Jun 13, 2009
KingOfRoll (All reviews)
Alright, so this here is my first review on MAL. I'll try to make it a good one. As you can see, I'll be reveiwing Detroit Metal City.

I'd like to apologize in advance for how long this will be...

Let me say first off that if you think you will be offended by off - color humor and swearing, run away in panic now, as this show is not for you. It is filled with swearing, rape jokes, drug references and other implied naughtiness. It is not serious, of course - it is comedy and there is no nudity and little violence to be found here.

The story follows Souichi Negishi, a boy who, having recently graduated music college with the intent on forming a fashionable pop band, somehow finds himself as Johannes Krauser II, the demonic lead guitarist and vocalist for death metal group Detroit Metal City. The show is episodic in nature, so much so that they will often fit two short stories about the titular band into a single 15 minute episode. Don't expect too much in the way of an over - arching plot; it's almost a slice of life show in that respect. Despite being a comedy, the creators actually bring some interesting themes to light, such as conflicting split personalities, although they don't really develop them.

The characters are all good, though nothing to write home about. They seem to be almost charicateurs, in that they are fairly normal people, but exaggerated to the point of comedy. The only character who recieves any development even remotely is Negishi, as he does grow somewhat, his two personalities almost mixing together during the course of the show. Of course, it's to be expected when you can watch the entire series in about two and a half hours. That is my main problem with the series - it could have been much longer, as it does feel a little short. On the other hand, Negishi is actually fairly complex from the beginning, as he has some definite elements of schizophrenia, which provide some hilarious scenes as his two personalities show themselves in the wrong places.

The art is...interesting. The characters are somewhat flat and cartoonish most of the time, though there is the occasional scene where the animation is nothing short of stunning. The frame tends to change in size from shot to shot, presumably to create some kind of effect. You may find it irritating at first, but you'll quickly stop noticing it as you get caught up in the humor and the music.

This, of course is the series' main strength. How could it not be, as this is a show about music. There is a fairly high range of music, including pop, punk, freestyle rap and death metal. The songs are all original, unless I am much mistaken. Please don't expect too much in terms of song lyrics, though, as this is a comedy and all of the styles are exaggerated - the metal songs are filled with so many gruesome and offensive themes that it just becomes ridiculous and funny rather than brutal (as was the intention), while the pop songs are cheerful and cute to offset this.

I am a fan of death metal, and can safely say that this is not actually death metal. It's actually pretty good, but the creators likely wanted to appeal to a broader audience, so there is no growling or shrieking to be heard in the metal songs. DMC's music, I would say sounds more like evil KISS, which is suitable given that the name of the band is taken from a song by KISS (Detroit Rock City).

It would have been nice to see a few more references to other musicians. They do mention Sid Vicious, but no one else gets a nod. I also found it strange that they didn't mention Sweden or Norway, the respective homes of death and black metal. They also mention 'the violent American death metal scene'. Aside from Florida, there really isn't a death metal scene in the US at all. Ah well.

Actually, this show reminds me of an American cartoon, Metalocalypse. It's similar, as it's about a super - popular death metal band with rabidly idiotic fans, though of course the band members are all idiots. I'd suggest you give it a look if you enjoyed DMC (or the other way around). Just be warned that it is very, very bloody.

My only real grievance with this show is how short it is - it is only 12 episodes, each of which are only 15 minutes long, The series does feel far to short, and you'll probably wish there were more.

Please feel free to give any feedback!