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Manga / Detroit Metal City

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Detroit Metal City is an anime/manga series about the life of Souichi Negishi, a young man who makes a living as a musician. He is very successful, but not in the genre of his dreams: while he loves to play relaxing music, his job demands that he play groove/thrash metal in the titular band as "Demon King Johannes Krauser II". Most of the story revolves around Negishi trying to balance being Krauser II, his love life, and his family responsibilities, with mostly hilarious results.

The title is a reference to the KISS song, "Detroit Rock City". The manga was written by Kiminori Wakasugi and was serialized from 2005 to 2010 in the magazine Young Animal. An OVA, developed by Hiroshi Nagahama and animated by Studio 4°C, was given twelve episodes in 2008. A live action film, directed by Toshio Lee, premiered fifteen days after the OVA.

Not to be confused with that Metal City, nor with the similarly-abbreviated Devil May Cry, or with Run–D.M.C. for that matter.

Tropes murdered and brought back from hell:

  • Achilles in His Tent: Negishi goes through a phase of this in the final arc of the manga. He quits DMC and moves to France, refusing to return even when he catches news that DMC is struggling without him.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Some chapters focus on other DMC members' lives, like Wada's aspirations to join and play in a visual key band and Nishida's competition in taiko arcade scene.
  • Affectionate Parody: Believe it or not, this show is really a comedy.
  • All Drummers Are Animals: Nishida/Camus, the DMC drummer. While the quietest member of the band, everything that does pass his lips (which is when he's off-stage) tends to be very perverted and/or disturbing.
  • And This Is for...: "...And this is for Kuririn!!"
  • Ass Shove: Krauser frequently inflicts this on people throughout the manga. The irony is not lost on Negishi when in the final arc Death Metal God inflicts this on him.
  • Axe-Crazy: The lead singer of Pipanic Chainsaw is named for good reason.
  • Bait-and-Switch: When Negishi in France receives a letter from Wada begging him to return, he is seen turning away from airport, seemingly relapsing into his desire to break away from DMC and stay in France against all odds. He actually stays to enact and record some more antics as Krauser (including raping the Eiffel Tower) to make his comeback even stronger.
  • The Beastmaster: Negishi being a farm boy, Krauser is very good at handling cattle, including Jack Ill Dark's Demon Bull.
  • Becoming the Mask: Played for laughs.
  • Black Comedy Rape: Played repeatedly as one of the series's defining jokes.
    • Krauser's "Ten Rapes a Second", anyone?
    • Negishi tries to show his love 'everything' in the last chapter. This results in "something small just went into my mouth!"
    • Gets a bit less comedic when Negishi comes scarily close to realistically raping his love object in the "Kyushu Boy" chapter of the manga.
  • Book Ends: The manga begins and ends with DMC performing "Satsugai", followed with a shot of Negishi cleaning his makeup. The monologue is also similar.
  • Butt-Monkey: Poor Yuri, the only character in the series with any degree of common sense.
  • Calling Your Orgasms: DMC's Manager gets a lot of milage out of describing in ixcruciating detail how wet or dry their latest performance has made her.
    "Goddamn, you guys were great! I was turning into clam chowder out there! Fucking crazy guys, DMC!"
  • Camera Abuse: The opening credits end with Krauser II seizing the camera and spinning it violently around to face ... the show's logo.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Negishi cannot bring himself to tell Aikawa that he wants to date her exclusively. At one point when Aikawa calls him to say Asato wants to invite her to an amusement park wondering if its okay with Negishi, Negishi can only stammer out that it's fine only for it to hit him that it isn't as soon as he hangs up.
  • Casting Gag: Anime only: It's not the first time Yuji Ueda (as Krauser) voiced a heavy metal singer, except that metal singer was an Australian, undead one.
  • Chainsaw Good: The lead singer of Pipanic Chainsaw. She is all too willing to use it.
  • The Chikan:
    • Negishi is falsely accused of subway groping in an early chapter.
    • Later on, it is revealed that Gaylord's temporary absence from the metal scene was because he was imprisoned for indecent assault after groping women on trains.
  • Children Are Innocent:
    • A fan couple takes their infant daughter to a DMC concert in Krauser cosplay, complete with Baby Talk writing of "murder" ("shashu" from "satsugai") on her forehead, to the delight of all the other fans. Negishi is horrified.
