Psychedelica of the Black Butterfly Original Soundtrack
Catalog Number: FFCT-0090 (LE FFCT-0091)
Released On: November 30, 2016
Composed By: Shigeki Hayashi
Arranged By: N/A
Published By: Frontier Works
Recorded At: Unknown
Format: 1 CD
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01 - The Butterfly's Temptation
02 - A Mansion in the Rain
03 - Suspicion
04 - Gate of Memory
05 - Incident
06 - Sprint
07 - Confrontation
08 - Dark Muddiness
09 - Sorrow
10 - Tears
11 - Determination
12 - Bonds That Are Spun
13 - Everyday I
14 - Everyday II
15 - Everyday III
16 - Reminiscence I
17 - Reminiscence II
18 - The Head of the Mansion
19 - Bouncy Heart
20 - The Future
21 - Wound
22 - The Future (Ending Hope ver.)
23 - Wound (Ending Interval ver.)
Total Time:

Psychedelica of the Black Butterfly, also known by its Japanese name "Kokuchou no Psychedelica," is a dark and haunting visual novel in the "otome" subgenre (female protagonist with the majority of the other cast as males that may or may not have "romantic" endings/routes). There are two Psychedelica games: this, and "Haitaka no Psychedelica" or Psychedelica of the Ashen Hawk. However, the two games were developed by two teams, with some staff overlap and some unique team members. The other Psychedelica has a wholly different plot, and it also has its own sound staff. Shigeki Hayashi of Sting fame (see Yggdra Union and other Dept Heaven games, among others) only composed for Black Butterfly.

One frustrating difference between the BB (Black Butterfly) and AH (Ashen Hawk) soundtracks is that BB only contains the in-game BGM, whereas AH has the vocal themes and the BGM all in one package. The BB ending song (which shares the same title as the game itself), sung by Eiko Shimamiya, was published separately at the time of the first game's release, whereas this OST was published almost two years later, after both BB and AH were available in Japan.

Also, before I continue, I should note the difference between FFCT-0090 and FFCT-0091. Basically, there is none. FCCT-0091 sold as a limited edition exclusively through Animate and included a 3-inch diameter full-color badge (with safety pin on back). I think it's silly to differentiate releases with a separate product number just for this kind of bonus: other publishers do first print pack-in bonuses without making a new catalog number all the time. But this is just me complaining about product distribution, when I should be focusing on Shigeki Hayashi's score. So let's get to that!

Compared to Hayashi's past works, you can generally throw aside the upbeat, exciting battle themes from his RPG scores. There are a handful of intense tracks, particularly "Sprint" and "Confrontation." The rest are either pleasant, mysterious, or sorrowful BGM befitting a visual novel. Some tracks here are merely perfunctory, fitting a scene but not standing out in any way. Others, fortunately, do stand out as lovely, and even memorable. For me, the title theme "Butterfly's Temptation" and emotional theme "Tears" are the cream of the crop.

Among the hundred or so visual novel soundtracks I've owned, this one falls somewhere in the lower half. And, though I do not own the full discography of Shigeki Hayashi's works, I would argue that the same ranking would be true among his game music works. That does not at all mean that this music is objectively bad. But there are not enough memorable, impressive pieces of music here for me to sing its praises.

Reviewed by: Patrick Gann