Watch with me: Gods of Webtoons Hit the Anime Scene
Kamryn Schnieder ~ Copy Editor
Manhwa, Korean webcomics, also called webtoons by some, are exactly as the name suggests: comics found, and read, online. This week I caught up on the anime adaption of the God of Highschool webcomic. The anime version of God of Highschool brings the third of major name webcomics to the animated screen. Produced by Crunchyroll, this is the second adaption of 2020 and brings one of the longest and biggest titles of webtoon to anime. The other was Tower of God, released earlier in the Spring of 2020.
Personally, I had not read Tower of God (ToG) when I watched the show, so I cannot speak in the comparison between the adaptation and original source material. I found the show well animated and captivating with bright colors and interesting characters, plus the art style and grainy texture to the linework make it stand out from similar shows. The plot itself is relatively simple: the main character Bam (or Yoru in the anime) is attempting to climb the tower of god to see the true stars after living his life in an underground cave. The world has magic, anthropomorphized objects and creatures, action, and some softer scenes to grab at your heart. The first season ended back in June and plans to continue the adaptation are already underway, but for those eager to find out more of the story, the webcomic is out and available to season 3 chapter 68, a grand total of 485 chapters.
God of Highschool (GoH) on the other hand, is still in production on the anime side. Aug. 24 will bring the show to episode 10 of its first season. For this show, I have read the comic and am fully caught up with the 476 chapters released. This means I will have a baseline to compare the show, but in my unbiased opinion, the show on its own is enjoyable. The characters are vivid and have interesting designs, the fight animations are fluid and fast paced, and the story is just the right amount of unknown to stay interesting.
When compared to the comic, however, the show falls short in the terms of character dimension, pacing, and even the fights. The illustrator and author knew exactly how to use the online scrolling medium to carefully choreographed fights and timing of events to fit the story he wanted to write. The show, however, is very fast-paced and goes into the fantastical elements and feel of the story very quickly. This is not to say the adaptation is not enjoyable. I’ve already said the opposite, but that it could be many steps better.
The story of GoH is relatively straightforward when you get into it. The show is about a group of high school students who are recruited to join a massive fighting tournament where the prize is any wish they want. Of course, as the story progresses, new elements are added. Even the “God” part of the title becomes less figurative.
Whether you decide to watch, read, or both, God of Highschool and Tower of God are action-packed, exciting stories with tearjerker moments that keep you interested. You can watch both of these shows on https://www.crunchyroll.com/ or read them at https://www.webtoons.com/en/.