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BALL is the first episode of Season 1 of the Tower of God anime. It follows Bam as he faces several challenges, so that he can be reunited with the only one that matters to him, Rachel.

Official Synopsis

She wanted to see the stars. He wanted to be with her. What do you desire that you would give your life for? Only those with the strength to survive can acquire that which they seek at the top of the tower.[1]

Short Summary

The anime starts with Bam chasing Rachel. He manages to reach her, but she enters the tower before him. In the tower, he is approached by Headon, who calls himself the caretaker of the tower. Headon tells Bam that he can see Rachel if he climbs the tower, but he must first take the test; break the ball guarded by the white steel eel. As Bam approaches the cave, he is stopped by Yuri, one of the Princesses of Jahad. Her navigator, Evan, gives him a pocket, which lets him understand what they are saying. Yuri confronts Bam, revealing that he is an Irregular, though he seems weaker than all the other Irregulars that have passed entered the tower. Headon tells Yuri that he won't tell the king about her involvement here, but only if she lets Bam take the test using her Black March, one of the needles of the Thirteen Month series. She agrees, and gives Bam the Black March.

Bam approaches the cage and gets swallowed by the white steel eel. Yuri tries to save him, but Evan stops her, telling her that it is the path he must take to pass the test. Bam defeats the eel by stabbing it inside its mouth. However, the ball does not break when he stabs it. He continues to try, but his attempts awake the eel. Evan tells him to ask the Black March for power, though she has never given power to Yuri, as it is rumored that the Black March has a liking towards men. The Black March gives him the power to break the ball, and Bam is taken up the tower. Yuri and Evan follow him to get back the Black March.

Bam wakes up in the next test, where they have to reduce the number of regulars from 400 to 200. Bam is confronted by a regular, who gets shot by arrows. He escapes. Rak, another regular, senses power from two different weapons, but ends up chasing Bam, who is considering attacking another regular. Before he does so, he is stopped by Khun, who asks if he should be pointing his weapon at Rak behind him, instead.

Detailed Summary

As "What do you desire?" is spoken, it zooms out from some dense Shinsoo to show Bam in front of the White Steel Eel, before a briefcase seen being picked up. As the words "Honor and pride?" are spoken, Khun and Hatz are shown. As the words "Power and influence?" are spoken, Endorsi is shown. As the words "Money and riches?" are spoken, Shibisu is shown. As the word "Revenge?" is spoken, Anaak is shown. And, as "Or to transcend all such things?" is spoken, Rak makes an appearance. Headon asks Bam what he is risking his life for, continuing by saying that everything can be found at the top. As Bam is swallowed whole by the eel, Headon welcomes Bam to the "Tower of God".

"Climb the tower and everything will be yours. At the top of the tower exists everything in this world, and all of it can be yours. You can become a god. This is the story of Rachel, the girl who climbed the tower so she could see the stars, and Bam, the boy who needed nothing but her. Their end and their beginning."

~~OP~~

Rachel is running down the path of a cave, with Bam chasing after her, Bam timidly yells "Where are you going!?" as he manages to grab her sash. Both of them tumble to the ground and take a second to catch their breath, with Rachel taking the initiativ and tells Bam that he should forget her. Bam exclaims "NO!", which prompts Rachel to caress is face and tell him that she is going to climb the tower, before her body starts to glow. Bam desperately asks her to not leave and that he will follow her until he dies, which Rachel responds that he should pray that she is born again. Underneath them a large pair of doors open and Rachel enters with Bam left behind. As Bam is kneeling on the ground in frustration, Headon can be heard telling him the answered can be found at the top, as the doors open and Bam is grabbed and pulled in.

Test 1
The White Steel Eel and the Ball

Bam wakes up in a mysterious place, wondering where he is, before he hears a voice telling him all visitors are welcome. Headon startles Bam by sneaking up on him, before he introduces himself as the caretaker of the tower. Bam knowing he is inside the tower Rachel left him for, makes him more serious, asking "this is it?". Headon calls Bam by his name, which surprises Bam as he has yet to introduce himself. However, Bam quickly changes his train of thought over to Rachel, asking if he saw her, which makes Headon pull an evil grin. Bam continues to question Headon, but he does not answer, only telling Bam that the answers can be found at the top, which insinuates that Rachel is there too. Headon asks if Bam will take the test necessary to climb the tower, which Bam responds with "What test?". As the wall behind Bam crumbles away, Headon reveals a large cage behind the wall, where there is a large eel inside. Headon explains the rules, Bam has to get past the eel and pop a ball inside the cage. Headon continues by asking Bam again if he wants to take the test, as the tower is dangerous and he is likely to die. However, before he can finish his sentence Bam runs past him, which prompts Headon to say "Marvelous...".

