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[ café reviews ]


Key The Metal Idol
Ver .15: End

Copyright: © 1994 Pony Canyon / Fuji TV (Japan), © 1998 Viz Video (North America)
Length: 95 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

Sakura, captured by Ajo and his minions, is in grave danger. Ajo, determined to make sure that Key and her friends don't interfere with his plans, begins extracting gel from Sakura, and uses it as bait to lure Key into his center of operations, the Ajo Heavy Industries building. But little Tokiko is fast approaching a threshold... she's been intermittenly switching to her human persona, as the sheer strength of the surrounding omoi ("geist") has been slowly overcoming a limit trapped within... a limit which had been left from Tokiko's own mother... But Key has Wakagi and Suichi to help her, and perhaps even the remnants of a man who was once the great production genius, Tsurugi.

Later, working from Tsurugi's hidden safehouse, Wakagi determines that Ajo has something sinister in mind for his finale... a plan to extract gel from all 50,000 expected attendees of Utsuse Miho's farwell concert at the Megalodome. But this time, Ajo plans to extract all the gel contained within the concert-goers... Can Key stop Ajo's plans, and still become human?

[ capsule review ]

There are time when it's probably best to see an entire series, before making too many comments about it. After all, sometimes the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Yet again, just the opposite can be true. Such is the case with Key the Metal Idol.

If you've read the previous reviews for episodes 1 through 13, you'll see that I've been very impressed with the series... that is, until episode 14. The series suddenly took an abrupt turn; one that seemed very incongruous to what I had seen earlier. Was this merely my imagination?

There were some items that you knew were going to happen -- the death of Sakura, and the eventual revelation of what Key truly is, and her powers. (I still haven't come to term with the fact that Key's not really a robot; but merely a very suppressed human ego. After all, what would be the purpose in the background given in the first two episodes, and what is the purpose of the odd contraption that feeds her supplements? And why _did_ she pass out in the shower in episode 3?)

The nature of Key isn't the only thing I have problems with... earlier, we see Ajo as a maniacal, possessed mad-man... but in this episode, we see the producers trying to portray this, yet we see nothing to motivate his behavior... This is very disappointing, since they could have used this to great effect, especially when taken in conjunction when Ajo's use of a mask to hide his fears from those around him. While we're on the subject of inexplicable items, where on earth did Wakagi and Shuichi find the rope to rappel down the side of the Ajo building? It's not as if that's something that's easy to carry...

This episode also suffers from trying to combine far too many ideas into one final script. Bringing Tamiya back into the picture for one last production was just a little too much... And how on earth did Prince Snake Eyes find the group at Tsurugi's safehouse, after splitting off to take care of Sakura? Why bother with the 'Maestro' character at all? He added nothing of importance to the story. Or how about the final message -- that the power of a song can work miracles? Where have we seen this before?

One bright spot in this installment was the music -- we get to hear the entire opening theme, 'Into the Night' as sung by Kijima Sairo, as well has the haunting 'Lullaby.' But this also leads to the question: where on Earth did Key's backup instruments come from?

While it may be true that "there are never any new stories, only new storytellers," this last episode just presents too many common items we've seen elsewhere, including some pretty lousy overacting. And it's all delivered in a most unconvincing fashion.
- AN, 99.03.27

[ café rating ]

Original: Subbed: Dubbed:
Story: N/R 1 star N/A
Direction: N/R 2 stars N/A
Acting: N/R 2 stars N/A
Animation: N/R 3 stars N/A
Music: N/R 3 stars N/A
Translation: N/A 4 stars N/A
Overall Rating: N/R 1 star N/A

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Page last modified 1999.03.27