Reviews

Nov 11, 2008
YoungVagabond (All reviews)
"Detroit Metal City" is the most consistently funny anime ever made. It's not just a couple of episodes that hit the mark; all twelve are hilarious, unexpected, and brilliantly written.

Based on the manga which I also wrote a review for, the anime version is probably the most faithful translation imaginable. Every scene, word, and expression is exactly the same as in the comic, and in this case, that turned out to be an excellent decision.

DMC is based on the theme of dual personalities. Negi Souichi is a kind-hearted, simple 23 year old, a virgin with an ugly bowl-shaped haircut. He hails from a farm, talks to his mother every day, and dreams of uniting the world with fashionable pop songs about love and French desserts.

At night, he dresses up as the fearsome Krauser-san II of the band DMC, a KISS and Gwar-inspired death metal frontman who sings about rape, murdering one's parents, and on stage, beats up an elderly Japanese man wearing women's lingerie known as "The Pig of Capitalism".

He is considered a true demon by his crazed fans, who would love nothing more than to be raped and killed by their idol, and eventually comes to be known as the emperor of metal, thanks to his many legendary deeds, such as raping the Tokyo Tower, and his destruction of any rivals to his throne, whether they be punk, rap, or fellow metal bands.

At first, it seems like Negi is simply forced to go along with this because of the tyrannical President of DMC's record label, a frightening death metal chick who beats up Negi and everyone else standing in her way, and constantly talks about performances "making me wet".

However, as the series progresses, one realizes that Krauser is very much a part of Negi himself. All of his anger and frustration at not being recognized for his pop music, as well as his annoyance with various people and circumstances in his life fuel his angry, violent death metal acts. Often, the very people he is close to and respects as Negi are the ones he destroys and humiliates as Krauser.

The writing and stories throughout the series are nothing short of brilliant. While the joke could quickly wear thin, here the episodes keep thinking of creative, exciting situations and obstacles for DMC and Negi to be up against, and he never fails to resolve it with something absurd and over-the-top, which a normal, rational Negi would be outraged by.

The other characters are also interesting and funny, if a bit one-dimensional. There is Negi's considerate, sweet love interest Yuri Aikawa, who works for a fashionable music magazine, and is frequently tormented by Krauser-san. There is Jyagi-Sama, the bass guitarist for the band, an outgoing, kind partier who is popular with the ladies. He hopes of making a lot of money from the band, but just doesn't understand the essence of metal quite like Negi.

Then, there is Camus-San, who, to go along with the stereotype of drummers as being bizarre weirdos, is a short, fat, ugly, bespectacled man, whose entire speech consists of offensive, perverted one or two word sentences, mostly spoken to attractive women. He frequently seems to think he's in a brothel, telling an innocent girl either "anal" or "next!".

As mentioned before, there is DMC's frightening record label president, as well as a hilarious male DMC super-fan who makes a living doing shows for little kids, and has an inferiority complex about not being raped by Krauser. Frankly, every repeat character in the series is funny, and their inclusion in the story is very much in context.

The songs used throughout the work, while too light to truly be considered death metal, are catchy, and have enough death grunts, heavy bass, and riffing to get the point across. The art feels and looks exactly like the comic; occasionally, it almost feels like I'm watching a really fast Powerpoint slide.

Overall, an instant classic of a series, highly recommended for everyone. Even better than Metalocalypse.