Hypnosis Mic -Division Rap Battle- Rhyme Anima
Episodes 8-9

by Lynzee Loveridge,

How would you rate episode 8 of
Hypnosis Mic -Division Rap Battle- Rhyme Anima ?

How would you rate episode 9 of
Hypnosis Mic -Division Rap Battle- Rhyme Anima ?

Initially I felt some guilt bundling these two episodes together but seeing as episode 8 is just a two-part "boys solve crimes" in the show's ongoing string of fixing problems with rap battles, I'd probably have had next to nothing to talk about last week. I was on the money about Jyuto being set-up. The first half of the episode deals with him almost missing his Division Battle but making it in the nick of time after Iris exposes his coworkers misdeeds. The second half focuses on Ramuda mulling over the general lack of camaraderie in Fling Posse as he and Gentaro have to yet again bail Dice out of a shady gambling situation.

Nothing of note really happens, although there are a few (ironically?) funny scenes, like learning that Rio has some kind of makeshift hacking center set up in a local park somewhere. It's the next episode where we get to see all the players finally interact with one another naturally. Samatoki hates Ichiro (and vice versa) due to how things went down during their Dirty Dawg days. The exact mechanizations behind everything are still scarce. All we know is that Ichiro's brothers were kidnapped by the government and during the last Division Battle there was a button? That would murder them? And Samatoki pressed it? Obviously they didn't die but Ichiro still carries a lot of hostility due to the situation. Likewise Samatoki hates Ichiro because he said something to Samatoki's sister that made her leave? We know Ramuda helped orchestrate this in some way because he's a pink little slimeball. Jakurai's animosity towards him isn't clear, but I wouldn't be surprised if he just sees through his bullshit.

The episode then heads into the Mad Trigger Crew vs Buster Bros battle and honestly? I'm a little underwhelmed. What makes rap battles entertaining is the ingenuity of wordplay to cut your opponent down to size. Rappers have to be able to "read" their opponent on the fly if they want to get in some truly clever digs. Hypnosis has the additional advantage of not actually having to make these songs up in one go and writing about their own OCs. Yet the battle itself was tepid and uninsightful. Barring letting the characters actually mock one another, the format could have been used to honestly confront their animosity towards one another to reveal their feelings and the events that took place in the past but that option wasn't utilized. Instead, most of the disses were rehashes of yelling "hypocrite" with no real justification, poking at one another's age (youth vs adults), and profession (cops/military/crime lords suck). The translation also didn't flow as well as it has in the past. Musically, this episode just didn't have the writing chops to carry what should have been a tension-filled episode. Mad Trigger Crew and Buster Bros are consistently the best two groups out of the four so I have even less hope for an engaging battle going into episode 10.


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

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