A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The show intends to entertain, but teaches kids that even the ruthless and most selfish characters can learn to start caring about others and show kindness.
The show deals with some tough issues like loss and sadness, and most prominently, the emotions of feeling different from others. Through the characters' evolution, we see strong examples of inner strength, self-control, and how ruthless competitors grow and change from selfish to caring after being met with the kindness of others, most specifically Bam's. Characters come to understand that becoming allies is the most important code to live by. Follow your instincts. It's okay to be different. Trust yourself. Let no one but yourself decide the path you'll follow. To be successful you must remember to set your sights on the prize and no matter what happens, bravely follow through to reach your goals and make it to the top. But when the unexpected occurs one of the characters states that "God can be cruel."
Positive Role Models
A mixed bag of diverse characters. Some struggle to control feelings of anger and frustration but moments of meanness and strong emotions always come with a lesson. There is betrayal but also camaraderie. Others are better role models, exhibiting patience and kindness to others even when it may not be deserved. Fierce competitors are thrown into situations where they must push forward and learn to team up with others in order to survive. Bam's is kindhearted to a fault and his curiosity and innocence is something to learn from.
Noticeably diverse characters with different appearances, of different races and genders -- some look human, while others are monsters and creatures. There's a godzilla-like alligator and a green alien-like girl. Each character's unique strengths and abilities make them who they are. Diverse skills and strengths are to be celebrated. Girls are strong and powerful -- there is a group of women that are chosen by the King for their skills and power to be his princesses.
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Violence & Scariness
Many instances of verbal and physical conflict that include loud shouting and physical threats. Violence includes fighting with weapons -- swords, spears, and shotguns -- and characters killing each other. Violent demon-like characters may be scary to younger kids. There's blood-shed and gore and instances of self-harm.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Bam has strong feelings for Rachel but these are not sexualized.
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Some light swearing. Frustrated characters yell out "crap" and "damn it" and words like "dumb" and "idiot" are yelled at others.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Wine is served after a funeral.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Tower of God on HBO Max is the English release of the fantasy anime based on the original South Korean manhwa, or comic book series, written by SIU, Lee Jong Hu, and produced by Joseph Chou. A hard to describe series that follows a kindhearted boy protagonist and a colorful variety of other unlikely heroes. There is violence as together they fight against each other and also band together to fight off monsters and tackle fantastical obstacles in order to reach mythical goals and make it to the top of the Tower. While the greater narrative includes some pretty weighty issues and themes around saddness, class struggles, friendships, trust and betrayal, and even politics, not much is explained so viewers may be left with questions about the strange mythical creatures and the evolving conflicts that come up. Younger viewers that may be new to anime will enjoy this series if they learn to accept whatever happens at face value and just move on without questioning it. Action-packed, with some blood shed and gore, the series does deliver fantastic twists that will have anime fans coming back for more in season 2. Some light swearing, "damn-it" and "crap" are yelled out during moments of frustration.
Is It Any Good?
The series is a surprisingly heartwarming addition to the anime genre, thanks to inspiring examples of friendship and loyalty that highlight the power of allies. Anime can be an acquired taste that may not strike a chord with everyone but anime fans of all ages will enjoy SIU's attempt at combining many different themes and styles into this series. Noticeably diverse and colorful characters emerge and viewers that can see past the violence and gore will enjoy the strikingly colorful visuals. It's a surprising tale of heartbreak that's oftentimes filled with fun feel-good moments that make you want more, including a finale twist that no one saw coming and is sure to significantly change the show going into its second season.
Season one consists of thirteen quick 23 to 25 minute episodes. The enjoyable music at the opening credits reels you in but it's the surprising twists that captivate and will have anime fans coming back for more.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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Our Editors Recommend
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