Welcome to the second part of the 3rd anniversary celebration! This page was meant to be published at the same day of the anniversary, but I decided to postpone it for two reasons: to better focus on the main post and… to celebrate a more personal anniversary that is today August 16th.
In my mind I divide BUTAOTOME’s vocal output in 3 big categories: original songs, Touhou songs and Hifuu songs. They have so many Touhou songs that for me it’s very hard to make a list of my favourites. On the other hand I could make a top Hifuu, maybe next year…! But now let’s talk about their originals.
I love BUTAOTOME’s originals and I hold them very dearly. I feel like they can express their true music potential, in a more free way than being bounded by the fantastic eastern land full of girls. I remember I used to imagine Merry and Renko while listening to them, but now they are pretty much the territory of Morgan and Muse from Seihou. Or better, my personal interpretation of those characters, where they are much more human-like. They deal with completely human problems and live in a modern day city where everything can happen. After all, Renko and Merry have a fuckload of songs, while Seihou characters will never be able to live in BUTAOTOME songs. Except in my dreams (and VIVIT’s cameo in Sukoshi Mukashi no Ohanashi doesn’t count).
My original plan was to make a top 10: a generic, mainstream number. Then, in phase of writing, I decided to move one position and delete one spot. It’s now a top 8, like your typical vocal album! Now, let’s start…
8. Yodare (from Trauma Recorder)
A quite controversial song, I think. From my experience, this one is part of a group of songs Piggies either love (because they can appreciate their beauty) or find “meh” (because they simply prefer more rock stuff): that kind of calmer, not “happy-go-lucky” pop song with also some delicious bass. As for me, I’m not a strong lover of that category, but there are some songs I appreciate a lot. And Yodare is one of these. I admit I was expecting something weirder from the sample, but I still fell in love with the full thing. Sadly it has an issue: it’s not a great song live. I remember when a certain person (who is not a fan of the song overall) asked me what did I think about Yodare from the footages I saw in the fanclub, my reaction was: “wait… Did they really play Yodare?!” Which led us to running jokes about the song being forgettable. But that’s only its problem: I still love it as studio track and in the album!
But now let’s start this top: I said it was a top 8, but I don’t know why I skipped the last position…
7. Circus (from Chess)
This top 8 is more a collection of stories, and there is no collection of Butastories without Chess. Still my favourite BUTAOTOME album, or at least the most important one for me. The album that made me realize that these four wonderful creatures are much more than “Ranko singing cool things”. The album I want to get signed by the four members the day I’ll finally meet them, possibly while giving them a jar of True Pesto™. An album that for me it’s perfection, with each track flowing without any flaw. I mentioned already that I don’t listen to its tracks by themselves, with the possible exception of Circus. Circus is the key track of the album, the one with that “single” vibe. I can easily imagine a videoclip for that, with the four Butamembers playing in a circus, alternated by scenes with the protagonist of the song.
6. Tanpopo (from Konami’s GITADORA (game))
I mentioned this a couple of times, but saying it again doesn’t hurt: we seriously need the “Original OtoGee Best”. I think the tracks made for music games are all top material and they truly deserve a proper album release. One could complain that the tracks are “short”; the Original Best could include some extended versions, but I think they are perfect in this way. (if anything, I would like a in vocal version of Rockin’ Pink Monster, I even dreamed of it some nights ago)
Among the songs in this group, Tanpopo is my second favourite one (omg spoiler?). I consider it to be the “dark side” of another music game song we’ll find later. Also, as much as I hate dumbly translated titles, I don’t mind if it’s called “Dandelion”. It sounds cooler!
5. Tiramisu Cowboy (from Billiards)
OH WELL. Tiramisu Cowboy has been always one of my favourite songs from Billiards, but it wasn’t until I created this website that it didn’t became so dear to me. I remember 3+ years ago I was struggling with finding a simple name for this website. All the fansites dedicated to musical artists are named after one song, album or just “:band name: International/:nation name:”, so I wanted to name my fansite with a recognizable song. And because BUTAOTOME are first of all a Touhou circle, I wanted to use a Touhou song (and, at least at that time, most overseas people cared exclusively about their Touhou vocals). But none of them sounded cool enough as website name, at least for me. Then, one day, while playing Pokémon Omega Ruby, I decided to name my secret base “Tiramisu Cowboy” for the lulz. I realized afterwards that it was the perfect name. Who cares if it wasn’t a toho song, it’s a recognizable title in every language! As time passed and I continued to manage the website, I noticed how the song was perfect not just for its “cool sounding name”. It’s a representation of BUTAOTOME’s fun side, which is their basis. And isn’t this website based on fun?
Since last year, the song lost its status of “live staple”, in favour of its “sibling” Saru being played more often. And I admit I scream on private chats “FUCK YOU WHERE IS TIRAMISE”. Hey Saru, you are a cool song, but you are played often because Paprika “plays” the guitar and that’s a funny moment. That’s the truth!!!11
4. Fusoku Hokou (from Trauma Recorder)
Actually, this position is named “ballad spot”. Why I decided to put Fusoku Hokou in the end? Well, obviously because in this website we favor the newer songs! Fuck the past and the overplayed 2010 hits! Now I’m going to change this website’s name with the newest cool single! So, until the C95 releases this website will be named Fabulous!
