Detroit Metal City [OVA]
Based on the manga by mangaka Kiminori Wakasugi, Detroit Metal City is an original video animation about a young man who is secretly a rock star from a metal band. Detroit Metal City was released on August 8, 2008, running with a total of 12 episodes and each one being 13 minutes long. The animation is directed by Hiroshi Nagahama and is produced by Studio 4°C. A trivia to its series name is that it is based on one single by KISS, an American rock band, entitled Detroit Rock City.
Aside from the Original Video Animation, Detroit Metal City has a manga with 10 volumes, and a live action film directed by Toshio Lee and produced by Genki Kawamura which was released on August 23, 2008, in Japanese cinemas with a total of 105 minutes of screen time.
Detroit Metal PLOT
The story of Detroit Metal City is set in Tokyo, focused on the young protagonist, Soichi Negishi, who aspires to become a pop star some day. Coming from the rural Ota Prefecture, Negishi moves to Tokyo to attend college. The reason why he decided on moving to Tokyo is because of his dream of creating a fashionable pop band there. While on his way to Tokyo, Negishi listens to his favorite pop music, specifically Kahimi Karie, and daydreams on how the music makes the country side his staring at look like a photograph from Paris. He tells himself how he wants to create music like Kahimi Karie’s.
But things do not always go as they were planned. After graduating from college, Negishi finds himself ending up in a band that was different from what he had wanted. Instead of getting into the bubbly pop band he always loved, Negishi becomes part of a heavy metal band which fashions itself with long leather boots, thick dark outfits, heavy makeup, and a masochistic mascot named the Capital Pig (Shihonshugi no Buta in Japanese).
His metal band is called Detroit Metal City which has quite a number of fans. Its members use stage names to hide their personal identities, Negishi hiding under the name of Johannes Krauser II or how fans call him, Krauser-sama. He is the vocalist and the band’s guitarist at the same time. Along Negishi, there are two other members of the band namely: Wada Masayuki the bassist who is known as Alexander Jagi, and Nishida Terumichi the drummer who is known as Camus. Aside from the band members, they are also joined by their mascot, Keisuke Nashimoto the Capitalist Pig, and Death Records President who promotes the band. Together, they form the Detroit Metal City family.
After one of their concerts, the band goes on a meeting with the Death Records President regarding the concept of a new promotional video for their band. Vulgar and dark terms such as Paintings in Hell are exchanged during the meeting, and because of this, Negishi cannot help but wonder why he is in a band that wasn’t in the genre he wanted. The Death Records President then asks the members for ideas for the promotional video, with Negishi feeling awkward and Wada and the Death Records President being the only ones who are enthusiastically coming up with ideas like Krauser eating a bat alive and zombies eating his body while he plays the guitar.
Negishi, of course, rejects the idea and tells everyone that he would not be able to do all of that. The Death Records President follows this up by asking Negishi if he had any better ideas. Being the timid, peace-loving type, Negishi shares that he wishes for a more happier setting like walking around Harajuku while eating sweet crepes. Nishida as well shares his idea about wanting to eat curry rice in hell. Both Wada and the Death Records President exclaims how everyone should be serious about their promotional video so that their music could be brought to M-station or any TV show that would make Detroit Metal City popular.
This makes Negishi uncomfortable as he always wished to make music that would make his mother say “How Nice…” or give her good feeling. Once the meeting was finished, Negishi spoke to the Death Records President in private and showed her a song he had composed. A song which was the genre he loved – pop. But because of her love for profanities and metal, she calls it gross and plays the first song which Negishi composed for Detroit Metal City, Satsugai. Without a choice, Negishi continues to work with Detroit Metal City as Krauser.
A week after, the band finally releases its own CD with a comment from Krauser saying that he is thankful for music because if it weren’t there, he would have become just another murderer out there. Not being a fan of sadistic themes, Negishi gives a remark that the CD jacket looked horrible and that he did not say anything like Krauser’s comment.
Finished with their work, Negishi then heads over to a CD store to look at any records by his idol, Kahimi Karie. Like fate, he then meets Yuri Aikawa, a girl which he had befriended back in college whom Negishi has a crush on. They had become friends during a seminar due to their similar taste in music. She was the first person Negishi had ever played music in front of and was the reason why he had aimed to become a pro in the first place. With the words “You’re so good at guitar, you could become a pro!”, Aikawa was the one who encouraged Negishi for his music career.
