Tower of God: A Manhwa Review

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Tower of God: A Manhwa Review

“Tower of God,” a South Korean webtoon written and illustrated by SIU (Slave In Utero), is a tour de force in the world of manhwa that has captivated a global audience with its intricate world-building, complex characters, and a gripping narrative. First published in 2010 on Naver Webtoon, it has since become a phenomenon, crossing cultural and linguistic barriers, and even inspiring an anime adaptation. This review delves into the various aspects that make “Tower of God” a standout in the genre.

Storyline and World-Building

At its core, “Tower of God” is a story about a young boy, Twenty-Fifth Bam, who enters a mysterious tower in search of his best friend, Rachel. The Tower, a vast and enigmatic world, is filled with distinct floors, each presenting its own unique challenges, societies, and rules. Climbing the Tower is said to grant one’s deepest desires, be it wealth, power, or prestige.

What makes the narrative compelling is its complexity and depth. SIU has crafted a world that is rich in lore and meticulously detailed. The story is more than a simple quest; it’s a multi-layered saga with political intrigue, social commentary, and an exploration of themes like friendship, betrayal, and the cost of ambition. The pacing is deliberate, with each chapter adding another piece to the intricate puzzle that is the Tower.

Character Development

SIU’s brilliance shines through in the creation of a diverse cast of characters, each with their own backstory, motivations, and development. Bam, the protagonist, evolves from a naive and sheltered boy to a more nuanced character as he faces the harsh realities of the Tower. His journey is one of self-discovery, as he grapples with his identity and purpose.

The supporting characters are equally well-developed. From Khun, Bam’s strategic and cunning ally, to Rak, a proud warrior species, each character adds depth to the story. Even minor characters are given moments to shine, ensuring the reader’s investment in their fates.

Artistic Style

The art of “Tower of God” is a testament to SIU’s evolving skill as an artist. The early chapters feature a simpler, rougher art style, which gradually transforms into more detailed and sophisticated visuals. The use of color is particularly noteworthy; it complements the mood of the story and helps differentiate the diverse settings within the Tower.

SIU’s ability to depict complex action scenes and serene moments alike is impressive. The visual storytelling is dynamic, with a good balance between dialogue and action, ensuring that the narrative flows smoothly.

Themes and Messages

One of the most striking aspects of “Tower of God” is its exploration of complex themes. The Tower serves as a metaphor for society, with its hierarchical structure and the different challenges each resident faces. Themes of power, corruption, and the moral ambiguities of climbing the Tower at any cost are prevalent throughout the story.

Additionally, the manhwa touches on the theme of destiny versus free will. The characters struggle with the paths laid out for them versus the choices they make, raising questions about fate and personal agency.

Cultural Impact

“Tower of God” has had a significant impact both in Korea and internationally. It’s one of the flagship titles of the Webtoon platform, showcasing the potential of digital manhwa. The series has also contributed to the growing popularity of Korean culture globally, riding on the wave of interest in K-dramas, K-pop, and Korean cinema.


“Tower of God” stands as a monumental work in the manhwa genre. Its blend of an intricate storyline, well-crafted characters, stunning artwork, and profound themes makes it a must-read for fans of graphic novels and webtoons. SIU has created a universe that is immersive and thought-provoking, ensuring that readers are engaged from the first chapter to the latest. As the story continues to unfold, “Tower of God” promises to remain a staple in the world of manhwa, captivating new and old fans alike with its evolving narrative and artistic prowess.

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