1000https://media.comicbook.com/2020/04/towerofgodanime12173051280x0.jpeg Start placing your bets cause Tower of God ToG could very well be the most important hallmark in our anime landscape this decade although the 2020s have only just begun. For those of you who dont know ToG is a Korean webcomic that got its start on WebToon an accessible online platform that allows individual creators to share their works for free and cultivate consistent readership without interference from publishers. In 2019 Crunchyroll announced that they would be collaborating with WebToon to develop content from the websites growing catalogue. ToG is the first product from that partnership and with it comes a whole realm of possibilities. Not only is ToG arguably the biggest Korean IP to receive an anime adaptation but it also marks the beginning of what could be a new era of anime. Thousands of stories from individual artists can now be brought to our attention further down the line in both webcomic and animated forms. Furthermore ToG giving Webtoon more mainstream exposure will definitely encourage more people to contribute their stories with the world. ToG is undoubtedly a gamechanger and the hype surrounding it has been astronomical. Popularity aside however one pressing question remains: Is the show any good? I havent seen SIUs original comic and came into the show blind apologies for being an animeonly normie. Alas this will be a mostly spoilerfree newcomers perspective on this show. Check out my TlDr further below if youre short on time. Now lets find out how well ToG measures up to the massive expectations on its shoulders. 1000https://media3.giphy.com/media/dBCVNNZalCj9J6DEOS/giphy.gif For what do you risk your life to climb the Tower? For our protagonist Bam his goal is to reunite with his close companion Rachel. With little explanation as to why shes embarking on such a mysterious quest Rachel leaves him vanishing into the unknown. Suddenly Bam is also offered the chance to enter the titular Tower and take part in series of trials with the promise of incredible power should he make it to the very top. He agrees and sets off to reunite with Rachel not knowing what lies ahead on his journey. As the story progresses he is pit against various competitors who are all vying for the prize at the top of the Tower. These individuals known as Regulars grew up in a society governed by the rules of the Tower some have dedicated their entire lives to successfully completing this arduous challenge. While the many tests are conducted the show shines light on how these characters lives have been hardened and conditioned to outlast the competition showcasing their upbringing and circumstances surrounding their inclusion in the games. Expect some highoctane action and plenty of bigbrain strategical plays at every turn as the obstacles are specially designed to put our casts might and intellect to the ultimate test. 1000https://media0.giphy.com/media/KCkgKzcDcFSu01DFY6/giphy.gif Right out of the gate ToG gets plenty of things right in its freshman season. In my opinion the one aspect ToG absolutely nails is its soundtrack my GOD its amazing Kevin Penkin brings his Agame to the show with several bangers that ratchet the tension up to 11. The soundtrack has everything from choral arrangements reminiscent of his work in Made in Abyss to tense electronic beats. Im no music expert but I really cant help but gush over how exceptional this soundtrack is it absolutely elevates the shows big moments and is easily my favorite offering from the show. Thats not to say that ToG doesnt have anything else worth praising far from it The world introduced is fascinating and makes you feel like the shows 13 episodes are merely scratching the surface. We see this realm through the eyes of the Regulars with glimpses into their lives before they stepped in the Tower. Were constantly teased the backstories of these characters learn how they came into the game and see how their past experiences manifest themselves in their beliefs and actions. We as the audience never step outside the confines of the Tower and thus can only grasp the concept of the surrounding environment through the lens of the Regulars. The plot sometimes necessitates clunky exposition to breeze through material but for the most part I like this approach to worldbuilding here. Seeing the world the way the Regulars do endears us to them while keeping the outside world shrouded in mystery. The many cast members also keep the games feeling fresh as their various strategies and incredibly powerful abilities come into play. It seems like the author was aware that these competitors were a vital component to the storys success as the tests introduced are written to complement them. What I mean is that some of the more exciting games grant the competitors plenty of room to figure out their own solutions. This high power balance coupled with the casts outofthebox approach to problem solving gives each test an unpredictable momentum and keeps the experience enjoyable from weektoweek. Now although ToG has plenty of things going right for it there are a few issues that Id like to bring to light here. Granted these shortcomings may be attributed to either the short series length or SIUs relative inexperience as a writer when these initial chapters were released. I figured these circumstances could affect the overall experience and tempered my expectations accordingly going into the series. I want to preface this section by letting you know that Im not sure whether or not my preconceptions are accurate or if the following criticisms apply to the rest of the webcomic. I am simply sharing my takeaways based solely on the anime so make of this what you will. With that lets begin. 1000https://lostinanime.com/wpcontent/uploads/2020/05/KaminoTou1014thumbthumb.jpg As mentioned prior one of the strengths of the show lies in its cast. Khun Endorsi Anak Shibisu and Rak are bound to be fanfavorites and other Regulars have strong moments as well. Unfortunately I cant say the same of our Irregulars Bam and Rachel at least in this stage of the story. Theres no easy way to say this but Bam is a paperthin audience surrogate and the worst element in ToG. The world of the Tower is just as alien to us as it is to Bam so it makes sense that he is the focal point of our story. However when lined up against his peers Bam feels underwritten with every fiber of his being seemingly built solely around Rachel Thats a WHOLE other story check it out in the spoilerfilled Stray Ramblings section. He represents a couple of problems in the narrative and is typically framed in contrast to his Regular counterparts to balance things out for better or for worse. You like interesting and charismatic characters that actually get involved in the games? Bams bland and mostly just sits back while the others participate in the challenges. Throughout the series I never learn a single thing about Bam that isnt related to his friends or Rachel