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A dying professor leaves a message for his granddaughter Tokiko "Key" Mima. She is an android, but she is dying, too, and her battery is irreplaceable. If, however, she can make thirty thousand friends, their love will rejuvenate her and turn her into a real girl. Realizing there are not too many ways to reach that many people in a limited time, Key heads for Tokyo, where her friend Sakura helps her begin a career as a pop singer. But she soon discovers that there is more to her destiny than the simplistic quest outlined by her grandfather-Key's predicament and its solution are tied up in the dark secrets of her own family. The adoration of the crowd can literally free her soul for a moment, but it can also unleash other, more effective powers that other interested parties are keen on gaining for themselves. An uneven but engrossing anime that flips between the attention-hungry desperation of a performance artist and a vampiric military conspiracy, with time out for a number of superior musical interludes. And with a lead character who thinks she is a dying robot but whose friends merely think she is a traumatized, abused little girl, it contains a subtle identity crisis that would be used to greater effect by another Mima, played by the same actress Junko Iwao, in Perfect Blue.