Although still worth reading, Wakasugi's death metal parody is dampened by repetition.
Writer/Artist: Kiminori Wakasugi
Translation: Annus Itchii
Adaptation: Annus Itchii
What They Say
An anti-male, all-girl punk band is ripping up the charts and has declared all-out war on DMC. They're asking for nothing less than the total emasculation of Krauser and his minions, and DMC will need to bring some serious metal might if they hope to squash this new troupe of sultry songstresses. And what the hell is Krauser doing at an amusement park? Planning a new blood sacrifice, perhaps?
The difficulty with reviewing series like Detroit Metal City -- particularly after the first volume -- is that their heavy reliance on a single running joke means that most potential buyers will have made their mind up about the entire series after just a chapter or two. Granted, for fans of kinds of music scenes that DMC affectionately parodies, the many variations that Wakasugi makes on this single joke are strong enough to justify a purchase. That said, as with most other comedies, some of the gags work better than others; this is certainly true of DMC's second installment.
Where the jokes in this volume of DMC fall flat, it's usually because the inherent shock value has worn off: two multi-chapter arcs about DMC's rivalries with other acts, and a briefer story about Internet rumors surrounding Krauser, rely a little too heavily on familiar jokes about rabid fans and rivals misinterpreting everything Negishi does on stage. A sequence of Krauser riling up fans by (ahem) getting intimate with a Tokyo landmark, say, lacks staying power simply because it's no longer shockingly novel to see DMC's rabid fanbase take Krauser way too seriously.
Fortunately, there's still quite a bit of good stuff in this volume that manages to steer clear of stale gags. The standout story in this volume has Negishi storming the stage at an amusement park's superhero show; though it takes some time to get going, the story takes an inspired turn when one of the "good guys" starts beating up children and other cast members to win Krauser's approval. A later chapter, involving Negishi being replaced by a Caribbean doppelgänger, gets big laughs just out of the sheer weirdness of his band's retooled lyrics. Yet another delivers a much-deserved parody of the sappy "healing power of music" cliché that seems to infest every music-related comic, film, or TV show ever made. True, some of the comedic power in these chapters comes from simply dealing with fresh set of taboos -- corrupting little kids will probably never stop being shocking -- but more of it comes from a strong satirical bite that would probably still be funny even if the underlying shock value had worn off.
Detroit Metal City's second volume isn't as funny as it could've been, if only because too many of the jokes are starting to become redundant. Still, I got a lot of laughs out the situations where Wakasugi directed his parody at more than DMC's inane fanbase; those moments alone make this worth a purchase.