Before Bam can enter the cage, Yuri falls down and lands her foot straight on his face, before doing a back-flip and landing perfectly on the ground. They look at each other before Yuri breaks the silence before speaking a language Bam does not understand, calling him stupid. Evan enters the scene and provides a Pocket for Bam, which makes Bam understand them, with Evan confirming this. Yuri tells Bam it is too good of a pocket for him, as it is a high quality pocket. Evan explains that it does not only translate, but is used as a lifeline inside the tower, before he shows Bam how to turn it invisible. Yuri then intrudes and calls Bam an Irregular, which she explains as an outsider who entered the tower by opening the gates on their own. Yuri finishes by calling weak, at least for an irregular. Evan dislikes getting involved with an irregular, which Yuri answers back if he wants to see Bam die. Evan is about to respond, but is interrupted by Headon, who says that even if she is a Princess of Jahad she would be executed if the king found out. Yuri responds by saying that would only happen if Headon tattled her out to the king.

Headon then says that he has devoted himself to maintaining order in the tower and ensuring the royal family's prosperity, claiming that he is only doing his job. Yuri claims the test is unfair, that it would be appropriate for test on the 20th floor or above, but Headon claims that it is fair as Bam is an irregular. However, Yuri does not agree, as neither her nor Evan find Bam to be strong in any capacity, with Yuri saying that Bam only has a handsome face. Yuri wants Headon to lower the test requirements, but Headon says that the difficulty is necessary to see if he is worthy to climb the tower. Yuri tries to argue, but Bam tells her it's fine, but he appreciates the consideration. Yuri is surprised by his determination, which makes her question how such an ignorant person as Bam could climb the tower, as he does not recognize her, a princess of Jahad. Yuri asks if Bam intends to die, which Bam responds that it is better than giving up here.

Headon says the if Yuri is so determined to make Bam climb the tower, she could lend him the Black March. Since the Black March, a legendary weapon of Jahad, is weapon that can cut through anything if it is used properly. Evan freaks out at this proposal, saying that only a princess can wield it and if word got out that she lent it to someone, "execution would be--" . However, before he can finish his sentence, Yuri brings out her Arms Inventory and offers the Black March to Bam. While Evan is exasperated, Bam is hesitant since it is such a powerful weapon, but Yuri asks him if he truly wants to climb the tower. This causes Bam to think back to Rachel and he accepts the weapon, making Evan more exasperated and Headon seemingly surprised at this development, which angers Yuri as it was Headon that told her to do it. Bam says that will make sure to give the weapon back, but Yuri tells him that he should focus on surviving first. Evan asks if Yuri truly belive an irregular can change the tower, but Yuri deflects the question and says that she is only bored and that is why she is helping Bam. With his new weapon in hand, Bam enters the cage and starts the test, with Evan saying there is only one way to defeat the eel.

As Bam steps into the cage, the eel charges at him, but Bam does not run, he only stands there facing the eel head on. This surprises both Evan and Yuri, with Yuri running to try and save Bam, but Headon stops her and tells her that any more interfering will disqualify him. Yuri asks if Headon wants Bam to die, before Bam is eaten whole by the eel, with short silence following. Headon says that this was the path he chose, which angers Yuri and she tells Headon to get out of her way, which Headon takes some offense to. However, Yuri just tells him to shut up, but she is stopped by Evan who tells her that Bam did the right thing. Evan explains that getting eaten whole and then attacking from the inside is the only way to pass the test, which is what Bam did. As green blood spew from the mouth of the eel, Bam is spit out, while Evan shares his thoughts that overcoming fear of death was the point of the test. Yuri angrily asks why he did not tell Bam the solution, which Evan responds that it would not help as people are not usually willing to do something that ridiculous. As Bam approaches the Ball with the eel squirming in the background, Evan says that Bam had something greater than the fear of death, he had something that let him face that fear. Bam stabs the Ball, but nothing happens.

