|“||Lose yourselves in the gap of my boundary!||„|
|~ Reimu Hakurei|
Reimu Hakurei is one of the main characters of the Touhou Project series, having appeared in almost every game in the series. As the sole maiden of the Hakurei Shrine, she is commonly called upon (or calls it upon herself) to investigate strange occurrences throughout the world.
In earlier games, Reimu's spiritual abilities were highly limited. (In Highly Responsive to Prayers, she was in fact unable to harm enemies directly at all.) As time went by, however, she developed her abilities, becoming able to use the Yin-Yang Orb, special amulets, and her own (limited) spiritual power in order to fight more effectively. Sometime between Mystic Square and Embodiment of Scarlet Devil, this culminated in her developing the ability to fly under her own power. (Before then, she relied on Genjii, her turtle familiar, to fly, and in fact did not fly at all in HRtP.)
As her abilities have changed, so has Reimu's personality. She is commonly described as easygoing, curious, at least somewhat dutiful (at least, the shrine hasn't fallen apart due to negligence on her part), and optimistic —sometimes overly so. Her personality seems sympathetic toward many individuals; there are few people indeed who remain her rivals past the first game in which they appear (though this is not to say she doesn't get into fights after the first meeting), and the shrine has become a moderately popular hangout for some of Gensokyo's more interesting female individuals.
In Undefined Fantastic Object, she seems very intent on getting the treasure ship's riches, probably due to the events following the Hakurei Shrine's repair and re-opening in Scarlet Weather Rhapsody.
In Ten Desires, a lot of divine spirits start to congregate and due the fact that is an "Incident", Reimu has to go and figure out what drove them to spread.
- (Touhou 1 to 5) Purple eyes, long purple hair, wears large red ribbon in hair. Clothes are red and white, and strongly resembles a traditional shrine maiden outfit.
- (Touhou 3, alternative outfit) Same as above, but clothes are mainly green instead of red.
- (Touhou 6 and 7) Dark red eyes, black hair, wears large red ribbon in hair, often carries a rod (gohei) with many paper seals attached in streamers. Wears a red and white dress remotely similar to a shrine maiden's outfit with detached sleeves leaving her shoulders uncovered, and a red neckerchief.
- (Touhou 7.5, 10, 10.5, and 12.3) Same as above, but her neckerchief is yellow.
- (Touhou 7.5 and 10.5, alternative outfit) Same as above, but the dress is black instead of red.
- (Touhou 8) Same as 7.5, 10, 10.5, and 12.3, but her hair is dark brown.
- (Touhou 9) Same as 8, but her neckerchief is navy blue. Over the course of these games, her hair apparently grew from shoulder-length to the middle of her back before it became short again in Touhou 11.
- (Touhou 9, alternative outfit) Same as above, but dress is mainly blue instead of red.
- (Touhou 11) Same as 9, but her neckerchief is dark blue with a yellow ribbon tied to it. Shoulder-length hair.
- (Touhou 12, 12.5) Same as 11, but the neckerchief is entirely yellow again, and Reimu's hair has grown past her shoulders.
- (Touhou 13) Same as 12, but her hair has become shorter (possibly the shortest it has ever been). Her gohei is also much longer judging from the title screen.
- (Touhou 13.5) Same as above, except neckerchief is blue again and her hair is brown and longer.
- (Touhou 14) Same as in 13, but her hair is now slightly longer and her neckerchief is once again yellow. She also no longer has a ribbon threaded through the hem of her dress (it has been replaced with a lacy pattern of a similar colour), or ribbons threaded through the bottom of her arm-socks.
Her personality is straightforward, optimistic, and a bit curious. She is quick to anger if offended, but just as quick to offer help to those in need. According to Komachi, Reimu has an innocent heart that can't truly hate anyone. While rather lazy in her free time, she is highly devoted to her duties as the Hakurei Shrine Maiden, resulting in a "shoot first and ask questions later" attitude to youkai extermination.
It's been stated that Reimu treats everyone the same, whether they're humans, youkai or gods, giving them no particular respect or disrespect. This habit has caused her to inadvertently befriend many youkai she defeats. While she tries to keep youkai away from her shrine, this is because it makes it harder to do her job rather than because she dislikes them. At the end of the symposium in Symposium of Post-mysticism, when Reimu goes to break it up, Miko notes that though Reimu says she wants to eliminate all the youkai, she actually just wants to attain a peace in Gensokyo that doesn't require violence, like the others present wish.
