Tsubakura in Brilliant Pagoda or Haze Castle
|Abilities||Manipulating ink & enjoying that which is enjoyable|
|Occupation||Youkai exterminator, Protector of Mugenri, Inventor|
Tsubakura Enraku (燕楽 玄鳥 Enraku Tsubakura) is a young scientist revered as a prodigy. They're known as a highly capable, experienced, and studious scientist, usually fond of researching and creating new weapons and spell cards. They are one of the main protagonists of the Len'en Project and a playable character in all games.
- 1 General Information
- 2 Background Information
- 3 Appearances
- 4 Relationships
- 5 Gallery
- 6 Spell Cards
- 7 Additional Information
- 8 Fandom
- 9 Official Sources
- 10 References
Tsubakura has always been a young prodigy. They were talented enough to have their own research team and lab, in which they spent day and night researching and building weapons, in addition to receiving occasional sponsorship. However, one day Tsubakura tried to make a nuclear weapon, which resulted in a terrible accident. Their mother died shortly after, presumably (albeit this is not outright confirmed) due to this accident. Because of their strong connections to Mugenri, the priest Tsurubami Senri decided to choose Tsubakura as their successor and spirited them away to Mugenri. They currently live at the Senri Shrine.
Ever since arriving in Mugenri, Tsubakura had been collecting samples from various youkai for use in their research. One such application of their research was the technology that helped Hooaka Shitodo recover their right arm in the prologue of Brilliant Pagoda or Haze Castle.
Tsubakura is very straightforward and aloof with everyone. They can be condescending, as if trying to make fool of others, and often have difficulties expressing sympathy. They enjoy lazing about without a care for the incidents occurring in Mugenri, not doing their job as the priest of the Senri Shrine unless forced to by Jinbei. They're a habitual trickster, as shown by, for example, getting Jinbei to drink ink as a prank or making a fake evil-warding charm for Souko Shirami. Their personality has lots of contradictions, and people think their words and actions have no integrity. To put it simply, they're not understood well.
They're also very knowledgeable and always give incoherent replies. Because of their incredibly high intelligence, they can come across as conceited, impatient and condescending at times to those not sharp enough to follow their explanations immediately. They are good friends with Yabusame somehow, much to their disbelief. Tsubakura lives in Mugenri due to their position, but they'd like to go back to the Outside World at least once.
- Using technology
Tsubakura specializes in technological weapons. They control nanomachine-like objects that resemble ink, and use them as weapons. They also perform their experiments on themself, such as remodelling their body structure so that they can't feel the cold. Using their scientific knowledge and aptitude for technology, they have created various spell cards and weapons.
- Manipulating ink
It's stated that Tsubakura can control ink and use it as a weapon (such as ink laser-rays or ink blades), but correctly speaking, it's not ink but actually an unknown technology, possibly using microbes or nanotechnology.
- Enjoying that which is enjoyable
They have the ability to quickly find out about anything interesting. However, for currently unknown reasons, they purposefully don't use this ability. This plays into their condescending attitude most of the time.
- Superior Flight Speed
While Tsubakura's current ability to flight is thanks to Mugenri's dimensional properties, they do posses the potential to become one of the fastest flyers in all of Mugenri if they got serious, based on the impressive flight speed of the swallow, Tsubakura's bird namesake. In fact, Tsubakura's flying speed without anything weighing them down can get up to 2600km/h, which is a little over Mach 2. Interestingly, Tsubakura has apparently had experience with flight even prior to the events of Evanescent Existence, possibly due to having travelled to a dimension which allows flight.
Tsubakura's design, down to the color scheme and large hat, is an homage to Daijin from Emergency Everyday, the predecessor to Len'en as we know it today. Their technological prowess and ability to "enjoy that which is enjoyable" might've also been inspired by Daijin's tinkering with game consoles and ability to enjoy games, but this is not nearly as evident.
Their full name is Tsubakura Enraku (燕楽 玄鳥). Their given name, Tsubakura (玄鳥), is the Japanese word for "swallow", a type of bird. The kanji in their name spells out a different word for swallow, and was probably chosen because it literally means "mysterious bird". Their last name, Enraku (燕楽) means "partying", most likely a reference to their ability of "enjoying that which is enjoyable", and it also uses a kanji for swallow.
JynX created a poll on Twitter to revealing some information about the Len'en Project, with one option having a secret meaning to Tsubakura's name revealed. Because it received the least votes, JynX took pity on it and revealed the secret anyway: Each kanji in the name has a hidden meaning of either "black" or "white". The kanji 楽 and 鳥 contain the 白 kanji in them, giving them the meaning of "white". The kanji 玄 has a nanori reading of くろ (kuro), giving it the meaning of "black". The 燕 kanji is the most complex of the four: Parts of it can be taken to form the kanji for "north" (北), which then plays into the philosophy of Wu Xing: The element that is associated with north is water, and the color that is associated with water is black.
