It’s been almost a year since we officially met an artist known as Manny Quest – the oddball hip-hop renaissance man from Mexico City known for his graffiti work and his strange rap antics involving classic Hanna-Barbera cartoon characters. Now, he’s back with a new moniker, Mannyco Malakara, and a release that dives into a very rare strain of Japanese anime and manga trap-driven music.
The instrumentals are raw, while the bars in tracks like “Candy Candy” and “Ranma 1/2” are as weird as the cartoon series itself, which is more than 20 years old. The video for “Maison Ikkoku,” premiering today, follows this manga-rap aesthetic. Directed by Javier Ramos aka Panteonera Films, (a new member of the crew with our old friends from Infinito Corazón), it’s littered with eye-bulging Japanese text and imagery, including Manny’s trip to a sushi place and clever placement of shrimpy Japanese snacks all throughout the video.
“Maison Ikkoku” itself is a pretty simple track whose biggest strength is the lush and funky vibe of its instrumental. Manny isn’t really the greatest rapper, a fact he himself acknowledged on his last album (including a message that straight up said “He is not a rapper and that’s the truth”). Still, his ideas are bold if not fully-formed, in a genre that has recently been opening up to more left-field approaches.
Take a kamikaze dive into “Maison Ikkoku” and tune in to the rest of his latest LP Diosa del Mangaka.