Mania Grade: A+
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- Audio Rating: A-
- Video Rating: B+
- Packaging Rating: B-
- Menus Rating: A
- Extras Rating: A
- Age Rating: 16 & Up
- Region: 1 - North America
- Released By: Viz Media
- MSRP: 29.99
- Running time: 210
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Key the Metal Idol
Key The Metal Idol Vol. #1
By Brian Shea
February 14, 2002
Release Date: July 25, 2000
The video was pretty average, no complaints here. While pretty good looking, the quality wasn't good as other Pioneer releases like Serial Experiments Lain, due to the amount of episodes they put on the DVD.
Technically, the audio was perfect, no noticable complaints. I listened to the japanese track first, then when back and listened to the dub. The japanese one is easy to love by just about all anime fans, as most are. As for the dub, it'll probably depend on your preferences. If you're a fan of Ocean Group (early seasons of DBZ, Gundam Wing, Escaflowne, etc...) like myself you'll love it. If you're not a big fan of there's you'll probably hate it, although it is one of their older dubs so those of you who don't like their recent stuff like Escaflowne and Mobile Suit Gundam might find it acceptable. One thing interesting to note is that Ocean dubbed all the songs as well (including the opening and credits) which sounded pretty good to me.
A nice cover of Key with parts of a PPOR behind her; the back cover was pretty informative without spoiling anything, although it was rather dull to look at.
This DVDs got plenty of Extras, which is quite a plus considering it already has so much stuff on the disc (more on that in content). You've got an interview with the staff, answers to frequently asked questions, character bios, voice actor credits, and even concept sketches. Add together the extras on other series like Lain and Evangelion, and this disc still has more on it.
The menus are pretty good, using scenes (and music) from the opening theme in the main one, with other cool designs and music used for the minor menus. Rather simple, but they look fine if you ask me.
To start off, this DVD has a grand total of SEVEN episodes on it. Yep, don't believe those people who said only 5 episodes could fit on a DVD. This has been by far the best deal I've ever found on DVD. Also, with so many episodes a DVD you only have to buy 3 DVDs to get the whole series. Usually Pioneer goes the greedy route and puts only 3 episodes a DVD, but not this time. An added bonus is that you get to see quite a lot of this series and really get into it after only watching the first DVD.
As for the story? Key the Metal Idol is about a 17 year old girl named Key, who is in actuality a robot. Key lives with her 'grandfather' who unfortunately passes away early in the first episode. However, before he dies he tells Key that she can become human if she makes 30,000 friends. In order to fulfill this goal, Key heads to Tokyo, where she is soon reunited with her childhood friend Sakura. Thats as far as I'll go in an attempt to spoil as little of the show as possible for you.
An interesting aspect of this DVD is that we've got quite a lot more than just the story about Key going on, there's plenty of other side-stories in it as well. We've got Ajo, who hopes to perfect the PPOR robots in order to sell them and make a fortune; we've got 'D', the man who controls these robots but finds them going out of control all the time; there's Miho, the famous idol singer who's not all that she seems, and much more. Key the Metal Idol is much more than a rehash of Pinochio.
Overall, the story so far in this series has been very good. I highly recommend this series to all anime fans, and anxiously await seeing the next 2 discs in the series.
Panasonic DVD ROM; 17 inch monitor, Cambridge Soundworks Speakers