Paired with Yabusame's last name (Houlen, as in Len'en), theirs might also be reflected in the name of the game series: Enraku, as in Len'en.
They are dressed in clothing modeled after many different types and genus of swallows, such as their red ribbon-tie resembling the red throats of most Hirundo swallows. Their black and white vest is strangely designed, being long on the sides and not covering the abdomen or back. This may be designed based on the black chests some swallows have, namely the black-collared and white-throated swallows. They wear two white bell sleeves on their arms. Underneath the vest is a sleeveless white dress shirt, with coat tails modeled after those of a swallow, a green skirt, and a purple-blue cloth tied around their waist. The cloth and skirt resemble the colors found on vibrant Tachycineta swallows, golden and violet-green swallow specifically. Although, most Tachycineta have at least the bluish color.
Tsubakura wears an oversized, poofy black top hat. It has a dark red interior and band, sharing the same color as the ribbon-tie. This hat gains an eye resembling the Eye of Senri after the events of Evanescent Existence. It's implied that this eye is a physical, 'living' eye, not just a symbol. Yabusame says that the hat with the eye was borrowed from Tsurubami, although it is unclear whether this means that it is a different hat or the same hat with the eye added to it. Yabusame also compares it to the Tasouken, claiming that they are both sacred treasures. However, its function remains unclear. Additionally, the red on the hat may be inspired by the red-feathered heads of many swallows, such as the greater and lesser striped swallows.
For shoes, they wear dark geta over white socks closed with buttons.
Because of the color scheme, they're occasionally called the "Loafing Monochrome". Tsurubami Senri had impersonated them during the events of Evanescent Existence, making the disguise by using a talisman to melt their clothes and then reshape them. Interestingly, Tsurubami and the hat have a slightly duller eye color than usual in their disguise despite the spell not affecting their body.
- Evanescent Existence
The priest Tsurubami Senri spirited away Tsubakura, the Shitodo siblings, Kurohebi and Clause to the land of Mugenri. After placing them in different spaces to train their newfound abilities, Tsurubami took Tsubakura's appearance and started to pick fights with the outsiders in order to test their strength. Worried, their friend Yabusame uses their power to cross over dimensions to search for Tsubakura.
Because of this impersonator, you don't actually play as Tsubakura during the main scenario of the game, but instead Tsurubami Senri. The real Tsubakura is playable in the Extra stage. There are various clues dropped around the game which imply Tsurubami's true identity during the main events. One example is the talismans they use in their fight against Yabusame, which foreshadows Tsurubami, since Tsubakura uses technology.
Since their impostor and Yabusame have defeated everyone, Tsubakura crosses into Mugenri with ease. They enter the sun that casts a shadow, which is a portal to the Senri Shrine. Tsubakura barges into the shrine and finds Tsurubami. They want a strong person to replace them, and a curious Tsubakura defeats them and agrees into cooperating with them. When Yabusame comes, Tsubakura encourages Tsurubami into attacking them, much to the priest's surprise. The priest was considering Tsubakura to be their replacement, but after witnessing Yabusame's potential, they hand both of them their job as a youkai exterminator. After that, Yabusame and Tsubakura settle in Mugenri.
- Earthen Miraculous Sword
Upset upon losing at rock-paper-scissors to Yabusame, Tsubakura is forced to resolve the incident, but decides to finish the mission quickly. They encounter Jun Amanomiya, a rain youkai who then proceeds to have a chat about how troublesome rain is. Because Jun's powers are similar to the incident, Tsubakura defeats them to see if they're the mastermind, though it turns out not to be the case. Shortly after, a slug youkai called Shou Amanomori attacks Tsubakura in revenge for having defeated Jun, but they're defeated and the human teases them about how the sun will return to Mugenri. After dealing with Lumen Celeritas, a youkai that claims to be an old hero, and Hibaru Kokutenshi, a youkai salaryman who attacks Tsubakura in a poor attempt to ask for loans; Tsubakura then finds themself at a ritual site, where Adagumo no Yaorochi and their partner Sukune Katano are. The two were gathering the spiritual energy of the weather to restore a replica of the Tasouken sword, which is actually the Sword of Kusanagi. Due to poor communication, Yaorochi mistakenly assumes that Tsubakura is there to take their sword away and the two fight. However, after Yaorochi is defeated, the sword attacks Tsubakura on its own.
Fortunately, the clay vessel was too much for the Tasouken and it stops. After everything was cleared, Sukune reveals that the clay replica is actually a sword-shaped bottle opener, much to Yaorochi's chagrin. In the end, Tsubakura drinks some sake with them.