…Congratulations Violet. You just ruined what was supposed to be the most serious spot. Now, let’s talk seriously. I love every single sad ballad from BUTAOTOME. It’s one of those type of songs where Ranko’s voice is able to shine the most. If this top was unlimited, I probably would have put all of them. But there are two ballads that I love more than all the rest: Waizatsu Ideology and Fusoku Hokou. I ended up choosing the latter for a simple reason. When I listened to it, it reminded me how Ranko’s voice is beautiful and capable to give emotions, even after those years. Sure, nowadays she doesn’t do the RRRR that much now (I can reteach you, my dear…!), but that’s a small thing. She is still an awesome singer and the voice of my heart.
3. Itami Honpo (from Hanafuda)
A song that for me it’s a masterpiece and that closes a great album in a wonderful way. Something that truly deserves to be put in a major release! The main reasons I love it so much are its style (quite unique in the BUTAOTOME repertoire, I can easily compare it with Jigoku Kakurenbo but sorry, Itami is better) and also the lyrical content: I’m someone who is horrible at interpreting lyrics, but Itami Honpo has a clear and simple concept (pain marketing) I was able to understand even when I looked at the lyrics the first time (and my Japanese was good exclusively for transcribing sheet). If a pain shop existed in reality, would you sell your pain? But I don’t think there is need of a specific shop: perhaps you might find pain in some material objects that bring you bad memories…
2. Akarui Mirai (from SEGA’s CHUNITHM (game))
“We need the Original OtoGee Best” – the Revenge. I already praised BUTAOTOME’s music games contributions with Tanpopo, but here is another song! I have been always a fan of those tracks, but when I listened to Akarui Mirai for the first time, I found something that wasn’t in all the previous songs. That sparkle that made me define it as my favourite of all the music game songs. The song that would have become the “light side” of Tanpopo later. I don’t even know why I have this specific association. Akarui Mirai represents something I’m trying to purse: the bright future of the title. I think that’s something we all want, but sometimes I need a reminder of that: don’t think about the bad things and go on your way to build your bright, sparkling future.
1. Akubi (from Voltage of Imagination’s Kuusou Katsugeki 3)
The historical favourite of mine. An unchangable spot. I honestly can’t remember when I started to consider it as my favourite song. Back at the beginning of the 2012, when I was just a simple fun of Ranko’s voice hunting for everything about her. I was amazed by this song because it wasn’t a Touhou track. I didn’t even hear something that barely resembled a toho theme. “Hi, we are BUTAOTOME and we can do original songs, too!” I wanted more. And while I was very happy with Bowling’s release some months later, no one of its tracks was as awesome as Akubi. And even after Chess’ release, that feeling was still there. I think it was around the time that I decided it was my favourite song. Today I listen to it mainly in very special occasions. And it reminds me that even after all these years, my love for those wonderful creatures is still here. Time passes. I changed. They changed. We changed. But some things don’t change. And sometimes it’s better in this way.
…but does the top really end here?
BONUS: Mondai (from KASHIRAMOJI of SONGS PRESENT DISC)
This is the story of a simple BUTAOTOME overseas fan. Like a lot of people in the fanbase, he was here just for the cool Ranko vocals, but that was enough to make them his favourite band. His interest waned with time, for multiple reasons. Until September 2015, when he went to Japan for the first time.
His coworker suggested him to check out shows in random livehouses, if there was anything that could interest him. Turned out that BUTAOTOME were playing two nights in a row!! And he decided to go. Once Kokochiyosa ni Shine started playing, he realized in which kind of situation he was. His favourite band was playing in front of him! He was seeing them live! Ranko was here!!!! It was awesome, and he decided to go to the second night as well. His Japanese at the time was very limited, but he was able to catch something about “bringing both night tickets to X, get something”. He got the small CD that was exclusive to this live, but he didn’t know about its rarity, and what would have brought to him.
Some months after the live, at the beginning of 2016, he was still in a big BUTAOTOME mood, but no one of his friends liked them (relatable story). He decided to check if there was any fanclub/fangroup dedicated to the circle… and he found a certain website named Tiramisu Cowboy. He was amazed by how the girl who managed the site was very dedicated to BUTAOTOME, and he also read a very long post where, among the other things, she said that she was missing the Kashiramoji of Songs present disc and she wanted to hear especially the second track, Mondai. So, our protagonist grabbed his courage and decided to send her an email.
…Actually, the girl managed to get somehow a rip of that album, thanks to someone on Twitter (in case you are reading this: thank you again!), but she didn’t reveal it and still kindly accepted his offering. She was fated to have that disc. And it’s here that their stories interwine. They started to know each other via email exchange, afterwards they moved on Steam and then Discord. Despite the continental distance, they felt very close to each other and they shared a lot of moments together, related to their favourite band and other things. The girl found in the boy someone she could completely open herself up, and the boy found someone he truly wanted to make happy.
What I have just narrated is the story of how me and my special person, Scott, met each other. And all thanks to this song. All the things that happened in the first part were so easy to miss, and history would have been very different. It’s like… BUTAOTOME themselves planned all of this accordingly.
Usually I put Mondai in the top 3 (and I like the song a lot by itself), but I thought it would have been better in this special spot. Also because today is the anniversary of when I got my signed copy of Billiards from Scott along with something else. That’s why I decided to postpone this top! I will save you random readers from cheesy phrases I can tell him privately. Instead, I want to tell you something: if you have a passion you deeply believe in, I hope you will find happiness and your path in it. Tiramisu Cowboy is my path and I hope I can continue to walk it!
And said this, thank you for reading!