If you are a death metal junkie, this movie is for you. If you are a Jap-pop culture vulture with a teeny bopper twist, this movie is for you too. If you are looking for a fresh comic-turned-into-feature-film kind of fun, then you, too, should head down and watch Detroit Metal City.
Ken’ichi Matsuyama (best known as the boy genius “L” from Death Note) showcases his versatility as a small-town farmer boy Negishi Soichi. His mother sums up her son at the very start of the film: “When you were small, you were so gentle that people mistook you for a girl.” At times, the trendy and ever-stylish Negishi proves that to be an understatement.
He leaves his quiet farm town to enroll into university amidst the glitz, culture and trendy-ness of Tokyo City. He pursues his passion for teeny bopper, Swedish-style acoustic guitar pop and in the process, finds his sweetheart at the university singing club.
However, upon graduation and a going of separate ways, the metrosexual Negishi is transformed into Sir Johannes Krauser II — the unholy Death Metal hero of the entire nation.
His band Detroit Metal City is as hardcore as metal bands go, with lead singer Sir Johannes Krauser II spearheading their astronomical rise to death metal super stardom. The dichotomy of Negishi’s hardcore onstage persona and his meek-and-sweet true self is where the tension (and the comedy) originates. This schizoid duality sends him on journey of love, fame and ultimate self-discovery. It is a rough ride for the gentle farmer boy, but viewers will be tickled all the way to the end.
This movie is packed with antics, dialogue and characters that are hilarious in honest-to-goodness comic book fashion. The unusually subversive genre, creativity and comedic vision make this an original worth watching. If all else fails, you may be tempted to buy the soundtrack even though it’s all in Japanese.