Last week's poll was on how much people care about Koon's team , aside from Rachel and Koon. The majority voted 3 (I care...I guess) though the vote was spread out pretty widely. It's telling how different this vote was from a similar poll I created about Horyang. Which was overwhelmingly more positive. I interpret this to mean that Koon's team has a long way to go before it can be hold it's own in terms of interest with Baam's new team, much less Baam's old team.
Now onto the review!
Chapter 126 & 127 Review
Sorry Horyang, I hate to say it but your friend is cooler than you. (It's the wool jacket, I think.)
These chapters continued the Horyang & Cassano story but did so in a way that greatly ramped up the involvement of the supporting cast. Which was something I think this particular arc was badly in need of and a big positive going forward.
The first to involve himself by setting out to bring Horyang back was Baam. Not long after Prince, Wangan, Yeon, and Arkraptor decide to head out too; as soon as they can find a flier. Baam ends up going to the same info dealer Hoyrang went to but in Baam's case she offered to accompany him, for a fee.
Koon's group continues to be a powerful walking strategic disaster. Novik and Ran end up driving Horyang right into Cassano, who gives them all the fight they can handle; while Koon survives an attempt to on his life by an assassin working for the bunny eared info dealer girl then interrogates and kills him. Ran finally seems to put Cassano down with a super powerful shinsoo spear attack but it's unclear it he's down for good. Koon's group doesn't lack for ability, that's for sure, but right now they are relying on ability alone.
In a way, these chapters looked really good. The detail and the lighting was all really great, character's facial expression in particular benefited from this. I liked the background work too. Really solid all around all the way through. The one thing I had an issue with was the combat art. This is has been a recurring issue for Tower of God and it reared it's head here again.
In combat scenes an important thing is to be able to read the scene and understand what's going on. SIU takes a stylistic approach and zooms in way to close for me to be able to understand that big picture of what's going on. This isn't a mistake so much as part of his style but it did negatively effect the chapters for me so I have to mention it. He also seemed to struggle with the environmental effects around his attacks(sand, dust, smoke, that sort of thing) which made the attacks seem less impressive than they otherwise could have.
A good pair of chapters that did this arc a huge favor by getting more characters involved. The weakest link was the combat which was only "ok".
I give them a 4 out of 5
Points of Interest
The Mischievous Rabbit
Silly rabbit, tricks are for kids.
So the info dealer is setting people up. Is she working with Cassano? Is she a FUG flunky of Karaka? Is Rachel involved int his somehow? Is she working alone or is she part of a larger group?
Whatever her motivations she's put Koon's group, Cassano, Hoyrang, and Baam together in a trap filled labyrinth and had somebody set up to kill Koon. So she's obviously not "friendly". It's also disturbing that she would go personally with Baam into such a situation. Which tells me her character is confident in succeeding in what she intends, whatever that may be.
The one thing she has no way to scheme for is Wangan's group whom she doesn't know is coming. They could be a big monkey wrench in her plans further down the line.
Supporting Characters to the Rescue
He can't stop Arkrapter, the duty of a protagoist calls to him.
It's funny how Horyang feels like a more valuable as a character after two chapters were he didn't take up very much of the spotlight. I think this is an example of how using characters like Baam, Arkraptor, and Yeon well gives far more emotional weight to Horyrang's situation than he is able to do for himself.
So I'm pretty happy to see all those character on their way to get even more involved in this. The more characters around who care about a character the more the audience is likely to care about that character too. So I think this arc is now on a course to steadily improve.
The Many Ways This Situation Can Go Terribly Wrong
Well for starters it has bad grammar; it should be "You are caught in a trap"
Lets take a moment to pause to reflect on two scenarios in which the events of this arc could go horribly wrong for Baam and his friends.
Scenario 1: "The Koon Disaster"
So this situation they find themselves in is pretty dangerous. What happens to Koon's team if he dies? Does it just fragment or can Rachel manipulate them enough to keep them together as "her team". All that power with an evil madwoman in control.
Scenario 2: "The Horyang Disaster"
Horyang is killed by one of Koon's team. That would be awkward. Baam's team would likely hold a grudge on that score making Baam's reunion very problematic and possibly bloody.
Last edited by Jammin; January 16, 2013 at 09:15 PM.
I think Casano will die, but not due fighting. I believe He's sick and that's why He's "calling" Horyang.
I liked the review, and even the Trix reference. :P
It's Cassano, not Casano. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antonio_Cassano
Can you fix the poll, because not only does it say Casano there, but also "Hoyrang?"
As to your thoughts on XiaXia perhaps being a member of FUG, it really seems that there are a lot of FUG members floating around. Originally, I expected that they'd be a small group, as Walhaiksong seems to be fairly small, but FUG, while their top tier members aren't on par with FUG, they definitely seem to have more members.
I mean, Hachuling even recruited two Rankers to do a job with him instead of doing it on his own, not just because Walhaiksong's low on members, but because the job had been shifted onto him, and he needed people to pawn the job off onto.
In terms of who will die, I think that only Cassano should die, as that would then set up the Gongbang. If Horyang is killed by Ran and Novick, when Baam arrives and sees Horyang's dead body, we'll end up with this sort of contrived situation pitting Baam up against Koon, with Baam probably not knowing that it's Koon's team. Logically, that'll result in Baam's team facing Koon's team in the Gongbang, which would provide some excitement, I suppose, but it's not something I want to see. I'd rather that Cassano dies, Baam arrives, and he and Koon meet up, and then everyone goes off to the Gongbang. However, given that we were told that everyone would meet at the Gongbang, somehow, I don't think that Koon and Baam will meet here at Arlene's Hand. I think that Baam will face off against Ran and Novick, be at least somewhat on top, but then they'll leave.
I can't help but think that Cassano's outfit is so like a Jedi. He definitely has the coolness too, I'm looking forward to see more from him. I seriously doubt he's down, I'm pretty sure (and hope) he will teach arrogant Ran a lesson. Would make for a good oportunity to make Koon's team mature, especially Ran and Novik.