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What is Paradox Live?

Paradox Live is a animusic hiphop multimedia franchise created as a collaboration between GCrest and Avex Records.

Set in the near future, a new form of live performance has taken the world by storm-- Phantom Lives, where performers use accessories, made of a mysterious substance that reacts to human DNA, known as Phantometal, to create incredible illusions on stage.

Starting with a cast of fourteen main characters in its first story arc, and twenty-nine in its second, Paradox Live is an ensemble-cast music franchise. The core content is audio dramas, but the story, world, and characters are expanded upon through social media, music, magazine interviews, and more. With an eye for aesthetics and fashion (thanks in part to tapping the talents of many popular illustrators to design the groups) and high quality music (judging by the standards of the music-franchise genre, anyway), as well as a diverse and boundary-pushing cast of characters, Paradox Live has made a name for itself as a standout among the highly-saturated market of "oshimen marketing" multimedia franchises.

I like it a lot, and you should get into it.


Ten years ago, the legendary hip-hop unit Buraikan, credited with beginning the phantom live movement, vanished out of nowhere, along with their base of operations, CLUB Paradox. In a rush to fill the void left behind by Buraikan, the phantom live scene continued to grow.

Four up-and-coming units in the Japanese hip-hop scene -- BAE, The Cat's Whiskers, cozmez, and Akan Yatsura -- receive invitations to participate in a round-robin competition called the Paradox Live, with 10 billion yen and the right to battle Buraikan on the line. Each with their own reasons for participating, the four units bounce off of each other and and butt heads over their ideologies, shared histories, and motivations for participation, as the legendary Buraikan remain a looming presence even in their apparent absence.

Following the conclusion of the first major story arc, and thanks to some conspiracy happenings behind the scenes, a second competition is run, with all four teams from the first round returning, and now joined by four new units: VISTY, AMPRULE, 1Nm8, and GokuLuck, each bringing a new style of music and philosophy to the franchise.