Whilst reading manga I’ve always been a bit cautious of reading ‘manga’ from outside of Japan. I have read a couple and the stories just didn’t seem to capture my imagination in the same way, therefore I’ve avoided them for many years, until now.
Tower of God written and illustrated by S.I.U. originated as a South Korean manhwa (manga) published online through Webtoon. In April 2020 it was released as an anime and I love it!
Tower of God follows the story of Bam (the 25th Bam in the manhwa) and his quest to climb the Tower of God. It is said that if you climb the tower to the very top you will be granted whatever it is you wish for. Bam doesn’t want to climb the tower for himself, but he wants to climb it with a girl named Rachel, who previously rescued him from his lonely life. Rachel is obsessed by the tower and desperately wants to go to the top. Somehow both Rachel and Bam are accepted into the tower even though they are ‘outsiders’.
Split apart from Rachel and knowing almost nothing about the tower, Bam is greeted by the Caretaker of the tower. To prove himself worthy of climbing the tower Bam is given an impossible challenge, when suddenly a Princess of the tower appears and lends him a sacred weapon. Bam, along with the weapon, manage to pass the first test and are allowed to progress onto floor one of the Tower.
On floor one Bam is once again tested, this time he is able to gather team mates to help him progress up the tower. This is where Tower of God gets even better. Each of the characters that Bam interacts with along the way have amazingly unique personalities and obviously their own reason to climb the tower. The first two teammates that you meet are Khun and Rak, who are brilliantly opposite to one another. Khun is quiet, calculating and resourceful whilst Rak is a massive Crocodile that shouts everything and solves problems with actions. Rak also calls humans turtles, naming Bam ‘black turtle’ and Khun ‘blue turtle’, this trait becomes hilarious as the story progresses.
Tower of God is such an amazing anime, which totally grabbed my interest and imagination, the anime also finishes on a mega cliff-hanger, so I had to look ahead by reading the manhwa. There are only 13 episodes in Tower of God but each of them are very well timed, staged and animated, and follow the manhwa very closely. As the manhwa is fully coloured and having watched the series, reading it is almost like watching it animated. Each of the panels are well thought out, with lots of room for pauses, something that you wouldn’t see in a manga publication, but as it is published online it’s an unexpected bonus.
I am well invested in this series now and am really enjoying reading it on Webtoon. I’m loving it so much that I will be looking at other publications on Webtoon to read, whether they are from Japan, Korea, America…anywhere!! My principle on watching anime is to watch 3 episodes and then decide whether or not to continue watching it, I think that I will take a similar approach whist reading a webtoon, comic or manga from now on.
Tower of God is a TV-14 in the USA, it hasn’t been given an UK age certificate yet but I think that it will be an age 15.
Bonus – so far in Tower of God Rak has named several other humans as turtles. There is – black turtle, blue turtle, coffee addict turtle, yellow turtle, the female turtle, violent turtle, useless turtle, red turtle, devil turtle, cat turtle and curry turtle! This is as far as I have read.