Review by: Clive Owen
Publisher: VIZ Media
Author: Kiminori Wakasugi
Genre: Graphic Novel (VIZ Signature)
MSRP: $12.99 US
Rating: M (Mature)
Release Date: Available Now
Meet Krauser the pro wrestling, Enka-killing, matchmaking Kyushu boy.
After having put an end to the threat that was Gaylord Kitahara, DMC is back doing what they do best and that is pleasing their fans that truly do believe that they come straight from the depths of hell. While Soichi Negishi has made it obvious that DMC’s music isn’t exactly what he wants to play but it seems that he is still relying on his role as Johannes Krauser II in times when he needs him the most as we can see from Volume 8 of Detroit Metal City.
Having regained his Metal Supremacy after having unmasked Krauser I, Negishi and the rest of the band find themselves on a peaceful road trip that the bassist Wada had organized for their short-tempered boss needs to get away and relax. Wanting to present her with gifts as thanks for all she does for them (which is mainly yell and smack them around), Wada reads a flowery letter that is already irritating the boss but is Negishi who presents her with the best gift that definitely pleases boss … as well as humiliates a returning character.
Ah, but getting back your Metal Supremacy hasn’t stopped Negishi from being trendy and now he’s turned eco-friendly as we can see as he goes shopping with his female friend, Aikawa. Negishi has turned vegetarian as well as using a reusable shopping bag and this impresses Aikawa enough that she asks Negishi to play his music at a green-themed music festival. Surprised by her offer, Negishi starts writing cheesy songs about the environment that doesn’t sit well with his public.
Taking his new lifestyle too seriously, though, Negishi nearly wastes away to nothing and is shocked that Aikawa isn’t the least bit worried about his health so he shows up to the music festival as Krauser and takes out his anger out on Aikawa. Oh but he’s not done tormenting Aikawa because in another chapter he joins her in a reunion with fellow college classmates. Since they arrive together, all their old friends assume that they’re dating but Aikawa doesn’t seem give them an indication that they’ve become that close. Even worst, one of their old college friends wants to date her so what’s a Kyushu boy to do?
In another chapter, Negishi is performing out in the streets again when he catches the attention of an older man named Mister Gan who thinks Negishi has a wonderful singing voice … for the traditional Japanese musical genre of Enka. While he’s not crazy about Enka, he gives it a shot but when Mister Gan shows up at a DMC show it is up to Krauser to show him that Enka is an old man’s musical genre.
Then Negishi encounter a cute little girl whose father not only happens to be DMC fan boy, Nimura, but also a pro wrestler who is part of a tag-team. Having been to the show as an invited guest in full Krauser makeup, the little girl tells him that only Lord Krauser can help his dad in the ring so he steps up to the challenge to take on a major opponent with his famous partner, Iron Machine. While Krauser isn’t strong enough to take on two pro wrestlers, he manages to pull a trick that shocks the audience. Believe me; you need to see it for yourself.
There’s also a chapter that has DMC’s bassist, Jagi, go on a publicity tour on his own to promote the new CD single, although he has no idea how to interact with the fans aside from his famous fire show antics he does during concerts. Oh, there’s even a chapter dedicated to Nashimoto, the band’s “pig,” as the rumors of Krauser II’s death turns the chapter into a totally demented nod to Shibuya’s own Hachiko with the pig loyally waiting for his “master” by the venue.
At one point, Krauser even plays matchmaker for a DMC fan who is in love with a female fan that is oblivious of the crush. So, during each show, Krauser tries to make the guy look good in front of the girl but – unfortunately – at the cost of getting beat up by his boss who doesn’t take those lame theatrics too well. When said fan makes an insulting remark about Krauser, however, Negishi’s response is not favorable.
Finally, there’s a new rival in the fight to take over the role of DMC and this time it is Rosado – the man who has filled in for Negishi on occasion – who wants to take over the band. Along with a Chinese chef and an Indian immigrant, they take to the stage when the real band can’t make it to the show. Rosado and his band mates, however, Negishi find out that Rosado might not be the best replacement for him.
Volume 8 of Detroit Metal City has its hysterically funny moments but it just isn’t as comically brilliant as past volumes in this series. Still, there’s plenty to like about this one and the truly funny moments will not fail to make you laugh out loud and yes Krauser’s antics out in public steal the show every time. This is still one of the funniest comedic manga series out there and Kiminori Wakasugi proves it with each volume.
MANGA REVIEW BREAKDOWN
Back to being Krauser II again, Negishi joins his band in trying to please their irritable boss as well as Aikawa who is the victim of two Krauser appearances. Then, performing his own brand of pop music, Negishi meets an Enka singer trying to take him under his wing and later he accepts to take on a tag-team wresting duo with a DMC fan. Meanwhile, Jagi is talked into going on tour solo to promote the latest DMC single and a returning character decides that he wants to take over the Krauser II role.
The sight gags in this particular volume are actually quite hilarious with Negishi’s wasted-away look and his swollen beat up face in another chapter being the cherry on top of an already over sweetened cake of visual comedy.
While not as over-the-top hilarious as other volumes in this series, Volume 8 of Detroit Metal City is not without its shining moments and laugh-out-loud scenes that make up for it. More and more, Negishi is relying on Krauser II to vent his frustrations and that alone still makes this a highly amusing manga series.
Review copy provided by VIZ Media