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The Tower of Druaga ~the Aegis of Uruk~ – 04 »« The Tower of Druaga ~the Aegis of Uruk~ – 02

The Tower of Druaga ~the Aegis of Uruk~ – 03

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Summary:

80 years ago, Gilgamesh climbed the Tower of Druaga and battled many monsters, in the process saving a girl name Ki. She had told him about a curse that would save his life one day, and Gilgamesh now wakes up from being stabbed with these memories. Jil is standing over him and calling out to him, but guards then enter the room. Fortunately for Jil, both guards get knocked out by Neeba who then has Jil run away. When Jil wants to go back and explain things, Neeba instead changes the subject to how Jil found out about the assassination plot and realizes that Jil thought that Neeba was going to kill Gilgamesh himself. Jil thinks that Gilgamesh is dead regardless, but Neeba cryptically tells him that he’ll understand tomorrow. Once they get outside, Neeba watches Jil rejoin Kaaya and Ahmey and advises that Jil return home because he isn’t cut out for this place. Neeba then leaves with his group, and though Jil is still worried about Gilgamesh, Kaaya suggests that things will work out somehow. Jil’s continued insistence on going back to the palace to explain things to the guards leads to Kaaya deciding to knock him out with a spell and take him back home with her.

To Jil’s surprise, Gilgamesh is alive and well at a military parade the following day. This makes him wonder what Neeba knows since it fits with Neeba’s cryptic message the previous night. What Jil doesn’t know is that Gilgamesh’s close aide Marf had not alerted the rest of the guards because he knew Gilgamesh was okay, and Gilgamesh had indeed gotten up afterwards as if there had never been an attempt on his life. The king had said that he saw a long dream and had realized that a certain someone’s words were true. Back in the present, while the military parade is going on, Neeba meets with the assassin from the previous night and talks about how the king is still well. Neeba figures out that the person who ordered the assassination was Marf, but the assassin stonewalls him by saying that royal family matters have nothing to do with tower climbers. Neeba disagrees with this because he knows that it’s important if someone truly aims for the top floor of the Tower. He then hands over the two would-be assassins that he captured the previous night, but the head assassin kills them both and leaves. Afterwards, Neeba and the others in his group discuss how the assassin was a man named Pazuz who is known for killing other tower climbers and his own friends.

Fatina ends up asking Neeba why he had to investigate the assassination plot, but Neeba claims that he only wanted to know the internal state of affairs of the army. Before Fatina can object to this explanation, the group hears a loud noise and realizes that monsters are falling into the city. The monster in this case is a slime, and it shows up right next to Jil, Kaaya, and Ahmey who were eating. Jil sees that a girl has already gotten caught inside and tries to face the slime, but he gets stuck inside of it too. Ahmey has to save him by shattering the slime’s crystal, dissolving it into a sea of goo. As for the girl they rescued, she introduces herself as Coopa and offers the services of her master who is a mage. The problem is that this master Melt is a drunk who spends his days in a tavern, and he immediately rejects the thought of joining Jil. He changes his mind when he sees Ahmey and Kaaya, but before they can get anywhere in their discussions, a military brigade arrives to arrest them for the assassination plot. When Melt tries to charm the female commander, he gets punched in the face.

The group is quickly thrown into prison and Melt is furious about it. The only person the guards really care about is Kaaya though, and she’s brought directly to see Gilgamesh. The king wishes to speak with her privately, and after learning that she intends to climb the Tower, he warns her that it will be difficult. He also calls her Ishara, says that this will be their parting in this life, and hands her his old sword for Jil to have. Monsters meanwhile are falling all around the city, and one lands right on the prison. This frees Jil and the others, and Jil uses his strength to hold off the monster while Melt casts a spell to turn it into stone. Kaaya returns shortly after Ahmey shatters the monster and suggests that they escape from prison. She convinces Melt to come with them, and the five set out on their journey to climb the tower.

