The conflict was replaced, not by the military forces, but through the use of specialized microphones which directly affect the mind. Lyrics recited through the device can cause a variety of different effects on a target via their nervous system.
The name of this new technology: the Hypnosis Microphone.
Men are forced to live in areas outside the Central Ward note called Divisions. One crew represents each division to battle it out and expand their territory. These men put their pride on the line as the Territory Battles begin.
In this new world where words are literally mightier than any weapon, rap is power. (translation by hypmic_en)
Hypnosis Mic: Division Rap Battle is a music franchise by Otomate, Idea Factory and King Records. Beginning in 2017, the franchise consists mostly of character song albums, with drama tracks telling most of the story. The first Battle Season began in 2018, pitting Buster Bros!!! against MAD TRIGGER CREW in WAR WAR WAR, and Fling Posse against Matenro in BATTLE BATTLE BATTLE. MAD TRIGGER CREW and Matenro won their respective battles and continued on into the final round, DEATH RESPECT. The crowned winner of the current final round was Matenro.
In addition, three different manga have been announced for the franchise, all of which will begin serializing in December 2018: one focusing on the Buster Bros!!!/MAD TRIGGER CREW rivalry, another focusing on Fling Posse/Matenro, and a prequel manga focusing on the rise and fall of The Dirty Dawg. Dotsuitare Honpo and Bad Ass Temple joined them in April 2020, while the manga were continued in 2020 and 2021 with Side BB & MTC+, Side FP & M+ and Dawn of Divisions.
A mobile game adaptation was announced at 2018's Otomate Party, and was released in March 2020. Titled Hypnosis Mic: Alternative Rap Battle, this Rhythm Game is set in an Alternate Continuity than the main story. In April 2019, Otomate released a song, "History of Hypnosis Mic", sung by Japanese educational rapper Co.Keio, providing a brief history of the series from initial conception to the current (as of April 2019) season for newcomers.
An anime television series adaptation titled Hypnosis Mic: Division Rap Battle: Rhyme Anima was announced on December 4, 2019. The series premiered on October 2nd, 2020 and is licensed by Aniplex of America.
All songs are available on the project's YouTube channel, although some of them just as previews.
Since October 2, 2019, all songs and most of the drama tracks were made available for streaming outside Japan on Apple Music and Spotify (new songs become available on release date depending on your time zone). In addition, King Records has an official fan club for the franchise, Hypster, for fans all over the world to join, with perks and rewards exclusive for registered members.
- Team introduction
- Ikebukuro Division: BUSTER BROS!!! Generation - Character song album for Buster Bros!!!
- Yokohama Division: BAYSIDE M.T.C - Character song album for MAD TRIGGER CREW
- Shinjuku Division: Matenro - Aural Medicine - Character song album for Matenro
- Shibuya Division: Fling Posse-F.P.S.M- - Character song album for Fling Posse
- First Battle Season
- Buster Bros!!! VS MAD TRIGGER CREW - Battle Season album, pitting Buster Bros!!! against MAD TRIGGER CREW, with MAD TRIGGER CREW as the winner.
- Fling Posse VS Matenro - Battle Season album, pitting Fling Posse against Matenro with Matenro as the winner.
- MAD TRIGGER CREW vs Matenro - Battle Season album, pitting MAD TRIGGER CREW against Matenro with Matenro as the winner. Includes remixes of the group songs from the previous albums.
- The Champion - Single containing the winning song for Matenro and T.D.D Legend, a song by The Dirty Dawg
- Enter the Hypnosis Microphone - The first full album, containing division songs, songs from the battle season and several new songs.
- Introduction of new teams
- Osaka Division: Aah, Osaka dreamin' night - Character song album for Dotsuitare Honpo.
- Nagoya Division: Bad Ass Temple Funky Sounds - Character song album for Bad Ass Temple.
- Division Rap Battle+, a remake of the original to include the new divisions.
- Division Battle Anthem+, a remake of the original to include the new divisions.
