Sunday, June 14, 2009

Detroit Metal City vol. 1 Impression

Detroit Metal City volume 1 from Viz is all about awkward situations. When you take a huge fan of Swedish Pop and make him the lead singer on one of the vilest and up and coming death metal bands, well the situations are going to get very strange. Welcome to the life of Soichi Negishi.

DMC, Detroit Metal City is an up and coming underground death metal band headlined to Krauser II. On stage Krauser spits on and abuses the audience and his lyrics relay a tortured soul, one who will kill and rape any in his way. Backstage it’s a different story as once the makeup is off Krauser II is plain old, boring, Swedish pop fan Soichi Negishi. He is the opposite of everything DMC but time and again his two lives crash into one another. From encounters with a school crush to his ultra twisted manager crashing his apartment even to his countryside home where his brother is totally into DMC the strange situations never end and DMC just keeps gaining steam. Krauser II seems to have an easier life than Negishi, but he has nothing to hide on stage where if his identity is revealed Negishi’s dreams of Swedish pop will be gone forever.

Short summary but this series is all about awkward situations. Know this, the content is very mature and suggestive which, strange as it may sound, really adds to the humor. The story is not War & Peace, but it is well told. We meet Negishi and learn about his situation but don’t really hear (yet) how he got there. Each time he seems to be cornered be it on the street with the cops as Krauser II or in his apartment with his elderly neighbor, he always seems to get out like Jack in Three’s Company. No situation really carries over and they all have just plain funny points. Seeing a decked out Krauser II doing some tutoring, funny. The art is not great from an award winning standpoint; it actually reminded me of so many underground comics which is perfect for this story. It’s tough to put into words how the art must fit the story and content to a tee.

Overall the story crafted by Kiminori Wakasugi is unlike anything on shelves now. It’s not too serious, it’s very funny and mature to boot. A strange cast of characters, those that love and those that despise DMC, and a series of short story situations add up to a manga worth checking out. If you’re looking for a manga or story to compare this to, a, if you like this type of thing, forget about it. DMC is unique and very interesting. Give it a try, that’s really all I can say, but stay away IF lyrics about rape and treating women like trash is not something you want to see.

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