At the request of some friends, I downloaded the Detroit Metal City live action movie so we could all watch it together. I still haven’t. But I’ve been itching to find out more after they keep talking about it. So I went and downloaded the OVA that spawned it.

DMC is about a nice kid from the countryside, Negishi, who dreams of playing lovely pop music inspired by acts like Kahimi Karie or Fishmans. So he leaves the country for big city Tokyo. However, he ends up in a band that’s pretty much the opposite of his ideal, a death metal band called Detroit Metal City. In it, he puts on makeup and changes from his nerdy self into Krauser II. His rabid fans shower him with made up adulation, like the fact that he raped and killed his parents when he was a kid or that he’s the demon king from hell. Poor Negi-kun just wants to be a folksy, bowl haired, BEAMS wearing dude who goes to trend cafes. But he’s got a job to do and he’s good at it. When Negi gets in character, there’s no stopping him and Krauser II takes over, ordering people around and generally behaving like the demon lead singer for a death metal outfit should.

Conflicts with his own personal desires, be they material or romantic, arise. Negi never wanted to be singing about killing babies or raping bitches. Yet, you can’t deny there’s a certain attraction to being in the limelight, whether as some wanky indie-pop scenesters or axe wielding goths and Negi pretty much goes with what opportunities present themselves.

I love how the Japanese can take any piece of pop culture, extract the vital elements and re-present them in a way that’s absurd and silly. The parody on both indie pop and death metal is hilarious. On stage, Negi performs with 2 friends. Jagi is the bassist, who’s determined to make DMC big. Camus is the drummer, a fat dude that’s always muttering pervy shiz. They’re joined by a prop actor, the Capitalist Pig, who’s a masochistic, middle-aged convenience store clerk in real life. Behind them is Death Records’ president, one hella crazy bitch who goes on about her cunt getting wet when she hears metal. The songs involve ridiculous lyrics about killing parents, rape and more rape. One of Krauser’s most famous lines is his 10 rapes in 1 second. His outrageous performances coupled with his bumbling self somehow result in hilarious events perpetuating the myth that a simple guy is a blood obsessed serial rapist/murderer.

On the flipside, Negi’s constant penchant for cheesy as hell pop songs (the lyric has even got cheese tart in it) is annoying. I like Kahimi Karie as much as the next person but he’s like the ultimate in empty indie trend following. It’s real cutesy stuff though, from talking about Daikanyama or going to trend cafes and living the ultimate indie lifestyle. Which is hella materialistic if you ask me! He dreams that he’ll make it big and he tries but nobody really cares. Yet, once he puts the makeup on and becomes Krauser II, everything seems to work. He doesn’t want to be the king of death metal but it seems he will anyway!

DMC’s a real funny anime that looks at the multiplicity of people. How we behave one way in public but wish we could be something else in real life. It also removes any and all seriousness whichever music genre you subscribe to and just how camp it is to be “following” a trend, be it punk/gansta rap/metal/indie. I guess, we can’t always choose what we want and we’ve got to take what’s in front of us sometimes and in the end, maybe what we do end up with is even better than what we wished for. It’s like Kiss reborn in parody. Which is better in my books! I bet Ozzy didn’t rape or kill his parents! Krauser rocks! \m/

The intro offers a peek. Rape rape rape rape rape rape rape rape rape rape!

I have a newfound love for death metal now lol.