Warnings: lots of stuff and personal opinions.
Last update: 17th/18th November 2018
Welcome to this section dedicated to my BUTAOTOME collection! I got the idea of dedicating a whole section about it some months ago, and while working I thought also to make it more personal, by incorporating elements of an old post in my dead blog. So you’ll see me talking about each album!
I’ve started collecting their albums in September 2012. I don’t live in Japan and I’ve never been there, so most of my stuff comes from online purchase with some of it bought for me by friends.
Let’s start with the 2010 albums! I’ve got the first four from used shops, since they were out-of-print. Since I started to follow BUTAOTOME from February 2012, I’ve listened these albums (and then 2011 bunch) all together. With the first two albums, Touhou Kaiten Mokuba and Gensou Homo Ludens they already became a noteworthy circle in the world of Touhou arranged music! These albums include some singles: Kyoai, Machibito wa kozu., Haruka Tooi Sora no Koe and the signature song Gensou no Satellite! Other than those there are some of my favourites: Mamorubeki Mono, Nani mo nai Mori, The fear is oneself… I’m not an huge fan of Long Skirt Panorama Girl, though it has the very first BUTAOTOME song I ever listened: Panorama Girl. But it was not love at first listen, the exact opposite: I was searching for Seihou arranges, and Flower of Japan is essentially unrelated [I want Enigmatic Doll ;_;]. It’s hilarious how the situation changed with years and those I cursed because “fucking flower of japan!!111” now are my favourite music artists! Back to the album, despite being low level compared with the previous releases, it has a couple of gems, like Kioku no Fuchi and Renge no Yume. Tasogare Elegy is a step forward, though I don’t have too much to say about it: there is the very popular Kakoinaki yo wa ichigo no Tsukikage, then my favs are Hourai no Sora, Ochita Koe (oh, Ranko…), Aware na Minashigo… The final album of the year, En, pretty much marked BUTAOTOME’s style, and it’s also the first one to have an interesting and well played concept, with all the titles linked between each other. There is the infamous Kyou En, then my personal picks include Kage Renbo, Kasanaru Kage, Yume ja nai Nanika…
2011 albums! Kansha Kangeki Amearare is great, despite having only 3 tracks + 2 re-arranges, Regarding the latter tracks, due to the original versions of those songs being available, at the time, only on compilation albums, I’ve listened those versions before the originals and thus I prefer these mellow remakes. Oriental Yume Kikou and Engen Kagura Uta were among the first albums I purchased and also my first favourites: Oriental is solid and has Yume Kikou, Yoi Kage, Koishi ni, Mayoigo no Mezame, etc. (also, I want a scroll with the album arts) while Engen is definitely one of the darkest works from the Pig, with tracks like Kodoku to Aigan, Kurakimichi and the magnificent Makkuro na Yuki, but there are also some bright tunes such as Deadman’s Lovely Life which closes the year with moe. On a semi-related note, it’s thanks to BUTAOTOME’s arranges if I started to love Hifuu arranges: aside the fact that the Pig arranged Hifuu before it became cool, I love absolutely every work by them related to Renko, Maribel and Sumireko. Except that album with the German title.
2012 albums! First we have the ButaBest 1, the only album I purchased of this “series” because it has “new” tracks, which were previously released on compilations. They are 8, so you can exclude the first half with old songs and pretend it’s another regular Buta album! :laugh: The 2nd best has very interesting comments by Ranko about each covered album and it’s a real shame that the 3rd one doesn’t have any extra. But that’s not the place to talk about the ButaBest series, moving on! Jitsuwa Sensai na Anata to tama ni Yuukan na Watashi no nandaka Sawaideru tte Hanashi. Writing this album’s name without copypaste is actually my greatest BUTAOTOME achievment, I swear. It was the first “main” album I saw its announcement and I waited for it, but it’s quite low in my rankings, though it has the hit Itsumo no Futari, Choukahanka Shikisokuzekuu and also Papu’s first vocal arrange, And now, here is Bowling. An album that marked a dream that came true: ever since I listened to the song Akubi, which is my favourite BUTAOTOME song of all time, I wished for more original songs: they were able to do them! But back to Bowling. Among the original releases is my least favourite one and I always felt that subsequential original releases would have been better. But it’s a good “original debut”, and tracks are Sharekoube, Fashion Chuunibyou, Mainichi and the acoustic Hitori. (also, petition for an original acoustic album with Panorama). Kouseki Radio is another dream that came true: an Hifuu-only album!! I remember that a month before the release, Neo-traditionalism of Japan was out and I completely fell in love with Izanagi Object. At the point that I even said “I’ll marry whoever will make an arrange of this”. Well, happy marriage for me, I guess 😀 We got Moldavite and overall it’s a really nice album! Hikari is just nothing special, but… heck! Y, the ballad Tsuki wo Kogashite and Kimi no Daiji, Watashi no Suki are the three tracks I love from this album. But this album was also freaking overshadowed by Chess. Chess is my favourite BUTAOTOME album ever, the album that made me realize that this group was much more than just a band I follow simply because “Ranko’s vocals are amazing and I just need more of her”. I was just amazed in any sense after the first listens. It’s also one of those albums I barely listen the tracks by themselves, they simply flow magnificently! But I think Circus is its “symbolic” track.
