The ones in charge must be really bored.
— The episode opens with a look into Khun’s backstory. Apparently, princesses are chosen in this world. You aren’t just born as one. And for whatever reason, because Khun’s sister wasn’t picked, his family got exiled? That sounds kinda random, but so far, these tests and their participants have all seemed kinda random.
— So why didn’t Khun’s sister get picked? Because he helped another girl win. It’s all a contest here. Everything is a test. Even becoming a princess is a test wherein the losers lose everything.
— Anyways, this Maria became a princess and Khun got nothing for his efforts. She left him behind while she got to “ascend.” This is, I suppose, some hefty foreshadowing. He sees a bit of himself in Bam, so maybe Rachel will betray the kid in the future. What are we trying to say, though? Don’t put women on a pedestal? Is that the message? Pfft.
— In the present, Khun tells Bam that the sky isn’t real. It’s just an illusion using that magical substance that we saw last week. He follows this up by saying that he doubts the real sky even exists. But I mean, the word “sky” exists for a reason. Someone had the concept of the sky. Ah whatever.
— I suppose the point here is that you can use that substance to make a floor look like anything. Other floors may appear wildly different from the second floor. You could climb the tower and find yourself in all sorts of different “worlds.” Maybe this excites some viewers, but there’s a lack of cohesiveness here that doesn’t really appeal to me. I just feel like anything goes. You can make stuff up as you go along to fit whatever scenario you feel like putting the characters through. Even the characters’ designs seem random.
— Anyways, teams are waiting to take the next test. Every so often, they hear people cry out in pain in a nearby room. Some weird dude in a bag — like I said, anything goes and this applies to the characters as well — walks up to Bam’s group and provides a hint: people who pass the test seem to do so within five minutes. Thanks to Khun’s backstory, however, he doesn’t trust anybody. And when bag dude needles him about this, Khun gets violent. Phew, short temper. Like Bam, I guess he can kill at a drop of the hat if you talk about his woman.
— When it comes time for Bam’s group to take the test, they find themselves in a circular room full of doors. They are then told that they have to pick the right one before the time limit runs out. The time limit is supposedly ten minutes even though bag guy had said five.
— Khun starts trying to figure out the answer. Unfortunately, he also wastes time thinking about how he was betrayed and thus shouldn’t trust anyone. By the time he convinces himself that he should disregard bag guy’s theory, Rak had already gone ahead and opened a door. And just like that, they pass.
— So it was a trick question. All of the doors would’ve worked, ’cause the time limit was a lie. So what did we learn here? Not to trust the people who administer these tests. They are filthy liars.
— Nevertheless, the administrator starts talking about how Khun is allowing the past to hold him back. Blah blah blah, you need to be able to rely on allies who can move forward without hesitation. Sure, Khun should heal his heart and start learning how to trust others. But I kinda doubt that this is the best environment to do so. He just met Rak, and the damn lizardman was trying to kill him just an episode ago. Why would you believe in an ally like that? Why should this be the grand lesson in learning how to trust others? That’s just asinine.
— You could also say that this is more foreshadowing. If he and Bam are supposed to be similar, then maybe Bam will be held back by his past. The only reason he’s even trying to climb this tower is Rachel, but his attachment to her may cause him to fail in later tests. I mean, could you imagine what Bam would do if he ran into Rachel at some point? The kid was willing to kill just to follow her. He may very well screw Khun and Rak over if it means he could help her out.
— Elsewhere, three individuals wiped everybody out because one of the test administrators got lazy. And apparently, if the people in charge find out about this, the test administrators would be punished harshly. So one of them, i.e. the guy who had administered the door test, comes up with a plan. He pitches the idea of a “bonus” test. If you fail, there are absolutely no drawbacks. If you pass, you automatically ascend to the next floor. I wonder if this is his way of trying to get the three new participants to skip on through to the next floor without messing up the rest of the tests he has in mind.
— So what’s the bonus test? You defend the person wearing the crown from attackers. That’s it. These tests aren’t even interesting. I mean, there’s no fascinating characterization or world-building going on. It’s just watching random characters compete against each other for the right to climb to the next floor. We’ve been through several tests, and we’re still not done with the second floor. I wonder how far we’ll even get by the end of the season.
— For next few minutes, we get to watch Anaak, the lizard girl, single-handedly defeat entire teams all on her own. Not only does she have a magical whip that can extend itself, she can apparently take a punch without even flinching. I guess the properties of physics is also random in the tower.
— As the first round comes to an end, Bam spots someone very familiar on another team. Reunited and it feels so good? Probably not. She doesn’t look like she wants to see Bam at all. Still, it’s odd that she somehow ended up “behind” Bam. Rachel entered the tower first, didn’t she? So why did she have to catch up to him? Ah well.
— Honestly, I’m three episodes in and I’m not remotely hooked at all. Nevertheless, I read a recent “article” about the show on Crunchyroll, and it was extolling the strengths of the anime’s atmosphere. I find that humorously bizarre. Something like Dark Souls has atmosphere. Tower of God, on the other hand, feels like a kid dumping out his toy box, and having all of the different dolls from completely different fictional universes fight against each other for some nebulous reward which may or may not exist. One doll is stuck in a yellow bag for some reason. Ooh, atmospheric. But hey, I can’t blame Crunchyroll. This is their show, so they’ve gotta pimp it as hard as they can.
It’s all arbitrary nonsense designed so that the main characters win, everyone else loses. After all who cares about the random nobodies who get to be killed off-screen. Yea the lesson of the test, especially one that seems like it was direct at Khun, makes no sense considering all the other contradictions happening on screen. Also pretty unfair for the teams that took the test first, did the weird pink bag guy give them any sort of hint similar to what he gave the group. People are comparing this to Hunter x Hunter with the tests, but I think the tests there (for the most part) had more thought put into them that actually tested the strengths of the participants and how they functioned with others when put together in a group.
Not sure about Rachael’s presence in the show, other than she and mc feel like very amoral characters. They’re willing to do anything if it means attaining their own goals. I’d be more interested in this show if the main character was instead an antagonist to a different group. I’m honestly more interested in knowing what’s this guy’s story: https://imgur.com/a/wN02Q7l
How is this nonsense so popular? Honestly, if it weren’t for Penkin’s music capabilities, I wouldn’t have stuck around until the third episode.
Maybe you need to be a schoolkid to like this series. I remember reading this when I was 15/16, and it intrigued me back then. The situation is sort of emotionally similar; you’re thrown into an environment with people you don’t like, have to do arbitrary things you don’t want to do, you are lectured and supervised by people who appear to be insane and all of it is under pressure while you lack any agency yourself. It also had a lot of now-cringeworthy jokes, that, in a generous light, could pass as ‘whimsical’.
Also, I probably had no taste.
Anyhow, your asessment is pretty fair. The author pretty much draws whatever he thinks is “cool”, it doesn’t seem to have any deeper meaning than that.