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Key The Metal Idol
Ver .6: Scroll II

Copyright: © 1994 Pony Canyon / Fuji TV (Japan), © 1997 Viz Video (North America)
Length: 23 minutes
Rating: NR, Extreme violence and nudity, Recommended for Mature Audiences
Format: Subtitled/Dubbed (VHS)

Screenplay: Sato Hiroaki Director: Sato Hiroaki Animation Director: Ishikura Keiichi Character Design: Tanaka Kunihiko Music: Terashima Tamiya English Version Producer: Yoshida Toshifumi Translation by: Karahashi Takayuki

[ plot summary ]

vhs jacket

Having been kicked out of Sakura's apartment, Key turns to the religous cult leader known as 'Prince Snake Eye' for shelter. But on the night that Tokiko arrives, something else is afoot: a young couple has brought their gravely ill son to the cult leader, in hopes that his alleged mystical powers might be able to cure him. The cult leader desparately turns to Key, in hopes that her powers that he had witnessed might be able to save both the boy and the faith of his followers. But even as she agrees, Key has no idea how to proceed, or how she might even hope to be able to accomplish...

[ capsule review ]

Key the Metal Idol has tidbits of important information stuffed into every corner of the video. You realise very quickly that you can't afford to be swept up by its highly stylized method of presentation; this series forces you to pay attention, and to think. Case in point: each 30-second preamble to the opening credits has a very key scene in it; that scene is vital to understanding what is to take place further into the series.

The idea that Key might have tremendous powers was explored in her first 'transformation' into a more human form; this time, we get a further glimpse into the extent of her powers. Again, her "humanisation" is presented in a very ethereal form, as if on the stage of an alternate plane, surrounded by her peers -- the peers that love her. Even more striking is how the young, sick boy, Toshihiko, is placed into Key's arms.

As with the previous episodes, the animation is not this series' forté. But the animators do take advantage of some very interesting techniques to convey the emotion and ambiance of a scene. This is most evident in the scene when Key first meets the followers of the Snake cult. Her feeling of being overwhelmed by their presence is effectively conveyed by fading each successive frame of the followers together, giving the crowd a dream-like, detached feel. Couple that with the use of electronic sound processing, and suddenly, you find yourself feeling exactly what Key must have felt. Very, very effective.

This episode also has a great deal of violence within; it's not for the faint of heart. When D arrives to claim Key, he brings with him a powerful auto-loader, which he is more than willing to use. While the violence is not of the intestine-spewing variety, there's enough blood spilled to make a person take pause. The graphic nature of the violence seemed somewhat incongruous to the previous episodes, but this doesn't mean I recommend this episode any less than its predecessors -- just be prepared for it.
- AN, 98.01.25

[ café rating ]

Original: Subbed: Dubbed:
Story: N/R 3 stars N/A
Direction: N/R 4 stars N/A
Acting: N/R 4 stars N/A
Animation: N/R 3 stars N/A
Music: N/R 4 stars N/A
Translation: N/A 4 stars N/A
Overall Rating: N/R 4 stars N/A

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Page last modified 1999.10.24