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Not long: (After he catches up to his old group.)
A moderate amount of time : (Not soon but before they get to Wing Tree HQ on Floor 77)
A long time: (Not until after they reach florr 77)
A loooooong time: (Not until they near the top of the tower)
Until Baam does what FUG wants.
I'm doing a single chapter review this week because it seems like there is just too much here to try and wrap into a bi-weekly one.
Due to the lack of feedback on the review format I've been using I'm going to assume everybody is more or less happy with the current review style but keep in mind that if you want me to change or add anything all you need to do is ask.
Looks like the poll was unanimous last week and nobody was buying that Baam was convert to FUG and it looks like we were all correct.
Now onto the review!
Chapter 108 Review
This chapter revealed far more about Baam's connection to FUG than I ever expected to get this soon (Which I am extremely grateful for). The revelation, told by Hwa Ryun to Wangan, that Baam is not with FUG of his own free will but rather has been coerced into cooperation through FUG threatening his friends makes a lot of things that didn't previously fit together, fall into place.
Interestingly enough, the individual view of this is different among the FUG members. Ha Jinsung doesn't seem happy with this method at all and seems to be genuinely doing his best to lessen Baam's misery. While Hwa Ryun is unapologetic and evades any sense of responsibility by blaming "his destiny".
Wangan's reaction, upon learning all this, is to be appalled. He may consider himself to be no friend of Zahard but clearly what FUG is doing is reprehensible. Later that night he heads up to the roof and finds Baam gazing upward. Thinking back on what he had learned he openly apologizes to Baam for thinking that he wasn't a good person and even goes beyond that to say that if he was Baam's friend he wouldn't regret dying for it; and then calls him "friend". Which, I must say, shows an admirable amount of backbone from Wangan.
Yihwa also comes to the roof to say something to Baam but Wangan teases her about being jealous of the redhead and gets toasted, which derails that. However, the exchange provides some amusement for Ha Jinsung who is watching from afar but his good humor is interrupted due to noticing someone call Karaka, presumably also FUG, who is watching from a distance as well.
After that things skip right to the start of the next test, so it looks like this will be the end of the downtime chapters.
This chapter's art was downright sexy. Great use of lighting. Great use of shadows. Great detail work. Great background work. This chapter looked just plain great.
And you know what my favorite part was? The clothes. DON'T LAUGH! Well.. ok, laugh if you want to but Baam changed his clothes 3 times in this chapter(not counting the flashback). Do you people realize just how rare that is (I don't think I've ever even seen something like that before)? Most illustrators hate doing that extra work so you end up with a character wearing the same thing for years at a time. SIU went the extra mile this week in every aspect and it showed.
I don't think this chapter could not have been any better than it was. As much as I personally dislike giving consecutive perfect scores this chapter is perfect by every measure that I rate.
So I give it a 5 out of 5
Points of Interest
FUG and Baam: Part 2
No choice huh... We'll see about that.
Now we see. Baam never went to FUG. He never took their "hand". There was no "dark phase" FUG used the threat of harm to his friends to force cooperation. This means that he will only cooperate as long as they retain the leverage necessary to force him to. They have caused Baam to "obey" at the price of losing any hope of gaining "loyalty".
The thing that FUG will likely set as priority #1 regarding Baam is to keep him away from his old teammates. If he and they are reunited a huge portion of FUG's leverage vanishes because if he finds a way to warn them suddenly Baam doesn't have to be quite so obedient. Sure, Baam and his friends aren't going to be able to contend with the higher rankers in FUG even if they knew they were coming but how many rankers do you suppose are out there like Love who have grudges against FUG? More than enough material for Koon to work with I should think.
Once Baam thinks he can fight FUG's control, that control disappears. That's the problem with blackmail you only have as much control as the person your blackmailing allows you to have. Killing Baam's friends gains FUG nothing if it doesn't force him to obey.
The only chance this plan ever had of success was for FUG to cause Baam to fully adopt and embrace the persona of Viole. Which I suspect was the point of the alias to begin with. For Baam to be molded into the person FUG wants him to be, but obviously that plan has not worked and retaining control of him for 100 more testing floors seems pretty close to impossible now.
