In Detroit Metal City, Kiminori Wakasugi plays vulgarity like a perfectly tuned comedic instrument in his absurdist tale of a nice young man who just wants to make beautiful pop music but somehow finds himself headlining a death metal band as the terrifying "Krauser II."
The joy of Detroit Metal City is seeing all decency and common sense thrown out the window without so much as a "how do you do." Our "hero" of this tale -- Soichi Negishi -- thinks he wants to make beautiful love songs, but something in this otherwise gentle young man actually likes to sing about raping your mother. In volume 2, Negishi finds himself inspiring his followers through his absurdly crass performance stunts, almost in spite of himself. Does Negishi have a split personality? Are there really two personalities inside of him vying for control? Or can he just not admit to himself that he really loves running around as Krauser II, scaring the shit out of people and basically making everyone his bitch?
His performance stunts and the audience's slobbering reactions to them really make the book. They also give Negishi an almost superhuman aura to his death metal persona, as opposed to his weak, mamma's boy identity he reverts to when he is without his make-up and Krauser II costume. Seriously, it is almost like we've got a Clark Kent / Superman thing going on here, especially considering Krauser's superhuman strength which often accompanies his costumed persona. After all, what kind of "human" can claim to have "raped" Tokyo Tower or torn his tongue by scream-singing the word "rape" 11 times in 1 second? Only a devil whose powers come from singing about raping your mother, of course! (None of this yellow sun bullshit for Krauser.)
If Krauser II is the "superhero" of this book, he seems to be fighting hypocrisy and injustice (I'm not even kidding about this), and even manages to save lives, pop zits, and punish douche-baggery wherever he finds it. His weapons are his "flaming cock" (really his wig on fire), his shockingly firm phlegm (gross, yet quite hilarious), and his disembodied head. Oh Krauser. What will you think of next?
For those of us who enjoy our humor gross, crass, vulgar, offensive, completely non-PC, or, you know, good, I can't recommend Detroit Metal City highly enough. Join the hordes who worship at the feet of our death metal super-villain Krauser II and GO TO DMC!
Review copy provided by Viz Media.