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[ café reviews ]

Komori Beniko, the latest prodigy from Production Minos, takes to the stage.


Key The Metal Idol
Ver .13: Virus 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 (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

A Nap of an Automaton -- the new Miho Utsuse concert -- is about to begin, and a worried Kurigawa Sakura wonders where her date, Tataki Shuichi has ended up. Tataki, having chased down the Priest after discovering him in line for the Miho concert, rushes back to auditorium...

Key continues to beg to be taken to the concert. Finally, after Key is able to express open emotion, the choreographer acquieces...

Ajo, unable to locate 'A', instructs 'C' to start the show -- with him controlling the background musicians. The house lights dim, the musicians start and Tataki finally makes it to the theater, only to hear Miho Utsuse singing her new song. A song all too familiar to some ears... But Ajo is more concerned about Tokiko. He's convinced that she will attend the concert. But when Miho is unable to continue controlling her drone, a switch is made, and Beniko makes her debut. When Key finally does arrive, she discovers that Miho is not performing... and she decides to do something about it!

[ capsule review ]

Miho opens her concert, 'A Nap of an Automaton.'

Key begs Hikaru to take her to the concert.

Tokiko nervously senses that time is of the essence...

An angry Miho fan?

Flashback to an earlier time in the Mamio Valley.

Wakagi takes an exhausted Key into his care.

Some great music in this episode. The wonderfully haunting ballade, Lullaby is sung by Shibahara Chiyako, who does the voices for both Utsuse Miho and Komori Beniko. While Shibahara may not be a great singing talent (like many singers with limited training, she tends to sing a bit flat), her voice is perfectly suited for this song. Do yourself a favour and pick up the CD (Original Soundtrack Vol. 1), it's worth the price.

We now know why Ajo has been using the PPOR drones for the concerts: unfettered by human physical limitations, directors are able to choreograph events and special effects impossible for mere humans. Beniko's debut, short-lived as it may have been, was a nice change of pace. But all this pales in comparison to what happens on stage when Key takes over: the destruction of the performance drones, followed by her uttering a single pure note; unwavering and just long enough to be uncomfortable. Once again, Sato presents to the screen a wonderful montage of reactions, presented as a series of windows as if opened on a computer... and just as quickly, the windows are closed. As inspired as this may have been, Sato succumbs to temptation, and throws in a rather trite ending - the very familar and too-often used 'close the door' scene, coupled with Wakagi delivering a line that's much too cliché. This is an episode where everything begins to come together, and is written and directed almost to perfection -- but just falls short at the end.
- AN, 98.05.07

[ café rating ]

Original: Subbed: Dubbed:
Story: N/R 5 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