This recap contains spoilers for Tower of God episode “Underwater Hunt Part 2”.
Disclaimer: Pre-release screening and screenshot materials for this recap were provided for GGA by Crunchyroll.
Let’s open this recap with a minor correction. This is not Tower of God‘s finale. That airs next week, as Tower of God has one more episode than the standard 12-episode tour. Our bad! The good news, though, is that “Underwater Hunt Part 2” is great. “Great” is an understatement, actually. “Underwater Hunt Part 2” ranks among the best episodes of the spring 2020 anime season. If you’re the sort who counts shonen episodes by cool moments and unexpected plot twists, there’s a veritable feast of them here.
“Underwater Hunt Part 2”, as an episode, has two main strengths. The first is that it showcases some very cool fights. The second is more subtle. It reveals to us just how little we really know at this juncture. It’s worth remembering; though this may be near the end of the season, Tower of God was a sprawling epic of a webcomic first. We’re only just now beginning to scratch the surface. To both of those points, this episode marks the return to the series proper of Yuri Jahad, after a staggering eleven episode absence broken up by only occasional cameos. She makes up for lost time here.
An early development is Endorsi refusing to betray Anaak for Ren’s sake or that of the “Jahad family”. The two team up on the sheep-like ranker, but he’s well more powerful than they are. For a minute, it even seems like this might be curtains for our girls as Ren sadistically grinds Anaak under his shoe.
Thorns Like A Thistle
Then, Yuri arrives. She’s on the receiving end of some ill-thought-out (and kinda gross) taunts from Ren, and promptly stomps him flat.
We get a very good look at the sheer power gap between a ranker and a Princess of Jahad who is also a ranker. She tosses him around like she’s a Dragonball Z character. It’s cathartic. Moreso even when, after seemingly being let off the hook at the order of Yu, Ren gets flattened like a smashed ketchup packet by Jahad family strongman Kurdan, who we’re introduced to for the first time here.
This isn’t to downplay Endorsi and Anak’s interplay here, either. The two have developed a surprisingly strong bond since they fought several episodes back, even if it takes Endorsi declaring herself “a traitor” if it means helping her friends for it to finally click for Anak.
Yu, incidentally, seems to have his own designs. This has been clear before, but is made even more so during “Underwater Hunt Part 2”. The case does not seem to be that Yu was behind all these happenings, but he’s certainly abetting them. He lets Ren run amok on the test grounds with his full knowledge that the ranker is doing so. Yu remains a cipher here, but it’s clear that whatever his reason, he’s got his own designs. Much to the chagrin of both Lero Ro and the section of the Jahad family who Yuri associates with.
Meanwhile, on the surface, Rak and his fellow spear bearer contend with an entire horde of Barnacle Goblins.
Seeing the big lizard finally get a chance to show off his stuff is great even if it’s a minor point in “Underwater Hunt Part 2” on the whole. What’s even more arresting is when Khun suddenly steps away from overseeing the battle. He’s called away by someone who, as it turns out, is another member of the Khun family. We don’t get this person’s name (yet), but he offers to take Khun to Maria. In a recurring theme for this episode; he too refuses temptation here. He returns to his post after the other Khun drops his cryptic threats.
One might assume that “Underwater Hunt Part 2” ends on a triumphant note, but the truth is much more complicated. After Bam fends off The Bull (sic’d on him and Rachel by Ren in his dying breath), it certainly looks like the two are in the clear. They’re pulled up to their goal, the music swells…
…and Rachel promptly pushes Bam out of their bubble, into the depths of the sea below.
The directing on this sudden, perhaps not entirely unexpected betrayal, is great. The music and sound simply stop. We see Bam’s group, one shot for each subgroup, in total dead silence. The final full minute of the episode is simply a slow fade to black on the image of Bam, in shock, sinking into the waves.
Why she did this and what will come of it are open questions. It’s certainly possible to twist the logic around in a way that makes it seem like not quite a betrayal, but on the other hand, it’s been implied for some time that whatever it is that Rachel really wants at the top of the Tower, she’s willing to do just about anything to get it. (Not to mention the still-unexplained disappearance of her oni-like friend several episodes ago.) For these mysteries and more, we can only hope that answers await us in the finale.
Until next time, Tower of God fans.
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