Towa no Quon Complete Collection
Release Date: October 24th, 2012
Price: $59.95 – Available HERE
Imagine a not too distant futuristic world where forces, both mystical and technological are locked in a power struggle in urban Japan. Traditionally, these two forces are always shown to be pitted against one another, always vying for superiority in some new incarnation. Towa no Quon is one of the latest anime series to weigh in on this conflict. It demonstrates the hallmarks of an intense action series, yet also features numerous comedic and dramatic elements. This is a universe where prejudices are made against the mystic and technology dominates the world order. Violently.
Described as “A Wild Dance of Chaos”, Towa no Quon sets out to be dramatic, funny and most importantly, rife with plenty of ass-kicking. Is it a collection worth owning? Only one way to find out.
To most kids who idolise superheroes and spend plenty of time playing games and pretending to be them, the idea of gaining superpowers would sound pretty awesome. Towa no Quon spins this on its head, taking place in a futuristic image of Japan where people who develop mystical superpowers are hunted down and violently eliminated. What’s more intense is that this standard applies to anyone. Male, female, healthy, sick, young or old. An organisation called The Order imposes this brutal law throughout the world, and are shown to be ruthlessly effective.
The protagonist of the series, a teenager named Quon, is one such person who has developed these strange mystical powers. His personality is very much of the caring variety, often putting the needs of others ahead of his own. He is part of a resistance group called the Attractors, whose aim is to get to these children before the Order’s cyborgs do, to offer protection and training in the use and control of their new abilities. Quon’s most notable power is his ability to transform into a fierce blue battle form, called Insania. Acting as the group’s main field agent, Quon is one of the few combat capable Attractors responsible for rescuing and protecting these other kids, who he describes as “the same as him.”
What I particularly enjoyed about the variety of characters in this collection is the creativity of many of the powers possessed by the Attractors, and their wards. Each character displays talent with a huge variety of different powers such as super speed, combat transformation, regeneration, healing, teleportation and even the ability to become a living computer. The Attractors typically operate as a team, with each member bringing something unique to the table, and allowing the children they rescue to do the same. They each have distinctively different personalities, from friendly, to voluptuous, to arrogant, to innocent which makes the interrelationships and teamwork aspects feel all the more real. It features the same team-mentality appeal shown in western animations like X-men, where viewers imagine themselves being part of the team with their own unique abilities.
There’s no doubt that Towa no Quon is a short series. Containing only six 50-minute long episodes, the need for plot movement to take place in a restricted time frame is fairly obvious. Originally designed in a movie-series format, much like Hellsing Ultimate and Gundam Unicorn, interest in the plot of such a series can be made and broken on the frequency of successive releases. There are a lot of questions that will immediately spring to mind when first watching, and it will demand the attention of the viewer to understand many of the plot points that will eventually take place. As a collection of the entire series, the viewer has the ability to watch everything in quick succession, eliminating the hassle of long waiting periods between releases.
Towa no Quon treads around quite a number of moral issues. It raises the social question of: how far are we, as humans willing to go to impose or maintain a state of safe order? It is very much a reflection of modern day themes of censorship. Is it best to hide and suppress dangerous or chaotic influences, at any cost? Or should total freedom be considered a paramount social value, even if it means harm could befall people as a result? Towa no Quon certainly is an example of a series that fondly portrays the latter. The moral arguments here are subtle, and not overbearing. If you’re the kind of viewer that likes to analyse the existential implications of a given piece, then it’s available to do so. Of course if you couldn’t care less about that sort of thing and just want to see the blue fish man wail on a bunch of robots, then you can enjoy that too.
In watching the collection, mostly due to Quon’s ability to transform his body with mystical powers, I couldn’t help but be reminded of other similar anime series such as Xam’d and D.Gray-man. Towa no Quon is like a bite sized version of these series, delivering very similar calibres of story and action in a shorter series.
VISUAL AND AUDIO
Towa no Quon is visually spectacular. The fluidness of the animation, particularly in battle scenes is a boon to the series. In an action oriented anime, it is always important to be able to follow the flow of battle. The visual representations and manifestations of the Attractors powers are also pretty cool, with huge varieties of colours and bright special effects, which contrast against the dark steely design of The Order’s mechanical forces. Character designs are also quite good, but it will be hard to not draw visual comparisons to other anime if you watch plenty of it.
The audio quality of the series is of a solid standard, but isn’t anything mind blowing. Sound effects and musical scores are largely appropriate and the voice acting well selected, but Towa no Quon’s audio quality didn’t really do much to make itself really stand out outside of the dialogue. It’s not bad. In fact it’s quite good. It just isn’t spectacular.
The collections second disc features the standard line-up of Madman published special features. These include original Japanese trailers as well as commentaries and textless opening and closing are available. Other Madman published series such as Heaven’s Lost Property also receive trailer spots on the extras section.
Towa no Quon is a damn downright fun series to watch. The action is fast paced and spectacularly animated. The characters are gradually fleshed out and a surprising level of depth for six episodes. And the voice acting is actually surprisingly well appropriated for the English dub. The real praise for this collection goes to its ability to tell a deep and engaging plot in such a limited run-time, a challenge for many great anime today. Odds are, most people will never have even heard of this collection. But don’t let sort of animosity towards the unfamiliar scare you off. Towa no Quon is an unexpectedly great series that’s definitely worth watching before you judge it.