How canon are the Touhou print works? I'm nearing the end of an LP of LOLK, and am debating whether or not to read them.
It varies! Most of the manga are completely canon, like Forbidden Scrollery, Silent Sinner in Blue and Wild and Horned Hermit. Curiosities of Lotus Asia is canon. Perfect Memento in Strict Sense and Symposium of Post-Mysticism are both canon, and are actual texts that exist in-universe (as part of the Gensokyo Chronicle) but written from the perspective of Hieda no Akyuu, so youkai might seem portrayed as more dangerous than they actually are (due to being written by a human). Inaba of the Moon and Inaba of the Earth is just a bunch of funny 4koma, so is probably dubiously canon and not a necessary read.
Other books, for example, the Grimoire of Marisa, are canon, but don’t contain much important information - in this case, it’s just Marisa’s descriptions of various characters’ spellcards.
If you want to know what the most important ones are, I would say:
The first two books of Touhou Bougetsushou (Silent Sinner in Blue, Cage in Lunatic Runagate) These books are about various Touhou characters and their first journey to the Lunar Capital (before LoLK!), and the aftermath of that. SSiB is a manga, whereas CiLR is text-only.
And then also check out
Perfect Memento in Strict Sense and
Symposium of Post-Mysticism for more information on the characters and some interviews! The rest are probably okay to go without unless you’re curious, but they’re also good if you want to, and I would recommend them! The print works add so much to the Touhou lore, and it definitely wouldn’t be as big if it weren’t for them.
The Watatsuki sisters, also known as the Cottonmoons. Seriously, just thinking of their name as “Cottonmoon” makes everything about them seem so much funner. Caroline Cottonmoon and her sister Justine. Er… moving on:
First impression: wait, this lady’s not the actual final boss? and i didn’t solve the incident? so I 1ccd this game to get a neutral ending? well at least she looks like someone interesting.
Impression now: She’s got… so much character depth, man. So much. But to summarize: immoral, bored, willing to take on practically any challenge because she’s so bored and doesn’t like people trying to mess with her completed challenges.
Favorite moment: her gambit in SSiB, even though it did fall through a bit, she still attained her original objective, and with how many people were trying to plot things during that story, that’s just impressive by itself.
Idea for a story: pretty much anyone challenging her to a battle of wits, because while she may be incredibly intelligent, she’s both not as clever as some, and incredibly proud. that could go in an interesting direction.
Unpopular opinion: she’s definitely capable of caring about people, just those people are very few and far between
Favorite relationship: probably the Watatsuki sisters, actually. or possibly Sagume.
Favorite headcanon: She likes to paint. Landscape scenes at night are her favorites.
See, I wonder if that’s the case, because at least if that were the case there would be neutral feelings at best. I kinda feel like the opposite problem exists. Few people read it, so there aren’t many people who know them in general, but most of those who did read it seem to dislike them a lot, and I think it comes down to that perspective of “They’re too overpowered.” Which…okay, I’m gonna go on about this for a while, BEGIN THE CUT