To say that Twilight Q is different from your usual anime would be an understatement. I don’t think anyone could have expected what was shown here. Basically, two great names in anime, Tomomi Mochizuki (Kimagure Orange Road, Here is Greenwood, Ocean Waves, Seraphim Call, Yokohama Kaidasi Kikou ~Quiet Country Cafe and many, many more; he’s also the one who’s going to be directing Porfy’s Long Journey) and Mamoru Oshii (Patlabor I and II, Ghost in the Shell, Angel’s Egg) came together and both produced a 30-minute long mystery-story. And what mystery it is!
Tomomi Mochizuki is up first, and he comes up with something that starts out as your typical high-school romance, but then turns into something very different. Don’t expect to get answers about everything, and some events may feel a tad too coincidental, but overall the non-linear direction and timeline works out really well in the end.
Then it’s Oshii Mamoru’s turn, and this is where Twilight Q really sets itself apart. Remember Patlabor II? Basically, take out all the action and politics, and the result is the second episode. The entire episode (30 minutes!) is just one huge complicated monologue about a mysterious occurrence that has something to do with a strange girl and her father. I must say that Oshii Mamoru is another one of these directors with his own, distinctive style of complex dialogues and gritty settings, but for me it works out really well.
Unfortunately, it seems that when Twilight Q was originally made, there were plans to include even more episodes, but these episodes never came. It’s a real shame, because the concept screams potential. As a mystery-fan, I just loved the storytelling for both episodes. The characters unfortunately had to be sacrificed, though (they’re not as likable and well-developed as I would have liked; even taking into account the short airtime). Still, Twilight Q is a nice recommendation for if you’re looking for something different.