New York Premiere of Toho Comedy DETROIT METAL CITY on August 20
NY Premiere of DETROIT METAL CITY
Directed by Toshio Lee
Starring Kenichi Matsuyama, Gene Simmons
Japan/2008/103 min./35mm film/Japanese with English Subtitles
Detroit Metal City (DMC) is a manga series started in 2005 for Young Animal magazine. It soon earned a cult following for its eccentric setting, distinctive characters, radical story and funny jokes. As soon as it was released as a comic book, it quickly sold out at every bookstore, and those who couldn’t get the comic were called “DMC refugees”.
The rumor was spread by word of mouth as well as the blog/message board on the Internet, and DMC gained popularity not only among the subculture mania, but also among the writers, actors, musicians, artist, etc, who then competed to introduce this comic at their shows/columns. With all this attention, the comic has sold over 3 million copies to date.
DMC was featured on the front cover of the authoritative culture magazine Studio Voice, on its September 2006 issue. It also topped the Japanese comic chart in 2006 surpassing Death Note, which already had been made into the award-winning movie.
DMC is the first Death Metal comic book to be released on screen and in animation at the same time. Both were released in August, 2008 in Japan. The animation is produced by STUDIO4°C, known for its recent works such as TEKKONKINKREET, ANIMATRIX and MINDGAME.
In the movie, Gene Simmons of KISS plays the “legendary and world-renowned” Death Metal artist, “Jack IL Dark” who competes with DMC on stage. The final live performance scene is not only the craziest spectacle and the climax of the story, but a collaboration any Death Metal music fan would crave to witness!
Soichi Negishi (Kenichi Matsuyama) is a conservative and pure-minded boy, who came to Tokyo from the country in Japan with a dream of becoming a fancy pop-song musician. He writes a song called “Raspberry Kiss” to send to a music label, however, by a mere accident, he is forced to make his debut as “Johannes Krauser II”, member of the satanic Death Metal band “Detroit Metal City” (DMC) whose trademark is their eccentric make-up and destructive performance.
Despite Soichi’s hope of becoming a lovely pop musician, DMC’s debut single “SATSUGAI – genocide” (which used to be “Raspberry Kiss” before arranged by the madly strange music label’s owner) achieves explosive sales, and Johannes Krauser II bounces up to starring position in the Japanese Death Metal music scene.
Meanwhile, his girlfriend Ms. Aikawa (Rosa Kato), who loves cute outfits and French pop songs, does not know the fact that Soichi is Johannes Krauser II. Therefore, Soichi has to live with extreme caution to keep this biggest secret and not disappoint her.
After its sensational debut, DMC continues to build up “legends” as a Death Metal band- defeating a rival band on stage and messing up the live show of the No. 1 Japanese hip-hop artist, to name a few. Soichi always, in all of the cases, first tries to act nicely but presses all the wrong buttons to end up in creating the image of the furious Johannes Krauser II. One day, as DMC is recognized as an up-and-coming Death Metal band throughout the country, Soichi receives unexpected news. The legendary Metal artist Jack IL Dark (Gene Simmons) has started his world tour and DMC is named to perform with him onstage in Japan. The members of DMC and their fans are thrilled to hear the news, but it gives chicken-hearted Soichi a shudder…
Director: Toshio Lee
Born in 1964 in Osaka. After graduating with a literature major from College of Art, Nihon University, Lee worked on many TV drama productions. He made his feature directorial debut with BACKDROP OF MY PAPA (Otousan no Bakkudoroppu, 2004), a drama about a middle-aged professional wrestler dealing with the death of his wife. DETROIT METAL CITY is his second feature film.
Soichi Negishi / Johannes Krauser II: Kenichi Matsuyama (DEATH NOTE, DEATH NOTE: L, change the worLd, KAMUI)
Yuri Aikawa: Rosa Kato (TOKYO TOWER)
Terumichi Nishida / Camus: Ryuji Akiyama (CROMARTIE HIGH: THE MOVIE)
Masayuki Wada / Alexander Jagi: Yoshihiko Hosoda (TALES OF TERROR: HAUNTED APARTMENT)
DMC fan: Koji Okura (SINKING OF JAPAN, MONKEY MAGIC)
DMC fan: Yoshinori Okada (KISARAZU CAT’S EYE, TRAIN MAN: DENSHA OTOKO)
Hidetaka Asato: Kazuma Suzuki (ROBOT CONTEST)
Hidenori Saji: Issei Takahashi (KILL BILL VOL 1, ULTRA Q: DARK FANTASY, MEATBALL MACHINE)
Nina: Minami (BATTLE ROYALE, TOMIE: REVENGE)
MC Kiba / Susumu Kibayashi: Yosuke Ochi
DJ Raika: Nobuhiko Otani
Keiko Negishi: Yoshiko Miyazaki (RAN, SHUTTER)
Manager: Yasuko Matsuyuki (VEXILLE, THE LAUGHING POLICEMAN)
Jack IL Dark: Gene Simmons (KISS)
Director: Toshio Lee
Writer: Kiminori Wakasugi (original manga), Mika Omori
Producer: Yuka Higuchi
Music: Takayuki Hattori
Cinematography: Koichi Nakayama
Japanese Release Date: August 23, 2008
For more information on DETROIT METAL CITY please see the previous coverage here on SciFi Japan:
- Japanese Movies at American Film Market 2008
- VIZ Media Unleashes the Shockingly Funny Manga Detroit Metal City