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Touhou Nekokayou #73: Catness, part 11 -Interlude-

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Touhou Nekokayou: Scarlet Weather Archive in Japanese Red #73

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Characters: Eirin Yagokoro, Patchouli Knowledge, Satori Komeiji, Reisen Udongein Inaba

Story begins here. Getting closer!

I decided to do something ... unconventional with the chronology of this comic (no, really?). In case this wasn't entirely clear: the "day" panels were chronologically before they used the spell, and the "night" panels were chronologically afterward. I quickly realized the potential this setup would have for utter shennanigans.

Originally, Eirin was going to figure it out on her own, simply by examining the virus itself, though this would stretch plausibility a bit. Later, while I was thinking of something else, it occurred to me that I had no idea how Patchouli, Satori, and Eirin's little triumvirate (c.f. Perfect Square) got started. Then I realized: hey, I've got an opportunity right here ...

I had no idea how I was going to figure out how immunity/susceptibility worked, and I was literally trying to think up a reason right as I was making panel 5; originally it was just going to be genetic. I needed something which was (a) halfway-amusing, and (b) fit the observed spread of the catness, and I decided that both requirements are fulfilled by basing immunity on the victim's foolishness or power, but not both.1

I give no apology, explanation, or excuse for the joke in panel 10. Or the punchline.

I made nighttime versions of my Eientei backgrounds. And ones with transparent walls, for you to put some sort of spacey image behind, in case you wanted to actually recreate Imperishable Night's final stage. I've been sort of waiting for an excuse to make these; having a distinctive visual difference between the "before" and "after" bits was good enough for me.

Transcript

  1. (Eirin, Satori, Patchouli, and Reisen standing in Eientei at night.)
    Eirin: Okay, here's what we've figured out ...
  2. (Satori and Patchouli approach Eirin in a lab in Eientei during the day.)
    Eirin: Ah, Patchouli and Miss Komeiji ... What can I do for you?
    Patchouli: I have a proposition ...
  3. (Back to the night scene.)
    Eirin: The "catness" isn't a virus as I'd previously thought, but rather caused by something that works on a similar principle to danmaku.
    Patchouli: Yes ... instead of bullets, the individual units are known as "effervescent entities," or "shiny objects."
  4. (Back to the day scene.)
    Patchouli: You see, despite my vast array of knowledge, I feel that my ability to investigate the cause of this "catness" would be improved by a greater degree of intelligence.
    Satori: (cheerful) Whereas with you it's the other way around, isn't it?
    Eirin: (sweatdrop) Um, maybe.
  5. (Back to the night scene.)
    Satori: Animal youkai are immune; otherwise, susceptibility appears to be based on the victim's foolishness (smarter = more immune) or power (stronger = more susceptible).
    Eirin: But not both.
  6. (Back to the day scene; Satori is turning away in embarassment.)
    Patchouli: Well, I have developed a spell which, with the aid of a satori (such as Satori) would bridge the gap between our two minds, combining my knowledge and your intelligence.
    Satori SFX: embarassed at bothering Eirin by reading her mind
    Eirin: (skeptical) All right. How reliable is it?
  7. (Night scene.)
    Satori: It seems to spontaneously appear in either the strongest beings in Gensokyo, such as mokou or my sister Koishi, or in fairies.
    Patchouli: Fairies who *don't* get it randomly are also immune.
  8. (Day scene.)
    Satori: Actually, surprisingly enough, it seemed to work perfectly well when she used it on her familiar, with no side effects at all.
    Patchoulu: (annoyed) What do you mean "surprisingly"!?
    Eirin: Well, I suppose with an unbiased third party endorsing it ...
  9. (Night scene.)
    Reisen: Sounds ... intense. But wouldn't generating an effect like that take up a whole lot of power?
    Patchouli: Yes -- which is where "that" comes into play.
  10. (Day scene.)
    Patchouli: Hmph. Well, we should possibly clear a space, possibly even to lie down -- it might be a bit rough since this is our first time, though we'll have proper protection.
    Eirin: I'll have the rabits get a room for us.
    Satori: (thought cloud) ... Okay, I know exactly what the spell involves, and I can *see* what they mean, but ...
  11. (Night scene.)
    Reisen: Aha!
    Eirin: It is "that" which enables her to spread the shiny objects throughout Gensokyo, and gives them the aura they have.
    Patchouli: *And* we have a suspect.
  12. (Day scene, except with Reisen there.)
    Satori: You're thinking there's a 95% certainty? So precise?
    Patchouli: Indeed! After all, "that" item would be much more accessible to one such as her than it would be to others!
    Reisen: Who is it then?
  13. (Night scene, except without Reisen.)
    Patchouli: Good! I also recommend summoning Reisen afterward -- we'll probably need someone to explain things to, to get it off our chest.
    Eirin: Hmm? Oh, I see what you mean.
    Satori: Wait, hang on, what just happened?
  14. (Both the day and night backgrounds and the comic-panel are tilted around, with Satori, Patchouli, and Eirin floating around in front of it.)
    Satori: Ack! The panel-order got mixed up!
    Eirin: Oh no! It must be an unforeseen side effect!
    Patchouli: This cannot be!
  15. (Metal Gear Solid 3's game over screen.)
    Text: TIME PARADOX
    Text: Continue/Exit

