4 League of Legend Items and Champions with Touhou References

Game designers who have experiences in multiple games usually draw inspiration from them while working.  This is the reason we often see similarities between characters, items and names in different types of media.  League of Legends (LoL) is multiplayer online battle arena game featuring many champions from a variety of backgrounds that players can choose from.

It’s apparent that one of the many inspirations for champions and items is Touhou Projecta third person shooter game that features mythological monsters. As Touhou Project encourages their fandom to create fan art, it has a huge influence on Japanese pop culture and is expanding to the West.  This is a list that LoL champions and item designs that are potential references to Touhou Project.

Here we begin the list!

4. Komachi Onozuka vs. Thresh


There was once a LoL champion designer who was trying to design a tank character that wields a big scythe in red.  However, this idea wasn’t used at the time and instead became Thresh.  Thresh is a sadistic character that loves tormenting mortals and imprisoning their souls in his lantern. On the other hand, Komachi Onozuka is a carefree lazy  character that ferries souls in the Sanzu River.  Despite their different appearances, their background story is similar. Both are the god/goddess of death.  Also, Thresh has a similar weapon that looks like a scythe.  I would considered this as a reference to Touhou but ranked lower than the other three.  On another interesting note, there is a League of Legends wiki page for Komachi the Debt Collector which also seem to share a lot of similar characteristics with Komachi Onozuka.

  1. Wriggle Nightbug vs. Wriggle’s Lantern

 An edited photo of Wriggle Nightbug with Wriggle’s lantern

By looking at their names , it is very easy to draw the conclusion that they are related.  Wriggle Nightbug is the first stage boss of Imperishable Night.  Her ability is to attract various types of insects like fireflies and moths.  In LoL, one of Wriggle’s lantern‘s abilities is to gain 30% more gold from monsters.  It is safe to conclude that they both illuminate in the dark and attract shiny objects.

  1. Youmu vs. Youmuu’s ghost blade

An edited photo of Youmu with Youmuu’s Sword and her Hakurouken.

Youmu Konpaku is a half human half phantom who lives in the Netherworld as a gardener, fencing instructor and serves Yuyuko Saigyouji.  She wields two katanas, they are named Roukanken and Hakurouken.  Both swords were made by youkai.  The longer one is Roukanken, it has the ability to kill ten phantoms in one slice. The shorter katana is Hakurouken and it has the power to slice any human’s confusion. Since Youmu is a ghost and the forger of the sword is a ghost, her sword technically can be a ghost’s sword.  In LoL, Youmuu’s ghostblade gives +20 armor penetration, which is the highest of all items that adds armor penetration bonus. All three weapons are very powerful in both games.

  1. Marisa Kirisame vs. Lux

Both Lux and Marisa are blonde witches that ride a broomstick.  One of Lux’s jokes is “Light mage? I’m just an ordinary mage,” while Marisa is described as “ordinary magician“. In addition, Lux’s powerful Final Spark is very similar to Marisa’s Master Spark.  Finally, according to Lux’s trivia, her designer was inspired by the Marisa while designing the champion.

There are three other pairs which have similar origins or looks but failed to make the  list. However, I still wanted to post their comparisons in GameSkinny


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