「王冠の行方」 (Ookan no yukue)
“Whereabouts of the Crown”
Power is everything in the world of Kami no Tou. That much should be pretty obvious to new viewers and manhwa readers alike by now, though we’re only five episodes into a series that would require at least a hundred to properly adapt just the material that’s already out there. I find that a lot of the normal narrative rules don’t apply to Tower of God, and over the years I read the source material I learned that you had to grade the characters here on a curve, power-rise. If you rated them on an absolute scale most of them would break the chart – their strength really only matters as it relates to each other.
That’s what this whole crown game is about as a narrative device – level-setting. Rak’s strength is a relatively straightforward thing – he’s ungodly strong in a fight. Or at least he keeps saying he is, because every time he wants to get it on Khun knock-blocks him. Khun’s strength is an altogether more complicated matter, and harder to quantify. He’s very good at planning ahead, that’s for certain – as he proves when he shows his bag is good for more than just cloning chocolate bars. He’s smuggled some allies in – exchanging a free ride through the Shinsu barricade in exchange for unspecified help later. And the fourth round is later.
These guys seem pretty strong as they emerge to defend Team Bam – strong enough to make you wonder why they needed Khun’s bag to get this far in the first place (though once you start going down that rabbit hole with ToG, there’s no digging yourself out). Their aid allows the main trio to take a break for a round, not that Gator especially needs or wants one. He’ll have his chance in round five, though. The rules of the game dictate that Khun’s hole card can only be played once, and once its played they’re left once more to defend themselves in the final round.
Or so you’d think. Gator does get a chance to stretch his legs a bit (when I see Janken here, I start to think SIU is doing it on purpose), and he can take out multiple opponents just with one toss of his spear. But there’s a wildcard in this final group. the team consisting of Rachel, the “Imposter” girl, and an unknown but imposing third party. They appear to be helping defend Bam, especially from a red-haired ninja in a bodysuit with jeweled spider eyes, though Khun is uncertain as to why. With the distraction provided by her teammates (and the other attacking teams) she gets close enough to land a blow on Rachel (after the cocky girl’s heel breaks – a poor footwear choice) – and Bam leaves the throne in order to put himself in the way of what’s intended to be the killing one.
Of course Bam’s power is the most mysterious of all. Everyone who’s in the know is obsessed with him, but he has no idea why and we’ve seen only brief glimpses of his unusual nature. Seeing Rachel injured certainly gets his dander up, and the Black March has to step in and put him down for a nap before anything really crazy happens. But that’s enough to (again) capture Lero-ro’s attention. Team Bam is disqualified of course, and since the crown is destroyed that’s that for the crown game. Lero-ro gives everyone three days to rest, which is a good thing since Bam is unconscious after the blow he’s taken from Ninja Red.
Lero-ro’s conversation with the test administrator (Kishio Daisuke) is an interesting and intentionally opaque one. As he serves Lero-ro a latte (instant, to his horror, despite having a coffee siphon handy) the administrator asks Lero-ro why entrants to the tower are subject to tests. It’s not to examine their worthiness, we’re told, but to examine whether they pose a threat to the tower. Where does that place Bam, who not only shouldn’t be able to use Shinsu without having formed a contract, but can apparently “become” Shinsu as Lero-ro described it? Lero-ro leaves the meeting none the wiser – and none too pleased about it.