Oh, and there is Eight. It took me 5 years and Ayakashi Yokochou to appreciate at least part of it. I think the tracks with the male vocalists are way better than those with the female ones. Kougen is love, also.
Also, yep, I’m missing Kaen Ranzen… I should remedy it from second hand shops…!
Now, my personal favourite year, the 2013 albums! Starting with Kemonomichi, the first album to properly feature vocal arranges by Paprika, contrasting with Comp’s usual rock style. Denkousekka, Egao no Saki are among my favs, but a special mention goes to Atatakai Uso: one of the best vocal tracks arranged by Pap, with its winterly feeling. Oh, and Minna no is love, Minna no is life. Shoujo Rengoku is such a great album. It’s one of those albums with all great tracks: my picks include the hit single Hakanaki Mono Ningen, Towa no Maigo (AHAHAH), Yukuefumei no., Meguru Gou…Also, for once, we don’t have an original album that overshadows a mediocre Touhou vocal release! Billiards is great, and other than containing the song that gives the name to this website (one of the most fun tracks in the repertoire!), it has Saru, which is probably the signature original (at least from the doujin era), and then there are Akai Bucket (YAKINIKU GA TABETAAAAAAAAAAI), Moumokuteki Kansoubun, the “city-scaping” Pocket no Are, the feels with Usotsuki and Kyouzon…Itanshinmon is an album that was promoted a lot as an attempt to make something different, and damn, it worked: no one of the tracks sounds like a typical BUTAOTOME song (maybe excluding the two Paprika arranges, but they were still a novelty at the time). Personal favs are MiChi, Shi, Anemone and Gomakashi. The situation “original vs Touhou vocal” was the same of last time, so both TRASH BOX and Hanafuda are so awesome! TRASH BOX is a guitar-rock based album, I love the tracks with that style (Hajime no Ippo, Ashita no Kako and especially Hoshi no Kiseki), then there are Hazakai (yay jazz), Soutaisai Kyoukaisen (yay boundary between cute and serious) and it ends with Kouunryuusui, a fitting closure for the year! Hanafuda has more programming elements and there are no slow-acoustic songs. But it still has some cool tracks, such as Kokochiyosa ni Shine (one of the best vocal performances by Ranko and one of the songs she is affectionated to the most!), freaking Itami Honpo, and in between there are Yumezakura (which haunts the setlists and my dreams… ROTFL), Heshitsuteki Souseiji (churupuppurupupu), ANATA WA KAMISAMAAAAAAA Suuhai Gokko etc.
2014 albums! Pop is… Pop. Hard to classify, far from the greatness of the 2013 era but it has some cool tracks like Hitori, Koi no Yamai, the trippy Anata no Uta and others. Shoujo Rengoku 2 to me feels like a sequel not on pair with the first (and third) chapter of the series, though having some great songs like Bystander, Shourai Renbo and Tsumi no Katamari. Plus it was pretty much overshadowed by Doubt: the final album of the first original era and a fitting closure. To me it feels like a spiritual sequel to Chess for unknown reason. The pre-released track Shinsan Game could be considered as Saru’s dark twin, then there are Minchiga, Taikan Rolling, Yuukeimukei and its good contrasts and RATTATTA, Kibouteki Kansokushi… Also, the album (and the first original era) ends with Waizatsu Ideology, which is my favourite “feels” song. :tears: 2014 ends with Arikitari na Nouzui yo, Koyoi no Tsuki to Odore, my favourite album of the year: I love its concept and basically every track is great! And obligatory DAT BASS comment for Mirai. In between the normal album, we have the Acoustic Gakkyokushuu CDs, containing acoustic renditions of vocal songs: I personally prefer the first one, with proper acoustic renditions (Chigirizake especially :heart: ), the second one is more a collection of “paprikafications” (term coined by Jordi that I decided to steal) than actual acoustic versions.
