They’re winning! No, they’re losing….Unless? This week on Tower of God, the storyline was devoted to one of the most beloved of battle anime tropes: a competition so fierce, it isn’t decided until the last second. Set in a shadowy, testing facility with potentially impossible architecture, there’s no tension to be found in the abstract, bare bones visuals. Instead, it’s the vibrant mental cartwheels of Khun versus Quant that transform this vague scenario into a nail-biting sequence of ever more gripping turnabouts.The art may be crude, but clever dialogue and intriguing plot twists keep the story engaging—and often surprising.

As someone coming in fresh to the anime, it’s episodes like “Khun’s Strategy” that make me realize I’m missing out on a lot of explanation. While it’s true that adapting the exact lengthy exposition from the webtoon wouldn’t work, it’s evident that a great deal of this storyline wasn’t designed to be told in 24-minute episodes. I’m not entirely sure why some people are guaranteed to pass the position selection test no matter the outcome. I’m a bit shaky on the rules of what Quant can and can’t do. (Like, how does Khun know he’s running out of Shinsu?) And while I don’t need a detailed diagram of the testing facility, I would like a basic layout that would describe the stakes—how far does Anaak need to travel to reach an exit, for example? A glimpse at the webtoon (can you believe we’re up to chapter 43 now?) verifies that the administrators offer a lot of additional info through handy diagrams and descriptions that work for the comic, but would turn this show into a yawnfest and remove the asset that makes it so interesting—its whirlwind pace. Urged forward by mesmerizing action and a dynamite soundtrack (I especially love that memorable jazzy piano number), Team A’s valiant attempt against Ranker Quant goes by so quickly, I was surprised when the episode ended.

Khun quickly establishes himself as the brains of the…

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