「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.

12 Comments

  1. Pretty good episode.
    Not that I mind the expected betrayal too much since Bam is, so far at least, an extremely bland/boring protagonist carried by the rest of the cast, but I wonder what good it does for Rachel? Wasn’t the requirement for BOTH to make it? In that case both failed and she could have just as well betrayed him earlier instead of waiting till the last moment…

    boingman
    1. I also wonder what are Rachel’s true intentions? Assuming her behavior is completely rational. She could just sit and do nothing, and so the test would be passed. But apparently, she wants to get rid of Bam for whatever reason or at least stay away from him.
      It’s also interesting that test director Yu didn’t want to let her pass to the next round because of her trauma. But as we know now the trauma is fake. So, are these two conspiring?
      Also as we may assume Rachel and that disappeared silent big guy are some kind of the one. And they became (along with dear Endorsi) the only survivors of their field test by actually killing everyone else there.
      So shady Rachel

      nixx
      1. While I’ve seen many comments about Bam’s lack of identity as a character, Rachel may be even more of a cipher than he is. We really don’t know much about her except that she’s pretty moody and that she also came from a place ‘outside’ the tower. And, I guess, that she has no heart whatsoever.

        Some great imagery in that last scene: her waiting with outstretched arms to catch Bam, the shot from below as she holds him but doesn’t look at him, the shove, the moment just after seen from afar, him gazing questioningly back at her, each with their arms extended, and her cold expression as he falls into darkness without her. Finally, during the credits, where normally they have a roughed up Rachel sleeping in a meadow, Bam descends into the dark green waters. As an aside, I’ve been wondering since the beginning why she wears that pinafore dress which seems so out of place in this world.

        Mockman
  2. Just finished keeping up and damn! That went wrong! 🙁

    There are questions which I wonder where the source of her betrayal comes from.

    Was there a negative feeling she had in that dream? The dream is kind of vague because in there, Bam didn’t need her anymore as he made lots of friends from the Tower, but somehow the spotlight (literally) is all on him while she stands in the dark the whole time. So is this dream the starting point of the betrayal?

    Because crown game she seemed concerned and yet she still keeps her identity for who knows whatever reason.

    Heard there was still a lot of the explanation and conversations cut out from these latest few episodes so I guess this series is forcing me to go and read the source material for the whole picture.

    RK
    1. I actually think that the dream sequence was something like showing that she wanted to be on the spotlight that Bam was. He was on the spotlight with all these good friends and she was a voiceless being in the dark, somebody that would never be heard or noticed by anybody. As I write this I think that her motivation was maybe jealousy more than anything.

      Going with the above, I think that Rachel helped on the crown game just so Bam would continue to climb the Tower without ever crossing paths with her, because the team which won the game would go to the 3rd floor directly. So he would be at a higher floor than her and so the chances that they would cross paths would be lowered considerably, and as Yuri spoke about the 77th floor we can be sure that this tower is absolutely massive meaning that they wouldn’t see each other anymore.

      Thinking about it now, since the beginning, Rachel was trying to push Bam away from her, and this time it was the “perfect” opportunity to throw him away, and maybe “get on the spotlight”.

      Kanmuru
  3. Anime is probably the only industry where they’re not entirely forthcoming on whats required for a second season(or more). This obviously means how many sales are required to get something renewed. Fans are just left with supporting the best they can and hoping for the best.

    Production commitees should just lay it out for fans on whats required for another season.

    At least with American television shows fans know ratings & watching via methods that are monetized gets something back.

    Lyfe
    1. Well, the economics for the business do seem unique. As far as ‘TV’ industries go, it is especially dependent upon the manga world for source material — which is one of the key economic factors that make anime unique.

      I do hope that they find merit in continuing the story beyond this season’s finale. Maybe with CR really wanting to follow the netflix model (and produce its own content) combined with the Korean interests that are involved, they can find a way to get it done.

      Mockman

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