2015 albums! Folie à deux and Shoujo Rengoku 3 are among my favourite albums. Folie is beautiful, and still my favourite Hifuu release to this day: I simply love the orchestral sounds, the motif, every single thing about it. And the design, I think the Sis outdid herself with this album! Shoujo Rengoku 3 truly feels like a proper sequel of the first album of the series! Lots of energetic rock but also calmer and experimentative stuff, I love all the tracks, but a special mention goes to Futatsu no Cinema, which was my favourite Touhou arranged song until a certain track released two years later. On the other hand, Getsumen Tansa is an album I still don’t know how to rank. Some certain facts is that it’s the worst album design-wise and that I love Watashi Nokoshi and Bokura no Mirai. And also the infamous Sakebe w Almost all the other tracks are good. …ah right, there is also Suzu no Sorane. It’s my least favourite BUTAOTOME album ever among those I own: it’s very weak, but it has a couple of great tracks (Seven Wonder and Unrav- EHM, Chosha Fumei) and I also love Ranko’s commentary about her lyrics in the album, which she posted on the old blog and you can read in the respective song pages in the site.
2016 albums! As you can see, here there are also the instrumental albums. I don’t dislike the Nekokenban series, I’m simply not a fan as with BUTAOTOME’s “main” side. However, Nekokenban 12 and 13 enchanted me with their sounds and themes, so Papu got my money! Plus Neko no Anmin, thanks to the fan votes, is an album that quite feels like we’ve contributed somehow at the realization. And all the three songs I voted (Mamorubeki Mono, Koishi ni, Y) got in the final tracklist! But now it’s time to talk about the vocal releases. Omatome was that type of album I waited for a long time: I want my compilation tracks in a proper release! Therefore, most of the tracks were listened through time. I’m still waiting for a follow up, there is enough material, come on! Next is Kyou ga Saigo no Ichinichi, which I love! It’s a colorful album, with lots of feelings and bright tracks. And Warp On, also known as “Holy Ranko Rapping”. And it ends with Mou Nani mo Hoka ni Iranai hazu sa: the best closing track of their Touhou albums! Then we have FREAKS. On a personal way, this is a very special album, and lots of memories are associated with it. This copy is also very special (see below). On a musical level, it’s simply magnificent. An evolution of the previous Hifuu-only albums, and probably the best one that shows up together Comp and Paprika’s arranging skills in vocal songs. Paradise Lost is my least liked album of the year, but it’s still a good release! And Haruka Tashika is love. And also Mikan no Yue, Rasen Zetsubou…
2017 albums! Furubokko is the beginning of a new era and the come back of the original albums! Radical Shoujo is such an iconic song (to some extents even more than the titular track in my opinion), Motelab. is so crazy that I just love it, Hakusen is the typical beautiful Pig ballad, and… Then there is Giji Kazoku Nyuumon. It’s okay, not among the best, not among the worst. Tsubureru Riyuu is surprisingly my favourite track, but there are also other good tracks like Nikoichi and Shunshuun. CHILD HOOD’S END is great and one of the best albums of this era! Sawareru Yume is my favourite Touhou arrange and then there are also Inishie, Nekoism. Trauma Recorder is such an awesome follow-up to Furubokko and on par with the albums of the doujin era: it’s perfect and I love every track but especially Fusoku Hokou and Yodare. And at last there is Ayakashi Yokochou: at first I was not a fan of it. It sounded like too Shoujo Rengoku 4-ish and not worth of the hype promised (Ranko was hyping it like the second coming of Ichinichi). It was the first time ever that I didn’t loop a BUTAOTOME album during the event it was released. Then I learned to appreciate it also thanks to that… thing called Touhou Peace. I personally prefer Paprika’s songs in this album, but Inzen is my favourite one. Oh, and Mesen: the panpan part honestly ruined the song for me, but it became Chibi Ranko’s second favourite song because she gets free patpats! In between there are also Nekokenban 14 and 15: the former with an RPG motif and the latter where Paprika kinda rediscovered herself by playing danmaku.
2018 albums. At the moment there are just Majotachi no Ongakushitsu, Daihinmin, Daifugou and Shoujo Rengoku 4, but the Winter Comiket releases (and Yuusei Hakurankai) will join them next year!
Pre-2016 Nekokenbans, mostly bought as part of the Melonbooks campaigns “buy x releases and get free cards”. The series evolved a lot through the years… But Nekokenban 11 has a special place in my heart for being the one that started to make me fully appreciate the cat, and also the one I listened the most together with my special person.
