Tower of God
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|Tower of God|
|Revised Romanization||Sin-ui Tap|
|Author||Lee Jong-hui / SIU|
|Illustrator||Lee Jong-hui / SIU|
|English publisher||Line Webtoon|
|Original run||2010 – Ongoing|
Tower of God is a webtoon written and drawn by Lee Jong-hui (Hangul: 이종휘), also known by the pen-name SIU (Slave. In. Utero). It was started in 2010 as the first story in the "Talse Uzer" universe. It is edited by and released for free on Naver Webtoon. It has been phenomenal in its success, as it has been translated into Japanese and English by Naver, and to many other languages by way of fan translations.
- 1 Development
- 2 Setting and plot
- 3 Characters
- 4 Other media
- 5 Popularity
- 6 References
- 7 External links
Author Lee Jong-hui majored in visual arts education on a university level before being conscripted into the South Korean military. By the advice of a senior in the army, Jong-hui started drawing cartoons. During this period, Jong-hui drew "ten books" worth of practice cartoons, which formed the backbone of the Tower of God comic he later started to create for the Internet.
Setting and plot
Tower of God centers around a boy called Twenty-Fifth Bam, who has spent most of his life trapped beneath a mysterious Tower, with only his close friend, Rachel, to keep him company. When Rachel enters the Tower, Bam manages to open a door into it as well, and faces challenges at each floor of this tower as he tries to find his closest companion.
In the webtoon, "The Tower" is a mysterious structure that is completely enclosed and hosts many unique environments. It is permeated by an element called "Shinsu", which has strange properties similar to magic in other comic universes. It is inhabited by many different intelligent species. Living on the top floors is associated with a higher status in the Tower and better living conditions. This is a result of ascension from one floor to the next being only allowed by passing increasingly difficult tests of strength, dexterity and wit. At the top of the Tower sit the "10 Great Families", which form the governing body of the Tower. A figure known as King Jahad is the chief leader of this body.
Each floor is composed of three layers: an external Outer Tower which serves as the residential area, an Inner Tower where people are tested, and a Middle Area, which acts as a network linking each floor. Residents of each floor are given the chance to ascend, provided that they are deemed "worthy" of doing so by Headon, the First Floor's Guardian and caretaker of the Tower. Such people are referred to as "Chosen Regulars" in Tower of God. The Tower is sealed from the vast, unknown "Outside" by portentous, impenetrable doors. On rare occasions, extraordinary people are able to open the doors and enter the Tower. Such people are called "Irregulars" in the webtoon, and protagonist Twenty-Fifth Baam is one of them.
According to the author, each floor is the size of the North American continent.
Shinsu (Hangul: 신수, RR: Shin-soo), roughly translated as "Divine Water", is a substance found within the Tower in varying concentrations on each floor. On the lower floors, Shinsu is diffuse and inconspicuous, similar to air. However, on higher floors, Shinsu increases in power and concentration, and is said to be viscous and flowing similarly to water. High Shinsu resistance is required to enter these floors. Residents in the tower must form a contract with the "administrator" of the respective floors in order to manipulate Shinsu. However, individual known as "Irregulars" seem to be an exception to this case, with one (Enryu) who even managed to kill a seemingly immortal administrator of a floor.
Shinsu can be manipulated to enhance physical abilities, power weapons, and even manipulate the elements.
Bang, Myeon, Soo
Bang is the number of Shinsu control. The more Bangs someone handle, the better the ability to control shinsu That size is called Myeon, and that concentration is called Soo.
Flow Control, Reverse Flow Control
Shinsu don't have a fixed flow, but there is a temporary flow. Using this flow to attack is called flow control. Expert wave controller could destroy a village with this. Reverse flow control is used to strike back in the direction of the flow and to stop the opponent. Sometimes they are used simultaneously, attacking with flow control and protecting the body with reverse flow control.
It is a technique to strengthen the body in good fortune.
Battle in the tower is done as a team. A position is a role each person plays in battle. There are five basic positions; fisherman, spear-bearer, light-bearer, scout, and wave-controller.
Fishermen carry out individual activity. They have the highest destructive force. They use reel inventories to disable opponents, and are at the center of battle. They are divided into two classes; reel fishermen and Man-to-Man fishermen. Reel fishermen use their reel inventory to attack enemies from a medium range, and Man-to-man fishermen who attack from a close range.
Fishermen are usually given the names of Shinheuh (specifically fish species). For example: Yuri Zahard's sobriquet is the Black Snakehead/Mullet.