Baam: The Heart and Soul of TOG
It's not Baam that shines in this scene but it's Baam that makes it possible
As great as these last 3 chapters have been, they really haven't changed my mind about the previous 25 of part 2. Ultimately, character development in Tower of God is reliant on Baam. As a reader I relate to characters largely through him. Hiding Baam's motivations had the effect of crippling this cast's introduction.
One of the things that I immediately noticed when Baam as a person reentered the plot 3 chapters ago is that the new team immediately benefited and allowed for a much more substantial connection. Yihwa and Wangan in particular.
So, in the long view, I don't like SIU's decision to put this off for so long anymore now than I did before. The payoff just wasn't worth it to me. But there is no use crying over spillt milk so now that Baam is back to being a part of things instead of part of the scenery I feel like this new group actually has a real chance establish themselves.
Ha Family: Where Being Obsessed with Baam is Genetic
"How many times do I have to say it Jinsung, as flattering this is, your not my type."
So it seems even among FUG's ranks there is somebody that can't resist Baam's charms. I admit I was hoping for Hwa Ryun(being both pretty and female) but you take what you can get. Though the fact that he also belongs to the same one of the 10 Families as Yuri makes one wonder if that family is potentially just one giant Baam fanclub.
Despite the hilarity of his man-crush, Ha Jinsung is actually quite significant because he's someone who seems to genuinely want to look out for Baam's best interests as much as he can. Like in protecting this new team of Baam's; I have little doubt that he alone is what kept them alive. He seems to have done this in the hopes it would make Baam happier in the forced persona of Viole.
Ultimately, trying to make Baam happy as Viole is pointless. Remember the person that Baam is was in large part the person Rachel molded him into. So letting go of himself is something he simply cannot do anymore than he can let go of Rachel.
The question to me is, what happens when Ha Jinsung realizes this? What will he do when FUG's control of Baam finally does fall apart? Given what I've seen from him, I think there will be a man with a cheap perm on Baam's side when the chips are down.
Last edited by Jammin; October 19, 2012 at 09:34 AM.
It seems we disagree on the part of FUG not being able to form a bond with Baam now. I still think it's possible that he might remain in the organization even when he can't be forced anymore - that is if he finds precious friends within. FUG definitely made it hard by forcing Baam but it's not impossible that he either remains in the organization or will help to kill Zahard. It feels like FUG knows how to manipulate people (even if they're not lying) so I feel like they have something in mind to bind Baam beyond this "threating his friends".
This brings me to Hwa Ryun - there's just no way that she told Wangnan everything without a reason. She seems to be a "hardcore" FUG member which means she probably will do everything possible to accomplish the goal of killing Zahard.
---------- Post added at 09:07 PM ---------- Previous post was at 08:49 PM ----------
On another note I wonder if Evan (Yuri's guide) actually knows that Baam could be with FUG - the way he stared at Hwa Ryung in chapter 72 gave me the impression that he knows her very well.
When an organization threatens a person's raison d'etre to achieve a goal. That's something that can never be gotten past. Because the organization has shown that it is actively willing to sacrifice all that Baam holds dear to achieve it's ends. I could believe that people inside of FUG choose to side with Baam, and I could believe that Baam would decide to take on Zahard, but I think there is no chance Baam will ever wish to truly be a part of an organization that showed such a willingness to kill his friends.
No matter their goals, those methods reveal FUG for what it is; a threat to what he holds dear. Now that he has learned that he will never unlearn it.
I doubt she would have minded telling Baam's whole team the truth as it would probably make succeeding in tests easier and that's part of FUG's goals.
Last edited by Jammin; August 22, 2012 at 04:55 PM.
The thing is I also don't see him as loyal to Zahard.
Ultimately, I also don't see it like Baam would want to escape from the tower and joining with Urek Mazino, although they might become good friends the most.
So, where does this lead Baam to, I have no idea...
Last edited by Monsterguy; August 22, 2012 at 05:02 PM. Reason: spelling
I think you underestimate the power of their blackmail and FUG in general. Once Baam thinks he can fight FUG's control, they kill one of his friends. He still thinks he can fight them? They kill another. Unless you want him to again become the unfeeling monster that doesn't care if people die, he's not going to even risk betraying FUG. For all he knows, some of his friends are already dead. Yu Hansung saying he wouldn't even know until he climbed the Tower adds even more psychological pressure. It seemed quite clear that FUG doesn't and wouldn't hesitate for even a second to kill people.
