蓬莱山 輝夜（ほうらいさん かぐや）
Kaguya was once a princess of the Lunarians, a race of people living on the Moon. She was exiled to Earth over a thousand years ago for the crime of using the forbidden Hourai Elixir to make herself immortal. Arriving on Earth one day, she was found by a bamboo cutter and dwelt among the humans she had once despised. Though the Lunarians looked upon humans with contempt, Kaguya came to love her new home. Tales of her unearthly beauty led men from all across the land to seek her hand in marriage, Fujiwara no Mokou's father being one of them, but none could successfully complete her trial of the Five Impossible Requests.
The first was to bring her the stone begging bowl of the Buddha from India. The second was to retrieve a jewelled branch from the island of Mount Hourai. The third was to seek the legendary robe of the fire-rat of China. The fourth was to retrieve a colored jewel from a dragon's neck. The final task was to find the legendary Cowry treasure of the swallows. These potent treasures were eventually revealed to already be in Kaguya's possession in the final stage of Imperishable Night.
After years of exile, powerful emissaries arrived from the Moon; Kaguya had been forgiven of her crime and it had been decided that she should return. Kaguya, however, had grown to love life on Earth and had no desire to return to the lunar capital permanently. Enlisting the help of her friend Eirin, Kaguya escaped from the emissaries and fled to Gensokyo. Taking refuge in an ancient manor called Eientei hidden deep within a secluded bamboo forest, the two Lunarians began a new exile. After several centuries of isolation, she was eventually reunited with Mokou, who had also used the Hourai Elixir to become immortal, and the two continued their feud, murdering each other on a nearly daily basis.
During the events of Imperishable Night, Kaguya had been hidden in a secret pathway along with the true moon by Eirin to ensure any Lunarians sent to recover Reisen would not discover her. The heroines of Imperishable Night, however, did discover her, and challenged her to return the full moon to Gensokyo. After being defeated, Kaguya unleashed her powers of eternity in an all-out bid to break the spell of the imperishable night cast by the heroines. Finally she relented and the true moon was recovered.
She now spends her days living in Eientei in a carefree manner, sometimes holding exhibitions of Lunarian treasures there for the rest of Gensokyo to admire. Her long isolation has made her lonely, and she enjoys telling stories to any guests she might receive.
- Because she has spent a thousand years hiding inside Eientei, Kaguya is often depicted in fanworks as a recluse or even a hikikomori who shuns outside interaction (which is not entirely accurate). In humorous works, she is often portrayed as being a NEET, or unemployed geek, who sits at home and surfs the Internet all day.
- In contrast to above, her portrayal in Inaba of the Moon and Inaba of the Earth shows her as a sheltered person who wants to explore the world outside of Eientei.
- Kaguya, and the whole of Imperishable Night, is inspired by the Japanese legend of the Moon Princess, also known as the The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter, sometimes called the legend of "Kaguya-hime" (Princess Kaguya).
- Her first name "輝夜" Kaguya, means "shining night", "sparkling night", or "radiant night". "蓬莱山" Houraisan refers to "Mount Hourai". And indeed, to not only be able to find the location and survive the impossible perils of ascending Mount Hourai (a legendary place filled with powerful youkai, mountain men, and other supernatural beings of every kind), but to also be able to enjoy a beautiful evening there, likely with some traditional Moon Viewing, would be to experience a truly otherworldly beauty: a shining night on Mount Hourai.
- Contrast Kaguya's name with "咲夜 十六夜" Sakuya Izayoi, a character speculated to have unrevealed connections to the moon and to lunarians, whose name means "blossoming night" (Sakuya) and the "full moon on the sixteenth night of each lunar month" (Izayoi). They also both possess powers of time control.
- Mount Hourai is the name of a legendary mountain that floats above the sea. Its inhabitants were said to possess, among other treasures, the elixir of immortality. It was also the destination of one of Kaguya-hime's impossible tasks.
- A popular nickname for Kaguya among her fans in Japan is "Teruyo"--a deliberate mispronunciation of the kanji in her name.
- A silhouette of Kaguya occupies the front of Imperishable Night's jewel case.
- Also in Inaba of the Moon and Inaba of the Earth, she is depicted as a terrible cook, and as innocent and naive.
- Kaguya and Mokou fight to the death every chance they get. Their relationship has been characterized as a constant "Tom and Jerry" back and forth battle.
