If you can reach the top of some tower, you can have anything you desire. Anything. There’s nothing is too stupid to wish for. After all, this girl apparently just wants shoes. But our protagonist Bam doesn’t care about the tower. He just wants to find his friend Rachel, someone who had always treated him with kindness ever since she found him… uh… stuck underground? Why was he there? How did Rachel come to find him? What was their life like before entering the tower? Shrug. There’s only so much that one episode can cover. For all I know, the series may never answer any of my questions. Alright, so then what does Rachel want? She wants to see the stars? That’s it? You’ll risk your own life for that? Well, there’s probably more to her than what we know. But the real question is… is there more to Rachel than Bam knows? After all, that’s the impression we get from Black March, a sword. Yeah, the sword can talk. The sword also has a womanly persona who only decides to lend her powers to Bam simply because he has a cute face. But I’m getting off-topic.
When Bam manages to pass the first test and ascend to the second floor, Black March alludes to the idea that the Rachel he knows may have changed dramatically. So even if he finds her, their old relationship may nevertheless be lost for good. People change, man. People change a great deal, too. On the second floor, Bam finds himself in a battle royale of sorts. Only half of the contestants will survive. I don’t know anything about Bam’s history, but I still find it odd that he’s ready and willing to take a life just to reunite with Rachel. How does he know that he’s even attacking a fellow contestant? How is he even mentally ready to take a life? Maybe Bam has killed before, but I doubt it. Granted, in his current situation, it’s kill or be killed. But it’s one thing to defend yourself; it’s another thing entirely to go after someone with a murderous intent. I personally wouldn’t want to slaughter someone in cold blood just to see a friend again. But Bam is. And if he is willing to go this far to find Rachel, what is Rachel willing to get what she wants? Oh well, I suppose he can always reach the top and change Rachel back to how she used to be… or is that not kosher?
I do have some reservations about the story. The nature of the premise pretty much implies that I’m not going to get any sense of closure from the series any time soon. How many floors are there to climb? And you’ve got death-defying tests along the way? And the original Korean webtoon is still ongoing? Oof. Yeah, this isn’t ending any time soon, and I’m not generally interested in a story that drags on and on and on. The worst case scenario is that this ends up becoming something akin to a rich man’s Darwin’s Game, i.e. battles, battles, and more battles. The best case scenario is that we get compelling characters to follow, but I already don’t identify with Bam and his obsession with Rachel. The side characters we meet so far don’t exactly light my loins afire either. We get Headon, who is the tower caretaker. I bet he just shows up every now and then to say vague stuff concerning the plot in order to tease the audience. Bam also gets his face kicked in by Princess Yuri. At first, she balks at Headon for subjecting our hero to such a difficult first test — why does she care? — but she eventually relents. Yuri even lends Bam the Black March for… for what reason again? Is it also because she finds him cute? Is that how it’s gonna be? While Bam goes after Rachel, who may or may not give a shit about him anymore, a harem just naturally coalesces behind him? Hell, Bam even meets this pretty boy. Dunno what his name is, but knock yourself out, BL shippers.
The premise is painfully generic. Our protagonist Yomi is, of course, a pitcher. Almost every baseball series features a pitcher as its star. Naturally, Yomi has a special pitch. She can throw a ball that looks like it’ll nail the batter in the head, but then it’ll quickly dive down and away into the dirt. I can’t really tell if it’s a curve, slurvy slider, or a knuckleball. Could even be a splitter. But hey, a breaking ball is a breaking ball, right? More importantly, it’s a ball. Her friend thinks otherwise; she thinks it’s a strike. There’s no way. You caught it in the dirt. If it was actually in the strike zone but your mitt is in the dirt, that means you’re terrible at pitch framing for someone who is supposed to be a star catcher. Hint, there’s more to catching than avoiding pass balls. “But Sean, this is just an anime!” Yes, it is. So unless these sports anime have great stories — and strong character development — I can’t possibly enjoy them because the sports side almost always lets me down. I can’t help nitpicking the details. But like I said, the premise is incredibly generic. So let’s talk about that instead.
By the time Yomi gets to high school, she no longer wants to keep playing baseball, because she had lost in the first round during middle school. She was with a subpar catcher who never wanted to practice, so she couldn’t use her “Magic Throw” (yep, that’s what it’s called). That’s a terrible reason to quit something you’re passionate about, but it’s only temporary. By the end of the episode, Yomi reverses course pretty quick. Nevertheless, the baseball club at her new school is on hiatus. We don’t find out why in this week’s episode, but either way, I bet these girls are going to have to put together a ragtag team full of misfits. Yawn. I’ve seen this goddamn storyline a billion times already. Just because they’re all girls now doesn’t suddenly make it exciting. You know what would get me excited? High school girls who actually talk like high school girls. Instead, we get these super shrill, high-pitched (no pun intended) voices on everyone. It’s like anime muppet babies. Combined with the fact that the anime just doesn’t look very good, I’m gonna have to let this pitch pass.