Games


I have strayed from business as usual here on this little blog of mine, working on a neat little project that involves that characters from the Touhou series of games. I have taken nine of the girls and arranged them in their respective spots based upon the concept of the Enneagram. For those of you who are not familiar with the concept, the Enneagram is a typology model, influenced by a variety of ancient thought systems such as Sufi Islam and Kabbalah Judaism. The Enneagram categorizes a person by one of nine numbered personality types, explaining the typical traits of each number. Each personality type has a special relationship with every other role on the figure. The Enneagram has a psychological purpose, identifying how the mind of each type works, as well as explaining how that person interacts with the world. The Enneagram also holds a spiritual signifigance for many people, who see it as a source of enlightenment. I have friends who swear by the Enneagram; they see it as a codex of sorts for understanding every person that they come into contact with. I also know folks who dismiss the Enneagram as a foolish fortune-telling device, citing the Forer Effect as evidence against its value. Personally, I believe that the Enneagram is just one of many tools that is useful in examining human interaction. It is not an absolute, as we are more than numbers, but it is interesting to apply this device to people in real life and characters in fiction. That is exactly what I have done with this Touhou Enneagram. It is just as interesting (and a lot cuter) than the model originally developed by a bunch of bearded Semites centuries ago.

Disclaimer

I put together this chart as a parody of sorts. It takes some of the personality traits and quirks of nine of the Touhou girls and assigns them to the position of the Enneatype that best matches their behavior. This blog does not have a large amount of readers, but if this post was linked to on certain Touhou-related boards, I can very easily foresee arguments over where each character should ideally be positioned, and whether or not the behavior that landed a character in her position is “canon”. First of all, this is not an in-depth examination of the nature of Gensokyo’s girls. I took elements of each character’s personality, represented in both official and doujin works, and assigned an Enneatype to her based upon that. Each decision was thought-out, but I did not take every minute detail into account when making these choices. If you think that a different character would be better suited for a certain type, then please leave a comment explaining why. I’m just asking that nobody makes a tremendous fuss over this. Likewise, if an Enneagram buff should stumble upon this entry, please realize that I am not a scholar of the model. My descriptions of certain personality types may not live up to your standards as a result.

The Enneagram (1400×1400)

touhou-enneagram.png

 

Type OneSikieiki Yamaxanadu

eiki4.jpgSikieiki is the judge of the afterlife, deciding if spirits will spend their time in heaven, hell, or somewhere else entirely. As a judge of deeds, Shikieiki is known to lecture other characters on their shortcomings and behave in a matter that is, well… judgemental. Because of her perfectionist tendencies, she is a prototypical type One. Ones are constantly striving not only to improve themselves, but their surrounding environment as well. As a result, they sometimes come across as stuck up, bossy, and hard to please. Ones are a stiff type that will accept nothing less than perfection. This model fits Sikieiki well, not only due to her role as a judge, but also because of her position as a demanding superior to Komachi.

Type TwoAlice Margatroid

alice2.jpgEven though she is one of the most popular characters among fans, the Rainbow Puppeteer Alice Margatroid is often depicted in doujin works as being an unloved loner, longing for contact with others, specifically Marisa. The description of a healthy type Two, however, seems to be at odds with Alice’s situation: healthy Twos are naturally helpful and their presence is often enjoyed by others. Alice, on the other hand, is a less than healthy Two, craving affection and acceptance, but never quite receiving it. In some doujins, Alice is depicted as being a stalker, obsessive, and even mentally-unstable, all of which are traits of an unhealthy type Two.

Type ThreeHong Meiling

monban3.jpgPoor Hong Meiling is not appreciated as a person, but is instead identified only by the roles that she plays. As a Chinese girl, she is somewhat of a token in Gensokyo. In fact, some characters choose to address her as “China” instead of calling her by name. Meiling’s occupation is to guard the gate of the Scarlet Devil Mansion and that is what she is perhaps best known for, besides being from China. Because she is known more for the roles that she fulfills rather than for who she really is, Meiling is a good example of a Three type. Threes wear multiple masks, and the rest of the world sees the Three’s value through the roles that he or she plays. Like any good Three, Meiling seems to have a certain energy and passion for improving her performance as a gatekeeper, realizing that she will garner more respect as a result.

Type FourMystia Lorelei

mistia2.jpgThe Night Sparrow Mystia Lorelei is an confident and individualistic girl. Armed with a song that has the power to strike fear and confusion into the hearts of humans, Mystia roams the roads at night scaring mankind for the thrill of it. She may not be the brightest or strongest character, but she displays a strong sense of self-confidence even when facing a tough opponent. In doujin works, she is often depicted as a performing artist as well, singing her song to crowds of adoring fans. It is this blend of confidence and creative energy that Mystia displays that makes her an ideal type Four. Like Mystia, Fours are often quirky and odd in ways, but they do not doubt themselves and aren’t afraid to stick out in a crowd. Fours are often artistically inclined in one way or another too. Mystia expresses this natural creativity through her hypnotic song.

