In a nutshell
The legends say, if you manage to climb the top of the Tower of God, any wish you might have will be fulfilled. The series focuses on Rachel, who is afraid of the darkness and cannot live in the gloomy world anymore. Despite her friend's wish for her to stay, she opens the door to the Tower and begins to ascent. Her friend Bam does not want to lose her and decides to follow her. However, those who are not worthy will be killed.
What Is Tower of God?
So what is the tower? It might be confusing firstly for one to understand where the story takes place. Think of the tower as some multidimensional world, which is both the center of the universe and the universe itself. It might sound confusing, of course. But you need to think of it as something created by a God and that is why, no solid explanation can be given. Think of it as a challenge, we, as the anime viewers, will never see the tower outside, we are always inside of it, we go through endless floors, some of these floors are so big that they can even contain an ocean, a whole city, or maybe even a whole country. So, as you must have already understood it, the world of Tower of God is simply enormously big. We never fully understand what the Tower is. Is it alive? Does it have its own will? Who is the God? Can you even conquer the Tower to fulfil any wish you might have, or can it be just a joke for the God to make fun of the humans, who are ready to do literally everything to be able to clear even one floor. However, this is something you will only know, after the end of the anime/manhwa.
More About Storyline
Why are you conquering the Tower? - which is the main question of this series. There are many races that are introduced in the anime; they form clans, families, so you will need to keep in mind many things. And do not think that the reason for all to conquer the final floor is just money, or power; as it has been mentioned already, there are many characters in Tower of God; they all have their own reason to reach the final floor and the important part about it is that their reasons always change, since both the characters and the storyline always change, which makes this anime this entertaining, since watching the same thing that never changes might be somewhat boring. With that being said, another thing I want to touch upon is the fact that the anime does omit many things, which is quite obvious if you are a manhwa reader. However, I would not quite say that most of the things the anime did not pay attention to were that much of importantance for understanding of the story. While it would not hurt for the TV series to focus more on everything what is mentioned in the manhwa, but we have what we have and it cannot be helped. Anyways, even though many details were omitted, the storyline was quite understandable overall.
The protagonist of this story is a boy named 25th Bam. Let us omit the 25th part in his name, since this discussion will involve way too many spoilers. That said, Bam does not know anything about his birth, who his parents are, he knows absolutely nothing; he lives in the darkness. Until Rachel accidentally finds him, the girl becomes the first and only living creature that Bam has ever seen in his whole life. They spend a lot of time together: they play games and dream about a better future. Rachel teaches Bam how to read and how to write, she tells him what is the good and what the bad, and that girls need to be protected and that a man should never lie to a woman. However, one day, despite Bam’s wish for her to stay, Rachel opens the door to the Tower and begins to ascent. Bam does not want to lose her and decides to follow her.
So begins the long awaited conquest of the Tower. And here is the main contradiction, the main protagonist of the anime Bam does not need the Tower, he does not need the conquest, he does not have any wishes, all he wants is to stay with Rachel. So, with every floor, Bam will meet new friends and, of course, new enemies and with the help of them he will pass the tests and meet many obstacles on his path. Tower of God is not simply about Bam and Bam only. Tower of God’s main focus is a team play, Bam is not as powerful to conquer the last floor alone. While he is powerful, of course, his power is explained, he works hard to achieve this power and even when Bam becomes stronger, he still relies on the others. So, what I am trying to say is that this anime is not simply about one character, which would be just boring; Tower of God focuses on many characters, be they Bam’s enemies, allies, or some neutral parties. And that is why it is that interesting to read, because it requires some talent, to introduce so many characters and also show enough development for these characters.
Bam is boring! No, he is not. I do agree that he might be hated at first, because he is like a baby, he does not remember anything about his past, he does not even know to how to speak, so, of course, he is going to be that easy to manipulate. But this is why Tower of God is that amazing. Bam starts as a blank sheet, but during his long path he finds new teachers, who help him become stronger, not only physically, but also mentally. Bam always changes, becomes more interesting of a protagonist and his growth is not always something you would call growth, sometimes it is also the complete opposite. So, what I am trying to say is that Bam receives so much character development, that I cannot name you any other character that has ever received as much development as Bam.
Already on the first floors, the heroes will have to face grave danger, only those who are worthy are given the right to clear a floor, those who are not worthy, will die. And I must say, quite many participants die horrible deaths. However, for administrators, or floor directors, all these tests are nothing but bureaucracy, bookkeeping, anything that can be associated with boring. Tower of God grants you any wish: you can become a God yourself, anything you can think of, any wish you could have ever thought of, will be granted. And this, as you might have already guessed it, includes the fact that you can wish for the tower of God to be annihilated, or you can even destroy the whole universe. Indeed, the tower, or the God, will not want for such wishes to be made, hence the first floors are designed to get rid of these ‘unworthy’ participants. Those who are worthy, however, will learn about the meaning of power, including the Shinsoo.
All in all, I am not going to say that the anime adaptation is bad. All I am going to say is that if you want to enjoy Tower of God and to understand what it is about, you need to read both the manhwa and watch the anime to enjoy it more. That way you will understand everything and will find the anime enjoyable. If you do not care about the storyline, you can watch the anime and never read the manhwa. However, if you do not want to read the manhwa and want to find some sense in the storyline of the anime, I would not recommend you to watch this series. But it is up to you, of course. With that being said, Tower of God is one of the most epic journeys I have ever have ever had. It is worth your time!