Happy Birthday to Ranko no Ane! (2024) – top 5 album cover/designs

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Happy birthday to the best pink bunny!

I’m still on holiday, so my options are kinda limited…

This year’s birthday posts won’t have a specific theme that is common to everyone, but they will be still about something that is related to the celebrated member.

I think one of the strongest points of BUTAOTOME is how they have their own illustrator. Ane has a recognizable style, but she can be very experimental sometimes. In today’s post, I will introduce you to some of my personal favorite album covers and design. I tried to include as many varied styles as possible.

5. Hikari

Hikari is not an album I rank particularly high music-wise, but I’ve always liked its style for some reason. It’s just so… peculiar! It was fun seeing Ane working on this album, making various colorful geometrical forms that slowly became the characters. I think the only other time she used this style was with Circus’ promo poster. By the way, I’m not a huge fan of when every single character is featured on the album cover, but on the plus side, that means that every song gets represented. And the way they are put in Hikari’s album art gives the vibe of a little and cute doll house.

4. Itanshinmon

As I said in my review, this is one of those albums I just highly recommend getting as a physical copy. Ane knocked it out of the park here, and I absolutely love the highly detailed and Western-inspired art. I wish I could write more, but I would repeat what I already said in the review! Anyway, Itanshinmon is great and I wanted to include it here.

3. Hyakumannin no Heikou Hifuu

It’s the Hifuu invasion! So many Renko and Merry! I think this is a good example of “crowded” cover, that depicts the different universes colliding. Honestly, anything from this album looks great to use as an avatar, or in other places. The ghost Hifuus are my personal favorites. I also particularly like the error message window on the back. Due to Renko and Merry never meeting in this world, there is no “Hifuu Club” file.

2. Ese Souretsu Shinan

Perhaps Ane’s best work as a standalone cover. A mandala-like cover filled with the brim of symbolism of birth and death. I highly recommend reading Ane’s comments at the bottom of my old review, because it pretty much says for me why this cover is so great and deserves the silver medal here!

1. Folie à deux

When I think of this album, I think of a work of art that just feels good to hold as a physical copy. Everything about it feels part of a small, twisted universe, there are so many details, and it’s very artsy overall…
Folie à deux is an album I really want to re-review at some point, because there is a lot to analyze about. But for now, it gets to be the top pick of this post. I simply love it.

Bonus original: Trauma Recorder

BUTAOTOME’s original albums have a very unique design, so I want to give them a special spot. And while it’s hard to pick a favorite, in the end, I chose Trauma Recorder. I like the color palette, the title cards with the paper clips, and the cityscape vibe overall. It just fits my overall image of Buta’s original world. (btw, the new original songs are sooooooo good, I’m crying)

There are many other covers I could have talked about, but hey, I have a limit and a deadline. I think this is still a pretty good selection. Once again, happy birthday to Ane, and hope her Twahtter account will be recovered soon!