Crunchyroll is no stranger to driving original content in the anime community. The newest title to fill its slate is a webtoon from South Korea titled “Tower Of God”. Starting early in 2020, Crunchyroll Originals began filling up the winter and spring season lineups. With over 60 co-productions under its belt prior to the launch of Crunchyroll Originals, the wide-ranging genre’s of these new originals is pretty staggering.
Webtoons are digital comics and gained wide popularity in the west resulting in official English translations and now anime adaptations of some of those comics. Fans of the Tower Of God webtoon were excited to hear that the series was going to get an anime adaptation of the story. But they were also concerned about how it would be treated. Having never read the webtoon myself, this recommendation in our review comes from having only watched the first 5 episodes of the new anime.
Crunchyroll also just started dubbing the series, with a killer line up of talent voicing the large cast. You can see more details on the cast line up for the dub here.
Why do we recommend it? The unique style of animation, interesting and large character roster, and a story that fills the hole in my anime viewing line up left by the end of the Hunter x Hunter anime. Kun and Bam bring back memories of the first time Killua and Gon met and I just can’t stop tuning in to see how things progress. So you want to learn a little more about Tower Of God?
First, let’s start with the extended trailer for the new series.
So what is Tower of God all about?
Based on the comic series “Tower of God” created by SIU and published by WEBTOON, this dark fantasy action series centers on the journey of a young man as he battles his way through the mysterious Tower, building friendships, discovering the rules that govern this tower, and facing unimaginable terrors, as he strives to find the only friend he’s ever known.
The writers don’t give us a lot to work with from the first episode. You are tossed directly into the story with the expectation of understanding the world. While that may be annoying to some, it does leave you to pay close attention to each little detail as we walk through the first few episodes. Each one revealing something bigger about the world we are now in. One thing is for sure after watching the first 5 episodes; The world we are about to embark our journey into is big and complex.
Power, wealth, knowledge, all of it is available to anyone who can climb the tower.
Right from the start, we are introduced to Bam, our protagonist, and Rachel the girl that is Bam’s world. We see that Bam is all but helpless without her. He has no memory of his past except for when he met Rachel and she taught him a lot of things, including about stars. He wants to see the stars with her and decides he will climb the tower to find her after she abandons him without a reason.
Through sheer dumb luck, the black march, and a cute face (at least according to several other characters), he manages to find himself climbing the tower. Along the way, he gets 2 companions who tag along with him. One named Rak Wraithraiser, who after seeing Bam’s sword, wants to fight him so he can become stronger. His nickname for Bam is “black turtle”. He resembles a gator that can talk and walk on two legs which the third person of this 3 man team never stops teasing him about.
The other Khun Aguero Agnis is a young man who came from a privileged family who was shut out of the selection for becoming one of Zahard’s princesses after his older sister failed to be selected. This failure and his family seem to be fairly well known among the rankers and test administrators who don’t let him forget it. He is a cunning person who is always thinking 3 steps ahead of whats going on. But as he has learned from at least one of the tests, his distrust of everyone could be his downfall.
The dynamic between the battle-hungry Rak, cunning Khun and naïveté of Bam makes for an interesting and fun group of characters. But there is a moment when Bam releases the first flash of anger we have ever seen from him and let’s just say he isn’t the innocent boy we think he is.
Opening and Closing music by Stray Kids
Stray Kids was brought in to do the opening and closing songs for the first season of the anime. One of the first things that stuck out to me was the opening video doesn’t spoil ANYTHING from the story so far (or at least nothing obvious to the casual viewer). So many times in anime the opening sequence can be paused and reviewed to find future story spoilers all over the place, but in this case, they said no. I liked that change.
Stray Kids did a nice job with a catchy tune and modern feel to TOP and SLUMP. Stray Kids is a South Korean boy band formed by JYP Entertainment through the 2017 reality show of the same name. The group is composed of eight members. You can catch both videos below.