「潜魚狩り(後編)」 (Sengyo kari (kōhen))
“Underwater Hunt (Part 2)”
Eventful, that’s what that was. To say the least. You wouldn’t be wrong to say the pacing of this show is insanely rapid, but that’s really the nature of the beast – the anime actually isn’t skipping much material from the manhwa. You just get the sense that SIU never lets a good idea (or what he thinks is a good idea) go unwritten. And if you do happen to get that sense now, just what till the anime gets about two cours farther in, if it ever does (or you decide the read the manhwa).
One major event here is the arrival of the new sheriff in town. Endorsi and Anak have really just been keeping the title warm, because there’s no doubt that the “best princess” is Yuri Jahad. She arrives at a rather pivotal moment, too, just as Onigiri-san is opening a can of whupass on the other two princesses. He gives Endorsi a chance to kill Anak herself, but steps in when Endorsi commits her “treason”. And even teaming up and with a 13-Month weapon each, it’s clear that the two of them are no match for the king’s hatchet man.
Meanwhile Khun has gamed the system again. He’s outsmarted the test by channeling the striped earthpigs to the surface to do battle with the barnacle goblins and wetworms, and effectively take each other out. But not before a rather entertaining interlude with Rak and Paracule, who somehow make a much more appealing odd couple in the anime than in the manhwa. But Khun can’t relax for long, as he soon gets a surprise visit from a fellow family member (Uchiyama Kouki). He’s full of taunts but Khun doesn’t rise to the bait, and eventually Hatz shows up to put an end to the dance.
Meanwhile Bam and Rachel come under attack from the bull, who Ren has sent to eliminate him (both the imposter and the irregular were on his hit list). Bam continues to wax lyrical about his intentions to get Rachel to the top of the tower at any cost, and he uses his alarming shinsu powers to take out the bull as proof. But unfortunately for him loyalty is a one-way street in this relationship, and it’s about to come up against a dead end.
Then all hell pretty much breaks loose. Yuri (after a bit of name-dropping) basically mops the floor with Ren, showing in no uncertain terms that all Jahad princesses are not created equal. Yu makes it clear that he’s letting Ren do his thing unhindered, and Lero-ro is none too pleased about it. And most significantly of all of course, Rachel pulls the big betrayal card on Bam at last, and at the most ungrateful moment possible too – he’d just saved her life yet again. The whole time I was picturing the look on Yuri’s face if she’d seen that happen…
If you’d picked up on a certain hostility towards Rachel among manhwa readers and wondered why, well, now you have an inkling (though there’s more to it even than that). This is the event that the entire season has been building towards, though of course we have one more episode to go. The great looming question of course is whether there will be more anime after that – obviously things are going to be left in a pretty unsatisfying place. I’ve been a skeptic, but the truth is Tower of God has really gotten quite a good anime treatment – music, cast, production values – better than I expected, certainly. That implies there was a decent budget behind this season, which itself suggests a second might not be so unlikely. I certainly hope so – there’s a lot of good stuff still to come, and several new characters I’d love to see on-screen.