Hypnosis Mic: Shinjuku is my favourite division?

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Hyponosis Mic has started becoming the new thing that I listen to every morning before I crawl out of bed. At this moment, I am pretty positive that the Shinjuku Division (Matenrou) is my favourite division, but it’s not a very assured lead. Let’s go through the different divisions and look at why:

  • Ikebukuro Division (Buster Bros): In my opinion, the Ikebukuro Division is very plain and generic. I do like how the 3 MCs are brothers, and each of them are dichromatic, with different combination of eye colours. However, apart from that, the characters have the dullest background story, and each of them is like…Sword Art Online’s Kirito – extremely plain and lacking any queer/interesting personality.
  • Yokohama Division (Mad Trigger Crew): Let’s be real – the Yokohama Division’s popularity is carried solely on the back of its leader, Samatoki Aohitsugi. He is cocky, rude and brash – that one male antagonist who is rivals with the protagonist, and is thought of by the fangirls as a Tsundere guy. From the moment I listen to the Division Rap Battle and I heard: “貴様は誰だ?” (Ki-sama wa dare da?) [Who the hell are you?], I knew he was that one character. The other 2 are forgettable at best.
  • Shibuya Division (Fling Posse): This is the real contender here. I really like Gentaro Yumeno, solely on the basis that, if I were to make an MC of my ideal self, he would most closely resemble her in personality. He is like…Fai? You know, Fai D. Flowright from Tsubasa Chronicles? And as annoying as Ramuda Amemura would be in real life, I find him to be endearingly adorable in his MC form. In general, too, the Shibuya Division is fun and light-hearted, ruined only by the fact that the 3rd MC, Dice Arisugawa, really triggers me personally because of his hobbies, i.e. gambling.
  • Shinjuku Division (Matenrou): First, we have my favourite of the 12, Hifumi Izanami, whose very name is quite a pun – Hifumi can be written as ‘1, 2, 3’ in Kanji, a pun he uses in his track. He also provides quite an off-beat personality to the division since his tunes tend to be much lighter, flirtatious and suggestive, compared to Jakurai Jinguji’s dark mysteriousness, and Doppo Kannonzaka’s frankly unsettling sense of masochism and Yandere-ness. It’s also quite cute that he is a host with a phobia of women.

With that said, I will probably do a post for the Shibuya Division, since I really like Gentaro’s parts – and I have quite a bit to say about his name in Kanji too. Today, however, is all about the Shinjuku Division, illustrated by their album preview! Since each of them got a part, and the parts represent the characters well, it would be a good introduction to the division.

Shinjuku leader: Jakurai Jinguji (寂雷・神宮寺)
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Profile
Height: 195cm
Weight: 69kg
Birthday: January 9th (Capricorn)
Age: 35
Occupation: Physician

Description: “Former member of the ‘Dirty Dawg’. A medical genius. He is tall and lean in statue, and carries a mysterious aura about him. Became a doctor because of certain circumstances. He treats those in dire need of affordable healthcare. An oddball with a habit of saying ‘Very interesting’. Initially intrigued by Ramuda, but now acts like cat and dog with him. Heals other with his unique ‘flow’. Weak to even one sip of alcohol. His hobbies are fishing and meditation. On his days off, he goes fishing Hifumi. Since he uses it to heal others, he takes good care of his voice.”

Lyrics (迷宮壁 [Labyrinth] – 0:00 to 1:40)
生きるために死ぬか もしくは
Ikiru tame ni shinu ka moshikuwa
To die or to live?
死ぬために生きるか
Shinu tami ni ikiru ka
Do you live to die?
答えならば後者 それが私たちの宿命だ、
Kotaenaraba kousha sore ga watashitachi no shukumeida
If the answer is the latter, then it is our fate.
だが、身を削る意味を履き違えて、
Daga, miwokezuru imi o hakichigaete,
But, you misunderstand the meaning of shaving yourself,
この身を滅ぼす民を
Kono miwohorobosu-min o
The people who destroy this body,
この目で何人も見てきた
Kono-me de nan-ri mo mitekita,
These eyes have seen everyone.
それが私たちの宿命。
Sore ga watashitachi no shukumei.
That is our fate.

