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Last Updated: 9/19/03


    Volume 4


    RETURN
    Preface:

    Ajo's latest experiment with the PPOR units pushes his staff to their limits, while Prince Sanke-Eye and his followers contunue to keep a watchful eye over Key. Meanwhile, ashamed of his previous behavior, Shuichi finally puts Sakura in contact with several of his college buddies who are now successful in showbiz, but even he is surprised when he finds out which famous producer has shown interest in Key.

    'D' continues to have his nightmarish dreams while recovering from injuries. The image of Key's unemotional body dispatching him haunts him at every corner... Meanwhile, Ajo has begun his next phase of his project. A new controller has been built to control his robots, and now it's A's turn to try to make them do his bidding. But Ajo has raised the stakes -- it's now up to A to control not one, but five PPOR's simultaneously. After an unsuccessful trial in a downtown park, C inexplicably lies to Ajo, claiming that the test run was a success...

    Tataki, feeling somewhat guilty about his treatment of Kurigawa, has a change of heart, and gives her a list of people he had known during his school years -- people who were now very successful in the entertainment industry. Sakura and Key haven't escaped Prince Snake-Eye's watchful gaze yet, either. Convinced that Key is of great spiritual significance, the charismatic cult leader has ordered his followers to maintain a close vigil on Tokiko; and even go as far as planting a bug in Sakura's telephone. But imagine Sakura's surprise when she gets a call from a leading producer over that very same telephone...

    The fabric of Key the Metal Idol's plot continues to get woven into a wonderfully complex and utterly fascinating tapestry of ideas and metaphysical imagery. Flashbacks are again used to provide us with information -- this time; we're allowed a glimpse into the past through Wakagi's eyes. And just when you thought that the subplot involving the Snake Eye cult was over, you find out that it's still very involved in the plot itself.

    The mysterious gel -- the substance containing what is apparently the life force of human beings -- proves to be not only the horrible secret behind the powerful PPOR, but also the substance behind Miho's ability to maintain an impossible pace to her career. There's a not so thinly veiled warning about the dangers of using artificial means to maintain a level of activity... not to mention the ever-pervasive theme of the evils of losing sight of what's truly important in life.

    The writers did something which rarely happens in anime -- they placed our heroine in a position of utter hopelessness, and simply allowed her to languish. So impossible was her hope to be able to land a part in a musical chorus line, that all she could do was merely stand. There was no attempt to provide her with some latent talent for song and dance, nor was she able to invoke any of the powers we've been witness to in previous episodes; instead, we're left to wallow in utter helplessness with her, feeling just as lost as she. The ridiculousness of the situation is not lost; in fact, it's this situation that brings the sense of tension to the scene, and undoubtably is will be the motivation for Tsurugi Hikaru's (a well-known talent producer) subsequent telephone call to Key. I generally find that by the sixth or seventh episode of a given series, the plots become stale. Not so with this one -- every episode continues to keep me enraptured; every episode continues to amaze me.



    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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