Days later, the clouds return to Mugenri. Drunk after a party with their new friends at the shrine, Tsubakura goes to investigate. After dealing with an empowered Lumen Celeritas, they encounter the orochi Adagumo no Saragimaru, Yaorochi's younger sibling. They want revenge for having defeated their sibling and ruining their happiness, so they lured them into a trap. When the orochi mentions the word family, Tsubakura is filled with nostalgia for the Outside World, but attacks them anyway. After Saragimaru is defeated, Tsubakura invites them to drink together.
- Reactivate Majestical Imperial
There is a long winter that is out of season and a sudden flow of spirits, so Jinbei forces Yabusame and Tsubakura to head out. Shortly after, Yaorochi and Sukune visit the shrine and they decide which team will resolve the incident.
After dealing with a few youkai in search for answers, they arrive in the Frost Cavern, where they bump into Yaorochi and Sukune, who tell the humans to go home as they are more interested in the mastermind's identity rather than the long winter. Yabusame and Tsubakura ask them to resolve the incident together, but the youkai refuse. Offended, they defeat them and continue their way. They bump into a strange road, where Taira no Fumikado was trying to collect spirits for their resurrection ceremony. After defeating them, they find out that all the spirits are attracted to a certain location. Finally, they end up in the Withered Grove, where they find a newborn chimera soul, who is the avatar of the soul-eater flower Harujion. Yabusame gives them the name of Shion. Shion can sense people's minds by smelling them, and is particularly interested in Tsubakura because they have a blank, neutral soul, wanting to consume it. Realizing that the Harujion was causing the long winter, the heroes fight them in a danmaku duel.
In the end, Yabusame and Tsubakura return to the Senri Shrine, bringing Shion with them, much to Jinbei's chagrin. Shion eats some of Tsubakura's soul (lifespan), but they don't care much about it and brush off Jinbei's concerns.
It's revealed that the spirits came to Mugenri because of a hole in the Mugenri Barrier that separates the land from the Outside World. The hole was caused by Lumen, during the Clouds Incident and Tenkai Zuifeng was tasked to repair the hole, but it is taking too long. Yabusame and Tsubakura go to confront Tenkai, while the latter is curious if the two are strong enough to replace Tsurubami as protectors of Mugenri. On the way back home, they are ambushed by Sese Kitsugai, a youkai they had defeated at the beginning of the story. Sese absorbs the spirits the heroes had been recollecting and transforms into a much more powerful form, but they are still defeated and the spirits leave their body.
- Brilliant Pagoda or Haze Castle
The Shitodo siblings were attacked by a mysterious person, so they go to the Senri Shrine to Hooaka's injuries and inform Yabusame and Tsubakura about the words "The mirror of Heaven shall split". Tsubakura mistakes the term and believes it will rain free sake, so they drag Yabusame and a released Shion to go with them.
In all routes, Tsubakura and the others deal with a few youkai and some of their human aquitances, attacking everyone they can find in order to get information for the sake. Everyone else warns them about an upcoming war between the Dragonfly Army and the Capital City, but Tsubakura and the others don't pay attention to it. At the end of the Brilliant Pagoda or Haze Castle routes, Tsubakura, Yabusame and Shion do find out more about the war and they're scolded for it (since they could have prevented it instead of playing around and searching for sake). In the end, they meet Suzumi Kuzu, the one responsible for attacking the Shitodos earlier that day and who said the words about the "The mirror of Heaven shall split" in order to lure Tsubakura. Suzumi reveals their intention to make Tsubakura's life a living hell and after a hard fight, Suzumi erases their memories again. Yabusame is the only one who remember the whole affair, but is quickly dismissed by Shion and Tsubakura, believing that Yabusame is just being ditzy as usual.
- Book of the Cafe
Tsubakura has been friends with Yabusame Houlen for a long time, but with Yabusame being gullible and slow, Tsubakura tends to pick on them a lot. They are often annoyed at Yabusame's airhead personality and are outright stated to dislike them in their A World That Isn't Fantasy profile, but they still often interact with each other and team up on occasions.
Kuroji and Tsubakura dislike each other because of their arbitrary ways of thinking, with their interactions consisting of polite insults and sarcastic remarks. Kuroji considers themself inferior to Tsubakura, believing that Tsubakura is always ahead of them. However, perhaps due to knowing each other for a long time, Kuroji is worried about Tsubakura at times and outright praises their talents on numerous occassions. They also trusted Tsubakura enough to let them treat Hooaka's injury in the prologue of Brilliant Pagoda or Haze Castle.
Jinbei & Tsurubami Senri
Jinbei is a familiar of the Senri Shrine while Tsurubami Senri is the priest of the shrine. Tsubakura seems to respect Jinbei a lot and calls them "Sensei", but they're also prone to Tsubakura's pranks. Despite Tsubakura's anger towards Tsurubami for impersonating them, they volunteered to replace Tsurubami as the current youkai exterminator, along with Yabusame.