Preview

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Druaga has a way of staying interesting by keeping things confusing and/or mysterious, but I’m not sure if it’s a sign of an involved story with layers that haven’t been revealed yet, or a sign of really lazy storytelling. For one, there’s apparently a curse of sorts on Gilgamesh that allows him to survive the assassination, but what’s really unclear is why Marf ordered the assassination in the first place since Marf already seemed to know about the curse. There’s also Kaaya’s relationship with Gilgamesh which was a little confusing when I watched this episode but made more sense once I read on the official website that Kaaya is a descendent of Ki (the girl in the beginning of the episode). The one thing that was clear to me was that the whole monsters-falling-out-of-the-sky thing was a pretty cheap plot device to keep the story moving (a.k.a. causing our heroes to find their final group members and later freeing our heroes from prison).

On a different note, Coopa’s voice can get really annoying to listen to, especially for extended periods of time. The voice acting for the most part is solid for this show, but as much as I like Chihara Minori as a voice actress, this isn’t one of her better roles. Now it may sound like I’m writing more negatives than positives here, perhaps leading you to wonder why I’m still watching this. The thing is that I actually rather like some of the characters, mainly Kaaya and Fatina, and the story manages to be just intriguing enough to keep me watching. I’m just hoping it won’t be a colossal disappointment like Dragonaut was.

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

April 18, 2008 at 5:49 pm
26 comments »
  • April 18, 2008 at 6:00 pmLlednar Twem

    Needs more action

  • April 18, 2008 at 6:06 pmRegular

    Aw i thougt more action:S dang but i think this anime will be intresting

  • April 18, 2008 at 6:09 pmboo

    the alternate 1st episode actually clears up a lot of things in this one.

  • April 18, 2008 at 6:17 pmBlissmo

    wahaha, i only liked the first episode for this anime

  • April 18, 2008 at 6:28 pmUnknownVoice

    Good to know that it finally went with a more serious tone. First episode was good, but if the entire anime was a big parody…it would be too much.

    Can’t wait to see Ep3,

  • April 18, 2008 at 6:29 pmAznLegacy

    Yes, I agree Blissmo. The first episode was epic!!! :D Seriously though, I hope the story gets moving towards the good stuff(action!) soon.

  • April 18, 2008 at 6:43 pmDmonHiro

    Alternate episode?

  • April 18, 2008 at 7:30 pmcharmander

    there is another episode 1?

  • April 18, 2008 at 7:37 pmSerpone

    Yes, there is an alternate episode that happens at the same time the main character is having the dream.

  • April 18, 2008 at 8:04 pmAlgent

    and where did you find it ?

  • April 18, 2008 at 10:38 pmsetsuke

    So after 3 episodes then they will start on their climb at that tower which will start on the next episode… so is this considered a slow or fast-pace story? Coopa seem useless other than just the need to carry her master’s staff though she is cute.

  • April 18, 2008 at 11:04 pmnobody important

    Loli = win

  • April 18, 2008 at 11:13 pmGod~knows~

    I find Jil’s idiotic speeches way more annoying than the loli’s voice acting.How can anyone get annoyed by lolis?Its unfathomable to me.But seriously,this is almost like ragnarack the animation.Some of the scenes in this episode forces me to think “Ohh just like that time in Ragnarock”.Its only reprive is that the story is more complex and they’re trying hard to mask the mmorpg feel of the episode.

  • April 18, 2008 at 11:30 pmkadian1364

    Omni, I think it’s definitely just lazy writing. Various seemingly unrelated plot points are brought up and just as quickly are dropped, and an endless troop of questions continue unanswered, some very basic to the world. For example, what is this big town everyone lives in? Are there other towns elsewhere, or is this the only human civilization in the entirety of Druaga’s universe? And why do random monsters rain out of the sky and attack civilians, apparently to no one’s surprise? What purpose does the king, Gilgamesh, serve for the world? I’d imagine that a political figurehead has some important civil and legislative responsibilities, but Druaga would so far have us believe all he does is parade around town every couple of days and be the target of farce assassination plots.