    • Krauser is challenged to a wrestling match with a wrestler fan as his tag partner. Negishi refuses to do this, even planning to leave the city to avoid it, until he finds the wrestler's little daughter waiting for Krauser outside their office, sincerely believing he'll help her father.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Fuckingham Palace, the chorus/hook is just "Fuck" being repeated over and over and over and over...
    • The manager speaks in this as well.
  • Combat Commentator: This is how DMC's fans describe Krauser's theatrics and antics, and speak as though he's done them before. All his actions have some overblown name attached to them like a special move from Fist of the North Star
    ''There it is! Krauser's "Vocalized Ten Rapes A Second"!
  • Comedic Lolicon: Parodied in one episode when a toddler begins singing DMC songs, and picks up a large - and perverted - fandom; much to Negishi's dismay.
  • Crossover: Would you believe that Detroit Metal City crossed over with Street Fighter of all things? There was a Street Fighter PC game called Street Fighter Online: Mouse Generation that featured Krauser II as a playable character.
  • Dark World / Evil Twin: Applied to music, as some D.M.C. lyrics happen to be an inverted version of Negishi's lyrics.
  • Death Metal: Detroit Metal City is considered this in universe, however, if the songs heard in the anime and the live-action film are anything to go by, it has little to do with the genre. They are more like a Japanese and edgier version of Thrash Metal or Groove Metal than anything.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: "My whipped cream on your face" seems a little... suggestive.
  • Everyone Looks Sexier if French: Negishi's idea of "fashionable" is very French-oriented, even though he describes his music as Swedish pop. His favorite movie is Amélie.
  • Expy: Krauser himself is an expy of Gene Simmons from KISS, though it's likely he is also a reference to heavily image-based metal artists such as Mortiis.
    • DMC owe quite a lot to metal band SEIKIMA-II right down to their mythos and get-up.
  • Extreme Doormat: The job of the Capitalist Pig (not that he doesn't like it). Negishi to some extent as well, specially at the expense of the manager.
  • Extreme Omnisexual: Krauser's legendary feats include raping the Tokyo Tower and the air.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Incidentally, one of Krauser's fans is working as the Red Ranger of a Hero Show when Krauser decides to crash it, and he goes off-script to raise terror in his name and even fill in for air guitar.
  • Fan Dumb: An in-universe example. Much of DMC's fanbase is depicted as dimwitted, violent and gullible, believing that Krauser II is a real person instead of a stage persona and often picking fights with other people. They're often the instigator of whatever wacky shenanigans happen in a particular chapter.
  • Fanservice: Negishi's job is basically to be Krauser II, to please the fans. Said fans are mostly really vulgar, to Negishi's dismay.
  • Fangs Are Evil: Krauser. Either they're part of Negishi's stage costume, or he inexplicably grows them when he becomes the Krauser persona.
  • Farm Boy: Played surprisingly straight, as Negishi's parents own a small family farm in the Oita prefecture. The whiny part of the farmboy trope for Negishi comes after he's already departed for the greener grass of Tokyo, as DMC is not how he wanted to find fame as an indie musician. Luckily for him, growing up as a farmhand has come in handy more than once, such as when he tamed Jack Ill Dark's Demon Bull onstage without any trouble at all.
  • Gender-Blender Name: Jack Ill Dark has a daughter named Kenni.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Most of DMC's fans are regular people who turn to them for emotional support via fan mails and other channels, despite their evil reputation. The band, particularly Negishi as Krauser, tries to help out within reason.
    • Negishi manages to motivate his younger brother as Krauser II to help out at the family farm by telling him it's good training for stealing cars, taming beasts, and chopping off heads, and to work harder at school by stating that an aspiring demon king has to master all knowledge.
    • As Negishi's mother puts it in The Movie:
      External appearance and word choice don't matter. Anyone who can give dreams to others are great people!
  • Gratuitous English: DMC's songs are splattered with words like "rape", "kill", or "pig" without care for proper grammar.
  • Gratuitous French: The stray dog Merci, Amore Amour magazine, etc. Negishi actually moves to Paris to escape from DMC and focus on his own music at one point, and peppers his new songs with French words.
  • Groove Metal: Despite being advertised as Death Metal, Detroit Metal City's sound judging by the music we hear from them is closer to this with some influences from actual Death Metal and Metalcore.
