Towa no Quon – 03 Review
Isn’t that exciting? If they don’t wake her up soon enough she will die of dreaming too long!
Towa no Quon 3: The Uncanny Q-Men And The Networked Brain
What happened so far: The first movie showed us a bunch of social misfits and do-gooders living in a giant garden together to bring about world peace fighting against a team of cyborgs led by a pompous asshole who always introduces himself saying “I’m an evil villain… Get Insania, you lazy bastards whose names I never remembered!”. Just as a reminder the poor guys running a giant entertainment park are the good guys and nobody knows that they are actually the Uncanny Q-Men – because the bad guys still fumble with adding one and one together. But what the first movie was really about was a mute girl starting to talk again because she hated talking but she still loved singing. So she starts singing and then talking… Mission accomplished, everyone thinks and the first movie ends. In the second movie people die and the Robocops actually try to do something besides catching Insania but again they are behind the action as the Q-Men stumble upon this sweet-smelling but whiny kid who talks to flowers. And the flowers tell him that they need love, human love. But as I laughed about this idiocy I realized that the kids at the Q-Men’s entertainment-park (which is also an orphanage) also laugh about him. Feeling satisfied with my wise insight I went on watching the stupid kid making an ass out of himself and getting targeted by the Robocop’s who also finally realize that this kid is a gardener – and the gardener is always the murderer. The Q-Men also arrive and stuff happens which leads to the death of the kid but not before he tells us once again that plants need love, human love. Before I started to question myself whether I really need to hug a tree in a park to help the environment I watched the third movie which has another kid with strange powers doing shit but I kinda forgot about him during the movie – because the movie did so as well. Yeah, the final twist was a head-scratching moment of “And there’s the kid from the first five minutes of this movie, remember him…?” and like the protagonists I think he was just a bystander who happened to become a plot-device. It’s not his fault! Seriously stop blaming him, I mean, it’s not even clear what exactly his power was supposed to be…
On a sunny afternoon Insania is (again) fighting against the Robocops because the Q-Men found another kid with mutant powers. One of the Robocops intervenes but one of the Q-Men protects the kid, a flash of light and the movie starts for real. Three people fall asleep because of whatever happened there: Tei, the Q-Man trying to protect the kid, the kid and the Robocop who as we see in the first minutes of the movie is (Big spoiler ahead!) a siscon. Now you may wonder how an emotionless robocop with shit for brains can be a siscon? Well, easy, he just happened to have a very moe little sister and she loves her brother – isn’t that cute? While I pondered why (again) an anime treats parents as stuff made out of air, invisible air that is, the scene changes to the Q-Men-Headquarter where Tei lies unconscious with a bad case of ‘having a nice dream’. Dreaming means frantic brain-activity and like your computer brains can overheat – take my word for it. Therefore they have to hope that Tei could open the Task-Manager in her Windows-run (it’s buggy and easy to hack into, so it’s Windows) brain to end her dream-session. Also the scientist at the Robocop’s headquarters finds the telepathic link connecting the sleeping robocop which stops him from wiping his brain/drive clean and installing Windows again. Because using that telepathic link he’s able to hack into Tei and find out where she’s located and with that where the Q-Men-Headquarters are. There their computer-dude realizes that someone tries to hack Tei using the telepathic link. So he gives Speedy Gonzalez a bunch of data-slates with copies of Tei’s brainwaves (so it’s actually a telepathic signal…). She runs around town distributing the data slates and therefore stopping the Robocops from finding Tei. The Beard-Guy is on his phone the whole time talking with the Q-Mens’ computer wizard always giving us, the audience, a specific update as to how many signals got eliminated by the Robocops and their lackeys (perhaps they wanted me to draw a diagram for them…).
