Dewbond and I have been kicking around the idea of a collab for a long time when Dewbond had this great idea for a discussion about Tower of God that will go over the stuff I haven’t had the chance to discuss in my reviews. I’m very excited about it. I don’t actually know the topics yet so I will be discovering it as well
Hey Irina, I’m glad that we could finally sit down and have a collaboration. I know I have been chasing you to do one of these for a while, and we finally landed on Tower of God. This has been the hot new property this season, and it’s something a lot of people have been excited about. So why don’t we start at the beginning. What made you want to pick up the series?
Well I had read the first few chapters of the webtoon and thought the core was interesting although the execution and pacing weren’t really my thing. When I saw that Crunchyroll had bankrolled an adaptation, I got curious. I think they’ve been making pretty good choices in their production department. The images looked great as well (much more my aesthetic compared to the source). Those were my main reasons. How about you?
The first time I saw it was when through Crunchyroll, and it was only when I dove a little deeper that I realized it was being adapted from a Korean webtoon, a very popular one at that. Of course with Crunchyroll getting more into the anime production side of things, and the hype that a lot of people had been giving the show, I was curious to check it out, and the art and animation made it feel different enough from the usual fare to warrant a look. Have you had any experience with webtoons before this?
I figure that like most people with anime blogs, I have read my fair share of webtoons before. I’ve also reviewed Nanbaka which is also adapted from a popular webtoon. Although, I have to admit I’m not currently following any particular series. Are you?
How do you feel in general about webtoon to anime adaptations? I find that webtoons have a very fluttery style with a lot of inference between frames. It leaves more room for studio interpretation than traditional manga adaptations, in my opinion.
I’ve not followed any webtoons before this, in fact I really had no idea they existed before this year. They seem to be quite popular though, and if they are stepping into the anime game, that can only mean good things for the future. Tower of God seems like it is one the most infamous of the webtoons so far, and it seems for good reason, which brings us to the series. What are your initial thoughts of the anime so far? What’s pulled you in, what’s kept you around?
As far as infamy goes, I got a feeling Killing Stalking may have it beat.
As I’ve mentioned a lot, maybe too much, I think Tower of God has really amazing pacing. In fact, it has transformed the experience of taking in this particular narrative for me. Certainly the art is fantastic and the bold primary colour palette has something nostalgic about it that I find rather endearing. Essentially, it’s well made.
As for the story, actually, let me get your thoughts on it first.
I don’t know if you’ve watched Naruto, but Tower of God feels very much like the Chuunin exam arc, stretched out to an entire series. The series of tests, interesting games, and changing teams feels very much like one of Naruto’s most famous arcs. So far it feels the series is taking a ‘show, don’t tell’ approach, because a lot of what the world is, what the tower is about, is being left vague. This includes the characters, because we only seem to know surface level knowledge about them. We know what Bam wants, and what Rachel wants, but the how and why is still TBD. What do you think so far Irina?
I think you hit the nail on the head there. Structurally, Tower of God is like a lot of other anime. You could even compare it to a sports anime as a series of games, tournaments, and tests against rivals. When you strip out the details there’s nothing particularly unusual going on. But I think the strength of the series lies in the mystery that it manages to weave. You say that you know the motivations of Bam and Rachel but I’m not even sure about that. The series has gone out of its way to point out that we do not even know the nature of what Bam actually is. As for Rachel, her stated motivation is that she wants to see stars. That seems very flimsy considering the trials and dangers climbing the tower puts you through. It’s also a little bit odd when we know that the sky in the tower is simulated. Those aren’t real stars. Are we really meant to believe that the power that getting to the top grants is of absolutely no interest to Rachel? These questions are a lot of what makes the Tower of God interesting and in my opinion and a lot of what keeps me going back every week.
However, just because we don’t know actually a lot about the characters doesn’t mean that they’re underdeveloped. There are a lot of unique personalities and distinct unusual egos going on. All these characters are fairly unique and they’re all their own person. This is something that is not that usual and you have to keep in mind that we’ve only really seen 12 episodes (well 13). For comparaison, we were at episode 20 of Naruto when they hit the Chuunin arc.
Oh and to answer your question, yes I have watched Naruto. I like it a lot.
This is only the FIRST half of the collab post we kept all the BEST stuff for last and that will be up over on Shallow Dives in Anime, really soon! Hopefully I’ll remeber to updte this link when it goes live! You can remind me if I forget.
I hope you all enjoyed our little conversation and that you will join us again for part 2!