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It's a beautiful first day of spring in Gensokyo. Everything is fine in this paradise, right? Cirno and friends, after making a fool of Lily White, steal a strange box buried beneath the junk in Marisa's house. Opening it, they release a sort of jelly monster that immediately consumes Rumia, bringing panic into the group who run to the Hakurei Shrine. While they request help from Reimu, the monster assumes the form of a darkened version of Rumia and begins making its way to the Bamboo Forest.
Everything either collapses or escalates from there, with schemes upon schemes and plans upon plans clashing and merging with each other. There's a reason there are so many spoiler tags below.
This Darker and Edgier Fan Fiction features some of the darkest elements of the games themselves (such as Gensokyo being filled with belligerent, distrustful maniacs), some Alternative Character Interpretations popular amongst Touhou fanfiction writers (such as the Eirin being a Mad Scientist, Yukari being a scheming Manipulative Bastard, and Yuuka being a Cute and Psycho Depraved Bisexual), and runs with it. It takes lot of time exploring the politics games of Gensokyo and just how far a youkai's mind can be screwed. Yet, it still manages some occasional funny moments, and Earn Your Happy Ending is not out of the question (much like another Touhou Dark Fic). It also uses the unused character Rin Satsuki from The Embodiment of Scarlet Devil as one the principal characters.
Imperfect Metamorphosis has a side story, IM: Rhapsody of Subconscious Desire, which began after chapter 12 of the main story. It focuses on the adventures of Mokou and Kaguya in Dream Land after their encounter with the jelly monster. Lighter and Softer than the main story, but with gruesome Cheap Deaths and self-examination.
This fic also has two one-shot prequels/Christmas Special, A Very Nineball Christmas and Over an Open Fire. A one-shot humoristic side-story titled Touhous in SPACE was done for the two-years anniversary and can be read here.
If you want to ask some questions, here is the Spacebattles thread.
See Touhou for the tropes of this universe.
Tropes contained in Imperfect Metamorphosis:
- A God Am I: Marisa, when high off of massive destructive power.
- Adaptational Badass: Kotohime. In her short canon appearance, she was an insane princess who thought she was a police officer. Now? She's a police officer who was able to arrest Marisa freaking Kirisame. Granted, Kotohime was having a very, very bad day. And she had Yukari helping her.
- Alternate Universe/Alternate Universe Fic
- Gensokyo was founded some centuries before the date in Canon.
- Yuuka found out about the existence of infinite alternate universes when her soul temporarily merged with Yukari's. After that event, she effectively knows about the different Gensokyos, the many Yuukas... She also knows about the universe we call reality.
- Ambiguous Innocence: Yuyuko acts rather childlike frequently, not seeming to understand that things like eating Mystia and forcing her to remain alive throughout entire process are wrong. Her Obfuscating Stupidity makes this even more ambiguous.
- Audience Surrogate: Yuuka's guest during The Storm chapters plays this part. It eventually revealed to be a magical construct used to talk directly to the readers.
- Batman Gambit: These story is 50% composed of Batman Gambits.
- Battle in the Center of the Mind: When Rin Satsuki want to rip off Ex-Rumia out of her head, an awesome one ensues.
- Berserk Button: Marisa and her hat.
- In chapter one:
"Play her for a fool, steal her box, shoot her in the face, all these she could forgive. But never, ever touch her hat!"
- BFG: Eirin's kappa-modified black-market Sawed-Off Shotgun.
- She later gets a whole shipment of upgraded variants off of Nitori.
- BFS: Ex-Rumia's.
- Big Damn Hero: In the last part of The Storm, we have the sudden arrival of Youmu who free Marisa from Yuuka's Combat Tentacles.
Marisa (happy): "DOUBLETROUBLE!"
- Blessed with Suck: Rin Satsuki currently has the ability to adapt to any magical attack and can absorb other people to gain their powers. Thus, she has gained fire manipulation, eternity manipulation, immortality (times two), and is just scratching the surface of Ex-Rumia's shadow powers. All this has turned her into Gensokyo enemy #1. And as Gensokyo is filled with people who won the Superpower Lottery...
- Blob Monster: Rin Satsuki
- Blood Knight
- Marisa freaking Kirisame
- Yuuka Kazami
- Blue and Orange Morality: Yuuka, which is to be expected.
