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Detroit Metal City, Vol. 2


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About the Author

Kiminori Wakasugi was born in Oita Prefecture in 1975. In 1998, he was the recipient of the Incentive Award, one of Young Magazine's monthly manga awards. In that same year, he debuted with Boku no Migite wo Shirimasenka? (Do You Know Where My Right Hand Is?) in Young Magazine Zokan Aka BUTA. After working as a manga assistant, in 2004 he (somewhat irregularly) released Amaresu Ken-chan (Ken the Amateur Wrestler) in Young Magazine Uppers, and the following year, he began the death metal-themed gag manga Detroit Metal City, which runs in Young Animal. With its distinct style, explicit dialogue and '80s era manga parodies, this series has gained immense cult popularity, especially on the Internet.


Soichi Negishi is a sweet, kind of "soft" young man who loves the bubblegum sounds of Swedish pop music and dreams of creating such treacly tunes himself. But in order to keep a roof over his head, he rocks out hard as the gaudy/ridiculous Lord Krauser II, a demonically styled death metal guitarist and singer whose looks owe an immeasurable debt to both Gene Simmons of Kiss and Danish satanic rocker King Diamond. Fronting the band Detroit Metal City, Soichi sees the group's popularity soar, but he loathes the unpleasantness of his stage persona and seeks to keep his real vocation from his friends and family while fruitlessly attempting to inject some of his own tender sensibilities into DMC's music, an aspiration that scores no points with DMC's manager (who gauges the merits of the band's songs by how much their lyrics sexually excite her). The art in this manga is no great shakes, but it's kind of beside the point since the real star is the dry yet very funny script that utterly skewers the nihilistic excesses of the death metal genre. It's a hilarious satire that, luckily, hasn't been lost in the translation. (June) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

In this uproarious parody manga, aspiring musician Soichi Negishi loves Swedish pop and the movie Amelie, writes innocent songs about girls and food-and he's a virgin. But to pay the bills, he dons a caped costume, wig, and makeup and becomes Lord Johannes Krauser II, frontman for the "evil-core" death metal band Detroit Metal City. That he proves to have real talent for wild stage antics, punishing lead guitar, and obscenity-filled lyrics about rape and murder embarrasses him to no end, and he keeps his alter ego secret-especially from sweet potential girlfriend Aikawa, who's virtually the only fan of his personal songs. As the band's profile rises, Soichi can't escape humiliation by Krauser: a manager-mandated publicity stunt requires him to smash the instruments of a friend's pop band; he visits home to find that DMC's music has turned his younger brother into a delinquent; and worst of all, he repeatedly (and comically) finds himself slipping into Krauser mode around Aikawa. VERDICT Wakasugi's art has a goofy, awkward, American alt-comics look. Hilarious; much sick sex-related content limits the audience to adults.-S.R. Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

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