As my quest to clear out my backlog continues, I shall be stepping away from dragons for a little while, and instead focusing on a broader range of fantastical creatures. It’s back to Gensokyo for the second volume of Forbidden Scrollery.
This volume of Forbidden Scrollery contains chapters six through to thirteen.
Life is an everlasting source of oddities – a parade of hopeless masquerades and double-dealing characters – and Kosuzu finds herself confounded by new mysteries. Why are her books flying about? What kind of creature does a vampire keep for a pet? And just what is a “Berlin Wall,” anyway? Kosuzu seeks knowledge, but perhaps she’ll have to put down her books for once and explore…
Immediately, we have references to two Touhou games – Hopeless Masquerade and Double Dealing Character. There’s a reason for that; a couple of the chapters in this volume make direct reference to said games.
Both Kokoro Hatano (or Hata no Kokoro) and Shinmyoumaru Sukuna make appearances here. Kokoro is putting on a noh play at the Hakurei Shrine, whilst Shinmyoumaru knows a little something about tsukumogami.
The manga pretty much tells you to play the games to get a better understanding of who these characters are. If you can’t get hold of the games, there’s always the Touhou wiki that has all the information you’ll ever need.
Remilia Scarlet, the vampire who served as the final boss of Embodiment of Scarlet Devil also puts in an appearance in this volume. She seems to has acquired a strange new pet with a taste for alcohol. Meanwhile, the human village is having trouble with a liquor thief…
Sakuya Izayoi, Remilia’s maid, also appears in the same chapter – she is searching for the lost pet.
Of course, Reimu Hakurei, Marisa Kirisame, Kosuzu Motoori and Akyu Hiedano (or Hieda no Akyu) are recurring characters. The incidents that Forbidden Scrollery covers tend to involve at least one of them in some way.
That’s pretty much what Forbidden Scrollery is: a series of mini-incidents. Some are actively caused, whilst others kind of just happen to play out. Seeing how the characters react to the varying situations is all part of the fun of reading Forbidden Scrollery.
Another part of the fun is seeing which characters cameo – in one chapter, you can spot Tenshi Hinanawi and Iku Nagae together, for example. Touhou has lots of characters, so there are a few cameos here and there.
Forbidden Scrollery isn’t exactly welcoming to new fans of Touhou, but if you know the games, or more specifically, the characters, than Forbidden Scrollery is a fun time. It is an official manga with a story written by ZUN, so it is definitely something that Touhou fans should take an interest in.