Studio 4°C is known from its original premises that try to explore the boundaries of the medium of anime. Once every five years or so, they release a comedy, and they too have these traits: think of Eternal Family and Kimagure Robot. The newest instalment is Detroit Metal City, a series that parodies a genre that hardly ever appears in anime: metal. The series was a huge success, and at the time that I’m writing this it stands as the highest-ranked series on AniDB. But then again, the second-highest ranking series is Code Geass 2, so one shouldn’t take these rankings too seriously.
In any case, Studio 4C’s experimental trademarks are clearly visible in this series. The character-designs look like no other series I’ve seen and they’re truly original, the art looks great, although the animation is simplistic. This is another comedy that heavily relies on its energy to keep the jokes going, and throughout its airtime, it makes a complete fool out of the metal-scene while offering some social commentary at the same time.
The major part of this series is about the lead character’s extreme case of multiple personality: on stage he’s a brute king of death metal, off the stage he’s a country bumpkin who likes Swedish Pop. The best parts in the series are when a Negishi’s fans get weird ideas after a simple accident, and even though they’re mostly over-exaggerated stereotypes, they’re a lot of fun to watch due to their bizarre imagination.
Ultimately though, this isn’t the best comedy out there. The comedy is really hit or miss: some episodes are hilarious, some are mildly entertaining, but others simply don’t work or drag on and the dull episodes outnumber the hilarious ones by a small fraction. In a way, it’s hard to get excited for such a series if you don’t know whether it’s going to hit or not. Thankfully, the final episode does deliver, so the series won’t leave a bad taste in your mouth.
So yeah, DMC is the least impressive out of Studio 4°C’s comedy-repertoire. I feel that if the creators cut the length in half, and removed the lesser episodes, it would have made for a much more exciting series. That’s what made Kimagure Robot and Eternal Family so great: they were hilarious, had some nice hidden messages here and there, and they were over before you knew it. DMC is a nice experiment for a series with a longer length than Studio 4°C’s usual works; it’s a good series, but not the best.