Detroit Metal City 10
September 3, 2011
Kiminori Wakasugi – Viz – 2011 – 10 volumes
Part of me hates giving Book Girl a bad review, then praising this to the sky. Detroit Metal City… does have its flaws, primary among them the fact that it’s been repeating the same jokes since the beginning. But since I like the jokes, I like the series. Does it have more than that going for it? No, it doesn’t. Keep that in mind. It’s not for everybody (due to its extremely poor taste), and it’s for an even smaller segment than that since you have to have a high tolerance for repetition.
But I do, and I feel like it ended at just the right time, before the jokes wore themselves out completely.
If you’ve been reading along the whole time, you may have seen this coming, but the ending is triumphant.
It does everything you expect. It pulls it off perfectly. I have no complaints.
From the end of the last volume, we can see that Negishi is quitting DMC for good. Nobody really believes him, but Wada decides to have a DMC farewell concert anyway, thinking that Negishi will show up. He doesn’t. DMC is publicly humiliated by metal newcomer “God” at their farewell concert. Meanwhile, Negishi has decided that he is really going to do what he wants with no distractions: he moves to France to pursue his true dream of being a pop musician.
The France chapters are beautiful. The one where it unveils that this is what Negishi is doing has no dialogue save for the lyrics to “Tout, Tout Pour Ma Cherie” by Michel Polnareff. In French. It simply follows a pigeon in flight around Paris, only revealing Negishi in the last panel. Amazing. I want to know what it was like in the context of Young animal.
Is pop music where Negishi’s heart lies, though? Really? I give him a lot of credit for trying again and again to succeed at it, and he says it’s his dream. But he’s good at something else.
There is one last concert.
It’s simultaneously over-the-top ridiculous and very touching. There’s the petty grudges, of course, that make Krauser so amazing, but there’s also an acknowledgement of DMC’s fans, and how important they are, and how important Krauser is to them. There’s a trailblazing aspect. There’s an embracing of the self. There’s lots of phlem and skirt flipping and boogers and vulgarity.
It’s everything that makes Detroit Metal City great, one last time.
And the art, as silly as it has been this whole time… the final two-page spread of the screaming, crazed fans throwing the horns wouldn’t have been quite the same if anybody but Wakasugi had drawn it.
Unexpectedly, the last chapter attempts to resolve the relationship between Negishi and Aikawa. Of all the loose ends to tie up, that isn’t one I would’ve picked, but I still liked the unexpected bonus. Also unexpected, Aikawa’s feelings on the matter. That was… really weird.
But yes. This series is one of my favorites for all time. I know it’s not good. But I like what I like, what can I say?