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It's only going to get better
I can't talk about everything but touch on a few key topics:
World Architecture: Here, I will only say that very few things are truly original... things often seem original because of our ignorance. With that said, I find ToG's world building quite deep. SIU clearly thought a lot about giving meaning to each position (fisherman, spear bearer, light bearer, wave controller, etc.). He has so many ideas he can't possibly fit all of them into his story, which is why he has a separate blog for these details. Immediately, the readers begin to appreciate the fact that these ideas are pre-planned, thoughtful, and multidimensional. The tower exhibits three layers; in addition, its complex due to the mystery of "what is at the top of the tower" and the 'world outside of the tower'. Social hierarchy - based on the ranking system, blood line, and floor - all add depth to an already mysterious, complex world. Very few comics (manga, manhwa, etc.) have this scale of complexity.
Plot: The thing about ToG is that it has multiple plots. In the beginning, you assume it's about finding Rachel. And then you get more ideas like "becoming a ranker", "thwart the rule of the king", "escape FUG", "going outside the tower", etc. It's endless. The author already has 6 seasons planned out and we have yet to finish season 2.
Art: Art in the beginning of season 1 and second half of season 2 are... "okay". The first half of season 2 is an astounding improvement over these two sections. The reason why the art has progressively gotten worse lately is due to the author's wrist injury. As I type this, he is currently taking a 8-9 week... which he should have taken long ago before his wrist became permanently injured. The shading and drawing have gone downhill... it probably pains the author more than it pains the readers.
Characters: Characters are interesting- a wide diversity of races, personalities, color, etc. There is also synergy between the characters. You have a one-dimensional kind Baam contrasted with the multi-dimensional ruthless Koon. In season 2, you get characters who often pair up in the parent-child position (e.g. Horyang, Goseng, Arkyraptor, Viole vs Miseng, Yeon, Prince ).
Someone could say that main character Baam is fairly one-dimensional in personality and is OP-starting character. There's no denying either of these things, except that they're not good criticisms. Baam's one-dimensional personality owes itself to his background and is what derives fascination from his peers; it provides a nice contrast to Koon who he is anything but simple. Baam is made simple based on SIU's good judgment. On the other hand, he isn't lacking in any sort of character development, as one will see in season 2. Of course, one-dimensional personalty can be a problem in other series. As much as I love Attack on Titan, Eren lacks a personality that fits his origins and synergy with the other characters. I think the author did try to portray him as being slightly psychotic but he could have done a better job with that. Koon is another major character of the series. Clever - and sometimes ruthless- realizes that in order to climb the tower, sacrifices have to be made. Sacrifices have to be made to keep so that those precious to him, can also climb the tower. He's willing to dirty his hands so his friends do not have to.
Counter-argument to common criticisms: Nothing is truly original... something only seems original when you don't know where the ideas stem from. The real reason people look down on "cliche ideas" is because it gets old... not because its not original. What's important is inventiveness... how well you combine the ideas of your predecessors and contemporaries. ToG does this fairy well while adding new innovations. Although character development is hardly a universal standard for a good comic (e.g. look at Cowboy Bebop), I agree that some characters could use some more touch. The problem here is that SIU introduced so many characters there is simply no time to cover the background of each in detail, especially when many of these characters are really secondary and we'll probably see very little of them in the later seasons. This is kind of what befuddles the readers, who often grow attached to characters without realizing that they're not that important.
My own criticisms: SIU has worked hard to satisfy all his audience... the problem is you can't satisfy everyone and sometimes you got to follow your own intuition. In the afterwords, you'll often see the author pondering over whether or not something seemed too fast-paced or slow-paced, whether more fight scenes should be added, etc. I guess you could say SIU tried to dumb down ToG a little for a lot of his audience (the immature ones typically), which almost pains me. For instance, ToG in season 1 and beginning of season 2 was more brutal than the latter half of season 2. He admits that ToG was planned to be more violent in the beginning but he toned it down a little. I would like to see what SIU originally had in mind.
