Tomoyo Wakagi

RUN is the last episode on the first Key the Metal Idol disc, and also the last episode in the first story arc.  RUN sees a conclusion to the SCROLL II cliff hanger, and a resolution to Sakura’s doubts, but is a strangely unsatisfying episode.

Unlike previous episodes I think the tag is an immediate continuation from the previous episode, with an interesting mix of real world and dreamscape scenes.  In the dreamscape a brown haired Key is walking amongst ruins towards a wrecked shrine with the sounds of a baby crying.  The Miko from previous dream sequences is holding a baby and saying something or possibly singing a lullaby. 

However these scenes are silent apart from the baby’s cries, even when Key is yells something [1] just before the credit rolls.

Interspersed with the dreamscapes are scenes of a PPOR climbing on to the roof of the temple. This is a curious juxtaposition, but does make the sequencing of the tag relatively easy. It also carries the implication that the otherwise unconscious Key is somehow controlling the PPOR.

In the temple Prince Snake-Eye is still facing Sergei but has clearly never held a gun before.  Tomoyo is preparing to intervene but this time Sergei dodges the slingshot, and spits a marble into Snake-Eye’s eye when he fires and misses.

The subsequent hand to hand between Tomoyo and Sergei leaves both damaged.  As Key stirs the point of view switches to a PPOR, and then to the minions tracking the PPOR.

At Tataki’s a soaked Sakura hears the odd singing as Tataki holds her.  There is some rather cute blushing going on here on Tataki’s part even as they discuss what has been going on with Key.

The PPOR is approaching the temple.

 Sergei is about to do more damage to Tomoyo when the half blinded Snake-Eye empties the magazine to little effect [2].

Ajo is indulging in his obsessions with the Miho-bot, a knife, and a camera recording everything [3].

The PPOR is approaching the temple as some gel is released as vapour.

Sergei reloads the pistol and points it at Tomoyo when a creaking sound is heard from the roof. The PPOR crashes through destroying the altar.  To his credit Snake-Eye attempts to shield Key from debris.

The PPOR attacks Sergei, who empties the gun into it. The PPOR throwing a large chunk of statue at Sergei is somewhat impressive, especially when it knocks Sergei through the wall [4].

Tomoyo disables the PPOR remotely, releasing all of the remaining gel and causing it to collapse.

Tomoyo rants about the PPOR and claims that it is part of the operator’s consciousness that powers the PPOR. Sergei is unimpressed, picks up the PPOR [5], and leaves the temple just as the minions arrive.

Tomoyo leaves the temple with Key, after arguing with Snake-Eye [6].

Sakura is wearing a Miho sweatshirt and talking to Tataki about the robot and her premonitions.  Tataki points out that destroying a spy might have been a tactical error, and points out that kicking Key out was a definite mistake. As they wonder where Key might be the phone rings.

One of the minions walks in on Ajo to report recent events.  The minion is disturbed by what he sees but covers it up as best he can [7].

Tomoyo has returned Key to Sakura’s.  Tomoyo didn’t see a robot in the trash, and asks Sakura to return.  Tomoyo also warns Tataki to put some distance between himself and Miho.

As Sakura turns to leave the voice is heard again and Tataki starts recording it.  Sakura tries to say something but gets shushed.

The minions are examining the completely wrecked PPOR.

As Sakura returns home she defers any conversation with Key until she gets some sleep.

Ajo has a rather dismissive conversation with the wounded Sergei, and suggests he get some rest.

There is a flash of someone in a tank full of pink fluid with a breathing mask and an empty stare [8].

Sakura returns home again with “research materials” for Key and business cards that identify her as the CEO and manager of “Production Key”. This is the moment when Sakura fully commits to helping Key become human and the episode ends.

After the nail-biting cliff hanger in SCROLL II the conclusion of the scene in the temple is something of a disappointment.  I’m not sure but I think it is the monologues, as well as the lack of a decisive resolution, that break the tension and leave the viewer feeling ripped off.

With the pressure of the Temple confrontation gone, the rapid scene jumps feel a lot more disjointed and contribute to the relative weakness of this episode. 

It is good to see Sakura conquer her reservations about Key, as well as start setting things in motion to help Key, but that is the probably the high point of the episode. 

The episode does also finish establishing Snake-Eye as a fairly sympathetic character. Snake-Eye is flawed in many ways, but he does try to protect Key here and faces a lot of fear in order to do so.

Overall though RUN is a relatively weak episode. I do however have reasonably high hopes for GOTO as it will kick off the next major arc.

Day 1 – START UP
Day 2 – CURSOR I
Day 4 – Sub vs Dub?
Day 5 – ACCESS
Day 6 – SCROLL I
Day 8 – The extra bits
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] My personal suspicion is that Key was yelling “mother” or equivalent.

[2] Snake-Eye does get one hit in the shoulder, for all the good it does.

[3] Ajo needs serious help. Preferably in the form of a straitjacket and a padded cell.

[4] Alternatively it was just not a very impressive wall.

[5] Picking up a PPOR is an impressive stunt, but then Sergei is something of a man-mountain.

[6] Snake-Eye again shows his ignorance of guns by taking Tomoyo’s word for whether or not it’s loaded.

[7] Which isn’t terribly convincing as it happens, but I’m not sure that Ajo noticed or cared.

[8] Probably the drugged minion from SCROLL II.