ran initially tried to invite Remilia to join in on the Second Lunar War, but she declines and then decides to go to the moon herself because she thinks it would be funny (naturally, this is exactly what Yukari wants her to do). Yuyuko initially claims to have no interest in it, but is mostly just being overly enigmatic, and in fact sees through almost every part Yukari's plan at every step. She still winds up doing (almost) exactly what Yukari wants without being told, but unlike Remilia she knows exactly what the score is the whole time.
Now then, let's get onto the absolutely biggest change...
It's our good friend Rabbit! Her role in the story is almost completely different. At first her unconscious (and stealthily disguised) ass is found after crashing to earth by Reimu, whose interest in helping her is largely contained to the pretty robe she's got on her. Rabbit pretty promptly fucks off after waking up, and then runs into the real person she's looking for.
Unlike in FMW, Eirin isn't trying to hide out or be discreet since IN has already happened, so she actually notices Rabbit's descent to earth and meets with her. Rabbit tries to pull her whole defection shtick, but Eirin pretty much immediately shuts her down and tells her to go deliver a letter to the Watatsuki sisters. As long as rabbit explains that she was doing it for their beloved Master, the Watatsukis shouldn't punish her, and indeed, upon thinking about it, Rabbit probably wasn't wholeheartedly interested in living on Earth.
There are some ties to real world events like the chinese lunar expedition named after Chang'e (who is basically just Chinese Kaguya, although in touhouland they are different characters, and in fact Chang'e is tangentially responsible for Legacy of Lunar Kingdom via Junko and Hecatia hating her). They sorta imply some political manuevering and stuff but who cares, the gist of it is that a lot of lunarian dudes suspect Eirin of bad shit, and by association they suspect the Watatsuki's too. Eirin also happens to be aware of Yukari's plot (and Remilia's too) and decides to take advantage of them and Rabbit to help her former pupils out. Thus, she sends them a letter that basically tells them what's going to happen for the next 15 chapters.
Rabbit gets sent back to the moon via her Trans-Lunar Transportation Robe (though not before Eirin snags a piece of it for later) and basically stops existing in the story. No bumbling, no getting capture, no letter mishaps, no accidentally-causing-the-plot-of-Imperishable-Night. She delivers the letter, gets adopted by the Watatsuki's and dubbed Reisen (in katakana), is tossed to her new soldier friends, and that's it. I don't think she has a single appearance past, like, the start of chapter 8.
Yep. That's pretty much it. I'll take a quick sidenote here to mention that Yorihime isn't nearly as much of a hardass as she is in FMW. She's still a bit on the serious side, but she has plenty of soft moments like this, and has a few smug/boastful moments too.
Some chapters pass with the team trying to figure out how the fuck to make a rocket, and they more-or-less come upon the same gods Sumiyoshi gods plan, although Youmu is the one that gives them the hint (after Yuyuko told her to). Naturally, UFO hasn't happened yet, so Patchouli makes that janky looking piece of shit, which apparently is actually fantastic for making it to a fantasy land on the dark side of the moon. Just to make sure they succeed though, Eirin sneaks a piece of Rabbits robe onto the ship, and also (through Marisa) gives the three stages of the rocket appropriate names to help... make them more appropriate for the gods or something like that. Patchouli sees through it all, of course, but doesn't really give a shit.
Anyway, Reimu, Marisa, Remilia, Sakuya, and 3 random maid fairies all make the trip and eventually crash land near the Sea of Tranquility on the moon. As you might expect, anyone other than the people I mentioned doesn't actually do anything, so you can count their scenes as FMW's invention. This is where shit mostly starts to line up between FMW and SSiB so I'll keep it brief.
They get kindasorta captured by Yorihime, who questions what the fuck they're doing on the moon. Unlike in FMW where they actually had a good reason, here their plan is essentially "wait, what are we doing here anyway?". Remilia decides on the spot that she wants to take over the moon, but on the side Marisa smooths things uot by pointing out that Remilia is the only one who cares about that, and luckily this isn't FMW Yorihime so she actually believes her - though that still doesn't change the fact that they invaded the moon. Thus, Marisa comes up with a simple plan:
She introduces them to spellcard battles, and challenges them. (Side note: Lunar Rabbits being over 3x as strong as average fairies is canon). I'll spare you the details, but Sakuya, Marisa, and then Remilia all fight her in sequence and get owned. Reimu isn't very motivated since she rightfully points out that they're technically the ones causing an Incident here, but decides to pull a trick out of her sleeve anyway.
