Monday, April 14, 2008

Touhou (東方) Music

Touhou was started as as a one-man project, known as the Touhou Project, by a man calling himself ZUN. He created the first series of shooting games in the late nineties and amassed a large fan base.

The games are all set in the same fantasy realm and instead of the traditional ships found in Galaga or Gradius, the controllable character is a shrine maiden. She is perpetually fighting to save her kingdom of Gensokyo. ZUN did start it all himself, which includes the music. He is now working with a small group, called Team Shanghai Alice, to create new games, but there are over 100 different groups creating fan music now. The fans' music crosses all genres from the original electronic to metal and folk. There are now 10 games and a huge array of characters for fans to base their albums on. This video gives example of game play and fan music (video not created by me).

The fans sell their music online or at conventions such as Comic Market (aka: Comiket). Though for the past 3 years there has been an annual convention just for Touhou called Hakurei Shrine Reitaisai (博麗神社例大祭). Other fans create Doujin (comics) to sell or help keep online databases with profiles of all the characters and their appearances in the games. At the conventions it is common to see people dressed as their favorite characters from the game, both men and women, even though almost all the characters are female.

1 comment:

Cecilia said...

How or why has this music drawn so much attention here in the U.S.? I personally like music I can sing along with or dance to. So im curious to know why it is you like this kind of music.