The main discography has been showed, but first here are my autographed copies, brought for me by my friends who I deeply thank! First one is FREAKS. My friend Jaefine always wanted to give me a signed copy of a BUTAOTOME album: she managed to get it at Comiket 90 and FREAKS was just perfect. Then we have Billiards: Scott, when he went to see Buta in June, wanted to bring me a signed copy, he originally wanted to send me Chess or Doubt, but I decided to pick Billiards because while Chess is my favourite album, the copy is quite special, and I want to get it signed by BUTAOTOME themselves the day I’ll meet them. I chose Billiards instead mainly also because it has the song that gives the name to the site :°D I was completely fine with these two signed copies, but at Comiket 92 Jae decided that there is no two without three to get CHILD HOOD’S END as well. It was worth the signature ❤
And at last there is Trauma Recorder!
DVDs! The first two are PVs collections, My personal favourite PVs are Higashi no Kuni no Waltz and Itsumo no Futari. And Kyou En because… it’s Kyou En’s PV. w Then we have the Jump Otome DVD. A BUTAOTOME live DVD was something I always dreamt of, ever since I watched the secret video in the Higashi no Kuni DVD. And the Jump Otome live deserved a video release, with all the spam and huge advertizing during 2014! The live is integrally reproposed in high quality, with just some cuts during the talking parts. My only complaint is the complete lack of extras. Now it’s been some years since its release, and I’m eagerly looking forward another live DVD with lots of the newer songs!
Books! First we have collage, a little book released in 2011 and with some contents made by the four members. Then we have something I should have put in a lower section of the collection, due to be an event-limited release, but it looks good with the other books: Lovely Life. Another little book, with fun comics by Comp, Sis and other two guys plus a CD with a remix of Deadman’s Lovely Life. Finally we have Hanbun Neko: cool and beautiful photos of Japan taken by Comp. Oh, and Paprika in middle. I’m still looking forward more books, Comp! :coughItalycough:
The Bible for every Piggy: the fanbook! This one is hard to describe it shortly, but this definition suits it very well! I’ve pretty much talked about it in my review, so I’ll just leave the link here.
Random guest stuff. This covers most of the albums or things I own which are not by BUTAOTOME but are somehow related to them (I have a couple of other compilation but they have tracks that got re-released on Omatome and I would like to give them away). Starting with the top row, first we have the Urban Legend in Limbo OST, which features Reimu’s theme arranged by Comp. Then we have Flowering Night 2011’s DVD which is incomplete for unknown reasons and I wasn’t aware of that when I bought it, though it has a nice photobook… luckily the entire live is on Youtube (and you can admire the glorious oooooold maaaaasks :ghost: ). Automata Girl’s Sakuraame Cinematographe, which features a track sang by Ranko. Regardless of her presence, it’s a really great album! Then we have the D-Stage Point:Premium 1 disc. I really don’t remember how I found about this little one, but when I discovered it had an exclusive BUTAOTOME song, it became a sort of urban legend for me (there was no sample or XFD available!), until one day I finally got my hands on a copy.
The second row has some original compilations with Butaotome songs, Chunithm OST (Akarui Mirai, my second favourite song) and Melonbooks Shop BGM 1 and 2 (Toumei Mislead, Koe) And at last we have Hifuu stuff which includes anything Buta-related (new song, Ane’s illustration etc.). While some of these have tracks that have been re-released in their discography, I just love to collect interesting Hifuu stuff, so I’m okay with owning those! My personal favourites are Sumireko Gakuen (the Sumireko book on the right), which features a very cute illustration by Ranko no Ane made in the I LOVE style and Hyakuotogo, right under the second Melonbooks compilation, an horror-themed anthology: it has the song Akai Hitomi and a couple of illustration by Sis made for one of the novels included!
Now, some people who know me from long time might have notice that there is no more Kuusou Katsugeki 3, the compilation with Akubi, my all time favourite song. Because it’s now in a better place: in the collection of my special person.
Something cool that deserves its own space! This is a book with SAI tutorials and various illustrations by some famous Touhou artists, including The Sis! There are a couple of exclusive illustrations by her and some album artworks. First press copies purchased on Melonbooks also included this cool Kokoro postcard!
Japanese magazine featuring BUTAOTOME articles/interviews! Sound Designer Dec 17, Bass Magazine Dec 17 and Jan 18 (that cover…) (unpictured because I got it recently: Bass Magazine Nov 18).
