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Tower of God gets an anime: the exciting webtoon blazing a trail

The popular webtoon Tower of God is getting an anime series in April, but what is it? Heck, what is a webtoon? Let’s dive into the future of comics!

What is the Tower of God?

The Tower of God is an ongoing story that began life as a webtoon in 2010, created by Lee Jong-hwi (aka SIU). In it, Bam enters the titular Tower at the lowest level, in search of his friend, Rachel, who dreams of reaching the top and seeing the beautiful starry night sky from its summit. If only it were so easy: you have to fight your way to the top of the tower, one level at time, each bringing with it a massive learning curve and life-threatening tests.

What is a webtoon? Is it like manga?

Webtoons have their origins in South Korea and if the Tower of God is anything to go by, they are like manga in the sense that they are visually inspired by the aesthetics and storytelling of manga, but whereas manga is conceived to be a physical, print media first, webtoons are designed for digital readers.

Practically, what does this mean? Well, webtoons are published in long vertical strips that constantly scroll down. This makes them perfect to read on mobile devices and tablets.

They are also said to include short animated sequences and sounds, but I’ve only read the Tower of God so far and that’s been static images only as of episode 30 (another thing: webtoons have ‘episodes’ rather than ‘chapters’).

This is, in many ways, how I’ve always wanted to consume manga. Webtoons are a glimpse of a bright new future, created by the next generation of authors, born to publish their works online.

The popular medium for publishing webtoons is Line Webtoon and, crucially, all of the webtoons (including Tower of God) on their platform are (legally) free. They have excellent apps for iOS and Android devices, which, given what I’ve outlined above, are a perfect way to experience this new medium. I’ve spent the weekend reading Tower of God on my phone and iPad, and loved every minute of it. Pretty damn exciting, right? Please do recommend me some other webtoons!

Is Tower of God any good?

As of episode 30, yes, the Tower of God really good. What gets me first is that initial hook: Bam enters the tower at the lowest level and has to fight his way to the top, one level at a time. Each level brings with it its own set of challenges, be it a brutal battle royale (the first test is simple, out of 400 hopefuls, only 200 will be allowed through to the next stage, therefore they fight until only 200 are left alive) or a strange mind game (each team is placed in a room with 12 doors, of which only 1 will lead to the next level, the other 11 leading to certain death.)

As we travel deeper though, there’s a lot more to the Tower of God than just tests. Bam begins all of this to chase after his dearest friend, Rachel, who enters the Tower of her own free will because she dreams of seeing the beautiful sky at its summit. Yet Bam wants nothing more than to be by her side, no matter where that may be, even if that means never seeing the sky and living in abject poverty.

Is it better to reach for the stars, to set out to try and achieve your dreams, or to stay humble and to live out your life in obscurity, surrounded by friends and family? Such is the conflict at the heart of Rachel and Bam’s relationship, such are the questions we all face in our lives at some point: to dream, to aspire, to be happy.

What do we know about the Tower of God anime?

The only image of the Tower of God anime that’s been released so far…

On the 6th of February, it was announced that the Tower of God would have an anime adaptation and that it will begin airing in April 2020 (that’s right, the forthcoming Spring season!). Other than that, all we know right now is that it will be streaming in Japan, South Korea, and the US. Whoever is behind this project, they did a great job of keeping it secret for so long!

No doubt, more information will be revealed as we draw ever closer to its debut, and I’ll endeavor to keep this post updated. In the meantime, why not read the webtoon?

Update 1: 25th February, including Tower of God anime trailer!

We now know a bit more.

  • The Tower of God anime will be animated by TELECOM ANIMATION FILM (aka TMS Entertainment), who are mostly known for their work on various Lupin anime and Aikatsu!. We still don’t have specific staff credits, though.
  • The above was announced by the anime streaming site Crunchyroll, with Tower of God being described as a “Crunchyroll Original”. Suffice to say, it will be streaming worldwide on their site.
  • The full Tower of God anime trailer is embedded below. It looks pretty good, you guys! The animation is fluid and it feels like they have nailed the atmosphere.

Update 2: 4th April

  • Check out my review of the first episode of the Tower of God anime.
  • Staff working on the anime includes the musical composer Kevin Penkin, who made the superb soundtrack for the Made in Abyss anime.
  • It has been confirmed by Crunchyroll that the Tower of God anime will be 13 episodes long. It remains to be seen whether or not there will be a second season.

4 replies on “Tower of God gets an anime: the exciting webtoon blazing a trail”

Well it’s been almost 10 years since im following TOG and i absolutrly recommend it. Its a masive super original story with bis upside downs ofc cause SIU is not perfect but it make you strife atleast in your mind and critics about what could be a perfect “shonen/seinen”
And ofc, lets hope this anime thing does not push SIU beyond his limts cause he already had/have wrist problems. This is a great blog, found it by accident.

I remember some years ago when Line Webtoon became available but I had come in contact with it way earlier. I won’t forget the hours I stayed up marathoning what was out, curious to see what’s next. I’ve read up to the beginning of S2 and I kinda lost track of it afterwards.

I have no clue what the heck are they going to fit within only 13eps. I also wonder if the story actually leads somewhere or… lost the plot, as a friend told me :/

Noblesse was the first Webtoon to actually turn into anime but since it was vampire related I didn’t delve into it. Not my cup of tea in particular.

I do like their slice of life stories, like The story of Us, about which I want to write, and there was another one about a Pic female music instrument repairer that I also hold dear.

You’ll find that often Webtoons touch the topic of social injustice and class gap, whether it’s a superhero story or a supernatural thriller. My fav has to be FLOW.

Thanks for the recommendations, Ren! I’ll take a look at FLOW for sure. Incidentally, I’ve fallen away from the Tower of God webtoon at around the same point that you did. The English localisations were so bad and full of broken sentences that I just lost my enthusiasm to read more. We’ll see how the anime goes. The first episode was a good adaptation.

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