Touhou Garatakutasoushi is a media outlet dedicated to everything Touhou Project, a series that is brimming with doujin culture. By starting with ZUN (creator of Touhou) and then focusing on creators, their works, and the cultures surrounding them, our first issue aims to stir and provoke while proudly exclaiming the importance of not just Touhou but doujin culture as a whole to the world.

     Touhou Garatakutasoushi is a media outlet dedicated to everything Touhou Project, a series that is brimming with doujin culture. By starting with ZUN (creator of Touhou) and then focusing on creators, their works, and the cultures surrounding them, our first issue aims to stir and provoke while proudly exclaiming the importance of not just Touhou but doujin culture as a whole to the world.

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Doujinshi Review

“On Rumors, Tales, and Bizarre Books” a Review of the Doujin Novel Gymnopedie ga Owaranai by Vita Sexualice

“On Rumors, Tales, and Bizarre Books” a Review of the Doujin Novel Gymnopédie ga Owaranai by Vita Sexualice

1.Before we start

The first piece of information I must share with you is that Gymnopédie ga Owaranai (“The Gymnopédies Never End”) is currently available as an e-book from both Booth and Melonbooks.

ジムノペディが終わらない (Gymnopédie ga Owaranai)(Cited from Vita Sexualice)

Gymnopédie ga Owaranai | BOOTH

Gymnopédie ga Owaranai | メロンブックス

Published under the circle name Vita Sexualice, penned by Umisawa Kaimen and hailed as a masterpiece of the bizarre, Gymnopédie ga Owaranai has become a cult classic, with rumors of it spreading far and wide by word of mouth, so much so that today, it is nearly impossible to get your hands on a physical copy. But fear not! Not only is the digital release a legitimate, authorized version of the book, the text contained in it is a faithful, unadulterated copy of the original work, so I highly recommend that those who are interested in Gymnopédie ga Owaranai purchase the e-book.

You might be asking why I felt the need to mention that the e-books linked above were a faithful copy of the original. Well, in addition to being hard to find in its original form, there are several variations of Gymnopédie ga Owaranai in print today.

The first version is, of course, the original: Gymnopédie ga Owaranai. It was originally published in 2011 in print form, and later re-released by the author in digital form in 2018.

The second variation, Gymnopédie ga Owaranai – Sasagerareta Image is a musical arrangement inspired by the original story, released by the circle Diao ye Zong in 2013 as a track on the album Susume.

(Susume)(Cited from Diao Ye Zong)

薦 (Susume)

A third variation was published in 2015, as part of a joint collaboration between the circles Kyouka Fuugetsu and Vita Sexualice, entitled Gensou ga Owaranai.

幻想が終わらない (Gensou ga Owaranai) (Cited from Kyouka Fuugetsu, Vita Sexualice

幻想が終わらない (Gensou ga Owaranai)

This collaboration consisted of a plot-swap between the two circles’ authors: Vita Sexualice’s Umisawa Kaimen penned a version of Gensou de Aitai, one of Kyouka Fuugetsu’s previous works, and Kyouka Fuugetsu’s Waki penned a version of Vita Sexualice’s Gymnopédie ga Owaranai.

You could call this plot-swap variation the “Waki version”. It is currently out of print.

Finally, a fourth variation was published in 2019 by the circle Alya, titled Gymnopédie ga Owaranai -Re:Medianoid-.

ジムノペディが終わらない-Re:Medianoid- (Gymnopédie ga Owaranai -Re:Medianoid)(Cited from Alya)

ジムノペディが終わらない-Re:Medianoid- (Gymnopédie ga Owaranai -Re:Medianoid) – | BOOTH

This version contains the original text of Umisawa Kaimen’s Gymnopédie ga Owaranai alongside a story written from Usami Sumireko’s point of view, penned by Alya’s Kaiyu.

In addition to its print form, this enhanced reprint is also available for purchase as an ebook.

In summary, Gymnopédie ga Owaranai has an original print version, an original digital version, a musical arrangement, a plot-swap version, and a print and digital “enhanced reprint” version.

The subject of this review is Vita Sexualice’s original print version of Gymnopédie ga Owaranai. However, in order to really speak to the original, one must mention its many variations.

For it is like a rumor with no substance, or an occult-drenched urban legend…

2. No, We Haven’t Started Yet

You might ask why I pointed out the existence of the digital version of Gymnopédie ga Owaranai in the very beginning of this review. I did so because of the various urban legend-like impressions surrounding the work.

  • That it is a twisted tome that will drive you insane.
  • That it is an accursed book that will turn your stomach inside out.
  • That it is impossible to obtain, and only exists as an object of rumor.

Each of the above statements are partially correct, but partially not. Specifically with regard to the third statement, as I mentioned before, Gymnopédie ga Owaranai is undoubtedly possible to obtain, at least in digital form. As for the original print version, it might as well be impossible—I must agree. While you might spot a copy on auction sites every now and then, unfortunately, the asking price tends to be unreasonably high, bordering on the absurd.

