First Look: Tower of God

Alternative title(s): Kami no Tou
Manga Adaptation by Telecom Animation Film
Streaming on Crunchyroll

Premise

A boy called Bam (Yoru?) has spent nearly all his life beneath a huge tower, with only his friend and rescuer, Rachel (Rahel?), by his side. When Rachel/Rahel decides she wants to climb to the top of the tower and disappears, Bam/Yoru manages to follow her inside, where he is faced with a number of deadly challenges at each level on his quest to find her again.

Artemis’ verdict: Tower of Confusion

In watching this episode, you will most likely be faced with certain questions. Questions like “what is this?”, “why is this?”, and “is there any reason why I should care?” Look, I’m not saying it’s a bad thing for a show to keep a few cards up its sleeves, and for a mystery show, I’d expect no less. Even so, I’d say something’s gone pretty wrong when the first episode is so messy as to come across as pointlessly convoluted despite having a premise you can easily summarize in 1-2 sentences. The prospect of getting to know the characters better along the way doesn’t exactly thrill me, either. There’s Rachel/Rahel, who we know next to nothing about except that she rescued Bam/Yoru from… amnesia, maybe, when he was younger. There’s Bam/Yoru himself, who would literally die for Rachel/Rahel at any given moment and apparently has a “cute face”. There are also a bunch of other characters who may or may not get killed off within the next few minutes, and who may or may not be of any importance whatsoever to the plot even if they aren’t. Once again – no idea, don’t know if I’m supposed to care or why I should either way.

By far the more interesting aspect of this series is the production. There seem to be two distinct art styles going on, and it keeps switching from loose and sketch-like to a more anime-conventional but nicely fluid look. I can definitely appreciate both, although I wish the show had stuck to just one of them, because while interesting to physically watch, I find the inconsistency quite distracting. The music, on the other hand, is excellent and I’m ready to sign up for more of it immediately. Possibly for that reason alone, I’m willing to give this show one more episode to see if what it has hidden up its sleeve is some actual substance, or just more confusion.

Jel’s verdict: Weak Foundation

I try to judge every anime on its own merits but context is pretty much the only reason I was interested in Tower of God. It’s the first new show to fall under Crunchyroll’s “Originals” branding and taps into source material (Korean Webtoons) outside the usual Japanese manga and light novels we’re used to. Maybe this shift in production and culture would produce something new and interesting?

Nope. This just seems like a shallow action show with some lame, blank faced protagonist chasing after a mysterious girl. Seriously, watching this kid gaze wide eyed into the camera every other shot felt like nails on a chalkboard to me, not to mention the whole magic sword choosing him thing that’s we’ve seen a billion times over and over. Nothing that happened was worth getting excited about.

If I can give any praise the stylized art is kind of neat to look at, although I’m hesitant to say it’s actually good. Some shots were really well animated, others not so much. Beyond than that, I’m not impressed with this first episode.

Iro’s verdict: I Still Don’t Get It

Upon seeing the fanbase’s vocal excitement for this adaptation, I read through the first “season” of the original Tower of God webtoon to see for myself why scores of people proclaim it to be the best comic of all time. I cannot fathom why they think this, because I personally found Tower of God to be disjointed, inconsistent, and often outright dull. So far, the anime seems to be a faithful adaptation.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.