- Break the Cutie:
- Break the Haughty: Yukari does this to Remilia Scarlet and Tenshi Hinanai.
- Breather Episode: Chapter 32: The Aftermath is well named.
- Broke Your Arm Punching Out Cthulhu: The overall result of the battle with Yuuka.
- Buffy-Speak: Marisa's impression of anime: "[W]hat'cha call 'em again? Those illusions with stories on that clunky screen?"
- But for Me It Was Tuesday: Reimu's reaction to Meira's insistence that she dishonored her in battle and so must suffer vengeance.
- Butt Monkey: Remilia Scarlet. No one takes her seriously after Yukari dealt with her. Dips into Jerkass Woobie after "The Storm".
- Came Back Wrong: When Mima shreds the Scuttler after Yuuka overrides it, Yuuka just brings it back...as what is essentially the plant equivalent of a cyborg.
- The Cameo: Masha Kinoko makes a brief appearance in chapter 22 to give Team 9 directions.
- Character Development: Reimu, much to her displeasure, is forced to admit that she's becoming more of a "people person".
- The Chew Toy: Lily White is Cirno gang's favorite fool and all their interactions are treated with humor, but then Rumia was consumed by a strange jelly monster. In light of the events, she decided to take her leave and only come back next spring.
- Combat Tentacles/Naughty Tentacles: Yuuka's favorite use of her vines.
- Complete Monster: In-Universe, Kazami Yuuka is treated as such - her very name frightens and disgusts people. Yukari states this reputation is well-deserved, since she used to destroy villages on a whim and it's very heavily implied she rapes and tortures people that wind up in the Garden of the Sun. And it may be because of something else about her...
- Continuity Nod: Chapter 24 has one to A Very Nineball Christmas. When Yuuka takes Team Nineball to her mansion, Daiyousei's snowglobe is among their possessions that Yuuka has brought over.
- Cool Sword: Reisen eventually finds Ex-Rumia's sword. It's described as obsidian black, with nasty-looking blades sticking out of everywhere.
- Curb Stomp Battle:
- Cute and Psycho: Yuuka smiles almost constantly, and most of the time is almost pleasant to be around. Then she kills people because they happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, were in her way, or just to make a point. She used to be a lot worse about this: Yukari said she'd murder whole villages because she'd think it'd be funny.
- Darker and Edgier/Dark Fic
- Deader Than Dead: The Kirin have access to a way of killing youkai and faeries and keeping them dead. They did this to Rin's biological parents as punishment for the scandal and treachery they performed.
- Yukari is also capable of this, by crushing a being's 'essence'. This causes the target to be incapable of reforming its body. Yuuka walks it off.
- The influence of Mykr's Sirens can prevent a youkai or divinity from regenerating from bodily disruption if there's enough of them around. Fortunately they'll come back once the Sirens have been weeded out. In ch. 39, this is the only hope for Kanako and Nitori.
- Deadly Doctor: Eirin, though supplementing her very weaponizable medical know-how with More Dakka.
- Death Seeker: Rin Satsuki, ever since her Battle in the Center of the Mind, but she doesn't realize it until Rumia figures it out herself and yells at her over it.
- Defrosting Ice Queen: Reimu, whether willing or not. Marisa was surprised about this one.
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Marisa kills Yuuka. Granted it was only one fourth of her, but it still counts.
- Disproportionate Retribution/Wicked Cultured: Yuuka, despite everyone in-universe saying she's unpredictable, has a method to her madness. She only lashes out when someone breaks etiquette. An example being when she killed the couple in the hotel room, because they screamed in terror upon seeing her instead of giving her a proper greeting. Another example being that she didn't attack any of Yukari's backup teams until they attacked her, thus breaking the rules of her engagement with Yukari.
- The Dreaded: Nearly everyone reacts to the news that Yuuka is becoming involved with abject horror at the possibility. Their reactions are entirely justified.
- Dream Land: Two examples which are overlapped with Journey to the Center of the Mind.
- Dumb Is Good: Utsuho, very childlike and naive but also the only character to befriend Flandre, and go offer condolences to Remilia (who had been rather abrasive towards her) after Flandre's death/capture.
- Dummied Out: Referenced In-Universe with a dream done by Rin Satsuki.
