Author Topic: A serious topic about modern Touhou  (Read 2956 times)

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SeroVich

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A serious topic about modern Touhou
« on: April 24, 2024, 04:12:59 PM »
https://moriyashrine.org/forums/topic/4837-the-problems-of-modern-touhou-and-how-to-solve-them-some-info-about-doujin-scene/

(I recommend you to read the link above first to understand what I am saying.)

Reading the Original Post, it made me wonder what direction is ZUN taking to the series; and by the looks of it, it seems to be pessimistic to say at least. Same can be said for the fandom. What actually worries me though, is that there are companies that let people make doujins that are based on their gacha games (example: Blue Archive), basically making it a free advertising for these companies so they can take more money from their players. And guess what... It is really popular to make in the recent years of COMIKET.... That worries me. So, I would like to read how do you feel about this and what can we do as an actual community to help the series that put us together
"Thou art a genius." - Tomo Takino, Chapter 1; Page 38

williewillus

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Re: A serious topic about modern Touhou
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2024, 04:53:16 PM »
All I got from that was another "Touhou is dying" rant, of which there have been many the past ten years.

I'm not going to respond there because I don't have an account and don't care to make one there, but....

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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?

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

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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

Why is this 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.

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The fandom knows nearly nothing about itself.

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).

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a commercial franchise based on doujin games.

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.

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Len'en Project

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?

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

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.

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.

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.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2024, 05:50:03 PM by williewillus »

Re: A serious topic about modern Touhou
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2024, 06:33:26 PM »
Hi, I was the fourth reply over there, so you might have seen my response.
I was mainly trying to interpret the OP's points, but I do also feel a bit worried about the future of the series.

I'm still feeling pretty optimistic, though. The fanbase has been continuously making impressive works, and I think that will keep the series up for a while, no matter what happens. :cirnotan:

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Re: A serious topic about modern Touhou
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2024, 07:00:08 PM »
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.

On the comiket side of things, new series DO get traction, and some at a fast rate and in abundant quantities. That's cuz artists and creators jump into the hottest-new-thing bandwagon, and for good reason. Creating stuff takes time and effort, would you like your fanwork to be available for a somewhat restricted audience or a fast growing one ? It's more interesting for the artists to go for the second option tbh. As for the IP they'll create for, say the gachas for example, this may sound like a bad generalisation, but compared to Touhou the source materials really have a lot of horny bait and stuff : you got voice acting of all kinds, chara designs going from cute to sexy, more sexually suggestives themes, and that's on top of the gameplay they have : if lots of people come for that, then that's just what most people want. Touhou is too prude, too old fashioned, no voice acting, questionable ZUNart, difficult gameplay and too much character and worldbuilding to jump into : in its early days Touhou was UNIQUE in the aspect where it had pretty much 99% female cast, but that niche is pretty much overcrowded these days, and I think an IP that is flashy, sexy, and pumps content at a MUCH FASTER RATE THAN FREAKING ONCE A YEAR is obviously gonna attract the crowds ... and where the crowds be, the artists looking for a break will come too. Ask yourself this : do you want Touhou to COMPETE with IPs that's got qualities (more lewd and more teasing for example) that are absent in Touhou ? Cuz in so doing would require a MASSIVE transformation and changes that might actually not be wanted. When it comes to the Comiket numbers, it's something outside of anyone's control (besides ZUN, who can transform 2hu into a cunnige if he so feels inclined).