This position utilizes spears to target enemy from the back to finish off what fishermen had started. Anyone who attacks from a distance is categorized as a spear-bearer even if they utilizes other weapons apart from spears, for example shinsu. Spear-bearers can be further classified by their combat styles, whether they are better at throwing the spears like javelins at a close range or fighting at close range with the spears.
Light bearers light up the dark tower. They use mostly glowing objects called "lighthouses" to collect battle data, analyze it, and formulates plans for the team. Lighthouses are made of suspendium (mineral that enables things to float in high concentrations of shinsu). They are used to gather battle data, and to light up the tower, since most battles in the tower are fought in dark places. Lighthouses can be used as a shield to block attacks or limit movement by blocking a path or trapping enemies. Light-bearers can assume either a frontal or rear position. They act as a battle command center, giving orders, getting feedback from teammates, and making up new strategies.
Scouts scout ahead at the very front line of battle. They use devices called observers to read the changes of Shinsu, collect visual data, aid the light bearer, and ultimately to assist fisherman when he charges. They usually arm lightly, for they need high mobility. Since they always move in the front line, they have the highest risk of being in a one-to-many situation, and they learn skills for survival.
Wave controllers control shinsu to assist in battle or overpower opponents. They are the rarest of the five basic positions. This position comes in a lot of variations. Some use shinsu to actively attack enemies at the front line, and others use shinsu to change the flow of battle. There are those who use shinsu in close quarters combat, and those who attack from a distance.
Wave Controllers are usually given the names of winds and waves. For example: Po Bidau Gustang's sobriquet is the Lonely Wave.
Guides are a special position. They lead the way for the team, and are said to have been 'blessed' by the tower. Especially skilled guides are said to be able to predict the future, or sometimes even 'change' it. They can analyze an opponent's power, skills and etc. There are two known species which are capable of guiding; silver dwarves and red witches.
Guides are usually given the names of Boats. For example: Evan Edrok's sobriquet is the Fast Ship.
The role of protecting the team at the risk of one's life
Twenty-Fifth Bam (Hangul: 스물다섯번째 밤; RR: Seumul-daseot-banjjae Bam; literal translation: Twenty-fifth Night) is the protagonist of Tower of God. Bam is the latest Irregular to enter the Tower, but because of his young age and naiveté, his abilities don't resemble those that previous Irregulars are known for.
In the story, Bam enters The Tower in search of his best friend Rachel, the only person who visited him and cared for him in the years of isolation that he spent in a cave underneath the Tower. After entering the Tower, he is told that all the answers that he seeks will be answered if he climbs the tower, though he is immediately presented with a seemingly impossible and deadly test. Bam succeeds, and is allowed to move onto the second floor, where all would-be Regulars start their ascension. Throughout the webtoon, Bam makes several friends among the candidates, and together they pass the many tests of the floor.
Bam returns in Tower of God: Part 2 - The Return of the Prince, which takes place six years after the original story, using the alias Jue Viole Grace (Hangul: 쥬 비올레 그레이스; RR: Ju Violet Grace). In this story, Bam is under the control of the infamous anti-government group FUG, forced to cooperate to keep his old teammates safe.
Rachel (Hangul: 라헬; RR: Rahel) was Bam's best friend until she entered the Tower and became an Irregular. She desires to see the stars in the night sky at the top of the Tower and is determined to reach it by all means. This wish comes from her fear of the darkness of the night. Later in the webtoon, she is wounded and pretends to be heavily crippled, at which point Bam declares that he will "be her legs" and help her continue climb the Tower. In a later test, she decides to betray Bam and apparently kills him. She convinces his friends that Bam died protecting her and profits from the pity of the group that wants to continue the task Bam had started: carrying her to the top of the tower, then after six years Bam finds out Rachel is part of FUG.
SIU said that constant Rachel "in fact, is a really charming character" once you get to know her, something she has decidedly not shown onscreen.
Khun Aguero Agnis
Khun Aguero Agnis (Hangul: 쿤 아게로 아그니스; RR: Kun Agero Ageuneseu) is from one of the 10 Noble families that first climbed the tower, and the son of High Ranker Khun Eduan. He meets Bam in the first test of the second floor, and deems him interesting enough to accompany and aids him while they climb the tower. He and Rak quickly become Bam's closest friends. He is usually in the Lighthouse position, but he has been shown to be capable of basic close combat as well when the situation calls for it.
