Alan Smithee

Detroit Metal City (Live-Action) Movie – Review

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I’m convinced that Kenichi Matsuyama is the most dynamic young Japanese actor alive at the moment. Seriously this guy is a chameleon, meaning you notice his roles, not the actor…which is how it should be in movies (I’m looking at you Hollywood).

You’re probably asking yourself right now, “Who the hell is Kenichi Matsuyama?” Well now my little chickadees, not only did he act his ass off in three Death Note movies as one of the main characters as the mysterious detective L. But he also performed a double role in this movie as the ‘wannabe trendy pop star’ of Soichi Negishi as well as his death-metal alter ego, Johannes Krauser II.

What I find fascinating is that he’s so completely capable of providing two distinct characters for someone who is supposed to be the same guy inside. The man is simply amazing to watch.

I’m sure you didn’t click on the story to hear me gush about how I have a serious man-crush on Kenichi-kun, you’re hear to hear what I thought of the live-action remake of the anime remake of the manga that started the whole lovefest that I have for Japanese death metal.

In a nutshell, here’s the story of DMC: Negishi, a hick from the countryside, comes to Tokyo to attend college and pursue his dreams. His biggest dream is to become a pop singer and join the ‘trendy’ movement that permeates Tokyo. The only problem with this dream…is that it doesn’t pay the bills. So in the meantime, he joins the death-metal band Detroit Metal City to pay the rent.

He HATES being a member of DMC because he hates his very vulgar and demeaning boss, it’s not the type of music he wants to do, and that he can’t exactly take pride in a group that is despised by the girl of his dreams. DMC starts to rise in ranking throughout Japan while Negishi can’t seem to catch a break with is increasingly sappy songs like “Amai Koibito (Sweet Lover)”

I’m serious, just check out the differences in songs that this amazing movie provides (yes I know they’re in the anime too).

First up is the song Satsugai from DMC themselves:

Now, follow that up with Amai Koibito:

Sickening isn’t it? I guess you can now see how drastically different both styles of music are and how this might put a musician into a gigantic identity crisis.

So with the basic premise out of the way, onto how I actually felt about watching this movie. I was floored once again (check the review for Death Note) by how accurately and well done the Japanese are at adapting one form of media into one another. The anime for DMC is on of my top 10 list of before you die shows, and the live-action didn’t disappoint in the slightest.

There were scenes in the film that we ridiculous to the point where I laughed until a snorted (this website’s highest honor in humor), followed by scenes where I felt sorrow for poor Negishi…especially the scene where his manager tries to show him what ‘metal’ is all about.

One scene in particular, and if you’ve seen it, you know it, where Krauser arrives at the stadium to do the show (after a lengthy running from the train station segment, haha) and he faces off against Jack Il Dark, the king of metal. The song he performs would have gotten this movie an NC-17 for the sheer amount of times that a single curse word (the holiest of the holy, the eff dash dash dash word that got Ralphie a bar of soap in his mouth, you know the one instead of ‘fudge’) is repeated.

I’m really glad that I gave this movie a chance because it was one of the funniest movies that I’ve seen this year. I really can’t think of a fault when describing this movie. If there was one thing I can argue about is that I got the DVD version instead of the Blu-ray…which I regret now because just seeing the cast perform Satsugai is worth the price of admission.

The acting was brilliant from the entire cast, but perhaps my least favorite character would be a tossup between Rosa Kato as Aikawa-san, or Gene Simmons whom they picked to be Jack Il Dark. I just didn’t believe that Aikawa really liked Negishi throughout the film, but that’s nowhere near as unnecessary as getting Gene Simmons involved in the movie, no matter how short his scenes were.


I can’t suggest this movie high enough for the fans of Detroit Metal City, and for people that haven’t seen it yet or are fence sitting, the movie is a damn good laugh and worth watching a few times. By the end of your first viewing, I swear you too will be shouting GO TO DMC along with the audience. BUY THIS MOVIE!

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