As for the community being atomized, honestly, I don't believe it's an issue. People have different preferences even within the fandom, and the ones that have the same taste gather together. What the linked post fails to notice is the fact that within these various mini-communities, things still happen : an excellent exemple for the danmaku games community for example, is the yearly Touhou World Cup, fairly recent but a global Touhou competion featuring basically ALL the most skilled Touhou players from Japan, China, and the rest of the world : there's literally a relatively new YEARLY GLOBAL EVENT THAT'S ORGANIZED BY THE COMMUNITY that was never there in the past (heck, we're in the period of the qualifiers for this year's TWC right now) AND even got mentionned in one of the Touhou Station radio show a while back. The community can't be doing THAT badly if it still can pull a grassroot concerted effort like that. Not to mention the possibility of people from these OTHER communities discovering touhou through them (I know a bunch of people who discover Touhou through Steam fortress videos with Touhou music for example)

And there are many other examples too : in a short while there's gonna be Touhoufest, there is the periodic Touhou fangame jam, and the fact that off late, a new culture surrounding Fumos has seen rise (and quite honestly here to stay as an ersatz of the Yukkuri that the japanese have), the fact that Touhou apparently has a growing popularity among Japanese, uhhh, preschoolers(?) or something (at any rate young school kids), various 2hu collab which keeps getting a rerun (for example Atre, that maid collab whose name I forgot, initial D, some others (can't really keep track of Japan-only happenings)) : these were held by serious companies, not doujin efforts : if they were not a hit (financially), why rerun ? And let's not talk about the whole Yukkuri copyright attempt fiasco from a while back (Yukkuri have sort of grown outside of Touhou in Japan, but Yukkuri Reimu and Yukkuri Marisa are still their main figureheads).

Vtubers playing Touhou has brought some attention from their audience to this series too ; and the approach from the way of doing things in Touhou 14.5 (where circles were brought in to make music) and Touhou 19 (where other people (Unabara Iruka and ZUN's wife) made the sprite assets for the game is definitely a step towards an improvement for future works : ZUN mainly reuse stuff, which is not exciting at all, so the notion of other talents contributing to what we have is always interesting, even if unlikely.

As for the game's balancing, we can elaborate on this in another topic, but it's generally not an issue for the casual players who's gonna bomb and use gimmicks : people have ALWAYS whined about Touhou games balance SINCE TD (UFO too prolly but I'm gonna be generous), yet the fact is that new games don't delete the old ones from existence : there are STILL people playing older games, be it for scoring purposes, or to get the LNN run that'll cement their name in the player community, and people STILL manage to come up with new strategies (yet again, Touhou World Cup) despite all the years : there are people who will hate on the new games, but there are ALSO those who are absolutely into them. I myself love UFO a lot (My fav game), but it's Touhou 18 that I have 1cc'd Lunatic more than a dozen of times, and that regardless of whatever balancing issue it may or may not have. Criticisms happen, some people just can't take it when it comes to their favorite magical girl series, but so long as there remains a core of superplayer base who dedicate themselves to the games, the games will live on. Besides, the average Touhou fan will get the mainline games just because they're mainline ones, and the fanartists and music arrangers will generally make some content related to the new stuff.

And the point about Len'en just straight up  doesn't make sense, for the pure and simple reason that it's not as succesfull as Touhou is. Besides all of the superplayers that I've heard comment on that series *absolutely* rail on its balancing too, so no idea what the Len'en part is about.

I've read a simple comment in danbooru back when Kancolle was gaining traction and the whole "it's the Touhou killer" or "Touhou's dying" were way more common than these days. Basically, it said that if Touhou was gone just because of the new hot thing, then that's just all its fandom was worth : I agree, and the fact that people still do Touhou stuff despite the abundance of the unarguably attractive IP and series is plenty evidence that things are fine.

We also have a rocky venture into the realm of mobile games which, while divisive for the community, has got to be have introduced people foreign to the series to Touhou (especially Danmaku Kagura when it was on mobile). We live in a time where more people are aware of Touhou, and lack of fanworks popping can be attributed to potential creator's priorities ...

And on some of the talk about community, I personally am not super familiar with how community dramas and relationships go in general in this fandom (I can have fun by myself and graze past the dramas), but if we're gonna be honest, 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. This might sound mean or elitist, but I think anything going on in the community that doesn't lead to these people (the fanworks people and the translators) leaving the community is just random noise tbqhwy (sorry poo poo posters). 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.

