Tower of God is good at doing one thing in particualr; intriguing you to want to know more.
In my last episode review, I spent a decent amount of time making half serious complaints about how much lore and new concepts the show was throwing in our direction without fully explaining itself. Ultimately, this didn’t really matter, because the thrust of the story is about Bam. And that’s still interesting.
In these early stages of a series, it’s okay to pepper the audience with ever increasing levels of intrigue. Giving us more and more questions we want answering is key to building up mystery and the rabid desire amongst its audience to want to know more.
It’s when it gets to its endgame and needs to starts tying bows on everything that they really need to nail it. But we’re miles away from worrying about that right now, we’re only on episode 5 of an anime based on a webtoon that’s a decade old and close to 500 chapters. I shouldn’t be worrying about the endgame at all at this point.
Where we last left off, Khun was being a snarky little git and copying crowns to distract the participants in the game while he plopped the real on on Bam’s head. The third round then ends pretty sharpish as Rak knocks everyone unconscious with the wind pressure from a single spear throw.
Three more squads enter the ring for the 4th and penultimate round of the game, or so you’d think. As it turns out, Khun has been storing three participants in his magic bag from the first round of the game, with the goal of using them to help him at a later date.
These three are more examples of the weird people and powers that individuals in this world possess, from inhuman looking creatures with energy draining tendrils, and little girls with the power to make people fall unconscious by whispering to them. Why they can do these things? I think it’s just a choice of style at this point and should be taken as a given that people can do weird shit.
Speaking of which, Khun having these people in reserve seems like a little bit of a Deux ex Machina to me, but at the same time, he’s only using them for the purposes of getting through this superfluous 4th round and as a tool to further establish Khun as a rule breaker and a guy whose always going to be one step of everyone else in the room.
With that out of the way, the final round begins with all remaining contenders entering the circle. At this point, we’re all expecting the hooded trio to come at team Bam and have a big old, climactic battle. But credit to the show, it subverts the obvious expected result and does something totally different.
As it turns out, this trio seem to want to defend Bam on the throne, and have little interest in winning the game themselves. Which took me by surprise. The main threat here is the masked woman in the tight bodysuit, who takes out a bunch of fighters before getting into a battle with the cocky hooded woman.
While at the throne, Bam finally realises one of the three is Rachel, but is prevented from doing anything about it as he;s blocked off by the big guy.
While the battle is going on, Rak makes a pretty blatant HunterxHunter reference, “first comes Rock, then rock again”. I mean guys, c’mon…
This hooded people aren’t all they’re cracked up to be though, as they actual fail to defend Bam and he ends up leaving the throne to protect Rachel from the masked woman, getting a nasty blow to the head in the process. But then something Shonen happens.
Gold light bursts forth from Bam, which Khun identifies as the watery-looking magic from before; Shinsu. After disintegrating the crown and all but eliminating the masked woman, Bam seems to lose it and try to make a killing blow on her. For some reason though, the female spirit living within the Black March sword pops out and knocks Bam unconscious, gently reprimanding him for losing control. Thus ending the Crown Game.
At which point Hisoka Blanco gives all the competitors a three day break to recuperate. Y’know, this challenge seems a hell of a lot more procedural and administrated than it did during the first episode where everything was so dreamlike and metaphysical. I guess my observations of it being a metaphor for life after death kind of fell short eh?
Afterwards, we get a scene between Lero ro and another administrator, giving us some more context to what the hell everyone in this world is doing. Apparently, these people we’ve met so far are simply testing for the right to begin climbing the tower. I thought we were already doing that, but I guess I assumed wrong.
The administrators’ job is to use these tests to assess whether anyone present would become a threat to the tower when climbing it. Seeing Bam’s little outburst, surely he would qualify, but for some reason the pale faced ranker doesn’t act on this. As to why, does he even know?
As the three days pass, Bam is unconscious in a hospital bed. Apparently, Anak claimed the Black March from Bam after the fact, seeing as how she’s seen holding it. Not much is made of it, I guess the swords weren’t as important as they were made out to be in the earlier episodes.
The episode ends with Rachel approaching Khun, who is watching over the unconscious Bam and saying she wants to make a request.
Now I’ve stopped questioning every little thing that’s happening in this series and I’m just going with the flow of it, enjoying the characters doing cool things and not trying to understand why, I’m getting more out of it. The show’s animation style suits the action it’s pulling of really well and the fight scenes look great.
And these characters are goofy and likeable enough that I am, happy to be following them. Plus the layers of mystery and intrigue in the show are dense, and it’s doing a good job of making me desperate to know more about this world and what the hell it is. I just hope it doesn’t crush me under the pressure of ever increasing mysteries and allows some to unfold before it inevitably dumps more on us.