Friday, October 30, 2009

Detroit Metal City, vol. 1

By Kiminori Wakasugi
Published in the US by Viz Signature

Slugline: A (rude) one hit wonder

Negishi is a musician that has moved to the big city to make his name and fortune. Unfortunately it is not in folk or pop music, his true musical passions, but instead in the death metal band Detroit Metal City (DMC). He takes on the persona of Krauser II, the foul mouthed and depraved lead guitarist of the band. This causes no end of trouble for Negishi who tries to keep the halves of his life separate, but sometimes when he is stressed or nervous he falls into his Krauser II persona confusing those around him since he has not shared his dual identity with most people. Despite the popularity and fame that DMC has, Negishi still just wants to talk to his old college friend Aikawa who likes the same pop music that he does without having to let her know about Krauser II or DMC.

The title is rated M for Mature for wildly excessive use of swears. Every time Krauser II is in the panel expect a least a dozen words that you can't repeat in front of your mom. It's played for laughs but it after a while the joke just isn't funny anymore as the swears lose their power to shock and quickly move into the realm of annoyance. It is never quite explained how Negishi ended up or started DMC and considering his attitude to his role and the music, the reasons why he was willing to split his life so severely would explain why he bothers keeping up with the illusion. Some of the characters' behaviors, especially towards women, is just not funny no matter how tongue in cheek it claims to be. This might have been a good short story but stretching the joke out over an entire volume just makes it feel thin and unless new angles are explored there seems to be little reason to continue reading it.

Detroit Metal City, vol. 1 is also available from Right Stuf, Intl., an online retailer specializing in anime and manga.

- Ferdinand

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