Rak Wraithraiser (Hangul: 라크 레크레이셔; RR: Rahk Rekraisher) is a large, powerful, and very confident spear bearer. He unwillingly teamed up with Twenty-Fifth Bam and Khun Aguero Agnis early in the story, and he quickly became attached to them during the following tests. Due to his reptile-like features, he is sometimes referred to as "Alligator" or "Gator". Rak refers to his friends and people he meets as "turtles" of different colours; the term by which he also earnestly addresses his "prey". Rak is able to change his size so that he is smaller and convenient to walk around.
Ja Wangnan (Hangul: 자 왕난; RR: Ja Wangnan) is another primary protagonist introduced at the beginning of part II, which initially focuses on him before spreading attention to the other main cast again. On the 20th floor Wagnan is initially selfish and willing to resort to trickery to pass the test to the 21st Floor, as he has been stuck on the 20th floor failing the same floor advancement test repeatedly ever since arriving on the 20th floor which results in him falling into financial debt with loan sharks; but later in his last chance test he starts to display his inner caring side and is shown to be sympathetic and forgiving to people who similarly used trickery against others to survive. His goal is to become the King of the Tower. He is blond haired, has red protrusions on the back of his head, and has a red ring with the symbol of Zahard (also known as Jahad in other translations) inscribed on it, a ring that Karaka, one of the rising members in FUG wears. He has not displayed any special abilities with shinsu or martial arts, but was able to survive a fatal pierce through his heart in the Workshop battle when Beta tried to stop him from summoning Baman later showing a full recovery, which garnered suspicion and interest from the few people who took notice of this. He is also referred to as Prince of the Red Light district.
Wangnan wishes his horns would grow.
If you read his name backwards in korean, it litterally means (I AM PRINCE) (Nan-"I am") (Wangja-"prince").
Hwa Ryun (화련, Hwaryeon; or "Hwaryun") is Viole's Guide and also the Guide for FUG's Rankers notably Ha Jinsung. She is a member of the Red Witch species known for being Guides and currently a member of FUG. Evan Edrok briefly encountered her during the Submerged Fish Test and was shocked by seeing her, although Hwa Ryun and Evan don't actually know each other. She entered the tests on the Second Floor posed as a Regular (a job given to her by FUG) in order to better accomplish her objectives without rising any suspicion. In the crown game, she was teamed up with Yung Changsoo and Goon where she refused to ally with the other teams, instead wiping them all out until she was stopped by Androssi (Sometimes Endorsi). She then got past Androssi and attacked Rachel and as a result she was wounded in the face by Bam who somehow attacked with Shinsoo despite him not having made a contract with the manager. After the game she was assigned the Wave Controller Position.
Viole./Bam went to meet her on the 21st Floor, at a karaoke box which was being extorted for money by a Viole impersonator. Hwa Ryun provoked the Viole impersonator, having fun with the situation. Viole easily took care of them. After the Flower of Zygaena test, Hwa Ryun easily manipulated Yihwa into helping Viole by saying that an elite would attempt to correct her family's wrongs. Wangnan later approached her for guidance, knowing that she was a Guide. He realised that she told him that Viole was an Irregular because he would be able to reconnect Viole to his friends. Hwa Ryun made a remark that implied that his motives could be altruistic or selfish, calling him the "Prince of the Red Light District". She told him that if he wanted to reunite Viole with his friends, they must climb to the 30th Floor and participate in the Workshop Battle.
Before the Workshop Battle, Hwa Ryun traded places with Yuto to become part of FUG's team. When Viole was taken in the Thorn chamber, she guided his friends to summon him and save him from being molten. She helped her side of FUG, by using the other side of FUG's plans against them, so that Viole acquired the Thorn. Unfortunately, Hwa Ryun was taken hostage by Reflejo and used in his fight with Viole. Using the White Heavenly Mirror Koon saved her. After the events of the Workshop Battle, she was seen sat in a room. She had pre-emptively known that Baam would ask her for her help, which Koon noticed. After Koon agreed to the deal, she offered her help and told them of the Hell Express on the 35th Floor.
SIU wrote that she was the most beautiful woman of the Season 1 Regulars. He further stated that this was a foreshadowing, the importance of which has yet to be revealed.
Her name means "inferno wheel" when translated from Korean to English. It could also mean "lotus flower".
White was the 10th of eleven slayers in FUG. He belongs in the Arie family, one of the ‘10 big families’. His body has been lost, and only his name and souls remain. He is good at using swords, and has white hair, just like all the other members of the Arie family. His height varies depending on the size of his power. He often competes with Jue Viole Grace, the new slayer candidate of FUG.
