My very first telescope, a Tasco 11TR was a Towa make. It was the red tube 11TR from around 1993. Not a great mount as it did have some wiggles but the optics seemed fairly good to this first timer. I used that scope any night that it was clear for the first 6 months or so. I found nebulae, cluster, double stars and of course the planets. I thought it was the coolest thing I had ever bought. I was often in the backyard until 2AM or later in the mornings if it was a weekend. I was amazed at what I could see. Then I remember reading an article in Astronomy magazine that said if you upgrade the eyepieces in these department store or entry level telescopes, you will be surprised at how much of a difference it makes. So, I purchased a couple of Orion .965 Orthos and a Orion barlow that I saw in Orion's magazine. Once I got those it was like a veil had been lifted. Jupiter suddenly looked so much better than it did with the original eyepieces that came with the scope. It was amazing. Not to say that the images were bad with the original eyepieces, I was actually kind of happy with the scope as it was. But these new eyepieces just made it even better. Everything was brighter and more detailed.
So that was my first experience with a Towa and because it was my first scope, I will always remember it fondly. I am sure there are some bad samples out there but even so, you can still have a lot of fun with one, even if it doesn't have great optics. Some upgraded eyepieces can make a lot of difference.