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The Tower of Druaga ~the Aegis of Uruk~ – 03 »« The Tower of Druaga ~the Aegis of Uruk~ – 01

The Tower of Druaga ~the Aegis of Uruk~ – 02

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Summary:

Having been cornered by monsters, Neeba’s group is in a load of trouble until the sound of drums suddenly reverberates through the tunnel. The monsters run away when they realize that the Uruk army is coming, and what ultimately appears is a column of heavily armored foot soldiers. After Neeba explains to the unit’s officer that they were trying to rescue the missing caravan, the officer makes some disparaging remarks about Neeba and Jil and then leaves with the troops. Neeba decides that the group should return to the city of Meskia, and along the way, Fatina blames Jil for causing Neeba to lose face. This leads to Neeba apologizing to his group-mates, and he says Jil’s not suited for the Tower, effectively kicking Jil out of the group. However, Neeba surprises Fatina afterwards by admitting that Jil is his half brother from a different mother. Jil meanwhile heads alone to the blacksmith who is doing brisk business because of the Summer of Anu – a time that comes every few years where monsters become weaker. When the blacksmith explains that no one has ever even gotten to the top of the Tower, Jil vows to reach there and defeat Druaga.

On the blacksmith’s advice, Jil heads to the plaza where other adventurers are gathered and meets a man who, upon hearing of Jil’s ambitions, suggests that he get up on stage to recruit others. Jil takes him seriously and does just that, but he just gets laughed at by everyone. This makes him angry, and when he calls everyone petty thieves who don’t care about justice, some of the men get pissed off and try to beat him up. Jil proves to be fairly resilient though, and after the men can’t even knock him out by hitting his head with a large rock, they decide to back off. With no one willing to join him, Jil sits down in an alleyway and is surprised when a girl suddenly approaches him. She figures out that he’s actually hurt pretty badly from before, and when Jil realizes this too, he loses consciousness. He wakes back up sometime later in an unfamiliar house and accidentally walks in on the girl while she’s naked in the bathroom. After some embarrassment on Jil’s part, the girl – whose name is Kaaya – explains that she healed him and wants him to take her to the top of the Tower. Her only other group member right now is a tall and quiet woman name Ahmey, so she’s looking for more people.

Their conversation is interrupted by the arrival of King Gilgamesh’s royal procession down the main street of the city, and Jil goes to get a closer look at it. After the procession passes, Jil notices that Neeba and Fatina are across the street, so he follows them and overhears them talking about how another group is planning an assassination on Gilgamesh. When Jil accidentally knocks over a bucket, he’s forced to hide because Neeba and company realize that someone might have been eavesdropping, but Neeba actually doesn’t care and tells the others that he’ll explain the details later. Armed with this information, Jil returns to tell Kaaya and Ahmey about it, and the two come with him that night to stop the plot. A group of hooded men eventually show up to try to enter the palace through the sewers, so Jil runs out and confronts them. This starts a fight, and though Jil, Kaaya, and Ahmey are able to knock out most of the men, the leader of the assassins successfully enters the sewer passage that leads to the palace. Jil goes after him but isn’t able to catch up until he reaches the King’s bedroom. By then, it’s too late and Gilgamesh has already been stabbed in his sleep. The assassin escapes after throwing Jil against the wall with a magic spell, and instead of chasing, Jil is more concerned about Gilgamesh. Unfortunately, a pair of royal guards then catch him standing over the stabbed King’s bed.

Preview

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You know, given that it was pretty obvious that they couldn’t keep doing the style of humor from the first episode, I really shouldn’t be disappointed that the second episode wasn’t nearly as entertaining. And yet I am. I like the streaming distribution idea that Gonzo is pursuing and would have liked to think that they’re improving their story-telling as well, however this second episode was standard at best. I say “standard” in the sense that there’s not much that happens here that I haven’t already seen in past fantasy/adventure genre series or RPGs. By itself, this episode doesn’t try anything that makes me say, “Okay, this is original, so I want to see more” – it lacked the charm of the first episode. In fact, I groaned at the part about the assassination plot because I knew that it was somehow going to lead to Jil getting implicated for the crime (which technically hasn’t happened yet, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he were thrown in jail).

