Movie Reviews

I Caught Up With Tower Of God's Anime & I Have One Major Concern For Season 2

Summary

  • Tower of God season 2 shifts focus to new characters, risking repetition of season 1’s issues.
  • Blue Lock’s emphasis on friendship and betrayal improves upon Tower of God’s approach.
  • Anak’s intriguing character dynamic in Tower of God could be further explored with fewer characters.



Although I’d been aware of Tower of God for quite some time, I never got around to watching the series until Crunchyroll announced the long-awaited second season, at which point, I took it upon myself to get caught up before the series resumed. The anime may have started to drag partway through season 1 for me, but overall, I was quite impressed with the story, especially that incredible final episode explaining Rachel‘s true feelings for Bam.

Since I wanted to avoid spoilers, I steered clear of all news pertaining to the second season while I was getting caught up. This also meant that I did the same with any manhwa news, even though the adaptation ostensibly strayed from the original Webtoon. That said, I wish I had kept this mindset all the way up to watching season 2’s first episode by going in with a blank slate because the synopsis is troubling.


It’s clear that Tower of God season 2 will be shifting perspectives to focus on a new group of characters. Since the story of the original cast never reaches any conclusion, it’s obvious that they will eventually return in some capacity, but the fact that season 2 is essentially resetting in this way is problematic – but only if the show follows the same formula as season 1.

One of my main gripes with season 1 is how the Tower of God keeps many of the characters’ backstories a mystery for far too long, all to the detriment of viewers caring about them. So, if the reasons why these new characters want to climb the eponymous Tower of God aren’t shared sooner rather than later, then season 2 will likely suffer the same drawbacks as the first.



Blue Lock’s Success Underscores Tower of God Season 1’s Main Problems

Doomed Relationships and the Dicothomy Between Friendship and Betrayal Can Make a Series Great

Yoichi Isagi fixes Bam's biggest problem in Tower of God

To further prove my point, I will compare Tower of God to Blue Lock. An understandable reason why some fans like Blue Lock so much is because all the characters are forced to temporarily play on the same teams together when they are destined to compete against them later on, thereby eliminating each other from the competition, since there can only be one victor.

Blue Lock
clearly improves upon what
Tower of God
started by putting emphasis on this dynamic immediately and with much more force.


Blue Lock shares this aspect with Tower of God, since only one person can ascend to the top of the latter’s tower. However, Blue Lock clearly improves upon what Tower of God started by putting emphasis on this dynamic immediately and with much more force. Although this same type of doomed relationship is implied in Tower of God, the theme of friendship and betrayal is never addressed directly until episode 8, which essentially marginalizes its greatest strength for the sake of mystery.

Moreover, it doesn’t help that Tower of God‘s entire story revolves around Bam who doesn’t even care about reaching the top, since all he wants initially is to find Rachel. This matters because the protagonist is always the viewers’ main source of conflict, as is the case in Tower of God, and yet, Bam’s not caring about climbing the tower makes it harder for viewers to understand the situation.


Season 2’s New Cast of Characters Has to Avoid Repeating the Same Mistakes as Season 1’s Group

Season 2 Should Reveal the New Main Group’s Motivations Earlier

Meanwhile, every other character is ascending the tower to regain something they lost, but that truth is perplexingly saved for later to focus on Bam’s personal struggles. Once the viewer understands everyone else’s losses, it’s much easier to care and despair over the fact that only one of them will get what they wish while everyone else will be left with nothing. However, these revelations are kept from being discovered, thereby unnecessarily elongating the time in which the characters are portrayed as two-dimensional, like Rachel’s initial desire to “see the stars.”


In contrast, Blue Lock‘s Yoichi Isagi constantly frets over the fact that his dreams will likely be shattered since only one person can win while everyone else must give up on their dream to be a professional soccer player. This involves Yoichi obsessing over what this means for him and everyone else, even before the viewers learn these other characters’ motivations. With this, viewers are able to understand his anguish and therefore easily apply his suffering to everyone else, even before their background has been revealed.

Bam And Rachel Aren’t the Original Characters That Should Get More Face Time in Season 2

Anak Was One of the Most Interesting Characters From Season 1

Anak dramatic pose with sword in Tower of God


In season 2, the series will be moving away from season 1’s main characters to some degree after it took so long for me to care about them. However, I’m not frustrated because we’ll be seeing less of Bam and Rachel, but Anak. Anak’s relationship with the royal Jahad family is so intriguing because it masterfully subverts a conventional dynamic in shonen, where characters are usually praised and revered for being born with powers, while those who gain their abilities from someone else are ridiculed. My Hero Academia‘s Deku and Black Clover’s Asta are the genre’s latest and prime examples of this convention.

This isn’t the case for Anak in Tower of God. Due to how Jahad princesses are chosen and what they are forbidden from doing, Anak, who received her powers hereditarily from her mother, is scorned and viewed as an abomination that must be eliminated. Although a fun subversion, Tower of God will have more difficulty exploring this dynamic further since there are now so many more competing forces vying for face time rather than just Bam’s group.


If she had fewer characters to compete with, Tower of God could have more easily given Anak the shonen treatment to amplify this unconventional view of hereditary powers, Of course, Tower of God is a manhwa, so it can never be officially viewed as a shonen, but other manhwa like Viral Hit meet and exceed certain shonen tropes. So Tower of God could easily follow in their footsteps.

It will be interesting to see if Tower of Godseason 2 will fix how it mishandled its supporting characters in season 1, but this doesn’t take anything away from the excitement of fans who have been waiting for a long time for this adaptation of one of the most famous and successful manhwa.


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