Warning: the following contains spoilers for Tower of God, Chapter 519, “Warp Gate 01”, by SIU, now available Funimation.
Character deaths have never been taken lightly in shonen manga or manhwa, partly because shonen heroes are generally idealistic. This means experiencing too much death might make them cynical, so most deaths in shonen carry important meanings or significance to either the plot or character development, or both. Tower of God is no exception. This is why the most shocking development in Chapter 519 is so puzzling.
In this chapter, fans saw Evankhell facing off with Lo Po Bia White Garment Widow, a Lo Po Bia Branch Leader featuring one of the greatest character designs in Tower of God. In terms of power level, they should not be too out-matched, since they are both High Rankers, and according to White Garment Widow, they both used to be rulers of the Exam Floor. Even though Evankhell is exhausted from previous battles, she should still be able to put up a decent fight. However, in less than half a chapter, Evankhell was already skewered by White Garment Widow and was seemingly killed off.
This is very strange, as besides being a fan favorite, Evankhell is one of the most powerful characters currently on Bam’s side. The loss of her life should be a big deal to the protagonists, and to the story, but this was done without much set-up or hype. Evankhell already had a fake-out death in Chapter 473, where Lefav shot her with the magic bullet, but it was immediately obvious that she wasn’t dead because there was a panel that showed her noticing the bullet before it hit. This fake-out also had more build-up with a flashback, and some hype around Lefav’s bullet, so this current chapter is definitely not the type of send-off that someone like Evankhell deserves.
Only two other major characters have died so far, Akraptor and Prince, but they both died tragic but incredibly heroic deaths, with a lot of foreshadowing. They both sacrificed themselves to save their friends. Their deaths were also the motivator that helped Bam defeat White, who consumed their souls, so they definitely did not die in vain.
More recent deaths have all been with relatively minor characters, mostly from Jahad’s Army, including Khun Hynd Luch, who were once a part of the rebellion, and friends with Cha and Dowon. Lo Po Bia Haratcha and Kendrick Diel of the 5th Army Corp were also killed, and both of them had very lengthy flashbacks that helped to illustrate the ruthlessness of Yasratcha, as well as to make a larger point about the cruelty of the Tower.
Evankhell’s demise is completely not in line with these previous deaths, so we can be quite sure that this is not the last of her. But if her previous death fake-out was to recruit Lefav, what’s the point of this current scene? If we move past the shocking “death” scene, it is clear that the real build-up is not to Evankhell’s death, but to the shield itself, or more importantly, to the person who made the shield: Lo Po Bia Family Head.
In this scene, Evankhell first mocked the shield by noting that the Family Head has not been seen for eons, and might already be dead. When she realized that this shield is the real deal, and even she can’t defeat it, she is immediately stabbed. This is a clever way to tease the arrival of the Family Head, who will show up on the battlefield very soon. If even the shield that he gave to a child is strong enough to withhold Evankhell’s attacks, there is no telling how strong he really is. And the fact that he’s not been seen for years, means that his reemergence will be a huge deal, not just for the readers, but for the entire Tower and the story going forward.
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