Butaotome (meaning "Pig Girl", stylized as "BUTAOTOME") is a doujin music circle. It was founded in Autumn 2009 by four drinking buddies who "wanted to do something fun". They started uploading stuff on niconico in November — first cover songs, then their own Touhou Project arrangements. They published their first album, Touhou Kaiten Mokuba, in March 2010. Since then, they've participated in every Comiket and Reitaisai and brought at least one new release each time.
Their main type of work is vocal Touhou arrangements characterized by the J-pop/rock sound provided by Comp, Ranko's powerful vocals and Paprika's piano, but they also like to experiment. Ranko's older sister, Ranko no Ane, is the circle's designer. For most albums, the four members created and produced everything. Paprika left the circle in 2020, but the remaining members kept going.
Paprika released the 20 Touhou Nekokenban albums between August 2010 and May 2020. They were pure piano albums with instrumental renditions of Butaotomes vocal songs at first, but became more experimental as the series went on.
The circle also releases original albums and songs, which tend to keep their "standard" sound. Their first five original albums were doujinshi. They released their first commercial album, Furubokko, under Avex Trax in March 2017.
Members (Founding members in bold):
- Ranko - vocals, lyrics (2009-)
- Comp - bass, guitar, programming, lyrics, composition, arrangement, photographs (2009-)
- Paprika - piano, programming, arrangement, lyrics (2009-2020)
- Ranko no Ane - Illustration, design, web design, lyrics (formerly) (2009-)
This music circle provides examples of:
- all lowercase letters: The album title sachlich.
- Amazing Technicolor Wildlife: Ranko no Ane's persona is a pink rabbit.
- Audience Participation Song: Ranko always lets the crowd sing the part before the final refrain of "Machibito wa Kozu".
- Band of Relatives: Ranko and Ranko no Ane are sisters.
- "Blind Idiot" Translation: The album title まじっく・らんたん was somehow translated as "Magic Lanthanum" instead of "Magic Lantern".
- Concept Album: Every Touhou album has a specific motif related to the selected Touhou themes, or simply for the music style.
- Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": The Stage Name of Ranko's older sister is simply "Ranko no Ane" — "Ranko's Older Sister". While it's not surprising that Ranko calls her "ane" and "oneechan", everyone else refers to her as "oneesan" (or something equivalent).
- Funny Animal: With the exception of Ranko, every member has an anthropomorphic animal persona: Paprika is a cat, Comp is a polar bear and Ranko no Ane is a pink rabbit.
- Greatest Hits Album:
- The Buta BEST series consists of four greatest-hits albums featuring vocal Touhou arrangements.
- Omatome is a collection of their guest tracks.
- Touhou Nekokenban THE BEST is a best-of album from the Nekokenban series.
- Touhou OtoGee BEST is a best-of album featuring Butaotome songs from Rhythm Games.
- Yuusei Hakurankai features a selection of their Hifuu songs.
- Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Their original albums released before the major debut are all named after some kind of games.
- Instrumentals: The Touhou Nekokenban series consists entirely of instrumental music.
- Long Title: The album Jitsu wa Sensai na Anata to tama ni Yuukan na Watashi no nandaka Sawaideru tte Hanashi.
- Non-Indicative Name: The circle's name means "pig girl". While three of its four members have Funny Animal personas, there's no pig girl.
- Numbered Sequels:
- The Touhou Nekokenban series just numbers its numerous entries.
- The limited singles in the Music Room trilogy were numbered Vol.1 to Vol.3.
- The limited Utau Acoustic series made it to Utau Acoustic Vol.12.
- Rearrange the Song: Every Touhou album is already a Touhou Remix Album, but some of them feature a re-arrangement of a previously released Touhou arrangement or two. A few examples include:
- Ayakashi Yokochou has "Koi no Yamai (Rojiura ver)" and "Utakata (Rojiura ver)".
- CHILD HOOD'S END features a "Aoi Miren, Aoi Namida (chillax ver)".
- Daihinmin has "Nai. (Daihinmin ver.)".
- Remix Album:
- Ranko got her Stage Name from a Totsugeki! Pappara-tai character.
- The cover of Touhou Nekokenban 5 makes it resemble a PSP game.
- The cover of Touhou Nekokenban 10 look suspiciously like something out of Ratatouille.
- In the PV for "Aoi Miren, Aoi Namida", Cirno plays games that are clearly based on Super Mario World, Mega Man and Balloon Fight, among others. The video itself pays homage to several IOSYS PVs like "Cirno's Perfect Math Class" and "Marisa Stole the Precious Thing".
- Stage Names: Every member of the circle has a stage name.
- Ranko is named after a Totsugeki! Pappara-tai character.
- Ranko no Ane is Ranko's older sister.
- Comp's name comes from "compressor" because he loves it.
- The origin of Paprika's stage name is unknown, but she doesn't like paprika.
- Step Up to the Microphone: Some side albums feature vocals by other members than the circle's main vocalist Ranko:
- sachlich has three songs with vocals by Ranko no Ane.
- I LOVE RED and I LOVE CHERRY have vocals by Comp and Paprika.
- Title Track: Arikitari na Nouzui yo, Koyoi no Tsuki to Odore, Furubokko and Trauma Recorder feature one.
- Trrrilling Rrrs: Ranko used to roll her R's frequently, but has toned it down a lot after the release of Getsumen Tansa in December 2015. She still does it occasionally.
- With Lyrics: Most of their songs are vocals arrangements of instrumental Touhou Project music.
- Work Info Title: The title of the Touhou Nekokenban series means "Touhou Keyboard Cat", which lets you know that (1) it's a Touhou Fan Music series, (2) they're primarily piano albums, and (3) the primary contributor is the member with a cat persona.
- Youkai: Some of their Touhou arrangements deal with youkai — not surprising considering the source material:
- Most of the songs on Pop are about youkai eating humans.
- The Shoujo Rengoku series has art based on illustrated night parades and Ukiyo-e style.