犬や猫にだって勿論、痛みは存在する。
Inu ya neko ni datte mochiron, itami wa sonzai suru.
Of course, pain exists for dogs and cats as well.
愚かな人間によって支配されたこの地球、
Orokana ningen ni yotte shihai sa reta kono chikyuu,
This earth is ruled by foolish humans,
自由な現状にこそ縛られ、幸せを見定め、
Jiyuuna genjou ni koso shibarare, shiawase o misadame,
It is bound by the freedom of the present situation, the search for happiness,
自らの力では生きることは到底不可能だ。
Mizukara no chikarade wa ikiru koto wa touteifukanouda.
It is impossible to live by our own power.

表現すら音楽。
Hyougen sura ongaku.
Expression, even music.
変わり映えの無い明日を 待ち望むか恐れるか
Kawari hae no naiasu o machinozomu ka osoreru ka
Waiting for or fearing for a tomorrow that doesn’t change,
どちらにせよ時計の針は左には進まない。
Dochira ni seyo tokei no hari wa hidari wa susumanai.
Anyway, the clock hands will not move left.

わかってる、街並みは騒いでる。
Wakatteru, machinami wa sawai deru.
I know, the cityscape is making noise.
雑踏に紛れ込んだ民たちもいずれ息絶える。
Zattou ni magirekonda min-tachi mo izure ikitaeru.
Even those who are drowning in the crowd will try to breathe.
明日かもしれない。
Ashita kamo shirenai.
It may be tomorrow.
いや今かもしれない。
Iya ima kamo shirenai.
It may be right now.
だとすりゃ笑ってられない。
Da to surya waratte rarenai.
I cannot laugh at that.
黙ってはいられない。
Damatte wa i rarenai.
I cannot stay silent.
正解はない、だが追い求め走りたい。
Seikai wanai, daga oimotome hashiritai.
There may be no correct answer, but I will still pursue it.

嘲笑いも仕方ない、命は儚い、
Azawarai mo shikatanai, inochi wa hakanai,
There is no use for scornful laughter, life is fragile,
ならばこの身一つで死ぬ直前には笑いたい。
Naraba kono mihitotsu de shinu chokuzen ni wa waraitai.
But this body was wants to laugh before it dies.
なあ?死んだら何処に向かうんだろう。
Naa? Shindara doko ni mukaun darou?
What? Where will he go if he dies?
生きている私らに分かりはしない場所。
Ikite iru watashi-ra ni wakari wa shinai basho.
Places we do not know we can live in.

地球は何故丸いのに尖っているんだろう。
Chikyuu wa nazi marui no ni togatte irun darou.
I wonder why the earth is round and also sharp.
憎しみを抱き、啀み合いを繰り返すの?
Nikushimi o daki, igamiai o kurikaesu no?
Embracing hatred and repeated conflicts?
生きることが生きがいか?
Ikiru koto ga ikigai ka?
Will life survive?

幸せとは何か?
Shiawase to wa nani ka?
What is happiness?
探してるつもりなのに分からないままなんて、
Sagashi teru tsumorinanoni wakaranai mama nante,
I do not know what I’m searching for,
笑わせてくれるな。
Warawa sete kureru na.
Don’t make me laugh.

嘲笑って見てる奴。
Choshou tte mi teru yatsu.
There’s someone watching scornfully.
誰かが逝けば また騒ぎ立てるんだろう?
Dareka ga ikeba mata sawagagitaterun darou?
Is someone is going to make a fuss again?
いつしか繋がれたチェーンで身動きも取れず、
Itsushika tsunaga reta chen de miugoki mo torezu,
I could not move with the chain that once bound me,
塞がれた鼓膜でも 伝えたいリアルがある。
Fusaga reta komaku demo tsutartai riaru ga aru.
I will tell what is real to those who won’t hear.