- Marisa Kirisame (Friend)
- Rinnosuke Morichika (Friend)
- Yukari Yakumo (Friend)
- Suika Ibuki (Houseguest/Moocher)
- Genjii (Familiar)
- Ruukoto (Maid)
- Mima (Taunter)
- Aya Shameimaru (Ally)
- Byakuren Hijiri (Business rival)
- Flandre Scarlet (Known)
- Sanae Kochiya (related shrine maiden)
- Her shrine is often visited by most of the characters in the series.
- Reimu seems to be scared before and after the boss battle with the Five Magic Stones, making this the only ever time that Reimu was scared and/or afraid of a boss before and after the battle.
- Reimu is known for exterminating youkai indiscriminately, regardless of how much of a threat they represent to her or others. The most notable example of this was Tokiko, who was ambushed by Reimu while she was, in Reimu's own words, "reading and minding her own business".
- Most of her theme from Lotus Land Story sounds similar to Elis and Kikuri's theme from Highly Responsive to Prayers, "Magic Mirror".
- It is originally stated that she lives alone at the shrine, but other rarely seen characters (Mima and SinGyoku) are known to stay there or near there as well. Even then, she claims that most youkai visitors are nuisances, and she'd prefer to be left alone. Marisa Kirisame seems to be one of the few who she wouldn't drive away. *In Imperishable Night, Reimu is the only one whose partner doesn't mention the danger of the full moon.
- Reimu's ultimate technique Fantasy Nature (夢想天生 musou tensei, "innate fantasy gained at birth") is homophonous with the ultimate technique of the Hokuto Shinken school in Fist of the North Star, Musou Tensei (無想転生 musou tensei, "nil-thought rebirth"), and has much the same effect.
- In Touhou Hisoutensoku, if you activate Fantasy Nature successfully in a 3rd round, a remix of "Eastern Mystical Love Consultation" will play which resembles Ai wo Torimodose, the opening theme of the Fist of the North Star anime (an instrumental version of which usually plays whenever Kenshiro is about to win a fight).
- In Touhou Hisoutensoku, one of her alternative palettes looks similar to VIVIT, the heroine of the Seihou Project. Also, one of her palettes seems to be another maid homage, Ruukoto, or possibly Sanae Kochiya's colours. The palette also seems to resemble Mima from Highly Responsive to Prayers. Her white/light gray palette seems to resemble Toki from Hokuto no Ken.
- When playing Yukari's story mode in Scarlet Weather Rhapsody, Reimu breaks down in tears in the ending after Yukari defeats Tenshi and reduces the Hakurei Shrine to rubble for the second time, with Sakuya and Youmu looking on helplessly (although Suika offers to help rebuild it). This marks the first and only time where she is seen crying in a storyline scenario.
- The shrine maiden at the end of Dolls in Pseudo Paradise is probably Reimu. She has Reimu's title, "Shrine Maiden of Paradise" (and her personality), and according to Bohemian Archive in Japanese Red's Music Column, the shrine maiden in the song that accompanies the ending section is Reimu (so basically, this shrine maiden has Reimu's song and title). However, only the shrine maiden at the end is referred to as the shrine maiden of paradise. Thus it is possible that the shrine maiden seen in the first half of the story is a different person altogether.
- A "13th Shrine Maiden" signs off the Gensokyo Record in Perfect Cherry Blossom's prologue. ZUN has stated in an e-mail that the Gensokyo Record is unreliable (for one thing, the writing style of each section shows it was written by a different person each time), thus "there is a high possibility that Reimu is not the 13th Hakurei shrine maiden." (technically, this also means there is no proof that the person who wrote that section of the record is a shrine maiden at all).
- It is shown in Oriental Sacred Place that the shrine sometimes gets various donations (including wine) from unknown sources (implied to be from the outside world, as the Hakurei Shrine lies on the border) and Yukari is shown in Oriental Sacred Place to sneak yen donations into the offering box when Reimu isn't looking. *Although Reimu has successfully resolved the incidents in each major Touhou game, it's possible that her win rate throughout the actual events of the games was not 100%. Perfect Memento in Strict Sense states that Reimu likes to request rematches until she finally wins. In essence, Reimu apparently has had to use a few continues every once in a while, but she still manages to get a good ending.