If only Gradius or Ikaruga looked this cool.
Some quick background on this one: Touhou Project is a series of Japanese bullet hell shoot-em-ups developed by one-man indie studio Team Shanghai Alice. The series premise is simple: Little girls wearing hats (or other assorted hair accessories) shoot lots and lots of lasers at each other. Lots, and lots, and lots of lasers.
Touhou is infamous for having horrible character art, amazing old-school music, and the most insane fandom of anything ever created with human hands. (No, seriously.)
One of those insane fans made this video you see here to my right. Skip to about 1:20 for the action to kick in.
The video, which took over a year to make (the first part was originally posted in January 2010), depicts the final boss fight of Touhou 11: Subterranean Animism as if it were an action series instead of a top-down 2D shooter. It’s a bit slow to get started, but when it does? Hoo boy.
It’s basically the Japanese equivalent of things like Monty Oum’s Dead Fantasy or Haloid, albeit with rougher character models.
The bullet hell nature of the games comes through loud and clear in the video, which depicts the Utsuho Reiuji battle as one part Dragonball Z and two parts Macross (or Robotech, if you want to be like that). For reference, here’s what the battle actually looks like in the original game. Many of the boss’ abilities are initially rendered quite faithfully in the fan recreation, though that goes out the window about halfway in when they just start beating each other up in good ol’ fisticuffs.
It’s certainly not perfect. As I mentioned before, the quality of the character models seems a bit low in comparison to things like Haloid, though this was all done by just one guy – and considering the crazy fight choreography, I’m inclined to forgive that. It’s also a bit jarring to not have any sound effects whatsoever, which the creator says was simply a result of not having enough time (according to Google Translate, anyway).
But minor foibles aside, this is a really cool anime-style fight scene. It’s clear that over a year of hard work went into producing this video, and it paid off. Now if there was any doubt in your mind that Touhou fans were the craziest in the world, consider that doubt firmly dispelled.