- Dysfunction Junction: Nearly everyone is messed up. Thankfully, we have some persons like Reimu.
- Eldritch Abomination: Yuuka is a (former?) Outer God, and her true form seems to be a flower described by H. P. Lovecraft out in space, going everywhere. Satori saw it, which caused her to blank out. Later, Yuuka explains to a guest that what Satori actually saw was but a watered-down version of Yuuka's true horrific visage, and at the height of her power, she was even nastier.
- Eloquent in Her Native Tongue: Whereas the Kappa normally speak with an accent appearing to be a bizarre fusion of Jamaican and Dutch, the conversation between Sanae and Nitori in the Kappa's language displays a ridiculous level of articulation.
- Enemy to All Living Things: The Shadow Youkai.
- Enemy Within: The Shadow Youkai.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Yuuka is an In-Universe Complete Monster, but repeatedly she tries to express her... standards:
- When she makes a promise or deal, she will go out of her way to make sure that both sides live up to it.
- To Yuyuko and Youmu:
- When she finds out that Yuyuko ate Mystia alive once, she's actually shocked and disgusted.
- She find their use of a Kirk Summation on Elly to be absolutely disgraceful.
- To Yukari:
- She outright states that there are those worse than herself out there. And considering she was once an all powerful Outer God...
- Yukari is systematically destroying any flora in an attempt to prevent Yuuka to infiltrate her little spies. She considers that it is murder.
Yuuka: "She will pay dearly for that crime."
- Yuuka does genuinely seem to care for Elly and possibly Team Nineball, remarking that outcasts should stick together.
- All of these things are mainly due to her Blue and Orange Morality.
- Evil Mentor: Mima to Marisa, causing several other characters to worry.
- Extreme Omnivore: Yuyuko. Eats everything... youkai included.
- Fallen Angel: Shinki and Sariel, as well as Azrael.
- Fan Girl: Patchouli was incredibly eager to meet Mima, having read all her books, and obsessively studied all of her theories.
- Fantastic Racism: Nearly every denizen of the Human Village has this with youkais. They shun Reimu despite her being one of their few protectors because she's friends with youkai (as opposed to, in Touhou, simply not acknowledging her efforts). They shun the GPF despite them being the first organised law enforcement agency in Gensokyo's history because they also protect youkai. And Master Sonozika outright hates youkai, especially Yukari, and anyone who associates with them under a fairly standard "all youkai are the same" mentality.
- Flash Back/Pensieve Flashback: The Storm chapters.
- Forbidden Zone: The Garden of the Sun (which, in Canon, is populated by fairies who help the garden grow by pointing them towards the sun) and a city that was nuked to Hell and back by Yukari are considered like this.
- Foregone Conclusion: The plan to kill Yuuka is being told by Yuuka herself. This is being told after the actual attempt itself.
- For Science!: Eirin's other rationalization for being such a Jerkass.
- The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You:
- In-Universe when Yukari dealt the final blow to Yuuka, Yuuka saw every single reality that we created with our imagination for just about everything.
- On our side, Yuuka reveals that the person she was talking to is the reader, and that she knows about us and a certain something that has two words and eight sylables.
- Gambit Pileup: Everyone wants to use the Shadow Youkai to their advantage, or destroy it, or somehow save face in front of everyone else. Just try to count all the different plots, gambits, and motives running in this story. And it's not over yet.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom: Subverted. Rin Satsuki had these when she was trying to make amends, after having swallowed up the wrong person.
- Grey and Gray Morality: Many sides have justifiable reasons to intervene in the conflict. Some reasons are more justifiable than others. Discussed by Reisen in Chapter 37.
- Gray and Black Morality: When everyone's not trying to stab each other in the back, there's always Ex-Rumia and Yuuka.
- Gone Horribly Wrong: Rin Satsuki is full of this. You can thank Eirin.
- Most of what Eirin has done as seen by herself. The Hourai Elixer wasn't supposed to give complete immortality, but make the user immune to disease and age. A defense program that she was involved in while still on the moon created a nearly indestructable monster that got loose and breeds too fast for it to be wiped out completely. Kaguya, upon drinking the Hourai Elixer, was supposed to bring fame and fortune to both herself and Eirin, but instead was disowned and banished to Earth because if it. Rin Satsuki is just the latest on a long list.
- Good Is Not Dumb: Byakuren.
- The Hero: Reimu, The Lazy Ace, fills this role: she assembles her team with diplomacy, and strive for a better world with heroic means. Of course, it's doesn't mean that she is the only protagonist.
- Humongous Mecha: Two of them--the Asakura sisters' Scuttler and Nitori's refurbished Hisentensoku--battle it out for the rights to capture Rin. It ends in a draw--piledriving the Scuttler caused too much wear to the Hisentensoku's legs.
- Idiot Ball: Reimu gets the bright idea that she can talk Rin Satsuki into compliance, or at least more willing to accept help. Rin Satsuki's paranoia and madness, unfortunately, just make things worse, forcing Mima to save Reimu. Taker Foxx openly admits that he's doesn't usually like this Trope unless they are well written.
- Idiot Savant: Utsuho and her nuclear fusion.
- The Infiltration: Yuuka manages to pull this off with spores.
- Innocent Innuendo: It's a misunderstanding. Really!
"Uh-huh. Only problem is that it's wicked hard even when I've only got one person inside me-"
- Interplay of Sex and Violence: Marisa finds the use of Yukari's And the Sun Rises Red Spellcard to be nearly orgasmic. Well, well, Marisa, are you cheating on your Master Spark?
- It Amused Me:
- The reason why Yuuka joined the fray, combined with Worthy Opponent and thinly-veiled lust for Team Nineball.
- Mima's justification for helping in Reimu. Interestingly enough, the "it" in question is not Rin Satsuki, as was initially apparent, but rather Reisen's ability to act as an Unwitting Instigator of Doom.
- It Got Worse: Downhill since the beginning.
- The four chapters of The Storm are basically a simple situation --a battle-- which rapidly degrades. The results and the full implications of this battle are downright impressive: Satori was mind raped, killed by Yuuka and sealed in her team's crystal, Flandre was mentally tormented by Yuuka before being killed and sealed too, Sakuya and Remilia are terribly wounded and depressed, Yuuka is an Outer God and she learned about other dimensions, Yukari's soul has been corrupted...
- Jerkass: A lot of people took a level in jerkass in this fic.
- Affable Reality Warper Yukari, who at least does what she has to do.
- Mad Scientist Eirin, who constantly treats Reisen like shit, even after fucking up her adopted daughter for minor trivialities, and quickly starts arguments over who's responsible for Ex-Rumia. Reisen calls her out on it at one point.
- Journey to the Center of the Mind: Rumia had done this in the Deep Within chapters. Kaguya, Mokou and the Shadow Youkai are doing their own one in IM: Rhapsody of Subconscious Desire.
- Kill the Cutie: Subverted, but still a reader punch. Yuuka pierces Flandre's heart with a wood stake. Thanks to Youkai Immortality, there is her essence left. And then, Yuuka seals her.
- Knight in Sour Armor: Byakuren knows that her ideals won't be quite achievable, not to mention how the rest of Gensokyo lives, yet, she doesn't renounce her ideals, living by them while accepting reality,however, she is one of the more polite examples.
- Lampshade Hanging: Well, Taker Foxx is a Troper...
- Laser-Guided Amnesia:
- Laser-Guided Karma: The tarantula youkai who harasses Cirno and gets frozen for it in chapter 4 had previously stolen Daiyousei's money and gotten her kicked out of the Youkai Market in A Very Nineball Christmas. And when he tries to get back at Cirno in chapter 15, Yuuka shows up and casually vaporizes him.
- Les Yay: Being a Touhou fanfiction, it's almost required to at least have hints of this, such as Marisa's frequent sex jokes, or Wriggle being mistaken for Mystia's lover, or Rumia admiring Kaguya and Mokou's bodies, or Yuuka's... affection towards Wriggle, or the Shadow Youkai threatening to rape Reisen as part of a To the Pain speech.
- And how can we forget this phrase Yukari said to Yuyuko:
Yukari (as soon Yuyuko carries her in her arms after the fight with Yuuka): "You…do realize…this doesn't mean…we're going steady."
"If anything, [Reimu] hoped that those two would move beyond subtext and make official such a relationship. Threatening to tell Alice whenever Marisa started to get out of line would at least make it easier to control her."
