Detroit Metal City (TV)

Title:Detroit Metal City (TV)
Keywords: , , , , , ,
Notables: Animation - Studio 4°C
R1 License - Sentai Filmworks (ADV)
Having moved from a rural part of Japan to attend a college in Tokyo, a shy and reserved Sōichi Negishi somehow gets caught up in the indie music scene. He ends up joining a (Kiss-like) metal band named "Detroit Metal City," under the stage name of "Johannes Krauser II.". He quickly proves his worth as the lead singer and a songwriter, but whenever he dons the Krauser costume, he becomes a completely different person – a loud vulgar monster yelling insulting profanities beyond anyone's imagination. As the popularity of DMC begins to rise, Negishi begins to worry about the mean-spirited Krauser personality and how it might affect his off-stage chances at romance.

Based on the seinen manga by Wakasugi Kiminori serialised in Young Animal.

Also see live action movie - Detroit Metal City (live action)

Animation by Studio 4°C.
New series to aire in Aug '08.
Twelve 15-min episodes (released as three one-hour OVAs).

Voted Best Comedy Anime of 2008 by AnimeReactor Community Awards.

Streaming Online Promo (5+min) - Amazon.Japan
Episode Details 
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Buy 6 5 6 7 7 7 Ggultra2764 [series:1846#1552]
Detroit Metal City is a black comedy anime focused on Souichi Negishi, a young man who unwillingly serves as the lead guitarist and frontman of the popular titular death metal band under the guise of Johannes Krauser II, a supposed demonic terrorist from hell who raped and murdered his parents. Negishi despises his involvement with the band and desires to be a successful pop musician. But he finds his direction with this career going nowhere and he uses the anger and frustration from this and other low points of his personal life to vent as Krauser during the band’s musical performances.

Detroit Metal City is largely a one-trick pony type of comedy that you will love or hate depending on how well you enjoy its crass comedy and misanthropic premise. The content won’t be for everyone as there is enough mention of rape, scenes of violence, unwanted sexual advances, and plenty of profanity uttered throughout this series. The series is set up into 12 two-segment episodes at a combined 14-minute length that largely follow the same gag where Negishi’s optimism in believing in the best of everyone blows up in his face and he uses his alter-ego as Krauser to vent his rage in some crass, over-the-top manner either in public or during any event involving the band.

I suppose as far as my perceptions go for Detroit Metal City, there is some surprising insight it dabbles into outside its crass humor. The series isn’t afraid to show how cynical life can be for people just graduating from college, with Negishi stuck in a successful profession he wants nothing to do with, struggling in his more ideal direction for being a musician, his efforts at optimism blowing up in his face, and using his alter-ego as Krauser to vent his frustrations while on the job and only making Detroit Metal City even more successful. It also has fun ripping into elements of musical subcultures as outside of shock rock, the series rips into pop, rap, and punk rock at points in the series; which is noticeable if you follow the posturing and how inane the lyrics of songs from musicians in these genres are throughout the series. At its best, Detroit Metal City has excellent comedic timing in showing off how cruel the world can be for Negishi and the crass ways he vents at his misfortunes while in the guise of Krauser.

Praises aside, Detroit Metal City isn’t without its imperfections. With Negishi’s misery and his crass ventings as Krauser largely being the main attraction to the series, the series does occasionally stumble in some of the segments it offers up. Some segments devolve into milking humor off bodily fluids or Negishi’s love interest, Yuri, falling victim to Negishi usually letting his act as Krauser get the better of him during outings with the pair, the latter crossing close into misogyny as Yuri, dumbfoundingly, still sticks with Negishi in spite of his blunders as Krauser. Plus outside of Negishi, there isn’t much else to get enjoyment out of with the series as all the other characters follow simple character types meant to reflect the cynical and inane world view that is depicted within Detroit Metal City.

Overall, Detroit Metal City’s crass humor has great timing in its high points and is surprisingly believable at depicting how cruel life can be for college graduates in the working world. However as mentioned, its humor is largely a one-trick pony relishing off Negishi’s misery and his crass antics as Krauser. If you can’t get any enjoyment out of this, you will more than likely not get as much enjoyment out of the humor offered with the series.

