Detroit Metal City made me wet
Detroit Metal City was on my radar for a while, but after reading another set of positive reviews about the series, coupled with my desire to start of 2010 with something hilarious and enjoyable, I sat down and marathoned the series on New Year’s Day before I went to work. And it left me so satisfied upon completion that I probably could have plowed through an entire pack of Marlboros.
Maybe what I love most about Detroit Metal City is that, at heart, it is basically an incredibly dark, twisted sitcom. I mean, the basic premise is about a college graduate who balances his life as a normal (if amazingly wussy) guy who wants to be a light pop star, with his career as his death metal god alter-ego, Krauser II, and how those polar opposite personalities often criss cross to hilarious results~! But DMC goes above and beyond this absurd premise by being fucking hilarious instead of retarded like many sitcoms. It also takes a ton of tired sitcom premises and cliches and makes them funny as shit, which is a miracle in and of itself.
Part of what makes DMC”s comedy work so well is that, like many great comedies, the jokes and situations are funny on multiple levels. This series is deceptively smart about its humor and characters. On the surface, everything might seem trashy and vulgar, and many of DMC‘s jokes do play to a vulgar level of humor. (Not that I am complaining at all. Mel Brooks built his whole career on vulgarity, and he has a string of movies that is almost unmatched in American comedy. Who doesn’t love some good ol’ vulgarity every so often?) There are innumerable jokes about rape, violence, children acting hilariously inappropriate, bodily fluids and so on. But they work because they are just straight up funny as shit.
If you can’t laugh at Krauser “raping” Tokyo Tower (and the hysterical aftermath of it), then you just do not have a sense of humor. That is some fucking comedy gold right there. (Pun intended.)
But DMC doesn’t stop at just being a hilarious series on the surface. What brings the comedy to another level is how it breaks down each character’s ambitions and facades and shows how absurd and silly everyone is when building our own alter-egos for the world to see. One of DMC‘s greatest ironies is that Souichi constantly derides his role as Krauser, and blasts it because he is nothing like the character he plays onstage and because the whole lifestyle is a big, contrived fake . . . but he never stops to realize that his most desired career, a pop star, is just as contrived as anything Detroit Metal City does, except it is nowhere near as shocking.
Just about everyone in the show is hiding who they truly are behind a contrived facade, or has at least compromised themselves to a limited extent (thinking mainly of the female punk band here). People build facades to show different people all the time; to survive in society, we show different faces to different people. I act differently at work than I act at home and than I do with friends. It’s the same in the music world: Fans of different types of music expect a certain image to go along with the musicians. Detroit Metal City playing pussy pop would never go over with fans of that music, and vice versa. Each musician Souichi meets has crafted his or her image in a way that runs counter to reality, but that contrivance is what sells as much as the music.
There are very few characters in the series who are completely honest with who they are at all times: Off the top of my head, I can think of the manager, DMC’s drummer (who is just as weird and insane offstage as on), maybe Yuri (not enough is revealed about her through the course of the series to be sure), and maybe The Emperor, who really seems to live his life the way he sings. They’re mostly social deviants, but you know what you are getting from them at all times.
Despite Souichi’s objections, I think he’s happiest when he is able to mix his “normal” personality with the Krauser persona. Given how often the Krauser persona bleeds into Souichi’s life, there is definitely an aspect of Krauser that speaks to Souichi — particularly the way he is able to do whatever the hell he wants with no consequences. And even though Souichi claims to not like death metal, there are times where he cannot help but admire how many people love Detroit Metal City, and how many people admire him in particular when he plays the part of Krauser.
These comments in Baka-Raptor’s post are having a bit of fun, but I think they also touch upon an important part of Souichi: That he actually does a hell of a lot of good as Krauser. Just look at all those good deeds! Krauser helps people and is beloved; through that, Souichi is able to be someone important instead of some douchebag with an acoustic guitar. Souichi is at his best by being someone who doesn’t try so hard to fit everyone’s standards of who he should be. There is no knowledge beneath Krauser, and he can also spit out 11 rapes in a second. How awesome is that?
But mostly Detroit Metal City is fucking hilarious, and I laughed my ass off at it. As much as I believe Krauser is a metal god, my favorite character is actually the foul-mouthed, boozy, eternally horny band manager. FUCK! <3
This entry was posted on 01/09/2010 at 12:39 pm and is filed under Detroit Metal City with tags Detroit Metal City. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.