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 Post subject: Detroit Metal City
PostPosted: September 27th, 2009, 7:24 pm 
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All hail Ueda Yûji!


Negishi Sôichi left his country village to study in Tokyo wishing to join or form a band. He is a soft-spoken youth with a love for romantic French movies and light pop music filled with love and happiness.

Without knowing the Manga we cannot tell how, but after graduating he finds himself being the lead singer of the uprising Death Metal band Detroit Metal City: Johann Krauser II.
DMC's songs are mostly about rape and atricious violence which Negishi rejects and detests - but at the same time, in Krauser's Visual-Kei demonic outfit, helped by intuition, coincidence, the craziness of his devoted fans, and a good deal of split personality, he is also an outstanding stage performer.
"Split personality" must not be taken too literally - Negishi is always aware of himself and never forgets who he really is - a country boy with a sort of talent he does not approve of - he just changes his behavior more or less mechanically (?) according to the situation, driven by the atmosphere of a live performance.

His fellow band members are Masayuki ("Jagi", bass) and Terumichi ("Camus", drums) who are in the business for their own reasons: Masayuki likes to impress women and Terumichi expresses his attitude to life in the music. Masayuki is a rather smooth operator, and Terumichi hardly speaks more than two syllables in a row, mostly sexual terms.
The band is managed by a hard core female Metal fan, only known as the "Death Records president". She rules DMC with an iron fist (or boot) and allows no backtalk. You wouldn't believe how often she uses the word "fuck" and talks about "getting wet"...
Last but not least is Keisuke, a masochist otaku, who acts as the "Pig of Capitalism" sort-of mascot on stage.

Due to DMC's misogynic lyrics a female punk band challenges the trio (I don't count the president and the Pig), which leads to the burning down of the concert hall, and a rival gangsta rappa proves to be a childhood friend.
One day Negishi meets Yuri, a young woman he has met in college who has always admired his artistic dreams and shares his taste in music. Of course he hides his stage personality from her and often enough gets in a pinch when Krauser leaks out, which is responsible for much of the series' humor.
Like, she writes for a music magazine and comes to one of his concerts. After stage-diving he is coincidentally carried towards her, in order to remain anonymous he slaps her skirt upwards upon which she runs off, much horrified.

Most of the fun is derived from the brainless fans of DMC, though.
Their breakthrough was a song named "Satsugai" which has lyrics in the likes of "Yesterday I killed my parents and then I raped them... Kill them all!!" So it's common knowledge among the fans that Krauser killed his parents at an early age, lives as a demon in hell, can be summoned to Earth if they worship him enough, and will only appear if there's some woman to rape or kill as a sacrifice.
In fact, anything he does will be interpreted in a demonic way, stressing the singlemindedness (and stupidity) of the fans:
- He stumbles and falls on a police woman... "Yes! Krauser is raping the police woman!"
- He saves the punk band's singer from the burning hall... "He brought her out so he can rape her!!"

Voices were well done and well chosen. Aikawa Yuri's voice, Nagasawa Masami, is perfect for the role. The president's voice is also great, and if you see the picture of her voice actress, Kobayashi Ai, you'd never even guess that such a cute woman would utter such things as the president constantly does.
But Ueda Yûji outdid himself in my opinion. He is mostly known for being Urashima Keitarô in Love Hina, maybe as the Genshiken chairman, and Kyôhei in Bakuretsu Tenshi, but his dark Krauser performance is outstanding.
It would have been more outstanding had he done both roles - Krauser and Negishi, but Negishi has a different voice actor, Kishio Daisuke, who appeared as Amasawa Nobuhiko ("4423") in Dennô Coil, Pinocchio in Gunslinger Girl - Il Teatrino, and Wadi in Hare nochi Guu. Blending from one voice to the other as Negishi puts on the make-up sounds pretty cool.

I'm not totally happy with the subs because the vulgarity of the language was exaggerated to, well, suit American audiences. Apart from the lyrics of certain songs I am not of the opinion that the dialogues needed an extraload of "shit" and "fuck" and other profanities, which distorts the original language. But, if it feels more natural to American audiences, what can I say?

If you can stand the hilarious vulgarity in lyrics and pictures and if you don't dislike the music, watch Detroit Metal City. It's just an OVA without a real beginning and with no real end, but it has 12 episodes of 15 minutes each and is grotesquely entertaining comedy.
The presented music is not what I'd call Death Metal (cuz Death Metal sounds like this), but it comes closer than I anticipated. In terms of sound it's refreshingly far enough from Visual-kei J-Rock. It's real Metal for a change. In terms of visuals... hey, a Japanese metal band without bizarre make-up and costumes wouldn't be a Japanese Metal band. :lol2: I'm sure it's a Kabuki legacy.
Compare Seikima... a rock band, but their visuals and language is very similar. Please also note that DMC doesn't use the usual high-pitched singing that is usual for bands of the Japanese rock genre.

This is one of the Anime which convinced me that I'd like to get the Manga.
I have also seen the live action movie... but I'll talk about that later.
Now I need to sleep. :sweat:

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 Post subject: Re: Detroit Metal City
PostPosted: September 27th, 2009, 9:30 pm 
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42317 wrote:
I'm not totally happy with the subs because the vulgarity of the language was exaggerated to, well, suit American audiences. Apart from the lyrics of certain songs I am not of the opinion that the dialogues needed an extraload of "shit" and "fuck" and other profanities, which distorts the original language. But, if it feels more natural to American audiences, what can I say?