Still, this isn’t to say though that Druaga is completely unredeemable because, as some people have pointed out, this was just one episode – a setup one where Jil meets the heroine of the series. I even that think several of the characters could turn out to be quite interesting – Jil because he already can display periods of uncharacteristic physical strength, Neeba because he carries a lot of secrets, and Kaaya because of her carefree attitude. What worries me is that Gonzo-animated stories typically get worse as they progress. Along those lines, I wouldn’t watch this if I knew that it were going to be on the level of Dragonaut, but I might if it was at least as good as RomeoXJuliet (and that’s not setting the bar incredibly high). And since it’s still not clear what direction this series might go, I’m going to watch a few more episodes to see if something more interesting develops.

You can find the translated, streaming version of this episode on crunchyroll, YouTube, and BOST.

April 11, 2008 at 4:13 pm
57 comments »
  • April 11, 2008 at 4:15 pmphatmlrd

    Looks good

  • April 11, 2008 at 4:22 pmXKlibur

    I knew it was going to suck…

  • April 11, 2008 at 4:24 pmloop

    who cares if it is just another serious fantasy-adventure anime, we have too much fan-service comedy anime this season anyways

  • April 11, 2008 at 4:24 pmJosh

    Looks like my impression of this episode was pretty much the same as yours.

    *shakes head*

  • April 11, 2008 at 4:32 pmForum Police

    DAMMIT!! I WANT MY TENTACLES FAN SERVICE LIKE LAST TIME!!!!

  • April 11, 2008 at 4:38 pmZepe

    lol…I knew this is going to happen… oh well, first ep was good ^^;

  • April 11, 2008 at 4:40 pm8GaugeBrett

    It’s GONZO… need I say more?

  • April 11, 2008 at 4:45 pmadas

    i knew that the boredom would take effect in the first 3 minutes

  • April 11, 2008 at 4:49 pmMonochrome Factor Fan

    Thank you for the pictures, keep up the great work. I can’t wait to watch this episode it seems pretty cool. I really like the main character.

  • April 11, 2008 at 4:49 pmkadian1364

    I really don’t care for the bait-and-switch tactic they used with the first episode. However, we know there’s going to be at least one more of those “it was just a dream/game” because of the way the OP portrays real world/high school life with the same characters.

    For me, they better hit that plotline soon because I’ve seen a few too many generic fantasy-genre-shows-with-MMO-game-rules to care about this one.

  • April 11, 2008 at 4:59 pmJoshs

    kadian – my theory with the “real life” thing is that they’re all just playing an online game anyway…

    I may be wrong, but that’s just the feel I get. Maybe it’s just because I don’t usually watch series like that.

  • April 11, 2008 at 5:04 pmmutio

    Yeah, give the plot some time Omni, I remember how you dropped Simoun and damn, awesomeness at it’s best was the story there.

  • April 11, 2008 at 5:06 pmBROOKLYN otaku

    i agree “Kadian1364″, cuz if thats all it was, why did they even bother??

  • April 11, 2008 at 5:10 pmValk

    LOL at everyone who thinks this one was a good show in the first place.

  • April 11, 2008 at 5:15 pmUltimatecalibur

    I’m going to hazard a guess that if it does end up being that they are playing a game it will be a pen and paper instead of an MMO.

  • April 11, 2008 at 5:16 pmrandom Dude

  • April 11, 2008 at 5:51 pmLithium17

    Did anyone go back to their hometown to get married this week?

  • April 11, 2008 at 5:54 pmMonochrome Factor Fan

    Nope? I’m only 15 years old Lithium17? -confused-

  • April 11, 2008 at 5:58 pmDrakron

    “this episode retains next to none of the charm that the first episode had”

    If you mean, “Hayate in S&S” I cannot why that is a bad thing, parodies and pocking fun is fine but a series like episode 1? no …

  • April 11, 2008 at 6:03 pmOmni

    Drakron: It’s not just parodies and poking fun of things – it’s a general sense that they’re doing something new and fun; perhaps even exploring a direction of the genre that hasn’t been explored before. I just don’t see that with Druaga right now.

