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Episode 8


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Last Updated: 9/19/03

    Version 8


    When Sakura decides to help Key look for work in show business, she asks Shuichi - handsome president of Miho Utsuse's fan club - if he can introduce them to people who might be able to help, but all a cautious Shuichi will offer is a warning not to go near Production Minos. Then, at an audition for a musical, even though Key does nothing at all, a certain producer is intrigued...

    With Sakura's enthusiastic leadership, Production Key is now underway. Her first stop: Tataki Suichi, of course. Who else does she know that's connected with the entertainment industry? But much to her surprise, he very cautiously refuses to help -- and even goes as far as warning them not to go near Production Minos, Miho Utsuse's dedicated production company. Puzzled but undeterred, they set out for their first tryout: an open audition for a chorus line production.

    Meanwhile, D is recovering from his brutal encounter at the Snake Eye God's temple. Unbeknownst to him, Ajo is accellerating his plans with both the PPOR's and Miho Utsuse. The unlucky 'B' is now a spent shell, his body used for the production of the mysterious gel -- the life force from which Ajo's cyborgs are controlled...

    For those of you who wondered about some peculiarities of formal Japanese customs, this show is a bit of a treat -- Sakura's formal approach to asking Tataki for help in securing some show business contacts gives you a glimpse of the rituals involved in Japanese business. Even with this detached presentation, Tataki refuses -- and the director shows us why in a highly effective manner. The brief flashbacks to Tataki's latest involvement with Key shows his concern for our mechanical heroine -- what's interesting is that the short cuts are so quick, your consious level probably wouldn't pick up on the effect. The animators are deliberately trying to access the subconsious level.

    The writers continue to keep you guessing -- Key's audition for the chorus line was most curious; why would they write in such an obviously unattainable goal, and then, surprise! Not only is Key hopelessly outclassed; she's completely out of her element in every imaginable way. Despite the almost ridiculous circumstance that Key is placed, I find myself utterly involved in the events.

    Ajo's relentless pusuit of his two passions -- the PPOR and Miho -- continues unabated; it's very apparent that he doesn't care who he steps on to achieve his means. Even Miho's production agent no longer has any idea what Miho is really doing -- and Ajo has utter disregard for Japan's top music writers, as he casually dismisses all the demo tapes sent to him. His conversation with his executive assistant, asking if he would be interested in writing Miho's next single is unimaginably callous...

    One item that bothered me with this episode has nothing to do with the original show, but with its English subtitling. Here again is a case where perhaps a literal translation of dialog is not appropriate; in fact, in the scene between Sakura and Tataki, it's downright awkward. Same with the scene between Ajo and Miho's producer, Aoi. A little bit of paraphrasing would definitely have been in order here.

    The key element that's expounded in this episode is the 'gel,' the mysterious compound that seems to be so critical for Ajo's experiments. We find out exactly its source, and why it seems to be so powerful -- including its magical properties on living humans. The visual manner in which the directors chose to present this series it mesmerising; I feel that the prologues shown at the beginning of each show is so brilliant, I can't imagine why it hasn't been used more often.

    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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