Reviews for Touhou Youkai Hourousha: From the Sky and Beyond
awemanae chapter 14 . 7/17/2016
Essentially that spellcard was in fact a kamikaze based one.
Scourge From BloodClan chapter 15 . 4/20/2014
By far one of my favorite Touhou stories! I loved it so much. As a previous viewer said: I also got teary eyes in some chapters, angry in another and damn it I was so freaking emotional! And you also did something I absolutely LOVE to see and that is making Flan a teenager or adult in your story!

I love this fic and I absolutely can't wait for you to continue your sequel, if you will that is
Tsigun chapter 15 . 8/26/2013
Best touhou fic ever. Took me all of 7 hours to read it. I really liked the story and characters personality. Im not really good at writing long reviews but... good job!
azharahs chapter 15 . 7/2/2012
This is one of my favorite Touhou stories so far. It's a nice twist on the "OC ends up in Gensokyo" theme, not that I have an issue with that. I'll admit that this last chapter had me tearing up a bit. I love a good story that can tug at the heartstrings.

Otherwise, I like your portrayals of the various Gensokyo natives, and you managed to make your OC tough enough to survive in Gensokyo without coming across as a complete Gary Stu.

I've read through this story from beginning to end at least 5 times since I originally found it, and I'm sure there will be more.
Hlpbgh chapter 15 . 1/16/2012
It seems as though you’ve outpaced me yet again with the launch of your newest story, so this review will be kept brief. Chapters 13 through 15 featured improvements in areas aforementioned in my previous review, such as visual and audible description, and since this story has concluded, only discrepancies and the single, highly important loose end left behind will be the main focus here.

Starting with Chapter 13, Nitori somehow gleaned enough information from scraps of armor of previous fights to reconstruct a new one perfectly in only a few days, save for an ID chip. Ignoring the sheer amount of ingenuity that would require, as well as the luck needed to have at least one of every critical piece of the armor (reactor included) saved from explosion, how does Genichiro fit into the suit with his tail and mane of hair? Last I checked, he didn’t have shape-shifting abilities, and none are mentioned within the chapter. Furthermore, once inside the base, he oversees the head scientist key in the code on the Hourai vault, and instantly memorizes it. Is Jin, or rather, Kario, with his high concern for security, using a PIN code to protect the one thing he values above everything else in Gensokyo, or do we add photographic memory to the list of powers he possesses? Nice touch at the end, though, having him scream with a girlish “Kya!”

Moving on to chapter 14, Mokou displays an interesting conflict of standards in her encounter with the scientists. In chapter 12, she and the others fighting to defend Gensokyo respected each others’ readiness to die for their cause, yet when the scientists do the same thing in the control room, she scoffs at them, saying, “That’s what I get for being generous.” At the least she could have complimented their devotion in the face of death after annihilating them, but instead she metaphorically spits on their graves. It’s also curious how she managed to fly an advanced fighter with literally zero training. Gensokyo was created some time in the mid 1800’s, depending on your source, so there’s really no way she could have been exposed to aircraft before the fight. Also, labels or no, jets don’t have a step-by-step instruction manual conveniently printed inside for anyone to follow, and even if there were, VTOL jets are notoriously difficult to control even with over a hundred hours of flight simulation time under one’s belt.

Speaking of, it’s stated the black-armored men were trained by Tiara specifically to overthrow Kario, so why did they have such trouble dealing with a single jet? She had to have known of all the equipment available to her eventual opponent; did she just plan on destroying all the vehicles before they could be deployed, and decided to leave out anti-vehicular training instead of including it as a contingency? Seems like short-sighted thinking from someone who continually lectured Kario about failing to plan ahead. Don’t get me wrong, the battles were glorious to read about; improvement from chapter 12 was quite noticeable. Still a little stacked, but the good guys have to win, right? Along that line of thought, it’s utterly astounding how much damage Genichiro’s armor took before becoming useless; it didn’t even explode after withstanding a withering barrage of firepower, until Kario crushed its Eye.

