Review Summary: TouWho?
I’m huge fan of the Bullet Hell Shooter game series, Touhou Project, and the soundtrack is what really got me into the games. One of the greatest soundtrack composers ever, Zun (AKA. Team Shanghai Alice), remix songs from Touhou 1-6 (also includes a few Seihou tracks) with much success. Of course I enjoy the original masterpieces more than the remixes.
The album has a story that goes along with it about the relationship between human and youkai (demons and monsters). There are actually two different stories… I’ll be using the more popular version of the story.
Legend of Hourai- The album starts of with a slow peaceful tune. This song is an original, not a remix. The track starts of with an acoustic sound, with a sort of tone that reminds me of China.
In the story,, the attendants of Emperor Qin Shi Huang have yet to find the Elixir of Life he wanted, and Kaguya sent people in search of the Jeweled Branch of Hourai. In Touhou 8: Imperishable Night, Kaguya Houraisan (the person which it speaks of) make her first physical appearance to Touhou. Two years after she is first mentioned in this album. Finally this makes since, Kaguya is an immoral princess from the moon. She holds the Elixir of life. She would send people off to find ancient powerful relics. If someone was to find all 5 of the relics, she would marry them and they will ultimately gain the Elixir of Life. If only the rest of the story was this easy.
Dichromatic Lotus Butterfly ~ Red and White- This a remix of Touhou’s main character Reimu Hakurei’s theme in the first game of the Seihou series, Shuusou Gyoku, which is a Touhou series not directly created by ZUN. The original track is called Dichromatic Lotus Butterfly ~ Ancients. The remix is very similar to the original, with a few instrument changes. It’s upbeat and old arcade game sounding.
In the story, now someone approaches the narrator’s shrine… this person is neither youkai or human.
Romance Hill of Cherry Petals ~ Japanese Flower- Remix of Yuka Kazami's theme in Seihou: Kioh Gyoku, Lovely Mound of Cherry Blossoms ~ Flower of Japan. This song grew on me over time. Maybe it’s my new found love for Yuka Kazami. This song is peaceful and calm. It is kind of soothing… something to listen to after a bad day. It is still the worse of Yuka Kazami’s themes, I would prefer Faint Dream ~ Inanimate Dream or better yet, Sleeping Terror, but it’s still an excellent song and those two would not go as well with the overall mood of the album.
In the story, the narrator blabbers on about flower petals… I guess… I’m not really sure what it’s talking about.
Shanghai Alice of Meiji 17- Original is Hong Meiling’s (aka. China) theme in Touhou 6: Embodiment of Scarlet Devil, Shanghai Alice of Meiji 17. This is a good version of the song… all though it gets off from the original Shanghai Alice of Meiji 17, it keeps a good entertaining beat and tone. Easily one of the most enjoyable songs on the album.
In the story, people are high on opium; it mentions the smoke going into everything. People waltz around in colorful clothes.
Strange Oriental Discourse- The remix of Touhou 1: Highly Responsive to Prayers Stage 6-9 theme, with the same name. Too be honest I enjoy this version more then the original song. It’s more complex and the overall sound is better. I love the wind noise that plays throughout the song.
In the story, the narrator mentions that the youkai would be more at peace if you humans left them alone.
Enigmatic Doll- Remix of Muse’s theme in Seihou: Kioh Gyoku, Enigmatic Doll ~ God Knows. The original kicks this versions butt. Don’t get me wrong, this is still a good song, but I would much rather listen to the original. The song is dark toned and has a catchy main tone.
In the story, our morbid narrator has a doll, she/he want to get rid of… but can’t because of it’s blue eyes. They are real eyes… and a crow keep picking the out and eating them, and the narrator has to replace them.
Circus Reverie- This song is a remix… but I cannot find the original… anyways… I don’t care for this song. It’s kind of repetitive, and bland.
In they story, the narrator talks about a birdman. The birdman has two human parents who died. So the narrator took pity on him and let him in.
Forest of Dolls- An original in the album. Forest of Dolls has a very mystical tone to it. It’s kind of fast pace… reminds me of someone running. I really don’t care for this song… I use to like. It loses its magic after a while.
In the story, narrator complains about rain. The narrator is running, she/he cut of the doll’s head, if it’s the doll from earlier… I don’t know. Oh… and it stopped raining.
Witch of Love Potion- An arrangement of Toru Teru Magic. The original is much like this version, but the original seems to be happier when this one is sadder. Anyways, this song is one of my favorites in the album. It seems like a dance, a waltz sort of. It’s a masterpiece that seems to be both sad and happy at the same time.
In the story, there’s a store that sells a love potion, the narrator collects her/his money. She/he doesn’t want her/his friends to know… they’ll laugh at our poor narrator.
Reincarnation- Remix of Mima’s theme in Touhou 3: Phantasmagoria of Dim. Dream, which has the same name. This version is better then the original, by far. Not saying the original is bad. It features mourning violins in the chores and pre-chores, surround by a jumpy bass line and drum beat. After that, it goes into a sort of triumph verse. It goes back to the mourning violins, over all this song blinds very well, just a mind-blowing masterpiece.
In the story, the narrator mentions a mansion in the middle of a forest. The owner never comes out. The narrator has seen a girl that looks like the owner’s daughter, every once in a while.
U.N. Owen Was Her"- OMG OMG OMG!!! *screams like a Twilight fangirl, when Taylor Lautner walks by* it’s Flandre Scarlet’s theme!! The extra boss from Touhou 6: Embodiment of Scarlet Devil. This song is Zun’s most known piece, and is considered a video game classic. I don’t care what kind of music you like you have to listen to U.N. Owen Was Her". It’s so awesome even McDonalds has there own version of the song. This version is just like the original but more high pitched and longer. Kind of disappointed that there is nothing creative or interesting separate from the original, but it’s still U.N. Owen Was Her".
In the story, the narrator mentions something about how a murder called U.N. Owen will kill you.
Eternal Shrine Maiden- This is a remix of Touhou 1: Highly Responsive to Prayers stage 1-4 theme, which has the same name. This piece reminds me a lot of the first track, it’s rather peaceful. It’s not as upbeat as the original, but it’s more detailed. I, personally, don’t really care for this track much, but it’s not a bad track.
In the story, the narrator had a boring day. No comes by to see the narrator, no human or gods, but youkai come everyday.
The Strange Everyday Life of the Flying Shrine Maiden- This is an original to the album. Album is finally over. It ends very well. This song is quite enjoyable to listen to. It often slows down and gets faster, and changes tone. It’s not at all repetitive.
As our album comes to an end, so does our confusing, non-sensible story. “Lately, a lot more people have come by saying ignorant things about magic and youkai. Such a sad state of affairs.” (from touhou.wikia.com)
The album is entertaining and something that’s enjoyable for any fan of the shooter game series. The story is rather confusing… I don’t get it… maybe it’s trying to be like those ancient Chinese and Japanese stories that are told in those old drawings. Dolls in Pseudo Paradise is some thing every fan of series should take a listen to. If you are not a fan of the series, I would still give it a listen to. Maybe if you listen to it, you’ll come out a fan, and start researching and playing the games. Just don’t end up like yours truly, where Touhou has consumed your life.
-Enjoyable to any Touhou fan
-Enjoyable catchy tones
-Don’t think a person who hasn’t heard of Touhou won’t enjoy as much (but I don’t know, you might like it)
- Confusing story that goes along… somehow
- Circus Reverie