Shion and Tsubakura are generally on friendly terms. Shion becomes very attached to Tsubakura after noticing that they have a neutral soul and wants to consume it. Tsubakura dislikes Shion's clingy and childish attitude and considers them an annoyance. Nonetheless, Tsubakura allows Shion to consume their soul on a daily basis.
Tsubakura is one of Kurohebi's creators. Tsubakura is the only person to be addressed by Kurohebi with an honorific, and they outright call Tsubakura their parent. Although Kurohebi has been ordered to kill Tsubakura by Suzumi Kuzu, who likely also played a role in their creation, they seem reluctant to do the deed.
Suzumi has an unhealthy obsession with Tsubakura and mockingly calls them "Tsubakura-sama", teasing and threatening them all the while. In the past, while they were in the Outside World, Suzumi had tried to kill Tsubakura several times, endangering Yabusame in the process. In return, Tsubakura is afraid of Suzumi's sadistic tendencies and campy personality. Suzumi is overly delighted by tormenting Tsubakura and wants to cause as much suffering as it takes for them to feel the same despair as on the day of their mother's death.
While they haven't been shown to interact directly thus far, Hoojiro presumably worked with Tsubakura before their disappearance - she knows of a one-year "deadline" set by Tsubakura and their research into Mugenri, and she's allowed to travel on the Wings of Magritte, which Tsubakura seemingly has to personally allow. Hoojiro appears to place trust in Tsubakura, believing that her siblings will do fine with them around.
Tsubakura on the title screen of Earthen Miraculous Sword
Silhouette of Tsubakura on the title screen of Reactivate Majestical Imperial
Tsubakura in the background of the title screen of Brilliant Pagoda or Haze Castle
Teaser image of Monochrome World, showing Tsuba
Tsubakura in Book of the Cafe
- In Evanescent Existence, Tsurubami as Tsubakura has curly hair and is seen smiling. However in the Extra Stage, when the real Tsubakura appears, they have straight hair and are seen frowning. The real Tsubakura does not appear until the Extra Stage.
- Tsubakura's face is shown on all of the game icons on the .exe files.
- Their sudden disappearance to Mugenri along with the rest of the Evanescent Existence cast is known to have made a huge news story in the Outside World.
- Tsubakura is capable of speaking English, having understood, and responded to Tsurubami Senri using the language during their encounter in Evanescent Existence's Extra Stage.
- Interestingly, Tsubakura hints that they have had some connection to shrine work prior to the events of Evanescent Existence, although this was not elaborated upon.
- "In This World ~ Monochrome eye", Tsubakura's Evanescent Existence theme, starts in the key of E-flat minor and changes to A minor. In accordance with the song's title, the former scale uses all the black keys of a piano, while the latter includes solely the white keys.
- Tsubakura shares the same spell background with Yabusame, which features silhouettes of Asian Stubtails/Sparrows, Swallows, Phoenixes and Cranes. The bird names of Yabusame/Suzumi, Tsubakura, Yabusame and Tsurubami respectively.
- Evanescent Existence: Tsubakura Enraku's Official Profile
- Brilliant Pagoda or Haze Castle: Scoundrel Team's Neutral Scenario - Shion
- Brilliant Pagoda or Haze Castle: Scoundrel Team's Neutral Scenario - Jun Amanomiya
- Earthen Miraculous Sword: Prologue
- Brilliant Pagoda or Haze Castle: Shrine Team's Haze Scenario - Stage 1
- Brilliant Pagoda or Haze Castle: Shrine Team's Extra+α Scenario
- JynX's Twitter: "In addition, Tsubakura can fly extremely fast. They'd even be one of the fastest characters within Mugenri if they got serious."
JynX's Twitter: "Well that's because the swallow is good at flight. There are several contenders for the fastest bird but some people suggest the white-throated needletail. They're pretty distant to the swallow though."
- Peing: 9 February 2019
- JynX's Twitter: "Yabusame and Tsubakura had flown even before coming to Mugenri, that's a fun fact."
JynX's Twitter: "You can or can't fly based on the dimension that you are currently in. After all, the rules that govern flight are different in each dimension."
- Earthen Miraculous Sword: Tsubakura's Scenario - Stage 1
- Earthen Miraculous Sword: Tsubakura's Bad Ending
- JynX's YouTube: Len'en Café α Version, Battle Screen Part.01
- A World That Isn't Fantasy: False Spirit Account - Tsubakura Enraku
- Brilliant Pagoda or Haze Castle: Secret Team's Neutral Scenario - Kurohebi
- Brilliant Pagoda or Haze Castle: Scoundrel Team's Neutral Scenario - Suzumi Kuzu
- Interview with JynX (2017): Q77
- Evanescent Existence: Tsubakura's Extra Scenario