Now that that particularly pesky beginning is out the way, Tower of God episode 2 can move on to the good stuff: introducing its cast of characters, setting up the power system, and giving us a taste of how the story is going to function from here on out. In this sense, if you’re not fully on board by the end of this episode, then chances are that this series is not going to be for you.
Firstly, Tower of God episode 2 introduces us to some of our core characters. Rak and Khun were already introduced at the end of last week, but this week gives us a better idea as to their personality and chemistry, both with each other and with Bam. In this sense, both Kenta Miyake and Nobuhiko Okamoto do an excellent job. That’s a good thing, considering that we are going to be seeing a lot more of them going forward.
But aside from our main trio, there are also other important character introductions – most especially Lero Ro, the Ranker who administers one of the tests in Tower of God episode 2. It is no secret that Kenjiro Tsuda is one of my favorite voice actors, so perhaps it is no surprise that I adored his performance. Nevertheless, the way that he captures Lero Ro’s intelligence and hidden ferocity works very well, only adding to the talents of the voice cast.
If the anime followed the original manga, then we would have gotten even more character introductions, but the adaptation skips over some of them in the name of time. That’s not such a bad thing, as it helps keep things moving along at a nice pace. Many of them will also get another chance later on, and some of their personalities are apparent from their actions alone – the tracksuit-wearing Shibisu being a great example of this.
Another important thing that Tower of God episode 2 does is set up the series’ power system: Shinsu, or ‘holy water’ if you listen to the Japanese translation. We don’t get an idea as to the mechanics of this substance – that will come later on – but we do get a very good idea as to its ferocious potential and awe-inspiring power: even more so than the original manga, the sequence where Lero Ro puts up a wall of Shinsu makes for an incredibly strong first impression, mostly thanks to the animation and Kevin Penkin’s soundtrack.
Eagle-eyed viewers will also notice that Shinsu isn’t used in any of the fights in this episode, and there is a very good reason for this: most of the Rankers don’t know how to use it just yet, and even if they do, they don’t want to let the cat of the bag. Still, the way that many of the fights rely on cunning and wit more than physical prowess is a good indication of how the series will operate going forward and only serves to strengthen that comparison with Hunter x Hunter. Anak vs Hatz aside, that is.
Setting up those three essential elements – characters, power system, and fighting style – requires Tower of God episode 2 to cover a lot of content. In fact, the episode covers about five chapters of the original manga – starting off with a scene from chapter 5 before moving on to chapter 6, ending halfway through chapter 11. As a result, a lot of content from the original manga is missed. The aforementioned character introductions are a shame, but there are other elements, such as narration and expository dialogue, which won’t be missed. If you were expecting a more direct adaptation, then you may be disappointed. But I, for one, believe that these changes are a necessary evil.
On the subject of changes, you will have probably noticed that the series’ ending sequence has changed from the first episode. Instead of scrolling credits on a black background, there is now an image of Rachel lying on the ground, battered and bruised. It’s a hypnotic image, and the change gives me hope that the team is also planning to beef up the otherwise lackluster OP in the near future.
You can watch Tower of God episode 2 via Crunchyroll.