The widely anticipated anime adaption of SIU’s popular Tower of God webtoon finally debuted on April 1. I first caught wind of news of the anime around last December, about six months after I started reading the webtoon, and upon watching the trailer my uneasiness doubled two-fold.
Like with any adaptions of a well-loved series, there’s opinions on two sides of the aisle: one, that is primarily concerned with accuracy to the source material and scorns creative license, and the other that is primarily concerned with enjoyment. Sometimes you fall into both.
I’m not submerged in the world of webtoons. Tower of God is only one I consistently kept up with. The fantasy-adventure elements made me nostalgic for Yu-Gi-Oh, actually, and found the strategic sort of trials in the beginning similar to games of the 1998 series. More on this later.
The trailer’s art style was a bit off-putting. Readers further into the series know how high the production value has gone up: the character designs and fight scenes are wonderfully illustrated, and there’s a stark difference from the first few chapters as SIU brought additional illustrators on. Having been spoiled from that quality, the art of the anime in comparison falls short: namely, the linework. Some scenes in the trailer look fantastic, that especially of the monsters, but others look dull in comparison. Debaters in forums argue that the animation studio is trying to be faithful to the style in the early chapters of the webtoon.
Either way, after watching the first two episodes yesterday,I noticed after the fact that I didn’t take note of the lacking artistry at all during the 24 minute runs. The pacing is fast, and the first season is only slated to be 13 episodes so I do wonder how 78 chapters will be adapted into that time frame if the seasons are to align with that of the webtoon’s. By the end of the second episode, Lero-Ro finished conducting his shinsu-barrier test. There’s enough moments where the show takes the time to explain the rules of the world and tower that someone can watch it comfortably without having read the webtoon, but I do wonder if that will keep up in…