Sakuya Izayoi is a character from the Touhou Project games.
Chief Maid of the Scarlet Devil Mansion. Despite being the leader of the maids at the Scarlet Devil Mansion, Sakuya usually has to do all of the work herself because the fairy maids are completely useless. Uses knives and time manipulation to fight and do maid tasks. Much of Sakuya's origin is left to speculation, although it is implied that she may not be human and "Sakuya" may not be her real name.
In the XP4 fics, Sakuya is a member of the Unlikely Heroes and ally to the Heroes Coalitions.
Sakuya was first seen in Embodiment of Scarlet Devil. In this game, she was seen with bright red eyes, silver hair worn in long braids on both sides of her face with green bows at the ends and a white maid headband. She wears a pink/white and dark blue French maid's outfit with an apron, short sleeves and a green ribbon. She is also seen carrying three knives and the phrase "Red Magic" appears to be embroidered on her left sleeve.
Later in Perfect Cherry Blossom, when choosing a player, Sakuya appears to have grey eyes, blue colored long sleeves and a red scarf. She also has red shoes and two knives, one blue and one red. However, her appearance in-game shows her having blue eyes. She's wearing such clothing because it was effectively winter during the game.
Her appearances in Immaterial and Missing Power, Imperishable Night and Scarlet Weather Rhapsody are very similar. Sakuya is seen with grey eyes and once again wearing short sleeves. She appears to the have a thin black ribbon on the maids outfit. However in Imperishable Night she holds a knife and an old stopwatch, where as in Scarlet Weather Rhapsody, she has three knives and a plate with cups and a teapot on it. The colour of her eyes changes with each work.
In Phantasmagoria of Flower View, she has dark blue eyes and long sleeves. The Roman numerals for I (1) through XII (12) line the bottom of her apron.
Sakuya tends to be a little spacy, but it's unknown if its just an act. Her behaviour is that of an easy-going person and, although her personality can be seen as perfectly elegant, she possesses a little deviation that she is extra cautious about: inability to eat hot foods. From the dictionary, elegance means "refined, graceful". Refined means "cultured in manners and taste, as well as appearance" and Graceful means "sensible, sophisticated, neat, and without filth". She uses humble speech to her mistress Remilia Scarlet and friend Patchouli Knowledge, and uses less formal speech to other people.
As for her age, ZUN directly stated that "she plays the role of a human maid about 10 to 20 years old" and "perhaps she is a character in her early teens, and in Perfect Memento in Strict Sense, according to Hieda no Akyuu, "she claims to be in her late teens", but acts with the mannerisms of someone and the level of her ability seems like that of a human that's been living for more than a hundred years. According to a quote from Remilia Scarlet and Sakuya's ending in Imperishable Night (Good Ending #3), Sakuya has been working at the Scarlet Devil Mansion for so long, Remilia doesn't feel it fitting to call her human. With a comment like that, it seems safe enough to assume she has been at the Scarlet Devil Mansion for an extremely long time.
Sakuya possesses the ability to manipulate time, where she's able to control the flow of time, such as speeding up time, slowing it down, erasing it, and stopping time altogether. She can also compress the flow of time to make both past and future to exist at the same time, making the same object from different timelines be in many places simultaneously. The extent of her ability lets her not only control the time of the place in which she is, but influence the flow of time of a person, a specific object or even a small zone if she so desires, such as stopping the time of an object and thus affecting the space, making it stand still on thin air or creating time suspension fields where everything inside them will be affected by her ability; she can also accelerate or decelerate the movement of objects from slowed down speed to incredibly high speed, to even reaching the speed of light, making it move at tremendous speed. However, as it is difficult to reverse events that have already occurred, and since she is not able to return broken things to how they were originally even if she reversed time, in reality, it is not possible to reverse time. However, she is able to do things to the extent of moving things back to where they were originally. She has shown the ability to erase time of an object from a respective timeline; such as erasing bullets of the present and then the future, making them non-existent.
She is also able to manipulate space, and can narrow or lengthen it: she made the Scarlet Devil Mansion, which was originally spacious, even more abundantly spacious, and furthermore just like this she cleans alone. ZUN also said that "Manipulation of Time" is synonymous with "Manipulation of Space" (as it's well-known space and time are related as a 4-dimensional Lorentzian space within a pseudo-Riemannian manifold). By manipulating space-time, Sakuya is able to create parallel universes to some degree of extent, allowing her to make another Sakuya appear in front of her, which will execute a different action to that of the original, and thus creating a time paradox.
According to Perfect Memento in Strict Sense, the power to control time is a power that a human can possibly have, but isn't acquired just from just training. In the games, using this ability, she scatters an infinite quantity of knives. To disclose the secret of this trick, she stops time and assiduously collects the knives.
Hieda no Akyuu believes Sakuya has managed to live so long while still looking like a teenager by manipulating time. It's true that Sakuya can increase the speed at which something ages, such as making bamboo flowers bloom instantly in Marisa's A ending of Embodiment of Scarlet Devil, even though this would normally take sixty years. It seems safe enough to assume she can decelerate aging for a specific object, too.
Despite the seemingly reality bending effects of her time manipulation, by Sakuya's own admission her ability to stop time is actually her moving at extremely high speeds with no mass and that she lacks the ability to stop someone else's time.
- The characters for Izayoi literally mean "Sixteenth night" (the night just after that of the full moon), and Sakuya "Flowering night."
- Sakuya Izayoi is apparently not her real name (along with Ran), according to Perfect Memento in Strict Sense, but is only a name given to her by Remilia. Her real name is unknown.
- She is the fifth maid character to appear in the series. The other maid characters are Ruukoto, Mugetsu, Yumeko, and Alice. She also bears a strong resemblence to Yumeko, since both are blade-throwing maids who serve demon-like masters. On a related note, Mugetsu is not truly a maid since she was just cosplaying. Although not many know it, Alice became Mima's maid in Mystic Square.
- According to Sakuya, if she happens to run out of knives, she can freeze time and pick up the ones she threw previously.
- According to ZUN, "Manipulation of Time" is synonymous to "Manipulation of Space." She takes advantage of this fact in several ways, from enlarging the space inside Scarlet Devil Mansion, to probably storing an immense amount of knives around. Maybe it's general relativity?
- Sakuya can also use her powers to accelerate time, such as making bamboo flowers bloom instantly, even though this would normally take 60 years to grow.