  • Ignored Epiphany: During the whole manga Negishi struggles with his goal of getting people to appreciate songs he writes and performs as himself, angsting over how little appreciation his music receives and hating being part of DMC. But throughout the final arc and during his ultimate performance Negishi realises that DMC actually gives him exactly what he wants; sure, he may not be playing saccharine pop-songs, but as he's the main creative force behind DMC' lyrics, music and image, he plays his music, and it's him and his music that are adored by countless fans of DMC - so he is exactly where he wants to be. This realisation fades as soon as Negishi leaves the spotlight and he starts fussing over how horrible this all is before he can even fully wash the make-up off.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Negishi actually hates being Krauser II, despite his popularity.
    • Kafka Komedy: And you can bet your hiney he'll never be able to stop with it.
  • Incurable Cough of Death: Negishi thinks that one of his fan is afflicted by this, but it's subverted by showing that the boy had a simple cold, and the surgery was just a circumcision.
  • Kayfabe: In-universe. A lot of the comedy comes from most of the fans being genuinely convinced that the band is just as crazy off-stage as on-stage, and that they are genuine demons from hell. The concept that the group's members are just regular joes in Real Life never occur to them.
  • The Lad-ette: DMC's manager (and how!)
  • Large Ham: A prerequisite. Of special note, Kenichi Matsuyama in The Movie treats both Negishi and Krauser this way.
  • Law of Disproportionate Response: Half of Negishi's Krauser episodes could've been avoided if he didn't overreact to damn near everything, but then again...
  • Legacy Character: Negishi on-stage persona, Johannes Krauser II, is technically this, and during one arc he has to deal with the guy who used to be Krauser I. In a later arc where Negishi temporarily quits the band they get Johannes Krauser III.
  • Loony Fan: The entire DMC fanbase from where Negishi is standing.
  • Lost in Translation: Chapter 21 in the manga has Krauser starring in an indie film. At the climax, he ends up spitting into the mouth of the male co-star and ad-libs the line "You are already... Unfashionable.", a bastardization of Kenshiro's well-known Catchphrase. The film's director, following suit, makes the man's head explode in post-production. Sadly, the official translators completely failed at picking up the reference, mistranslated it as "chic doesn't suit you anymore" and ruined the effect.
  • Mad Libs Catchphrase: "I am a terrorist from Hell! Yesterday I raped X, tomorrow I'm gonna carve up Y! I am a terrorist straight outta Hell!"
  • Made of Iron: The manager, who stubs out cigarettes on her tongue.
  • Magnum Opus Dissonance: In-Universe, Negishi is mortified that he's having any success with the DMC at all, while he's rather try and get his career with Swedish Pop inspired music happening.
  • Man in a Bikini: the Capitalist Pig
  • Medium Awareness
  • Mean Character, Nice Actor: Krauser II and Negishi, respectively.
  • Memetic Badass: In-universe. A major contributing factor to the success of Krauser and co. is the way the details of their various fan-pleasing exploits (e.g., the Tokyo Tower incident) are exaggerated to divine proportions (e.g., Krauser becoming the supposed father of the Roppongi Hills) by their more rabid followers.
  • Monster Clown: Nishida/Camus' drummer getup.
  • Nobody Loves the Bassist: Wada/Jagi, the bassist, is the closest to the Only Sane Man in the trio by being neither as loony as the drummer or as reluctant as Negishi. His one chapter in the limelight regards how his popularity amongst the fans is slipping compared to Krauser and Camus.
  • Nobody Poops: Averted to hell and back, and used for laughs.
  • Noblewoman's Laugh: DMC's manager—especially noteworthy in the movie.
  • Nonindicative Name: The story does not take place in Detroit.
  • The Notable Numeral: DMC fans like to make up names for Krauser's (usually unintentionally) aggressive moves, for example the "48 Cop-killing Moves".
  • Now That's Using Your Teeth!: Krauser knows how to do this, but Negishi recognizes that it's not very good for himself.
  • On the Next Episode of FUCK!!!
  • Painful Persona: Souchi Negishi is a laid-back Nice Guy who likes romantic music and dreams of joining a pop music band, but currently can't because he ended up joining the infamous Thrash Metal band Detroit Metal City taking on the name Demon King Johannes Krauser II. The series follows Souchi as he tries, and fails, to live the modest, easygoing life he wants while performing as the obscene Demon King who loves blood and gore and has a penchant for raping anyone or anything that catches his eye (despite the fact that Souchi himself is a virgin).
