Detroit Metal City Vol. 1

by Kiminori Wakasugi

Publisher: Viz

Format: Softcover, black and white, $12.99

ISBN: 978-1-4215-2742-0

Reviewed by: Publishers Weekly

Soichi Negishi is a sweet, kind of "soft" young man who loves the bubblegum sounds of Swedish pop music and dreams of creating such treacly tunes himself. But in order to keep a roof over his head, he rocks out hard as the gaudy/ridiculous Lord Krauser II, a demonically styled death metal guitarist and singer whose looks owe an immeasurable debt to both Gene Simmons of Kiss and Danish satanic rocker King Diamond. Fronting the band Detroit Metal City, Soichi sees the group's popularity soar, but he loathes the unpleasantness of his stage persona and seeks to keep his real vocation from his friends and family while fruitlessly attempting to inject some of his own tender sensibilities into DMC's music, an aspiration that scores no points with DMC's manager (who gauges the merits of the band's songs by how much their lyrics sexually excite her). The art in this manga is no great shakes, but it's kind of beside the point since the real star is the dry yet very funny script that utterly skewers the nihilistic excesses of the death metal genre. It's a hilarious satire that, luckily, hasn't been lost in the translation.