After the rise must come the fall. That’s what the ancient masters of Greek drama taught us, all those millenia ago. The same applies to Tower of God episode 12: after a series of successes for Bam and friends, tragedy is bound to strike. And when it does, things will never be the same again.
But first, Tower of God episode 12 needs to address the cliffhanger that rounded off last week’s episode. Confronted with a choice – kill her newfound sister or betray the cause of Jahad – Endrosi chooses the latter, after a delightful exchange that brings back memories of better days. Not only does this encapsulate the character development she has gone through since the Crown Game, it also ensures that the two will be thick as thieves going forward – which is something that I am more than down for.
Anak also gets a moment to shine in this part of Tower of God episode 12, as she declares that “We’re climbing the Tower together!” – a far cry from her initial, standoffish personality. The person that she says that to is also important: Princess Yuri finally makes her long-awaited return from episode 1, taking on Yuga in a battle that serves to demonstrate the huge gap in power that lies between a Ranker and a Regular. She also plants some seeds for future development: telling Anak to come and get the Green March once she’s “ready,” but also giving Shibisu a mysterious badge to give to Bam. As to what function it serves, I’ll leave that up to your imagination.
Rak is also up to his usual antics in Tower of God episode 12, attempting to save his behind from the incoming onslaught of hunter goblins. What struck me most about this portion of the episode, however, was how striking the animation still is, even at this late stage: as Rak and Paracule run away, not only does the background move but also the camera in a subtle but effective demonstration of the prowess of the team over at Telecom Animation Film.
Khun also has an encounter with a mysterious look alike in Tower of God episode 12 that isn’t, unfortunately, explained very well. In the original manhwa, it is made quite clear that he is part of Yuri’s entourage, but the anime decides to cut a conversation between him and another member which leaves it unexplained. Furthermore, unlike the part with Yuri’s badge, this seems to be more of an issue of time than intentional vagueness, so some viewers may be left a little confused.
Yet, all of that is just filler compared to the true meat of Tower of God episode 12: Rachel’s betrayal. Truthfully, this is the moment that the series has been building towards since day one – it is from this moment that the real story of Tower of God begins, for better or worse. That is also why I have always been most concerned about the adaptation’s early days – assuming that it does get a second season, that is.
The questions therefore begs itself: was it really worth it? From my point of view, with knowledge of what comes next, the answer is emphatically yes: not only does the adaptation execute the actual moment of betrayal very well – cutting the music and instead focusing on the cinematography and staging – it also demonstrates that the team can handle more sombre moments, evoking the kind of mood that is set to come.
As it turns out, there is actually another episode of the series left to go (I could have sworn that I saw Crunchyroll announce previously that the series would run for twelve) so most of what I wrote here as criticism before I found that out is moot. Regardless, Tower of God will have a little more time to answer some of the questions posed by episode 12, rally the troops and make one last appeal for a second season. The series may have taken a long time to get here, but now the only way is up.
You can watch Tower of God episode 12 via Crunchyroll.