Detroit Metal City (デトロイト・メタル・シティ Detoroito Metaru Shiti?) is a manga series, serialized in Young Animal from 2005 onward. An anime OVA series, twelve episodes of approximately 13 minutes each, was released on August 8, 2008. A live film adaptation directed by Toshio Lee appeared in Japanese theaters on August 23, 2008. The series takes its name from the KISS single "Detroit Rock City".
Soichi Negishi is a gentle and soft-spoken young aspiring guitar player and singer who dreams of a career as a pop musician. Dreams don't pay the bills, so he's ended up as the lead singer and lead guitarist of a death metal band called “Detroit Metal City.” On stage, he transforms to a completely different person. That is to say, the infamous Johannes Krauser II, who is rumored to be a terrorist demon from hell and to have killed and raped his parents. Negishi despises DMC and all that it stands for, but just as luck has it, he has an amaing natural talent for death metal. As DMC's star rises, Negishi tries to satisfy both worlds, but he can't run from his physcho manager and his natural ability which conflicts with his dream.
- Soichi Negishi (根岸 崇一 Negishi Sōichi?): The main protagonist. A calm and peaceful musician from Inukai, Ōita, he is a fan of Swedish pop and Shibuya-kei who is the exact opposite of his alter-ego Johannes Krauser II (ヨハネ・クラウザーII世 Yohane Kurauzā Nisei?), leader of the Death Metal band DMC (short for Detroit Metal City). Ashamed of his true job, Negishi must cope with DMC's rising fame while keeping it a secret from friends and family. Even though Negishi despises Krauser so much, he can never resist the temptation of invoking his demonic ego every time he feels irritated. While performing as Krauser, Negishi proves to be a skilled guitarist, able to play just with his teeth.
- Yuri Aikawa (相川 由利 Aikawa Yuri?): Negishi's friend from his college times and his main love interest. She loves Negishi's calm nature and songs, but dislikes DMC's music and its vocalist Krauser, unaware that they're the same person.
- Terumichi Nishida (西田 照道 Nishida Terumichi?): Curry-loving, overweight pervert of few words. An otaku; he is a fan of the ecchi anime "Cameltoe Squadron Bloomer" (くいこみ戦隊ブルマちゃん Kuikomi Sentai Buruma-chan). Nishida plays the part of Camus (カミュ Kamyu?), DMC's drummer. Perhaps the most dedicated in the group; not even fire or venomous snakes will stop his drumming.
- Masayuki Wada (和田 真幸 Wada Masayuki?): Plays the part of Alexander Jagi (アレキサンダー・ジャギ Arekisandā Jagi?), DMC's bassist and a ladies' man from Saitama. He would like to leave DMC to perform in a visual kei/J-rock type band like X Japan, but just like the other members of the band, he fears their manager.
- Death Records President (デスレコーズ社長 Desu Rekōzu Shachō?): A foul-mouthed, sex-crazy blond woman in charge of DMC's career, who always comes with weird schemes to promote the band, most of them to Negishi's despair.
- Keisuke Nashimoto (梨元 圭介 Nashimoto Keisuke?): A masochistic middle-aged man hired to perform during DMC's concerts as the "Capitalist Pig" (資本主義の豚 Shihonshugi no Buta?), whose role is to let himself being beaten and abused by Krauser during the shows. He works part-time at a convenience store to make ends meet.
- Voiced by Takashi Matsuyama in the OVA.
- Jack ill Dark (ジャック・イル・ダーク Jakku iru Dāku?): Also known as "The Emperor", he is a legendary Black Metal guitarist from the United States who chose to crush DMC during his farewell concert in Japan. But after inadvertently bringing out Negishi's anger, he ended up being upstaged by Krauser, who became the legitimate heir to his legendary guitar and the title of "Emperor."
The manga has reached 2 million copies.
