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5 (I like it. It creates some exciting possiblities.)
4 (I'm not thrilled, but it's good to shake things up.)
3 (Doesn't really matter to me either way)
2 (*sigh* I just hope it doesn't last long.)
1 (God@#$@ing dammit! Why SIU? Why are you doing this to me?)
So I guess we have our answer about "Will Koon's team pull together or fall apart?". That sure didn't take long.
The last poll was on who was behind the trap, Koon found himself in. Most correctly suspected Rachel of being behind the dastardly deed. Though FUG was definitely involved so I think some partial credit is deserved to those that guess them as well.
Now onto the review!
Chapter 130 & 131 Review
These past two weeks Tower of God's plot took some turns. Some I found highly surprising. Some not at all.
First on my list is the identity of those behind the trap meant to kill Koon and his team. Though it was a group of FUG agents who were responsible for setting up Koon, it turns out that Rachel was indeed behind it all. Those two entities working together is major league bad news and I'll go into detail with that in the points of interest
Second on my list is Baam getting whisked away, along with Ran and Novik, by Xia and Cassano; both of whom are apparently FUG zealots. I have a lot to say about this plot point and be warned beforehand not much of it is very nice. Suffice it to say, I'm not pleased how this came about and even less pleased about where it seems to take the plot line.
Last, and certainly not least is the damage. Baam cut a deal for Horyang's life, saving him (probably), but the price is going along with FUG's people and leaving his group behind. Koon's team is demolished. With both Edin and Gyetang getting killed in addition to the treachery of Apple, Michael, and Rachel (unsurprisingly).
I have to be honest here. I didn't like the art very much at all. The expressiveness was good especially with Baam and Koon as well as the ending scene with Edin but that's about where the compliments have to end I'm afraid.
The action scenes just didn't fit together well. When the building was exploding the perspective was kept so close I could only barely tell what was going on. As much as I hate to even mention the pan out shot at the end, I have to. That panel, which is supposed to be the a view from the stone construct down toward the devastation, was straight up ugly. I think it was an attempt to express lens flair or something around the burning rubble but it came out looking like....I don't even know. A badly drawn campfire or something.
There is just no nice way to say it. I don't think these chapters were very good. Koon and Baam was solid, as was Edin Dan's death, but pretty much everything else wasn't.
I give it a 2 out of 5
Points of Interest
The Roads I Wish Were Left Untaken
I know Baam, I feel the same way.
This is just my opinion on the matter so take it for what it's worth but....
I hate the path these chapters put Baam's character on. A large part of why comes down to Baam getting separated from his supporting cast (again) and filling the void with FUG crap. I greet this development with same enthusiasm I greet my dog when she's been sprayed by a skunk.
I assume the next step will be for Baam's friends to find Koon in the rubble protected by that fancy shield thingy and then get everybody working toward getting Baam free of FUG from the outside. Which is fine. But Baam being put with Xia, Cassano, Horyang and possibly Ran and Novik isn't even in the general neighborhood of fine. I'm not sure where SIU's fetish of grouping Baam up with the least interesting characters he can find came from but it needs to stop.
Making matters even worse was the setup for all this. SIU is usually really good about making character behavior seem natural and fluid but Baam's actions were absurdly forced in the recent chapters.
Example: When a raving crazy person promises to blow up your friends if you don't play along, playing along is understandable. Does defending that person and handing back an explosive detonator? I certainly don't think so. Sure, she promised to save Horyang but Baam can freeze people making him easily capable of deleting her and Cassano then he could and help Horyang himself(or with the aid of Koon).
Baam was being held in check by FUG's vague threats and promises when, before his own eyes, a friend was in real danger. That sure doesn't seem like a natural reaction to me. Especially not for Baam, who was the strongest person there, could have stopped them in their tracks with his freezing ability. Nothing about that sits well with me.
Rachel and FUG a Match Made in Heaven (Or the Other Place)
Psychologist Note: Subject does not take rejection well....
