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.