- Before the second battle season
- Buster Bros!!! -Before The 2nd D.R.B- - Second character song album for Buster Bros!!!
- MAD TRIGGER CREW -Before The 2nd D.R.B- - Second character song album for MAD TRIGGER CREW
- Fling Posse -Before The 2nd D.R.B- - Second character song album for Fling Posse
- Matenro -Before The 2nd D.R.B- - Second character song album for Matenro
- Second Battle Season
- Dotsuitare Honpo VS Buster Bros!!! - Battle Season album, pitting Dotsuitare Honpo against Buster Bros!!!.
- Bad Ass Temple VS Matenro - Battle Season album, pitting Bad Ass Temple against Matenro.
- Fling Posse VS MAD TRIGGER CREW - Battle Season album, pitting Fling Posse against MAD TRIGGER CREW.
- Bonus songs released with the manga
- Wrap&Rap ～3 Minutes Vibe Cooking～ - duet by Doppo Kannonzaka and Hifumi Izanami.
- Nausa de Zuiqu, also sometimes known as Sauna Quiz - duet by Ichiro Yamada and Samatoki Aohitsugi.
- Private Time - duet by Riou Mason Busujima and Jyuto Iruma.
- LESSON - duet by Jakurai Jinguji and Ramuda Amemura.
- Naniwa☆Paradisenote - trionote by Dotsuitare Honpo.
- RIP - trio by Bad Ass Temple.
- Bonus songs released with the Official Guidebook
- SUMMIT OF DIVISIONS - An all-division song.
- Femme Fatale - Team introduction song for the Central Ward Divsion.
Welcome to the Division!:
- 20 Minutes into the Future: Aside from references to the hypnosis microphones and Chuoku, there's barely any indication that the story takes place in the future.
- Fashion styles remain the same, people's everyday lives seem largely unchanged, and Ichiro makes references to Neon Genesis Evangelion.
- Gentaro and Doppo also make references to the Reiwa era (in Alternative Rap Battle and BLACK OR WHITE, respectively) as if it were present day, even though the Reiwa era should be distant history by the time the story takes place.
- Apparently, according to the TDD manga, the world had just gotten out of World War III, which was responsible for the death of a full third of the world's population, but this major event seems to have barely had any effect on Japan, aside from the establishment of Chuoku. Host clubs still exist.
- Art Shift:
- Badass Crew: The Dirty Dawg. It was a legendary rap crew formed two years prior to the story, composed of the leaders of each of the current divisions, but broke up for unknown reasons.
- Battle Rapping: The entire basis of the plot. Monthly Territory Battles are organized by the Central Ward. The representative crew from each division puts their territory on the line to fight for additional territory and a monetary prize.
- Call-Back: Aside from the opening speech, Ichiro's first solo lines in WAR WAR WAR are "Ore ga Ichiro (I am Ichiro)", an obvious reference to his solo song, Ore ga Ichiro.
- Cast Full of Pretty Boys: It's an Otomate series, what did you expect? Though Riou leans more towards a Hunk while Jakurai, Rei, and Hitoya have Silver Fox qualities.
- Cast Herd:
- The main characters are sorted into "Divisons" that represent a Tokyo district (or in the case of Osaka and Nagoya, a Japanese city). There's Ikebukuro/Buster Bros (Ichiro, Jiro, Saburo), Yokohama/MAD TRIGGER CREW (Samatoki, Jyuto, Riou), Shibuya/Fling Posse (Ramuda, Gentaro, Dice), Shinjuku/Matenrou (Jakurai, Hifumi, Doppo), Osaka/Dotsuitare Honpo (Sasara, Rosho, Rei), and Nagoya/Bad Ass Temple (Kuko, Jyushi, Hitoya).
- There's also the division leaders/first-liners (Ichiro, Samatoki, Ramuda, Jakurai, Sasara, Kuko), the second-liners (Jiro, Jyuto, Gentaro, Hifumi, Rosho, Jyushi), and the third-liners (Saburo, Riou, Dice, Doppo, Rei, Hitoya).