Last time around, I didn't comment on whether anyone's guesses (either in the comments on this site or elsewhere) were anywhere near the mark, so today, looking over the comments of both #72 and #71, I will simply quote Terry Pratchett: "Oh shit. A bullseye."2 Those of you who guessed correctly will win the prize of being able to smugly say, "HA! I was right!" once the culprit is revealed directly. Today's obvious-hint is the color blue, in some capacity. There are, in fact, two hidden-hints (thcomic/73-##.png and thcomic/73title.png ... oh, and thcomic/timeparadox.png ^^) — which, uncharacteristically, narrows down the possibilities based on the vagueness of previous hidden-hints ... but only if you can find it!

1Complete list of non-animals who have appeared so far: Marisa (foolish/cat), Sakuya (smart/notcat), Patchouli (smart/notcat), Remilia (smart/notcat), Reimu (foolish/cat), Alice (strong/cat), Flandre (STRONG/cat), Koishi (strong/cat), Cirno (fairy/notcat), Daiyousei(fairy/cat), Yukari (strong/cat), Yuka (strong/cat), Rinnosuke (smart/notcat), Eirin (SMART/notcat), Kaguya (strong/cat), Mokou (strong/cat), Satori (smart/notcat)

2He was talking about Thud! at the time, for the record.

All Touhou characters are © Team Shanghai Alice and/or ZUN; create.swf is ⑨ KirbyM with help from Thefre. "Sakura petals" brush in main/4koma logo was made by Kisara Girl. "Falling leaves" brush in 60-Years logo came with Photoshop.

19 Comments (auto-closed) (rss feed)

Dan-Heron

you know, with your stories and your strips, it's an amusing experience. We already know bits of what's going to happen far in the future, so seeing how they came to be in the strips makes for many "Oh so that's how it was" moments.

Good to see how the ESP Team was formed. Say, did you have in mind Extrasensory Perception when you picked Eirin, Satori and Patchy, or it's just a fortunate coincidence?

Kimiko Muffin

Well, I hadn't actually thought of "ESP" until you said that just now, so it's just a coincidence. ;)

TA

Hmm. The URLs for individual panels seem to just 404.

Morgan

Hooray for double entendres!

At first I thought Patchouli was saying Satori's line in panel 7, which was a bit confusing. ("Patchouli has a sister?")

Kimiko Muffin

Oops, fixed the problem with the individual panels, should work now ...

Draykon

Well, if there really ARE two hidden hints this time, I've only found one of them. (Though if there's only one, I've found both of them. o.o) And I've narrowed it down to the following three possibilities:

Kanako, using her Shoulder Mounted Cannons. I think she fits all of the clues, and if catness is basically danmaku, her SMCs could probably fire it off.