- However, in Inaba of the Moon and Inaba of the Earth, Kaguya and Mokou's relationship seems much more casual instead—though that might be due to the carefree attitude of the author...
- Kaguya's appearance closely resembles that of Hazuki, the cat-ear-wearing vampire girl from the anime Moon Phase. Because of this, Kaguya is often depicted with cat ears, either real or fake, on her head, even occasionally uttering lines from the anime's opening song, "Neko Mimi Mode". The cat-and-mouse dynamic between her and Mokou adds another layer to this depiction.
- In more serious doujin works, Kaguya is often depicted as having been driven insane or mentally unhinged as a consequence of her long life and inability to die permanently. However, in official works, namely Perfect Memento in Strict Sense, Inaba of the Moon and Inaba of the Earth and Cage in Lunatic Runagate, she is described as having a more cheerful and pleasant, if somewhat ditzy, personality, who likes to tease Reisen just like all the cast of Eientei.
- Kaguya is also the name of a Japanese lunar-orbiting probe launched in September 2007 as part of Project SELENE to map the moon's surface. At the time of the launch, fanart depicting Kaguya being "sent back to the moon" aboard the satellite, usually against her will, was popular (one tribute video even superimposed her theme music over footage of the launch of the rocket). The same probe was later intentionally sent crashing into the moon, giving way to a new surge of fanart. (Example)
- Since she is generally acknowledged to be easier than Remilia, Yuyuko and sometimes even her servant Eirin, Kaguya is thought rather weak for a final boss (although most bosses in Imperishable Night are considered easier than those in earlier games, and continues are not allowed against Kaguya, unlike the previous two). As a result, fanworks often depict her as being completely helpless and dependent on Eirin to survive, and her theme song's climactic passage has had the words "Eirin, Eirin, tasukete Eirin!" (Eirin, Eirin, help me Eirin!) set to it by the fans. However, Kaguya has a larger spellcard arsenal than either Remilia or Yuyuko and attacks confidently and without hesitation in the actual game. In addition, considering she was scrapped from Touhou Hisoutensoku for being overpowered, Kaguya being weaker than other bosses might not necessarily be true. Indeed, if one takes the Final A route in Imperishable Night, it is actually Kaguya who aids Eirin for Eirin's final spell card.
- It can be conjectured that Mokou and Kaguya's rivalry symbolizes for the cycle of the Sun and the Moon: Kaguya, the Lunar Princess, and Mokou, who uses as an in-game avatar a fire bird that strongly resembles a phoenix.
- Kaguya was planned to debut as a playable character in Hisoutensoku, but was scrapped from the lineup due to time constraints. ZUN stated in an interview that her moveset as initially designed would have been overpowered and unbalanced the game and there was not enough time to properly balance her strength against the other characters (ironically the same issue was encountered with Mokou, who was also intended to be playable in the game).
Imperishable Night - キャラ設定.txt編集
蓬莱山 輝夜（ほうらいさん かぐや）
Last Boss, The Eternal Moon Princess
Ability: Manipulation of eternity and temporality
Kaguya was born in the royal house of the moon and was treated with utmost care as a princess. Because of that, she grew very selfish... But one scandal changed her life. She had Eirin make the Hourai Elixir - a forbidden medicine - out of self-interest and consumed it.
The crime was soon discovered and Kaguya was executed for it.
However, Kaguya held the power of eternity, so she reincarnated immediately after each execution and wouldn't die permanently. Instead of killing her repeatedly, she was exiled to Earth and forced to live among filthy humans as punishment. Soon afterward, she was found by an old human male, and began life as Kaguya-hime...
Kaguya is a former Lunarian who was expelled from the moon. She enjoyed her life on Earth for a while without problems, but as rumours of her beauty spread far and wide, she started to feel bad about it.
A few years later, she was allowed to return to the moon, but she really didn't want to. She had become attached to people who she were living with and preferred life on Earth, which was far more emotional than the life she had on the moon. Even so, Earth was a bit filthy and life on Earth had its share of problems. She was torn between Earth and the moon... It was then that she found a familiar face among the emissaries from the moon. It was Eirin.
Eirin felt very sorry for Kaguya because she wasn't punished even though she was the one who made the elixir. Her desire for redemption was so strong that she was ready to do anything for Kaguya, so she decided to live on Earth with Kaguya.
