Welcome to… a special review! I think this is the first time I decided to re-review an album. There have been albums I reviewed in a second moment, but I never wrote a proper second review. This post will also introduce a new format that will be used for future reviews (including the Kochuuten one that will be published later this month), let’s start!
“What is your favorite BUTAOTOME album?”
Technically, my answer didn’t change since 2013. Chess is, and will always be my favorite BUTAOTOME album. But putting aside their original works, my original answer was a tie between Oriental Yumekikou and Engen Kagura Uta. Over the years, we got many other albums that I liked more (tho Yumekikou and Engen are still in the high tiers). But the one answer became not really definite. But now, I can safely say it’s Kyou ga Saigo no Ichinichi. Today is its fifth anniversary, and this is my way to celebrate it.
This is a CD full of seasonal feelings of farewell and encounter, describing the memories and new journeys of each of the fantasy girls and their thoughts on life.
Kyou ga Saigo no Ichinichi is centered on the humans of Gensokyo, and the selection of original themes is based around them. The humans are probably the most important (and versatile) characters in the world of Touhou. Most of them are playable characters, and we learn a lot of things about Touhou and its universe through them.
The title… is actually something that could fit a final album. “Today is the last day – The Long Goodbye”. At the time most fans didn’t care about it, especially since Buta members didn’t say “this is our last album”. But in retrospect, I think the album marked the “end” of BUTAOTOME’s doujin phase. They would have announced their major debut some months later and entered a new era. But Touhou would have been always in their hearts, and never separated from it for real (and still making albums).
(then they came back to milk Touhou more than usual, but that’s another story)
Lyrically-wise, this album stands out for being entirely written by Comp, though not the only one in the entire discography (it was the first one at the time, excluding Kansha Kangeki Amearare). Generally, I think Ranko puts more thoughts in lyrics/has more interesting lyrics, and the stuff written by the bear nowadays is quite meh, but his “Touhou trilogy” (Ichinichi, Giji Kazoku Nyuumon, and CHILD HOOD’S END) shows his writing talent.
I love the design! To me, this is the Pig album that represents “spring” the most (yep, even more than that yellow album we shall not name), and this is mostly for the design. Its pastel colors and the usage of pink cherry blossom petals really give me the image of the season. The character arts also look very nice, with some very cute expressions. Not every character gets its own artwork in the booklet
(I know someone who is still salty by the absence of a Sakuya art), but I really like the anime screenshots-ish illustrations. They help to imagine the setting of some songs.
Kyou ga Saigo no Ichinichi in general is ultra poppy. Happy, poppy stuff. “Troppo composo”, as a friend would say. I also think this is the closest thing to the original albums, which might be one of the reasons I love this album so much. The selection of themes is based on the humans of Gensokyo, and long-time fans might notice that most of the tracks were already arranged by BUTAOTOME at least once. But, except for maybe the Sanae track, all the takes here have their own personality and don’t really sound like generic arrangements.
1. Aru Haru no Hi
“We always make so much noise together. Your smile hasn’t changed from the day we met.”
Reimu, the protagonist of Touhou and the shrine maiden of Project Shrine Maiden. I’m not a huge fan of her and I generally prefer her as a playable. She is probably a character who is quite hard to understand and shines better in other types of works.
Aru Haru no Hi expands on her relationship with Marisa. I used to really dislike ReiMari (I preferred MariAli), but now it’s one of my favorite pairings thanks also to Buta. This is a great opening track, probably one of my favorite album openers, and really contrasts with the graceful atmosphere of the original theme. A lot of BUTAOTOME tracks can be good as anime openings, and this still remains my pick for the ReiMari anime opening (with Nikoichi from Giji Kazoku Nyuumon as the one for the second course/season. Sorry Itsumo no Futari, you are probably better as an insert song).
2. Good Meister
“At any time, bring it on! With anyone, bring it on!”
Marisa, everyone’s favorite witch, the second playable character, and literal icon of the Touhou series. I think she is more versatile and interesting to use than the shrine maiden. With her broad selection of themes, artists can explore many different aspects of her.
Good Meister is basically quintessential Marisa. I still consider this to be The Marisa song from BUTAOTOME, with the Pig’s pop-rock sound at its best, and a certain playful energy in it. I heard the song live is freaking amazing, I hope I will be able to experience it one day!
o(＞▽▽＜)o ALL RIGHT
3. Hirari Nichijou
“But sometimes, when you feel like you’re falling apart, just drink a cup of tea and forget about it!”
Sakuya, the best maid and the character I love mostly because she is my boyfriend’s favorite. Flowering Night represents her more human side, hence also why it was chosen for this album (other than the fact we never got a Flowering Night vocal).
This is a song about her life as a simple maid, without the cool time stopper/knife thrower/Remilia devotion stuff. It’ s another happy poppy number, but Hirari Nichijou sounds sooooo happy that it puts a smile on my face! Probably the happiest track in the album, mood and tone-wise.
“Your tears of regret, your laughing voice, I remember all of them. And also your back as I waved you goodbye and we parted.”
Akyuu, the ninth Are maiden and the writer of the official physical Touhou encyclopedia. In all her reincarnations, she probably always had a close friend. In her current one, it’s Kosuzu, and who knows who was her friend/lover back when she was Aya (阿弥, not 文), Anana, and so on.
I think this track also represents Kosuzu, a quite important human character who could have found her way into this album, but didn’t have her own theme at the time. But she is still there, somehow. The lyrics probably refer to her, but there is also a very subtle detail in the booklet. (see below) Anyway, we are midway through it’s time for a bit of rest with a slow ballad. A piano solo one, with a lonely atmosphere… Ranko’s voice is the centerpiece element here.
