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