DETROIT METAL CITY • Kiminori Wakasugi • VIZ • 18+
Krauser II is the lead singer of the superstar death metal band Detroit Metal City, whose songs are all about rape and murder, and whose lyrics are too explicit to reprint anywhere in the universe. But when he takes off his wig, cape and makeup, his secret is revealed; he’s Soichiro Negishi, a shy 23-year-old virgin who loves sensitive French films and dreams of writing sweet pop songs that his mother can listen to. When he’s not trying to conceal his stage persona from his mom and his next-door neighbor, he’s biting the heads off live bats, or competing against the American Emperor of Death Metal in a contest to see who can say the “f” word the most times in a row. Detroit Metal City could be compared to the American TV show Metalocalypse, though it derives its humor less from the behind-the-scenes of the musician’s egos and more from sheer shock value and absurdity, and the classic Jekyll-and-Hyde/Incredible Hulk comedy scenario of an introverted wimp who transforms into a raging asshole. And an asshole he truly is; some of the more questionable and ofensive punchlines involve rape humor, with the nerdy protagonist accidentally breaking into his stage persona and saying very, very nasty things to women at inappropriate times. (He’s always regretful afterwards.) If you can overlook the misogyny-as-humor (or is it a parody of misogyny? who knows? in any case, it’s meant for comedy, not titillation, unlike in the typical harem manga) it’s a hilarious manga full of nonstop pop music and metal parodies. (This review of Detroit Metal City volume 1 was originally printed in Otaku USA magazine.)
*** 1/2 (three and a half stars)
Kim P. sent this digitally enhanced photo of herself with her manga prizes! I’m glad you liked the manga, especially Skip Beat!