Elly (while fighting Youmu and Yuyuko): "Even in this world, where all rules are lightly enforced, there are certain predator-prey constants. Fire will burn, wolves will prey upon rabbits, scissors will beat paper, and against ghosts, Shinigami will always, always win. It's the circle of life and death."
- Lovecraftian Superpower:
- Originally, Rin can adapt (slowly) to any magical projectile. Then, at the cost of her body, she gains the power of Mega Manning. By absorbing other people in a gruesome way.
- When Yukari poisoned the ground to prevent Yuuka from growing plants in the battle field for her to exploit, Yuuka brought them in by useing herself as the carrier. Justified, due to being an Outer God, albet an extremly weakened one.
- Mad Scientist:
- Eirin, of course. She wanted to do some experiments and studies on her pet's adopted daughter. It created the Blob Monster.
- The Asakura Sisters, to a slight degree.
- Mima is hinted to be the magical version of this.
- Madness Mantra: Rin Satsuki degenerates into this, whenever someone usually Normal!Rumia even suggests that the Shadow Youkai may still be alive.
- Madwoman in the Attic: Flandre. While the source material isn't definite as to how it applies to her, in Imperfect Metamorphosis she is this trope all over, introduced singing Sweets Time Midnight while using dead rats as marionettes.
- Man Behind the Man: Azrael, or its essence, or its soul, is behind the Shadow Youkai.
- Manipulative Bastard: Reimu sees Yukari as this, and not without reason.
- Remilia tries to be this to Yukari. It doesn't work out.
- Genji was able to trick Yukari into not going after Reimu when she picked up the Idiot Ball.
- The Messiah: Byakuren.
- Mega Manning: Rin can absorb other people. By doing so, she will reproduce a combination of their bodies and can use their powers and abilities.
- Mind Rape:
- A consequence to what happened to Rin Satsuki due to the Battle in the Center of the Mind between her and Ex-Rumia.
- What happened to Satori when she looked into Yuuka's mind.
- Yuuka gets one at the end of The Storm.
- Mind Screw
- Mood Whiplash: Done at the end of chapter one. Done each time we have a silly event in the middle of a serious event.
- TakerFoxx admits that when Yuka and Yukari are out of the picture Gensokyo can be a silly place.
- Moral Myopia: Yuuka considers Yuyuko's use of psychological attacks against Elly to be unforgivable, but she did the same thing to Flandre. And what Yuuka did was about a thousand times worse.
- Mundane Utility: Alice is shocked at Mima using a pocket dimension as a vomit bucket for Marisa.
- My Greatest Failure: Reisen's is Rin's confinement.
- Mysterious Past: Mima.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Yukari calls this on Marisa for stealing the box containing the Blob Monster, and thus unleash the GPF on her. Actually, it's only a method to coerce her.
- The Nicknamer: Marisa, calling Youmu "Doubletrouble" or "Bodypillow", Yuyuko "Yugogo", Sanae "Mossy", and more.
- Non-Indicative First Episode: The first chapter is absolutely not in the same tone as the rest of the story.
- Noodle Incident: A prank Rumia pulled on Reimu. It involved noodles.
- Not Now, Kiddo: Yukari commits a truly epic one near the beginning, turning Eirin's objections into the setup for a Pre-Ass-Kicking One-Liner. This does not end well for either.
- Not-So-Omniscient Council of Bickering: The Ring Leaders. Yukari thinks she is the Reasonable Authority Figure among them.
- OC Stand In: The Dummied Out Rin Satsuki.
- Offing the Offspring: The Kirin society strictly, strictly controls who gets born when. As in, conception has to go through bureaucracy first. Literally. Rin? She wasn't just born out of misgauging; she was the result of a noble child's affair with a commoner, with the elopement occurring right when an Arranged Marriage was supposed to be finalized. And let's face it--to the Kirin, illegitimate children are a severe abomination. Despite what Reisen might have hoped, because of the layers of Things Meant to Never Happen, not only does Kirin society at large not want Rin back, they want her dead.
- Oh Crap: Everyone who faces Ex-Rumia or Yuuka has at least one of these reactions. And on a few occasions hearing the latter's name is enough to provoke one.
- Omniscient Council of Vagueness: Yukari has the urge to generate smoke and hand out hoods whenever she's with Mima and Eirin.