But anyway, for me, the problem Touhou face is twofold, none of which we can do anything about YET also show signs of, uhh, attempt at impreovement :

1/ The first one is Time that passed and the times we're in : nothing can be done about this. The circles and fanartists from lie 10 or 15 years ago have their life too and can't be doing doujin works forever, they need a more consistent way of supporting themselves. It's reasonable if people focus on what they have going. But as for the new blood ? Like I said, if what entice people (and the artists that go after them) is the flashy, sexy, often updated brand of entertainment, then there ain't much Touhou can't do. Community involvement is tough to maintain when you get new content ONCE PER FREAKING YEAR and manga discussions on a MONTHLY BASIS AT BEST. Best thing to do is support the various artists best we can. And not be jerks about whatever.

2/ ZUN's attitude : he is easygoing. A bit too much. He himself said in a Touhou Station show that Tsukasa's low firepower in UDoALG is due to a bug yet he hasn't fixed it ... furthermore, the way his writing goes in the current ongoing mangas is HORRENDOUSLY SLOW for one while just another slice of life with an uncertain theme for the other. Are people who run into these manga gonna go fall in love or get very curious about the series ? Doubtfull. 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. Can't do anything about that cuz that's who just who ZUN is.

At at any rate, it's a waste of time and energy to panic other something that can't be controlled. If the graphics and figures of new-hot-series-getting-more-places-in-Comiket is scary, know Kemono park was pretty massive there too a few years ago before somewhat disappeearing from the common internet user's memory. Things can blow up and just pass away, or can even simply stay there strongly too. Why be insecure over the rise of other series, it's not like they erase what Touhou's got going for it ...

I also don't believe commercialization to be a concern cuz Touhou stuff (and ALL the popular franchises) are plenty commercial anyway : whatcha think all these figurines, posters, fumos and whatever derivative products are ? Even the matter pertaining to reselling has been happening for well over a decade now (unknown flower mesmerizing journey being the worst example), a decade old problem can hardly be an issue, can it ? Not to mention the presence of Steam and Spotify (yes, yes, poor physical copies collectors are gonna need to take the backseat on this one)



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.

Touhou's gonna continue until ZUN's like "nahhh", honestly. Maybe 2hu's reclining for a bit, maybe not, but no need to fret over what you can't control

Nothing ever happens in these "Touhou is dyeieng" discussions ...
« Last Edit: April 24, 2024, 07:05:58 PM by Suspicious person »

SeroVich

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Re: A serious topic about modern Touhou
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2024, 05:36:17 PM »
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.


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.

Touhou's gonna continue until ZUN's like "nahhh", honestly. Maybe 2hu's reclining for a bit, maybe not, but no need to fret over what you can't control

Nothing ever happens in these "Touhou is dyeieng" discussions ...

So, I had just worried myself just for nothing??? ☠☠☠
"Thou art a genius." - Tomo Takino, Chapter 1; Page 38

Re: A serious topic about modern Touhou
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2024, 06:08:17 PM »
#CancelZUN :meiling:

That said, it mentions there has been drama around gensokyo.org? What? I joined fandom when it pretty much already died, but I haven't seen anything of the sort.

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Re: A serious topic about modern Touhou
« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2024, 12:16:25 AM »
#CancelZUN :meiling:

That said, it mentions there has been drama around gensokyo.org? What? I joined fandom when it pretty much already died, but I haven't seen anything of the sort.

It also predates me, but my impression is that all the various forums kind of had rivalries with each other. Pretty much all of them are dead so it's moot now (besides this one, which chugs on). Gensokyo.org's domain is expired, and eientei is full of spam.

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Re: A serious topic about modern Touhou
« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2024, 10:26:03 AM »
I have some difficulty in understanding the moriya shrine OP since it seems like English isn't their first language so my brain gets all mixed up trying to read what they're getting at. But I get the feeling a lot of their wall of text is composed of fearmongering and misinterpretation of certain things (such as that FSS article.)

