Viz Pictures Licenses Detroit Metal City


From the press release:


Inventive Comedy Is Based On A Popular Manga Series That Has Taken North America By Storm

San Francisco, CA – July 22, 2021 – VIZ Pictures, an affiliate of VIZ Media, LLC that focuses on Japanese live-action film distribution, has announced that it has licensed from Toho Company, Ltd the North American theatrical and DVD distribution rights to the heavy metal live-action comedy, Detroit Metal City. The DVD is scheduled for release later in the fall of this year.

Detroit Metal City takes the zany rock antics inspired by films like Spinal Tap to hilarious new extremes in this filmdirected by Toshio Lee and based on the popular manga comic created by Kiminori Wakasugi. It features notable appearances by Gene Simmons from the legendary band, KISS, and Marty Friedman of Megadeth, and stars Kenichi Matsuyama, one of the most adored actors in Japan today and known widely for his role as ‘L’ in the Death Note films (also available from VIZ Pictures).

We’re extremely excited to announce the license for Detroit Metal City and know it will strike a chord with rock and metal fans as well as followers of the acclaimed manga series,” says Seiji Horibuchi, President and CEO of VIZ Pictures. “Prepare to have your mortal soul devoured by the demonic Johannes Krauser II, front man for Detroit Metal City, the most outrageous death metal band on the Japanese indie rock scene!”

In the film, Soichi Negishi (played by Kenichi Matsuyama) is a sweet and shy young man who dreams of becoming a trendy singer songwriter. But for some reason, he is forced into joining the devil worshiping death metal band “Detroit Metal City” (DMC). In full stage make-up and costume, he transforms into Johannes Krauser II the vulgar-mouthed lead vocalist of the band. But he must keep this a secret from his crush, Yuri Aikawa, who despises death metal. What would she think if she found out? But against Negishi’s will, DMC rises to stardom. Things get even more complicated when the legendary king of death metal, Jack ill Dark (played by Gene Simmons), challenges DMC to a duel in the film’s climatic finale. What will be the fate of innocent Negishi as he climbs to the top of the death metal world?

First appearing in the pages of Japan’s Young Animal manga magazine, Detroit Metal City quickly became a national sensation. The series has sold more than 4.5 million copies in Japan and is also published in North America by VIZ Media (rated ‘M’ for Mature Audiences).

For more information on Detroit Metal City or other VIZ Pictures titles, please visit

About VIZ Pictures, Inc.:

Based in San Francisco, California, VIZ Pictures, Inc. licenses and distributes selective Japanese live-action films and DVDs, with focus on Japanese “kawaii (cute) and cool” pop culture.  VIZ Pictures strives to offer the most entertaining motion pictures straight from the “Kingdom of Pop” for audiences of all ages, especially the manga and anime generation, in North America. Some titles include DEATH NOTE, 20TH CENTURY BOYS, and TRAIN MAN: DENSHA OTOKO. VIZ Pictures is also the producer of NEW PEOPLE, a part of the J-Pop Center Project, a unique entertainment destination bringing Japanese pop culture through film, art, fashion, and retail products.  For more information please visit or Phone: (415) 345-1975.

© 2009 VIZ Pictures, Inc.

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