This recap contains spoilers for Tower of God episode “Position Selection”.

Disclaimer: Pre-release screening and screenshot materials for this recap were provided for GGA by Crunchyroll.

This week’s Tower of God episode, “Position Selection” is probably the most byzantine episode of the show yet. It’s certainly the most foreboding. We get answers to some questions, but perhaps not the ones we thought we would. 

The episode begins with Rachel and Khun (Aguero) meeting for the first time. Rachel, operating in the tower under the alias “Michelle Light”, asks Khun to tell Bam that she’s not who he’s looking for. This doesn’t exactly sit well with the blue-haired boy, but, as someone who is also quite manipulative, he has less compunctions than one might assume. The particular phrase that Rachel uses: that she and Bam would “become each other’s weakness” if he knew she was there, feels loaded. Khun himself suspects that Rachel doesn’t really believe this would be the case and is making excuses for herself. Time, we must suppose, will tell.

Contract

The actual meat of this episode is preparation for the next trial. The overview of how it will work is too long to recount in its entirety here, but the gist is that the groups will be fighting in structured teams, which each member being given a specific role. Bam, who finally wakes from his coma a few minutes into the episode, is the “Wave Controller”. Essentially the team’s director (and, well, wizard, given what we know about Shinsu). Bam and his fellow Wave Controllers are taught how to “make contracts”, something they apparently have to do on every floor from here on out in order to actually use Shinsu. The….thing that Bam forms a contract with must be seen to be believed. It’s some sort of giant sea serpent / dragon that puts the one he fought back in the first episode to shame.

The contracting process is also apparently very tiring. It wears out both Bam and Hoh–the blonde, one-horned boy first introduced a few episodes ago, who’s finally given a name here. The latter, in fact, actively deceives his classmates about how exhausted the contract made him. Bam increasingly stands out just by fact of not lying all the time. It’s an interesting way to make a fairly cliche shonen protagonist trait (being rather simple and straightforward) stand out.

Platformer

Position Selection’s most immediately satisfying section though comes closer to its end. Beyond a cafeteria scene (really) where we get to see our large cast taking a break from beating the tar out of each other, there’s another cameo from the still-mostly-absent-Yuri. We also get some exposition about how the “Princess of Jahad” title is indeed one of merit rather than any usual sort of royalty. It is selected “from powerful tribes and families”. So we’re told, anyway.

Yuri Ha Jahad, Tower of God, Episode 6

Hi! I’m in this episode for about 12 seconds.

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The main thing here though is another one of the ‘tests’ for the team battle trial. Anaak, now broken up from her former group, confronts newcomer Endorsi who we first saw in action in episode 5. (This is the same character who made the “impostor” remark). The two fight, and over the course of their fight we learn a lot more about Anaak than we previously did. The big revelation here is that she isn’t actually Anaak Jahad at all, she’s Anaak’s orphaned daughter.

Anaak as a child, Tower of God, episode 6

We get a tale of vengeance here. Anaak is in the Tower not because she is a Princess of Jahad, but because she wants to kill all of them. Some group of the Princesses killed her parents and burned down her home. This is quite the unexpected twist, providing a lot of backstory in a very short time. It was easy to assume Anaak was just a simple “warrior girl” type. We now know that’s not true. The episode cuts before we can see how Anaak and Endorsi’s fight plays out. Things didn’t go well for her during the first part of it, but who can say if that’ll hold true in the end?

Endorsi and Anaak, Tower of God, episode 6

Either way: ow.

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Cloudward

On the other hand, I must confess that I left “Position Selection” feeling a little more mixed than usual. The show’s only real writing flaw: a bizarre undercurrent of “can women and men really get along?”-style misogyny, is a lot more apparent here than usual. In particular it sort of neuters the character of Endorsi. Her quips about toying with men and general personality make her feel like a sideways caricature of the already-tiresome femme fatale archetype. This serves to nip what seems like it should be a fun character in the bud. My hope is that this is mostly a consequence of adapting the oldest parts of the webcomic first (as one would expect) and that it will straighten out as time goes on. Still, for now, it remains the one black mark on what is otherwise a very enjoyable show.

However, this shouldn’t be taken as an indictment of Tower of God‘s overall quality. The final act here especially is great, as relayed above. The current direction of the story also promises another big fight scene setpiece sometime soon. It remains one of the best things airing this season, but you take the good with the bad, as they say. Until next time, Tower of God fans.

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Jane Auman
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