by Chris MaGee
I'd hope that many of you out there have had a chance to see Toshio Lee's hilarious live-action adaptation of Kiminori Wakasugi's death metal manga "Detroit Metal City", and if you haven't then you'll jump at the chance once it gets some kind of North American DVD release (let's hope that's soon!) What really makes the film so much fun is Ken'ichi Matsuyama's split personality performance as both Johannes Krauser II, the demonic lead singer of DMC and his everyday nerdy alter-ego Soichi Negishi who only wants to sing happy pop songs with titles like "Raspberry Kiss" and "Sweet Baby". Well, you may not know that Soichi's singing voice in the film actually belonged to Japanese pop star Hideki Kaji (above) who, with a bowl haircut and a love for the Northern European country that has earned him the nickname "Mr. Sweden", strongly resembles Matsuyama's onscreen character.
Now there's a bit of crappy news about Hideki Kaji coming from the folks at Anime News Network. Apparently Mr. Sweden was in the Swedish town of Malmo shooting a music video recently when he was mugged, knocked out and robbed of 20,000 kronor (or roughly $2,750 CAD). Thankfully he's okay now and is back at work, but I have to admit that I'm kicking myself for finding some of the details of his attack to be kind of funny. You see, at the time of the mugging Kaji was taking a break from filming and was standing around wearing a pineapple costume and that's when the muggers pounced... when he was a pineapple. I know it's bad, but it's just so damn funny!
Again, Kaji is alright, not injured, and that's great news... and I am a heartless freak for laughing at the whole situation. To make amends let me please present Hideki Kaji singing "Sweet Baby" from "Detroit Metal City".