Detroit Metal City 3

November 5, 2009

Kiminori Wakasugi – Viz – 2009 – 8+ volumes

It’s amusing to see that Amazon Japan suggests that people who bought the 8th volume of Detroit Metal City also bought Saint Young Men, Black Lagoon, and What Did You Eat Yesterday?  Those four series have very little to do with one another.

I am ashamed to admit that, given the choice between this and Ooku 2, I read this first.  I mean, it’s close between the two, and Ooku is the better series.  But nothing makes me laugh like Detroit Metal City.  Absolutely nothing.

This volume emphasizes the fact that it’s no accident or mere coincidence that Negishi pulls off amazing “metal” feats while dressed as Krauser.  He is just innately talented.  He’s gifted by the Gods of music to be more metal than anyone else on the planet.  My favorite chapter, hands down, is when he’s in a cafe with the other members of the band after a show and the three run into some unruly fans.  It falls to Wada, the bassist, to calm them down while dressed as Jagi.  Apparently Wada doesn’t have a “metal” bone in his body, because the entire chapter is Negishi trying to set up cool stuff for Wada to say and Wada blowing it.  The chapter ultimately ends with Negishi pretending to be raped by a baffled Wada, who thinks to himself that Negishi truly is “metal.”  This chapter isn’t just hilarious, but also shows us just how insane Negishi is compared to a regular person, even within the logic of the series and the band members themselves.

I also like that only the most petty things set Negishi off on “metal” rages.  The above scenario was triggered when he threatened to kill Camus, the drummer, while dressed as Krauser since Camus had failed to return a video game.  One of his bizarre public scenes in another chapter happens to his friend in Tetrapot Melon Tea, the boy he disgraced last volume, when he thinks the boy is getting too close to his (not really) girlfriend Aikawa.  He disgraces someone else later for being Aikawa’s ex-boyfriend.

The petty revenge trips are part of what make this series genius, but the other part is that everyone takes Krauser so seriously.  Everything that Krauser says and does is taken as gospel by fans of DMC.  When Krauser does something awesome like order Tiger Brains at a bar, there are stands selling Tiger Brains at a festival they are playing at later.  Negishi’s little brother gets his hair mushroom cut in an attempt to follow Krauser’s advice and get a “public indecency” cut, but Negishi is displeased that he has dyed it flesh-colored and wants a throbbing vein tattoed on his face to make his entire head look like a penis.

The jokes are simple, but their absurdity, combined with the fact everyone takes them so seriously are what make them so funny.  It’s very, very profane, and in pretty poor taste, but that’s also part of its charm.  I can’t help but like it for dancing all over the corpse of good taste with such glee, rather than the sarcasm that usually makes such humor fall flat.

This volume does have a plot.  Kenny Ill Dark is sponsoring a metal festival among the most hardcore metal bands, including all bands that did not accept Krauser as the new King of Metal.  This contest doesn’t happen until the very end of the volume, but carries over into the next volume, with promises of some very sinister competition ahead.  Predictably, all the legs of the current competition are won in very silly ways that have nothing at all to do with metal.

Me?  I’m excited about the scatolo-metal band that looks to be appearing next volume.

This was a review copy provided by Viz.

4 Responses to “Detroit Metal City 3”

  1. Pirkaf Says:

    You know, when my copy of the second volume of DMC arrived, I put off reading Blade of The Immortal and read this first. I think it could be compared to your experience. Both BOTI and Ooku are amazing series but there’s just something about DMC that is special.. although I don’t think everyone would appreciate this kind of humour.. ^_^

  2. Connie Says:

    It’s true, I always wonder if DMC will find an audience since the sense of humor is so bizarre and, I assume, hard to appreciate for many, but it sounds like almost everyone who reads it falls in love immediately. I also worry that a lot of people might be put off since it seems like the jokes stay pretty much the same in every volume, but I really haven’t gotten tired of them yet. The different situations keep them very, very funny.

  3. Pirkaf Says:

    Holy shit, this DMC actually turned into a TOURNAMENT manga!!! I think you forgot to mention this utterly ridiculous (just like the whole series) fact in your review.. ;-)) I mean, it was very surprising when Negima turned into a tournament manga but DMC? Almost unbelievable, LOL. Anyway, this series continues to be superfunny and I can’t wait to read more about Satanic Emperor festival. BTW, I’ve read just the first volume of Ooku and I don’t really like it.. ^_^ Oh, and when you mentioned that no other manga makes you laugh so much, I was thinking about another manga that makes me laugh: Yotsuba ^_^

  4. Connie Says:

    Oh, I keep meaning to pick up Yotsuba. I’ve heard so many good things about it. I wasn’t sure if I would like it, but it sounds like it’s universally loved, so it must be a safe bet.

    I did forget to mention about the tournament. It’s pretty crazy. Where I’m at, DMC has one or two other face-offs. The one I just finished makes this first one utterly pale in comparison. It gets so unbelievably crazy, and still funny.


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