-Commercial Break-

Yuri is quick to think that Headon has rigged it againt Bam, with Headon saying that the test has not even begun yet. Yuri asks Headon why the ball won't pop, Headon feigns ignorance, which makes her question his intentions, with Headon showing his evil grin. Bam tries to break the ball while thinking "Break!", which leads into a flashback prior to meeting Rachel. Bam is seen hitting the roof with a stone atop a large pile of rocks, before falling a bit down the pile. However, his efforts were successful as the roof collapses and through a ray of yellow light emerges Rachel, asking him what he is doing down there before coming down to him. Rachel sits with Bam and they talk, with Bam revealing that he does not remember anything, which Rachel says must be scary. Rachel proceeds to comfort him, as several happy memories of Rachel flash past, Bam in the present is hitting the ball with more and more intensity. In the last memory, Rachel is telling Bam about the sky at the top of the tower, something that is filled with countless beautiful stars. Bam tells Rachel that the stars are just like her, which causes Rachel to lovingly ask him where he learnt to say that before affectionately pat Bam's head. Back to the present, Bam continues to think "Break!" with even more intensity before he starts to outright yell it at the ball, which wakes the eel up.

Headon, Evan, and Yuri notice that the eel wakes up, causing them to desperately tell Bam to run, while Headon is just observing from the side. As the eel gets closer to Bam, Evan comes up with an idea and tells Bam to talk to the Black March and ask for it to lends its strength. Yuri is surprised by this proposal, as the Black March have never listened to her, so why should it listen to him. But, Evan just tells Bam to do it. Bam asks the Black March for its help and it activates, creating a wave of yellow light that pushes the eel back towards the wall. The physical representation of the Black March, which is a tall blond woman, asks Bam if he desires the strength to climb the tower. However, Bam says that he only seeks the strength to find his friend, Rachel. This amuses the Black March and she lets him have her power just this one time, because of his cute face. Yuri is surprised that the Black March would lend her power to Bam and wonders out loud if it is because he is a man, which the Black March confirms is the case. This frustrates Yuri, saying that she will not accept this, while Evan comments that the superstition/rumor that Black March does not like women is true. The ball shatters, as the eel readies itself for a new attack, but before the eel reaches Bam he has disappeared. Leaving both Yuri and Evan stunned as to what just happened, before Headon reveals Bam has ascended to the next floor. This causes some distress as Bam left with the Black March, which means Evan and Yuri have to go after him. Evan does not like the idea of traveling to the testing ground, as they are not allowed to be there, but nothing stands in the way Yuri's determination. Headon notes that it was quite the interesting gathering, before obliterating the eel, and proceed to say that he is interested in seeing what happens next. While Bam is ascending to the next floor, the Black March is comforting him and telling him that his next meeting with Rachel won't be same as before, as Rachel would have spent some time away from him.

Test 2
The Regulars

Bam wakes up in a field of yellow grass with the Black March besides him. Bam sees the grass and tries to eat it, but quickly find it to taste nasty and pits it out. After Bam has gotten the grass out of his mouth, a Lighthouse in the sky is broadcasting a voice, which is explaining the rules of the next test. After a mic test, the announcer explains that there are 400 Regulars and they need to reduce that down to 200 within the allotted time, by any means necessary. While the announcer is talking, Lero-Ro is seen looking over the field, while Ho, Serena, Laure, Chungchung, and Hwa Ryun are shown as participating regulars. The announcer finishes by saying that the time remaining and number of remaining regulars can be seen on the pocket, before wishing them good luck. After taking a few seconds to understand the implications of the rules, Bam hastily grabs the Black March and starts to run. However, he trips and a large brown guy with a giant Kunai knife starts to chase Bam, before pinning Bam to the ground and preparing to attack. However, the brown guy is killed by an archer, who is in turn killed by Levin with his Sniper Rifle, but before Levin can shoot Bam as well he is stopped by Rak. As this is going on, Bam thinks to himself that he has to survive if he wants to reach the next floor.