Tenshi, using her Magical Celestial Sword. Fits most of the hidden clues, and is someone you might actually consider would do something like this.

Sikieiki, using ?????. There's no arguing how perfectly she fits the previous hidden clue, however she has a bit of trouble with today's hidden clue. (The one I actually found, note my wording in the previous two if you're unsure of which one I found in the event that two actually exist) However I'm stumped when it comes to Item X.

Draykon

Also, I just wanna say that whoever invented anachronic order needs to go die in a fire. Though I love what you did with it here. :P

TA

Shikieiki has a Crystal Mirror that lets her learn all of a person's personal information and past. Other than that, no idea what this clue could mean, and I can't find the second clue.

Asator

Yes...unforeseen side effect. Certainly not just some higher power screwing around with the medium. And here I'd had it figured out that it was late afternoon/early evening in the day panels and just before dawn in the night ones when they switched but nooo, you had to pull the time paradox card. Prove me wrong why don'tcha

As for the hints, one was easy to find, the other I haven't found with any of the methods used so far (or the other online texthiding link) and there's waaaaaaay too many other links for me to go downloading crap without a starting point, so for now I'll have to go with what I have.

*writes down "All hints"* All hints I have...that I have, gotta qualify that, the missing one could throw off everything *writes down "obtained"*. Now, let's see...the obvious implications of today's hints narrow it down to three suspects. "Blue" indicates Kanako or Tenshi, with blue hair, or Shikieiki, with a blue outfit. Kanako was almost certainly ruled out last comic, but we'll leave her in for consideration. Iku and Sanae, meanwhile, are right out. Not sure why I left them in this long anyway. The first hidden hint...others have already guessed what they mean based on the same three guesses. Shoulder-Mounted Cannons for Kanako, even through they're "faith pillars" (that fire danmaku nonetheless), Shikieiki's Crystal Mirror, and Magical Celestial Sword for Tenshi. Mind you, that particular wording is stretching it a bit. Also, I'd have to look back, but I believe none of those three were actually used in the first 35 strips.

There is another possibility that occurs to me, however. Knowing that Muffin browses TVTropes and given what Tenshi's rock things were called in Scarlet Weather Rhapsody, we could assume that the hints...point to...*writes down "point to"* the trope "CoSMic Keystone", or simply keystone. The only one with ready access to these would be *writes down "Tenshi"*, or possibly Suika, but she was ruled out early on.

*sets notebook down* I need a bit more evidence, time to dig for that last hint.


*walks away, leaving a notebook that reads "All hints obtained point to Tenshi"

Draykon

Why is Kanako ruled out exactly? In Mountain of Faith, she was "causing problems for the Tengu," which could easily be interpreted as "having fought Aya." Or are you talking about the hidden hint? In which case I don't really see how it rules her out at all, what with the "occult ritual" theme of her spellcards.

Kimiko Muffin

Okay, I've now made it so it will be slightly easier to tell you've stumbled upon something if you reach the point where it's possible to find the even-more-hidden-hint ... :3

Asator

Uhh, not really. Her cards are themed after Suwa Shrine rituals, faith, and...godness, for lack of a better description. Not really occult at all. So yeah, more or less out unless you stretch the meaning of the hidden hint really far.

TA

Still haven't the foggiest about that second clue.

Will you tell us how we could have found them once this is all done?

Kimiko Muffin

Course I will. There'll be a whole page for the "hint" solutions, with an explanation of each.

Asator

Well, I'm out of ideas. No headway with the stuff I know of, and Wikipedia's links are a wall of unhelpful (especially linking to an analyzer that you have to pay for). Guess I'll come back to it later.

Pyrus

I thought two different conversations were taking place: One in the physical realm & one in the mental realm with one conversation being a decoy to mask the other.

Pikawil

Is the set-up of the unconventional chronology inspired by Christopher Nolan's Memento, by any chance?

Kimiko Muffin

Um ... no ... I don't know anything about that. :O