Monday, August 3, 2009

Manga Monday: Detroit Metal City

Detroit Metal City is a comedy manga, published by viz comics, by author/artist Kiminori Wakasugi. Detroit Metal City is an Indie Death Metal band growing in popularity, comprised of three members, Bassist Masayuki Wada (Jagi), Drummer Terumichi Nishida (Camus) and lead guitarist/vocalist Soichi Negishi also known as JOHANNES KRAUSER II!!! Negishi, is really a hipster type, who enjoys Swedish pop, tea, trendy T-shirt shops and singing his cute little songs about love and cheese tarts. To pay the bills however, he dons face make up, a cape and shoulder pads and transforms himself into a metal god. Negishi hates DMC more than anything, and hides the fact that he is Krauser II from his friends and family, but his outrageous alter ego creeps into his life time and time again, making for some sticky situations for Negishi. For example, one evening Negishi meets up with his crush at a CD store, where it is revealed that she hates DMC more than any other band. Negishi quickly agrees, and begins to loudly criticize the band, and is overheard by three confrontational DMC fans. To avoid getting beat up, Negishi quickly backtracks, and says he respects Krauser for his guitar playing, and emulates some on Air Guitar. Eventually he starts geting into it a little too much, and lets out a string of obscenities at Aikawa, much to Aikawa's surprise.

Another "character" in Detroit Metal City are the fans of the band, who follow Kauser II and the others like a religion, and are all morons. They believe all the stories about Krauser (like he killed his parents when he was born, and was in prison but broke out to form a band) and follow them blindly. They make for many of the funniest moments in the manga.

DMC is a hilarious Manga. The art is a tad crude, but makes up for it for being so outrageous. The Songs DMC perform are lewd to the extreme, and also very silly. Songs range from such diverse topics as killing your parents, raping everyone you see, and other objectionable subject matter of the type. Now that may not sound funny, but the subject matter is played so tongue in cheek that nothing really comes off as offensive, mostly just ridiculous. I do, however have one criticism with this release, and that is the English typography. It just isn't there. In Japanese Manga, the sound effects are an integral part of the story telling, and often done by the artist (or an assistant) with a brush. The translated, digital Font sound effects throughout Detroit Metal city look tacked on, to me, and definitely don't compare to the hand done effects found in manga. A lot of the type in the backgrounds looks pretty poor to me as well, with boring font choices that don't really seem to match. For example, the Death Records headquarters sign. The font doesn't look like a real sign, and just comes off as lazy to me. Usually I wouldn't comment on something like this, but I think it is an important aspect, and noticed the font while reading, so i think it was worth commenting over. All in all though, this is an offbeat Manga that I urge you to check out!