Khun is watching the number of regulars decrease, when a large red guy with four arms attacks him, but he blocks it with his briefcase. Khun asks why the red guy is attacking him, which he responds that those are the rules of the test, which Khun responds that the red guy is easily controlled before pulling out a knife. Bam stands in front of Dahdi and readies the Black March to strike, thinking that he has no choice if he wants to survive. After Rak took Levin's spot, Levin tries to intimidate Rak by pointing his rifle at him, but Rak just bends the barrel and tosses the gun away. Rak makes the sound effect "Toss" when tossing the rifle. Rak continues to asks if Levin wants Rak to toss him as well, which causes Levin to run away. Rak goes back to looking for some good prey, he sees Anaak and wonders if the strength he feels is from her, but he senses it is actually her weapon, the Green April. However, Rak senses another formidable presence, which is the Black March in Bam's possession, which ends up being the prey Rak chooses. While Bam is trying to muster up the courage to attack Dahdi, Khun approaches, lecturing Bam about his posture. This causes him to point the Black March towards Khun, which makes Khun ask if he should not point it towards the one behind him, which ends up being Rak. The episode ends with Bam surrounded by Dahdi, Khun, and Rak in the expansive yellow grass field.

~~ED~~

Alternate summary: crunchyroll recap .

Gallery

Characters

Changes from Webtoon

Many of these changes can be remedied by adding flashbacks or changing who gives exposition, this is just a list of things that are changed compared to how the events unfolded in the Webtoon.

Show / Hide Changes
  • The preview was altered, with the order of the question being changed and the characters shown alongside these questions being changed slightly, removing lesser characters and adding more of the main cast. The whole quote from the preview chapter was not used, cutting it a bit shorter in the anime.
  • The anime added a prologue, where Headon asks what Bam is risking his life for and Rachel's VA gives a short synopsis of the series.
  • Rachel opened the door to the tower, and entered on her own, before Bam was pulled in as well. This was changed from Bam opening the door, and Rachel slipping through before Baam, with Bam entering after her. 
  • Bam does not have his cleaver with him when he enters the tower, meaning Bam entered the tower without a weapon.
  • Bam's introduction to Headon is skipped, with Headon already knowing Bam's name. Bam also does not exchange greetings with Yuri and Evan, meaning that they do not know each others name. Bam also does not know that Evan and Yuri are Rankers.
  • The introduction scene for Yuri and Evan was removed and also a scene where just Evan and Yuri talks after the Ball test was removed.
  • Yuri's characterization is altered, with Yuri being more aggressive and adult-like compared to her more adventurous and youthful girl portrayed in the webtoon.
  • Yuri's motivation for helping Bam is less elaborated on in the anime.
  • Evan's characterization is altered, with Evan being more of a loud comic relief fed up with Yuri's antics, without showing his immense experience and talent, and his change in attitude towards Bam. This is mostly due to the inner monologue being absent.
  • Evan is less reluctant to help Bam, following Yuri down to Headon without Yuri telling him to do so, and giving Bam the pocket without Yuri asking him to do so.
  • It is not mentioned that Headon should have provided a pocket to Bam and he "forgot" to do so.
  • Exposition about Rankers was cut completely, and some exposition about Bam, Evan, floors, guardians, Headon, irregulars, test, pockets, the white steel eel, and Yuri was cut. The dialogue was also altered to accommodate these changes.
  • The flashback of Rachel was moved from before Bam gotten eaten to when he was trying to break the Ball. The flashback was also extended, showing several scenes between Bam and Rachel.
  • The conversation between Bam and Black March was shortened.
  • The scene were Black March is comforting Bam after the Ball test was added in the Anime.
  • Bam eating grass was added in the anime.
  • Khun's introductions was cut a bit short, leaving out parts of his speech about ruling and dominating.
  • Khun wondering if there is anyone worth to climb the tower with.

Notes and Trivia

  • The red moon scene during the opening animation could be a reference from Book of Joel, which speaks of the Moon turning blood-red before the end of the world and the second coming of Jesus Christ.
  • Yuri and Evan were speaking a non-existent language. It is adapted from Japanese read backwards.
    • Yuri: "Atuna oniana jakabu" -> (read backwards) "Ubaka ja nai no anuta" -> "Baka ja nai no anata" (What are you, stupid?)
    • Evan: "Isanu ketta amairui" -> (read backwards) "Iuria maatte kunasi" -> "Yuri matte kudasai" (Yuri wait for me) 
  • Pre-release:
    • This episode had a World Premiere on the 28th of February in Chicago C2E2, but this was limited to those that could attend, so it is not the official release of the episode.[2]
    • The first two episodes were sent to some YouTubers prior to the release of the first episode, among them are Chibi Reviews, Rogers Base, and Reagan Kathryn.

References

  1. Episode 1 Crunchyroll
  2. Crunchyroll news

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