As for the other two statements, I do not doubt that many who have read the book experience a taste of insanity upon finishing it, for Gymnopédie ga Owaranai certainly has the power to turn the stomach and wreak havoc on the mind. I would go even so far to say it has the power to violate reality and corrupt the soul. There is no sense in denying this—it is an incontrovertible truth.

Hey, Merry.

Do you think that this reality really is…

Such a fragile and fleeting thing?

—from Diao ye Zong’s Gymnopédie ga Owaranai – Sasagerareta Image

Indeed it is that incontrovertible truth that helped elevate Gymnopédie ga Owaranai to its urban legend-like status. Rumors of its power gave rise to even more rumors, expanding readers’ impressions into even grander concepts, warping even the reality that birthed them.

These concepts are created, imposed, and combined…until the twisted Gymnopédie ga Owaranai talked of in rumors is no longer the same as the work originally written. Even if they appear the same at a glance, on a fundamental level these stories are different, with a clear meaning impossible to grasp.

Like a fish taken over by a parasite, or an ant impregnated with the eggs of a fly, or a moth infected with a parasitic mold…

“Say, Miss—Why don’t I tell you today about a peculiar kind of mold?” said the girl with a chuckle, smiling in shades of night.

“The mold in question first finds a foothold in the larva of a moth. There, it multiplies. It continues to multiply until it breaks into the host’s visual cortex, and steals its sight. How do you think the blinded larva responds?”

—from Kyouka Fuugetsu’s Gymnopédie ga Owaranai

If you see someone talking about Gymnopédie ga Owaranai on the internet, first you must determine which Gymnopédie ga Owaranai they are referring to. Is it the original, in print or digital form? Is it Diao ye Zong’s interpretation, or Kyouka Fuugetsu’s? Is it the Alva version? Perhaps they may be referring to the version that exists only in rumors, the expanded concept of Gymnopédie ga Owaranai. Until you pin down which version is being discussed, you cannot stand on the same footing, or share the same concept.


Tell me, Renko. Deep within the boundaries of the fantasy land that lies at the bottom of the reality in the depths of the abyss of dreams there was nothing—nothing at all. Why?

 —from Vita Sexualice’s Gymnopédie ga Owaranai

…is that shared concept really attainable?

Is it?

Although we may often believe that we share the same concept of a work or topic with another, is that not just wishful thinking? Have we not read entirely different things, with entirely different takeaways? Could it be that the works we discuss do not really exist as we view them at all?

Whatever the case, Gymnopédie ga Owaranai is a work endued with a certain kind of magic that makes you question the foundations of reality.

3. Honestly, I Would Like to Start

Before I get to the main topic, there is one more thing I need to mention, about curses and blessings…or more specifically, about what it means to write a masterpiece.

For a creator, writing a masterpiece is at once both joyous and frightening. Frightening, because—unless your masterpiece marks the end of your career as a creator—you must overcome that masterpiece moving forward.

If you do not, readers will care not for your newest works, but keep asking for a reprint of your masterpiece. Case in point, Gymnopédie ga Owaranai has consistently seen a steady demand for reprints. While that is great news, in a way, it is in equal parts intimidating.

It makes you feel like you have hit a dead end in your journey as a creator. The drive you had to seek and discover the unknown may become extinguished, and you get stuck, circling the same spot again and again as if you were riding your life on rails, stuck on a circus ride going on and on forever.

“Yes, a circus. It’s simple: all you have to do is climb in and the ride will take you on its course. The dolls along the way will perform a circus for us. That’s the nature of the show. Perfect for beginners, don’t you agree? There isn’t much else to an amusement park anyway.”

—from Vita Sexualice’s Gymnopédie ga Owaranai

But this isn’t a bad thing.

There are several attractions an amusement park has to offer: Ferris wheels, merry-go-rounds, roller coasters, spinning cups and more. You can ride whatever you would like—everyone who visits an amusement park has the freedom to do so—but you also have the freedom to ride the same ride over and over again.

You would have good reason to feel blessed and be proud of producing a masterpiece that is in such high demand and stands the test of time. You might even feel loved.

However, as great as this feeling can be, a masterpiece is still a curse.

“I won’t let the Gymnopédies end just yet.”  

—from Vita Sexualice’s Gymnopédie ga Owaranai

For a writer, the story ends when they finish writing it.

For a reader, the story ends when they finish reading it.

The story ends, but the Gymnopédies do not. As the music keeps playing, rumors carry on from person to person. Rumors of such a bizarre masterpiece spread far and wide, driving those who hear to demand reprints as if digging up a grave, such that “The Gymnopédies Never End” never ends.

Even though a digital version exists, some people will always want a physical copy, because for them, it is real —not a rumor or an urban legend but a real, physical thing: the true Gymnopédie ga Owaranai. The fact that its rumors run so rampant only makes people desire the real thing even more.

“Did you enjoy the circus?” The girl turned to the camera and asked, but without waiting for an answer, she took the chair she had been sitting on and smashed the lens, sending the image feed into disarray. “I for one, have had enough.”  