And here are the five live exclusives, with entirely new songs. These were distributed during 2014 (first row) and 2015 (second row), to those who went to, respectively, the Jump Otome or the Kashiramoji of songs lives or bought a ticket for them at Reitaisai/Comiket. I got all of these discs from second hand sites, except one. The artwork for GEN and SOU is my favourite BUTAOTOME art and I’ve very glad to have it in a physical format! Anyway, these live exclusives mostly offer generic Touhou material, and I would recommend them only to hardcore fans. But the Kashiramoji of songs present disc is very special for me. The two vocal tracks here are great, one of these is also an original and its piano version is my favourite instrumental track. Also, this CD is a present from my friend Scott, who actually went to the Kashiramoji liveshows, got this disc and after finding this site he sent me a rip. It marked the beginning of our friendship and because of this, he decided to send the physical copy to me despite having told him multiple times not to. It’s now my most precious treasure (excluding signed copies).
Some CDs of the Utau Acoustic series, each one of them was distributed at minor events during 2014. I got them from used shops, and they are the 2,3,7,8. Some of the songs here are even better than the stuff released in the main acoustic album, and it’s a bit of shame BUTAOTOME haven’t released them for the public, especially the tracks in the 2 and 7. I also used to own the 4 as well, but I gifted it to my friend Jordi!
C83 extra. A calendar with the artworks from the albums released at the time: Hikari, Neko 6 and Chess!
C85 extras. My main target was the DVD, but the calendar was included, so why not? The DVD ended up being an half-half: with the “live digest” I was expecting some unreleased footage, but instead is just some random extract from the Yuuhei Gakusai 2013 vid. Luckily the Hajime no Ippo live acoustic performance was worth! The calendar has just the artworks for the C85 releases (TRASH BOX, Neko 8, Hanafuda)
C92 extras: CHILD HOOD’S END fan (so now I can fight the summer heat with the Butapower!!111) and live advert.
Autographed postcard from Furubokko’s promotional events!
Randomz. Top row are promotional stickers for the weekly livestream: first one was the very first one to be made and it was obtainable during C83/2014 events. The second one is the most recent one, advertizing “Comp and Paprika’s adventures in Greenscreen Land” (as I love to call the current “season” of streaming). The two bottom things are some Melonbooks freebies: logo sticker and something for a lottery related to the Livebox.
Randomz part 2: Compachi sticker (Melonbooks freebie for purchasing Trauma Recorder), fanclub and Trauma Recorder tour adverts and album cards (other Melonbooks freebies) (I also have a CHILD HOOD’S END card of the series, which is not pictured).
T-shirts! Dead Sis, 3 of the four colored shirt from 2013 (Red Ranko is the best), Comp .
I’ve put this pink cloth on my window, where I stick various badges, Buta and not. Center top and bottom badges are the Toranoana extra for purchasing Trauma Recorder and Furubokko, respectively. The other four with album covers are badges purchasable at liveshows, They were picked randomly, so they are a nice way to test your luck at the live w There is also one of the free badges from the Trauma Recorder tour: Scott gave it to me because I love MiniPap (Paprika’s noisy handpuppet) but he hates it :laughs: Oh, and on the left side there is a Trauma Recorder tour keychain!
Original-ko’s pouch! It’s so cool that I sometimes include in pics (mainly the birthday ones). I use it to store my Nintendo DS/3DS games. And you can see an example in the picture lol
FREAKS’ mug cup!
Towel! I’ve attached it to my shelf, it looks so cool!
Furubokko’s promotional poster!
Trauma Recorder’s promotional poster! (oh man, why is it so blurry…)
Furubokko’s Melonbooks poster.
At last, here is something interesting: these unofficial fanbooks made by Danna, a Japanese fan. They are centered on the Original-kos, the girls in the cover artworks of Butaotome original albums. In the Japanese fanbase, these girls are pretty popular and they are often subjects to fanarts and other stuff. The first book, Bowling, serves more as an introductory volume, while in Chess we can also see some live reports of the 2016 liveshows. For Billiards I was expecting more action from the Furubokko twins, but they only get briefly introduced around the end of the main story. There is also a short extra story made as a sort of tribute to Bowling, which went out of print at the end of February. It’s named “Bonus Track – 9. Yubikiri (pinky promise)” and it has Bowling-ko and Moni-ko.
Danna released the fourth and fifth books, Hanafuda and Doubt, at the last Comikets, but I didn’t get them because of last minute announcements and misunderstanding with my friend who went to Comiket. Looks like he is planning something special for the next Comiket, now that the five doujin albums are done!
And this is all for this section!
If you managed to read it all, congratulations! You deserve a Chibi Ranko hug!