This weekend’s recommended reading features two exciting manhwa webtoons; Tower of God, and Girl of the Wild’s. What makes webtoons unique is their format. They are set up as one continuous scrolling drawing. with scenes flowing into each other organically. It’s an exciting format, that lends itself to some creative exploration. And when you combine it with a great story, you end with two original manhwas like these.
Tower of God
“What do you desire? Money? Glory? Power? Revenge? Or something that surpasses all others? What ever you desire, ‘that is here’.”
Our main character is a boy, Twenty-Fifth Baam, who lives on the lowest floor of the Tower, in near complete darkness. His best friend, Rachel, sought the door to the Tower in order to escape the perpetual dark world they lived in. Rachel’s dream is to climb the tower. Those who reach the top of the tower receive everything they wish, but first they have to climb it, and the tests and adversaries get more difficult with each floor. When Rachel makes her way into the Tower, Baam gets dragged in as well. Baam is driven to find Rachel in the Tower, doing whatever it takes.
Tower of God is a fantasy adventure story, focusing on its characters, many of them not human, with a massive and deep world building. With human and non-human characters, the interactions are unique and varied, making the story constantly interesting. As Baam makes friends and alleys, we see his character change and develop from innocent and un-knowledgeable, to dangerous and dark.
One non-story related aspect is the author’s notes with each chapter. There is always a little tidbit about his life, what he’s thinking about the story, and what his plans might be for the future. These little spoilers add to the overall enjoyment of the series, because you feel like you’re a part of the process. All elements combined bring a unique reading experience. You can find the original webtoon at Naver.
Girl of the Wild’s
Wild’s High started as a private high school for elite girls. It specializes in not only the finest education, but as a place where the premier female martial artist come to hone their skills. Each year, a tournament is held called the Wild’s league, where teenage girls have brutal MMA matches that is televised and widely watched. But this year, the school changes to co-ed, and only one male student has applied: Song Jae Gu. He is granted a full 3 year scholarship, regardless of grades, as long as he stays all three years. This works well, considering he’s dirt poor, with no parents, and two younger siblings. And from there, the story takes off.
This quickly became one of my favorite comics to read. I raced through the first 30 chapters in a slow Saturday, and couldn’t wait for the next release. The characters and scenes are well drawn. The dialog is genuine, with humor mixed in at key times. The main character, Song Jae Gu, is probably it’s one weakness. But it starts that way for a point. This is a story about someone that starts out beaten and week from a hard luck life, that begins to develop into a man. And as you can guess, there is a harem element, but unlike the traditional anime harem, this one isn’t so cliché. Each girl is strong and confident in their own right, and not co-dependent on the main character. Definitely a refreshing change.
So, if you’re looking to change-up your fighting manga/manhwa with something different, this might be your thing. A good mix of art, plot, and likeable characters makes this a great read. You can find the original Korean webtoon at Naver.