(This review goes to all parts of the movie series.)
Now, here’s a thing that I never noticed in most recent anime before and that is called the Movie Series……now this is definitely different from the term “OVA” as in movie series are released theatrically while OVAs are direct-to-video. Many examples of anime movie series include Kara No Kyōukai (or The Garden of Sinners), Broken Blade & Mobile Suit Gundam UC Unicorn. The film series is directed by Umanosuke Iida, known for directing anime such as Devilman, Vandread, Hellsing (the original one), Mobile Suit Gundan: The 08th MS Team & Shangri-La. Unfortunately, before the movies were
released, he passed away of lung cancer at the age of 49 in 2010, and that’s the same year that Satoshi Kon passed away from pancreatic cancer..…..OK, let’s just get to the review.
In a futuristic Tokyo, unique human beings who have awakened distinct powers are being hunted by a secret organization named Custos. Known as "Attractors", these exceptional humans are joining forces to defend themselves. They are led by a boy named Quon, an idealist who is determined to save all the Attractors he can.
Now here’s the thing about these films: They are quite reminiscent of the dark superhero genre and mostly the X-Men franchise, which are the majority of which they are parallel to, such as, ordinary people who have these powers that they can’t control, which have affected their past and scarred them for life and they are being taken in a facility, much like Professor Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters to an extent and like that, they are being hunted down by a secret organization that wants to do them in. Yeah, this idea isn’t exactly wholly original but it’s an interesting concept and premise and I can say for that reason alone, it works on paper and it does work on the big screen.
As for the characters, they are actually very stock characters with hit or miss qualities about them with having powers that can cause consequences and mostly regret. The main character, Quon, who has lived over a millennia, from witnessing his family being slaughtered and wanting vengeance ever since. Now I say Quon was some similarities to Wolverine but here’s the difference between them….Wolverine has more charisma and personality than Quon as that character seems unmotivated most of the time but he is not the all-mighty God-mode being that most people would suspect as he gets his ass kicked a lot in fights but he does manage to heal himself after. There’s Yuri, the flirty but competent attractor whose powers aren’t exactly developed but can maintain it; Kiri, the innocent young girl whose gift is her voice and with it, she can only use it to heal or to destroy and I got to admit, that trait is close to being the character Rogue. Tei is the telepathic woman who can communicate with others from many distances but can relive painful memories of the past. Miu is the young girl that can communicate to animals but her limiter enables her to speak normally and also the animal’s language. Takao is the smart-alecky, lazy, but complacent attractor who talks shit sometimes but not so much to be an asshole. Yuma is the boy whose power is to erupt colored orbs from his body whenever he’s upset or angry and the antagonist Genji Kamishiro is the class-A comic book-style villain who wants to control all the Attractors and to gain order……so, yeah, he’s the typical villain and last but not least Towa is Quon’s younger brother, who is believed that whoever contacts him will have their powers increased.
As for the animation, I can safely say that BONES did an excellent job on this, especially the fighting animation where it feels so fast-paced and often gritty sometimes and that goes to the art style of the show, too, especially with some scenes that would be gruesome for younger eyes. The main theme for the show called “Reckless” by LAZY is somewhat thrilling and yet unintentionally funny for every time I hear, “Feel Rock Emotion, Burning Rock Emotion” because I know they use Engrish in some of the lyrics, but it still feel silly once you heard it so many times.
For the dub by Sentai Filmworks, I can see why I said that Quon had no charisma and that’s thanks to Corey Hartzog and his lackluster performance as Quon sounds too chill, even in a tense situation, but I will say that, I’m pleased with the rest of their performances including Jessica Boone as Yuri, Emily Neves as Kiri & Monica Rial as Tei.
FINAL VERDICT: After seeing some lackluster titles from BONES (No.6, Ghost Slayers Ayashi), this is an improvement and the kind of quality that BONES should have put in most of their shows. It’s a concept that seems foreign to Japan but if handled well, it can turn to be pretty impressive. I could easily recommend this to people who are akin to any Marvel comic character.
The theme of the second outing in the Towa no Quon series is all about flowers. There's a new Attractor (super-human) in town with the power to control flowers and their fragrance, which also has the power to evoke strong emotions and insanity in humans.
The first half of the episode is presented in a pseudo-detective manner. Two of the rookie cyborgs working under Custos (a secret military-like organization set out to destroy all Attractors), Kazami and Asuka, use the advanced technology at their disposal to investigate crime scenes that have been popping up around the city. They suspect an
Attractor at work behind the serial murders, and follow up on leads related to the flowery tableaus left behind. Meanwhile, Quon is also trying to find the culprit.
While interesting, the story never really coalesces into anything great. I enjoyed the detective aspects, but they were short lived and never fully realized due to the shortness of the episode, and the director's need to showcase as many of the characters as possible. I believe the main problem holding this show back is the extensive cast of characters - there are simply too many to focus on, and the show seems to want to develop most of them at the same time. Most scenes are short and cut to another character before much happens. This has an effect of keeping every character fresh in our minds, but little else.
Despite a general lack of character development, the new flower Attractor introduced does manage to come across well throughout the episode. His struggle, represented metaphorically by the struggle that flowers face living in a world dominated by humans, is the struggle of all the Attractors at large, and drives across the point that societal outcasts have a hard time, and can lose all hope and even themselves in the face of a cruel and uncaring world.
Even though this show doesn't carry the heavy maturity of other shows, Towa no Quon 2 is a darker and heavier adventure than the first episode. The murder scenes are actually rather brutal, and we are presented with the sad reality with which our hero Quon must grapple - he cannot save everyone, and every time he fails, it means that another life is lost forever, regardless of whether that person was 'good' or not.
The animation and sound remain top notch, with a lot of very beautiful scenes involving flowers. The fight scenes in this episode aren't as thrilling as the last outing, but the final fight is physically much larger in scale and the flower Attractor is extremely good looking in full bloom. In place of Quon/Insania performing any fancy moves or defeating the enemy, the episode chooses to focus his fighting on revealing more of his powers, and hinting more at an unpleasant past.
This episode aims to present us a tragic view of the world, and in that aspect it succeeds. We are able to gain a deeper sense for the life-or-death struggles the Attractors face. Unfortunately in terms of character development we don't see anything deep - the detective work done by the cyborgs feels pleasant or interesting but not meaningful. We are given something with Quon, and another main character Kiri keeps developing her powers and struggles to control them, but it all feels like just a taste - a bare minimum.
Even with all that said, I believe the episode was approximately as good as the first, and will not disappoint those who enjoyed the first episode, except somewhat in the action department. However, it is still promising enough to continue to the sequel.