DETROIT METAL CITY

Before a couple of days make me forget tonight’s movie, I decide to review it a little bit. Comedies are a generalized genre in Japan and the only way the Japanese have to healthily laugh at themselves. This is what happens with Detroit Metal City. With scenes that remind of Dracula, Rocky, Superman or Forrest Gump and the eternal theme of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hide’s double personality, the film shows, in the form of parody, the ups and downs of a countryside young man, Shouichi, who has two lives: as a loser and effeminate out-of-fashion graduate in search of the perfect koibito, and as the leader of a successful trash-metal rock band. Apart from really funny moments, like the one in the bathroom at the amusement park, what I found interesting is how well depicted is the youth in the movie, especially the Japanese youth, although it could be extrapolated to the whole world up to certain point. In the society of the adults, especially in the Japanese society, so rigid itself, youngsters rebel from this dull way of life –at least until they become salary man, OL or shuufu- adopting extreme-looking outfits, an own different language and supposedly new morals. But in the end, that’s only a mask, a fancy dress, cause when “the concert” is over, everyone must go back to his/her normal life, as a student, a furita or whatever, inside a family that keeps considering them like little children. That’s what happens with the main character, who, besides, what he really likes is romantic J-Pop music, not the noisy and violent metal. Even the tough guys have feelings, don’t they? It’s paradoxical how the youth must follow the rules (of the correct rebelliousness, especially visually with the fashion) to be able to break the rules (of the adult society), but in the end they are just following a trend without much content and not understanding quite well the reason why they do what they do.

Another thing that gets my attention in Japanese movies is the complete lack of any sexual content or nudity. When thinking about Spanish movies to show at my university classes in Japan, I always need to be very selective about the appropriate ones because most Spanish movies have some sex or nudity –indeed is part of life, isn’t it?-, but many Japanese students are not used to it, and I don’t want to shock them and think of me as eroi or get into trouble with the Administration. In Detroit Metal City, the only thing with a high level of sexual tension is the depiction of the band’s manager, a woman in black leather with a sadistic tendency that would make more than one middle-aged man very happy.

To conclude, I think it’s an entertaining and funny movie, nothing special, but that can be read on different levels to make you reflect on the world of music, tendencies and youth in Japan.

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