When your friends ask about anime series that have peculiar and interesting premises, you can point them to Key the Metal Idol. It has a wonderful mix of taking itself seriously, while adding just the right amount of ridiculousness. Tokiko ‘Key’ Mima is the name of a young girl that has quite the secret. She is actually a robot built by her ‘grandfather’. She is struggling with the identity crisis of wanting to be accepted by humanity while knowing for certain that she is not human. That sounds like a pretty light-hearted tale, doesn’t it? Well hang on a second, because one of the first scenes in the first episode of KTMI is a battlefield strewn with dead soldiers and destroyed tanks.
There is a shadowy robotics corporation that is building killer robots and looking for any way to advance their weaponry. Not very much is revealed early on, but Key and her grandfather are involved with the mysterious robotics company. It’s clear that the corporation is pursuing Key and is willing to kill to get a hold of her. Key is passing for human among the regular population and her grandfather, Murao Mima, dies under suspicious circumstances when our story begins. That sounds like enough to build a series around, right? Well hold your horses, because I’m still not done and this is where it finally starts to get odd. The last words of Murao to Key are that she must complete his mission of making her into a real human. His dying message is that in order to become a real girl she needs the power of friendship, specifically 30,000 new friendships. This is what I meant when I said this one has some interesting ideas.
As the series begins, Key is unknowingly on the run from the evil secretive corporation while also trying to find a way to make 30,000 brand new friends in Tokyo. The friendship angle may make this series sound pretty cheerful, but there are certainly some dark moments as Key learns about the harsh reality of the world around her.
If all of that doesn’t at least make you curious then I don’t know what else to say. Check it out on Viewster right now.