I don't think the fact that Rachel would set up Koon was surprising to many of us; nor that FUG would be up to no good. But the two of them working together was unexpected.
Lets get this out of the way quick. Rachel is not a nice person. In fact, she is an ugly, jealous, selfish, toad of a human being. But the real kicker is how she murdered a tied up person with a knife and can't think of anything she's done which was "wrong". And now she seems to have entered dealings with FUG in order to rid herself of Koon.
This brings up some obvious questions regarding how long she's been in contact with FUG and if they played any direct role in her betrayal of Baam. I always assumed that was something she did for herself, manipulated by Hwa Ryun. But is it possible she knew all along that Baam wasn't going to die and that she was handing him over to FUG?
Whatever the case she now is on FUG's radar and, as an irregular, that means trouble. Will they turn her into a Slayer candidate? If they do what happens to Baam? One thing is for certain and that's that there is a lot of trouble visible on that particular horizon.
Assessing the Damage
"You see Prince, this is why we didn't want to stop for coffee on the way."
Things have not gone well for various groups in ToG this arc. As for where that trouble is and how bad it is....
Koon's team broke apart more quickly and spectacularly than anyone could have anticipated. Apple and Michael being FUG hired agents is going to sting Koon's pride quite a bit when he finds out the whole story. Poor Gyetang will never meet Androssi having been poisoned to death by Michael (never trust a man in a sweater vest) but Edin Dan died well. He was introduced as man tired of the betrayals in the tower and in the end he choose to die rather than be a part of that. Ran and Novik got taken away with Baam in the construct, so who knows what's going to happen with them (probably nothing good). The end result of all this is that Koon's team is no more.
As for Baam's team the results are less dire but still not good. Losing Horyang and Baam is a massive hit to their overall power. Yeon needs Baam to keep her power in control, making their situation even worse, and leaving only Arkraptor to carry the brunt of the load. On the upside there is an excellent chance that they will find Koon in the rubble, which will go a long way toward improving their situation and soon put them in contact with the rest of the old group and maybe even join up with them.
However, the greatest degree damage inflicted in these chapters was actually to FUG's long term prospects for Baam. At this point in time who do you think Baam hates more FUG or Zahard & the 10 Families? The way I see it, it can't even be close; erasing any hope of FUG gaining Baam as a legitimate convert. Ha Jinsung is also unlikely to be amused by any of this making things worse on that front as well.
Last edited by Jammin; February 17, 2013 at 10:44 AM.
A solid review.
However, I have to disagree with you on some of the aspects.
For me, these past two chapters were much more worthwhile than the two chapters before these ones, which mainly consisted of action.
Although I want to elaborate on this statement, it is quite hard to do so, as I am on my tablet at the moment. So I'll save this for later.
Again, thanks for the review!
I liked the review and that you agreed with me about how awful this was.
I didn't vote for FUG and Rachel being responsible, but it's what I expected because it's the worst possible situation for us to end up in.
FUG should not freaking be responsible for everything that happens in the second season, barring the Flower of Zygaena mini-arc. I wanted to see Androssi, not more FUG crap.
This leaves us with, as you said, Koon joining with Baam's team and Baam teaming up with XiaXia, Cassano, and seemingly Ran and Novick as well. Yes, it's inexplicable why Baam would give XiaXia back the detonator. He could've just killed XiaXia and Cassano and no one would've been the wiser. Or, he could just have not gotten involved after Novick stole the detonator. So many stupid things happened in the last two chapters. This whole plot to seemingly kill Koon in front of Baam revolved around Baam ending up at the Hand of Arlene. What the fuck would've happened if Baam hadn't gone there?
---------- Post added at 11:04 PM ---------- Previous post was at 11:03 PM ----------
SIU, bring me Androssi!
