Detroit Metal City Book 1

When I first heard about this heavy metal parody, I was sure I’d be too grossed out to make it through. The premise, you see, is that nerdy virgin Soichi becomes the vile, repulsive, hateful, misogynist lead singer of a death metal band on stage, but he really wants to sing sappy pop songs.

Detroit Metal City Book 1 cover
Detroit Metal City Book 1
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The comedy comes from the contrast between Soichi’s incompetence at so much of life and his made-up posturing on-stage. I did have to tamp down my gag reflex when it came to some of the foul lyrics spewed by the band, but then I thought about how stupid the listeners were for wanting to hear this ridiculous noise. It’s also kind of a scary (unintentionally) comment on how far you have to go to purposefully shock people these days.

Surprisingly, I found much of the book funny, especially when unbelievable coincidences started making Soichi’s life worse. Or his mother calls at just the wrong time. Or they point out how easily a happy poppy song becomes a hell chant by changing just a few nouns. I still can’t stand his boss, though.

The chapters are short, a good choice to keep things from getting too meaningful and keep the humor punchy. The art is a little flat, with an emphasis on people looking shocked (open mouth, wide eyes, color on cheeks). This may not be the book for you if you’re put off by obscene language or wimpy protagonists — so much would change if Soichi would just take some responsibility and tell people the truth or accept his occupation or say no to being bullied. But that’s putting more thought into this comedy than I think it wants.

A complimentary copy for this review was provided by the publisher. Here’s a more in-depth review.

Similar Posts: Detroit Metal City Books 4-6 § Detroit Metal City Book 2 § Detroit Metal City (Movie) § Win a Copy of Detroit Metal City Book 5! § Viz Licenses Detroit Metal City Movie

6 Comments

  1. [...] The Cat in the Coffin (The Manga Critic) Deb Aoki on Clover (About.com) Johanna Draper Carlson on vol. 1 of Detroit Metal City (Comics Worth Reading) Greg McElhatton on vol. 1 of Detroit Metal City (Read About Comics) David [...]

  2. [...] Viz Signature line (which publishes titles aimed as adults, including 20th Century Boys, Oishinbo, Detroit Metal City, and Pluto) and the monthly manga magazine IKKI. The Japanese publication is described as [...]

  3. [...] Metal City is one of the guiltiest pleasures in my life. There are so many reasons not to like this series: abundant use of foul language, crude humor, misogynistic lyrics and actions, moronic fans, etc. [...]

  4. [...] crude humor and Negishi’s identity struggle funny or not. I can’t imagine anyone reading the previous two volumes of this series and still being on the fence. That said, if you’re a fan of the [...]

  5. [...] movies, has announced that they have licensed Detroit Metal City, based on the outrageous manga series by Kiminori Wakasugi about a nice guy who fronts an infamous death metal [...]

  6. [...] Metal City, the movie, is loosely based on the first two volumes of the manga by Kiminori Wakasugi. Soichi is played by Kenichi Matsuyama, whom the [...]

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