The final discrepancy is, of course, the “rage-induced powerup/debuff,” respectively. Tiara and Kario both mention harming the dearly beloved of the main character they’re fighting, and each reacts in turn by gaining incredible speed, accuracy, and power, shaking off all wounds and fatigue in a single sentence. Conversely, Tiara simply breaks down and cries, while Kario’s attacks lose intensity and accuracy as his rage builds ever greater from Genichiro’s persistence. Potency too, apparently; that or Genichiro suddenly became immune to damage, what with “ignoring the pain” and “shrugging off the attack” from bullets “designed to kill” that “left burn marks from the dark energy within.”

This brings us at last to the previously mentioned loose end left behind at the end of the story. A most critical end, so much so that one must wonder whether it was left there intentionally for the perceptive to pick up on, as PC20XX did.

It is the simple fact that the monstrous hybrid of youkai and immortal existence, Sen Kario, is still alive.

This is not an outlandish claim, but the result of a straightforward thought process supported by three separate lines of evidence. First, consider what Genichiro said: “Equivalent exchange; one immortality for another.” This means to destroy the body, mind, and soul of another Hourai immortal, a second must give itself up. The obvious problem with this is the fact that Genichiro isn’t a Hourai immortal; indeed, his immortality was little different than Kario’s, at least prior to drinking the elixir.

Both Genichiro and Kario had “conditional immortality:” as long as Kario wasn’t shot, stabbed, etc., he remained alive. As long as Genichiro kept using his ability to shield his mind from the beyond when he died, he reincarnated. If Kario were to bleed out, or lose vital organs, he would die, and if Genichiro failed to accumulate enough energy before dying, he would fail to reincarnate, and thus truly die as well. This actually illustrates a facet shared between the two: though both claimed to want to die, both refused to stop living, either from a hatred of all things unnatural (Kario), or for an unspecified reason, potentially the fear of dying (Genichiro).

Character comparison aside, Hourai immortals are completely different than conditional immortals. Soul, body, and mind are all permanently fused, and the body always regenerates, even from nothing (for citations, look at some of the more brutal fights between Kaguya and Mokou). Thus, Genichiro could sacrifice his mind, body, and soul to “equivalently” destroy Kario’s, but after the destruction was complete, Kario’s body would yet again regenerate, along with his mind and soul, even after Genichiro was completely and wholly wiped from existence. One cannot even make the stretch to say the soul remains unbound from the immortal body: neither Kaguya nor Mokou can enter Hakugyokuro or Higan, because the body and soul are no longer distinct, separate entities.

Let us assume for a moment, though, that this were possible; that the one immortal aspect shared between Genichiro and Kario, the soul, remained untouched, and only the body and mind of a Hourai immortal were fused. This is would allow only Kario’s soul to be sent to Higan, along with Genichiro’s, but this now leads to the second line of evidence: Genichiro’s mind, or “conscious,” was never sacrificed. Instead, as he moved to sacrifice it, it was held back by the conscious of his past lover, Akano. Rather convenient, considering it would have been hard for Flandre to regenerate him from literally nothing, but this obviously presents the problem that no sacrifice was made to destroy Kario’s mind. This then means the body would regenerate with the mind, albeit without a soul, leaving behind an empty husk of power and hatred to serve as a phantasm-stage boss for the next Flower incident (the events of Phantasmagoria of Flower View happen every 60 years, remember?).

In fact, the only way one could remotely consider Kario to be truly dead and gone, and this is a stretch, is if Genichiro’s description of the spellcard was actually correct: "All that my danmaku have touched will become one with me, fusing all at once, before my soul and the embodied energy of all the entities merged with me implode, removing their existence from this plane for all eternity." This is the third piece: Akano was a part of Genichiro, and would thus be imploded and destroyed at the same time that he was. She wasn’t a separate entity, able to switch places with Genichiro’s mind to complete the sacrifice; she was dependent upon his existence, as Kario was once Genichiro absorbed him.

Thus, considering each piece of evidence separately, there are three possible outcomes: first, Kario regenerates, soul and all, while Genichiro is destroyed (or has his mind saved). Second, Kario’s body and mind regenerate, while Akano and Genichiro are destroyed. Third, Kario, Genichiro, and Akano are completely destroyed. Considering the evidence as a whole, the only possible outcome from this line of thought is that Kario is at best a regenerated, empty husk, while Genichiro and Akano have been obliterated.