Last updated Saturday, February 20 2021. Created Monday, November 14 2011.
Buy Forbin [series:1846#1573]
All Fansubs Watched:

  • Drama : Med
  • SciFi : None
  • Action : Low
  • Comedy : High
  • Ecchi : None
If you liked this you will probably like Proper review.

First bad words abound in this anime. F this and Murder that and Rape this. And the cell count for this anime is very low. Lots of times the main characters aren't even moving around.

The adventures of a poor country farm boy who is thrust screaming into the world of Death Metal? Incredible good and funny!

This version covers the first Arc of the manga which ends with Jack Ill Dark, the Death Metal Emperor. For those of you who have seen the whole series, take a GOOD look at the guitar that Krauser uses in the OP. It looks very familiar eh?

As the manga has 4 arcs (Jack, Emperor Fight, Black and Death, and I assume the GF arc) I want to see more.

But I like, it's extremely funny and I can forgive the low cell grade school animation.

Last updated Thursday, November 13 2008. Created Thursday, September 18 2008.
Unevaluated Jan-Chan [series:1846#967]
Given the words and topic matter that spews from the mouth of Johannes Krauser II, I was wondering just how they would be able to put this on TV? Well, it is actually an OVA release – 55minutes per episode, broken up into 13min segments, and there are 3 OVA episodes so far.

The animation is done by Studio 4°C and is very hip-n-stylish. With floating anime boxes and deliberate under-use of the screen space, one might wonder if they trying to save money by showing less. But if you check out any of their other works, then you will understand that they have a rep of being non-standard and off-the-wall. And DMC is just more of Studio 4°C's fun and strange style.

Be warned that DMC plays the nasty heavy metal card to the hilt (sic!) ....
It includes both direct and indirect references to....

  • Scatology
  • The F-word
  • Rape
  • The F-word
  • Animal abuse
  • The F-word
  • Sadism, masochism and bondage
  • Drug abuse and alcoholism
  • Abusive words and comments about women
  • And even more of the F-word (here is a sample)
Don’t get me wrong! The story is actually funny, but in a very sick and disturbing way. It is certain to entertain some and more certain to offend others. You might just have to watch it your self and make up your own mind.

Last updated Thursday, September 04 2008. Created Tuesday, August 12 2008.
Rent Stretch [series:1846#628]
(All episodes watched):

This was a show which got off to a dubious start what with the vulgarity and cruelty, but shaped up before long into a reliably, sometimes hilariously, funny show. After watching episode one, my impression was that this was definitely an amusing show, though it didn't altogether thrill me--after all, at a mere 15 minutes I already knew pretty much everything that was going to happen in this opening episode. Hearing the vile lyrics to one of Krauser's songs immediately summoned an Oh-God-laugh from me (as disturbing as it was, the manager was dissatisfied). Unusual character designs stand out as does the unusual use of screen space; at times only a third or so of the screen is in use in a largely vertical block-frame. You can't help feeling sorry for Soichi, who's become wildly popular in what was supposed to be a secondary career, while the form of music he truly puts his soul into gets no respect at all. Note that each episode begins with a vile DMC tune while it ends with a sweet song that Negishi composed.

There is a Detroit Metal City "special" going around, but it is little different from a replaying of episode one and has nothing new about it. Even more frustrating, the first half of episode two is nothing more than additional replays of scenes we've already seen (twice). I was wondering what the hell was going on with this show, but the second half finally provided some fresh material. Unfortunately, that proved disappointing as well. Though I got some more Oh-God laughs, the show was disturbingly vulgar. Too much vulgarity instead of ridiculing vulgarity, which is what it ought to be doing. At this point I am very uncomfortable with this series, which I had had high hopes for.

