Before we stat I just want to show you guys something because I attempted a thing and I kinda like how it turned out

Those are my titles cards for episode 13 and episode 1 of Tower of God. Because the series created a visual bookend bringing us full circle in a way, I tried to create  similar effects with my titles cards. So I picked out screencaps from this episode which I thought would mirror those I had chosen in the first episode, using the colour scheme to create the visual bridge.

But I also tried to create contrast. Bam is huge and center as the story begins, a bright eyed protagonist ready to take on what may come. While in turn, Rachel is barely visible in the last episode, fraile, helpless, worned out by the events. Rachel looking up at Bam is uncertain and guilty while Bam looking down and forward is resolute. Rachel and Bam stand together after a touching moment, Rachel collapse alone after a horrible one. That sort of thing… I’m not sure how well I succeeded.  try to tell stories through m title cards each week but it may not come through. Still I thought it was a fun exercise and it’s pretty much impossible to see unless you have the two cards one nest to the other.

And so Tower of God season 1 comes to an end. Story wise I thought this episode was fitting. The last two were probably my favourites in the series so I knew it would live up to that but it was a good way to cap off the season. Or rather, it was a very good way to get us interested in the next season (and or webtoon) as it ended on a timeskip and pretty much in the middle of the story.

It’s what I was expecting and I’m not ad about it in any way.

I have to say, Rachel’s treason is a bit of a disappointment. I have been seen some very outraged viewers both in the blogosphere and on social media but it all seemed fairly mild to me. First the Rachel betrayal had been pretty much spoiled by webtoon readers for most people and even if  viewer avoided that, it has been foreshadowed since the first episode. In fact this episode made that all the more clear. So there wasn’t any real shock in the act.

I guess it must be something about Rachel’s character then. I find that people often are much more willing to forgive cruelty, selfishness or greed in fictional characters, than they are weakness. And in the end, that’s all Rachel is, weak. And maybe a bit too slow to come up with a better solution. But she isn’t uncaring, she doesn’t derive pleasure from hurting others and would rather avoid it. When you compare her to the rest f the cast, she’s pretty average as far as faults go, but she is much weaker.

I thought maybe it had been much worse in the webtoon and that’s what had fans in an uproar so I actually went and read the entire first season of it. That would be episode 1 to 78 (they’re really short it took me like half an hour). That’s equivalent to the entire first season of the show. If anything, I thought Rachel was made to be a tiny bit re sympathetic in the webtoon, showing even more remorse and being way more torn about the decision. I dunno, maybe she turns out more evil later on or something.

I’m also not going to read ahead, at least not right away. For me, the adaptation is just way more my thing. I really love how they fleshed out the story and I find the retranslated dialogue so much better and more nuanced. I’m saying that but I’m a curious person. If a season 2 doesn’t get officially announced in the coming months I’ll probably cave and read the rest.

I don’t really now where to put this but one moment that really struck me in this episode was Rak’s reaction to the loss of Bam. It was so visceral and uncomplicated. Just howling like that. I won’t go into the depressing details, but that’s pretty much how  reacted to some of the worst moments in my life. I guess that says something about me. In any case, it was a very raw moment that didn’t feel too pandering and wasn’t dwelled upon so it hit me hard.

However, the technical aspects of this episode were some of my favorite in the series.

You may notice that I have comparatively few screencaps. That’s because, episode 13 manage to somewhat recontextualize the entire show, while using more than 50% reused footage. Nos that is impressive. Not only did it frame the opening sequence between Headon and Rachel (I hadn’t realized that I missed Headon) to parallel the one between Bam and Headon in the first episode, right down to the changing colour palette and mirrored camera angles and positions, but it cleverly weaved in previously seen images to reveal new information.

Both exciting and frustrating for me was how it hinted at an even bigger backstory for Yu Han Sung. I really like Yu and I want to know more abut what he is trying to do here. Those political intrigues are my cup o tea!

Another thing I have been thinking about is that Ba’s name is clearly supposed to have a symbolic meaning since they translate it in Japanese, so I think the subtitles should have called him Night. Night is such a cool name too. I wish  had someone to name that. If I was the artistic sort I would write a story but even when I do write fiction, I pretty much never name my characters. We just took a little detour together there. Sorry about that.

So final thoughts on season 1. I really liked it. I liked the story and characters a lot but I loved the production and I think this is one amazing adaptation on a technical level which is exciting. The previous series I have watched from this studio were ok but noting on this level so I have to assume Crunchy may have helped out. Regardless of what I may thing about their choice in source material, the Crunchyroll licenced productions have been proficient made. I would watch a second season anytime!