Type FivePatchouli Knowledge

pache.gifA physically frail but incredibly intelligent magician, Patchouli Knowledge is a rather withdrawn individual. She rarely ventures outside, choosing to instead spend her days in the Scarlet Devil Mansion reading books and researching magic. Patchouli’s inquisitive nature and generally antisocial behavior make her a typical Five type. Fives are the most detached of all the Enneatypes, placing value upon understanding information rather than emotional experiences. While they may have a circle of close friends, Fives are almost never the life of the party. Patchouli certainly fits this profile of a cloistered knowledge seeker. Knowledge is even in her name.

Type SixKeine Kamishirasawa

exkeine.gifKeine Kamishirasawa is a trooper. Cursed to an existence as a Were-Hakutaku, Keine juggles the burdens of teaching a school, defending Gensokyo’s human village, looking after Mokou, and hiding her monstrous secret from the people that she cares for. Keine has thrust the responsibility of looking after human beings upon herself and remains fiercely loyal to mankind. As a result, she fears for the fate of herself and her home, sometimes using her power to hide the entire human village in the folds of history during times of crisis. Like Keine, type Sixes have a strong sense of loyalty as well as a desire for security. They fear the unknown, and gird their loins for battle when required. The problem that Keine and every Six face is getting over their fear of the external and beginning to feel safe and confident.

Type SevenMarisa Kirisame

marisa2.jpgAn energetic, confident, and curious witch, Marisa Kirisame seems to be interested in or enjoy just about everything. She is a social character in doujins and seems to be friendly with nearly everybody, though she can be a bit of a pest sometimes. As a whole, Marisa is fun-loving and has an appreciation for life, making her an ideal Seven. Like Marisa, Sevens are generally active and involved people, taking advantage of life’s opportunities. They are eager to participate in activities, often with other people, as Sevens are a sociable lot. The vivacity of a Seven may annoy more reserved or pessimistic characters, but the sprightly Seven may not even realize the effect that he or she has upon others.

Type EightReimu Hakurei

reimu4.jpgMuch like One types, Eights are strong-willed and often find themselves in charge of the situation, but while Ones like to ensure that everything is orderly, an Eight just wants control. Unlike Ones, Eights aren’t authoritative figures, but rather natural-born leaders who use their skills to establish dominance. For a lack of a more formal term, a successful Eight is “the man”. As the heroine of nearly every game in the Touhou series, Reimu is indeed the man. She is not a control freak who squabbles about details, but if something isn’t going her way, she is going to fix it: most likely in a forceful manner.

Type NineCirno

cirno8.jpgYou all knew that this was coming. How could you have not seen it coming? After all, it is essentially a mortal sin to associate Cirno with any number other than ⑨. Even if her personality was more in line with a different number, I am obligated to assign her to the Nine category to keep this stupid meme running. Luckily, Cirno does share some qualities with the rest of the Nines out there. The Nine class is seen as the mediator between all of the other Enneatypes. Therefore, the ideal Nine is simple, innocent, and relaxed. Of course, being able to see every side of an issue without bias may leave a Nine confused at times. Who comes to mind when words like “simple”, “innocent”, and “confused” are uttered? Cirno of course. That makes her a Double Nine, doesn’t it?

**All of the pictures used for the character profiles came from Nyagakiya.

Further information

I hope that you enjoyed my little analysis of Touhou in the context of the Enneagram. Once again, I must stress that this is just a lighthearted attempt to reconcile an ancient mystic concept with a modern-day series. Please don’t look too far into it from either direction. If you are interested in the Enneagram, however, there is a wealth of information out there. There is a brief online test available for free, which will tell you which Enneagram numbers best fit you. It’s interesting to see where you stand on the figure and in relation to other famous people and characters. Like Patchy, I test out as a Five. I guess that makes sense. Of course, a free quiz, a few books, or even the Enneagram itself will never tell you who you are. Only you can make that decision.

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I had heard rumors about a group translating Saya no Uta for months now, but I had no idea if this was true, and just who was doing it. This site answers all of those questions and fills me with hope. I have no idea how long it will take for the translation to be completed (it is a pretty short game though) but hopefully Providence will smile down upon us all, and in a matter of time, we will all be reading this horrid pornographic work in God’s language: English.

I wish the translators the best of luck. Fans who do this kind of work for everybody else are awesome.