Woman Insight interview (March 10, 2016)

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Original article

Due to me feeling sick, I decided to focus on some translations instead of finishing a certain rank(o)ing (will I be able to finish it before the end of the year?). I went back through my interview backlog and found this one.

For some context, this short interview was made around the time of the BUTAOTOME Fanbook release and the Trauma Laundry live. The topics are “how did you create the circle?” (like literally every Butaotome interview ever), “what is your current obsession?” (as they are written in the Fanbook’s profiles, so they are probably outdated as of today) and “what is your trauma?”.

A human, a bear, a cat, and a bunny form a “Butaotome”. Just before their solo live, we try to discover what is in their mind.

March 10, 2016. 17:00. Woman Insight 

Paprika, the “cat” from “BUTAOTOME”, sent us that beautiful “sleeve cat” picture we published on “Cat Day” on February 22.

They are a doujin music circle composed by the vocalist Ranko, the bassist and guitarist Comp (polar bear), the pianist Paprika (cat) and the “dancer” Ranko no Ane (rabbit).

The four members

They have more than 500 songs (and more than 400 being vocal!) and are focused on Touhou Project arrangements.

Besides the number of songs, a number of the original songs they have are uplifting rock, melodious and then somehow fantastical…

But why are they a “pig girl” despite being a polar bear, a cat, and a bunny…? that’s why we directly asked the four of them!

WI: Nice to meet you… So, would you please briefly introduce yourself?

Ranko: I’m Ranko, the vocalist. I’m the only one completely human here.

Comp: I’m a “hanju”, a half-polar bear. For Butaotome, I compose the songs and I’m in charge of every musical instrument. I also like photography and I’m the author of the “sleeve cat” picture from the other day.

Paprika: I’m Paprika, I’m a half-cat that is in charge of the piano. I also love namako. I used to do a bit of breakdance too, yes.

Ane: I’m the real older sister of the vocalist Ranko and I’m a rabbit. During lives, I dance without doing anything, but I’m in charge of Butaotome’s visual aspects, such as the cover art, the design and setting up the homepage.

WI: How did you four end up together?

Comp: Ane and Ranko are sisters, I was a drinking companion of Ane and Paprika was a different drinking companion. One day, when I thought “I want to do something fun”, I thought of Ranko no Ane and Paprika. The beginning was that I asked them to do something interesting with these members in mind. We were originally gathering for a doujin circle, and now we make arrangements CDs as derivative works of a game called “Touhou Project”, but this was the first time we tried to do this. So, I felt that we are doing a band called “BUTAOTOME” as part of the doujin activity.

Ranko: We started our activity around October 2009, this year is our seventh year.

WI: The name “BUTAOTOME” has quite an impact. What about its origin?

Comp: When we decided our name we wanted something that was easy to remember (laughs), so we set up a rule of “no English name”.
Then the next rule for the four of us was “let’s say Japanese things that come to mind”. The final names were “Geroshabu”, “Oketsu Climax” and “Butaotome”. We chose from these three names. Butaotome was a name I made up.

WI: it doesn’t have a particular meaning, but it’s a name you easily remember. But why “Butaotome”, it’s a mystery…

Ranko: We won’t know “why” unless we look into Comp’s head (laughs).

WI: Ranko, I had a look at your Twitter and I noticed you often talk about Osomatsu-san, is it your current obsession? And what about the other members?

Ranko: “Osomatsu-san” is a big hit now. Originally I like watching the anime and reading the manga, and it’s pretty easy to get into. However, there wasn’t something to be addicted to for a long time, but “Osomatsu-san” hit home after a long time.

Paprika: As for me, I like taking selfies, but recently I like being photographed. In the past, I didn’t like to be photographed, but when Comp started to use the camera in the last few years, I looked at the photos he took and I thought “hey, I’m cute” (laughs).

Comp: The other day, I was shooting in a snowy sub-freezing area and because of this, I pressed the shutter button while my hands were numb for the cold. Afterward, Paprika said: “I’m so sorry, you had to take a picture because I’m so cute” (laughs). It was fun though.

