Anime

Rachel The Misunderstood Protagonist? – Tower of God Anime

Life provides many opportunities to satisfy one’s desires. Still this doesn’t apply to everyone. Growing up handicapped by social inequality, bad luck and a hard environment makes it almost impossible for many to achieve what they dream of. If you would be asked to lose your dearest to make it possible, how would you reply?

This is the story of Rachel, the girl who climbed the tower so she could see the stars, and Bam, the boy who needed nothing but her. 

Narrator

When first diving into the world of Tower of God it seems like your generic cliché romance. Bam the young boy that is trying to climb the Tower in order to find Rachel who he lost and loves. On the other side the always inspiring and beautiful Rachel. A couple of two young people that start their journey into an unknown world to achieve their dreams.

But as it turns out the journey will not be a merry one. We mostly follow Bam the main protagonist of the anime who moves from trial to trial. Alongside his companions Rak, Khun and other side characters who he becomes friends with. Still what seems like a generic story about achieving ones dreams through hard work and friendship soon develops into a mischievous race. Between rivals and hidden constraints set upon the world.

One of those constraints is the talent each character possesses. It provides an important advantage in order to move on. But as always we have characters that are not able to go past their limits. Bam is not one of them. Even though he gives off the impression of a hard working protagonist that grows by himself.

Even if you are reunited, things will never be exactly as they were. When you meet her again, she will have lived some time without you.

Black March

Bam soon discovers that Rachel has not disappeared at all. After they reunite we are introduced to another side of her. Going by her pseudonym Michelle Light, Rachel has grown distant and her ulterior motive stays hidden. Still Bam looks up to her. Driven by the image he still has in mind of her.

Following tedious up and downs between Rachel and Bam, we see a first climax when Rachel is almost killed during a test. As consequence she seems to have lost her ability to walk and her real identity leaks. Bam develops in character and slowly takes over the lead in their relationship. Only to be fooled by Rachel in the end. Even though he gives her the opportunity to take part in the last exam, she betrays him in the last moment. But why would she do this in first place?

Episode 13 presents Rachel as a selfish person that wants to climb the Tower in order to recieve popularity and status. As she sees Bam who she thought of as inferior, she falls into despair. In the end slight manipulation by Headon is enough to corrupt her and leads to the events as we have seen them.

Rachel The Misunderstood Protagonist - Tower of God Anime

Rachel seems to have become one of many stereotypical antagonists. A character that took the wrong turn at some point. Failing to achieve their goal because the actions lack the right morals. This raises the question if her desire is really that different from other more sympathetic characters.

Is it selfish to trade your dearest for a better life and fame? Probably. But like Rachel many other characters strive to fulfill their own selfish wishes in order to escape the ghosts of their past. Many of them won’t succeed. Many of them that won’t even get the opportunity to take the wrong turn.

Yet there are characters like Bam that don’t need those opportunities. Those that are gifted with talent and intelligence. That are able to move on without constraints. Having their own selfish goals. Are they right for not getting corrupted? Would they act similar in Rachel’s position? Is it right to resent Rachel for not resigning herself to a life without dreams?

It might seem like the obvious choice for her to reply to Bam’s feelings. Afterall he is chasing after her for the entirety of the anime. Still no one can resent her for not doing it. Rachel is the only one that is able to tell if her desire is more important to her than her feelings for Bam. Her actions speak for themselves.

However seeing her laugh while looking outside, you can see her chaotic feelings. She may have taken the opportunity in the heat of the moment. But isn’t she writhing in pain? Not being able to tell if it was the right choice. Not being happy about the future that lies in front of her.

Rachel laughing in despair after the events of episode 13

Rachel’s motives are yet to be revealed entirely. Nonetheless Tower of God shows us a very dark side of the Tower. One that is branded by inequality, corruption and the survival of the fittest. It is to expect that the end of the first arc is just the beginning of an even more dreadful fight between individuals that strive for their own desire. Amidst all of this Rachel seems more like an anitheroine that is heavily misinterpreted.

[Image Sources: Tower Of God Episode 13; Copyright by Crunchyroll]

Also take a look at my comment on the upcoming anime Rent-a-Girlfriend.