- One of Us: TakerFoxx. So much that he was delighted when his Fan Fiction got to the Fan Fic Recommendation page. And then got its own page.
- One-Sided Arm Wrestling: Yuuka was just playing with Ran and, after some talking, lets Ran "win", breaking Ran's arm off in the process. In fact, Ran still obtains what she has came to, but still...
- Original Character: The named Rabbit Guards, 'Tony' and Hunter.
- Our Angels Are Different: With a whole explanation of why they are different.
- Pet the Dog: Two important antagonists, Yuuka and Elly regularly get some sweet scenes together.
- Person of Mass Destruction: Rin Satsuki
- Pinned Down
- Yukari & Co. tried this on Rin Satsuki at the Battle of Eientei. It didn't work.
- Tried again on Yuuka Kazami. Not good.
- Please Kill Me If It Satisfies You: Rin Satsuki has shades of this after the Battle in the Center of the Mind. Turns out she's a Death Seeker.
- Police Are Useless: Played With. Kotohime and the GPF are kinda serious and 'efficient', in spite of gathering some eccentric characters, but they have to deal with people like Marisa and Yuuka.
- Porn Stash: Team Nine at first thinks this is what's inside the crystal box. Later, it turns out Marisa also thought this was how Patchouli would be hiding her porn. In ch. 34, it turns out Sanae has her own stash (whether portraying men, women, or both is not revealed)...or did, until Suwako noticed it.
- The Power of Love: Invoked.
"It is amazing, the sort of things people will do for love," Yukari murmured. She brought the teacup to her lips and slowly sipped the steaming liquid. "Even the proudest, the most uncontrollable, the most erratic of creatures can be swayed by its power. Mima is no different."
—Chapter 27: Wheels Within Wheels
- Promotion to Parent: Reisen in the backstory.
- The Protagonist/Deuteragonist: The main characters are Rumia, Reimu Hakurei, Yukari Yakumo and Rin Satsuki.
- Rape as Drama: It's heavily implied (if not outright stated) Yuuka's raped several people before via placing substances in their tea. Wriggle knows this first-hand, apparently. If that's not enough, Yuuka also briefly plays with the idea of raping Kotohime while the latter is unconscious, only to decide against it when she starts to wake up.
- She also loves children "in more ways than one".
- Satan a.k.a Lucifer: Implied to be the leader of the Angels that rebelled. Azrael was implied to be almost as bad as it was, but was too busy with killing everything it could to take control itself.
- Science Is Wrong: If you ask Reimu, in any case. And, this being Gensokyo and all, she might be right. Blame Eirin.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Lily White, upon seeing how badly the reception to her announcing "IT'S SPRING" as well as the attacks by Ex-Rumia, decides to try again next year, hopefully by then everything will have calmed down.
- Sealed Evil in a Can
- The Blob Monster was this before being released by Team Nine. Almost an Inverted Trope, because Rin was more of a Sealed Woobie In A Can but was sealed for being dangerous.
- The Shadow Youkai is a textbook example. As soon as the story is explained Yukari is forced to defend her decision to "only" seal it.
- Self-Destruct Mechanism: Okuu's Third Leg has one. A very polite one.
- Sociopathic Hero/Nominal Hero: Mima, not quite having gotten over her Evil Overlord tendencies but still firmly on the heroes' (or, at least, Marisa's) side. Would easily qualify for Token Evil Teammate, except that her side has some other very morally grey characters. Much to Reimu's dismay, Marisa takes after her in this aspect, if her encounter with Kotohime is any indication.
- Shoo Out the Clowns: Lily White has decided to get out of there and only come back next year. Cirno's gang appears sporadically, depending where we are on the Sliding Scale of Silliness Versus Seriousness.The more they interact with Yuuka, the more their apparition are near the Seriousness end.
- Despite this trope being in effect, there are still many good jokes to be found in the entirety of the story and its spin-offs, lightening the mood every now and then.
- Shout-Out: Some to popular Touhou memes and/or other works.
- In chapter three:
"...she [Reimu's mother] had the thing with the guy with the killing notebook, then that mind-controlling revolutionary, and then yet another genocidal girl, this one with invisible arms, and the list goes on."
- A Harry Potter reference in chapter five.
- Taker Foxx is a major fan of Neil Gaiman. He even throws in a blink-and-miss-it reference to American Gods in Chapter 10.