12色の色彩じゃ収まりきれないほどの
Jyuu-ni shoku no shikisai ja osamari kirenai hodo no.
It is not possible to fit in all 12 colours.
何種類の声や表情がある。
Nan shurui no koe ya hyoujou ga aru.
There are many types of voices and expressions.
一筋の光明、手を伸ばす、
Hitosuji no koumyou, tewonobasu.
Reaching for the strand of light,
記憶にも残るの?
Kioku ni mo nokoru no?
Will the memory remain?

今も尚、蔓延ってる、世の不条理、
Imamonao, habikotteru, yo no fujouri,
Even now, the epidemic, the absurdity of the world,
誰だって笑いたい。誰だって夢見たい。
Dare datta waratai. Dare datte yumemitai.
Everyone wants to laugh. Everyone wants to dream.
なあ 息絶えたアイツだって
Naa, iki taeta aitsudatte,
Hey, we fight when we breathe,
生きたかったはずだろ。
Ikitakatta hazudaro.
You should want to live.
(Track change at 1:40)

My Opinion on the Character
From my first look, I assumed that Jakurai was the stereotype of a crazy doctor. No, not the western horror kind that laughs maniacally while cutting up his patients. The anime kind. The kind who is dedicated to science and has a very deep resolve in whatever he believes in. Jakurai seems to fit that well, although he lacks the villainy of the stereotype. His name indicates it, actually – 寂雷 translates to ‘quiet thunder’, referring to how his rap style consists of a deep voice, quick but even tone, even methodical and prescriptive in a sense; 神宮寺 translates to ‘temple’, which corresponds with his staunch beliefs. However, he seems to have that very dark edge in that if someone chooses not to embrace life the way he thinks they should, they may face…consequences – as indicated by his lines in the Division Rap Battle. Since I listen to Hypnosis Mic for fun, for enjoyment, Jakurai is a little to ‘woke’ for my taste. What he says is true, what he says is insightful, but, to quote a friend, “I don’t need such negativity.” Still, I like this character because it is quite a twist on a regular stereotype, and he has quite a deep personality (though definitely not a fun one).

Shinjuku 2nd: Hifumi Izanami (一二三・伊弉冉)
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Profile
Height: 179cm
Weight: 64kg
Birthday: 22 June (Cancer)
Age: 29
Occupation: Host

Description: “A host who became so due to certain circumstances. Has an honest personality and a flirty tone of voice. Because of his appearance and tone, he is easily misunderstood. Actually an extreme gynephobe. Became a host to overcome his fear of women. When he puts on his suit, he transforms into quite the womanizer. A friend of Doppo’s since Elementary School. Has feared having no friends even in childhood.  Though he tries to make friends via extensive networking, he often fails. Since he is good with his hands, his hobbies are sewing and making ships in a bottle when indoors, and camping and fishing when outdoors. Whenever Doppo ruins his suit, Hifumi will fix it for him.”

Lyrics (シャンパンゴールド [Champagne Gold]: 1:40 to 3:15)
Oh Yeah, 持ってこいシャンパン
Oh Yeah, motte koi shanpan
Oh Yeah, bring your champagne
まだまだ終わらない, Party
Madamada owaranai, Party
It is not over yet, Party
Oh Yeah, かかってこいジャパン
Oh Yeah, kakatte koi Japan
Oh Yeah, come to Japan
まで終わらない, Party
Made owaranai, Party
It never ends, Party

さあさあ乾杯! 朝まで終わんない!
Saa saa kanpai! Asamade owannai!
Come, cheers! I will not be done till morning!
飲んでなくない?シャンパン足んない?
Nonde nakunai? Shanpan tannai?
Did you not drink it? Is the Champagne not enough?
それじゃ立てましょう 泡のタワー
Sore ja tatemashou awa no tawaa
Let’s stand for the foam tower
(チャラー!)とか引くヤツ マジで邪魔!
Chara! Toka hiku Ytagu majide jama!
[Cool (to describe a frivolous person)!] Don’t get in the way!

俺の名前はMCジゴロ
Ore no namae wa MC Jigoro
My name is MC Gigolo
美女はみんな即イチコロ
Bikou wa minna soku ichikoro
All the beautiful women instantly fall
野郎には興味無い
Yarou ni wa kyoumi nai
I’m not interested in being a player
Hold me tight, とか言っちゃう子が好き
Hold me tight, toka itchau ko ga suki
Hold me tight, I like women (‘ko’ is the ending for female names) who say that

新宿最強ホスト 魔天狼にお前ら勝てんの?
Shinjuku saikyou hosuto Matenrou ni omaera katen no?
Shinjuku’s best host, Matenrou is already winning?
誰が挑んできたってここは通さん
Dare ga idonde kittate koko wa tsuu-san
Who has challenged me?
早めの降参がお利口さん
Hayame no kousan ga orikousan
Early surrender is good for you
僕のライムとコミュ力爆発
Boku no raimu to komyuka bakuhatsu
My rhyme and presentation is a blast
かますフロウ誰よりも卓越
Kamasu furou dare yori mo takuetsu
My flow chase is better than anyone
覚悟できたか? それじゃいくよ 一二三!
Kakugo dekita ka? Sore ja iku yo Hifumi!
Are you prepared? Well then, 1, 2, 3!

Baby, let’s have a blast
てか (You know) I like your fragrance
I’m the only one for you (Fall in Love)
Baby, let’s have a blast
てか (You know) I can make you dance!
I’m the only one for you
僕のものになりなよ
Boku no mono ni nari na yo
You will become mine

Oh Yeah 持ってこいシャンパン
Oh Yeah, motte koi shanpan
Oh Yeah, bring your champagne
まだまだ終わらない, Party
Madamada owaranai, Party
It is not over yet, Party
Oh Yeah, かかってこいジャパン
Oh Yeah, kakatte koi Japan
Oh Yeah, come to Japan
朝まで終わらない Party
Asa made owaranai Party
I will not finish until morning, Party

(Track change)

My Opinions on the Character:
Well, Hifumi is my favourite Hypnosis Mic character. I can hear the shock already: “Hifumi is essentially a player!” Yeah, but given Hifumi’s backstory and determined personality, he is also someone who facade I will enjoy peeling back. He’s like the So Yijeong in Boy’s Over Flowers, who also happened to be my favourite. I don’t know, I might be just pushing the Taurus stereotype of: “I heard you are a player. Hello, I am the coach.” Let’s be real here. It isn’t Gigolo that I like, but Hifumi – not the host, but the person behind it. I also feel like he’s probably a character with a lot of loneliness – he’s misunderstood as a natural womanizer. Yet, he also strikes me as someone who values his individuality to not drop his Gigolo character easily. It’s also why I think his rival in Hypnosis Mic is Gentaro, who likes people-watching and sees through others easily. It’s a dynamic that I really love between characters…and people. I also like his music because while it can be a little pop-ish or disco-ish, it’s much more light-hearted. Yes, Ramuda in the Shibuya division is light-hearted too, but Hifumi is complemented by the other Shinjuku members, whose tunes are darker, which makes him shine much more brightly. His music has a ‘throw caution to the wind’ feeling…I mean, it matches his host personality. Must I also mention how I love his hair colour – green under blonde? He’s that bright and happy character who I want to see a sincere smile from…and risk getting burned while I play with fire.

