Towanoquon Movie 1: The Ephemeral Petals

Alt title: Towa no Quon 1 Movie: Utakata no Kaben

Movie (1 ep x 47 min)
3.793 out of 5 from 2,994 votes
Rank #2,201
Towanoquon Movie 1: The Ephemeral Petals

In a futuristic Tokyo, humans who have awakened distinct powers are being hunted by a secret organization named Kestos. Denominated as Attracters, these exceptional individuals are joining forces to defend themselves.

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I looked at reviews and watched a clip online before buying. The reviews were either glowing with no gripes (which isn't the best indicator of real quality), or the gripes that were voiced had to do with the storyline being borrowed from X-Men, which I was sure I could get past (or so I thought).***PROS***ANIMATIONVery fluid, like they had a feature-film budget. The opening scene is mind-blowing. (This was the clip I came across on the net and bought the series with the quickness after viewing.) The fighting choreography is fast-paced and inventive. The powers the characters possess are not original by any means, but the choreography employs them in a graceful and effective way.MUSICWhile not abundant in variety, the music is powerful and driving. It helps the show reach for epic.That is all.***CONS***STORYIt's X-Men. There are kids with special abilities. The mean old authorities have it out for them. The main character owns a secret refuge where they can learn to control their powers and dodge prejudice. The episodes are only six in number, but each is longer than the norm. As a result, the narrative drags to a crawl. The storyline is two-dimensional and for kids. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but if this is for children, then why the stellar animation and blood? Blood and gore are abundant, but the adult nature of the action seems out of place for a story that is open and shut, basic.CHARACTERSThese characters are pieced together from successful animes and formulas, and delivered unsuccessfully. *SPOILER - BUT NOT REALLY* When a cool bad guy with white hair and an attitude shows up, you know he's going to be part of the good team (Vegeta/Green Ranger syndrome). The good guy (Quan) has a past: He was brutal, but now he's nice and wears a girl's hair band so, okay. He also can't be killed (ingenious) and takes tons of damage hoping the audience feels for him. He'll heal. Who cares? There's a cool girl who cares but doesn't let people get too close. There's a kid with a beanie who pretends everything is lame but has the biggest heart of all. All the other kids with abilities cry "They don't understand me!" while causing a ruckus until Quan shows up to say "We're in this together." Then they stop and smile. The finales are a jumble of fantastic action sequences and floating, nude characters touching fingers in a blinding limbo to attain POWER THAT CAN'T BE BEAT! I've seen it too much.In summation, this show has some noteworthy battles and beautiful animation, but the storyline demands patience while offering nothing new. I will say that kids haven't seen everything under the sun yet and might enjoy it. Fans of art, choreography, and animation quality are invited to watch it through once to admire some masters at work, but don't stay for the story; it falls victim to repetitive mediocrity fast. It just doesn't hold up well with all the good stuff out there, and that's a shame.


