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ThatAnimeSnob

  • Thessaloniki, Greece
  • Joined Dec 22, 2011
  • 41 / M

Tower of God

Jun 29, 2020

PREAIRING HYPE
Tower of God was heavily marketed as the first Korean webcomic adaptation as well as the beginning of a new era for anime. It wasn’t, but we were constantly told that we HAD to support it, so they can make even more Korean webcomic adaptations. Consume product and be excited for next products. Well let me tell you the results. Aside from being from Korea there was nothing special about it, as an adaptation it was below average, and aside from the three Korean adaptations they shoved out close to each other no other webcomic was adapted for years to come. It was all a scam for Crunchyroll to make a badly adapted infomercial for promoting the webcomic, as well as for selling subscriptions to easily impressionable buffoons who would love to be part of a supposed new era of anime… that never came. It was also just another case of the rather large fanbase that was reading the webcomic hyping it up as the best shit ever and that somehow explaining the quality of an animated adaptation they hadn’t even watched yet. That is how it managed to be the most popular show during the season it aired in and was made to come off like a modern classic in the making. In reality, there wasn’t much competition during that season, thanks to all the far more famous competitors like Sword Art Online, Oregairu, and ReZero getting postponed because of the pandemic and leaving only Kaguya Sama as the only actual threat. Basically, it wouldn’t have made such a splash if Covid-19 did not sabotage the competition. Not many care about Korean webcomics, and the tv airings in both Japan and Korea were fairly low. And now here is a list of issues it had that prove the crap it was all along.

1) The production values are mostly mediocre
This alone will make 90% of everyone to drop it in a couple of episodes. The fanboys will insist it looks fine, but they are fanboys so they obviously like everything about it. For a show that is supposed to be the beginning of a new era for anime, it received a subpar director, clucky animation, unappealing artstyle, and is in general way worse than run of the mill shonen like Demon Slayer and Jujutsu Kaisen, which do not reinvent the wheel.

2) The protagonist is piece of white toast
Easily the weakest in characterization character. They try to make him seem like a victimized fake underdog in an unfair world that took the love of his life. Unfortunately he has the personality of a boy scout and that makes him boring right away. Hell, he doesn’t even have a backdrop story because he has amnesia. He’s left blank so anyone can self insert easier.

3) The training is meaningless
Although the premise is a typical ‘starting from the bottom and gradually improving until you get to the top’ in practice all of the training and slow level up the character get become meaningless very fast. All you need for winning is to be born with broken powers and to betray everyone. The protagonist for example is a super special chosen one who gets more powerful a million times faster than everyone else, everyone around him loves him right away, he is constantly being plot armored, and he is given hax powers he did not earn just because he is cute. Essentially you never feel like this guy deserves his victories, since he didn’t do anything to earn them. As for the others who were not born as special chosen ones like him, they just pass the tests by betraying everyone.

4) The support cast is weak
There are dozens of peers who are training along with the protagonist which seem to contribute something to the world and the plot. But eventually they don’t, they became obsolete in a few episodes. They are not posing any threat, because he overpowers them all without even trying. They all get instantly surpassed because he can copy every special attack they have in a second. For this reason, there is no rivalry or sportsmanship going on. He doesn’t need anyone’s help for progressing through the tests. There aren’t even any mentors for giving him a few important life lessons. All they are doing is giving him extra abilities.

5) The explanations only manage to further confuse you
The whole show is basically a tournament arc with rules that not only change all the time, but are also never followed through. Everyone constantly ignores or breaks them. Imagine how dumb it is to pay attention to super long infodumps that explain how the power system works only to be proven it was a waste of time. Imagine how bizarre it is to be told there will be wild boars, but you never see them. Or to see a seal and to be told it’s a dolphin, or to see a tentacle monster and to be told it’s a bull, or to see a sword and to be told it’s a needle. It’s needless renaming of things; they are just using different words for describing classic videogame terminology. Calling them positions instead of character classes, and light bearers instead of mages is not creative. Add to the confusion how a lot of things don’t act or behave as the explanations implied. All of a sudden, a character uses healing magic without first establishing that she could do it. A guy who was chewed alive by a monster, appears in the next episode completely fine, like it had never happened. Someone says he will become an administrator, and ends up only getting the administrator’s approval. It’s impossible to follow what is going on with the way everything is cryptic and eventually not followed through since everyone either lies or cheats or the translators have no idea what they are doing.

6) Character interactions all over the place
One moment the characters are killing each other, the immediate next they act all friendly to each other, and then they are shocked for being betrayed when they were killing each other not long ago. At one point they go to the funeral of the guy who they consider being a friend, although they hardly knew a guy who went insane and tried to kill everyone. A character who was ruthless enough to murder all the people she grew up with just so she would have better meals, for no reason risks her life to save a girl that hates her throughout the whole show. Friendship and teamwork make little sense, because none of the characters actively chooses to make friends or allies. It’s always something imposed by a test. One moment they say ‘kill each other’, the immediate next they say ‘befriend each other’, and the characters do so in an instant, and in a way that feels like they don’t have free will and act however it suits the plot. Basically, they are all plot devices and whatever they do feels artificial. Nobody is a friend or an ally. They are brainwashed to act as if they are. In one scene the protagonist befriends someone by jumping onto him and claiming they are now friends, even if the other guy doesn’t want to be his friend. That’s not how teamwork works. And that is why there is no actual betraying going on in later episodes. In order to betray someone you first need to be a friend or a teammate. And the characters are neither; they just call each other friends because a previous test told them to. And even if they were friends, can you blame them when a following test tells them to betray their friends in order to pass? And I am saying this last part because Rachel, the protagonist’s main waifu, is universally hated for betraying him, when in effect she is doing the exact same thing everybody else was doing. Hers was the fourth betrayal in 3 episodes and nobody was complaining about the previous three, although they were equally vile. It’s almost as if they hate her because she’s the main waifu, and the only one who hurt the empty husk of the self insert that is the main character, and that ruined the power fantasy they were getting up to that point.

7) The world building is dull
Despite the setting having a lot of space for adventure and discovery, it does very little with it. Nobody explores or even interacts with his environment, because they are busy passing tests inside a building. Whenever something new is brought up, it’s only because it’s part of the upcoming test, and it disappears from existence as soon as the test is over.

8) The pacing is super fast
The plot speeds through every event without allowing you to like anyone or anything before it’s over. And the reason for that is because the director of the anime decided to remove a lot of the talking, which would make the anime very boring to watch. Because in case you didn’t know, the webcomic is heavy on dialogue and infodumps. 70% of its duration is people explaining what is going on in a confusing way instead of showing it. And you need to add to this ridiculous amount the long blog posts that SIU, the creator of the webcomic, wrote outside of the webcomic for adding details he couldn’t fit somewhere in the actual plot. You are mostly reading about the characters and the rules instead of actually seeing a damn thing, because SIU was completely incompetent at delivering exposition by showing things instead of having a character saying it, or even worse, by writing blogs that you read outside of the webcomic. Do you believe that this guy is hailed as a genius writer when he hardly shows anything? There is a part where he turns a huge alligator into a tiny chibi comic relief, because he got bored of drawing him and wanted more space for filling the pages with huge speech bubbles that infodump the story instead of having to actually show a damn thing. Anyways, by removing all the terribly handled infodumps, the plot moves very fast and it’s mostly action about stuff you were never given much context to give a damn about.

9) The cliffhangers are fake tension
A lot of episodes end in a way that makes it seem like something crazy is going to happen in the beginning of the next episode, and nothing happens. It’s just lazy hooks for making you click on the next episode only to be disappointed. Character X is never going to die when the episode implies he did, and there is never going to be an amazing battle right around the corner.

10) Fake complexity
The tests are pathetically simple and nowhere near as sophisticated as they make them seem to be when they explain the rules (very poorly). The show is constantly trying to sound smart in order to fool the audience into thinking they are watching something smart, but down to it, it’s a run of the mill fighting shonen with a lot of needless complications. There was no point in creating a fake crown for fooling the others, when they instantly defeat them all a few seconds later. There was no point in stalking goblins and running around like idiots when all it took was sabotaging the underwater canals. There was no point in fighting a monster that was holding back the whole time and which could easily defeat them whenever it felt like it. Same thing with the tests, which have a shitload of rules and yet there is no skill or tactics needed for passing through a water barrier, or opening a door. The protagonist passed half the tests by standing still and doing absolutely nothing. As for the other half of the tests, he just uses a new superpower that he either pulls out of his ass, or copies it in a second by looking at someone else using it. This is also why every test is ultimately a waste of time and by extension the entire series is a waste of time. They could simply have a typical battle royale on the first level and nothing would change. The strongest and most ruthless would be the last remaining ones, and that would be the end of the show.

For all these reasons and even more if I was willing to nitpick further, The Tower of God is yet another show that does not live up to its hype, looks bad, is very hard to follow, has no tension, no logic, and nothing to look forward to.

3/10 story
6/10 animation
7/10 sound
2/10 characters
4/10 overall

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trustmyreviews Aug 3, 2022

the hype comes from that fact that tog is a webtoon which a lot of people had read so they looked forward to the anime adaptation including me but god you are right the anime adaptation is awful 😢 , i recommened you to read the webtoon which explains everything 

SilentWinter May 5, 2022

Tower of God was boring.

WonderofU129 Jun 28, 2021

Yea the manhwa was a 100x better than this adaptation idk why every manhwa adaptation is so bad if you have read solo leveling manhwa and this manhwa you'll know what I'm talking about and God of highschool is a good manhwa and explains a lot more than the anime 

yuuriel May 12, 2021

agreed. to be honest, tower of god was one of the first manhwas i had ever read, and i felt that the plot, world building, characters, everything was wonderful. But as i continued to read more mangas/manhwas, i came to understand just how much it was lacking in so many aspects. even back in the time i really loved the manhwa, i felt that the anime did not do justice to the manhwa (like they fit 80 chapters into 13 eps lol. even the little bit of 'explanation' and 'logic' of the mahwa was lost in the anime). now that i've read and seen much better plots, and that the manhwa has fallen out of my favor, this anime has won it's spot in the "top animes i wouldnt recommend list".

Mousekateer627 Feb 11, 2021

Reading your review was much more entertaining than the anime. I'm glad I'm not the only one who felt bored, confused and frustrated with the anime and really hated the bland overprivilaged self insert protagonist. When Rachel pushed Bam to kill him in the last episode that made me smile but got really pissed when he lived.