The End of the Beginning!
What’s the Story?
What do you desire? For Rachel it’s to see the stars from the very top of the tower. For Bam it’s to follow Rachel wherever she goes. Of course they are not the only ones who seek to climb the tower, for it is promised that at the top everything will be yours. Be it knowledge or power, you can have it all and become a literal god if you so wish it. That’s a hard thing to resist, even for the many varied and quirky inhabitants of the tower. However the way up the tower is no easy path, there are many challenges and tests along the way, as well as countless dangers. Only the lucky and the formidable will survive, but Bam is willing to brave it all for Rachel. Of course there’s also the question of whether Rachel wants Bam along in the first place…
This is, without question, my favourite anime of the past season. I know the pickings were a little slim, mostly due to the pandemic shutting down the majority of shows, but I’m confident that I’d be saying the same thing even if those other shows had aired. Heck, if this show had come out in any of the past few seasons I’d be saying the exact same thing (though it would have some more stiff competition). Tower of God is exactly the kind of fantasy that I love, creatively unusual, grand in scope and packed to the brim with intriguing concepts. My brain is bubbling over with theories and questions, so much so that it’s in literal agony to know the answers and I both love and hate that feeling (is that weird?). Genuinely my brain is having a wrestling match with itself trying to decide between jumping straight into the webtoon to find out what happens next, or whether I torture myself and wait for season 2 (There had better be a season 2 otherwise someone’s getting a visit from a scary version of me!).
All I want to do is gush about this show, but at the same time I don’t want to over hype it too much. This is not the next One Piece, but it does have the potential to become it, or something like it at least (and for those that don’t know, I’m a massive One Piece fan so understand how big a compliment that is). I haven’t read the webtoon, yet, but I can already tell that this show has the making of a grand, sprawling epic that is meticulously planned. Having said that, these first thirteen episodes are very much the prologue to that epic and while thirteen episodes might be a bit much for a prologue it also feels necessary. I can see breadcrumbs being laid down, the foundations set for character development to come, all the while delivering an engaging and fun story to keep us entertained in the meantime. There’s very much the sense that we’re just scratching the surface here with the characters and the world, especially with the likes of Bam and Rachel.
Let’s talk about Bam and Rachel for a second. Admittedly I have no idea where their characters are actually headed in the grand scheme of things, but the ending of this first season (please be just the first, please!) does give a good indication of where they’re going, which is something I can’t wait to see. Again there’s that feeling of barely scratching the surface with these two, we know hardly anything about them. Bam himself is an enigma wrapped in a mystery, oh sure he comes across as the naïve, optimistic special one, but we have no idea where he comes from or what exactly makes him so special. I mean he doesn’t either, but there’s so much we just don’t know yet. The one constant he has is his devotion to Rachel, which is entirely understandable. She is literally the first person he ever met, the only person he ever knew before coming to the tower. Of course he imprints on her like a baby chick. He’s like someone who’s been locked in a dark room all his life and then someone finally opens the door. His dedication to Rachel is unhealthy and he needs to learn to develop his own wants and ideals outside of Rachel, something I can see in his future character arc.
Honestly though Rachel may be the most interesting character for me at the moment. Again we actually know very little about her, like where she comes from or what makes her so obsessed with climbing the tower. I mean, we know why she wants to climb the tower, the real reason, but what lead her to think that way? Why does she have this obsession and where exactly is it going to take her now that we’ve seen how far she’s willing to go for it? Honestly it’s questions like that that I’m desperate to know the answer to most of all. I might even climb an impossible, reality-warping tower packed full of monsters and horrendous tests to find out the answers. I don’t want it to sound like we don’t learn anything about Rachel, or Bam for that matter, we get a good sense of their characters as they are now and they’re entertaining as they are now, I’m just really intrigued by where they’ve already been and, more importantly, where they’re going next. I haven’t even gotten into all the other fun and interesting characters of this series, because we have so much more than just Bam and Rachel. All the character have great designs and their personalities just shine, from the ones you love to hate, Paracule, to those I will worship forever, Endorsi, and even my second favourite, Khun. I don’t have room to discuss them all here, so I’ll save that for another time.
I also haven’t even talked about the visuals and the sound yet either. I love this series’ use of colour, every scene pops on the screen, even the ones that are in a dark and dingy locale. There’s a real spectrum of bold colours used throughout, really setting the mood of each scene, and when that’s paired up with the great character designs, well, this show is a feast for the eyes. Throw on top from good action, compelling drama and a soundtrack I can best describe as epic and you’re literally hitting all the right notes for me. Again, I don’t want to overhype, but I can’t help up gush at the same time. There’s so much potential with this show and I can’t help but feel we’re all in for a wild ride, which I am more than looking forward to.
In the end (or should that be the beginning?), Tower of God is a series bursting with potential. Thirteen episodes in and it feels like we’ve only just taken the first step, which may put some people off, but for me it’s the promise of a great adventure to come. With a world brimming with fun, interesting characters, mysteries around every corner and a presentation that looks, and sounds, this good? How could I not be excited? A lot of people compared this series to the Hunters Exam arc from Hunter X Hunter when it first started airing and that comparison holds up for me, and knowing how good that show got, I can’t wait to see what Tower of God does. We’re just taken the first step, but the tower is before us and I, for one, am more than willing to climb it.
Chris Joynson, aka the Infallible Fish, is a writer, blogger and lover of animation living in Sheffield. The blog updates every Friday or you can follow me on Twitter @ChrisGJoynson.