Posted on 9 November 2008 with categories: Anime Reviews, Detroit Metal City



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.

Storytelling: 8/10
Characters: 7/10
Production-Values: 8/10
Setting: 8/10
Posted on 21 September 2008 with categories: Detroit Metal City



Short Synopsis: Krauser II learns more about the capitalistic pig and visits his hoe during the holidays.
Highlights: Negishi really does have no sense of shame…
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8/10
This is probably the last episodic entry I’m going to write for this show. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a nice series and all, but I hardly have any inspiration about it. Once you’re done with the premise, there really isn’t much left to say about this series. I’m still going to write an overall review, but the other 7(?) episodes aren’t going to be covered. This series gets enough publicity already anyway, and it’s not as underrated as Studio 4C’s other series, so I don’t really see what my entries can add anyway. Besides, taking screenshots is a bitch with this series, because there’s hardly ANY decent frame that doesn’t have subtitles on it. (Especially this episode was extreme, which you can probably see for yourself).

Having said that, the second half of this episode was probably the funniest one ever since the introduction. It’s both Negishi’s surprise at how his brother changed, but also the way he used Krauser II in order to teach him a lesson. It’s indeed like he said: the guy (and as it seems most other of Krauser’s fans) are incredible idiots.

And really, “Death Penis” probably is the worst title you can think for a song ever. And that’s why it fits this series so well. ^^;

Posted on 12 September 2008 with categories: Detroit Metal City



Short Synopsis: Krauser II gets invited to sing his pop songs in a trendy bar and meets one of his former classmates.
Highlights: The drunk Krauser was hilarious.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8/10
Another hilarious episode from Detroit Metal City. I was beginning to fear that the creators would keep the bit where Negishi loses himself in front of Aikawa going a bit too long, but this episode goes into other directions, and Aikawa finally hears him sing. The irony in this episode seems to be that everyone thinks that Negishi’s music sucks, apart from the friends he had on high-school.

Although, I guess that Tetrapod Melon Tea did receive some popularity for them to be featured in a karaoke magazine. I think that one of the big problems with Negishi is that he hangs out with the wrong people; otherwise he’d never have been able to found Detroit Metal City and met the sadistic president. Although frankly, his sweet songs are badly written and way too sugary. I can imagine how not many people would like it.

Posted on 6 September 2008 with categories: Detroit Metal City



Short Synopsis: The president visits Krauser II’s apartment.
Highlights: Just when you thought that this series couldn’t get much worse…
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8,5/10
Okay… I think we explored some new depths here at this episode of DMC. Finally there’s another episode with 100% original content, and the result is an episode that goes even further than the introduction went… And here I thought that the image of death metal-fans couldn’t get more butchered…

In the first half, Aikawa attends one of the concerts of DMC to report on how awful their music is, and subsequently Negishi calls her a pig slut whore. This caused Aikawa to develop a deep hatred for pigs, and Krauser to feel even more sorry for himself. I also love the voice Negishi adapts when he slips into his Krauser II-role.

There’s just one thing that’s really bugging me in this series, though: the music is beginning to sound tamer and tamer. I can understand why the creators did it, to focus more on the dialogue, but it sortof misses that heavy-feeling of heavy-metal (or as Aikawa calls it: death metal).

The second short was awesome, in which the president turns the owner of Negishi’s apartment (an average middle-aged guy), where in the end three guys ended up stripping and dancing very strangely to DMC’s music (really, haven’t those creators ever heard of head-banging?).

Posted on 29 August 2008 with categories: Detroit Metal City



Short Synopsis: Krauser II records his first music video.
Highlights: Again, first half is original content, the second half is the same as the introduction.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 7,5/10
Okay, so I mistook the introduction and the first episode for the same, while in fact the introduction took parts of the first two episodes. If you haven’t seen the introduction yet, just skip it and go with episode 01 and 02, as every scene in it is included in either one of these episodes. This post is also more for completion’s sake.

In any case, the new part of this episode nicely added to Negishi’s bipolar and schizophrenic personality. This guy really has issues, but I guess that it’s also a strange form of social commentary, which takes the Japanese attitude of staying politically correct all the time to the extreme.