This reasoning, however, all stems from the assumptions that the card uses “equivalent exchange,” and that Kario is dead. Since the actual result (Genichiro’s return) differs from the proven result (death), a basic assumption (equivalence, or Kario’s death) must be in error. The former, however, would be more inconsistent than the sum of everything else within this story: how could a being, who’s been a youkai only three times in over a millennia of reincarnation, figure out and perfect a non-equivalent method to kill a Hourai immortal? Even Eirin herself, the inventor of the elixir who hasn’t experienced the restrictions of short life spans or lack of magic, has fared no better in the centuries since its creation.

Since the equivalence statement must be true, the other assumption, that Sen Kario is dead and gone, must be false. One could also do a quick, less rigorous thought exercise: if one individual equivalently offers his body, mind, and soul to destroy another’s, yet the first individual comes completely back to life, then the second must come back as well.

And so, one of the greatest threats to Gensokyo now lies buried beneath the rubble of the glaciers in the North. Perhaps dormant for the moment, or soulless and waiting for a driving force to reanimate him, the last has not been seen of Sen Kario.

Perhaps he’ll serve as a body for the antagonist in Through the Looking Glass, eh? I look forward to finding out.
Flandre Nightshade chapter 15 . 1/3/2012
Epic
RosiePosieAngel chapter 1 . 12/28/2011
I LOVED reading this story. You portray the characters SO well. Thank you for writing a story about Flandre!
PC20XX chapter 15 . 12/24/2011
I thought I was going to read a long drawn out story because of the 180,000 words, but that didn't happen. What I instead read was a gory, romantic, comic, diabolical, and emotional adventure that had me feeling pissed in some parts, chuckling in others, shocked in a few, and teary-eyed in two. I would almost recommend changing the rating to M because of the gore and use of alcohol, but if that were so, I would probably have not had the pleasure to read this epic tale. I'd say it was a year well spent on this story to feed to a reader. I just ate it all in a matter of a few days because I had to know what went on next.

That all? No. I've only just begun to play Touhou and there is a huge cast of characters in this story that I did not know. But you managed to give just enough detail to picture them in all their situations for that moment. The characters didn't sound like they were off so I give a round of applause.

With that said Genichiro was awesome. There is the range of being purely weak to being purely dominant and you had him working up the middle. I'm impressed. His background earns him a place in the story and his actions earn him his place at the end. Thank heavens Cirno shoved him in that portal!

Now, the trouble with the story lies in the spell card usage. That really needs your brain to work to imagine those attacks. I even admit that I overlooked a couple of those to continue with the story. Still, detail is detail. The other problem is the ending where Genichiro was supposed to not be able to come back with his last spell card usage, yet he came back after realizing he had a piece of his old lover embedded within him and him and Flan admitting their love for each other. Not the most convincing scenes, but hey, it happened and they are together at long last. Also, a lot of the story had many characters saying "I see." that I almost started to count.

So it started out with Flandre Scarlet falling out of the sky into someone's hands and ended with the two having having feelings for each other after many incredible feats overcome. She probably already liked him after that first complete day together. (I don't think she would go on just anyone's lap!) Above all, I thank you for such a marvelous story and hope you share many more.
Sweebation chapter 15 . 11/14/2011
I'm goikng to be perfectly honest. this is the best damn fanfiction I've ever read. I love the development, and the slight ooc is welcome. after reading it second time, It is still awesome. Keep up the good work.
Hlpbgh chapter 12 . 8/30/2011
And now, we reach the fun part. Soon, it seems, is a relative term; my apologies for the delay. As stated, this review only covers chapters 10 through 12; I’ll read and review chapters 13 through 15 after posting.

Starting very generally, your narrative has acquired the style of what one could call anime- or manga-like. This is not a complement. When a conversation occurs, only the lines spoken by the characters are recorded, giving no details of tone or body language. While this works out in anime and manga, where we can see each character’s posture and facial expression, it is insufficient for a purely written work. The few scenes which featured visual descriptions did so solely because there was no other way to describe what was going on. The primary examples of this were danmaku fights and miscellaneous scenes, such as typing on a keypad or walking into a room. Even the conversations barely classify as such: remaining unchanged in spite of prior suggestions, almost all speech is still structured as “Line” verb name, with very little variation in the verb used. To be blunt, it’s almost like reading chatroom logs, although the names come after the sentence so one is left to guess who’s speaking. At least with the format of name: “Line,” the speaker’s identity would be clear. The final element borrowed from anime is the usage of what are usually comical scenes, though in this case they worked to the narrative’s detriment. Examples of this will be addressed in the individual chapter reviews.