Reimu knows how much the Lunarians hate Impurity, so she basically throws some bullshit curses around and says "fuck off or I'll irradiate you". What happens next is mostly conducted offscreen, but basically, Yorihime sends everyone but Reimu home, and then has Reimu go around the Lunar capital for a couple weeks showing off that she can summon gods. Apparently proving that there are other people that can summon gods is enough to prove to the public that Yorihime isn't up to no good. (I think this is elaborated on in CiLR a bit but I don't care and it isn't important to FMW3 at all).
Yukari tries to use the SDM team as a diversion to sneak into the Lunarian capital and steal their shit, but apparently gets looped back around into Gensokyo by a neat portal trick Eirin set up. I also forgot that Reisen 2 actually does show up again in this one panel here. Anyway it doesn't matter, becuase despite Yukari acting all defeated and mad and stuff the whole thing is a double-bluff. (Fun side note: the femtofiber rope Yorihime flubs the explanation of was actually used by Toyohime here)
Yukari left open another gap for Yuyuko (the one with her sleeve that she left hanging through it), who she knew would get involved of her own accord (which Yuyuko knew Yukari was expecting because Yuyuko's whole gimmick is seeing through every plot instantly). Apparently ghosts don't have the Impurity of life, so they're basically invisible to Lunarians or something, so they just Tactical Stealth Action around the moon for a month or two until Yukari sneaks em back out. Of course, Yuyuko was able to Solid Snake her way into the Watatsuki's treasure room, and steal some precious treasure.
And what treasure did Yuyuko decide to steal, after the months and months of plotting and scheming that Yukari bothered to go through...?
Naturally, it's booze
Anyway, Reimu and co got back to Earth safely and have an indoors beach party, Yukari's team enjoy their spoils, and the Watatsukis got owned. And they all lived happily ever after. Until Junko decides to launch dirty bombs at them and they have to sneak the lunar capital into the dream world while plotting to genocide Gensokyo so they can move in to hide.
Some side notes that might get added on to as people yell at me:
-Yorihime doesn't actually summon Takemikazuchi or Hi no Kagutsuchi in the manga, although she does summon quite the pantheon. The depiction of Amaterasu is manga accurate though.
There's one last step in Yukari's grand plan that only gets shown on in CiLR:
Yukari invites Eirin to the 'beach' party at the end of SSiB and serves her the Lunarian sake, which Eirin recognizes immediately. Eirin is baffled because by all accounts both Remilia and Yukari were sent packing immediately and had no opportunity to grab anything like that. The narration then says that since Eirin and Kaguya had chosen to live 'as humans' in Gensoukyou, Yukari felt she needed to teach them to be wary and cautious of Youkai, because after all that's the role of humans who dwell in there.
Meanwhile FMW just has Eirin, Yuyuko and Yukari start warming up to each other and becoming buddies after Eirin makes clear her decision to stay on Earth.
The "Silent Sinner in Blue" in the title? It's Yuyuko.
"Inaba of the Moon and Inaba of the Earth" happens after SSiB and CiLR, and is pretty much just a bunch of slice-of-life stories about the moon crew. It's pretty notable for fleshing out their personalities, particularly in the Watatsukis' case. In the main two works they're fighting off invaders so they're kind of jerks, but around friends they're much goofier. It'll probably be covered in FMW4 as an excuse to get the Watatsukis and Rabbit to join.
I mentioned in the IN wrap-up that it's super important that Rabbit lied about being chased. This is because among other things, Bougetsushou completely retcons Reisen's backstory. Remember how she supposedly fled from a Earthling-Lunarian war? And how IN started because the moon was trying to call her back to fight in another? Yeah well when Remilia's entourage makes it up to the moon, they find out that it's never been invaded. All the Lunarians actually freaked out over was the American flag being planted, and later it disappearing (I missed a bonus convo in 46 that details it, but the American flag at the launch site was found by the Three Fairies after it vanished from the moon because people started doubting the 1969 moon landing).
So basically the only way that makes sense in context of Reisen's backstory is if a) she actually ran away out of pure nervous fright and b) the rabbits on the moon were lying their asses off about the second invasion. And indeed, Rabbit was completely lying.
By the way, Touhou 15 Legacy of Lunatic Kingdom retcons the whole moon situation again, and completely fucks with FMW's adaption of SSiB. Such are the woes of adapting an ongoing plot.