The Questionable Lore of Hypnosis Mic

Hypnosis Mic’s got an anime coming out soon, so I wanted to point out a few fundamental flaws, ones that will undoubtedly cause outrage when certain people hear about it…

The central premise of Hypnosis Mic is that women take forcible control of Japan’s government in order to stop world war. In exchange, men fight wars with their words with the title weapon – a microphone that is able to control the mind – to take back territory from each other.

This scenario of oppression brings to mind a sort of Ooku scenario – that is, where women are in control rather than the men – but then you see nurses working under Jakurai, a doctor, like it’s our world. Well, this could be cleared up if it’s identified that not all women in this fictional universe have the power over men, but it’s still vague as to how reversed the gender-based hierarchy really is after the Kotonoha Party (which has the ruling women) takes over.

On this same note, Jakurai outright says at one point (in one of the manga and the matching drama segment), “If you’re men, you can rap, yes?” (or something to this effect) The thing about gender equality is just that – it’s not that men, women or any other gender should be more powerful than each other. Associating men with rap not only tries to reinforce gender roles (which is basically the opposite to having gender equality) to the point where it almost sounds like gender essentialism, but it also goes against how the Kotonoha Party took over in the first place – using their own form of rap. This is, of course, if you see their takeover as rap, because depending on exactly how you interpret some of the songs that come out more like someone is speaking rather than singing, then you could interpret…whatever Otome used for said takeover…as the former.

This scenario also brings to mind how rap came about – the oppressed, particularly African-Americans, fighting for their rights, as it were. This reveals an ugly side to the entire Hypnosis Mic franchise, since women (and those of other genders, who go for this sort of thing) vote for their favourite rappers/division with their money. Basically, it’s weaponising a genre of music which used to be political and turning it into a money-maker, which is a rather questionable thing to do.

Even still, sometimes I guess I just need to stop thinking with my critic’s brain. Things like this are just meant to be fun stuff to throw your disposable income at. The music is catchy and although if you care about certain measurements of “diversity”, such as race, there’s not enough reputation (by the way, the furthest anyone gets with that is the part-Caucasian part-Japanese former army sergeant Riou, who’s rather true to his team of Yokohama in that Yokohama is a port with lots of foreign influence and a US military base), there’s enough diversity in the other measurements, that if you like bishonen like I do, there’s bound to be someone for you…not to mention the core premise is that men fight each other with rap, plus simultaneously the most gaudy and yet awesome microphones known to humankind. When you know that, Hypnosis Mic loops from being something to seriously critique to something you just gotta go with the flow on…


So, what do you think of Hypnosis Mic? Any fans in the house?

 

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