Beginning in 2010, Korean artist Lee “SUI” Jong-hui, has been producing the webcomic Tower of God, which has captured the attention of readers across the globe. Tower of God’s popularity has hardly gone unnoticed and now, thanks to Crunchyroll, the series is receiving an anime adaptation set to be simulcast in Japan and America. With the April 1st debut of the series’ first episode, fans can now find the answer to an important question: is this Tower worth climbing?
Fans of the manga will find that the anime adapts the story almost 1:1, with the viewer being thrown right into the mystery and confusion of the Tower alongside Bam, a young boy who follows his dear friend Rachel after she decides to enter the titular Tower.
Once inside the Tower, he is separated from her, and instead finds himself face to face with Headon, the guardian of the first floor, and two mysterious individuals who appear to be familiar with the Tower, Yuri Zahard and Evan Edrok. As Yuri presents Bam with a particularly infamous sword, Headon explains to Bam that each floor in the Tower presents a unique challenge that must be accomplished in order to keep advancing. Headon also presents to him his first challenge: to destroy a steel ball protected by a giant, monstrous eel.
Perhaps the most impressive aspect of the entire episode is the art direction. Dry ink-like textures line the characters, the ambient, surreal backgrounds of the first floor recreate the unique, loosely structured format of the original Korean webcomic, and the final scene of the episode takes place in a vividly colored, almost watercolor-like field of tall, dry grass. The manga makes a beautiful leap from the paper to the screen, and it’s apparent that great effort has been put in to capture the wildly varying and often ethereal appearances of the Tower’s individual floors.
As far as voice acting goes, most of this episode focuses on an exasperated and confused Bam, portrayed by Taichi Ichikawa (Kengo, Hinamatsuri) in his first role as a lead. Though light on actual dialogue, Bam’s desperation is communicated excellently by Ichikawa through gasps and short breaths. Though their appearances in the episode are brief, Khun Aguero Agnes’ calm and cunning demeanor is subtly portrayed by Nobuhiko Okamoto (Katsuki Bakugo, My Hero Academia), while Rak’s gruff and often hard-headed attitude is communicated through Kenta Miyake’s (All Might, My Hero Academia) performance.
Overall, longtime fans of the series will be happy to find that the episode is a faithful and beautiful adaptation of SUI’s original work, while fans unfamiliar with the source material will be enticed by the episode’s varying settings and allusions towards the series’ larger plot. Whether intrigued by the plot or mesmerized by the beautiful production quality, Tower of Gods will have you looking forward to every new floor. If this is what the first episode offers, hopes for the rest of the series are sky high.
A preview screener for this episode was provided by Crunchyroll.
- Beautiful art direction
- A faithful adaptation of the source material
- Not a lot of dialogue variation from Bam
- New fans may find the pacing to be rather quick