Final Thoughts: Detroit Metal City

When Soichi Negishi vowed to make it big in the music scene, he’d imagined a peaceful and intellectual career emulating his Swedish pop heroes- but unfortunately, things don’t always go to plan. Playing guitar at street corners is all very well, but when it comes to making money, Negishi has to rely on his other job as lead singer of heavy metal group Detroit Metal City. Playing the role of Krauser- a demon from hell who claims to have started his life by raping and killing his parents- goes against everything Negishi believes in, but somehow this sweet and gentle young man just can’t walk away from the nightmare he created.

At first glance, Detroit Metal City sounds like exactly the kind of series not to bother with- aside from the fact that I don’t like heavy metal, Krauser himself sounds like exactly the kind of puerile and unpleasant character that should be locked away in a deep, dark place and never spoken of again. To my surprise, however, the content is handled in such a way that, whilst it certainly isn’t the kind of thing you’d want to show to your grandmother (or indeed anyone except close friends and fellow anime fans), it is actually entirely hilarious. And in case you’re worried, no one gets raped or killed in the making of it.

The humour in Detroit Metal City arises from the mismatch between Krauser and the ‘real’ Negishi, one that causes him all sorts of mishaps. Whether it’s an attempt to do good that backfires, or an inadvertent slip into his Krauser personality, Negishi is always the centre of some escalating situation- and it invariably proves to be thoroughly entertaining.

As with most comedy series, Detroit Metal City is more about getting in the jokes rather than developing the characters, but there is no doubt that there are plenty of memorable personalities, from the masochist who plays a whipped ‘capitalist pig’ onstage for DMC to the fearsome group manager who only wants the kind of sick extremes that get her ‘wet’. Of course, Negishi/Krauser remains the centre of the show, but it is only through his interactions with all these extreme personalities that the series really takes shape.

Visually, Detroit Metal City sticks with a simplistic look that will hardly win any aesthetic prizes, but which suits the nature of the series well. As someone who isn’t a fan of either Swedish pop or death metal, the music alone does little for me, but as the central theme of the series, it performs its function admirably.

Final Thoughts

Against all the odds, Detroit Metal City emerges from a potentially gratuitous and unappealing premise to deliver something completely hilarious. As long as your sensibilities can cope with some crudeness and bad language, you’ll have a whale of a time watching this one.

Tier: Gold-

6 thoughts on “Final Thoughts: Detroit Metal City

  1. IMO it was one of the funniest anime of the season no matter what music you usually listen to. Additionally Krauser Ⅱ becomes quite a memorable character and I laughed really hard when I saw his cameo in recent K–ON.

  2. I’m not sure where you’re getting the against the odds part, since DMC was guaranteed hilarity long before it’s arrival. Then again, as a HUUUUUGE metal head maybe I was more well-prepared for it. Without a doubt it’ one of the funniest anime I’ve ever seen.

  3. I’m starting to feel like I’m the only person who *hasn’t* watched this series yet, despite the world and his friend telling me that I absolutely have to. I really do need to get around to it one day soon, don’t I?

  4. digitalboy: I meant against the odds for me, since I’m not a metal fan and out of context things like the “ten rapes per second” sound a bit disturbing. It’s only when I started watching it that I realised its genius.

    Hanners: Jump to it! Each episode is only about 12 minutes long- there’s no excuse 😉

  5. I’m actually starting a metal band myself, and I love DMC. I especially want to become like Krauser.

    I’m not joking. I just need to learn guitar.

  6. I did like the scenario behind this show. What I didn´t like was the “forced” things that Negishi had to go trough, or his ordinary music. I do understand why the people around him don´t stop and listen to it.

    For humour and such it was good to look at. Poor man part in one ep though, it has to hurt as hell.

    Wonder if it´ll make it trough to the states? With all the “bad words” that are used and all.

    A nice good review as usuall 🙂

    ritchan: Man, don´t go there. It´s bad for your health. You´ll get caught by the police if you do stuff like this IRL.

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