    Case in point, as soon as they talked about the assassination plot, I immediately knew that Jil was going to be implicated. It’s the kind of thing you see all the time in RPGs and these types of stories.

  • April 11, 2008 at 6:12 pmPutty

    kadian1364: I think the OP of them in school uniform is just FAN SERVICE. lol

  • April 11, 2008 at 6:25 pmKit-Tsukasa

    I’m surprised Gonzo is using Namco’s Gilgamesh story regarding the main character as Gil. Everything looks the exact same including his “gilgamesh” armor and weapons in episode 1 as well as general story. The only difference is Gonzo uses “Jil” instead.

  • April 11, 2008 at 6:32 pmEld

  • April 11, 2008 at 6:34 pmSadmask

    Come on… tell me this won’t be another experience like Raganrok. D:

  • April 11, 2008 at 6:54 pmAnotherGeek

    Still I would rather stick with this show than fan-service filled shows. That’s the only way to fill up the schedule since this seasons don’t have that many interesting shows.

    I know Gonzo is not everyone favorite but most of their show is still very enjoyable and I don’t hate them like many seem to.

  • April 11, 2008 at 7:12 pmParaila

    Ragnarok anime was very good as drama. :)

  • April 11, 2008 at 7:21 pmninjikiran

    Actually I quite liked this episodes, perhaps it wasnt funny like the previous episode it was still well done. Perhaps a bit formulaic but I have not seen a cliche like this in a while so its a little more fresh for me than it might be for others. I will give it more of a chance and hope it doesn’t die down by episode 10.

    I got ragnarok online vibes from this show and I loved them.

  • April 11, 2008 at 7:26 pmhcl4

    So they pulled a Haruhi. I suppose those that didn’t like the comedy in the first episode would like the second episode more and the opposite for those that did like the first episode.

  • April 11, 2008 at 8:00 pmAnonymous

    First episode was funny, but nothing more. I don’t see how you found any “charm” or anything new or exciting in the first episode. We’ve seen parodies like this in thousands of other recent anime(SZS & Hayate come to mind). Episode 2 was of course serious if you watched the trailer. It’s not meant to be an anime with stupid references.

  • April 11, 2008 at 8:27 pmfrubam

    I liked this show, it’s not as bad as Ragnarok, at least Jil can do fairly well against NORMAL people. If he was weak, like Roan was, I’d toss this show right in the shithole with Ragnarok. If an episode like Ragnarok ep13 is somewhere down the line, I wanna have a front-row seat to see it.

  • April 11, 2008 at 8:28 pmkadian1364

    hcl4: I disagree this is like Haruhi. The first ep of Haruhi was clearly a mock student film. The video quality, the production slips, the credits, they all pointed at “this is not how it’s always going to be. This is an intro to our characters and the queerness of the plot.” In that way, the intro ep worked because those characters acted more or less the same as they always did (or how they will, depending on your linearity perspective).

    Druaga not only did not clue us in on what it’s true nature was, it’s also, thus far, in complete disharmony with the images portrayed by the OP, which usually works as, “This series in 60 seconds”.

  • April 11, 2008 at 8:36 pmMyssa Rei

    Omni: I was wondering if you managed to snag the ‘Ura’ version of the first episode, as apparently it takes a different track from the Gil’s fantasy-dream, with a different set of characters.

  • April 11, 2008 at 8:41 pmItAintEazy

    GONZO strikes again :(

  • April 11, 2008 at 9:06 pmLvl20Blastificer

    Shame this episode was so typical. I hope there’s some sort of twist to the show as a straight dungeon-crawl anime has already been done so many times, and done far better. I mean it’s even falling into genre tropes! A slightly different set of tropes from the ones the first ep parodied but taken at face value it’s still pretty cliched.(calling people by their class names, a hero whose ‘useless’ but inhumanly competant at the same time, a mysterious cloaked badguy etc)

    It just seems too blatent to be done intentionally, unless the writers are totally unfamiliar with gamer humour then there’s no way they could fall into them by accident. It’s either lazy writing for a product placement (new MMORPG) anime or they’re up to something.

