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Detroit Metal City Volume 1

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DMC: Detroit Metal City Volume 1 by Kiminori Wakasugi, a seinen manga series published by VIZ Media

DMC: Detroit Metal City Volume 1

© Kiminori Wakasugi 2006 / HAKUSENSHA, Inc.

The Bottom Line

Soichiro Negishi is a sensitive farm boy who moved to Tokyo to be a pop singer. So how did he end up as Krauser II, the lead singer of a death metal band? As his two lives collide, Negishi becomes a manga anti-hero who endures hilarious highs and lows on his highway to heavy metal hell.

Detroit Metal City is a rude, crude, over-the-top comedy that gleefully satirizes the equally ridiculous worlds of heavy metal and trendy, so-emo-you-want-to-slap-them pop bands. It's not sanitized for delicate U.S. sensibilities, but if you're ready to rock (and laugh) hard, DMC could be the headbangers ball you've been waiting for.

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Pros

  • Filled with laugh-out-loud funny moments that mock emo boys and metal heads alike
  • Raw, whacked-out humor that mixes Spinal Tap's absurdity with South Park's hilarity
  • English translation does a good job of capturing DMC's raw, racy humor and absurd comedy
  • VIZ kept DMC's most outrageous scenes intact, and opted not to censor it for US audiences
  • Outrageous as they are, some of the stories are kind of heartwarming

Cons

  • Wakasugi's artwork is often awkward and his figure drawing is pretty stiff
  • Lots of no-holds barred scenes that play S&M, extreme behavior for laughs
  • Many comedic set-ups require major suspension of disbelief - Come on, "the death buffalo?"
  • DMC's potty-mouthed manager pretty much ruined clam chowder for me.

Description

  • Original Title: Detroit Metal City (Japan)
  • Author & Artist: Kiminori Wakasugi
  • Publishers:
  • ISBN: 978-1421527420
  • Cover Price: $12.99 US / $15.00 CANADA
  • Age Rating: M – Mature, Age 18+ for profanity and raw, sexually-explicit humor
    More about content ratings.
  • Manga Genres:
  • US Publication Date: June 2009
    Japan Publication Date: May 2006
  • Book Description: 200 pages, black and white illustrations

Guide Review - Detroit Metal City Volume 1

Meet Krauser II, the demonic lead singer of Detroit Metal City, a death metal band on the rise. Meet Soichiro Negishi, a dweeby aspiring pop singer with a bowl haircut. You'd never know it looking at them, but these two opposites are the same guy.

In the wild world of DMC, you'll see Krauser II whipping a crowd into a frenzy chanting "Satsugai! ("Kill 'em all!"), followed by a scene where a miserable-looking Negishi removes his makeup thinking 'How did my life go so, so wrong?' Think Spinal Tap meets Marilyn Manson in a no-way-can-you-show-this-on-primetime episode of South Park, and you'll get an idea of what you're in for with DMC.

Negishi wants to top the charts, but not while wearing a ridiculous costume or singing about raping women and killing his parents, especially when he's a virgin who adores his mom and dad. As Negishi agonizes over playing music he doesn't even like, he can't admit that sometimes he likes unleashing his raging id, a.k.a. his Krauser persona.

Prodding Negishi on this highway to hell is his manager, a head-banging dominatrix who swears like a sailor with Tourette's Syndrome. When DMC rocks hard, she tells them that she gets, uh... turned on. When they don't, all hell breaks loose, in a Three Stooges on speed kind of way.

The artwork is crude, but so is the language and slapstick humor in DMC, so it kind of works. You won't read DMC to marvel at Wakasugi's draftsmanship -- his figure drawing is stiff and awkward. What'll win you over is Wakasugi's knack for over-the-top absurdity that's also oddly heartwarming.

Thankfully, VIZ slapped a M-Mature rating on this f-bomb-laden seinen satire rather than sanitize it for American audiences. Frankly, if you censored DMC, you'd have almost nothing left to laugh at, much less read. It's a cracked metal comedy that will either leave you laughing or gagging -- maybe both!

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