5. Hito wa Sute, Kami mo Suteru
“There must be a flower that will eventually bloom, but just thinking that won’t make it bloom”
Sanae, the nerdy shrine maiden from the outside world. Also, my favorite Touhou character. Partially because she was the one who indirectly made me approach BUTAOTOME. Sanae is between humanhood and godhood, and perhaps, because of this, she is neither one of those.
Probably the least interesting track in the album, structure-wise it’s your standard take on Faith is for the Transient People and not too dissimilar to Buta’s other arrangements. I have some grips with certain tracks that sound like they were made just to have a song about a certain character in the album, and while Hito wa Sute could qualify as that, I actually don’t mind it, and I still like this song. The trumpets add that cheery taste needed for a song that otherwise would have sounded… quite distant?
6. Garigari Miracle
“One friend or one mystery, which one would you take? …the latter!”
Sumireko, the human who can better represent our world, since she still lives there. And the one who can go to Gensokyo in her sleep. Will her descendant be able to reach that place? Also, she is my favorite member of the Hifuu Club, although I’m partially biased.
While Futatsu no Cinema was kinda dark and revolved around Sumireko’s problems (her developing sleep addiction due to wanting to be in Gensokyo as much as possible, the doppelganger sheningans etc), this one shows her in all her chuunibyou-ness. Preferring mysteries over friends, showing off her cool psychic powers, and beating everyone with her panda car! I’m still amazed by the complementary of the two Last Occultism arrangements we have. Garigari Miracle is super happy, fitting for the overall mood of this album. It also reminds me of the second Nichijou opening, for some reason. I also think it can be a good pick for rhythm games, I still imagine the notes flowing around, especially during the bridge part (this reminds me that poor Sumi still doesn’t have any representation in rhythm games… Will Danmaku Kagura solve that?)
7. Warp On
“Humans are the fruit of arrogance. Humans are the left proof of evil. Humans are an alias of greed”
In an album about humans, a Yukari track feels weird. But as the manager of the border between Gensokyo and the outside world, she places a border between the humans in Gensokyo and those outside (note also that the two previous tracks are about the two humans who are close to the outside world). And maybe you can throw all your Merry = Yukari speculah in it.
This is still my favorite track in the album, and I still need more Ranko rapping in my life. It’s funny, I don’t even listen to rap usually, and I dislike most Touhou rap, but I end up enjoying some tracks of that genre from my favorite artists.
8. Mou Nani mo Hoka ni Iranai hazu sa
“If you find this warm and expanded place, come here now. Because there is a lot of kindness. Yes, this is really Gensoukyou.”
So, in the previous track, I mentioned that Yukari places a border between the humans in Gensokyo and those outside. And who are the humans outside of Gensokyo? Me. You. BUTAOTOME. All the Touhou fans. And also ZUN, who is the effective owner of the original theme of this track. We are not Sumireko, but we can still go to Gensokyo with the power of our imagination. I’ll be eternally grateful to ZUN and Touhou, because I’ve met a lot of people, learned a lot of things, and made precious memories thanks to the magic world of Gensokyo. And I probably wouldn’t have found about BUTAOTOME without Touhou.
Anyway, this is still the best closing track in the Touhou albums, and the best Touhou ballad. A great album has a ballad/slow song as a closer! And it makes me feel a bit emotional, even on its own. It’s really one of those tracks reserved for special occasions.
Kyou ga Saigo no Ichinichi is a very dear album to me. 5 years ago, I simply really liked this album. Now, it has become my favorite BUTAOTOME Touhou album ever. In my opinion, it has the perfect balance of what I want in a Buta release and can be enjoyed by both Touhou nerds and those who aren’t. Happy anniversary!
All the buy links for this album are listed on its TC Page, but my personal recommendation is to buy it directly on BUTAOTOME’s BOOTH.
You can also listen to it on Spotify!
…Oh, you are still here? Thank you for reading! Have some trivia about this album!
The order of the first six tracks is based on the first appearance of their respective character in chronological order.
In the CD image of the album, the title of the first track is 紡ぎ歌 (Tsumugiuta, spinning song). It was probably a temporary title for Aru Haru no Hi. This error is not in the actual physical disc.
In the fifth stanza of Aru Haru no Hi, 麗しき (uruwashiki) is written with the kanji of rei from Hakurei (博麗). And in the following line, the word “kirisame” is used, which can be interpreted as a reference to Marisa.
Good Meister was incorrectly romanized as “Good Master” by… me, and other unofficial sources. It’s different from the “Master” (マスター) used for Master Spark. マイスター can also be romanized as “My Star”
(but “Good My Star” is some Fullbokko level of cacophony)
During the end of Good Meister (dorowaa de Feel so Good…), you can faintly hear the second-to-last stanza (shakariki Feel so good…).
Every BUTAOTOME Sumireko song (except Psycho Teenager,
but that one is cursed) has the 一 and 二 kanji pronounced as “hi” and “fu” in some way or another. Because Hifuu Club.
Futatsu no Cinema: 二人で一人 一人で二人 (futari de hitori, hitori de futari)
Garigari Miracle: 一つや二つ、三つじゃダメよ (hitotsu ya futatsu, mittsu ja dame yo)
Occultic Dreamer: 一二三数えるよりも (hi fu mi kazoeru yori mo)
Mou Nani mo Hoka ni Iranai hazu sa is one of the very few Touhou songs written by Comp to use the “boku” pronoun. This further emphasizes that the “speaker” of the song is not a Touhou character, but someone else, or even BUTAOTOME themselves. The only Touhou characters who use “boku” are Mai Teireda from Hidden Star in Four Seasons and the honest men from Dolls in Pseudo Paradise.