That reminds me of the good old days when DBZ was just coming out in the US and I was watching the fansubs I got a hold of. I was like, man these fansubs are great since they actually have them cursing! :mrgreen:

I've seen the first four or so episodes of DMC now, haven't actually seen an episode in a long while now. It was certainly something different, and while I liked the hilarious situations that he got into whenever he had to play the part of Krauser. That didn't seem to be enough to keep me going though. I might have to restart it one of these days. The short nature of the episodes makes it rather approachable for a re-watch or finishing.

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 Post subject: Re: Detroit Metal City
PostPosted: September 29th, 2009, 8:33 pm 
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So, I saw the live-action movie...
A good deal of the Anime is in the 105 minutes long movie, I think everything that is in the Anime is at least being hinted at, like Kiba and Kintama, with the concert against Jack Ill Dark as the climax.
It starts well like the Anime, Negishi saying goodbye to his mother and going to Tokyo to become a student. You see him join the pop club where he makes good friends singing about love and cheesetart cakes or whatever, living true to his motto "No dream, no music". When he sees an advertising of the same title he delivers a CD to the production company - and ends up at Death Records. The rest is history.

No problem with the story. There have been minor changes, but there's nothing (really) new to it. Like the Death Records president's companions are not two muscle-men but two dobermen who tear up Negishi's apartment - without getting the old neighbor involved. Could be good. But it isn't.

Negishi is played by Matsuyama Kenichi and the movie was directed by one Toshio Lee, and I have no idea whom of those two I have to thank more for that totally messed up Negishi performance.
I can live with Negishi being a naive sissy country hick, the contrast to Krauser is great enough. But the movie Negishi is not just a naive sissy country hick, he's a naive sissy country hick sniveler, a crybaby who bursts into tears at the drop of a hat, and the movie Negishi cries a lot. That guy comes across so totally gay, in the most horribly possible clichéed way, that it repelled me and I skipped several parts of the movie because I couldn't stand the respective scenes.

The Krauser depiction is okay in most parts, but I think that Negishi is much more likely to shine through the make-up than in the Anime.
Hosoda Yoshihiko, who plays Jagi/Masayuki, must be one of the worst actors I have ever seen, and whereas his Anime face-paint still had something demonic about it he looks like a lost kitten in the movie, because these black stripes on his cheeks are far too thick and his eyes are just too big.
Camus/Terumichi makes the impression of a sort of tragic clown in his make-up, mostly because the Anime Camus never changed his facial expression, so you could almost think he was wearing a mask. In the movie you can clearly see different facial expressions despite the make-up and it just looks weird.
The president seems somewhat limited... how can I put it... her language is basically the same, but in the movie she also also uses to laugh manically... not quite like Naga, but close to that... you know what I mean. It's disturbing. She was nasty in the Anime, but she also made a cool impression. Now she's more like hysterical, in a way that you become after a longer period of LSD abuse.

All hints at sex and drugs were removed for the movie version. When the president visits Negishi to have a party all she does is splatter him with... a brownish liquid from a flat metal bottle that looks like whiskey or something. It's very clear what the scene is trying to convey. What remained were panty flashes of Aikawa Yuri, played by Katô Rosa, the only actress that made a good impression on me. But don't expect too much, she wears the sort of woolen underwear that looks like your granny had knitted them. But there's no honking the old neighbor, the Tokyo Tower, or Jack Ill Dark.

That climax concert is, well, it's plainly stupid.
Spoiler
Jack Ill Dark begins a world tour and plays against Detroit Metal City. Jack plays a fast tune on his vicious guitar and Krauser fills the lines with the f-word.
Then something explodes on stage. Both are knocked off their feet. Agonizingly slowly they get up - and then there's another explosion, knocking them down again. This time only Krauser gets up, while Jack seems to have disappeared... it was really, like, "WTF!?" It totally took away the pace and everything... it was just odd and unnecessary to have something explode... twice.
And then Jack hands his guitar over to Krauser to symbolize that Krauser is the new top herald of Death Metal... yeah, right... I found it rather unclimactic that Jack admits defeat to the very first band he challenges... but anyway...


So, however much you enjoy the Anime... just don't watch the movie.
Except... if you believe that Krauser was really the king of hell and had unleashed this botch upon you as a means of torture.

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 Post subject: Re: Detroit Metal City
PostPosted: October 1st, 2009, 12:42 pm 
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DMC I found was hilarious, might not recommend it to everybody but I'd recommend it to most of my guy friends. And it'd be funny even if you didn't watch anime anyway.

I wonder if the manga explains how Negishi got himself into such a band in the first place.

There were a few dry episodes, like the girl punk band episode and the movie episode, but there are really priceless moments like Detroit Moe City and the Tokyo Tower episode.

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 Post subject: Re: Detroit Metal City
PostPosted: October 2nd, 2009, 5:08 pm 
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Storm_Shinobi wrote:
There were a few dry episodes, like the girl punk band episode and the movie episode

I found the "Kintama" girls episode quite good, and I'd like to see some more of that.
Rescueing Nina from the flames was a sight, although I wonder how Negishi was able to remain so cool. Camus is a maniac anyway. :D

The movie episode was odd, indeed, but it was nonetheless interesting imho.
I mean, thinking up such a crazy plot - the girl is growing a single horn, straight up into the sky... Krauser rubs it to make it grow stronger... then the "Orb of Doom", and finally that great Hokutô no Ken gag:
"O-mae wa mou o-share ja nai!"
That was great. :lol:

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