WI: Comp, what are you currently into?

Comp: It’s “yuzukoshou”. It’s okay no matter where you put it, but it’s the best with the orthodox pork. Until now I was eating it outside, but once, when I received it and I ate it at home, I knew that something, “a secretion” was coming out from my brain… it was like I hit my knees unintentionally. From that, every time I eat it, the first bite of yuzukoshou feels like “this blows my mind!”. However, since it contains a lot of salt, I try to eat it carefully so as not to cause adult disease.

WI: I understand that feeling. Yuzukoshou is really delicious. At last, what about you, Sis?

Ane: I think a lot about health every day. Before starting BUTAOTOME I was an indoor type and I didn’t care about my health, then I thought this wasn’t good because I would have been exhausted as soon as I started to do lives. So I exercise regularly and take supplements… I try new things every day as a hobby. Recently I eat porridge every day with utensils to make porridge.

Comp: Ane and Paprika are both health-maniacs, so the two of them often exchange information. We also hear a lot from them and get various supplements.

Paprika: When I find something good about health, I think “I have to tell about this to Ane”. I’m the type of person that keeps doing one thing for a long time rather than trying various new things, and I’m proud of being able to have “Caspian sea” yogurt for about 10 years. My intestine was so messy, and when I had an exam with an endoscope, the doctor said: “it’s rare to see such clean guts in this age”.

Ranko: There was a time when I made my own yogurt from the seeds I got from Paprika, but I stopped it once I run out of them…

Paprika: If you need some seed you can always ask me… I think my seeds are very good (laughs).

WI: Your solo live on March 12 is called “Trauma Laundry”, so I can ask all of you about your “trauma”? It’s fine if you can’t say it.

Paprika: I might feel a bit bad (laughs), but I don’t really like “bugs”, and I have a trauma about them. One summer, I had been on a trip for about 10 days, and when I came back home, there was no electricity. When I asked the landlord, they said: “about a week ago, a thunder fell and the breaker tripped”…

WI: I think I know how this will end (laughs).

Paprika: When I entered the room, there were a lot of flies. I had a lot of meat in the fridge, so I thought that was the cause of that, and when I opened it there were lots of the so-called fly larvae… it was a trauma (laughs). Of course, the refrigerator was thrown away. There are many other traumas related to insects….. but this is still a light one, right?

Comp: Light. A super light one.

Ane: I’m not afraid of them, but I was addicted to comics about scary experiences, and when I read them all together for about three months, I became allergic. After reading them a little, the image in the comics came out visually, they came out in my dream, became scary and unavoidable, and I couldn’t see them at all. I guess I’ve definitely exceeded a lifetime worth of scary stories (laughs).

Ranko: Oh really? I feel sorry (laughs). All of us are the type of people who get hooked up. I was thinking about it a while ago, but in the end, I don’t have any trauma (laughs).

Comp: As for me, I have a brother who I used to be closed with, but we have been separated for a while… One time, during a celebratory seat, we had a drink together for the first time in 10 years. While we were separated, my brother was feeling better and I was also having fun, and I was drinking tequila because we were in a Mexican store. I usually drink a lot of alcohol, but there were some emotional parts that made me very drunk and it took me 3 hours to take 15 steps to get home by taxi (laughs). I was conscious, but my body didn’t move. And for those three hours, the searchlight flickered when I moved a bit… because this is a trauma, too. So after that, I’m sure to not drink only tequila.

WI: All of you had these traumas, you’ll do a solo live named “Trauma Laundry”, what will it be about?

Comp: The visual images of the live are the same as the one used in the “BUTAOTOME FANBOOK”, but we hope we could make a culminating BUTAOTOME live and at the same time we want you to forget about bad things while you come to our live. The more you want to forget about bad things, the more you can’t erase them. However, I hope you will enjoy the live, and have a good memory to take home. We want to make a live that feels like that, so we want to hit like fierce gods (laughs).