As the Underwater test continues, the sinister nature and mysteries of the Tower are slowly beginning to unravel as Bam and his friends are pushed to their limits by the final challenge of the second floor.
After last episode when the sinister Lo Po Bia Ren offered her a chance for redemption in the eyes of King Jahad, Androssi takes the Green April from the ground and draws the blade to the throat of a wounded Anak. As Anak bows her head and begrudgingly accepts her fate, Androssi surprises the false Princess of Jahad by extending her hand in friendship and offering Anak the Green April, herself taking the Black March. Joining forces, the two turn to confront an enraged Ren, who begins to violently lash out at the two challengers.
In the test arena, Rak and Paracule continue their escape from the Barnacle Goblins, who have become aware of their party’s presence after Hatsu stumbled upon their group in the last episode. Carrying Paracule in his arms and attempting to use his agility to escape the hordes, Rak eventually comes to an abrupt stop, turning towards his attackers.
Declaring that running away doesn’t suit him, Rak and a terrified Paracule leap into the fray, attacking a Giant Wetworm and preparing himself for the oncoming fray.
Underground, Ren finds the upper hand against the two princesses, easily tossing aside Androssi and crushing Anak underfoot. Just as he prepares to finish them off, a surprise guest enters the arena: Yuri, the very first Princess of Jahad met by Bam when he first entered the tower. Questioning Ren’s mission and methods, Yuri relieves him of his duties, taking the retrieval of the 13 Month Series swords and elimination of Anak into her own hands.
Topside, Rak and Paracule find themselves surrounded by Goblins, a circumstance which leads Paracule to beg the heavens for any help surviving the assault. At the last second, Paracule, Rak, Aleksai, and Hatsu find themselves suspended in the air, as a horde of Striped Ground Pigs emerges from beneath them to distract and attack the Goblins.
Their rescue comes courtesy of Laroue, via his Shinsu abilities, who also reveals that the sudden appearance of the Pigs was all according to yet another of Khun’s intricately detailed plans.
Refusing to back down from his arrogance, Ren begins to lose his composure, lashing out in desperation at Yuri in a fit of rage. During the battle, Yuri takes the time to show off just a fraction of her awe-inspiring Ranker-level powers and abilities, remaining unphased by all of his attacks and preventing Ren from ever landing a blow upon her.
However, as Yuri prepares to eliminate Ren all together, she is interrupted by her guide, Evan, who after a meeting with Yu Han Sung warns her that while she is allowed to kill Ren, she cannot be seen aiding Anak, as she is currently an enemy of the Tower’s order. Frustrated, Yuri instead orders her companion, Kurudan, to end Ren’s life, a feat which he accomplishes by leaping into the air and crushing the imposter underneath a giant war hammer.
Meanwhile, Bam and Rachel spend time together and reminisce as they continue to play their role in the Underwater test. Rachel notices that Bam has grown, discovering his true independence, spirit, and even the ability to wield a massive amount of Shinsu.
As Bam reassures Rachel that he will guide them both to the top of the Tower, a shining red light pierces the ocean in front him. The Bull has appeared, having been directed by Ren to eliminate Bam, and proceeds to attack the Shinsu bubble. Breaking through the bubble, The Bull successfully attacks Bam, grabbing Bam with his teeth and swallowing him whole.
Rachel cries out in horror as Bam is consumed, but Bam returns from the brink of death through the use of a giant Shinsu blast, which rips apart The Bull from the inside out. As a tired and bloody Bam descends back to the Bubble, Rachel embraces him…before proceeding to throw him into the oceanic abyss below. The episode ends in silence, as Bam quietly drifts away into the darkness.
With only one entry left in the series’ premier season, Tower of God’s latest episode provides an extremely satisfactory pay off to many of the plotlines and world building the series has presented readers with throughout the last eleven episodes.
Like many episodes before it, one of the highlights of the episode is the individual character moments. When backed up against a wall, every member of Bam’s class, particularly his two teammates, respond to their challenges in a manner that feels natural to their personalities: Rak refuses to back down from a fight against insurmountable odds, Khun falls frustrated when confronted with the one opponent he could not outsmart, and Bam’s survival is capable only because of the compassion and love he feels for Rachel. This adherence to each character’s individuality pushes the action and drama of the series forward without sacrificing story logic or history.
While the series has received praise for its art direction and animation, Underwater Hunt (Part Two) ups the ante by presenting what is quite possibly the best-looking episode of the season. Any doubt concerning the dip in quality seen in the last few episodes is instantly dashed upon viewing, as Crunchyroll and their production team enthusiastically showcase a wide array of backgrounds, fight choreography, and unique character personalities throughout the entire episode. Between the expressive cast of characters, the monstrous form of The Bull, and the unorthodox fighting style of the Green April, Tower of God clearly aimed – and succeeded – in showcasing its strengths as the season comes to a close.
One scene that deserves specific praise is the final scene of the episode, in which Bam slowly and silently falls into the depths of the ocean. Playing to the strengths of the medium, this closing scene perfectly communicates Bam’s feelings of betrayal, confusion, and fear to the audience through the use of dark visuals and a complete lack of sound.
While watching the episode, I personally found myself blown away by this final scene, vocally doubting that the series would have the stones to pull off such an unorthodox episode ending, and was thankfully surprised when the episode came to a close without so much as a whisper or single musical note.
Hands down, Underwater Hunt (Part Two) is one of, if not the best, episode of the season so far. Every element of the episode is worthy of praise, with special attention deserved for the direction of the ending scene and the animation of the various combat styles. Fans will no doubt be waiting with baited breath to see whether or not Bam and his friends will pass the final test of the second floor and, if this week’s quality is indicator, if the season will end strong with yet another stunning display of animation and intrapersonal character development.
- Series' signature art style and destruction is on full display
- Every character is written in character, to the benefit of the episode
- The final scene
- There's only one episode in the saeson left