White has been interested in spells or dangerous magic since ancient times, especially those that needed human sacrifice. Because of that, people in the tower feared him. The cruelest spell he could use was used at a hidden place in the tower. He caused war between two countries, and cheated them so that they would pray for his help. Many people died for him, and he ate the souls of these people, which made him stronger. This spell supposedly killed more than one billion people. Finally, a ‘princess of Jahad’ suppressed him and he lost almost his power. After that, he went into the hell train to regain his lost power. He manipulated people in the train to kill each other. One of the people in the train, Roen, made sacrifices to stop White, and he has been sealed for 600 years.
Actually, White is the aggregate of five sons and daughters of the Arie family. They used a spell to combine their souls and became stronger. The central personality of the five was Hoaqin’s. However, the spell needed them to keep eating the souls of others. As a result, White has eaten souls since they used the spell.
In the hell train, people who wanted to revive White; FUG, the conductor of the hell train; Pedro, and party of Rachel’s, clashed with Jue Viole Grace, and had a life-and-death confrontation. When this match was over, the conductor's plan, to killed the party of Jue Viole Grace, got busted by Ha-Yuri Jahad. She suppressed the conductor and the hell train. This made the match unclear. and White was able to escape from the hell train.
The five clones of White are,
- Arie Vicente
- Arie Anna
- Arie David
- Arie Albelda
- Arie Hoaqin
The last clone of White is made from the souls killed by White and Arie Albelda.
He is an irregular, currently the fourth in rank. He is the strongest active Ranker and also the fastest one to climb the tower via ‘normal methods’. As the strongest currently active Ranker, as an irregular and as one of the founders of the Wolhaiksong, Urek Mazino is one of the most influential people inside the tower. His nickname is Ray Barracuda. Ray refers to his combat style, in which he fires Shinsu at the speed of light. Barracuda is the name of the most aggressive fish in the tower.
Urek is a tall man, and handsome. He has blonde hair, and he has fiery red eyes. A tattoo of a tree with 7 pairs of wings (the symbol of Wolhaiksong) is on his back. He is a ruthless man, and he is respected by men. However, he is disliked by every woman he meets. Ha-Yuri-Jahad said: “He is the best man to fight with, but the worse man to live with.”
The most famous quote of Urek is: “What fun would it be to become the king of the tower? Tell Jahad to keep his boring seat. I will get out of the Tower. Outside the Tower, there exists a vast world, rolling skies stretch endlessly, and countless stars illuminate the darkness. A place that is a thousand times—no, a billion times wider and freer than the tower. Once you imagine that such a world exists, don’t you think all those things you want are all so trivial?”
Although his main position is fisherman, he excels in every other position than almost all of the rankers. He beats everyone in agility, strength, Shinsu control, etc. After entering the tower, he passed all of the tests faster than any other ranker.
Urek can't actually rap.
He is mentioned in the 84th episode of the second season. He is shortly mentioned in the 240th episode of the second season when Garam Jahad was thinking of the past. He has red hair and is very handsome. He is currently the second in rank.
Jahad built a temple for his followers to worship him in the 43rd floor of the tower. One day, Enryu appeared, turning the Shinsu red, and said,” “Only those who believe in the false king will remain here and face death.” Many people fled, but some remained and even fought Enryu. Enryu eliminated every remaining people in the floor. The administrator(ruler) of the 43rd floor was furious and fought with him, but even he could not fight with Enryu; he was killed. Enryu is the only one in the tower who was able to kill an administrator.
Enryu has been known to be the person who has the highest number of bangs. According to the last light bearer's record, it is said that Enryu has over 9000 bangs. (it is rumoured by the translator that this might be a reference to the popular dragonball anime series quote"its over 9000".) But some believe that is false. In other asian translation, the actual translation is over 8000. The over 9000 quote is only popular to english speakers and youtube viewers. But since siu seems to speak english as well, that rumour might be true as well.
In 2013, Naver released a mobile role-playing game on Google Play based on Tower of God, developed by Sunrise. The game drew in 120 million players shortly after its initial release. The Tower of God role-playing game's development continued for two years after its initial release, and the game saw a full commercial release in 2016. In February 2016, the game ranked in the top 5 most popular games on Google Play, with its popularity still rising. In the game, a player can choose one of the characters from the webtoon; each represents a unique character class.
Naver sells a variety of Tower of God merchandise, such as figurines. During the commercial release of the Tower of God role-playing game, Naver released limited edition items worth ₩30,000 South Korean Won.
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