- Chromosome Casting: The main cast consists of all-male rap groups, with most women serving as side characters, family, or announcers.
- Clothing Damage: Apparently, rap battles fought using hypnosis microphones can cause this, as seen on the DEATH RESPECT album cover.
- Color-Coded for Your Convenience: The four main divisions are represented by the three primary colors, plus grey. Everyone introduced after them takes from another color of the rainbow.
- Ikebukuro is red.
- Yokohama is blue.
- Shibuya is yellow.
- Shinjuku is grey.
- Osaka is orange.
- Nagoya is purple.
- In the past, The Dirty Dawg was represented by the color black.
- In addition, the Central Ward government is represented by the color hot pink.
- Darker and Edgier: Plenty of the second season solo songs compared to the older ones.
- New Star is a fairly calm Establishing Character Moment for Saburo, whereas Requiem is much more intense and has lyrics akin to Saburo developing a god complex.
- drops is an upbeat song with cutesy lyrics, while Pink-Colored Love has a glitch aesthetic and the second half of the song mirrors Ramuda's character arc in "The Loneliness, Tears, and Hope of a Puppet."
- Tigridia is slow and somber with depressing lyrics, while BLACK OR WHITE has Doppo outright rap about serious issues in Japan's workforce, such as power harassment.
- Establishing Character Moment: Division Rap Battle is one for all of the characters, and each division as a whole, as well.
- Excuse Plot: The premise of the franchise seems like this, as there is really no logical reason as to why battle rapping should have to do with the segregation of men and women in their world, along with a majority of the population being wiped out in a war. The franchise does do its best to gradually build up off of the initial premise with every installment that comes after, however.
- Everyone Has a Special Move: Every major character has a "Rap Ability", special powers that develop when they continue to successfully use the Hypnosis Mic over a long period of time.
- Ichiro: "Critical Blow", which allows him to release a critical hit more powerful than standard attacks.
- Jiro: "Rally", in which he releases a strong one-time attack by using a power from his teammates.
- Saburo: "Delete", in which he nullifies an opponent's attack.
- Samatoki: "Counter Blow", in which he absorbs his opponent's attacks and retaliates with increased power.
- Jyuto: "Prison", in which he immobilizes an opponent and traps them in a "cage".
- Riou: "Shelter", which creates a barrier that increases defense for him and his team.
- Ramuda: "Dazzle", in which he creates illusions.
- Gentaro: "Imitation", in which he copies an opponent's Rap Ability.
- Dice: "Max Bet", which grants him a random ability with random effects depending on his luck.
- Jakurai: "Medication", in which he heals his team or another person and returns them to a normal state of mind.
- Hifumi: "Enchant", in which he causes his opponent to attack their ally instead of him.
- Doppo: "Berserker", in which he unleashes an enormous amount of offensive (but uncontrollable) power at the cost of his energy.
- First-Name Basis: Within the divisions, almost everybody calls their other teammates by their first names, with the exceptions being Saburo and Jiro calling Ichiro "Ichi-nii"/"nii-chan", and Doppo and Hifumi calling Jakurai "Sensei". The women in Chuoku also refer to Hifumi, Doppo, Dice, and Ramuda by their first names, although they refer to Gentaro as "Yumeno-sensei".
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: The members of The Dirty Dawg fit this trope, with Ramuda as the Sanguine, Samatoki as the Choleric, Ichiro as the Phlegmatic, and Jakurai as the Melancholic.
- History Repeats: In a meta sense. Banning the use of weapons and the restrictions that followed on who was felt to be the instigators really caused a lot of disaster in the years following, especially when a new weapon rose to take its place... just like the last time the most well-known weapons were banned in the country.
- "I Am" Song: As per the video example, Ore ga Ichiro is one and the most notable, although all of the first round of solo songs are this to establish what the characters are like (bar possibly Scenario Liar).