The last couple of years have spawned some anime series that ditched the usual 20-minuteepisode format in favor of longer episodes. ‘Break Blade’, ‘Kara no Kyokai’ and‘Katanagatari’ all released new installments that were (at least) double thelength of a typical anime episode up to and including feature length films.Upsides to this approach are that the production values tend to be much higherand that the longer format allows for more deliberate pacing. The downside isthat viewers who follow these series end up waiting a long time between therelease of new installments. ‘Towa no Quon’ (TnQ) is a superhero story as well as Studio Bones’ attempt to hop on the bandwagon. How is it? Not bad, actually. It opens with a tense sequence involving a shady organization chasing a young boy. Theirattempt at capture is swiftly interrupted by a strange figure who proceeds toengage them in a blistering and beautifully animated action sequence. Eventuallysaid figure manages to escape with the boy, and it’s from then that the storywell and truly starts up. The rest of the movie is basically what you’d expect from a first installment. It mostlyconcerns itself with establishing the major players, the setting and the mainconflict. It’s all handled well. Characters all fall under familiar archetypesbut not annoyingly so and the larger conflict has the potential for cooldevelopments. Kudos for introducing it all without too much spoon feeding of exposition.Which is something Bones has often tried to do though it’s  lead to incoherent messes like ‘Darker than Black’ and ‘Xamd’. The narrative in this, however, is simple andstraightforward so there’s no fear of getting lost, for now at least. By far the best thing about TnQ’s first episode is the excellent balance between all itselements. It manages to introduce all the important things while keeping thestory going. This is further enhanced by the fact that titular character Quonis already introduced as a skilled fighter from the very beginning. Thusavoiding typical clichés revolving around a hero who must come to grips withhis powers et cetera (this gets turned into a subplot). On the flipside, itavoids making Quon so powerful that he can effortlessly defeat any opponent. Hegets considerable injuries in most fights he’s in and he actually needs thehelp of his colorful ensemble of sidekicks. This makes it all the easier towarm up to the characters even though they’re yet to be fleshed out. The animation is great. Environments are well drawn and most of the characters havedistinctive designs rather than recycled models with slight alterations. Butmost of the effort went into creating the wonderful action sequences which,this being a superhero story and all, are sure to be the main draw of thisseries. They’re not just well-animated, however. They also manage to feelcompelling because of the way they’re written. It shuns dry 1-on-1 fights infavor of dynamic confrontations between groups of powerful characters with allsorts of abilities which they use in cool ways in order to get the upper hand.The director deserves props for showing these fights in such a way that theyfeel dynamic and hectic without making them chaotic. Once again, the balance isexcellent. It’s no exaggeration to say that the action sequences are some ofthe best since ‘Sword of the Stranger’. The music doesn’t particularly stand out even though it was composed by acclaimedcomposer Kenji Kawai. It’s competent but little more. Judging from the first episode Towa no Quon has the potential to make for a greataction series. The brisk pace, well built up tension and outstanding actioncertainly make it very promising. One can rightfully criticize the series forits liberal use of clichés and lack of depth but those hungry for somethingaction-packed should seriously consider giving this a try. The jury is stillout on whether or not the rest of the series will be good but this first movieis still well worth checking out.


A series consisting of 6, 45 minute, movies……isn't that just called a mini-series? Story - 5/10 Since everything is broken up into separate movies it's going to be pretty tough to rate them, as each only gives a bit of the story. For an introduction to the series, The Ephemeral Petal was pretty vague. We learned the basic concept of the "Attractors" but we've yet to learn what they really are, how they get their powers or what each individual's powers actually are. We also know about the group searching for them, CUSTOS, but again outside of the "Attractors" being dangerous, we don't know why or who these secret police really are. For a basic introduction things were still lacking, but it shows some promise. Animation - 8/10 First the good, the background scenery is some of the best I've every seen in Anime. They created such vibrant and intricate images for the handful of locations that were featured in the film. They also did an amazing job with the plant life, the scene with the Cherry blossom tree is gorgeous and a true work of art. As for the character's themselves, when there are closeups they look great. Sure most of the characters are generic looking, but they did a good job creating them. The big problem arises with scenes that are the real meat of an action anime, the action. Whenever they get into a battle scene the characters become terribly drawn and lose all detail. During one of the first scenes a character turns into a nearly faceless being, drawn with two uneven lines instead of the parts you’re supposed to have on your head. Also during some of the medium shots characters lose their proportions, as if they were drawn too tiny and had to be stretched to fit the scene. Also, while it's not such a big deal, there was a scene with a map of Tokyo in CUSTOS headquarters with Tokyo International Airport labeled as Tokyo International Import. I mean if you expect to take over the world (what else would these guys be doing?) you've got to get your spelling right first.  Sound - 3/10 The music in the first installment was predictable at best. It was the same generic battle music we've heard a hundred times before, and even then it was a very poor attempt at it. The worst part of all was the ending credits, where it sounded as if they gave a composer "Through the Night" from Outlaw Star and just told them to ruin it. The voices weren't terrible, but again they were nothing special. They didn't try to do anything new, each voice was exactly what you would expect, down to the whining annoyance that is Yuuma, one of our soon to be main characters. Characters - 4/10 Much like the sound in the series, our characters were extremely dull and predictable.  We learn next to nothing about them, outside of the girl who's story is so common and lazy (Amazing singer, witnesses parent's death, loses voice.) As for the other characters, we learn the powers of some, and are hinted at a friendship/rivalry between two of them, but that's about it. Overall - 5/10 A poor introduction that really doesn't make you want to come back for more. We can all kind of tell where this series is going, copied off a hit comic/movie franchise, but I have some hope that it veers off on another course. I'll keep watching for the great animation, if nothing else, but they need to start giving me an original and compelling story.

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