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Also he should stop doing strange retcons (because CoLA 37 is... something). But I do not know how to make him do it.

I also don't get what their issue is with the latest CoLA chapter other than Sumireko taking the spotlight again. What "strange retcons" are happening exactly (both in Touhou and Len'en since they brought it up)?

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.

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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.
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?

Re: A serious topic about modern Touhou
« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2024, 01:14:33 PM »
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.

They have a point, ZUN does have full control over what fanworks to allow and could have put his foot down. Allowing a gacha is a double-edged sword - it does let Touhou reach new crowd, but when gacha fad eventually fades said crowd will mostly remember it as just another gacha franchise, which would be yet another "Touhou is an anime" situation.

Gotta give ZUN credit though, he does keep up with industry trends, for better or for worse, instead of letting things stagnate. 18 has what's pretty much loot boxes, and latest CoLA chapter is about AI. Let's just be thankful there hasn't been a Touhou NFT.

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Re: A serious topic about modern Touhou
« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2024, 04:36:59 PM »
The "danger" gacha / mobages poses to Touhou is grossly overstated tbh.

Mobile games can be surprisingly healthy for Touhou, as they help alleviate a lot of concerns regarding retention of both fans and creators as well as the introduction of new blood. A pretty underated aspect of the Touhou mobile game scene specifically is how the companies that make those ALWAYS make a conscious effort in involving the community : there are always touhou music circles involved in the making of the soundtrack, always touhou fanartists responsible for the fanarts, and eventually touhou content creators who make content based of the actual game (the Japanese ones generally enjoyed quite a boon in this gacha period of touhou) : this obviously means MONEY and profits for all the people concerned. For the content creators, this obviously means more lucrative opportunities linked to touhou specifically, and the average 2hu consumer enjoyer get to have more 2hu related stuff to look forward to. So probably helpful in relation to the issue of people drifting to others IP due to either new opportunities or lack of content. And besides potentially introducing newfriends to the series, it creates ANOTHER breed of touhou fan communities for the ones who discovered this series and are gathered together around such or such touhou mobile game : being both accessible (like c'mon, don't you guys have phones ?) and far less intimidating than the bullet hell games surely means better reach. It's also pretty possible that average mobile games fans who are looking for new releases got introduced here simply because they just tried to get in these touhou mobile game's communities in their pursuit of the hobby.

As for the much dreaded excessive commercialization aspects, it's a pretty legitimate concern for sure, but not necessarily realistic. I'm gonna illustrate how things actually go in reality with a little story time(<3) + a comparison between touhou cannonball and touhou lost word :

Back when it was first announced, pretty much NOBODY was especially thrilled about touhou getting gacha, plus there being the fear of seeing the infamous predatory practices in gacha introducing themselves in touhou : touhou cannonball went under MASSIVE scrutiny by the community (who greatly believed in the usual doujin way of doing things), but no excessive problem was found initially. THEN it happened : the first big event of the game : it was set to introduce FOUR FES (or UFES ? not so sure anymore) character (basically super rare ones that you *could* get in the gacha) with busted stats getting introduced together in an event that was set to last for the later half of december : so basically, you had VERY rare and powerful girls that you could only roll for in a VERY BUSY TIME OF THE MONTH, not to mention the fact that people still had to go to school, work, whatever social engagements they have, and the festivities for that time of the year, and furthermore, management only gave like 50 of the stuff you use to get reroll for the occasion (and I believe it took 10 of those to do one roll) : wild stuff. It was quite obvious that getting the people to fork the money in order to get them was the big idea. "The greedy face of management has shown itself", the community that gave the game a chance was NOT HAPPY, the stream in which the event was announced was lambasted by dislikes to high hell (cuz it was in an era were you could just see the dislike bar), people reviewbombed the crap out of the game, and whenever somebody uploaded a Touhou cannonball video, they'd suspiciously get A LOT of dislikes without a proper explanation too (so obviously discouraging) : with the loss of the community's support and the initial interest that it had for being the first touhou gacha, well, touhou cannonball slowly but surely sled into the realm of irrelevancy, and unto termination. A sad (but deserved) story and a cautionnary tale for future Touhou gacha projects to come ...