Another major issue is the narrative’s inability thus far to adequately characterize the individuals within your story, both original and canonical. Genichiro is the apparent protagonist of the series; heralded in the story description as the hero and who fights off the evil armored men for the good of all. Despite this, there aren’t any instances where he actually shows any motivations for his actions, other than “don’t hurt magical girls” and “My life is boring; let’s have fun.” One can’t even assume his actions in these chapters are based solely out of devotion to Flandre; in chapter 11 he states he merely likes her rather than loves her. A similar lack of characterization is evident in the majority of the “supporting” Touhou cast, that is, almost everyone besides Flandre. Many characters are little more than the usual flanderizations produced by fanon: Cheeeeeeeeeeen, “da ze” tacked to the end of everything that comes out of Marisa’s mouth, a dumb-as-rocks Cirno and Utsuho, and so on. No other traits exist to set any of the cast apart from the others.

To conclude the general portion of the review, the discrepancies and mysteries surrounding the “armored men” will be addressed. Additional examples will be included in the chapter reviews. First and foremost is the lack of any definite visual description for these plot-critical antagonists. Re-reading the first few chapters of the narrative revealed little beyond “dark and bulky, with a black square around the mouth and black screen over the eyes.” This could match Fallout’s T-45 powered armor, a dark trooper from Star Wars, Crimson Lance troopers from Borderlands, and more recently the armor worn by DUST troopers in DUST 514. It might be argued, however, that cosmetic detail is unimportant and one should care about their role in the narrative. To that end, the issue of their highly varied technology will be discussed. Each suit is capable of sustained flight, utilizes several hardpoints for launching danmaku, and most can generate cross-dimensional portals with a modest charge-up period. Such a high power demand requires an advanced power source of some kind; this assumption is supported by the almost humorous explosion initiated by even the weakest of danmaku, except when plot requirements dictate otherwise. With such an in-depth knowledge of magic and science, sufficient even to create danmaku weapons in the first place, wouldn’t at least a basic modicum of effort have gone into developing armor as well?

How come Jin, with his brilliant tactical mind, failed to even once think “I wonder what happens when I shoot danmaku at this piece of armor.” With the revelation that his troops and equipment are literally being copied, cost certainly isn’t the issue; the most likely answer then becomes “because he’s evil lol.” As an antagonist, he suffers from just the right amount of impairment to make his struggle with the protagonists interesting but not even, and far from being completely hopeless. Such an answer can only be viewed as truly lazy. His character is actually more intriguing than Genichiro’s due in part to his role as the antagonist, and also due to the snippets of backstory that have been revealed. The reader’s understanding of Jin changes over time, leading to an interest in why he does what he does; this stands completely at odds with the combined few, dark hints and blatant exposition that composes Genichiro’s past.

For one last note before the brief chapter reviews, find a proofreader or at least double-check your chapters before posting. Their are extremely few spelling errors, always a good thing, butt homophone confusion occurs far to frequently two bee ignored. The previous was a self-illustrating example, included for convenience.

Picking up from the usual “fight before talking” method of investigation used by the Hakurei shrine maiden, chapter 10 featured more conflicting information about the armored men, as well as the important plot point of a war against Gensokyo. The remainder of the chapter consisted of nothing more than uninteresting, irrelevant conversations as Genichiro’s group split to rally the troops. In all honesty, I initially skipped the second half of chapter 10 and proceeded straight to 11, and not a hint of confusion surfaced, nor was I forced to re-read the chapter to understand a missed reference. For the purpose of this review, I read chapter 10 in its entirety, and the content therein reinforced the statement that the second half was unnecessary. The description of From the Sky and Beyond talks about the relationship between Flandre and Genichiro; the story is not about the struggle of Gensokyo against a madman. To that end, omit unneeded information: if all contacted groups join in without complications, let us see them at the battle. If the messengers are waylaid, let us find out about it when the main characters do. Limiting the explanation of events to what is relevant to the main characters is important for any written work. On another note, more conflicting information is provided about the armored men: despite being capable of many things, a simple thermal visor seems to be out of reach for Jin’s scientists; one isn’t present even in Jin’s own armor. The suits’ power cores also apparently leak large amounts of energy, such that wolf Tengu on the ground could detect their presence from miles away, either by scent or the classic and overused anime cliché of “I can sense my enemy’s presence.”

