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Tower of God Is Back but Without Its Spark

Tower of God anime was one of my favorite titles of 2020. I don’t know if it was the fact that it was one of the few anime that didn’t get delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but I truly enjoyed the story and its animation. Even though it somewhat diverted from the original webtoon and changed a few things while adapting the story I still thought it was a standout anime with a unique charm.

That brings us to today: four years later Tower of God Season 2 is finally here. This time around the Answer Studio is adapting the second season of the webtoon and it’s pretty evident from the first scene that things have changed, and not for the better. The scene is the fully reanimated first season’s finale but everything that made ToG anime special is not there: the colors are dull, the movement feels limited and the characters lack life. You know it’s not good when mouth movements feel weird because it’s the only motion on the screen. Still, if you discount the first season and take this as an independent unit it is not that bad, it just blends in with the dozens of mediocre battle anime we get every season.

However, the art style and animation are not the biggest gripe I have with this sequel. The first season of Tower of God changed things up compared to the webtoon – the story took a somewhat different turn, the world-building was changed so that it felt more mysterious, bigger focus was put on Rachel and Bam as opposed to the tower mechanics, certain characters were removed or combined to make it less chaotic and so on. I read the webtoon after watching the anime and I have to admit that the adaptation feels like a different story. The anime gave the viewer a feeling of mystery regarding the tower: we never learn how and why people get in. Rachel’s motivations, while explained decently well, take on a different light in the webtoon. All of this feels ignored in the sequel and it feels like this episode assumes you either read the source material or you simply know what is happening.

I wouldn’t call Tower of God premiere bad by any means but it’s pretty evident that it is missing a little bit of something that made the first season such a success. I’ll definitely keep watching as it still holds a dear (started writing “deer“) place in my heart and I’m not sure if the fandom is complaining due to change or because we actually have issues with this. One thing I will praise: Kevin Penkin doesn’t miss with his music and this episode had some amazingly fitted tracks.

Tower of God is streaming on Crunchyroll.
© Tower of God 2 Animation Partners

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