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Key the Metal Idol

Image via Wikipedia

My default position for watching anime is to prefer the subtitled version. I do however listen to the dub track when writing episode reviews as part of a twenty days of X, thirty days of Y series of posts.

Thus far I have generally been pleasantly surprised – Lodoss War was quite good, Escaflowne was watchable, and Haibane Renmei was first class.

Unfortunately the verdict for the Key the Metal Idol dub is: Oh dear.

There are a number of little issues with the individual voices but the big issue is that the songs have been dubbed.  This includes the opening and closing songs, as well as Miho’s idol songs.

Given how central the music is to Key the Metal Idol this is colouring my reaction to the rest of the dub by shattering the suspension of disbelief.

In the both versions the songs need to convince the viewer that these are the top songs of a bestselling, and adored, idol.  The Japanese versions manage it, the English language versions don’t even come close.

With this critical fault in place and with a reminder of it every time the credits roll, the other voices also fail to quite work.  Key and Sakura are somewhat off, although it is hard for me to place exactly how. 

Possibly Key isn’t flat enough, and Sakura is a touch too flat, and this is denting the contrast between them.

In addition the translations are significantly different [1], and I’ve already caught at least one case of significant spoilers in the English script.

Overall this is a dub to be endured for the sake of the review and once this series of posts is done I’ll never watch Key the Metal Idol that way again.

Day 1 – START UP
Day 2 – CURSOR I
Day 4 – Sub vs Dub?
Day 5 – ACCESS
Day 6 – SCROLL I
Day 8 – ???
Day 9 – RUN
Day 10 – GOTO
Day 11 – RETURN
Day 12 – ???
Day 13 – BUG
Day 14 – SAVE
Day 15 – VIRUS I
Day 16 – ???
Day 17 – VIRUS II
Day 18 – SYSTEM
Day 19 – EXIT
Day 20 – Looking Back at Key The Metal Idol


[1] I compare the two by leaving the subtitles running.