[Discussion/rant?] The Music Game Best and compilation contributions

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A random post I got the idea some nights ago while sleeping.

The C93 releases are officially out! This time I ordered my copies through the usual proxy service and I’ll publish lyrics/other info once they arrive at my house. You won’t have to wait too much for the review. But here we are talking about the least important of the releases and also the only one I didn’t order: the Music Game Best of.

In my collection I try to focus on tracks not available in other BUTAOTOME releases, so I only own the first ButaBest and Omatome out of the whole “compilation albums” section. Talking with my friends, we all agree that it’s an unnecessary release for long time fans and has a cool artwork. What’s the reason of this release? Well, according to the official site, is also to give a cheap album to beginners [MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM…]. It’s good for music game fans who are newbies to the magic World of BUTAOTOME and don’t want to dive into 23534456 CDs just for the cool song they just played on Chunithm. But if I have to add a couple of picky notes, Hana makes its presence in the Best 3 quite pointless (they could have picked Nawatobi instead, which would have also improved the selection, imho, but I guess at the time they didn’t even had the idea of releasing a music game album). Oh, and the list of appearances in the official tracklist is even a bit incomplete.

There is however something about this album that makes me feel disappointed, since it’s a wasted opportunity to grab long time fans/hardcore piggies as well: the absence of Kiyoraka na Koufuku, the Candid Friend arrange from Groove Coaster, and the Nostalgia re-arranges of Machibito and GenSate. Sure, they might not be among the “best” songs in the literal sense (let’s face it: a lot of groups use the term “best of” for just normal selections), but they would have been fitting with the album theme. There are also Karisome and Konohazuku, though the former is a Comp arrange sung by a non-Ranko vocalist (they could make a Ranko version, yes, but in true honesty we are filled with BUTAOTOME’s Hartmann’s Youkai Girl arranges), the latter is an instrumental. Also, Himawari Sunset, but that’s a sort-of collab with IOSYS.
If they included all those tracks, they would have made me consider to buy this disc. And there is no “but they are featured in one single game…” excuse, because Kaze ni Noseta Negai, Aru Haru no Hi and Mittsu Kazoero are all featured in a sole game. Or maybe, being tracks made for TAITO/KONAMI, there is some copyright behind, but we will talk about it later.

On the other hand, I would buy 50 copies of an “Original Music Game Best”. Unless they troll me and just put Radical Shoujo, Furubokko, Sharekoube, Panorama, etc. I absolutely love almost all of their music-game exclusive songs and I would love to have them in a proper album, both in my physical and digital libraries. There is enough material to make a short album, but there are 3 things to take in consideration:
1. Most (if not all) of these songs are made in their short format, they are exactly like how they are in their game. Maybe there are some full/longer versions hidden in the folders of Comp’s PC, or he could also decide to make them for this possible release, but we don’t know!
2. Copyrights. I don’t know how much control the original artists have over their contributions on other sources, if they can republish them at their own pleasure or if it’s Konami and co. who exclusively manage them. If it can be relevant, A-One released a couple of original tracks they made for Maimai in their Montage albums and also added a copyright Maimai Sega note.
3. Being BUTAOTOME an half-doujin circle, half-major band, I thought they would have never released anything original as doujin anymore, maybe except Tanjou 2 or similar. But they are still doing original songs for “doujin” compilations (the Melonbooks store BGM ones), it’s not like they are bounded by Avex or what. Let’s take Kishida Kyoudan as (our usual) example: while they are a major band, last year they released an original (+ some Touhou tracks) album with mostly re-recorded songs of the doujin era and also a couple of new ones. With this point, I’ll bring a question: will the original music game best be released as major or doujin?

And now, I want to bring another point to this article: compilation tracks. Lots of Touhou doujin circles contribute to compilation albums, mostly notable those released by Toranoana and Melonbooks. Some circles are kind enough to “recycle” their compilation tracks in their albums 2-3 events after the original release. Some others, instead, do the fuck they want. Either they won’t republish them, they’ll occasionally recycle them in their albums if they fit the theme or they’ll just release a big album with everything, if they have enough material.
BUTAOTOME belong to that second category. We got some occasional recycles and we also got Omatome almost two years ago, but they still have so much material in compilation albums that I’m still wondering why they won’t publish a second Omatome. They seem to have a certain adversion towards their Toranoana tracks (which are by far the oldest of the bunch and I think, at this date, everybody and their mother republished in their albums except for inactive circles, Buta and a couple of others). I just would love to have the track catalogue of my favourite group in a nice and organized way.

A friend of mine once told me “I don’t want my favourite circle to recycle their compilation tracks, because they would take the place of new tracks in the album”. That’s a very fair point. One could just ignore those compilations, so any recycled track would sound new. But if you are an hardcore fan who keeps an eye on everything about your favs, you can’t really ignore them. Most of the time, I care about compilations exclusively for the BUTAOTOME song + maybe other max 5 tracks and one can’t simply spend 2000+ yen each time (excluding additional fees for those who live overseas) if they don’t care about all the rest, maybe unless there is a song they truly love *hugs her Kuusou Katsugeki 3 and CHUNITHM OST copies*.

A special mention goes to that unfortunate album named “Touhou Kuenka -UTAGE-” by Area-ZERO. For reasons I don’t know, half of the tracks featured in that album were already released in the album of their respective circles published at the same time. Today, only the Rokugen Alice track is left from that album. You know something is not right when even BUTAOTOME recycle their compilation track in a non-Omatome disc, but for some reason they did that with the last two Area-Zero contributions (Hana, Rasen Zetsubou).

Anyway, that’s all for this article, which I think it has a bit different tone from the usual. Starting from a simple “best” album, I rambled and mused about other stuff, it was fun! And now, what’s your opinon?