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Last Updated: 9/19/03


    Volume 5


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    Preface:

    Meanwhile, Shuichi has embarked upon a journey of his own, to Key's Hometown, in the hopes of finding out more about her past. The primitive beauty of the area seems to have a strange effect on him, but even more strange is the discovery that Ajo, President of Ajo Industries and secret backer of Production Minos, has arrived at Key's old house as well... but what could Ajo be searching for?

    Tataki Suichi's recent voyage to the Mamio valley has left him with more than just more questions about Key's mysterious past. He now finds himself plagued by disturbing visions and recurring nightmares about his experiences. Why were the villagers so protective of the local secrets? And what of Key's mother Toyoko, the local shrine's priestess, who passed away seventeen years ago?

    Key has not progressed very far in her lessons with Hikaru either. Yet the enigmatic producer seems determined to continue the lessons, despite the apparent lack of progress. In fact, he admits that he would have tossed Tokiko out had she given even the slightest hint of trying to mimic what he typically wants in human talent... But if this is the case, just what does he want?

    Meanwhile, Tataki finds that he's getting a bit of a lecture from Sakura. And rightly so, since he's been out of touch for almost a month. Things get even more tense when Sakura discovers that Suichi went to her old village without telling her... or even coming back with the expected omiyage. But while recounting some the past events, Tataki comes to the realisation that Mima Murao's death may not have been accidental -- and the man responsible may be none other than Jinsaki Ajo!

    There are times when you'll see a show that presents information in such a novel way that you'll find youself saying, "wow!" Other times, you'll find youself wondering, "what is going on?" Key the Metal Idol at times tries so hard to stimulate the intellect that it stumbles on its own accord. Or perhaps is that their intent? The flashbacks and visions that Tataki has been experiencing may be disturbing enough on their own, but the line between dream and past events become so blurred that they become inseparable. The net result is that viewers will begin to second guess themselves, and suddenly you begin to wonder what is supposedly real, and what might be merely illusory. While this technique is very novel to say the least, it might also leave many viewers so confused as to turn them away from this series. The viewer is forced to put certain ideas 'on hold' until the later dialog snaps everything into focus. While this might be suitable for some audiences, I think that many would find this tedious, if not downright confusing.

    The introduction of Beniko Komori as part of the Miho mythos adds yet another element of depth to an already near-mind boggling storyline. I'm beginning to wonder that with all they elements that Sato Hiroaki has introduced that things might get a little rushed towards the end of this series -- and perhaps get wrapped up a little too tightly. One hopes not. But the exploration of Mima Toyoko is a very welcome addition, the insight into this player gives you that wonderful sense of "Ah-ha!" as things begin to make sense. (If you haven't followed closely, she's the enigmatic figure who hands the stricken boy to Key in episode 6.)



    1994 Hiroaki Sato/Pony Canyon/Fuji TV/FCC/Studio Pierrot. Exclusively licensed throughout the United States and Canada by Viz Communications Inc.

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