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Towanoquon: Complete Collection (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)

July 17, 2012 by  



An action-packed series with a heavy hitting storyline, beautiful animation and an immersive lossless soundtrack on Blu-ray, “Towanoquon: Complete Collection” is highly recommended!

Images courtesy of © 2012 BONES/TOWANOQUON Project. All Rights Reserved.

TITLE: Towanoquon: Complete Collection

SERIES AIR DATE: 2011

DURATION: (6-part film series) 300 Minutes

BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition, English and Japanese DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, Subtitles: English

RATED: TV 14 V

COMPANY: Showgate,  Sentai Filmworks

RELEASE DATE: June 26, 2012

Directed by Umanosuke Iida

Series Composition by Toshizo Nemoto

Music by Kenji Kawai

Character Design by Toshihiro Kawamoto

Art Diretor: Kuniaki Nemoto

Art Design by Iho Narita, Takashi Aoi

Sound Director: Kazuhiro Wakabayashi

Director of Photography: Toru Fukushi, Toshiya Kimura

Anime Production: BONES

Featuring the voices of:

Hiroshi Kamiya/Corey Hartzog as Quon Mitsuchi

Kaori Nazuka/Jessica Boone as Tei Ryūmonji

Ryoko Shiraishi/Monica Rial as Yuriko Akatsuki

Chiaki Omigawa/Hilary Haag as Miu

Jouji Nakata/Justin Doran as Cyborg Alpha/Kaidō

Kousuke Toriumi/David Matranga as Cyborg Epsilon/Shun Kazami

Mikako Komatsu/Ty Doran as Yūma

Minako Kotobuki/Shelley Calene-Black as Cyborg Delta/Hizuru Asuka

Miyu Irino/Karl Glusman as Takao

Saori Hayami/Emily Neves as Kiri

Shinichiro Miki/Andrew Love as Genji Kamishiro

Tatsuhisa Suzuki/Adam Gibbs as Ryō

Toru Ohkawa/David Wald as Seiji Kannazuki

Hiroki Shimowada as Towa

In the not-too-distant future, children are being born with special powers; marvelous and remarkable abilities. But what would seem like a wondrous gift turns out to be a dangerous curse. The world is now run by The Order, and these miraculous “deviants” are hunted down and killed.

Quon and his group of Attractors are out to rescue these children before The Order’s elite squad of ruthless cyborgs detect them. From their hideout beneath a popular amusement park, the Attractors use high tech gadgetry and their own remarkable abilities to save these children. They teach them to harness and control their powers to overthrow the very powers that seek to destroy them.

Intense action with every film, the “Towanoquon” six-film series is an exciting X-Men-like storyline from BONES.

Directed by Umanosuke Iida (“Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team”, “Hellsing”), written by Toshizo Nemoto (“Tokyo Majin”, “Getbackers”, “Chrome Shelled Regios”) and featuring music by world renown Kenji Kawai (“Eden of the East”, “Maison Ikkoku”, “Ranma 1/2”, “Mobil Suit Gundam 00”) are among the talented crew behind BONES sci-fi film series.

And now the film series will be released on Blu-ray and DVD courtesy of Sentai Filmworks.

Featuring 6 films that last around 55 minutes each, “Towa no Kwon” (named “Towanoquon” for the U.S. release) is set in Tokyo in the distant future.  Humans have awakened with special abilities, but a secret organization known as Custos are hunting them down. But to protect these individuals, a group known as the Attractors try to join forces with these people, protect and fight back against the Custos.

Led by a man who has lived for over a thousand years, Quon has the appearance of a teenager and the power of immortality.  But where most attractors have one ability, Quon has several and tries to use his power to do all he can to protect those who were born with special abilities and protect them.

And through their group of finding other humans and children, teaching them to hone their powers for good.

Quon is joined by the flirty Yuri (who has the ability of speed for 20 minutes), Kiri (special ability of healing or destroying powers by singing), Tei (the telepath), Miu (the power to communicate with animals), Takao (an unusual ability of teleportation, but each time he teleports,  the exchange of using his power leads to a major physical injury), Yuma (a young boy that can disintegrate things with his orbs) and Dr. Wakatsuki.

Meanwhile, hunting down the Attractors are Custos led by Commander Genji Kamishiro who wants to capture and kill them but for a mysterious reason.  Whenever a power fluctuation from an attractor is sensed, Genji sends his team of Cyborgs known as WTOC (Weaponed Terminator of Custos) to kill or capture them.

But just as the WTOC is there, so is Quon and his team to help defend them!

VIDEO:

“Towanoquon: Complete Collection” is presented in 1080p High Definition.  And because these are films, not a TV series or OVA, I came into watching these films with very high expectations from BONES.  And I’m glad to say, that BONES delivered!

