Yay, a Touhou thread! /o/
Having recently gotten into the series, I’ll answer these questions as I go, since I don’t have solid opinions on everything Touhou yet.
I’ve played 1-14 of the whole-numbered titles, and 7.5 of the decimal titles. I don’t have any definite favorites, but the one I played the most is Imperishable Night.
Technically my first encounter with Touhou was with a Let’s Play of Touhouvania and its sequel, but it didn’t ignite any sort of interest in me, even though I watched the entire thing. As to how I actually got into Touhou…
I regularly obtain game and anime music from a site whose name I will not disclose for the sake of upholding the rules. I’m not a major hoarder of music, since my computer can only hold so much gigagigas, so I try and pick out any brands that look familiar or with interesting covers. I came across an album that looked like this:
I knew next to nothing about Touhou at the time, so my first impression was ‘A loli playing piano? Sign me up!’ and I downloaded the album. The music that met my ears was a sound to cherish, sixteen wonderful arrangements of various pieces of music from various Windows Era Touhou games. I still listen to the album to this day, and one day I intend to purchase it for myself.
As to how I found the games, well…after listening to the album, I was curious about Touhou’s music. I went to the PC-98 soundtracks first, and I loved them to death, especially the first two games’ OSTs. I found it a little hard to jump immediately into the Windows Era of music, so I resolved to play the games in chronological order. I found it interesting to see how the series progressed in terms of graphics, game mechanics and musical quality.
Marisa, hands down. I would say Reimu because I’m a complete casual, but Marisa offers some pretty unique shot types and her personality, as light as it is, is pretty entertaining to boot. I like her character design, too. :3
Marisa aside, I think Yumemi Okazaki left a huge impression on me when I played Phantasmagoria of Dimension Dream. She’s a very close second for me.
Ooh, this is a hard one. I’ll list my favorites by specific theme, so as to avoid confusion on my part. XP
Title Theme: A Sacred Lot (The Mystic Square arrangement specifically, since the original music for the first game grinds my ears. XP )
Stage Theme: Hakurei ~ Eastern Wind (by a hair, there’s quite a few stage themes that are just as worthy ^^ )
Character/Boss Theme: Dullahan Under the Willows (Sekibanki was such an awesome boss fight~ :3 )
Extra Stage Theme: The Centennial Festival for Magical Girls (Like I said, I’m too much of a casual, so I haven’t made it to enough of the extra stages to really think of anything else… ^^; )
Extra Boss Theme: U.N. Owen was Her? (People say it’s overrated, but when ZUN calls a song lolitastic, I can’t unhear the lolis. )
Rendition of the Touhou Theme: Awakening of the Earth Spirits (I really like Subterranean Animism’s title theme, so I wanted to include it somehow.)
This arrangement of Ghostly Band ~ Phantom Ensemble: