The Origin of Rap in Anime?

はじめて OP ED 2 by anitokuoped

So, people have been asking if we were going to do a live Dynamite In The Brain at a future convention. I’m not sure that’s really option given the conversational nature of the podcast, but the format of Xmas Special definitely lends itself to a panel.

Mainly because it has been done before. In fact, an Anime Song Jukebox Jury may have been the first anime con panels I attended back during one of the Shinnenkai conventions in the late 90s. One of the songs played then was the misjudged rap song by the You’re Under Arrest spin off band, Tokyo Policewoman Duo.

If we were going to invoke that old panel, I wanted to play that song in homage. I tracked it down, and… there’s not much rapping, and it’s hardly as embarrassing as I remember. So I wondered if there were more anime songs with characters rapping. Obviously themes featuring rap have grown in popularity in the last decade, but there’s a lot of fun to be had with the actual characters rapping.

The problem is searching for “anime rap” leads you to people rapping about anime, rather than rap from anime.

Then I remembered the abbreviation “anison” (for Anime Song), and sure enough “Anison Rap” leads you to this awesome wiki about the history of rap in anime songs.

Most shocking of all, was the mention of the second theme tume to Manga Hajimete Monogatari that debuted in December 1979. That’s only a month after The Sugar Hill Gang’s Rappers Delight was released. While there’s obvious Disco influences, there’s an undeniable rap element to it that either speaks to how quickly rap’s popularity spread into the mainstream or puts a lie to the idea that Rappers Delight or King Tim III “broke” rap to the masses. Either way, it was a fascinating discovery, and the wiki is full of many more. Did you know Arale-chan put out a rap record? Or that Shigeru Chiba cut a rap track? I didn’t, but I do now. And that knowledge makes me feel great!