While this happens Tei is playing the little sister for the Robocop who’s a siscon. Quon being an impatient dude enters the dream of the kid who’s also asleep (but nobody bothers to think about his role in the whole thing) by simply touching him. And no, I have no idea how exactly that makes sense when he isn’t a telepath. But Quon got special rights anyway. Back to the dream-world where things don’t get better with Quon entering since he just starts falling into his own dream-world reliving his past. Apparently Quon isn’t only a Q-Man but also Highlander because he lived in a time where people still ran around with foul-smelling teeth because toothpaste wasn’t invented yet. But Quon spent his days sleeping and every one of his flashbacks starts with him waking up yawning although it’s always day which makes me worry what kind of sleep-cycles this guy has. He has a little brother who like the little sister also tries very hard to be nice. Using his healing powers he even helps someone from The Village who has shit for brains meaning he’s superstitious enough to believe that Elvis Presley is an alien waiting for his comeback when people have forgotten that there were people singing even before the 80s. But then the whole goddamn flashback starts again from the beginning which made me think for a moment that everyone wanted to dream that Endless Eight was a good idea. But of course after a minute Quon realizes how boring the whole concept of repetition is and remembers that he has a mission. Despite that his flashback moves forward as things take a turn for the ugly when the guy who got healed comes back with an army to kill everyone. Quon isn’t there when everyone gets killed so he’s pissed off and kills them which is supposed to be tragic but it’s hard to cry for a bunch of idiots massacring a village because someone healed the wound of a stupid dude who just couldn’t put one foot in front of the other. That’s stupid! But since our world’s history also has people killing other people in the name of love, mercy and God I will move on to the other flashback-part of this movie which is Robocop’s past of having a little sister that he loved – until the day when she became a giant frog and killed their parents. Tough shit for Robocop definitely. But before that there’s a scene of Quon freeing himself from his past and freeing Tei as well as Robocop. And all three remember now the stupid kid from the beginning and Quon explains that it’s all the kids fault but being the nice guys Quon and Tei sweet-talk him into releasing them. But that’s then the moment when Robocop got his memory back that his little sister ended up being an ugly frog. And somehow because of that he ended up hating the Q-Men. Well, go figure how that makes sense.
So while Speedy Gonzalez runs around distributing the brain signal dummies she finally can’t go on due to exhaustion. That’s when the teleporting idiot comes to do… nothing but falling unconscious because of the teleport. Well done! That really helped her! So she drags him around and they get surrounded by soldiers. But then Insania appears out of nowhere defending them. The bad guys use their special weapons against him but they fail because well, they’ve never seen Highlander apparently. Otherwise they would know that you have to behead these Immortals so that they stay dead. So Insania saves the day again and everyone’s happy. The kid apologizes although it isn’t his fault and Quon believes he’s actually saving the world by helping everyone and inviting another massacre like his younger brother did with his charity. Only time will tell whether history will repeat itself – but if it does, well, then that would be really funny.
I really love the medieval times. Back then they actually could still mistook someone for a demon solely based on his looks. Stuff like that is always cause for a spirited discussion! I mean, when else would someone start his talk with a stranger by saying “Don’t eat me!”?
After an improvement in the second movie I had some hopes that the third movie would start to think about its juicy parts but in the end it was a rather meager offering story-wise. This movie’s story is so short-lived that at the end of it you’ll wonder “Did I really spend fifty minutes watching this?”. This movie doesn’t have to say much but it’s clear that it has set itself two tasks: exploring the past and showing an exciting race against the clock.
The first thing I noticed while watching this movie was how baffling its story is. It mixes Q-Men telepathy with Cyberpunky bio-hacking – I guess… Honestly it’s difficult to say what the logic behind the movie’s plot is. So one of the Robocops tries to attack one of the female Q-Men who has telepathic powers and a new kid with special powers yet unknown at the beginning and then it happens: All three fall into unconsciousness. And they dream. Not only that but because of the telepathic bond provided by the female Q-Man. So far I get what’s happening. But then the scientist of the cyber-cops says that the dreaming Robocop has a telepathic connection to the other two dreamers and he wants to trace it to its origin thereby discovering the enemy headquarters. That’s okay, too, but then the hacker-guy of the Q-Men starts treating the unconscious female Q-Man’s brainwaves as a sort of computer-thingy to which you can apply all sort of computer-hacking-popculture-logic. Like for example sending people out with ‘copies of her brainwaves’ in the form of USB-stick-like transmitters that are placed around town and the cybercops’ hacker has to go through all of them until he can find the original signal. Don’t ask me when tracing brainwaves became the same thing as tracing radio-channels. It sure isn’t Hard Science Fiction, I can tell you that.
