Tower of God is a South Korean web manhwa written and drawn by Lee Jong-hui. Lee goes by the pen name S.I.U. (“Slave In Utero”). As of February 2020, Tower of God has been viewed over 4 billion times worldwide. Serialized by Naver Webtoon since June 30, 2010, the series has produced over 400 chapters. On April 1st, 2020, the Tower of God anime adaptation was released (episode 4 was the most current). The story centers around Twenty-Fifth Bam. Trapped with his friend Rachel underneath the mysterious Tower, he follows her into the Tower. Bam encounters challenges on each floor of the Tower as he searches for Rachel.
Generally, I only read Japanese manga and American comics so I can’t comment on too much on manhwa. For those who may not know, manhwa is the Korean term for comics, it was popularized back in the 1920s. Manhwa was influenced by manga. Manhwa artists and writers are called manhwaga. With the digital manhwa gaining popularity, webtoons have increased in popularity. Webtoons originated in South Korea, each episode is published in one long vertical strip, they are mostly in color, and may feature music or animation.
Is Tower of God Good though?
Based on reading only two chapters 475 and 476, I’m not sure. First I don’t like the art style, I’ve seen worst but it’s not very impressive to me. The coloring isn’t great and I don’t like the vertical panels. Since manhwa separates them it makes each panel feel disjointed. It’s really hard to follow the action that way. Admittedly, I’m an art and animation snob. However, the art style doesn’t mean the story is poor. This is where I the most ignorant. Glancing at two random chapters does nothing to tell me about the quality of the story.
As I mentioned the anime adaptation of Tower of God was released at the beginning of this month, having released 4 episodes. When I first watched episode 1, I was underwhelmed. I didn’t think anything was bad, just mediocre. While on twitter I saw some animation from the fourth episode and thought I should rewatch the series. I’m glad I did. Tower of God gets better after the first episode. It doesn’t recreate the mold, at least not yet, but is interesting regardless. So far Bam, the main character, isn’t all that interesting, Rak is the typical mindless fighter type. Khun, on the other hand, is more complex.
Should I watch the Tower of God anime?
I would highly recommend the anime over the manhwa. The animation style might take some getting used to but it’s consistent and fluid. I like the character designs and the action is good. The worldbuilding so far is intriguing. What are the 13 Month Series? What was the betrayal that caused Khun to be abandoned by his family? Why does Bam have no memory? Is Rachel as terrible as she seems? Right now I can only say the Tower of God is good, with the potential to be great.
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