More cliché’s present themselves in chapter 11, when Sakuya sees Genichiro and Flandre sleeping together. Immediately discarding all prior knowledge of Genichiro’s behavior and moral fiber, she jumps to a conclusion and launches an attack, soon followed by Remilia after a few poorly chosen words are exchanged, “leaving a ‘well-done’ Genichiro in a pile.” I can only assume that “well-done” indicates the sound of a ringing bell heard after someone in anime crashes into something after being launched a fatal distance or having the snot beaten out of them, only to come out of it with a bump on the head and a regret of their actions. Further technological disparities come into play with the statement that youkai aren’t unaffected by bullets; rather, they are bulletproof. While the Touhou universe lends itself to loose and varied interpretations, youkai are stated to have amazing regenerative capabilities. That is, if they lose an arm, it eventually grows back. They aren’t invulnerable; they just have a much higher capability for long term recovery. Long term. The results of the duels were also confusing, but anything for the sake of plot, yes?

Finally, chapter 12 was reached. The climactic, decisive battle between Jin’s forces and the inhabitants of Gensokyo; a desperate fight to the bitter end with everything hanging in the balance. Despite these promises, Jin’s forces and superweapon are completely routed, and the only Touhou character to die is Aya and a few faceless mooks, with some other casualties on the side. Genichiro once again proves he is the only one capable of saving the day, adding immediate perception the intricacies of high-energy shield barriers to his list of superpowers, along with smelling omission lies and being stronger than every other Touhou in general. This chapter also features a blatant canonical deviation: the repeated usage of spell cards in a single fight. One might think this is of no concern, particularly if the protagonists do this, but a spell card isn’t a name assigned to an attack, shouted to make oneself look cool while fighting. It is a focus that enables one to become much stronger than normal provided a specific pattern is followed, and after the time limit the user must recuperate their energy before launching a different spell card, let alone the same one. Despite this, everyone’s firing them off like ordinary danmaku, especially during the final downfall of the Goliath. Again, both writer and reader can make their own interpretations, but surely there is some limit?

Character limit reached; if you’ve read this far, congratulations. Before dismissing this as a rage post, consider this: if I didn’t care, I’d leave. Instead, I wrote this, hoping to help you improve. Good luck with future stories; I'll be back after finishing this one.
Buvlot chapter 7 . 8/28/2011
The only problem i have of this story is that why yukari attacked Seigai is unclear either that or i missed somthing
DrSane chapter 15 . 8/28/2011
Loved the ending and loved the story overall. Some of the spellcard parts were a bit "dry", but I enjoyed the story overall. Thank you so much for writing this :D
Ra3t chapter 15 . 6/18/2011
Wow! Wow, wow, wow! What an amazing story, I was so captivated that for a week all I could do was read this story! Why did you say though that all humans hate youkai? I would love to meet a good youkai or being. My prayers at night always mention a shield around my room that would be inpenetrable to any being with malicious intent. Meaning any being that is not malicious is welcome. I'm sure there are many people just like me all over the world.

Enough of that though. This has been a truly amazing story, I thank you for creating it.
SisterOfScarletDevil chapter 15 . 6/13/2011
OH MAH GOD! THIS IS THE END! T_T Bluewolf, this is one of the best stories I have ever read. It kept hooked from the minute I read chapter one. You have an amazing way of telling stories. I can't wait to see what else you come up with~ ;)
Ash3wl chapter 15 . 6/11/2011
And so ends the epic tale of Flandre and Genichiro! I have to say I enjoyed reading this fic a lot more than I first thought I would have. Keep writing and I hope to read more of your writings in the future!

-Ash
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