The live action film adaptation of the series, directed by Toshio Lee and written by Mika Ōmori, was released on August 23, 2008. It features performances by Kenichi Matsuyama, Rosa Kato, Rumi Hiiragi, Yasuko Matsuyuki and a cameo appearance by Gene Simmons. It has been watched by more than 1 million people. It has been reported that several offers have been made from United States and Hong Kong based companies to remake the film. Detroit Metal City was selected as a part of the 33rd Annual Toronto International Film Festival's Midnight Madness Program on September 5, 2008. It was also shown for the first time in the United Kingdom on November 2008 in Hyde Park Picture House, Leeds. It was also shown as part of the 13th Japanese Film Festival in November and December in Sydney and Melbourne, Australia in 2009.
A DVD box set was released of a series of 12 OVA episodes for D.M.C.
- 1-A – PV
- 1-B – SICK MURDERER
- 2-A – REAL LEGEND
- 2-B – SATAN
- 3-A – PIG
- 3-B – DRUG
- 4-A – FRUSTRATION
- 4-B – GOOD SONG
- 5-A – MASOCHIST
- 5-B – FAMILY
- 6-A – PUNK.1
- 6-B – PUNK.2
- 7-A – TOWER
- 7-B – CONFESSION
- 8-A – PROMISE
- 8-B – ALTERNATION
- 9-A – CINEMA.1
- 9-B – CINEMA.2
- 10-A – FAKE
- 10-B – DETROIT-MOE-CITY
- 11-A – HIP-HOP.1
- 11-B – HIP-HOP.2
- 12-A – EMPEROR.1
- 12-B – EMPEROR.2
Prior to the theatrical release and the OVA release, an album titled Detroit Metal City: Tribute to Krauser II the metal mix (デトロイト・メタル・シティ トリビュートアルバム～生贄メタルMIX～ Detoroito Metaru Shiti: Toribyūto Arubamu ~Ikenie Metaru MIX~?, Detroit Metal City Tribute Album: Sacrifice Metal Mix) was released featuring many popular Japanese recording artists covering their own songs in a metal style. The album has songs by:
- Beat Crusaders
- Kaela Kimura
- Scha Dara Parr
- Tommy February6
- King Giddra
- Electric Eel Shock
- Wagdug Futuristic Unity
- Kahimi Karie
As a fictional band, Detroit Metal City has released several real records for both the film and the OVA series. Singles titled "SATSUGAI/Amai Koibito ~for the movie~" (SATSUGAI/甘い恋人～for the movie～?, "MURDER/Sweet Lover ~for the movie~") were released for both the film (subtitled "for the movie"), sung by Kenichi Matsuyama as both Johannes Krauser II and Soichi Negishi, and for the OVA (subtitled "for the animation"), sung by Yūji Ueda as Krauser II and Daisuke Kishio as Negishi. Another single titled "Maoh/Raspberry Kiss ~for the movie~" (魔王／ラズベリーキッス～for the movie～ Maō/Razuberī Kissu ~for the movie~?) was released with Matsuyama in character on vocals for both songs. The film's D.M.C also released an album titled Makai Yūgi ~for the movie~ (魔界遊戯～for the movie～?, Hell Game ~for the movie~) featuring "SATSUGAI", "Maoh", and other songs featured in the film and manga sung by Matsuyama.
Singles were also released for the fictional bands depicted in the movie:
- "Detarame Mothe-com Cherry Boy ~for the movie~" (デタラメ・マザコン・チェリーボーイ～for the movie～ Detarame Mazakon Cherībōi ~for the movie~?) by anti-sexism punk band Kintama Girls (金玉ガールズ Kintama Gāruzu?)
- "From New York City ~for the movie~" (フロムNYシティ～for the movie～ Furomu NY Shiti ~for the movie~?) by rapper MC KIVA (MC鬼刃 Emu Shī Kiba?)
- "Sally my Love ~for the movie~" (サリーマイラブ～for the movie～ Sarī Mai Rabu ~for the movie~?) by Tetra-pot Melon Tea (テトラポット・メロン・ティ Tetorapotto Meron Ti?)
D3 Publisher is producing a game based on DMC for the Nintendo DS titled Detroit Metal City DS: Death Shout that will feature multiple modes of play, including an Elite Beat Agents-inspired rhythm game and a Final Fantasy-inspired RPG mode.