During their conversation, Negishi still feels a spark between the two of them despite the years of not seeing each other. But all good things come to an end when suddenly a song from Detroit Metal City plays in the CD store. Aikawa who is reminiscing about the first song which Negishi played, sang while the Detroit Metal City plays in the background. This makes Negishi feels uncomfortable, hearing the two songs which he both wrote ring in his ears.
To add up to his misery, Aikawa tells Negishi that Detroit Metal City’s music sounded horrible and that she heard a rumor about all the members being drug addicts and rape people on a regular basis. Krauser is dubbed as the worst because of his “past” of killing his parents and jumping out of prison just to start his own band. Despite wanting, to tell the truth about Detroit Metal City, Negishi ends up babbling about how horrible the whole band is. This is overheard by one of the regular fans who happen to be in the CD store causing Negishi to be threatened.
In a fit of worry, Negishi tells the fans that he respects Krauser because he plays the guitar as well. Not believing his statement, the fans dare him to play the guitar the same way as Krauser or else they would murder him. Wanting to protect Aikawa from the dangerous fans, Negishi does his best to emulate an air guitar of Krauser playing. Unfortunately for Negishi, he gets lost in the feeling and becomes Krauser as he continues with the emulation, even doing Krauser’s famous teeth guitar. Things go worse when Krauser takes over him and he suddenly tells Aikawa “I’m gonna rape you, ya fuckin’ bitch pig!” causing her to push him away and telling him she hates him.
His persona of Krauser had already become a part of him, and because of this, his life goes through different ups and downs. Envious of how popular Detroit Metal City is becoming, Negishi struggles to make his dream of becoming a successful musician in the genre pop come true.
Soichi Negishi (voiced by Daisuke Kishio; Krauser is voiced by Yuji Ueda) is the main male protagonist of the series. He is a young timid man who moved from the Ota Prefecture to Tokyo in order to attend college. The reason he had chosen to move to Tokyo in the first place was so that he could create music and start a pop band there. Unfortunately, his plans changed when he ended up becoming the vocalist and guitarist of a heavy metal band named Detroit Metal City. During his time in the band, he is known as Johannes Krauser II. As Krauser, he is aggressive and very sadistic.
But, despite being in a high rising band, Negishi still aims to make his pop star dreams come true, even going as far as to ask their metal-loving manager to record his Swedish pop song. Opposite to his Krauser persona, Negishi looks at the positive side of life, creating songs that talk about how beautiful humans are and how he loves everything in the world. Negishi keeps his job as Krauser a secret from his family and friends because he feels ashamed of being in the type of band Detroit Metal City is.
Yuri Aikawa (voiced by Masami Nagasawa) is a young woman whom Negishi met during a seminar in college. They had become friends due to they liked the same type of music, and after some time of getting to know each other, Negishi had developed feelings for her. Yuri works as an editor in a magazine named Amoure Amour, a lifestyle magazine. She dislikes the type of music Detroit Metal City makes and prefers the calm and easy-going music which Negishi creates.
Wada Masayuki (voiced by Yuto Nakano) is the bassist of Detroit Metal City who goes by the secret persona of Alexander Jagi. Unlike the other members of the band, Wada is very enthusiastic about the band, participating actively in meetings. But secretly, he wants the band to take a turn for Visual Kei. He is a ladies man and is friendly towards his fellow band mates.
Terumichi Nishida (voiced by Makoto Yasumura) is the drummer of Detroit Metal City is known as Camus. He s usually quiet around the others and only makes short statements whenever he says something. Curry is his favorite thing to eat and he is very fond of naughty things. Due to his love for eating things, he is physically bigger than his band mates, making him overweight.
Death Records President (voiced by Ai Kobayashi) is the one who manages and promotes Detroit Metal City. She is a woman who is seemingly older than the band members and loves to use profanities often. Opposite to Negishi, she very much loves the sadistic and demonic themes of metal music and calls pop gross. Just like the fans, she wears crazy outfits like fishnet stockings, a tube top, and very sharp heels. She is quite vulgar and often makes the finger, especially when she becomes upset.
Keisuke Nashimoto (voiced by Takashi Matsuyama) is the band’s mascot called the Capitalist Pig. He is a middle-aged man whose role is to be mistreated by the band members, especially by Krauser, during concerts. Perfect for his role, Keisuke Nashimoto is a masochist.