In addition, his drawing of fight scenes are not very good. He just isn't very experienced... therefore, he needs to spend more time drawing these out. The whole tournament arc was a bit of a mess and this is the first time I will ever complain that the story had way too many PLOT TWISTS. How often does this happen? Never. The tournament arc was a fantastic idea in SIU's head but I don't think he realized how much work it would take to bring it on paper. For instance, it felt so linear in its first combat round, utilized only a handful of items, and used few strategies. It didn't really feel like a game. And I think SIU understands this better than anyone else, considering how much thought he puts into these sort of things. You just don't realize it soon enough when you're the one drawing these things. That coupled with his wrist injury... well quality was bound to go down.
Conclusion: I have a lot of hopes for the author? Why? Because he clearly has well-thought provoking ideas pre-planned about the world he is building. Because he works harder than almost any author I know, having to draw and color simultaneously, despite facing a wrist injury. Because he is not incompetent and listens to the criticisms of his fanbase. Anyone giving this series less than a 8/10 can't be taken seriously unless they've seen many flawless comics... I have yet to see one.
This webtoon is amazing , SIU is genius , i finish reading and it is the best thing i've ever read , the story and the world , everything about it is so refreshing , the thing that surprises me the most is , there are characters that didn't make any appearance and yet at the same time the way i started to love them was equal or higher to the ones that we see every time and are present in the story .
When i finish the story i went to visit the wiki and reading all the info , i realize i know nothing about this comic even after i finish reading all both seasons , it seems the author released info about the story and the characters that hasn't appeared yet and put it in his blog their background or their accomplishment , you can find the translation in the wiki . I am looking forward to when those characters appear .
... Last updated on June 23rd, 2014, 8:39pm
cant stop reading it !!!
ToG is the best webtoon i have ever read, even though it started a bit boring and at one point I was even thinking of dropping it ... but ToG got better and better! I love all the characters, especially Baam/Viole, because he really is loveable and has an interesting background. The art is also really beautiful, I can't get enough of it ^^
Was Good but now Average
Tower of God started out good with an interesting premise, a good cast (most of them pretty generic) and some intelligent tests/games. There are times you might draw comparison with Hunter x Hunter or some RPG games, but most of the time it standed out on its own.
Yes, it's not original or something unique in even world building (like many people here claims) as ToG borrows most of the world building elements from other works but that's not bad if it's done well.
But the second season has been disappointing. Author has dragged many arcs in the second season maybe thanks to the popularity of Season 1. The tests are boring & they are not intelligent at all like Season 1. Many of the characters are flat & boring, and sadly the main character (Baam/Viole) still remains the same unidimension shonen idiot (the generic protagonist who has a heart of gold but brainless fool). There are battles which are dragged on for many chapters, the fights are boring to be honest. Most of the characters are drawn as some child.
Tower of God was one of my favorite read during its Season 1 despite the main character's generic & flat personality; but Season 2 has ruined it for me. Author seriously needs to stop wasting time on unnecessary things (especially taking more than 30-40 chapters which is terrible).
In short, Tower of God doesn't deserve such high rating.
Rehash? Probably not, and this author knows /exactly/ where this story is going.
I couldn't agree more with Rennov.
A lot of people, after ToG became popular, started complaining that it's a rehash of fantasy elements seen in other mangas; I would argue that it, in actual fact, is not, but the logic which equates this irrevocably with a bad manga is beyond me anyway.
The author knows exactly where this story is going. He is not pulling tricks out of the hat or grabbing at straws to stretch this out. If you read the afterwords in season two you'll realise this, and also that there was no way he could have foreshadowed some things in the ways he did without knowing what was going to happen. The foreshadowing might be subtle, and it might be seen only by those who read the notes The Company attached to the end of each chapter to find out about the ToG universe, but it shows how truly, truly vast the universe is, and just how much the author knows what is happening, and will happen, in his story.
