Here comes a regular
What if scaling a massive tower meant you could have any wish you’d ever dreampt of granted in the blink of an eye? Would you still push yourself to reach the top, even if it meant facing off against some of the most difficult challenges anyone has ever witnessed? That’s exactly what a young boy named Twenty-Fifth Bam intends to do in the visceral, gritty Tower of God.
In this action-packed adventure, Bam chases his lost friend Rachel across treacherous floors of a mysterious tower stretching up toward the sky. Bam has lived his entire life beneath the enormous tower without ever having truly known its purpose, who erected it, or what goes on inside it. He led a lonely existence until he met the most important person in his life: a girl named Rachel.
All Bam wants is to eventually be reunited with his friend, no matter the cost. After spending sleepless nights looking at the Tower and wondering what its true purpose is, one day the doors open to Bam and he’s allowed to enter. Once inside, he meets a variety of different inhabitants of various species as part of the Tower’s unique hierarchy. The anime series kicks things off with a bang, even more so than its Webtoon counterpart, assuming most viewers are at least familiar with the source material or have read a few of the installments. From there, it can get a bit confusing, so here’s a bit of background as to what you might not pick up.
In Tower of God, there are the Regulars—normal Tower citizens who have made a life for themselves there—and the Rankers, who govern the Regulars. The 10 Great Families are the ruling class whose word is law, led by the immortal King Jahad. The King is more than just the ruler of the Tower’s inhabitants; he reached his ruling status via various contracts with powerful beings throughout the Tower known as Floor Guardians, and as such effectively cannot be killed. This is an intriguing part of the narrative that isn’t immediately shared with viewers, and it goes along with the whole “pushing viewers straight in” approach.
Of course, there are also the Irregulars, which is what Bam is—those who entered the tower by mysterious means and operate outside of any established rules the Tower’s inhabitants have set. That makes them dangerous and even potentially capable of taking King Jahad’s life—though this isn’t explained too early on in the series except through his daughter, who seemingly inexplicably lends Bam her powerful sword.
Bam will need all the help he can get, but he won’t be able to go it alone if he wants to reach his goal. He works alongside a varied team of additional Regulars inside the tower to find Rachel. His party of choice? A massive reptilian man named Rak Wrathraiser, who’s proficient in spears, and Khun Aguero Agnes, a curious member of the Tower’s 10 Great Families who’s along for the ride because he views Bam as “interesting.”
But what is the Tower, after all? The Tower of God series doesn’t do an especially great job of explaining this at first, assuming at least a modicum of viewer knowledge. The Tower is a monolithic presence that most individuals simply want to climb, as those who reach the top will receive any wish they desire granted. But climbing the Tower isn’t as simple as one might think: there’s no scaling its sides like a mountain or simply walking up, floor by floor, the way you would a regular piece of architecture. There are a strict set of rules that must be followed, as well as trials that potential challengers must overcome if the end result, the aforementioned wish, is to be granted.
What’s interesting about the Tower is that it actually exists in something of its own world. Its true origin and purpose remains wholly shrouded in secrecy, but characters within the series’ world have reason to believe that anyone, even those from the outside, can benefit from its wish-granting capabilities.
Many of those who have explored the Tower previously, such as the seemingly endless number of Regulars who have attempted to scale it, have accumulated information about it that’s been passed on to others. For instance, the Tower is comprised of three separate areas: the Outer Tower, the Middle Area, and the Inner Tower, which are divided into separate locations. No one can cross over between these sections without using their own abilities or gaining permission to do so.
These intriguing machinations make for a series that’s deeply fascinating. You’re never quite sure what’s going to happen next, but it’s certainly an exciting endeavor waiting for the next episode to come around. With fantastic opening and ending tracks from Stray Kids as well as some very cool “sketch”-centric animation, Tower of God makes for one of the most refreshing Shonen-centric series that’s debuted in some time, and you’ll want to give it a try. Then, go straight to Webtoon to devour the manhwa.
Rating: Not Rated