Legendary rap group The Dirty Dawg could have taken Japan by storm, but they broke up before they could. Now each member has joined one of four rival groups—fighting for the territories Ikebukuro, Yokohama, Shibuya, and Shinjuku. Battles for turf are fought with Hypnosis Mics. These special microphones have the power to affect the human spirit, and people now use rap to determine superiority.
Is it an amazingly good quality anime? No. Is it very obviously geared towards an otome/bl-loving audience? Yes. Is it still worth watching? Definitely! I knew a little about HypMic before the anime came out, so while I was looking forward to seeing everyone animated I had low expectations of the story and general execution of the whole thing (I had no idea how they were going to turn bishie rap battles into a full 13 ep anime). HOWEVER, not only did HypMic exceed my low expectations, I also found myself really enjoying every episode. The characters in this are actually more developed and "fresh" than your average shoujo (especially Ramuda) and I loved all their different personalities (yeah, some are cliche-ish but at least they're distinct!) and watching them interact. The animation and CGI are surprisingly good too, and though the raps can be cringey (the eNgrIsH nOoo), the music is still strong and there are some genuine bops. Basically, while HypMic isn't a good good anime, it's still really entertaining and I'd recommend this if you're feeling crap and need a pick-me-up.... or you just want to fawn over bishie rappers (and you're an Idol anime fan). It's definitely become one of my "guilty pleasure" anime (alongside Idolish7), so if there happens to be a Season 2, chances are I'll be watching it.
You may have stumbled upon this show while looking for a pretty-boy type show. Let me warn you now, you don't want to watch this. There are a ton of other shows who tried something similar and did it better. Liking anime boys is no reason to punish yourself with sub-par anime. Story: By far the weakest point of the show, there is barely any plot and a rather stupid setting. It sets up in an alternative modern world Japan where women have taken control of the government and make it law that all weapons are now banned and everyone must solve their problems with rap battles. It literally makes no sense, no matter how you look at it. It's just plain laughable. Its not one of those 'just don't think about it too hard' shows, because glaring plot/setting holes are everywhere and are very distracting. From there, most of the episodes follow a large cast of singers as they go about their days. In the last few episodes they try to come back to the 'plot', but again nothing was ever explained, so it is still frustratingly dull and senseless. They didn't make this show because they had a story to tell, they needed a vague reason for the characters to meet up so they could sell merch. Characters: All one-note characters with little to no character development. They are at least very easy to tell apart (different character designs) and all have different tropes. None are noteworthy, but its admittedly still fun to play 'who is best boy?'. Sound: While none of the songs used in the show were particularly memorable, I didn't mind the singing/songs themselves, and hearing rap in anime was actually a nice change of pace from the usual J-Pop/idol stuff. While some were more annoying than others, most of the characters were easily identifiable by their singing voice alone and I appreciated that. Overall: I get it, some people like trash with pretty boys. But this is more difficult to watch than other shows with similar audiences. If you want something that is at least decent, try Idolish7, Free, Host Club, or Yuri on Ice. That way you can get attractive anime boys AND a good show. There is no need to waste your time on shows like this.
Japanese media aimed towards female viewers has a lot of options when it comes to the male idol genre. So much so that new ideas may seem to come across as a bit stale. Enter Hypnosis Mic, a series that stands as the weird cousin to these types of series. Instead of pretty boys performing on stage with bubblegum pop lyrics and shiny outfits, you get pretty boys rapping eachother into oblivion in an alternate version of Japan where weapons have been outlawed, so what do you do? Wage war with words. What started of as a series of character based rap songs combined with the narritive of drama tracks has now taken off into it's own mixed media franchiset that consists of CDs manga, stage plays, live shows with the voice actors and more merch than anyone should be able to afford. The anime is the latest addition to the Hypnosis Mic (or Hypmic) canon. The anime so far seems to be following the basic premise set up by all it's predessors in that, at somepoint in this alternate Japan, women took over the government with the power of "hypnosis microphones" that can be used to vocally beat someone into submission. With weapons outlawed, the men of the world now fight it out in territory based divison rap battles with their only weapons being said hypnosis microphones. Is it silly? Yes. It's a bonkers premise that runs full speed ahead into taking itself seriously enough that bank robbers and yakuza thugs all use hypmics as weapons. So, if want to see bad guys getting sick beat versed into the ground, here's your show. Kudos to A1 for actually making this series look good. A lot of otome-type series suffer from bad animation, from off-model characters to wonky backgrounds. Hypnosis Mic has not suffered this cruel fate, and the characters look vibrant and well done. Perhaps the biggest question should stand as, well can they actually rap? Some better than others, but that's really up to people's taste, and for me personally, there are stand outs and weak links. Sure, it's not the rap music a western audience would expect, but I did find it hilarious that the English release of the series needs a MA warning for all the swearing that is present within the series. In the end, Hypnosis Mic is a silly idea that takes it self very seriously. The show can only reveal so much of what makes the series great. If you are enjoying it, I reccomend getting out and trying the music that started it all, and anticipating the new wave of rapping anime/manga/games that a sure to follow it's huge sucess.
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