Anime

Tower of God Episode 13: Recap and Review

Headon returns in episode 13 of Tower of God.
Headon returns

In the final episode of the first season of Tower of God, we quickly learn that it was Bam, not Rachel that was chosen to climb the Tower. Despite not being chosen, Rachel begs for a chance to climb. However, when offered the test on the first floor, she considers it “cruel.” Rachel is resentful of Bam. She believes that he “gets everything.” Headon offers her another “special” test. If she “ends Bam’s story with her own hands,” then he will allow her to ascend the tower. She agrees.

However, Rachel hopes that someone else will kill Bam for her. She’s certain that she really can’t bring herself to do it. We learn that the Test Administrator colluded with Rachel. The Administrator sent a Navigator to give Hoh the note, pitting him against Rachel. Aware of this, Rachel chooses to allow herself to be stabbed. She assumes correctly that Bam would want her around all the time. This provider her with plenty of opportunities to kill him. Her jealousy permitted her to kill Bam after he became a big star among the participants. 

Rachel resumes her lies

Rachel and the Regulars pass

Rachel is released by the fish on dry land. Here she meets the remaining Regulars who want to know where Bam is. Rachel lies, telling them that his disappearance is due to the Bull. It’s a plausible lie and it works. The Regulars all pass but it’s bittersweet particularly for Rak and Khun. Remembering Bam’s commitment to Rachel the Regulars agree to help her climb the Tower on his behalf. Khun only joins them to undermine the rules of the Tower. Outraged at all cheating, Lero Ro quits and decides to climb the Tower himself. 

Of course, Bam is still alive. He’s encouraged by the Navigator to climb the Tower. She offers to train him. Bam agrees to climb to find the answers he seeks. I love this series but if Bam is still going to chase after Rachel like a puppy I’m going to be annoyed. I predict that next season, Rachel will get exposed by Khun. I don’t think she can hold up the lies for too long. One criticism I have of this series so far is that too many characters aren’t fleshed out. Overall, Tower of God exceeded my expectations. Hopefully, that will continue. 

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Misc

Is Tower of God Good?

Headon and Bam at the first test of the tower, in episode 1 of Tower of God.
Headon and Bam at the first test of the tower

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.