(I have only one last thing to add, and that is to those who say Baam is the standard protagonist who is kind to everyone: what have you to say over the workshop battle now, then? More specifically S2 Chapter 72?)
In love with this series....
ToG fangirl speaking:
This is the first manga in my life that has made me check for an update every single week for more than a couple months... even shingeki no kyojin (attack on titan) and One piece weren't able to hold me for longer than that. I've read 300+ series of every genre that's out there, and this one is the only one I am addicted to. It's been 2 years, I still check for updates EVERY SINGLE WEEK.
Anyways, people bash on this series saying it's a ripoff of HunterxHunter. But, really it's not. Just because two series hold similar premises of clearing "levels" doesn't mean the newer series is any less engaging than the former. In fact, I read the entire HunterxHunter series, and it gave me a headache... (The only reason i kept reading was because of Killua...)
While Tower of God exhibits some scenes that have already been depicted, the series' main enticement is the hidden motives and lives behind every character, no matter how "generic."
Here, every character has a story to tell, and are risking their own lives to climb to the top and be granted what they desire. The author managed to make me fall utterly in love with two batches of characters for season 1 and season 2. There are still a ton of mysteries left to be solved, and the main character Baam's true identity remains hidden to us all.
The cunning hero, Koon, seems to be the typical intelligent badass... but he's more than just that. He has many problems he's dealing with that are subtly hinted at throughout the manga. His special way of caring for people, for example, is just heartbreaking. And the main character? He may be cliche, but he really does raise some good questions about life and humanity. Plus, he actually takes a pretty big twist after season I, and is forced into becoming a villain. That is a pretty novel idea.
p.s. to the guy that called this manga a "video game version of guy saving damsel in distress" you can't be more wrong. In fact, if you stayed for a bit longer you will see that if anything that damsel is the opposite of a damsel..... she is a absolute B****8 ..... (cough cough) forgive me for the cursing but she is not a DAMSEL IN DISTRESS in any way or form.
Oh and it's not even the main character I'm the most obsessed with. It's the 2nd main character Koon. He's is such a badass.
So please, give this manga a chance, but also cut it some slack. If you start the manga just scanning for absolute awesomeness, you'll be disappointed. This manga will only truly shine if you give it some time to let it digest.
And it's only going to get better
... Last updated on July 25th, 2014, 10:51pm
Tower of God doesn't have a single original or interesting idea in it. It's a RPG aspired story with a messianic main character with a million rehashed fantasy elements and dizzying amount of characters. It's the dollar grocery store fantasy paperback equivalent of manga/manhwa with mediocre writing and poor art. Reading this feels like playing a table top RPG with a novice Dungeon Master. The author clearly has a lot of ideas he wants to play with but he just doesn't have the skill to properly world build while being engaging at the same time. Maybe some can enjoy this series if this is first kind of RPG style fantasy you've encountered but by no means is this anything noteworthy.
... Last updated on March 27th, 2014, 7:33pm
This world is truly vast
I've been read ToG since long time ago and I still conclude that this manhwa is top-class (even the season 2). Yet, even few (maybe a lot) people say the opposite. I'll just say, "this world is truly vast"...
I started to read this webtoon because of it's high popularity and high rating.. and people might strongly disagree with me, but I hated it.. the story was really boring, many characters appeared, and I couldn't stand it more.. even though I hated it, I forced myself to read more chapters, just because I wanted to see if the story might get at least better, but I was wrong.. it was really~~~~~~~~ boring, so I dropped it...
Strixflash I couldn't agree more
You nailed it - I have nothing to add but an agreement. My biggest guess is that the author runned out of juice - not even a surprise since he's been keeping up pretty well before recent arcs. The biggest problem the author faces is that he has created too many important characters before they even appeared - now he doesn't know how to weave it all perfectly, thus the arcs drag like no other.