    And why is it that everyone wants to climb that f*cking tower?! Eternal life, universal wisdom, unlimited power, admiration and respect, to simultaneously conquer the forces of love and evil, all these reasons and more are NOT established motivations for why everyone embarks on such a dangerous and seemingly impossible quest. It’s like they’re players in a poorly designed video game, stuck in an endless rut of grinding levels and aimlessly fighting reptiles and slimes and other generic enemies, where the ultimate prize is nebulous; some kind of whispy and undefined goal.

    As much as my disdain for generic-MMORPG/bad-game-design is manifest, a show that is a bad-game-design-come-anime (which is what Druaga is clearly running on now that the great first episode was proved an aberration) just exasperates its problems, not the least of which is the main detriment of this kind of series; that is, the interactivity and personal input a game provides a player is lost.

    Although my opinion of episode three is better than that of episode two, it does nothing to belay my currently down-spiraling opinion of this series. Surely Omni, there must be something better to spend your precious time blogging about?

  • April 19, 2008 at 12:14 amPassingBy

    To Kidian,
    1) The big town everyone lives in exists as a base point for climbers to rest and resupply.
    2) There are other towns and other towers. The main protagonist stated this himself that he is from somewhere else.
    3)The monsters rain out of the sky because they are falling from upper levels of the tower, and this is a regular event that happens every so many years.
    4) Gilgamesh is king because he defeated Druaga 80 yeas ago. He may or may not be a figurehead. FYI a figurehead is someone who does not have any actual power. So their actual job is to parade around, much like England’s royal family.
    5) Everyone wants to climb the tower to kill monster, thus getting fame, and find treasures, thus obtain wealth. But in the case of our protagonist, he simply want to reach the top level to defeat Druaga and destroy the tower.
    6) Fame and wealth is a good enough reason for people to attempt dangerous and seemingly impossible quest. Our own real history is proof enough.

    All of your questions were answered in the second episode.

    As for the rest of your comments concerning the series, I would say it’s a bit harsh at this point. I might end up agreeing with you, if the rest of the story simply consists of ‘here comes the monster, hero defeats monster, hero gets girl, the end’. But based on how witty and unexpected the first episode was, I am hoping that is not the case and that the story will only continue to get better.

    Furthermore, anime is like any other media medium. It is mindless entertainment. Do what I do when watching anime, which is turn off my brain, and this wouldn’t bother you so much. If you want something that is thought provoking and rich in context, then you need to go read a book, just like everyone else.

  • April 19, 2008 at 2:25 amramiel_salbazier

    Sometimes a story is just too bad that it disrupt suspension of disbelief and everybody have different limit of tolerance. BTW, about motivation for climbing the tower, just imagine what people (more correctly, nations) will do if such a tower suddenly appear in our world.

  • April 19, 2008 at 2:45 amRauzes

    There ARE no other towers. theres just other towns.

  • April 19, 2008 at 5:17 amtonbo

    i used to watch me little bro play those console games and they got those kings and monsters that die but are not dead per se (ala back the next time you rejoin the game)

    for all we know, Gilgamesh may not even be a real character… but he’ll talk to you, interact with or help you … better yet, tell you abt the girl he once knew… all in the game.

    in Japan, game creators mostly graduate frm the same schools anime creators come from.

  • April 19, 2008 at 1:33 pmkadian1364

    PassingBy:
    Perhaps I am looking for too much from this particular series. That’s really a shame, considering how much Druaga built itself up with a somewhat witty and curious first episode, full of humor that parodies many of the normal RPG video game conventions that it now seeks to imitate.

    And really, “books” are as much a media medium as film, theater, or anime. I’ve read a similar amount of bad books as I’ve seen good anime. Why can’t I demand the same thought provoking and rich content from all my entertainment? All the rules of telling a good story are the same (varied characters that behave human, detail rich if not completely believable settings, and of course at least a novel if not outright compelling plot), no matter the context by which it is told.