Somehow, SIU claims that the Gongbang won't be a dark arc. I was like, "Wtf does that mean? Does it mean that we'll just have some silly battles in brightly lit arenas and FUG won't be involved? I can't believe that."
baam hates FUG the anyone else . he have minimum 2 friends from 10 Families and have no resone to hate Zahard & the 10 Families right now.
Last edited by suraj5898; February 10, 2013 at 11:34 PM.
I'm thinking in the Factory Battle the FUG team will wind up pitted against Baam's old team.....with him back stuck on the crappy side of the fence.(much to my dismay)
I find FUG's role in the story so frustrating. Its like their sole function is to keep Baam away from the supporting cast I want to see him spend time around and to get in the way of the 10 families and Zahard and the other irregulars and all the other awesome things the Tower of God story has in it.
Last edited by Jammin; February 11, 2013 at 12:01 AM.
great review as always i think and i may be wrong as how i interpreted your review is it possible that you want to see Baam change from being a push over to a shonen hero that we see in most comic ?
Well i think that Baams actions not being fluid is justified. I mean he is in severe ambivalence, on one hand he is being watched by FUG on the other hand he just met his best friend after so long but cant really show that its him, he assumes one of his friend (horyang) died then he sees a golem erupt, i dun think any one can act himself when he/she is going through so much in such a short period of time. So i think the fact that Baams action was less fluid makes it more real... my 2 pence
I'm still curious what will happen with Ran and Novick. Will the golem take them all to Karaka?
I somehow wonder if we'll ever get to see them all together again. I wanted to see more Test taking, the new bits of genius and imagination that SIU could dream up, and everything else, not some long explanation that there's this evil group who wants to separate Baam from his friends and threatens to kill them if he puts a toe out of line or fails a test; however, while Baam's willing to do all of that and go along with it, they have no problem breaking their word to Baam. Yet, somehow, it seems like Baam's trapped into staying with them. It was implied that after Baam met his friends at the Gongbang, there was a chance that he could go on with them.
I can't see FUG being defeated this quickly or anything, so I just don't see Baam joining together with the S1 cast and adventuring with them.
I feel like people are so fixated on Baam returning to his first group that every development that leads into the opposite direction is seen as something bad and highly disappointing. Sure, I would have preferred more of a happy ending too but I'm neither disappointed nor do I find Baam's behaviour unnatural.
Baam didn't know they were trying to kill Koon beforehand, he didn't know who exactly is behind this whole deal and he couldn't know how things would turn out if he actually "betrayed" XiaXia. Baam hid all this time to protect all of his friends so what good would it have done if he saved Koon here? Koon and him are still nowhere near the old group so FUG could just kill them all. Obviously this is just a possibility but something that Baam probably thought of. Imagine how he would feel if he saves Koon here just to find out that in exchange all the others like Androssi, Rak etc. got killed.
It's another question if FUG is capable and willing to do that but like I said, the possibility is enough, especially for a good guy like Baam. The whole turn of events was okay for me, FUG being involved too. We shouldn't forget that there are different factions inside the organization, just look at the difference between Ha Jinsung and Karaka. FUG, to me, is a vaaaaaaast organization, all bound by only one goal: To kill Zahard. Obviously it's impossible that every FUG member will accept the same plan of action and that's why I believe it isn't even necessary to get rid of FUG nor is it possible.
What's needed is the different FUG factions splitting up because their views on how the approach the ultimate goal are just too different. I could very well imagine Ha Jinsung betraying FUG at some point and building his own little group (seems likely that he's a big boss inside FUG and has a lot of followers) which allows Baam to continue climbing with his friends. He seems wise enough to not go the force approach but rather choose some kind of mutual agreement. I seriously hope he or someone else will explain Baam why they're so fixated on killing Zahard. That's a way how I could see Baam climbing to the top, regardless of the whole Rachel business.
All that being said, I can only fully judge this event after the next two or three chapters are out. It's important how we were lead to an event, how it was executed and where or to what it will lead to. The last part is mere speculation so for now I will sit back and see how SIU will advance the story from here on out.
