Hypnosis Mic -Division Rap Battle- Rhyme Anima
Episodes 1-3

by Lynzee Loveridge,

How would you rate episode 1 of
Hypnosis Mic -Division Rap Battle- Rhyme Anima ?

How would you rate episode 2 of
Hypnosis Mic -Division Rap Battle- Rhyme Anima ?

How would you rate episode 3 of
Hypnosis Mic -Division Rap Battle- Rhyme Anima ?

If you read our reviews on Preview Guide, you know that Hypnosis Mic is unabashedly weird. Its premise defies criticism. Japan has been overtaken by female fascists who, in an effort to stave off male aggression and continue to hold power, collected all firearms and replaced them with microphones. These mics transform sick beats into manifestations of power and now all conflicts are solved in hip-hop showdowns. It's alluded to that one supergroup, The Dirty Dawg, began doing too well and the government separated its four members: Ichiro Yamada, Samatoki Aohitsugi, Ramuda Amemura, and Jakurai Jinguji.

Each former Dirty Dawg member is now the "center" of his own rap trio and each trio calls a different district of Tokyo home. Eventually they'll all meet again in the Division Rap Battle tournament, yet another government-run competition to divert attention away from, well, the government. Despite the set-up, the first three episodes of Hypnosis Mic are centered on introducing the cast and...solving crimes with rap.

Before I get into all the absurdity of episodes one and two, let me elucidate on what readers really want to know: whether the music is good. The answer is...not really. Episode one gives you an idea of the different musical flavors and dynamics of each group and while Mad Trigger Crew is far and away my favorite based on personality, Buster Bros. is probably the best sounding trio of the bunch. Fling Posse has some promise based on the opening song, but their solo in episode one was snooze-worthy and they haven't been spotlighted since. Then there's Matenrō, who easily features my favorite character Doppo, the Aggretsuko-adjacent office worker, but their songs are 0/2. Doc Jinguji's style does absolutely nothing for me and lacks any kind of rhythm. Instead, it sounds like a lecture being played over the backbeats. Maybe that's the point?

Episode two was Buster Bros.-centered and focused on Ichiro getting pulled into a bank robbery and sending coded signals to his two bickering brothers after they hack into the mainframe the bank's security camera system. Crisis averted via jaw-dropping rhymes. The following Matenrō episode is a standout only because it fed my insatiable appetite for more disaster Doppo reactions as he finds a dead guy in his apartment and is framed for the crime. He and host Hifumi (whose whole schtick is he's a womanizer until his jacket is removed) go out to find the real killer while eluding the cops.

I'm betting the next two episodes will be additional group-focused excursions; one for Fling Posse and one for Mad Trigger Crew. I'm hoping we get a better rap-pop track out of Fling Posse's episode and get to see more between the yakuza-cop husbands of Mad Trigger Crew. Keeping my fingers crossed that the animation stays in tip-top shape and things get even weirder.


Hypnosis Mic -Division Rap Battle- Rhyme Anima is currently streaming on Funimation.

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