Izanami.Hifumi.full.2343228.png

Shinjuku 3rd: Doppo Kannonzaka (独歩・観音坂)
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Profile
Height: 175cm
Weight: 59kg
Birthday: 15 May (oh, he’s a Taurus?)
Age: 29
Occupation: Medical Office Worker

Description: “An employee for a medical office. Peculiar in that he’s not peculiar at all. Always exhausted by his work as a salaryman. Has a habit of muttering to himself, a major synic, and tends to look at everything negatively. His pessimistic personality makes him very few friends, and his only childhood friend is Hifumi from his Elementary School days. He and Hifumi don’t always see eye to eye, but he’s always grateful for the friendship”

Lyrics (チグリジア [Tigrisia] – 3:15 to 4:30)
今日も世界に音が多すぎる
Kyou mo sekai ni oto ga oo sugiru
The world is too noisy today
虫の後尾のように人が通るビル
Mushi no koubi no you ni hito ga tooru biru
Buildings where people passby like insects
お気に入りの静寂が死に続けている
Okiniiri no shijima ga shini tsuzukete iru
My favourite silence keeps dying
歌はきっとそれを弔う為のディテール
Uta wa kitto sore o tomurau tame no diteeru
This song will surely mourn it

マイクを持つ意味は知らな
Maiku o motsu imi wa shiranai
I don’t know the meaning of the mic
無くたって意に介さない
Nakutatte i ni kaisanai
But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist
けれど意思は誘い
Keredo ishi wa sasoi
But my will to invite
意義の無い言葉だけ洗いざらい吐いたって
Igi no nai kotoba dake araizarai haitatte
I wash away only meaningless words
肺に息は満たない
Hai ni iki wa mitanai
I have less breath in my lungs

小さな窓に映り込んだ逆さの頭と
Chiisana mado ni usuti konda sakasa no atama to
Inverted reflection of my head in a small window
高さを競って絡まろうとする朝顔
Taka-sa o kisotte karamarou to suru asagao
Morning glory trying to reach up high
その若葉の儚さを照らす光や
Sono wakaba no hakana-sa o terusuhikariya
Light that shines on the fragile young leaf
物言わぬ土塊は美しい気がした
Monoiwanu tsuchikure wa utsukushi ki ga shita
I did not realise that the soil is beautiful

芽は花や実になり 朽ち果て
Me wa hana ya mi ni naru kuchihate
Buds turn into flowers and fruits, then decay
口は手の代わり 目と鼻と耳を塞いだ
Kuchi wa te no kawari-me to hana to mimi o fusaida
Substitute your mouth with hands, close your eyes, nose and ears
身を預けるような場所は捨てるよ
Mi o azukeru youna baho wa suteru yo
Throw yourself away and leave
俺は1人でも歩けるよ
Ore wa hitotsu demo arukeru yo
I can walk alone

必要ないほどドラマティックな LIFE
Hitsuyou nai hodo doramatikkuna
A dramatic LIFE is unnecessary
却って煩わしい
Kaette wazurawashii
It’s rather annoying
期待も別にないよ 眠りたいだけ Ah
Kitai mo betsuni nai yo nemuritai dake Ah
I don’t have hope, I just want to sleep Ah
執拗な子供騙しが LIFE
Shitsuyouna kodomodamashi ga LIFE
Relentless child deceives LIFE
すべて誤魔化しなら
Subete gomakashinara
If it’s all devolved
生きがいも別にないよ 眠りたいだけ Ah
Ikigai mo betsuni nai yo nemuritai dake Ah
I don’t have any other life, I just want to sleep Ah

My Opinions on the Character:

Doppo is just really…depressing, in a different way from Jakurai. Jakurai is depressing in the sense that he reveals what is ugly about the world, calling to attention negativity outside of himself. Doppo is negativity itself, and I find myself disliking him the most in the Shinjuku Division. If I end up liking the Shibuya Division, it is because of him. Other than that, I think he has a good flow and rhythm – it’s chill, if you don’t listen to what he’s saying. His name, Doppo, is also the Kanji characters for “lone step”. In a way, yes, Doppo is a very independent person, but highly, highly pessimistic and given that I like Hifumi the most, you can see why Doppo is my least favourite. They are quite the polar opposites.

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