  • Power Born of Madness: The only reason Negishi gets away with half of what he does. He's just so crazy that nobody can quite figure out what to do with him. That, and the legions of insane fans who do his bidding.
  • Self-Made Man: What ultimately allows Krauser to triumph over Death Metal God: when Death Metal God was "handed" his talent from his legendary father and got catapulted into fame, Negishi had to forge his talent and popularity himself, making him ultimately stronger of the two.
  • Sentai: Krauser ends up crashing a Sentai show in an amusement part. Most people assume it's All Part of the Show, up until the point when he starts harassing the audience.
  • Sex, Drugs, and Rock & Roll: Parodied. Negishi is dumped into a world that thrives on this, but it's all Played for Laughs. Negishi himself is a timid loser, a virgin, and never partakes of anything heavier than sake.
  • Serial Escalation: As things go on, not only does DMC has to stand it's ground against more and more brutal and famous metal musicians, but their antics get progressively more crazy. Also Negishi becomes more unhinged in later chapters of the manga - when early on he has to adorn Krauser's persona before coming down on whatever caused his rage in that particular case, later he starts doing it this as himself.
  • Shout-Out: When filming the band's first promotional video, Negishi (as Krauser) eats several bats all at once.
  • Slice of Life: Negishi's.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: Played with hilariously.
  • Spiritual Successor: Metalocalypse, sorta.
  • Stylistic Suck: Only Yuri Aikawa seems to like Souichi's cornball indie pop music. Everyone else, like Asato the editor of the magazine Aikawa works for feel absolutely nothing for it at best.
  • Superpowered Evil Side: When Negishi can't solve his problems as himself, he changes to his alter ego Krauser II. Most of the time, it actually works.
  • Those Two Guys: Technically more than two - a bunch of rabid DMC fans who go to every one of their concerts.
  • Tokyo Tower: Krauser lights it up.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Any fans of any of the bands featured in the manga, especially DMC and Helvete's. Not to mention many of the people throughout the DMC universe...
  • Tournament Arc: Satanic Emperor, a death metal version of Woodstock on the surface, turns out to be more like this.
  • Trolling Translator: Jack Ill Dark's assistant and translator seems to be taking the piss out of him, perhaps to help freak Negishi out.
    Jack Ill Dark: Hey kid, I'm gonna shove it up your ass!
    Translator: "I'm going to jam it in your ass!"
    Jack Ill Dark: C'mon.
    Translator: "Loosen up, and it might start to feel good."
    Jack Ill Dark: Just joking! I'm not into fucking guys.
    Translator: "Wait, I think I'm in love with your ass."
    Jack Ill Dark: You tell DMC I'm gonna shove it up their asses on stage.
    Translator: "If you don't want me to fuck your ass, then I will cum inside your mouth."
  • True Companions: Played straight with the DMC fans, and hilariously for laughs with scatolo-metal band Deathism/Deazm.
  • Two-Timer Date
  • We Cannot Go On Without You: Every time Negishi is unavailable for one reason or another DMC's affairs quickly go downhill. Most prominently seen in the final arc.
  • Weirdness Censor: Usually inverted; DMC's fans seem to have a Normalcy Censor. In one case they ignore a radio report of an incoming storm, only to later attribute the storm to the original Krauser's demonic powers.
    • When Krauser sings Negishi's sugary-pop love song to Aikawa after defeating Jack Ill Dark, his fans eventually resolve the massive cognitive dissonance by interpreting it as Krauser punishing them and testing their endurance.
  • Willing Suspension of Disbelief: DMC are Death Metal, the police will neglect looking for someone who obviously sticks out and reportedly caused much suffering and committed many crimes, you can play an electric guitar unplugged and successfully perform songs with said unplugged guitar without the rest of the band, you can leave concerts that YOU are playing in without being mauled by disappointed fans, etc. etc. etc. etc. etc.
  • Word-Salad Horror: Parodied. After a show, Krauser delivers an enigmatic speech, which according to Negishi was just a bunch of random words that sounded scary and prophetic to him. The fans, however, interpreted it as "Krauser is going to rape the Tokyo Tower".
  • Visual Kei: DMC is arguably a Visual Shock or Ero-Guro Visual Kei band, taking major inspiration primarily from SEIKIMA-II, from KISS, and to a lesser degree from other early Visual Kei.

Tropes carved to the Live-Action Adaptation: