Tower of God Episode 2 & 3 Review
Episode 2 & 3: 3/400 & The Correct Door
Tower of God episode two and three excellently keep the momentum going. Its not just non-stop action. The anime is balancing peering into the world beyond the tower, and showing us a human side to these fantastical characters.
Something that sticks out in the first three is how information has been doled out to the viewer. Exposition has been taken in two ways. Through some very literal discussions with the main character Bam, and then through visions/flashbacks of the other characters. The first episode leaves us with a very confused idea of the world, but by the third episode things are beginning to come into focus without beating us over the head.
Its still a little confusing about how the structure of the floors works. My initial thought was that each test is a floor of the tower. The way its finally spelled out in the third episode makes it seems like each floor is multifaceted. It wasn’t clear from the second episode which is where I became confused. Once the crown challenge began it became more obvious how the Tower of God works.
Blue Turtle and Gator
Khun and Rak are some great additions to the cast. Rak Wraithraiser is your typical lovable meathead whereas Khun is the mysterious brains on the operation. Episode two lays out that Khun, who Rak lovingly calls the blue turtle, knows more than he leads on. He is unphased by the battle royale, and is keen-eyed when he spots the signature marking’s on Bam’s sword.
Its the blue turtle, Khun Aguero Agnes, that is by far the most interesting character on this show so far. Bam is so mysterious, its obtuse. In two and a half episodes we already have Khun’s tragic backstory setup and developed. His sister was poised to become a princess until something happened that cast them both out. He is embroiled in scandal and rumor. There is more going for him than the main character of the show.
On the other hand we have Rak Wraithraiser. The beastly lizard, so focused on hunting the most powerful that he comes off as arrogant and goofy. I recognize him as the comic relief of the series. Rak is funny in how over the top he is as this hulking lizard-like gladiator, but I just wish they wouldn’t break the art style of the show for him to become goofy when he laughs. Everything else in the show is very serious and a bit violent, so comedic relief is necessary. It just doesn’t need to break the flow of the show.
I wasn’t sure what to make of the tests from the first episode. The first test that Bam goes through is more of a test of will than anything else. Once he enters the battle royale it feels more like a test of strength. Its every lizard girl out there for themselves.
I didn’t care for the impassible wall of magic. It feels dumb without context right now. So far we haven’t seen much of magic in this world other than it exists. Now some smug fellow named Lero Ro is coming along and telling the regulars that unless they can walk though his magic wall they can’t continue. I recognize that it is a demonstration of just how unusual Bam is, but I don’t know if I see anything else interesting in how long they spend on the trivial task.
Its all mind games in the second test. I like the psychological component of the timed door test. With nothing more than a hint about a 5 minute clock, its up to Khun, Rak, and Bam to pass through. There isn’t any trick or Monty Hall problem to solve. More of a mind game to test the decisiveness of the players, to which Rak shows a penchant for. The room is not without some clueing into Khun’s previous life.
The third test really begins to have some game theory behind it. When will you join the battle and will you have enough time? If you jump in too early into the battle you might be knocked out before the game is over even if you win a round. On the other hand if you wait too long you may never compete before the game is over, automatically disqualifying your team. I like this type of test. It manages to mix the action components of the anime, and the game theory that I was hoping to see behind these tests.
Rachel and Khun’s Sister
The brief moment in the second test where Khun flashes back to where his hardship began, ends with a brief shot of Rachel. The girl that Bam most desires to be with above all else. The whole scene is focused on Khun and the salacious insinuation that he and his half-sister are in fact lovers. It quickly switches to Rachel before Rak breaks Khun from his paralyzed trance by completing the test.
I am intrigued by the implication. First the Khun ruined everything for his sister, and second that Rachel and his sister are connected. Their characters don’t look exactly alike. One with white hair and the other blonde, but there must be a connection there that we haven’t gotten yet.
After three episodes of Tower of God, I am starting to feel all in on the show. There is a good mix of primary and secondary characters between the three amigos and some of the other teams we have seen. So far the larger backstory of the world is being doled out nice and evenly where it needs to be. Any less might be a mistake.
[Sources and Further Reading]
[Image via Crunchyroll]
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