Happy Birthday to Ranko no Ane! (2022) – Ane Appreciation Post

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Happy birthday to the artist behind all the cool BUTAOTOME cover arts and design, and the best dancing bunny!

For this year, other than your usual pic (no showcase of random Italian food), I’m planning to do something new. This year is my 10th anniversary as a BUTAOTOME fan, so I want to dedicate each member’s birthday post to talk about my favorite things about them.

Since today is Ane’s birthday, I will talk about my favorite arts by the bunny, and give the spotlight to artworks I think aren’t well known. I’m going to assume the readers of this website are familiar at least with BUTAOTOME’s regular album cover arts, so I won’t talk about those.

I’ll start right away with my favorite artwork of her:

Pixiv link: https://www.pixiv.net/en/artworks/45425422

Okay, I said “no album covers” and here I’m posting something that was used as a CD cover. But since it’s for some limited CDs, I think this can qualify as “lesser-known art”, since It’s not something you can easily see by skimming through the regular discography.

I love this artwork because of how Reimu and Marisa’s usual clothes have been readapted into these nice dresses, the cake featuring their key colors and their iconic symbols, the perfect balance between brightness and muted in the color palette… and probably that “unique” aura that only artworks that aren’t used everywhere can give, I guess?

The closest thing we have to an Ane Artbook is the BUTAOTOME Fanbook, which features a whole section dedicated to her art. The only issue is that most of them are kinda small, with 4 big artworks featured on a single page. However, we also get some exclusive artwork dedicated to certain songs! The BUTAOTOME Fanbook is, in my opinion, one of those things a True™ Piggy should own, so consider buying a copy next time you order from the ButaBooth!

There is also a book that was made for this Australian event, but I absolutely know nothing about its content, and I don’t know anyone who went to this event (do people even read this website?). But I don’t think it was filled with exclusive illustrations, just a selection of the best Pig album covers + stuff from Twitter, maybe?

Now, let’s move on with some collection showcase…

Some stuff I own that has Ane art (please note that most of those are inside)

I’ll start right away by finally admitting that I’m a Hifuu collector. My goal is to collect every Hifuu fan media that has a BUTAOTOME contribution of some sort, be it a new song, or a Sis artwork. No compilations with just a recycled GenSate, tho. Also, no goods because that would be an eternally unfulfillable goal. But I have a Shimensoka t-shirt, thank you Yoruri! By the way, most of the featured books are out of print, and completely unavailable outside of second hand shops. So I’ll take pics of the relevant pages when possible (although I’ll remove them if requested or if the book becomes officially available again). I’m not going to showcase every single thing, just those I like the most.

One of the most interesting books I have is this one. It features Touhou illustrations by some famous illustrators (Benishake, Shikimi, Kirero, etc.), and step-by-step guides about how they created them with Paint Tool SAI. I bought my copy from Melonbooks, which included a postcard with Ane’s Kokoro artwork. The book is still on Amazon.co.jp.

The group 4th Squad published a Sumireko x School anthology in 2015, and the bunny provided an I LOVE-style artwork for it!

Another artwork I really like comes from this book, by the group Waki Miko Ai. It includes an extra story written by Ranko, with a cute ReiMari illustration by the bunny. The story translation is in progress, and it will be published next month, so I prefer to show the artwork along with it!

Now, let’s move on to illustration from stuff I don’t own…

One of the missing Hifuu works in my collection is a collab book+CD by 1569 centered on Merry’s 30th birthday and her boobs (it’s not hentai) (also, I link THBWiki’s pages because the official page is dead and the archived version is broken). I remember I came across a sneak peek of Ane’s contribution, and it was a comic made in her manga style. I need to get it next time the full set shows up on second-hand shops.

Did you know that there is only one non-BUTAOTOME album that features a cover art by her? It’s UNDEAD CORPORATION’s Umi no kaze Oka no hana (Kantai Collection arrangement album). She provided a Shoujo Rengoku-style artwork so one could use it to troll people and make them believe it’s Buta’s Kancolle album. By the way, this album is instrumental, but it’s very close in style to UC’s oni albums (the ones with Ranko’s vocals).

And that’s all for today. For a complete list of Ane’s guest contributions, you can check this page. Feel free to comment about your favorite illustration, or also lyrics from the bunny. Once again, happy birthday to Ane!