Not only do you get the detailed backgrounds, vibrant colors but also wonderful character designs, awesome use of lighting and visual effects and great balance between CG and cel work. The Blu-ray features vibrant colors, black levels are nice and deep, shadowing is well-done and once again, wonderful detail when it comes to scenery, may it be city landscapes or lush environments.

“Towanoquon” is a wonderful accomplishment from BONES and awesome picture quality!  I didn’t notice any banding or any artifact issues during my viewing of the six films.

AUDIO:

“Towanoquon: Complete Collection” is presented in English and Japanese DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1.  And if I had one word to describe these films, the word would be immersive.  Because of the high level of action seen throughout each of the six films, your surround channels and subwoofer are put into use frequently.

Rarely do you hear anime soundtracks this immersive, so I was impressed.  This is one of the better sounding anime lossless soundtracks on Blu-ray and audiophiles should be pleased!

As for the voice acting, both Japanese and English soundtracks are well-done!  I watched the films with both soundtracks and they are well-acted.  If anything, it’s about preference and whichever version you decide on watching, just know that both are equally fantastic when it comes to voice acting and overall soundtrack!

Subtitles are featured in English.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Towanoquon: Complete Collection” comes with the following special features:

  • Audio Commentary – Episode 6 commentary featuring various time dedicated for the English voice dub actors to talk about their characters and being part of the “Towanoquon” which include ADR director Steve Foster, Ty Doran (Yuma), Corey Hartzog (Quon), Elizabeth Bunch (Midori), Andrew Love (Kamishiro), David Matranga (Shun) and Emily Neves (Kiri).
  • Trailers – Sentai Filmwork trailers.

“Towanoquon” is an exciting, action-packed anime series that has many similarities to the Marvel Comics series “X-Men”.  With the storyline of humans being born with special abilities and being hunted, it does resemble the X-Men and the mutants (humans with special abilities) who are being targeted by the government and the Sentinels.

The first three films helps develop the storyline around the Accelerators vs. the Custos and how the Accelerators, or people born with their special abilities, are finding it difficult to deal with their powers and also dealing with their own kind who are very critical of their special abilities.  There are a lot of characters featured in the films, so the first three films focuses on developing the characters, showcasing their personalities and more.

But also how relations are among the accelerators and how difficult a life one lives with their ability.

For example, one episode features a boy who has the ability to talk to plants and can control them.  But he’s also bullied by other accelerators who think it’s stupid or don’t believe he can talk to plants.  And the bullying becomes so bad  that he loses it and wants to show people he can be dangerous and deadly.  But things unfortunately get out of hand.

And in the process, we see how Quon and the Accelerators grow their group but try to make sure people practice their special ability and have control over it.

By the fourth film, things start to get more intense as we get to learn more about Quon’s past.  Because he has lived for over a 1,000 years, we get to see how tragic of a life he had lived and why he is so determined to protecting other accelerators.

And then, there is another storyline that involves the character Shun Kazami.  A member of the WTOC and an antagonist in the early films.  But you also learn about his tragic past and what led him to the WTOC.  For Quon, he knows the pain that Shun has lived with and wants to embrace his ability and have him join the group, but because he’s from the other side, others are not as welcoming.

While the films are action-packed, violent and has its share of a growing body count, what I found entertaining about “Towano Quon” is its characters and how they engage in battle against the WTOC while trying to save other accelerators.  They are literally the hunted and odds are often against them.

The series also looks fantastic!  Featuring anime production by BONES, the character design and visual effects are fantastic.  The studio put a lot of time into making sure the special abilities of the characters are well-featured and lighting effects look amazing. The art backgrounds are gorgeous and full of detail. On Blu-ray, the films look vibrant, full of colors that really pop and a good blend with cel animation and CG.And the lossless soundtrack is equally impressive with LFE and the use of surrounds during those many action sequences to make “Towanoquon” quite immersive!  I do wish there were more special features aside from the one single commentary but at least a special feature was included.

While the storyline is nothing new and fans who grew up reading or watching “X-Men” will find many similarities between the the well-known Marvel series and “Towanoquon”, the main difference would be cultural sensibilities.  Because Quon has pretty much grown up during traditional Japanese times and his immortal status has taken him to Japan of the future, there is a good blend of traditional Japan and futuristic Japan featured throughout these episodes.

The characters and their abilities are well-presented and thanks to the visual effects, lighting effects and beautiful animation and background art combined with an exciting storyline.

An action-packed series with a heavy hitting storyline, beautiful animation and an immersive lossless soundtrack on Blu-ray, “Towanoquon: Complete Collection” is highly recommended!

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