That's the thing. If an author pushes aside something with a high level of audience interest to be replaced by something without that same level people don't forget one and accept the other. It's like watching movie and then all of a sudden switching to another movie just when the first one gets good. People will throw popcorn at you, and rightly so.
I understand your perspective on Baam but I strongly disagree with it. Xia explicitly threatened two of his friends. Meaning, Koon and Horyang. That was what she was threatening to do. Now not doing anything and following along like she said would have been fine, but giving back that detonator was a step too far. Not only is that a completely insane gesture of trust on his part (Give a crazy person the ability to blow everybody up, what could possibly go wrong?), it also means he basically was more afraid of the threat she didn't make than the threat she did. All he had to do was nothing and the situation would have been resolved without any action which FUG could hold against him.
---------- Post added at 09:57 AM ---------- Previous post was at 09:48 AM ----------
My issue is all about how there is a rich supporting cast that basically is eternally prevented from supporting Baam in whoever chooses to be. Instead the story keeps finding increasing convoluted reasons to keep them separated which makes the story less than it otherwise could be. I'm also highly unimpressed with how FUG has been used to fill that void. They are just a shadowy group of crazy bad guys. Probably the most "shounen" thing in the series actually.
---------- Post added at 10:03 AM ---------- Previous post was at 09:57 AM ----------
It's true that he could have been fearing making FUG angry, but in that situation two of his friends were in danger. Baam of his own will put Koon's life in Xia's hands. She couldn't have harmed anybody in that situation until Baam handed her that detonator.
And if he really wanted to make sure this wouldn't blow back on his friends he could have just disposed of her and Cassono right there, and claim they didn't tell him they were FUG.
Last edited by Jammin; February 11, 2013 at 10:07 AM.
The story doesn't suffer when all the characters are not being shown at once, just your particular enjoyment of the story. It's a story of conflict and betrayal, not one of everyone in a big happy group climbing the Tower and having fun together. It's somewhat different from most other action manga where the emphasis is on camaraderie, which I at least find refreshing and intriguing. I understand why some people would not, but that is simply not the direction this comic is going.
I've said before that you severely underestimate the importance and power of FUG in this story. I'm not sure what you mean by 'crazy,' but although Xia Xia is quite fanatical, she is ultimately a follower and a pawn of the higher ups, who we've seen are quite cold and calculating. Is Yu Han Sung a typical shounen bad guy? Anyway, they aren't going away anytime soon, so I wouldn't expect Baam to be joining with his old teammates anytime soon either. I'm sure we will be seeing a lot of them in the tournament arc however, so hopefully everyone will be able to get their fix.
I think he missed the points, he threatned her remember i think that he thought that much would suffice and would make it look like he is part of Fug too. I think she took it wrong way Or she is twisted as hell.I think the latter is more probableQuote:
Last edited by shaheer; February 11, 2013 at 02:04 PM.
If a guy holds your friends at gun point and then drops the gun. You don't hand him the gun back do you? It's the same thing. I mean, at that point even if he was resolved to be obedient to FUG he should pick up the detonator and keep it himself while he leaves with Xia.
I'm not sure where exactly are you getting this "happy group" thing from? Did I ever say anything like that? Climbing the tower going to be a long death filled process filled with betrayal, murder, and a thousand other nasty things. That's just the nature of the series. Whether Baam does it with his best supporting cast or without them this is going to remain true.
As for Yu Han Sung being a typical shounen bad guy. Not at all. But he's not the bad guy here, in all likelihood he had nothing to do with this (he might even be a little pissed off about it), Karaka likely is. And Karaka is walking cliché so far.
I realize you imagine the story going in a much more FUG-centric direction than I do. I think, such a thing is highly unlikely but there is nothing wrong with being of differing opinions.
Last edited by Jammin; February 11, 2013 at 02:54 PM.