Eirin betrayed the other emissaries and helped Kaguya escape. The two of them began to live in desolate place. It was so desolate that it was haunted by youkai...
A long, long time has passed since then.
The moon was no longer sending emissaries to fetch them; they had forgotten about the past and were living in peace.
One day, an event took place that made them recall the past.
It had almost been a century since Gensokyo was sealed. They were living quietly without meeting anyone. On that day, a rabbit ran into their home. She claimed to be a rabbit from the moon who had come because she heard rumours about Gensokyo, a place where non-humans live. She then said, "Humans are invading the moon and it's becoming nearly impossible for people of the Moon to live there. These humans stuck a flag on the moon and are acting like the moon belongs to them".
The rabbit had escaped from the front line of a war, leaving her allies behind...
Kaguya remembered that she, too, was a Lunarian long ago.
Humans were invading the moon?
But the rabbit seemed to be telling the truth.
Anyway, they decided to allow that poor rabbit - Reisen - to live with them.
A few decades have passed since then.
Kaguya, Eirin and Reisen were enjoying their peaceful life.
Gensokyo makes everyone easy-going and peaceful... It really was like a paradise.
On one night of a full moon, Reisen received a transmission from other surviving moon rabbits. (Moon rabbits have some kind of telepathic ability and can communicate across great distances.)
Reisen told them that she needed to return to the moon, but... Kaguya and Eirin were part of the Lunarian race as well.
Kaguya remembered her past.
Kaguya had a discussion with Eirin, then decided to defend Reisen from the moon's emissaries. But if they kill the emissaries, they'll have to go into hiding for a long time again. If only there was a way to make it impossible for the emissaries to reach them, then they would never have to hide again.
Just as Kaguya was about to finish speaking, Eirin presented her solution.
It was no longer possible to travel between Earth and the Moon.
Their only mistake was underestimating the power of Gensokyo's natives, who rely on the power of the moon...
In the end, humans and youkai succeeded in dispelling the fake moon. But that wasn't a problem... Gensokyo was already sealed by the Hakurei border, so the Lunarians wouldn't have been able to enter Gensokyo to begin with.
Kaguya, Eirin and Reisen have come out of hiding and are living freely in Eientei.
So, what was the outcome of the Moon War?
That didn't matter to Kaguya anymore; Gensokyo is now her home...
Bohemian Archive in Japanese Red編集
- Main article: Article and Interview: Kaguya
Aya reports on the "Lunar Capital Expo" being held at Eientei. The event seems to be popular among both the humans and youkai. Throughout the course of her report, Aya subtly hints that some (or possibly all) of the exhibits are fake. Aya then interviews the (self-proclaimed) rabbit from the moon, Reisen, and notes that the line for "moon rabbit" mochi is extremely long. She ends her report with a request that her readers visit the Expo.
In her follow-up, Aya interviews Kaguya on the apparent success of her Lunar Capital Expo, which Kaguya appears to be unsure about doing again. Kaguya explains that her exhibits were mainly antiques from around her house, but when questioned about their age and the authenticity of the stories behind them, won't give a straight answer, saying that people can believe what they want. Kaguya then reveals that her lineage is a long series of dilettantes (NEETs).
Perfect Memento in Strict Sense編集
- Main article: Perfect Memento: Kaguya Houraisan
- Kaguya is considered the princess of Eientei.
- Eientei is a mysterious mansion with lots of rabbits.
- Its existence only became known when Eirin started selling medicine.
- Recently Eientei has begin to host public events, though.
- Kaguya is refined at conversation, and will tell old stories to those who will listen.
- The power to manipulate eternity is essentially the power to prevent change. It is similar to stopping time.
- It is thought that the existence of Eientei was concealed by this power of eternity.
- The power to manipulate the instant (or rather, extremely short time durations) allows Kaguya to do things almost instantaneously.
The Grimoire of Marisa編集
- Main article: The Grimoire of Marisa: Kaguya Houraisan's Spell Cards
- Kaguya's spell cards all make use of special magical items.
- While casting spells, she uses none of her own ability.
- Her danmaku seems to have no specific theme, aside from the rare items themselves.
- Modern Lunarians may not be adapted to spell card use.
- Marisa wonders where Kaguya keeps these rare items.