Manga Village

By all appearances, Soichi Negishi is a sweet, well-mannered boy who loves Swedish pop music, trendy boutiques, and all things fashionable. But at the same time he’s also Krauser II, front man for Detroit Metal City, an indie death metal band whose popularity increases by the day. Once the DMC makeup goes on and Soichi takes the stage, his natural talents as a death metal god can’t help but flourish. Is this the band he’s truly destined to be in?

By Kiminori Wakasugi
Publisher: Viz Media – Signature
Age Rating: Mature
Genre: Music/humor
Price: $12.99

When Detroit Metal City was first announced, there was a lot of excitement for the series, and reviews of the first volume were well received. By Volume 5 though, some of that excitement waned, and the cursing and jokes got tiresome. Now at volume 9, and not even having read the first 8, the jokes still come off as tiresome, but by the end, some plot-ty stuff leading up to the end of the series breathes back some life.

DMC comes off as the same joke told over and over with some profanity to up the shock value. The series started with jokes about Soichi wanting to do his own sweet pop music, but is much more successful as the violence spouting lead singer of a death metal band, with that part of him popping out occasionally when his own attempts at expression fail. Volume 9 is just more of this. Whether he’s trying to be a street performer or impress his trendy girlfriend, the more things go wrong, the more Krauser II comes out. After the third or fourth time, it wears thin, because you can see it coming a mile away.

I thought I wouldn’t like this title because of the profanity and offensive lyrics, but there really wasn’t a lot of that. DMC is never seen in concert, as Soichi does spend so much time trying to get himself recognized for his pop music. But it turned out I didn’t care for it because it just wasn’t that fun. The moments that got the most laughs from me were the DMC dictionary entries. A few scenes managed to elicit a smile, such as his finally “manning up” and giving Mao one word, and the way he took to the combine when he went home. Also, the counting of the number of times the f-bomb was dropped and “rape” said was enlightening. But overall, most of the chapters made me feel more uncomfortable than want to laugh at Soichi’s situations.

It wasn’t until the end that I started to get interested in this volume. After four death metal bands release their singles all on the same day, they are all beaten in sales by an unknown group with a song with no name, simply by word of mouth. Soichi meets the lead singer without his make up and bonds with him in ways not even the lead singer can understand. They share a problem and a dream, and it’s what Soichi decides to do with this knowledge that can potentially make the last volume interesting.

The title Detroit Metal City shares the same problem as the band it portrays. It relies too much on a gimmick that it can’t keep going forever. The novelty of foul language and outrageous song lyrics can only take one so far. I wonder if it really needed 10 volumes, but at least it was realized that it did need to end.

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