"Professional" for her, and "Idol" for Key.

GOTO is the first episode on the second Key the Metal Idol disc, and also the first episode in the second story arc.  It sets up the background players, highlights Key’s unsuitability as an idol, and tests Sakura’s character.

The tag shows the extraction of gel interspersed with the death of Dr Mima.  In terms of timing this is a flash back and a flash forward running in parallel, but both have the common message of Ajo’s ruthlessness.

Key is reading through the “research material” when Sakura starts the marketing effort by picking a suitably girly outfit to dress her up in [1].

Sergei appears to be in a cell buried deep in Ajo Heavy Industries.  The gel extraction process is briefly sighted.

Sakura’s own outfit is attempting the professional manager look as interpreted by a 17-year old.  It is a good try, but will draw more attention than Sakura wants as the day goes on.  Meanwhile Key is looking really out of place in the new outfit when she points out an audition for a chorus line. Sakura is sceptical but Key points out that she has nothing to lose.

The episode enters into the trials of Sakura: attempting to get portfolio photos of Key that include a smile [2], attempting to get Tataki to use his music industry connections to help them [3], attempting to navigate Key through an audition [4], attempting to get Key more attention than her [5]. That Sakura persists through all of these is entirely to her credit.

The discussion with Tataki is noteworthy because he points out how naive Sakura is being.  Sakura acknowledges this but doesn’t want a repeat of the previous day. In essence Sakura doesn’t want to betray or fail Key again. 

The gel extraction is going slowly as they attempt to extract 10 packs, and the remaining minions are worried that the subject is a living corpse.  They also discuss who will wear the controller in D’s absence and are pointing fingers at each other.  Gel is officially revealed at this point to be life force.

Tataki is being brutally honest about his connections, or rather lack thereof.  A somewhat irritated Sakura leaves in a huff until Tataki catches up with them to give one piece of advice [6] to stay away from Production Minos.  It turns out that Production Minos is entirely centred on Miho, and that Production Minos is (from the outside) just a marketing agency.  He also points out that Key is the complete opposite of Miho. 

Sakura’s thanks this time are somewhat less sarcastic but Key’s parting shot about Tataki being self-important did sound a little odd to me.

Production Minos is even less important than Tataki thinks.  The president is presenting demo tapes from every leading artist in Ajo to Japan and all are rejected.  The president is essentially a puppet, kept in the dark, and is beginning to resent it. Just as Ajo leaves the president (Aoi) produces one more demo of an odd song from an unusual source.

Prince Snake-Eye is wandering around with an eye-patch and clearly hasn’t given up.

At the chorus line audition the various actresses are attempting to dance the steps, except for Key who isn’t moving at all.  On the panel is a producer Tsurugi who is intrigued by Key as the clockwork soundtrack is heard.

On a pedestrian bridge Sakura and Key are about to head home when they are approached by a man.  Sakura wins the episode by pulling out a card with the following text:

Circle the reason for stopping us:

1.       Talent scout

2.       Picking up girls

3.       Asking directions

Prince Snake-Eye looks on from a distance and grins before walking away.

Ajo is arranging the timing of Miho’s next recording session in a typically callous manner.  The doctor tries to mitigate the damage but only makes it worse.

Tomoyo is observing Ajo Heavy Industries.

Ajo is playing with some gel and admiring it.  Given what, and where, gel comes from (life force basically) watching it be wasted like this as it evaporates into the air is highly disturbing.  The minion is sitting drooling on a chair and is being mocked by Ajo.  Ajo asks which of the surviving minions will wear the new controller.

The strange song is heard over speakers in Sergei’s cell and Tataki’s room as a new batch of PPORs activates and Tomoyo flashes back to Dr Mima’s death.  Tomoyo knows the full truth, whatever it is, but has promised to keep it a secret until it is necessary to reveal it.

The truck with the PPORs leaves Ajo Heavy Industries and Tomoyo checks the sensor readings.

Sakura is in the shower remembering all the attention that Sakura was getting throughout the day and refuses to take advantage of it.  Sakura is determined to help Key first.

In a spot of equal opportunity fanservice Tsurugi is at home considering the Production Key business card, reaches for the phone but changes his mind.

Key is contemplating various papers and turning towards the window as the credits roll.

GOTO is a character centric setup episode. Part of the focus is on just how atypical, or unsuited, Key is as a potential idol.  This is partly achieved by using the far more stereotypically feminine [7] Sakura to provide the contrast to Key.  It also serves to test Sakura’s commitment to helping Key by presenting her with both repeated failures on Key’s part, and repeated temptations on her own part.

I contend that Sakura’s refusal to give up on Key, and to give in to her own temptation, more than make up for her earlier doubts.  Although flawed Sakura is a very sympathetic character at this point.

The fragmentary scenes of the other characters are mostly there to remind the viewer of the dark background against which Key and Sakura are moving [8]. For the most part though GOTO is tightly focussed on Key and Sakura, and proves to be moderately light hearted fare.

Which only means that things are about to get nasty again.

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] Referring to Key as a commodity to be marketed is harsh but possibly fair.

[2] Fail. Sakura is closer to smiling in the photo booth than Key is.

[3] Fail. Tataki doesn’t really have any useful connections to speak of.

[4] Fail. Success would require that Key be able to sing and dance with some energy.

[5] Fail. In Key the Metal Idol it is Sakura that fills the Ms Fanservice role, not Key.

[6] More of a warning really, and a good one as it happens.

[7] In appearance at least.  Sakura is charmingly atypical in a number of other ways.

[8] And to preserve the rapid jump cuts that are almost a signature of the Key the Metal Idol editing style.  I wonder if there is a meta post in that.