Welcome to bullet hell – 200,000 subscriber celebration!
Since 1996, a one-man development “team” based out of Japan has released a Guinness World Record-holding 24 games of the most eye-corroding craziness that you can possibly imagine with your feeble human brain. ♪ In January of 2014, I became really fascinated by something called Black MIDI, so I made a video about it. Have you ever been listening to a normal song and thought “I wish this normal song had 280 million notes and took up 1.1 terabytes of data and was literally unplayable on any computer” of course you’re only human ♪ That video, wherein I explore a style of music that seeks to cripple both your sound and graphics card while desperately needing a shave and A haircut was on the front page of reddit for like a minute and is by far The most popular thing that is on this channel. And it’s obvious why it’s just so catchy and Accessible ♪ That was “Jingle Bells” In that video, I delved a bit into the biggest influence on black MIDI The games of Team Shanghai Alice known as the Touhou project And since This Exists just past 200,000 subscribers I thought the coolest thing we could do to celebrate would be to delve further into the most popular video that we’ve ever made And so, we now travel to bullet hell, together ♪ In 1996, Amusement Makers, a group of Tokyo University students, published the very first game from one of its members for the Japanese PC 98 The very wordily named “Highly Responsive to Prayers” ♪ This was the first Touhou game The first of 24 The initial five were fairly unheralded and for the PC 98 But they have grown into a defining piece of the Danmaku, or “Bullet-hell,” genre Bullet-hell might sound like a very extreme genre name until you spend a few seconds looking at gameplay footage ♪ For most western audiences, this aesthetic violence might be where your familiarity ends Touhou is really just a traditional arcade shoot-’em-up on bath salts Not so far removed from the genre-defining 1961 “Spacewar!” A rollercoaster of excitement A non-stop thrill ride A one-way ticket to being crazy stoked I have no idea what happened there But I do know that “Spacewar!” — the exclamation is in the title — was one of the first computer games And a truly revolutionary and important creation And from Spacewar we get Space Invaders and Galaxian and Galaga Sweet Galaga, I had spent so much money on you Jyunya Ota was nineteen years old when he took on the moniker of ZUN, package all these influences, and created the Touhou project Today working under the team name of Team Shanghai Alice He’s working all by his lonesome. Doing everything from the programming, to the music That’s one dude making more than one of these games a year for the last 20 years ♪ Touhou project games are also dojin games A particular strain of Japanese independent games made by hobbyists, for fun, rather than profit They usually borrow characters from other games or anime And generally don’t spawn the sort of dedicated crazy fan bases of more mainstream games with the exception of Touhou ♪ The music of Touhou, all created by the same dude is the biggest influence on the growing black MIDI scene that we know a love from the beginning of this Video But that’s just the tip of the proverbial bullet-spewing iceberg, There’s merch, there’s cosplay, there’s erotic fan fiction and art And, because of the open source approach to the characters, there are so many fan games ♪ That’s Touhou Mario, and you will likely not be surprised to learn that there is a Touhou Megaman hack Would Touhoumon surprise you? What’s so incredible about the explosive popularity of the Touhou Project is that it’s been completely owned and driven by the fanbase There’s no studio pushing these games, there isn’t a PR company getting to music into the right hands And yet, here we are There’s cons for the game There’s millions of views on thousands of remixes on this website All because someone made something they loved and put it out into the world without trying to own every single piece of it It’s kind of like YouTube Be sure to subscribe for new episodes of this exists every week The best thing about all of this is that, for every company spending millions to watch a video You create communities around the channels that you find and you love It’s organic and therefore it means more you helped to make it So what I’m saying is I am an animated laser shooting Japanese girl And I am super stoked that you helped to get us to 200,000 subscribers ♪ What do you think? Is the Touhou Project community like the YouTube community? Let us know in the comments And this episode, as caffeinated as it obviously is, has the perfect Sponsor: Munity Coffee A subscription-based coffee service that is perfect for people like me who cannot function without like eight cups of coffee a day But Munity also offers something that I really like Which is an opportunity to support organizations in your community with every purchase So in addition to choosing which kind of coffee you want every month, so Colombian or Light Rose, pre-ground or whole bean, or whatever You also choose an organization to give a percentage of your purchased to Right now, they’re working with some great organizations like Fair Trade USA, The Fisher House Foundation, and the Animal Welfare Institute So for every cup of coffee that you drink to stay awake to watch more of This Exists’ videos because they’re awesome You’re also helping military families or dogs It’s a great way to stay stocked and do something good in the process So make sure to check out the link and the code in the description Because the first five people to use it get their coffee for free which is a bomb deal Thanks so much to Munity Coffee for being a sponsor of the 200,000 Subscriber special Subscribe for new episodes every week. Be excellent to each other [Outro Music]