Monday, April 11, 2011

Detroit Metal City

Detroit Metal City by Kiminori Wakasugi

This parody manga is very funny and you really can't take it at face-value. On the surface, DMC seems nasty and mean-spirited, but it's really a send-up of death-metal music, cruel and opportunistic people and the idea of coolness.

The first manga doesn't really tell much of a story--it's episodic with glimpses into Soichi's life. We know that sweet, mama's boy Soichi moved to Tokyo to play nice Swedish Pop Music. We also know that didn't happen--instead he somehow ended up in the death metal band, Detroit Metal City (DMC). Soichi, as the lead singer, Krauser II, is worshiped by death-metal fans everywhere, even while he's very uncomfortable with his status as an underground music phenomena. It's good that his alter ego, Krauser II, wears makeup and a wig on stage, otherwise Soichi's mother might learn what he's up to. Krauser supposedly killed his parents and has raped his way across Japan. He's not the image Soichi wants to project, especially to his nice love-interest who thinks Krauser is a jerk and DMC is a terrible band.

I have to say that I've never read a manga that used the word "rape," "sows" or "f*ck" as much as DMC does. It's good to remember that this is a parody! In one DMC song, Soichi as Krauser out-sings a rival death-metal singer by screaming the word "f*ck" more times without taking a breath. The humor is often crude, but that's part of what's being made fun of. Nothing is taken seriously and I laughed quite a bit.

I enjoyed the art, too. It's not beautiful art, but it has a sort of a sweet vulnerability--a nice contrast for the subject matter and not unlike Soichi himself.

There is an anime and a live-action movie version. I think this manga is worth checking out, but it's not for everyone!

Check out the official website for more insanity. This video mashup from the live action movie also captures much of the spirit of the manga: