Towa no Quon 3 is definitely the strongest of the episodes thus far. Set mostly in a sub-sconscious/dream world, this installment focuses on the traumatic pasts of the main Attractor (superhuman good guys) Quon and the main antagonist cyborg Kazami. It sets up a very emotional stage that allows the viewer to understand the motivations behind both young men as they struggle against each other, showing how their own misjudgements about each other differ from reality. (They both had assumed the other emotionless or without humanity, but at least Quon is able to understand Kazami's past)
As I've been watching these mini-movies, I've been wondering how
the creators of the anime were attempting to handle show continuity versus making each movie stand alone on its own merits. I feel that this balancing act plays into how they showcase character development as well as the pacing of each episode. It would certainly be possible for someone new to come into the series at any point thus far and not lose too much by means of explanation. The only overarching plot so far is that the evil organization Custos is trying to study/eradicate the superhuman Attractors, who are merely trying to live their lives in a world they don't really belong. I don't mind the lack of any complex or continuing plot, but some may find sticking with this series difficult if they aren't drawn to it for the characters or the animation.
Like the previous installment, this outing focuses on a theme (dreams) and how they can be used to revisit past trauma in an emotionally revealing way. Even though the cyborg Kazami is on the wrong side, he is consistently set up as a sympathetic character to show that people can do evil things even though they believe they are acting righteously. But no matter which side a person is on, the existence of Attractors and their powers has affected everyone in the story, changing their lives irreversibly. The show therefore makes it understandable how some can want to eradicate them while others can fight endlessly to protect them.
The animation in this episode had me polarized. It might just be because I'm paying closer attention to the details, but the animation in the first 2/3rd of the episode felt very lackluster - generally the only thing moving in any of the scenes was a character's mouth, and the backgrounds were mundane (except, of course, for the superb Custos HQ, with its cyberpunk feel and random green text on computer screens). This is more than made up for later, however, in the dream sequences in the last third of the show. The scenery is much more attractive and detailed, and in many scenes very different animation technique are used to show the strangeness of a dream and to very much highlight the horror of past traumatic events. It works excellently well, and the music adds a layer of awe to it that makes it quite a thrilling experience.
The brutality of the nightmare sequences somewhat make up for the lack of fighting in the rest of the episode, but it's clear the focus here is more on drama than action. While I wouldn't say the series is shying away from action, I do believe it might attempt to steer it almost completely towards dramatic action, as Quon takes more and more punishment in battle physically (and this time psychologically). The situation definitely feels like it will intensify, and fans of the first two shows should definitely find a lot to like here as well.
(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.