But much later, when another much more appreciated touhou gacha called touhou lost word, who enjoyed the reputation of being unusually nice in its practices when compared to other gachas, reached it's first anniversary, it also did something that basically introduced SIX very rare (FES, UFES or whatever ??? dunno about gacha linguo) characters : skepticism was on the rise, and quite a bit of dislike went on the video while the stream hasn't even ended, BUT, however ... they did things way more reasonably : about 2 of the rare characters over a period of time. Touhou lost word would later introduce new characters to the gacha in a somewhat similar fashion without provoking the ire of the community (not to mention it's interpretation of the characters were more true to life and had more personnality than the curated, fake-like "family friendly" 2hus from cannonball) : to this day Touhou lost word remains pretty much the face of touhou gacha, and they add and innovate more of their initial formula by doing music videos, making fumos, minigames and even various collabs ...

Anyway, the point is quite simple : touhou fans ain't stupid ; any touhou gacha with bad or nefarious monetization schemes are gonna get rejected by the community, pushed into irrelevance and unto end of service : this means that companies that wanna do touhou gacha are REALLY incentivized to go for more consumer-friendly practices and have an understanding and a respect for the culture ; while those who give into corpo greed are just gonna natural-selection themselves out of the way (we're a corporate greed hating ecosystem) :

So, with companies incentivized to "do better" or fail, and the fact that ZUN is still the guy who owns the copyright anyway, corpos can't just mess around with the IP nor the community in an aggravating way without offing themselves.



All in all, I think that considering the economic opportunities plus the exposure that the fan creators get (I myself discovered Morimori Atsushi and ぱらどっと from Touhou lostword music), the additional touhou content that the average fan can put their teeth into (plus more community involvement born from the new thing OR straight up birth of new Touhou communities that are centered around the mobile game), and the various collabs and projects that clearly exceed the small scale of a doujin circles (touhou lostword and danmaku kagura getting big names for their music stuff for example), it's pretty fair to say that the Touhou venture into the realm of mobile games is *coughs blood* good actually.

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

... although potentially mistaking Touhou for a gacha series has got some serious cringe potential, I believe whatever misunderstandings may be would be handled by virtuous and patient gentlemen who totally won't be vulgar or rude in explaining the matter.

18 has what's pretty much loot boxes
Hardly, theres none of the real life financial element that enable predatory practices from greedy corpo-rats, the gambling aspect is hardly comparable, skill still takes priority over simply having good cards, and all cards can straight up be unlocked with a cheat anyway. It's more of a discover-and-unlock thing from roguelikes.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2024, 06:26:07 PM by Suspicious person »

Re: A serious topic about modern Touhou
« Reply #10 on: April 27, 2024, 12:36:19 PM »
So, I had just worried myself just for nothing??? ☠☠☠
Well it's not like Touhou is going to explode or anything. There's still a lot of Touhou content on the horizon.

I will never understand why touhou mobile games always *have* to be gacha of all things, though
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. 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. I don't see it as "We are making a gacha game because it's the trendy thing to do" and more like "This is the only formula that can assure us good sales". It takes a lot of money to pay for the artists, VAs and all those composers they have. But as long as they don't get greedy about it, I'm okay with it, it's not like I'm going to play them anyway (No matter how good looking the swimsuit Kogasa illustration is, I won't go back to LostWord).


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.

Re: A serious topic about modern Touhou
« Reply #11 on: April 27, 2024, 01:37:37 PM »
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.

Please don't give me "Akyu Hiedano" PTSD, thank you very much.

