Thursday, December 28, 2000

I watched the final two half-hour episodes of Key: The Metal Idol two days ago, and the first half of the first “movie” yesterday evening.

The final episodes of Key blew me away. I consider it to be among the best climaxes (well, anti-climaxes; Key‘s story isn’t over yet) that I’ve ever seen presented in anime. I was as powerfully moved at Key‘s 13th episode as I was with the end of Macross Plus episode 3, which is saying a lot. This show goes places.

The first movie has thus far been almost completely exposition. It’s finally time for the backstory to be explained, and so we have multiple simultaneous conversations that do just that. It’s well-written, but there’s so much of it that lasts for so long that my attention tended to drift. I concentrate on anime, too, so making my attention wander is not an immediately easy task.

But, I’m still impressed. This episode is explaining everything, including technical details of exactly why certain things are done they way they are done, which is a refreshing change after serial experiments: lain‘s loose plot threads (though lain was made with the expectation that its viewers would actively investigate and solve loose plot threads, so that’s not really a criticism).

Meanwhile, in my search for Key: The Metal Idol music late last night (Key has three fantastic songs — all of which have been dubbed into English — while the rest range from mediocre to poor, IMHO), I stumbled across Aluminum Studios, the website of an anime fan who makes anime music videos. I started an overnight download of one of them, then fired it up this morning, and fell in love. It was “Larger than Life,” and it’s a fantastic presentation of a particular character from Cowboy Bebop. I’m grabbing all of the videos now (I have one transfer going at home, and I’m downloading them here at work to watch them before going home). Wonderful stuff.

I heard on WGMS this morning that Crown Books is having a gigantic sale, so I headed over there this morning and bought a Norman Rockwell calendar, a copy of Gray’s Anatomy (USD $16, hardback, unabridged!), the latest issue of Writer’s Digest, Michael Palin’s latest travelogue (I didn’t know what a fantastic writer he is), and a book on whether the Bible stands up to modern scientific evidence.

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