The other half is Quon’s past and this one Robocop’s past and I’m disappointed how little time they spend on that. Judging from the preview I expected the flashbacks to take the centre of the stage in this movie but instead it got a secondary role although that stuff could’ve needed the time to flesh out the character’s background. But with the little time the movie gave the flashbacks it ended up being rather generic. Quon’s part basically described his brother apparently dooming his tribe of earls Stone-Age-Q-Men (or something like that) by showing his power to an ignorant dude from The Village. And it ends with guys from The Village burning down Quon’s village and killing everone – except him. He goes berserk and kills the whole army by himself. Yeah, really touching story, not that the movie puts any effort into making me care for the whole thing besides using an interesting art-style for the grim proceedings of people killing each other and Quon massacring everyone. The other past that got revealed in this movie is the Robocop’s past of having a cute moe little sister – who becomes a giant frog who kills their parents all the while pleading her older brother to help her. Well, another very touching story, there’s only one problem: Why would the Robocop end up hating the monsters in the absolute way he does in the present of this story? Details, it’s always the details where the Towa no Quon series starts falling apart.
Well, Quon surely isn’t the ideal of compassion he thinks he is saying this to the Robocop…
The plot of this episode feels very jarring in the way it tries to make everything seem like a race against the clock but the story never has a sense of urgency. The main-reason for that is the pacing which is really slow. But its slowness doesn’t show itself in how long things take to happen but in the way things happen which are announced to be dangerous… and then the same thing happens again. You know these “OMG, only ten seconds left, hurry up!”-moments in the last minutes of movie? Well, this movie has around seven of them. And to be precise it’s just people standing around throwing at you some numbers. It’s true for the whole movie except the flashback-parts that the dialogue loves to be full of banal bullshit. You know, it’s this kind of dialogue:
Science-Dude: “This happened which is strange because of this other thing.”
Boss-Man: “So considering this thing that happened this can only mean that. And we should do some stuff related to that.”
Science-Dude: “But if we do that stuff happens!”
Boss-Man: “I don’t care for that stuff. Do it anyway.”
Just replace this vagueness with some funky important-sounding words and you get a typical dialogue for this movie. The dialogue-style of this movie is the kind which believes it’s pondering about important things – when it’s not. And that leads to a lot of time-wasting blabla which is also getting repetitive when the dialogue itself realizes that it doesn’t have much to talk about. In its essence you could have told this movie’s story with a normal 20-minutes-episode. It wouldn’t have gotten better because of this, though, it would still be an average episode but stretching the story like that made it worse. There’s also a moment where Quon stuck in his memories relives one experience twice but instead of letting him realize it right away I saw the first minute of his flashback twice in this movie and in a movie that has such a jarring pacing to begin with such a repetition is simply fatal. I’m bored because nothing really happens in the present and now because of some magic-science-crap I have to rewatch the flashbacks? It didn’t really help the story which wasn’t very convincing in its plot-logic to also have such big issues with its pacing.
If you can overlook the issues of its logic and pacing the movie was a solid effort. It’s the kind of average and forgettable fun nobody will talk about in a few years. If you just sit down and shut your brain down watching this it’s acceptable entertainment but like I said it’s apparent that the story isn’t very well thought through. The story just got thrown into the room and the audience is told to deal with it. There’s no subtlety or some overarching issue to be found. It all seems like started but not finished story-wise. I mean, the first two movies did seem to focus on something environment-related but this third movie wanted to talk about Quon’s and the Robocop’s past but in the end it was secondary to a repetitive and boring duel of hackers (or something like that).
While it isn’t as stupid as the first movie or as hilariously stupid as the second one, it’s still obvious that Towa no Quon has a habit of basing its stories on really silly ideas. This time the problem is a simple case of forgetting to tell us what’s up and down if you take gravity away. Simply presuming that its story is sound the movie goes on establishing a weak repetitive race against time and two mildly interesting flashback-stories. Ultimately it’s not clear why this movie needed 50 minutes to tell such a meager story.