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Re: A serious topic about modern Touhou
« Reply #12 on: April 28, 2024, 05:35:53 PM »
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.
We kinda do have localisation for Forbidden Scrollery with Yen Press and some "official" english translation for Lotus Eaters, but somehow there is this really weird thing going on where the publisher just DON'T put "Touhou" in the manga titles (as in, simply having "Forbidden Scrollery" and "the Lotus Eaters") : probably reasonable since they're not mentioning the Japanese title which has Touhou in it (Touhou Suzunaan or Touhou Suichouka), but that just make it less obvious that the manga are part of a specific series called Touhou project.

And there is also the kind of translation that is correct in technical aspect but not necessarily what we want / are familiar with : besides the odd Hiedanos and Hatanos, we have demons instead of onis, and *cringe alert* ghoul instead of youkai. The Lotus Eaters even have a freaking among us reference, so localizers are probably not the most reliable people around. Heck, even outside of manga, Touhou 14.5's "official" english translation has a bunch (if I'm being generous) of questionable choices for the translations (look em up if you dare).

Localisation efforts are definitely helpful in helping everyone to have easier access to whatever is being localized (else people who don't understand japanese would otherwise ignore these), but man, the fact that the localizers ain't necessarily some of "our guys" can result in some suspicious translations for the audience. I'm only comfortable with localisation efforts cuz they help the series get around + allow the fans to support ZUN & friends ; but also because there's still the old fashioned fan-translations, which put great effort in keeping the translation in line with the terminology we're familiar with.

... I just think similar efforts could probably be done for non official fanworks. There are some fantastic ones out there that I'd just love to see receive the attention and recognition they deserve

As for the games's side, both official and unofficial, Steam is just so helpful that I don't think the question of localisation necessarily need to be considered (a surprising amount of touhou fangames on Steam support english anyway) ; furthermore, the fact there are some success stories that didn't necessarily need to rely on some random company in order to be successful (Luna Night and Mystia's Izakaya especially) still keep me optimistic about the future of fangames. Going from the usual physical goods that are distributed in doujin events to digital ones that are distributed in interwebz platforms definitely presents a shift for the doujin culture, but as long as the creators get to do their thing independently (with little to no concern on the legal side), and as long as ZUN keeps the IP for himself (no sell out pls) and does not alter his guidelines in a way that prevent the average touhou enjoyer from making stuff the way they used to, the culture of the community and the doujin spirit shouldn't really be damaged.

So I'm also somewhat okay with seeing a tiny bit more commercialization (in the sense of working with professional, non-doujin companies), cuz not only will we *still* have people who do their own touhou thing, BUT we'll also have additional 2hu content that's backed by the expertise and ressources of more established businesses : we've received Spell Bubble, Touhou Spell Carnival is coming in a short while ... who knows what the future will bring ? So yeah, the increasingly commercial aspect is not so scary and can be a bit of a bonus since it won't affect the way things go normally.



And on 2hu being more commercial ... since we've already got gacha 2hu, despite all the concerns and worry, honestly I think it's not completely outside of the realm of possibility anymore that ZUN'll seriously consider allowing a proper Touhou anime at some point. Seems like a pretty  logical conclusion to me if he wants to get more attention to Touhou by going somewhat mainstream
« Last Edit: April 28, 2024, 10:02:49 PM by Suspicious person »

williewillus

  • Chinese American, programmer, danmaku nerd
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Re: A serious topic about modern Touhou
« Reply #13 on: April 29, 2024, 05:36:24 PM »
The "danger" gacha / mobages poses to Touhou is grossly overstated tbh.

An interesting point to mention is that on the latest Nikenmei (ZUN's podcast where he drinks and chats with his friends), ZUN said the following (paraphrased by a Chinese community member I follow, so note that this has been through two layers of translation):

Quote
Touhou Cannonball was like a litmus test for officially-licensed Touhou mobile games. It got really big, then shattered.