  • April 11, 2008 at 9:38 pmFufu Cuddly Poops

    lol OH HORROR OF HORRORS YOU MEAN NO MORE TENTACLE FAN SERVICE!@!?

    Seriously, I LIKE standard fantasy and dislike silly fanservecy crap so this is starting to get right up my ally.

  • April 11, 2008 at 9:49 pmGod~knows

    It was okay,quite predictable plot with similar characteristics to Ragnarock the Animation.But I think there is more to this series.For all we know it could be a dream, within a drean, within a dream.Its Gonzo for goodness sake.I’m sure they haven’t stooped to that pathetic level yet of producing MMO ripoffs.

  • April 11, 2008 at 10:05 pmpenguin

    So wait the blonde one isn’t the main chick? Fail

  • April 11, 2008 at 11:54 pmHylarn

    My main fear after watching the first episode was that it was a way of telling us about the sort of things we shouldn’t expect to see. I say fear, because they were parodying cliches almost entirely on the light-hearted side of things.

    I really think that the opening is just to look good. If they actually intended to have characters in the real world they would have revealed it by now, or wouldn’t have put it in the opening.

    I don’t expect this to improve. It felt to much like other GONZO series for me to be optimistic.

  • April 12, 2008 at 12:10 amJohnG

    Judging by the next preview I don’t think he’s going to end up implicated at all, especially since there are numerous witnesses/captured infiltrators outside.

  • April 12, 2008 at 12:47 amscwizard

    Fuck ya Gonzo your the fastest speedsubbers ever!

  • April 12, 2008 at 12:53 amkadian1364

    I’ve seen a lot of anime, among them strange and considerably offbeat shows that have done weird things just for weirdness’s sake. Yet, I’ve never seen a standard OP that had nothing to do with the contents of its first two episodes. The peppy music, the well animated family characters; This is just a completely different kind of peculiar.

    And the only reason to hope for something more to come.

  • April 12, 2008 at 1:49 amGDP

    Hmm. Generic fantasy anime. But I’ve been fond of the fantasy genre since childhood, and I’ve warmed up to the characters so I’m curious to see how things play out for them. Well, I’ll watch this and see how long it maintains my interest.

  • April 12, 2008 at 2:21 amAndrew

    While i really did enjoy Ep1 i wanted it to be the last in respects to just Comedy. I started watching this series because of the fantasy element and im glad it will continue that way now.

  • April 12, 2008 at 4:48 amFree Anime

    Yay this series goona more seriously

  • April 12, 2008 at 5:19 amArgonaut

    The show’s ok. I just don’t like the main character.
    Idk, maybe coz some flag in my head is raised sayin’ “Typical Idiot Do-Gooder Hero”.

    *shrugs*

  • April 12, 2008 at 5:25 amRina

    who cares if it is just another serious fantasy-adventure anime, we have too much fan-service comedy anime this season anyways
    Seconded!

  • April 12, 2008 at 12:39 pmklinc

    dont like streaming…but thats all there is…awwwwwwwwww……….

  • April 12, 2008 at 12:39 pm42-42-564

    I’m glad I keep an open mind when it comes to animes, because I find myself finding things that I like and enjoying them a lot more, than trying to criticise everything that’s wrong about it. Tower of Druaga has its flaws. Generic plot, generic theme and generic settings. But what isn’t generic nowadays? I don’t really mind too much if a new anime comes in with a formulaic story, so long as it doesn’t rub me off in other ways (va, bgm, underlying theme, etc). Aka, I don’t need “new” plot/character devices to hook me in on a series. If I did, I’d be a pretty miserable fellow, only ever seeking and approving of “new, exciting” things. Kinda reminds me of a story about the king who ordered his cooks to serve him a brand new soup at every meal (or day).