Jinsung wants Baam to be happy as Viole. He wants him to accept that this is his reality and try to make the best of it. Hwaryun says none of them think it's right that Baam has such a destiny, and clearly Jinsung is a bit more sympathetic to his plight, but I somehow doubt that he joined FUG with such weak feelings that he would give it up for Baam. FUG is trying to completely revolutionize the entire Tower, a system that has been in place for thousands of years, and have apparently spent at least centuries attempting to do so, all while being hunted as enemy #1 by the 10 great families. I don't know why people keep under crediting them so much when we've already seen the pretty amazing extent of their influence. Getting members to be test directors on the floors specifically meant to weed out the dangerous people? They've basically co-opted the system. And it's even possible that Headon is on their side.
Your right that Ha Jinsung wants Baam to be happy as Viole, I specifically stated that above, but that's obviously not going to happen and the question is what happens as that truth dons on Jinsung.
FUG is no easy opponent but they are not unbeatable by any stretch of the imagination and if Baam decides to fight them FUG loses even if they could win the actual fights. Because no matter what FUG does all Baam has to do to make there plan fail is say "No"; they can try and punish him and his friends but in the end if Baam doesn't play ball it's pointless.
Last edited by Jammin; August 22, 2012 at 06:35 PM.
Yes, FUG will lose when Baam decides that he doesn't care that his friends will die. Regulars don't stand a chance against high rankers. Rankers aren't even supposed to be in the Regular's area either, FUG breaks the rules by entering. Yuri said for Baam to come to the 77th floor after he becomes a ranker, because regulars and rankers aren't even supposed to interact, so I wouldn't really count on them getting much ranker support. Even if they managed to meet Yuri somewhere, they wouldn't be able to take tests or move up the floors, since according to Evan even Princesses aren't exempt from the rules. I don't see why any of them would even want to put their lives down on the line for Baam or any of his friends. Anyone with a grudge against FUG would find it far easier to just kill Viole and ruin all of FUG's plans. Yuri just 'took a liking' to Baam and is interested in him because he's an irregular, and presumably Urek is the same, so ultimately they just want to use him for their own purposes, which apparently have something to do with being an irregular. We don't know how badly they need him, or whether they'd care if all his friends die. I don't know how it'll all go, but assuming it's going to be easy and inevitable for Baam to quickly escape seems shortsighted.
And you misunderstand my point. It's not that Baam wouldn't care that his friends would die. It's that he isn't going to accept being pushed around forever nor will his friends accept him being pushed around.
How do you think Koon would react to the what's going on? You think he'd take it lying down. Of course not, the very concept is silly. Koon would go to war with the devil for Baam. Same for Rak, do you think he would accept this. No way! He'd probably spout something about "annoying FUG turtles". They same goes for pretty much all of them. The aren't going to accept the situation. How could they?
As for which Rankers would help and why the list is looooong.
For starters they could probably recruit anyone interested in enforcing the tower laws. As you pointed out FUG would be in violation of those laws and are public enemy #1 anyway. Those same people going after Baam would make no sense since Baam's full back-story is irrelevant to FUG's attempt on the lives of his friends (Who's going to tell them that part exactly?).
Other rankers I'd imagine Koon could most easily get are those who FUG had wronged (Which are not in short supply), they wouldn't be fighting for Baam they would be fighting against FUG.
On yeah, and then there are at least 3 different members of the 10 Families who could be threatened by this, one of them a Zahard Princess. So obviously some of the 10 Families have an incentive to do some smiting.
Then there is whatever assets Yuri's got and, considering she didn't have much trouble putting together a badass team to find him last time, I don't see much problem doing it again and remember she's not waiting to hear from him she's actively working to find him; and she's supposedly on good terms with Mazino. So it's not much of a stretch to think she could call in some favors and get a group capable of taking on Luslec himself.
Soooo Koon has got himself some options.
Plus, once Baam's friends chuck aside those rings FUG loses their ability to pinpoint their targets; the mere fact that those rings exist proves FUG's other tracking methods are far from perfect.
Last edited by Jammin; August 22, 2012 at 09:18 PM.