hes a blank slate in every sense of the word. What annoys me the most however is how OP he can get. Due to the competitive nature of our story and the need for our main character to yknow survive hes a magnet for plot contrivances and is constantly buffed with little explanation. Rey Skywalker may be the new Mary Sue but Bam looks set to take over her throne soon. He may have been completely unfamiliar with the magic systems in place yet his power scaling is borderline ridiculous and puts other Regulars to shame. With his bland personality and effortless wandering through the narrative ToG gives me a hard time rooting for its lead. With all that being said the later arcs do attempt to coursecorrect by giving him a little more agency within the narrative. Further addressing this problem in future instalments by adding more personal conflict and developing his character growth would go a long way to justifying why us fans should cheer Bam on. 1000https://boundingintocomics.com/wpcontent/uploads/2020/05/2020.05.2011.20boundingintocomics5ec5bb273a597.png Another aspect that could use some fixing is the writing as its pretty inconsistent at times. ToG does take time to slow down and set up some really clever sequences but occasionally expects the audience to accept certain moments happening without adequate explanation. In one instance the show very nearly conveys the WRONG information which I only realised after a manhwa reader pointed it out. The tests are also worth bringing up as most of them feel rather inconsequential. A couple of these games amount to rudimentary tasks which is made all the more boring cause Bam is OP and only exist for the show to provide exposition. Meanwhile two of the shows biggest arcs end on slightlysour notes making the incredible buildup behind it fall a little flat. My guess as to why these writing problems persist is that 13 episodes just werent a whole lot for the show to work with. ToG manages its pacing well but cuts a few corners so that all the big story moments to land. Speaking of large moments I think its time to talk about the art and animation and how they factor into the shows setpieces. ToG looks really rough around the edges to the disappointment of the comics fans. Im not the one to tell you whether or not it was a deliberate artistic direction but ToG has a tough time meeting art standards set by other anime in recent years. Personally I dont think its too much of an issue but if your mind is still reeling from the sakuga in Demon Slayer youll want to take note of this. ToGs action sequences still feel fresh thanks to that fantastic score and director Takashi Sano does the best with what hes given with some good shot compostition. I certainly cant fault the show for trying to polish its presentation but there is room for improvement. 1000https://lostinanime.com/wpcontent/uploads/2020/04/KaminoTou02451280x800.jpg TlDr: Tower of God has the makings of something truly special. ToG has given me several reasons to stay invested longterm delivering a strong cast of characters and countless creative ideas alongside its solid premise. A masterful soundtrack by Kevin Penkin enhances the experience and is a stellar highlight. At its peak ToG brings out some of tensest action setpieces all season. However this show looks like one still finding its feet a disappointing main protagonist inconsistent writing and subpar art present issues that need resolving ASAP. ToGs short episode length also needs to be taken in account because a lot of relevant material seems to have been left on the cutting floor as a result. Compared to its webcomic counterpart I can only wonder whether or not this story got the adaptation it deserved. But from Ive seen so far this show is glowing with promise and Im intrigued to find out what new tales might come our way in the near future. 6/10 STRAY RAMBLINGS SPOILERS: Okay so I dont know if Im just too stupid to keep up with the plot or not but something weird happened while I was watching Episode 10. Several of my friends came out just as confused by this as I was so heres hoping that Im not alone in missing out this key detail. Seen some hatefilled comments aimed at Takashi Sano that I dont think is warranted at all. Hes an experienced staff member with credentials in storyboarding and key animation. His roles in Megalo Box and Vinland Saga demonstrate the importance of his talents in visual storytelling. You still see creative and impactful flourishes throughout the show although the poor production values cant deliver those scenes at their fullest potential. As for the many unnecessary changes made to the original story studio execs in charge of the anime likely forced him to adapt way too many chapters in a short span of time while throwing in some other nonsense they thought us zoomers would like. The poor guys hands were tied and I seriously doubt that he ever intended to derail the project. Please dont send hate his way. The VA cast sound distinct and are mostly great. I actually think the dub is worth checking out mostly for the sweet reprieve of not hearing Japanese Bams tiresome voice on a weekly basis. I wont go as far as to say that Sayori Hayami phones in her performance but she doesnt get a lot to work with. All is forgiven though cause we get Takuya Eguchi as Shibisu. Its nice to hear Hachimans voice this season especially after Oregairu got postponed : Hats off to Stray Kids for recording the songs for the OP ED in three languages: Japanese English and their native Korean I am glad to report that all three iterations of TOP are certified bangers. Stray Kids I think what you guys did was really cool and pray a kind soul finds yall a loving home soon. To heck with the 13 Month Series Khuns briefcase is the most broken weapon that weve seen so far. Its such an interesting take on a Bag of Holding the trope where a bag is implausibly larger on the inside than what it should be. Seeing the briefcase make countless copies of objects fits Khuns conniving nature to a tee. I hope they never explain away how the damn thing works its way too fun BEST GIRL: Endorsi Jahad Princess of Jahad is my Queen. We have a close runnerup in Lauroe for being me and everyone else during Covid lockdown encased in a blanket 24/7. 500https://i1.wp.com/doublesama.com/wpcontent/uploads/2020/05/TowerofGodEpisode72.jpg?w=640 WORST GIRL: Rachel. As a woke Nayvadius Future Wilburn once said: 300https://media.tenor.com/images/e7f58c33b832cd850c78b6864309e6f2/tenor.gif Lockdown does weird things to people so I guess I blog now Thanks so much for making it this far. If you happen to like my verbose overanalysis come check out the other reviews Im putting out this season. Also feel free to leave any feedback for me Im still trying to figure a lot of this stuff out. Stay safe see you in the next one peace 1000https://www.gudstory.com/wpcontent/uploads/2020/06/KaminoTouTowerofGodEpisode11ReleaseDate.jpg
60 /100
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