    As for the episode, the art was quite good, and the story wasn’t as bad as some know-it-all claimed it to be. If there’s one thing that I don’t like about the episode (and this is merely a personal preferences, and is completely biased), it’s the characters’ attitudes. One of these days, these characters need to learn that to act as a hero, they better have what it takes to face the consequences of their actions. Trying to act without thinking and ending up getting one’s self, or even worse, other people into deeper trouble is, in my mind, worse than the baddies causing the problems. Not trying to say one should not help people out, but do so only if you can live up to the effects of your interference.

    I think the problem with most manga is that they seem to embrace these sort of attitudes. Why? Because it is a great way of extending the story (helps someone out, ends up causing more trouble, hence, more episodes/chapters to resolve the whole problem). Plus, it identifies well with (reckless) teenagers because it potrays such attitudes as “valuable” and “moral”, something that isn’t quite the case (or at least, doesn’t reflect the whole picture) in real life.

    Oops, there goes my rant again. Anyway, I’ve just watched the 2nd episode of Amatsuki, and I had the same problems with this episode as well. But at least I had fun watching them. Bring on episodes 3!

  • April 12, 2008 at 1:43 pmMikioBo

    well this episode wasn’t complete crap. but it really dissapointed me after the first episode. i hope the next one will be funnier and better

  • April 12, 2008 at 2:06 pmvedasisme

    I haven’t yet seen episode 2, but I saw the slump coming as soon as I watched episode 1.

    There were a lot of great jokes about fantasy plotlines, but it’s a shame they shoved them all into the first episode. Even then, it’s hard to make an entire episode about machine-gunning the same type of humour for 20 minutes.

    And then for them to make a 180° turn to a more serious storyline is kind of disappointing, because everything in the summary is just as predictable as dying because you said you would be going home after a battle to get married.

    Ah well, I’m still curious about how high school versions of the characters are related to this, but if it’s because of some sort of online video game of some sort, I’m crossing out this series in disgust.

  • April 12, 2008 at 2:51 pmDrakron

    “it’s a general sense that they’re doing something new and fun; perhaps even exploring a direction of the genre that hasn’t been explored before. I just don’t see that with Druaga right now.”

    Maybe but episode 1 had a timing that made it clear that was one shoot deal.

    A entire series based on parody would require a slower pacing with a longer buildup, also that type of comedy is something that is really works best with short timing and does not work well with a long series or with long episodes.

    As for the plot … well, I think we are some 1000 years too late to start making a unique storyline, besides impressions can be wrong and lets see were episode 3 lead us.

  • April 12, 2008 at 3:49 pmGintama

    I’ll look into this.

  • April 12, 2008 at 4:12 pmMatroid

    Episode 1 has the dream version and the reality version. The dream version is a teaser, whereas the reality version (what happened to Gil’s comrades while he was unconscious) actually introduces other main characters in the more traditional storytelling format. Episode 2 makes more sense if you watch the reality version first.

  • April 12, 2008 at 6:05 pmlangley

    I agree with 42-et al. Glad to know I’m not the only one who enjoyed both episodes. If knocking yourself out to find as many reasons to dislike something as possible gives you enjoyment, more power to ya. Or if you just have an inherent dislike for something, well, there’s no helping that. Me, I love fantasy, even generic fantasy, and I prefer taking entertainment on its own terms so I can like it as long as it’s doing a good job at what it’s trying to do. In that respect, I enjoyed episode 2 quite thoroughly.

  • April 12, 2008 at 10:24 pmaXeL

    is there a site where i can download this episode for free?

  • April 13, 2008 at 10:31 amHei

    I didn’t really enjoy the first episode because of it’s randomness.. so this was a improvement on my part

  • April 16, 2008 at 9:53 amrenzeiken

    Did nobody notice that Fatina is wearing a gym uniform in the jumping scene of the Episode 2 opening while she wears here mage outfit in the episode 1 opening?