Well, you appear to have it all figured out, so there isn't much point in disagreeing further. All I can say is that I hope it doesn't turn out like that, because it would completely destroy the intricate framework that SIU has laid out for a really complex and far reaching plot line. "Let's get all our friends together and beat up the bad guys" isn't particularly compelling and sounds about as 'easy' as a plan could get. It completely trivializes the FUG element of the story, making them out simply as a bunch of thugs to beat up rather than the most secretive and dangerous organization in the tower. If I were high ranker Yu Hansung and got outplayed by a regular with a 3C intelligence score, I'd probably jump off the top of the tower.
As for the value of the FUG plotline. I don't see it as being nearly as valuable as you do. FUG is a perfectly fine plot thread but it's one of many. The 10 Families, Zahard, Wing Tree, Phantaminum, Enryu, and the nature of the tower itself are all things I find more interesting that the religious organization known as FUG and their goals. I'd be perfectly content with Baam deciding on his own beliefs and goals.
Plus, even if it was as you said and Hwa Ryun telling of Wangan was based on her certainty that he is anti-Zahard that wouldn't make what she said all that much more logical. Especially since he spent the whole last part of that conversation condemning FUG. I mean, it's not like she was trying to make FUG sound good to him, she even openly admitted to him in the very same conversation that they had come here to kill him and the rest. What she said to Wangan didn't seem to achieve any goal.
Which is why I think the most logical explanation is simply that she doesn't care if he knows, maybe she even finds it preferable since it would facilitate more trust in the group and thereby allow for better teamwork but we'll see...
SIU said the story revolves around Zahard's past and the 10 Families. Sounds to me like FUG is a part of that picture, as is FUG's "attempt" to control Baam; but it's one piece among many.
Last edited by Jammin; August 23, 2012 at 01:29 PM.
It could be as you said and she told Wangnan to possibly facilitate teamwork, but that doesn't mean that she isn't sure that he is anti-Zahard. She may find it preferable to make him anti-FUG to assist in teamwork while being sure that him being anti-Zahard means that he won't tell anyone about Baam instead of getting Wangnan on their side while sacrificing his potential bond with Baam.
You said that the FUG plotline isn't very important, not specifically FUG's relationship with Baam. Even still, "why Mirchea Luslec wanted to make Baam a slayer" is also mentioned in the same sentence, so Baam's relationship with FUG is also part of the main plot
Last edited by abc1233; August 23, 2012 at 02:09 PM.
Plus, sooner or later people are going to ask him why he's so determined to NEVER fail any tests, especially since he's going to need to work with them to achieve that it's pretty easily for him to get in a situation where he would have to tell them his reasons or fail a test (and thereby have FUG murder one of his friends)
To be clear though my argument here was never that Hwa Ryun couldn't have thought Wangan was anti-zahard, maybe she did and maybe she didn't, my argument was that it would no more sense to trust Wangan with information that she wanted him to keep secret regardless of that.
All it would take for Wangan to reveal everything he knows about Baam however he feels about Zahard would be some rival team bribing, blackmailing, or torturing it out of him; or maybe just him doing some drunken gossiping at a bar or something. All those things are very real possibilities but Hwa Ryun told him everything anyway. If I understand you correctly you seem to think the most logical explanation for this is that it's part of a plan on her part, I think the most logical explanation is that she just indicates that she isn't worried about it.
What I said was " I don't see it as being nearly as valuable as you do." (referring to Dacomp89's opinion of them)
And "why Mirchea Luslec wanted to make Baam a slayer" is a very different thing than "FUG's relationship with Baam". The former speaking to FUG's motives for involving itself with Baam and the latter being FUG's actual involvement with Baam.
Last edited by Jammin; August 25, 2012 at 11:03 PM.
Indeed a 5 out 5 in my opinion ^^. But i'm biased because i love TOG so I would do a good reviewer as you do xD.
I am amased as SIU does all this artwork and smart plot all by himself , with no co-workers at all.
Please SIU dont die til you finish TOG T_T (how selfish of me huh).
About FUG i guess they arent that stupid to let all be thrown away by some regulars. They put a lot of effort into hiding baam from the 10 families eyes, and that wasn't nor simple nor easy. If u think they dont have at least thought of how they will keep baam on their side until he can kill Zahard, you sir are a bit naive.
SIU has lots of plot twists to show us, and thats what makes TOG so interesting.
Last edited by TheBoss; August 25, 2012 at 10:38 PM. Reason: spelling