Review by: Eduardo Zacarias
Publisher: VIZ Media
Author: Kiminori Wakasugi
Genre: Graphic Novel (VIZ Signature)
MSRP: $12.99 US
Rating: M (Mature)
Release Date: Available Now
The strange and curious case of Krauser I.
Detroit Metal City is quickly becoming one of this comedic manga series that I look forward to and with good reason … the series is actually very funny. I mean, who can say no to a manga about a seemingly dorky young guy who loves Swedish pop love tunes turn into Japan’s most notorious and outrageous heavy metal god. With Volume 6 of Detroit Metal City, Krauser II is about to find himself in a true rivalry that might threaten his very existence.
Ok, maybe just destroy the alternate identity of a kid who much rather be singing about cheese tarts instead. With all the drama surrounding this mysterious metal head calling himself Krauser I, the very outspoken DMC manager asks all three members to put themselves out there to show this poser who is the real metal gods. Of course, all three members of the band are at a loss as to what to do.
Speaking of cheese tarts, Negishi’s female friend, Aikawa invites him over to try out some cheese tarts she made that were inspired by one of his pop songs. While she doesn’t know Negishi is really Krauser II or is his official girlfriend, Aikawa likes him enough to invite him over. When he tells her he feels all sweaty, she even suggest he takes a bath at her place. In the tub, however, Aikawa’s father arrives and is very particular of guys coming over her place. What results is a Negishi trying to freak her dad out and ends up climbing out the window in Krauser makeup as he streaks the town. How’s that for making the press?
In the next chapter we follow DMC bassist, Masayuki Wada as he secretly meets with a popular Visual-Kei band called Crisis Sham who is about to be signed by a major music producer named Okita. Crisis Sham wants Wada to be their bassist and Wada sees this as an opportunity to leave the metal scene behind for a band about to make it big. However, when he finds himself alone with the band’s laptop, an e-mail from the producer catches Wada’s eye and accidentally sends him a nasty reply that was meant to be a message to DMC’s manager.
What results next is Wada trying to make his first e-mail sound like a joke by ends up promising the music producer two songs with the most unlikely titles that the band has to write and perform at their upcoming show. Wada writes his own tune and the performance isn’t what the band or the producer expected. The outcome is another win for DMC.
Then there’s the perverted Nishida who turns out to be an Otaku with a fondness for figures of his favorite anime characters and maid café/arcades that feature the game called Drum Master. After taking his frustration of not finding his favorite figure, Nishida catches the attention of a young man who wants Nishida to represent him in order for him to win the grand prize … drink juice with the cutest maid in the arcade. Although Nishida can’t even step back into the arcade (for his lewd behavior), his alter ego does. Needless to say, nothing goes as planned but that’s just more publicity for DMC.
The best parts of Volume 6, however, is Nigishi’s various misunderstandings that occur after he meets this talented young guitarist who can shred with the best of them. In him, Nigishi sees a way out of DMC so he can concentrate on his other musical genre of preference. So, as Krauser II, he finds himself mentoring the young man and when he tells his manager that he found a suitable replacement, well, she doesn’t take it well. In the end, he breaks ties with the young man and he sets out on a mission of revenge.
Meanwhile, a paranoid Negishi finds himself ruining his best friend’s show and giving a cop (who might be a closet DMC fan) a really hard time. In fact, the chapter with the police officer – who has the habit of jumping to strange conclusions – is the subject of a bonus chapter. There’s also a chapter where Negishi has trouble writing new DMC music only to find inspiration in the most unlikely place.
However, the more interesting part comes with the young guitarist that Krauser II promised to hand his reign of metal over to who now wants to destroy DMC. He meets somebody on an executive level within Black & Death Records who turns out to be one of the most talented metal musicians in his time. This poor fool who has the unfortunate name of Gaylord, tells him a rather humorous and intriguing tale of his past that will help destroy DMC.
Volume 6 of Detroit Metal City has its really fascinating moments and those outrageously funny comical ones as well but it just isn’t as hilarious as the past volumes in this series. Still, there’s much to like here and the rivalry that puts not only DMC in danger but also Negishi’s music. Things are going to get crazy in the next volume, that’s for sure.
MANGA REVIEW BREAKDOWN
With a rival calling himself Krauser I challenging the real Krauser, DMC’s manager pushes the trio to make their presence known. Through three incidents of pure coincidence, the three manage to make some headlines but the real problem comes when Negishi meets a young metal guitarist with some really wicked shredding skills.
You just have to love Wakasugi-Sensei’s wonderfully original art and even more so when he’s drawing Negishi’s exaggerated expressions. How can somebody so dorky be somebody that horrifically metal?
While not as hilarious as past volumes, this sixth volume of Detroit Metal City does have its share of funny moments but plays up a rivalry between Krauser II and a talented metal head who wants to replace him. Still trying to find a balance between his gig with DMC and his own sugary pop star dreams, Negishi and his band mates find themselves doing more for DMC.
Review copy provided by VIZ Media