Towa No Quon Complete Collection Review

Before delving into the review for this release, it seems pertinent to touch on the fact that this is the last work of the sadly departed Umanosuke Iida. From 1987 until his passing in 2010, Iida worked as the director on some of the most recognizable titles in the anime realm. Getting his start on the anime incarnation of Go Nagai's Devilman he then went on to direct Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team, Hellsing, Vandread and more recently Shangri-La and Towa No Quon

Set in the not too distant future, people are born with fantastic gifts, abilities that allow them to do anything from communicating with animals to teleportation. Unfortunately, the world is now run by The Order, a clandestine organisation that use another organisation, Custos, hunt down the gifted youngsters known as "Attracters". Armed with an assortment of deadly cyborgs, The Order track down and capture, or kill, Attracters but they have to get through Quon first.

Follow on after the jump for more!

Towa No Quon is a series of 6 feature films of around 45 minutes each including credits. Being a series of features brings with it one of the most important elements to making an impressive anime production, a sizable budget. From the very first scene, it is obvious that this series of films has been granted a fist full of cash. The first scene sees Quon in his Attracter form, Insania, battling a group of cyborgs and armed militants while trying to save a young Attractor who was on the verge of going rogue. This first scene is fantastic and sets the bar for all of the action sequences to come. The fight choreography is mind blowing and switches between showing faster than light, blurred fists of fury and more realistic body movements when performing acrobatics or taking a hit. 

The choreography wouldn't shine nearly so bright if it wasn't for the fantastic animation that only Studio Bones can deliver. Since their creation, they have become a shining beacon to which all other studios should be compared. The are renowned for their seamless blending of traditional and CGI animation and Towa no Quon is no exception. While the characters are, for the most part, traditionally animated, Bones use CGI to full effect in creating a futuristic version of Tokyo which is still immediately recognisable. From the lush green headquarters of the Attracters to fleeting shots of a river and cherry blossoms, Bones instantly create a world that, while not explored to its fullest, feels familiar and lived in.

Adding further to the above average production values is a brilliant score by Kenji Kawai who collaborated with Iida on a number of projects, including Devilman, while Iida was using the name Tsutomu Iida. Kawai has provided music for a number of the most memorable productions in recent history including Ghost in The Shell, Mobile Suit Gundam 00 and the Death Note and Gantz films. The score perfectly mirrors the on screen action while never threatening to overshadow the story or visuals with its epic orchestral onslaught. Kawai is a master in his field, and the score for Towa No Quon is evidence of this fact.

If there is one negative aspect to this series, it is the fact that The Order is never truly explored or explained. While we are made almost fully aware of Custos and its inner workings although we are never quite told who is pulling the strings.and why. This is only a minor qualm and, if looked at from the perspective of a film maker, may have slowed down the action too much and disrupted the story beats.

Towa No Quon is one of the most engrossing and visually impressive releases of the year which, while embracing aethetics and character designs that are reminiscent of the likes of Guyver and Ultraman, is fresh and exciting. While the passing of Iida is a massive loss to the anime community, solace can be taken in the fact that such a fine example of anime will be his curtain call.

Towa No Quon Complete Collection is available on DVD from Madman now!

Popular posts from this blog

Home Again review

Interview - The Deep creators, Tom Taylor & James Brouwer