I just finished reading an advance copy of the first volume in Viz Media's English-language translation of Kiminori Wakasugi's hilarious manga series DETROIT METAL CITY and totally fucking loved it, and when I picked it up and saw the King Diamond-esque protagonist on the cover I remembered seeing some untranslated hype material for the live-action film version just under a year ago at the 2008 NY Comicon.
Cover of the first DETROIT METAL CITY manga collection.
Back then I took one look at it and dismissed it as the latest lame-assed Japanese filtering of Western stupidity, but now that I've actually read the manga I take back that ignorant viewpoint and am dying to get my hands on a subtitled DVD of the 2008 live-action movie.
The DETROIT METAL CITY manga tells the story of Soichi Negishi, an acoustic guitar-playing complete pussy of a musician whose real interests lie with Swedish pop music that would give many listeners diabetes, but his true gift lies in writing songs and performing as Lord Johannes Krauser II, an over-the-top-offensive death metal singer/guitarist who fronts the series' titular band. When on stage, Soichi loses himself in his demonic stage persona — who's look is more than a little bit influenced by Gene Simmons of Kiss and Mercyful Fate frontman and solo artist King Diamond — and bellows out ultra-stupid songs of rape, bestiality, matricide, patricide and damned near every other "-icide" one can think of, all the while delighting his fans who totally buy into his satanic act as the inspirationally-transgressive real deal.
Detroit Metal City's demonic frontman, Lord Johannes Krauser II (Kenichi Matsuyama), whose press releases state he raped and killed his parents.
As DMC's popularity flourishes, Soichi's discomfort with his lurid stage antics grows as his insane manager does everything in her power to warp Soichi into a lifestyle more in line with Krauser's purported forays into into garden-variety murder, cop-killing, public molestation of the innocent and cannibalism. This twisted manager determines whether a DMC song is worthwhile by just how wet it makes her — she's very candid in her discussion of this — and her efforts at corrupting the sweetie-pie Soichi swiftly bring into play marijuana, heroin, hulking leather boys and the drug-induced anal violation of his elderly male neighbor (who totally enjoys it, is revitalized and becomes a DMC fan on the spot). But despite his success and growing fame/infamy, Soichi keeps his rock 'n' roll self hidden from his friends and family out of a deep sense of shame at what he's doing, to say nothing of how being Krauser brings out parts of his personality that he never knew existed (i.e. very public displays of disrespect for authority, verbal abusiveness toward women, generally unbecoming behavior). And all that's just a smattering of what's in the first volume!
Which brings me to the movie. All that I've read about the reception of the movie is overwhelmingly positive and by all reports the film is every bit as ludicrously offensive as the comics, so I'd like to get my hands on a subtitled copy of the DVD. The cartoon version is available with subs, but it's the live-action version that I need to witness because there's nothing more visually idiotic than the goofy stage shows of metal bands, especially death metal bands, with a gimmick, and the Japanese are absolutely the right people to bring that loopy madness to vivid, crazy life. So does anyone out there know where I can find this with subs? I've searched all over and come up with bubkes...