- Yukari, during the second part of The Storm chapter, goes "Clever girl..."
- Yuuka's separated forms are described to have whipfists, hammerfists...
- The Storm, last part:
"[Yukari has] not been this roughed up since her encounter with that Ellimist fellow who had fell out of that black hole two centuries ago."
"Maybe one the humanoids? Like Zalgo? No, that doesn't make sense. The Operator? No, that slender fellow's also accounted for. The Rake? Unlikely, but he may know something. Make sure to look him up."
- In Chapter 32, two Eientei guards are named Sayaka and Hitomi.
- Chapter 35: Well, didn't expect Yukari to bring up the The Other Wiki, but then again. Yukari's gonna Yukari.
- Chapter 37: Yuugi mentions that Suika's rebuilt gourd can make mead, just like "those fellows with the horned helmets and the weaponized shouting"
- Sliding Scale of Silliness Versus Seriousness: A really serious fic... but we can laugh, sometimes.
- Combined with the witty writing one might sometimes forget this is a dark fic.
- Something They Would Never Say: A big part of how Reimu catches on to the fact that "Yukari" is actually an impostor in ch. 39; since when does Yukari speak in such a grandiose fashion?!
- Speak of the Devil: Murasa uses this expression when Reimu shows up. Reimu is not amused.
- Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Yukari and Yuuka. Even if Yukari is one the main characters and Yuuka a chaotic element who only want to wreck havoc in the story, their interactions and confrontations have taken more and more screentime in the different chapters, cumulating into The Storm. After that, Yukari's soul corruption and Yuuka's injuries will take them out of the story for quite some times, and the plot was refocused on Rin and Rumia.
- Straight Man: Youmu takes this role in Chapter 27.
- Super-Powered Evil Side: Ex-Rumia, AKA the Shadow Youkai.
- Talking the Monster to Death: The ghosts Yuyuko and Youmu win their fight against the shinigami Elly via a Kirk Summation.
- Tarot Troubles: During Rumia's Journey to the Center of the Mind, she runs into Mima, who proceeds to read her past, present, and future, as well as that of several other characters (implied to be Rin, Yukari, Reimu and Reisen) through Tarot Cards.
- Technical Pacifist: Byakuren, wavering between this and Actual Pacifist.
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: The entire story.
- Rumia is forced to stay within Rin Satsuki and sees every collaboration with her as this.
- Reimu is gathering allies to achieve her objective, but these allies don't get along very well.
- There's enough animosity between the Ringleaders (especially against Yukari and Mima) to ensure that nothing at all is likely to get done in anything less than an end-of-the-world scenario and even then only with difficulty. Other than Yuyuko, Satori and her own Shikigami almost all of the people Yukari collaborates with at any point have either one or both sides at best thinking ill of the other side. At worst actually betraying each other. And Satori's mostly cooperating for personally pragmatic reasons, to give her and her pets an exemption from being drafted for a task she thinks is worse.
- And the crown jewel of the story's Teeth-Clenched Teamwork is the group Yukari drafts to kill Yuuka--one pair is genuinely on her side but is partly there to keep an eye on the least trustworthy combatant, one team is pragmatically cooperating, one team was blackmailed into it and their leader is pissed off at everyone who wasn't, one member was hunted down and offered it as an alternative to prison, then agreed willingly just because she wants to fight, and one member is royally pissed at Yukari and is only there because of another teammate. Fortunately the plan involves very little interaction between the teams and the way it goes Off the Rails involves even less.
- There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Eventually Subverted. Someone reviewing the "Yuuka assassination team" could say that Yukari is going a little "overkill" when she recruited Flandre Scarlet, Okuu and Yuyuko among others persons of mass destruction, but, know what ? It's not enough. When fighting Yuuka, let's say that a big Wave Motion Gun is the least you must bring. Eventually, the contained power of the Sun itself is not enough for killing her.
- Title Drop: A genuine one is done in Chapter 37: All the Right Reasons.
Mima: "Every second she runs free, countless lives teeter on the brink, all thanks to her imperfect metamorphosis!"
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Invoked by Mima on Reisen.
- Vampires Are Sex Gods: Discussed Trope by Yuuka Kazami to Remilia Scarlet, while talking about the vampire kind.