Posted on 28 August 2008 with categories: Detroit Metal City



Short Synopsis: “Krauser II” and his friends go on a date to make up for what went on in the music store.
Highlights: Half of it was already showed at the introduction.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 7/10
Wait, am I missing something here? The first half of this episode was exactly the same as the first half of the introduction. Does that mean that the first episode contained the second half of the introduction, along with more original content? Talk about a confusing episode order.

In any case, the second half of this episode was less exciting than the introduction, with as highlight the sudden appearance of the band “Tetrapod Melon Tea”. The introduction got away with the huge stereotypes, but they’re already getting dull in this episode. Especially that drummer didn’t work too well. Although I do admit that it was interesting to see the split personalities of the DMC-members.

Posted on 6 August 2008 with categories: Detroit Metal City



Short Synopsis: Our lead character is the lead singer and guitarist of a grotesque heavy metal band.
Highlights: Parodies at their finest.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8,5/10
Okay, I finally managed to check out the first episode of Detroit Metal City, and I just had to blog it, seeing as my favourite music style is metal. Detroit Metal City is a hilarious parody of the metal-scene. But of course, with Studio 4C, there was obviously no doubt that this would turn into a masterpiece. It’s great to see another niche culture being parodied apart from the otaku culture.

It’s interesting how the guitar riffs and the music of the songs of DMC is actually quite tame. Just take any random black or death metal band, and their music is much heavier than what you hear in this series, but it’s of course the lyrics that scream out rape, killing and suicide that are the outrageous. The freaky thing is that amongst these exaggerations in this anime, there is lies an unnerving amount of truth; of course metal is a very varied genre, but there are enough bands that sing about pain, mystery and other sorts of depressing things (I don’t remember having heard any metal song about abusing elderly people, though)

The fans are just as exaggerated as these lyrics, though. It’s hilarious to think that they’d just run and storm against anyone who doesn’t like their music. What I did miss were the mosh pits during the concerts, though. With such violent guys, I’m surprised that they didn’t go and beat each other up because of the adrenaline. (no really, most metal fans are really ordinary people ^^;)

I’m not sure how long this OVA is going to be… this seems to have been a short 13-minute introduction, and AniDB lists three more volumes, each of one hour’s length, but I’m not sure where that information came from…

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  • K-Off
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 11:03 PM)
    Damn Tokyo Mirage is expensive. Costs more than a Fire Emblem game and Persona 4 combined so this better be worth it.
  • K-Off
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 10:57 PM)
    Always difficult to talk about slice of lifes. Usually its always “This week our characters went to the park. The end.”
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 05:42 PM)
    @Bam: There was this bizzaro Joan of arc slide show arthouse erotica anime from the 70s that recently got a re-release, its somewhat tied to Tezuka, really trippy shit, Kanashimi no belladonna.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 05:35 PM)
    As a book I could see it flowing better. Oshii or Kamiyama could more effectively adapt such density of material to screen.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 05:32 PM)
    Ultimately I think it got too ambitious and had too much on its plate.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 05:31 PM)
    I have yet to see genocidal organ, although yes Harmony was pretty below average and that was putting it mildly. I will consider re-evaluating it if it gets dubbed/when the dub comes out.
    Admittedly its a film of big ideas, my problem with it that the movie itself is just so plodding and I found it too overstuffed to properly focus on/fully develop its themes and the exposition was particularly heavy handed.
  • SuperMario
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 05:15 PM)
    @Bam: yeah, heard about the Project Itoh, from what I heard they’re not that good thou, with only Empire of Corpses has a slightly favorable reviews. I believe Kaiser watched Harmony alrready and he gave a very negative rating.
  • Bam
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 03:55 PM)
    For those who have somehow managed to miss the hype for Harmony:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hC-6U8HCF8c
    The visuals are intriguing, the palette very sharp, and the CGI relatively well integrated. The early reviews been scathing tho, and given my experience with Empire of Corpses I can guess why.
  • Bam
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 03:49 PM)
    Each piece of the trilogy is handled by a different cast and company. Empire of Corpses was done by Wit Studio, Harmony by Studio 4°C, and Genocidal Organ by Manglobe (or Geno Studio as they are called now).
  • Bam
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 03:43 PM)
    Anybody seen Empie of Corpses? I watched it to get primed for that Harmony feature film anime, which is part of Project Itoh trilogy. Studio Wit went all out here. The animation is great, and the premise has potential, but the delivery was just botched.

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