And for the last time this season, let’s get a pretty eye close up:

1 Tower of God ep13 (3)

15 thoughts

  1. “I really liked it. I liked the story and characters a lot but I loved the production and I think this is one amazing adaptation on a technical level which is exciting. ”

    It might be my favorite show of the season. It’s one of the rare shows where they don’t spell everything out in minute detail. Each new reveal seemed to hint at caverns of possibility behind them, which made me want to know more and more about the world.

    And I have to agree — I’ve read some of the Webtoon that represents the first few episodes, and I think the anime did a great job of capturing the spirit on one hand, and bringing anime elements (music, movement, and voice acting) in a genre-appropriate way.

    I should probably have just said the anime adaption was top-notch, huh?

    “I don’t really now where to put this but one moment that really struck me in this episode was Rak’s reaction to the loss of Bam.”

    That was a great moment. I not only like the character, I like how he interacts with the rest of the cast.

    I haven’t heard anything about a second season. I hope they decide to fund it! Kinda a bummer thinking I won’t see more of anime Yuri!

  2. I wish I understood why she wants what she does

    Would help the emotional impact of the betrayal land

    Won’t pretend I cared for this show, but the music was 👌

  3. I wonder why people find Tower of God interesting in the first place.

    I saw the first episode months ago but its artwork quality was far from sufficient to meet my expectations, so I dropped the anime within 15 seconds (once and for all).

    1. Well a lot of the et p and story happens after those first 15 seconds. But like all fiction, personal taste comes into it. I hope you find something you like next season!

  4. Just how in the world have you read 78 chapters in half an hour. Yeah it’s short but just half an hour is impossible for it.

    78 chapters have around 3200 pages. So basically you read around 110 pages in one minute or 2 pages per second which is impossible. Tbh season one requires 3 hours atleast if one read it in fast pace.

    Maybe that’s why you weren’t able to pick differences and impact those changed dialogues have.

    1. Some pages have lines of text. It’s a 4koma structure. This said it may have been an exaggeration still not over an hour.

      The dialogue changes have a huge impact. I thought I said that.

      1. I still can’t believe it. I read it around 4-5 times. My best time was around 3 hours.

          1. My best is 3 hours only for s1.
            For whole thing one will need 1 week considering he/she gives his/her 6-8 concentrated hours daily (that too with fast pace) .

  5. I read a lot of people on Twitter getting mad about how the story “treated” Rachel. As though it let her down or something, because Bam had all the gifts and talent and she was treated like she was nothing.

    Which confused the hell out of me, have people never seen an anime before? They’re full of shonen fellas getting all the powers gifted to them left, right and centre. I don’t know why so many people chose to choose this anime to forget that the genre basically runs on “Might makes Right”.

    Plus, Rachel is just kind of a bad person at the end of the day.

    1. Really? I only saw the opposite. I really saw a huge amount of hate for a rather average character

      1. I kind of feel like hate is justified, even if people are overegging it. That’s the intention of the author in my opinion.

        I tried to find the tweet that everyone was jumping onto but I couldn’t, which bums me out because it was a wild read. It was a bunch of people replying to a hot take in which they seemed to take it really personally that Rachel was being painted as a villain, when that’s exactly what she is.

        A real extreme “everyone’s a winner” and “nobody can be treated like a loser” approach to it.

  6. Good job on those title cards. Rachel looking up vs. Bam looking down is probably my favourite. But the big-right-top picture is the one that’s immediately striking.

    As for Rachel’s betrayal, yeah, I expected something along those lines. What I didn’t expect is that she thought she killed him. It felt more like a go-away gesture, after this giant monster had just swallowed him and he came back right away. I mean he could technically drown out of shock (by forgetting to resurface), but after witnessing what she just thinking this would kill him is a little… strange.

    As for the outrage over it? I’m not that surprised. I almost never share such outrage. I expected something on this level. I mean Rachel is basically the heroine of a classcal tragedy: Fatal flaw; check. The moment where she almost turns it around (but then Bam talks about his friends); check. She then takes the road that leads to doom (maybe not, because the show’s more complex, and she’s not actually the protagonist). They even lampshaded it with Khun asking whether she had any friends left now?

    I actually felt kind of bad for her, despite her pathetic choices, and I’m sort of curious what they’re going to do with her now.

    1. I’m thinking she might turn into more of a plot device. A rarely seen character that serves as a oal for others?

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