    Alas, I was probably trapped (like many others) into believing Druaga was something it is not. That’s my loss I suppose, a tough lesson learned.

  • April 19, 2008 at 11:54 pmterry

    kadian1364 is a f*ck*ng idiot, RPG anime is a win – maybe he’s gay?

  • April 20, 2008 at 3:38 amtonbo

    hmm, forgive me, but won’t all those Star Craft players (includes C.S and those WW2 spinoffs) be classified as dor0s since every game requires gamers fighting monsters or enemies that pop out from ‘somewhere’ or they win despite ‘impossible’ odds cuz of some very cliche stuff… [ i never dove into any of them , but watchng me bro play... he played those console games if i remember, game catridges and stuff ]

    however to be fair (as if), the official statement on Gonzo-Youtube has been that this is officially a new chapter to the very successful (and ancient) Game of the same title , so we are in effect seeing history unfold… like all other stuff this season that are not manga adaptations…

    so in a way the Op sequences with the train full of armoured men is true in alluding to the present, where most men of age would have played the game at least once in their youth…
    but not everyone knows that…

  • April 20, 2008 at 8:07 amscwizard

    I’m still watching this reluctantly. I wouldn’t be if it took up space on my hard drive though.

  • April 20, 2008 at 10:05 amWar3333

    Series Composition: Shoji Gatoh
    Screenplay: Shoji Gatoh

    I have faith in this man :P, He is the writer of FMP light novels afterall! Maybe that in the end Kadian will have some reason, for now I’am not disappointed at all ^^

  • April 20, 2008 at 5:22 pmAlvin

    “The one thing that was clear to me was that the whole monsters-falling-out-of-the-sky thing was a pretty cheap plot device to keep the story moving (a.k.a. causing our heroes to find their final group members and later freeing our heroes from prison).”

    I do not think that “the whole monsters-falling-out-of-the-sky thing” was used as a deux ex machina. True, the event led the party to an encounter with Coopa and finally Melt the magician, but I don’t think that qualifies as a convenient plot device. You can argue on this tho.

    But for the prison escape, they would be let out by the king anyway.

    I agree with you on certain things such as the ambiguous relationship between Kaaya and Gilgamesh. But this is just the 3rd episode. I would wait for future episodes to shed light on the questions (although an attentive person can easily surmise that Kaaya and Ki were somehow related because of their similar features).

    Cheers

  • April 21, 2008 at 6:06 amAnonymous

    “But this is just the 3rd episode.”

    i think thats the key to remember.

    @kadian1364
    like PassingBy pointed out, some of your points WERE answered. if you were looking for somehow deeper answers than those, that can’t be helped but i’d point out you won’t find any deeper answers to why any fantasy novel/anime/movie does what they do (why did Frodo become the hero of lotr, because he had the ring. because his race was magically the one that could best resist it. just because [etc etc etc]. because that’s the way Tokien set up the world and he didn’t really need to say more than that), so expecting more will only leave you permanently disappointed there.

    as for your other points, the problem there is you’re accusing Druaga of of mediocrity by not establishing a fleshed out world and plot. these are things that wouldn’t be fleshed out by episode 3 anyway, of ANY series. no series will have completely established its plots, fleshed out its world, and revealed its motivations less than a quarter of the way in. no book would. no movie would have. if they do, that book or movie would actually probably get critiqued as a bad book or movie due to poor pacing.

    so as ppl have noted, your complaints COULD come true, but its currently way too early to be accusing Druaga of any of them.

  • April 21, 2008 at 6:06 amandue

    The characters in this series remind me of Record of Lodoss War. Especially the main character, Jil, who reminds me of Parn. So far I enjoy the series about as much and its refreshing to watch a series with a similar feel as one I enjoyed alot in my past.