Behind every dazzling illusion is a troubled past that fuels it.
Set in the near future, a new movement called “Phantom Live” arises amidst the oversaturated hip-hop music industry. By causing a chemical reaction between their DNA and phantometal-containing accessories, rappers are able to create stunning illusions linked to their emotions that drive their audiences wild. Behind the scenes, however, some secretly suffer from side effects known as “traumatic illusions,” an unfortunate price they pay in exchange for fame.
The story follows four groups—BAE, The Cat’s Whiskers, cozmez, and Akanyatsura (悪漢奴等, lit. “good-for-nothing troublemakers”)—who are immensely popular in their respective genres. One day, the legendary CLUB paradox suddenly decides to reopen its doors and invites them to join a mysterious competition, “Paradox Live,” out of the blue. Determined to prove their music is the best, the 14 rappers decide to accept the invitation.
Paradox Live is a Japanese multimedia franchise created by Avex Pictures and GCREST in 2019. Four new groups—VISTY, AMPRULE, 1Nm8, and Goku Luck (獄Luck; a play on the words gokuraku, meaning heaven or bliss, and luck)—have since joined the project, adding up to a total of 29 voice actors. The franchise revolves around rap battles between each group, which fans can vote for using “dope points.” Paradox Live has currently released 25 drama CDs, as well as held multiple collaborations and three concerts called Paradox Live Dope Shows. An official anime, Paradox Live THE ANIMATION, also began airing on October 3rd, 2023.
In this fan art series, you’ll meet characters from each group, including the legendary rapper duo Buraikan (武雷管, lit. “gallant thunder pipe”). What dark secrets and trauma could they be hiding behind those confident smiles?
Three members: Allen Sugasano (MC Name: SUZAKU), Hajun Yeon (MC Name: 48), and Anne Faulkner (MC Name: anZ).
The Cat’s Whiskers
Four members: Naoakira Saimon (MC Name: Kotonoha), Yohei Kanbayashi (MC Name: God summer), Ryu Natsume (MC Name: Compla Daimao), and Shiki Ando (MC Name: MC Nanashi).
Two members: Kanata Yatonokami (MC Name: KANATA) and Nayuta Yatonokami (MC Name: NAYUTA).
Five members: Iori Suiseki (MC Name: Kashira), Zen Gaho (MC Name: Gazen), Hokusai Masaki (MC Name: Fuurai BOY), Satsuki Ito (MC Name: GAIA), and Reo Maruyama (MC Name: REO-kun).
Two members: Chisei Kuzuryu (MC Name: Yasha) and Haruomi Shingu (MC Name: Shura).