- Idol Genre: The series is marketed to idol Otaku and is referred as an "idol series" by Aniplex of America. The manga even lampshades this when Hifumi states that the division battle finalists have gained an idol-like status amongst the women in the Central Ward.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: The battles between districts are voted on by women all over Japan; this goes for out of universe as well, since the rap battles are put on the official Youtube account for people to decide the outcome.
- Lighter and Softer:
- Jiro's first solo, This Means War, is a rock song with aggressive lyrics emphasizing his Blood Knight nature, whereas School of IKB is significantly more mellow in tone.
- Mind-Control Music: It's all in the mic's name. While the usual methods are still used, they're also shown to be used as tools to convince or calm down a homicidal rampage.
- Power Trio: Each division's groups are comprised of three members.
- Sampling: Saburo's solo songs sample classical music so far, as New Star samples Air on the G String while "Requiem" samples Verdi's Dies irae from Requiem.
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man:
- Saburo and Jiro. Saburo is more intellectual and prefers spending his free time playing card or board games, and he occasionally has his cute/childish moments in spite of his snarky and haughty demeanor. Jiro is a brash, Hot-Blooded delinquent who plays soccer and is prone to picking fights.
- Jyushi and Kuko. The former is a sensitive Visual Kei musician who's Prone to Tears and carries a stuffed pig with him, while the latter is foul-mouthed and Hot-Blooded.
- In Ichiro's solo, Ore ga Ichiro:"This neon rap genesis for a new generation,
If it's mind-blowing flow and skill you want, that's my job."
- IKEBUKURO WEST GAME PARK, the title of Buster Bros!!!'s division song, is very close to the name of an urban mystery novel and television series that takes place in Ikebukuro.
- On April Fool's Day 2019, Buster Bros!!! performed a rap remix of the King of Prism version of EZ DO DANCE.
- In Ichiro's solo, Ore ga Ichiro:
- Sliding Scale of Gender Inequality: Of the men and women being separated variant, which leads to some In-Universe Unfortunate Implications of what happens/happened to families. Men can only enter the women's district with permission. Their current world doesn't seem to be entirely built on sexism, however, as the background women observed in the Drama CDs from Chuoku so far don't seem to have a problem with Hifumi note or the other male characters. The same can't be said for the leaders of government itself, though it's currently unclear if every government official shares the same views as the Prime Minister.
- Smart Jerk and Nice Moron:
- Saburo and Jiro. Saburo is book smart, likes board and card games, and is skilled with hacking, but he's very snarky and unbelievably insufferable and smug. Jiro is Book Dumb and prone to acting without thinking, but he's well-intentioned (if not brash and hot-tempered) and has a hatred for bullies.
- Rosho and Sasara play with this trope. Rosho is cranky and irritable, and he also happens to be a teacher who usually plays the role of the Tsukkomi, but he became a teacher because he wanted to help kids reach their dreams. Sasara is an upbeat man who likes making people laugh and is prone to repeating tacky gags offstage, but he can be obnoxious at times.
- Spice Up the Subtitles: The official subs for the anime contain many gratuitous F bombs.
- Teens Are Short: Averted. The teenaged Yamada brothers are just as tall as the adult characters, with Ichiro ranking fourth tallest among the cast. Jiro is taller than all the members of Fling Posse, and even 14-year old Saburo is taller than Ramuda, who is a decade his senior.
- Token Mini-Moe: Ramuda is the shortest of the main cast and has a childlike appearance and demeanor, but he's actually 24 years old.
- Tokyo Is the Center of the Universe: The four main divisions? Just Tokyo note as usual.
- We Used to Be Friends: The ex-members of The Dirty Dawg. However, it may just be the Ichiro-Samatoki and the Jakurai-Ramuda pairs that don't get along anymore, as Ichiro and Ramuda are shown to still be friendly with each other, and Samatoki and Jakurai also seem to be on good terms.
- Wham Line: From the "Know Your Enemy side F.P VS M" drama track:
Ramuda: Of course, Ichijiku onee-san!