A (Kinda?) Quick Rundown of Hypnosis Mic

Before Hypnosis Mic‘s anime drops on October 2nd, you might want to learn some things…(If you’re already familiar with the series, you can also see the post I did regarding its lore some months back.)

I tend to use obsession as a cure for all my problems (as detrimental as that can be), so it was kind of fate that this one series I saw in passing in 2017 became my crutch for the COVID-19 period…nay, year. That’s why I’ve been working so hard to talk about and interact with the series. However, it does take a dedicated person to dig into things like seiyuu resumes and songs, so take this as an alternative, or even a companion, to the existing Beginner’s Hypnosis Mic guide on the anime site.

I’ll start by establishing in Hypnosis Mic, the characters are split into “divisions”, normally of 3 people each.

From that yellowish part in the top left and going clockwise: Dice and Ramuda (Fling Posse), Jakurai, Doppo and Hifumi (Matenrou), Saburo, Jiro and Ichiro (Buster Bros), Samatoki, Jyuto and Riou (Mad Trigger Crew) and, finally, Gentaro (Fling Posse). (Image source: the Alternative Rap Battle websitebefore it updated with spoilers for later in the series, that is…)

Ikebukuro

There’s this other anime airing in fall 2020 called Ikebukuro West Gate Park. At first, I was joking about having the Ikebukuro division, Buster Bros, be the artist for it, but now that I think about it, IWGP – or at least the source for the anime – inspired them and not the other way around, so it makes sense there’s a lot of the same aesthetic going on.

Ikebukuro is a hot spot for young people, being home to the Otome Road, among other anime-related things (well, this is an Otomate series…). This would explain why the Buster Bros generally trend younger than the other divisions (the oldest is 19) and act as the face of the series…despite that one typo in their logo.

The brothers themselves are Ichiro, Jiro and Saburo Yamada (voiced by Subaru Kimura, Haruki Ishiya and Kohei Amasaki respectively), the latter two of which are students. All three work as part of Odd Jobs Yamada, which, like Makoto of IWGP, “troubleshoot” neighbourhood problems. While all of them like anime, Jiro is more social while Saburo’s intelligent, but a bit anti-social. Ichiro was a delinquent, Jiro is a delinquent and Saburo…isn’t a delinquent. Notably, Ichiro was part of the former group The Dirty Dawg and one of that group’s progenitors, the Naughty Busters.

Sidebar: Subaru Kimura is part of IWGP, HypMic and Akudama Drive…talk about talent in a certain field…

Music-wise, the trio have a sort of rock-based style of rapping which has some emphasis on interaction, such as the call-and-response I mention in this post. Saburo prefers to sample classical music, backed up by the organ in his Hypnosis Mic, while Jiro has rock guitars as part of his.

Yokohama

Yokohama is a port full of foreign influence, which you can see – with a bit of extra fabrication – in Bungou Stray Dogs, among other anime.

The division from this territory is Mad Trigger Crew, made up of Samatoki Aohitsugi (voiced by Shintaro Asanuma), the second-in-command of the Katen group of yakuza, Jyuto Iruma the dirty cop (voiced by Wataru Komada) and Riou Mason Busujima, formerly of the navy (voiced by Shinichiro Kamio). They may seem tough (Samatoki has a huge grudge against Ichiro, which doesn’t help matters), but they can be nice as well – Samatoki, in particular, is has a soft spot for his sister Nemu. Samatoki also was a member of The Dirty Dawg and before that, one of the Dirty Dawg’s predecessor groups Mad Comic Dialogue.

Riou is a good cook, but his choice of ingredients and the like cause it to be…a bit weird

Music-wise, Mad Trigger Crew lean into the style known as “gangsta rap”, specifically the type popularised on the west side of America. Samatoki, as a yakuza, embraces the aesthetic by injecting the word “gangster”, or a variant thereof, into the names of his solo songs.

Shibuya

Shibuya is a trendy place, well-known for its scramble crossing (according to the ads, it is featured in the upcoming anime for The World Ends with You/Subarashiki Kono Sekai) and its Hachiko statue.

Shibuya’s division is Fling Posse, comprised of fashion designer Ramuda Amemura (voiced by Yuusuke Shirai), writer Gentaro Yumeno (voiced by Souma Saitou), whose constant lies make you doubt what he’s saying, and gambler Dice Arisugawa (voiced by Yukihiro Nozuyama)…who’s perpetually broke and so will be thankful for any kindness that’s given to him, including charitable givings of food.

Funny sidebar: Apparently, Dice has eaten grass and plants before…he clearly never learnt Riou’s “survival cooking”.

Ramuda was once a member of The Dirty Dawg and, before that, a part of the Dirty Dawg’s predecessor group Kuujaku Posse with Jakurai. Currently, those two are at odds with each other.

Each member of Fling Posse has secrets they want to hide, but maybe some secrets stay more hidden than others…

Music-wise, they lean towards the pop genre. Gentaro has a gentler, more Japanese-inspired sound, while Dice uses a lot of fast-paced English.

Shinjuku

Shinjuku is well-known for the seedy and adult-oriented Kabuki-cho, the place where Kabuki-cho Sherlock derives its name. This is probably why the territory’s division has the oldest members out of these 4 divisions.

Shinjuku’s division is Matenrou, with its members being Jakurai Jinguji the doctor, Hifumi Izanami the host and Doppo Kannonzaka, a salaryman:

  • Jakurai (voiced by Sho Hayami) is a kind but simultaneously mysterious guy – rumour has it he was an assassin in the past…The fandom considers him a bit of a dad because of things like his age (35, in comparison to most other characters being 20-somethings) and his hobby of fishing. He was once a member of The Dirty Dawg and, before that, a part of the Dirty Dawg’s predecessor group Kuujaku Posse with Ramuda. Currently, Ramuda and he are at odds with each other.
  • Hifumi (voiced by Ryuichi Kijima) is a host, but has gynophobia which is cured by putting on his host suit (this “host mode” personality is sometimes called “Hifumin”, because that’s what he asks people to call him when he’s like that). He’s extremely dextrous, meaning he can pick up hobbies no problem, but one of the hobbies noted in by the event items in the game Alternative Rap Battle (which I discussed a bit in this post) is making ships in bottles.
  • Doppo (voiced by Kento Ito) apparently has no notable characteristics, but his extreme negativity and tendency to apologise , as well as using lyrics like “I want to sleep”, make him easy for the fandom to latch on to. The only thing more popular than Doppo is (from my perspective as an existing fan) the Hifumi x Doppo ship – the two are childhood friends and live in the same apartment, after all…

Music-wise, Matenrou are a bit of a mixed bag…Jakurai is known for his “unique flow” (an actual attribute in Alternative Rap Battle) which manifests as speaking, rather than singing, and the meaning of his words is more important than keeping to the beat. Hifumi has karaoke-sounding songs (which I think of as “party songs” or “songs to get drunk to”) while Doppo has more chaotic electronic songs which discuss urban/salaryman life.

Puns galore: 摩天楼, read matenrou, means “skyscraper”, but Matenrou is written as 麻天狼. That last character in the division’s name means “wolf”, hence the wolf in their logo.


Hopefully, this is useful for those who are hoping to jump into this series – I’ll be more than happy to talk with you. (I admit I thought up the “songs to get drunk to” phrase off the cuff, but everything else is from a good year or so of being in the fandom with a bit of confirmation via the wiki.)

So, did I do my job? Even if I didn’t, it’s likely these details – and more – will show up in Rhyme Anima.

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