Aya Shameimaru is a character from the Touhou Project games.
One of the crow tengu who live up on Youkai Mountain, Aya runs the newspaper known as the Bunbunmaru. Because she gets carried away and exaggerates things when writing articles, people don't really like to be featured in her paper. While she is strong, to the point that sometimes she accidentally wins fights when she was really just trying to take pictures for her newspaper, she prefers to work on her paper far more than fighting.
In the AWA fics, Aya is a student at the AWA Academy.
In the XP4 fics, Aya is a member of the Unlikely Heroes and ally to the Heroes Coalitions.
Aya has red eyes and semi-long black hair. She wears a white blouse, black short skirt, and a tokin. From Phantasmagoria of Flower View to Scarlet Weather Rhapsody she can be seen holding a hauchiwa fan. In Bohemian Archive in Japanese Red, Phantasmagoria of Flower View, and Scarlet Weather Rhapsody, Aya is shown holding a notebook and being accompanied by a crow. She was depicted with black wings for the first time in Bohemian Archive in Japanese Red.
In Double Spoiler, Aya now carries a camera and wears an orange armband reading Shuzaichuu ("collecting material/the scoop"). She is also notably depicted with pointed ears, compared to the normal-looking ears that were visible in her Mountain of Faith portrait. In Hidden Star in Four Seasons her skirt is based on Hanafuda October suit.
Aya is unrelenting when it comes to getting sensationalist news stories, and she frequently twists the truth in her writing to her own advantage. It is her policy as a reporter to only report the truth, but there have been many instances where she has written blatant lies. It is said that she will come politely asking interviews of humans and youkai alike if she sees them as worth writing an article about, but will forcefully drive away any who interfere.
However, Aya has shown a serious side as well. She can be thoughtful about the effect her stories will have on those who read them. She resents the rigid tengu caste system, as even though she works hard, she is unable to advance in rank due to being a crow tengu. Hieda no Akyuu writes that she is generally the sort of youkai one does not wish to oppose, but if one somehow manages to cross her, her strength is practically unrivaled.
- Manipulating wind
With this ability, Aya can cause wind of incredible strength whenever she pleases. Somehow, this also allows Aya to "listen" to the wind to collect rumors, aiding her in the journalism business. Many of her spell cards in the fighting games show this ability a lot. Her powers are among the top class in Gensokyo, and not many can challenge her with a real chance of winning. However, she doesn't like fighting much, nor does she show off her power a lot. This seems to be a common characteristic among Tengu.
While Tengu as a whole are known for their incredible speed that few can match, Aya is an exception even among them and prides herself of being "the fastest" in Gensokyo. Apparently, she is so fast that not even Remilia Scarlet, that was able to fly around the Moon in an extremely short amount of time, can compare to her. One of her spell cardsshows some extent of her speed, but her actual limits are unknown.
- Aya is the first character in the Touhou Project to originally appear in an artbook, then later in a game.
- A silhouette of Aya occupies the front of the jewel case for Shoot the Bullet.
- In Mountain of Faith, Aya is the first stage 4 boss in a Windows game not to have some sort of gimmick/variation based on the playable character (i.e. Patchouli Knowledge's different spell cards in Embodiment of Scarlet Devil, Reimu Hakurei or Marisa Kirisame in Imperishable Night, etc.).
- In Touhou Hisoutensoku, she has a palette that resembles Ranka Lee from Macross Frontier.
- She is the only character introduced in Phantasmagoria of Flower View to return in a later main game, which is Mountain of Faith.
- Aya has appeared, even as far as mention or reference, in every game in the second generation of the Windows era up until Ten Desires, from Mountain of Faith to Fairy Wars.