—from Alya’s Gymnopédie ga Owaranai -Re:Medianoid-

As to what the author thinks of all this, you will have to ask them yourself, but the Gymnopédie ga Owaranai of rumors is no longer in the author’s hands. It has taken on the images of countless readers and transformed into something entirely different: a fantasy, existing only in the realm of rumor.

4. You Know, We Might Have Already Started

Well then. If you have read this far, I’m sure you’re beginning to ask, “When is this review going to actually start?”

The answer to that question is: it won’t.

To be frank, I have no intention of discussing the contents of Gymnopédie ga Owaranai. Therefore, at least in the traditional sense, this review is never going to get off the ground.

As I write this, I wonder if the editors won’t force me to rewrite the entire thing. (If you are reading this now, it means that the editorial team behind Touhou Garakuta -Strange Articles of the Outer World- is truly a magnanimous bunch.)

In fact, let me take this moment to thank them: thank you very much.

Anyway, back to the topic at hand: Why am I not offering commentary on the contents of Gymnopédie ga Owaranai?

Firstly, I feel that such commentary is not necessary, and secondly, I feel that such commentary is meaningless.

In fact, I would go so far as to say that Gymnopédie ga Owaranai itself rejects commentary.

Of course, one could force it. It would be possible to write some back cover flavor text explaining the general outline, but doing so would be entirely missing the point. You cannot get to the core of what Gymnopédie ga Owaranai is that way.

It is a concept, and that is all it is.

Everyone has gaps within themselves. There is no getting around that. But why did I feel I must fill them?

—from Vita Sexualice’s Gymnopédie ga Owaranai

What I can review is only my own perceived image. No matter how many words I string together, I’ll only get further from the real thing.

As that is the case, this is all I can do: Without anything else to say, I ask that you please read this book, and embrace your own image that results from it. But as to whether your image is real or not, no one can ever know.


No other phrase sows so many seeds of suspicion. Perhaps this question reeks of paranoia, but can you really say that what surrounds you in your day to day life is real?

For instance, say you are holding a hamburger. The label on the package says the meat is a combination of beef and pork. But is it really? Can you really confirm that it is not made of rat meat and earthworms, as so many urban legends suggest? Can you really say there isn’t a little something else mixed in? Could you tell, all by yourself?

What is even more frightening, is that even if you went to the factory where the meat was produced and observed the process with your very own eyes, that only leaves you open to question what you see, or in turn, your very own sanity — and there is no way to settle that.

38:92:78 AM…

—from Vita Sexualice’s Gymnopédie ga Owaranai

You cannot guarantee that you are sane — you can only choose to believe it. You can only choose to believe that the hamburger meat is what the label says it is. You can only choose to believe that the Gymnopédie ga Owaranai in your hands is real.

Either that…or you can believe that there is no such thing asreality, and accept that you are insane.

Gymnopédie ga Owaranai is a story that makes you suspicious of both yourself and the world around you, and rightly dubbed a “bizarre book”. Its grotesque imagery has nothing to do with the matter—that is not why it is a masterpiece. It is a masterpiece because it calls on you to question your own sanity.

5. The Gymnopédies Never Start

We’re nearing the end, but one last time I would like to say: If you have not read Gymnopédie ga Owaranai yet, I highly recommend that you do, and once you have finished, I encourage you to reread this review.

At first glance it may seem that I have not touched on the contents of Gymnopédie ga Owaranai at all, and have only given background information on it, but if you have read the book you should realize that in my own very roundabout way, I have.

In short, I realized that the only way I could talk about Gymnopédie ga Owaranai was to not talk about it. If I were to comment on the contents of the story directly, I would be painting over the original story with my own image.

It is important to preserve the fact that the story is made up of multiple concepts, and that each is not clearly true or false.

Was she truly sane? Was what she saw a hallucination brought on by her vaporizer, or were her observations an accurate picture of the world? Was the world really as twisted as it appeared to be?

No one knows the answer to these questions. After all, the Gymnopédies never end. The story rejects a conclusion and denies an ending. That is the true nature of Gymnopédie ga Owaranai. In my opinion, that unsettling feeling it bestows upon the reader is its greatest appeal.

Many authors have developed versions of Gymnopédie ga Owaranai with their own images. Impressions and rumors abound. Surely a large part of that is due to readers wanting to find their own answers and put their own endings on the story.

I’m sure that the need we feel to end the never-ending Gymnopédies is part of what makes us human.

On a somewhat related note, if there were ever to be a Shimensoka version of Gymnopédie ga Owaranai, I would be pleased if you were amused by this thought: “It looks like they were unable to end the Gymnopédies with their review, so they must be having another go at it.”

If that really were to happen, I’m sure anything I could add would be completely redundant, but maybe that is okay. You never know what useless things might come in handy someday. Even if a snake doesn’t need arms or legs, it might help it catch a frog.

Here’s to hoping that this punchline from my own imagination makes sense to those who have read Gymnopédie ga Owaranai.

In any case, here I end my review. Thank you for reading.

Translation provided by Kafka Fuura