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[ café reviews ]



Key The Metal Idol
Ver .4: Access

Copyright: © 1994 Pony Canyon / Fuji TV (Japan), Viz Video (North America)
Length: 23 minutes
Rating: NR, Parental Guidance Suggested
Format: Subtitled / Dubbed (VHS), Original Japanese (LD/VHS)

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

[ plot summary ]

vhs jacket

Tamari is in a lot of trouble -- trapped on the roof of a tall building, with a menacing, Sergei-controlled PPOR bearing down on him. But Tamari isn't Sergei's objective at all -- he's after Mima Tokiko, or "Key" as she's known by her friends. Sergei suspects that Dr. Mima's "grand-daughter" may have more to do with the recent failures of the PPOR's than the what Ajo attributes as a design flaw. But even a low-life like Tamari isn't willing to put Key's very life in danger. And just when Tamari's luck looks like it's about to run out, the power of the heart of a would-be young woman seems willing to to try and save him...

Meanwhile, it seems that Utsuse Miho has disappeared completely from the public light. Not even Tataki, and his ever-resourceful otaku friend Tsukiyama can find any news about her. Things get stranger still when they discover a mysterious voice, apparently singing from the built-in speaker of their personal computers... even when the computer is off.

[ capsule review ]

Sometimes, you can take an age-old idea, and put enough of a spin on it to be able to describe it as 'unique' and 'original.' Key the Metal Idol is a perfect example of this. Rather than fall into a routine of re-visiting old clichés about discovering our modern society through a newborn's eyes, this series dares to do something entirely different -- namely, question what separates humanity from machine. This premise may not seem particularily original, either, but the manner in which this question is explored is both intriguing and refreshing. Key's efforts to save Tamari's life not only acts to foreshadow her future potential, but also explores a more complex concept: how does one differentiate 'human intelligence' from 'machine intelligence?' If a machine is sufficiently complex, can it have what we would call a 'soul?' Even though these question have been explored by other shows, none have presented themselves in as original manner as Key the Metal Idol. The dream-like transformation of which we're given a sneak peak is utterly captivating. What is remarkable about this sequence is that it's the story-telling method which is so riveting, not the animation itself. A remarkable and hopeful episode, in a series which Viz should be very proud. - AN

[ 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 3 stars N/A
Overall Rating: N/R 4 stars N/A

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