The first few minutes of episode three left me hoping that the series had finally gotten into it's stride and would be great fun, but in the end the result was the same--jokes that are supposed to make me laugh leave me sickened instead. I think I've finally figured out what I really don't like about this show: innocent people get hurt and I'm expected to laugh at it. The band's S&M "mascot" gets beaten during every performance; Negishi's girlfriend is humiliated and traumatized; his uncle is brutalized; his own apartment is vandalized--and that's supposed to be funny? Again, raw vulgarity isn't entertainment--entertainment requires some effort and talent. At least this episode was all-new, rather than largely a rehash of past episodes. But that's kind of pointless if the show keeps turning me off as it has.

Episode four was less offensive and if each episode was like this I wouldn't hesitate to watch DMC. Some people got hurt, but just a little and the show didn't seem to revel in the violence. Perhaps best of all Negishi didn't make his disturbing unintentional changeover into the personality of Krauser, except when he was drunk. This changeover, when he is nothing more than excited, seems a lame excuse for his irresponsible behavior and makes it hard to forgive. This time, however, he was clearly just playing a role (during the TV interview), which made it infinitely easier to identify with him. In fact, the thought that "finally they've gotten it right" went through my head.

Episode five marked an improvement as well. Each episode consists of two sub-plots, and the "Capitalist Pig" one was kind of sad but at least didn't seem too sadistic. Better yet was the second half in which Negishi visits his family. That was genuinely funny and something good came about for once.

Episode six may well be the best one yet as a female indie band, the Kintama Girls, starts slandering DMC and challenges it to a Battle of the Bands. It was just ludicrous enough to invalidate all the disturbing behavior and make the show truly funny--this is the way I wish the show had been done right from the start. The quality of DMC is continuining to look up.

Episode seven was fun as well--I'm hoping DMC has finally gotten on track once and for all. The absurd conclusions which Krauser's fans jump to as they interpret his actions were hilarious. The second sub-plot wasn't quite as good (perhaps because the conclusion seemed sudden and poorly explained), but I did a good deal of laughing during this one too. Keep up the good work!

Part one of episode eight was fun as Negi finds inspiration to behave like the Krauser which the President wants as they record DMC's first album. Part two made me a little uncomfortable as poor Aikawa gets her feelings hurt, but I couldn't help beeing amused as Negi becomes confused as he bounces back and forth between a date and a DMC public appearance nextdoor. Something like this is just so ludicrous that it feels like it came from an old American sitcom. So, by and large another good episode.

Episode nine involved Krauser being loaned out to do a cameo during an artistic movie being made by an eccentric director--who just happens to be a DMC fan. It was fun seeing Negi having to interact with actors who he greatly admires while maintaing his Krauser personality--in a way, he's an experienced actor himself after all. The second half involved a screening of the completed film, which had been crashed by rowdy DMC fans (of course). I don't recall completely cracking up at any point, but this episode delivered a rich supply of good jokes which kept me thoroughly entertained throughout.

Episode ten involved Negi quitting his job abruptly and a hasty replacement being found for him. Negi is appalled by the poor quality of this person, and yet the fact that it doesn't seem to dawn on DMC fans that something has changed. The absurd conclusions that the fans jump to in order to explain the behavior of Krauser is one of the best parts of the show, not just in this episode but in many of them.

I was surprised that the series came to an end after a mere twelve episodes, in part because Negi's relationship with his girlfriend was still in a mess and needed fixing. But while I epected just another "filler" episode, this one worked well as a conclusion to the series. It's clear that this was the one which Jan-chan's manga clipping was depicting! The jarring contrast between Negi's naive side while not in costume, and the genuinely obnoxious and frightening people he has to deal with is hilarious, as was the accident that took place during his performance. Taking on the ultimate heavy metal star was a clever and appropriate way to wrap things up. This show had a unique, fast-moving style of comedy to it. It's hard to imagine DMC without the profanity, but in the end it really did parody vulgar behavior more than revel in it. I'll definitely be rewatching this one someday, and am tempted to watch the live-action version as well.

My favorite line: "Krauser-san's raping Tokyo Tower!" --Fan

Last updated Thursday, November 13 2008. Created Friday, August 08 2008.

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