"...and don't get me started on your reputation as godlike lovers. It seems that whenever you're brought up, people are either deathly afraid of you or they want you to throw them down and jump their bones. Sometimes both."
- Villain Protagonist: Yukari Yakumo is a main character beside Rumia, Rin and Reimu. The "villain" part comes from her conviction that the safety of Gensokyo overrides everything else.
- Walking Wasteland: Even touching Ex-Rumia is a risk of death, and is certain death to beings below a certain level of power.
- Utsuho, after her Third Leg was broken. Only temporarily, though.
- Wave Motion Gun: And the Sun Rises Red.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Yukari, with emphasis on Extreme. Views on exactly how extreme or sympathetic she is varies among readers, but she is certainly capable of some very morally grey acts for (in her mind) the greater good of Gensokyo.
- As an example, Yukari pulls a (fully crewed) oil tanker off Earth and blows it up as a weapon against Yuuka.
- Worthy Opponent: Yuuka sees Yukari as this and starts harassing her and interfering with her plans, partially out of this and partially because it's amusing to her.
- Gambit Roulette: Yukari does this with basically everyone. The author even mentions it himself.
- Year Inside, Hour Outside: Mima has a spell to this effect of the 'Time Stands Still outside' variety. She can use it to have extensive conversations.
Tropes contained only in IM: Rhapsody of Subconscious Desire:
- Asteroids Monster: Kaguya herself.
- Calling the Old Man Out: Kaguya's trial in chapter 6, though contrary to her expectations, the dream goes after her (long since settled) Gayngst rather than her acquisition of immortality. She is unperturbed, to say the least.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Mokou's and Kaguya's are explored.
- Decapitation Presentation: Mokou's brother, in a flashback.
- Homage: IM: Rhapsody of Subconscious Desire doesn't only make shout outs. In chapter 4, the group meets Zerg. Yes. Fucking Zerg.
- Femme Fatalons: EX-Rumia uses these to horrific effect when separating a rabbit guard and his face.
- Foot Focus: Noticeably, all three main characters go barefoot through the majority of the story.
- Good Thing You Can Heal: The maiming and regenerating of our immortal protagonists simply does not end, and they're so entirely used to it that they don't even care (many minor injuries aren't even noticed until they physically impede whatever the victim was doing). The one with the least regenerative power suffers the least injury, however.
- Journey to the Center of the Mind: Literally, as that's where Rumia thinks they need to go to get out.
- Kill It with Fire: Aside from Mokou's usual shenanigans, the villagers employ this tactic against her in turn.
- Off with His Head: Several accounts, though only the one listed above sticks. Notably, it takes longer to come back from than most deaths.
- Really Gets Around: Kaguya apparently had this reputation among the rabbit tribes.
- Recycled in Space: Again, lunar sand worm.
- Remembered I Could Fly: In chapter 4, Ex-Rumia and Mokou are going down a steep path, and her companion has to remind Mokou that she doesn't have to descend on foot. Justified in that Mokou's flight had been disabled before, on two separate occasions (in chapters 1 and 2).
- She does it again during the very next encounter, much to her embarassment.
- Sand Worm: The dreadful velmick is a bioengineered sand worm. A lunar sand worm.
- Shout-Out: In chapter 2:
"What does she think she's doing?" she asked herself. "Does she expect to find rupees or something?"
- In chapter 5:
"--there would be no rescues courtesy of messianic lions or gallant warrior mice.
- Token Evil Teammate: Kaguya explains this to Mokou, describing Ex-Rumia as this, although none of the group are exactly paragons of virtue.
- Wrong Genre Savvy: Kaguya takes the whole Journey to the Center of the Mind as a JRPG. Although she might be questioning that after chapter 4.
Tropes contained only in A Very Nineball Christmas:
- Christmas Special
- Karma Houdini: Averted. The tarantula youkai who steals Daiyousei's money and has her kicked out of the Youkai Market later harasses Cirno and gets frozen for it in Imperfect Metamorphosis chapter 4. And when he tries to get back at Cirno in Imperfect Metamorphosis chapter 15, Yuuka shows up and casually vaporizes him.
Tropes contained only in Touhous in SPACE:
- Shout-Out: It's basically one long shout out to Star Trek.
- Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny: The crew of the Earth Spirits VS Legate Yukari Yakumo's flagship.