The Tower of Druaga ~the Aegis of Uruk~ – 04
Inside the Tower of Druaga, both Neeba’s group and Jil’s group are up against some spider monsters. Whereas Neeba’s group is fighting a few at a time though, Jil’s group is running away from an army of them. Ahmey finally directs Jil to make a stand on the far side of a rock bridge, and with some magical help from Kaaya, she jumps over everything and drives her weapon into the bridge, sending all of the monsters into the dark ravine below. Afterwards, Ahmey asks if anyone else in the group has experience climbing the tower and is discouraged to find out that no one has. Ahmey herself has made it as far as the Garden of the Lion in the Shrine of Emery, and it doesn’t make her feel much better that her companions don’t even know the names of the levels. She thus has no choice but to teach them that the tower has eight shrine levels – Tin, Lead, Iron, Bronze, Silver, Gold, Emery, and Sky – and that each shrine has several gardens. They are currently still at the very bottom, in the Shrine of Tin.
Elsewhere in the Tower, the mage assassin Pazuz comes across a Kusarakk monster about to crush an adventurer, and he ends up turning both to stone because they’re in his way. Neeba’s group discovers these bodies shortly thereafter, and Neeba decides to continue pursuing the mage despite Kally’s warnings. They set up camp that night by a lake, and Fatina goes for a swim, but when she emerges from the water, she’s approached by a strange blue-haired woman. Fatina gets scared enough to fire her weapon, and the commotion draws Neeba and the others to her. The strange woman has disappeared though, so Neeba decides to look around. The woman eventually approaches him when he’s away from the group and comments on how it’s been a long time since they’ve seen each other. After Neeba tells her to stop appearing in front of his friends, the woman questions if Neeba can really reach the top of the tower with this group and wonders what’ll happen if he defeats Druaga. She then disappears again because Kally is coming, but not before she kisses Neeba on the cheek.
Meanwhile, Pazuz is using a crystal ball to watch Jil’s group eat dinner and decides to direct a group of Kusarakk who are in his way towards Jil instead. Unaware of what’s coming, Jil is later performing guard duty while the others sleep and is surprised when Kaaya suddenly blows on his ear. She’s there to switch places with him, but the two end up chatting since Jil can’t sleep. He asks her if she thinks that they’ll be okay climbing this tower, and he goes on to talk about his own inexperience, including how he was cut from his brother’s group. In response, Kaaya suggests that things will work out and cites how Jil is stronger than he looks. Jil then brings up the topic of why Kaaya is climbing the tower, so she makes up a story of wanting to cure an ill brother with the Blue Crystal Rod, but she quickly tells him that it’s just a joke. Suddenly, Kaaya senses a large group of Kusarakk coming, so they wake everyone else. Coopa thinks that they should run away, but Ahmey knows that the Kusarakks would quickly find them.
The only strategy Ahmey can come up with to have each of them scatter in different directions so that the monsters can only go after one or two of them, thus allowing everyone else to escape. Jil opposes this idea because he knows that even tougher monsters await them further up the tower, and so if they run away here, then they’ll never be able to reach the top. He convinces the others to make a stand, and when backed up by a shield spell from Kaaya, he’s able to hold off the Kusarakks while Melt and Ahmey do some damage. Meanwhile, Neeba’s group had earlier heard the Kusarakks moving and is now rushing towards Jil’s group to help them. However, by the time they arrive, they find all the Kusarakks already defeated, and Jil’s group sleeping after the exhaustion of a successful battle.
Well, there was lots of fighting with inconsequential enemies this week, though Jil and company did finally win their first big battle. While it’s nice to see that Jil and friends can be pretty strong if the situation calls for it, that’s still pretty typical fantasy RPG-type fare. I’m waiting for something really major to happen, at least on the scale of Gilgamesh being assassinated, except without the oh-he’s-not-really-dead part. Like I mentioned last week, the series has done a good job at hinting that there’s something bigger at play here, particularly with regard to Neeba and even Pazuz (why does he even care about Jil anyway?), but not enough of that has actually entered into the plot yet.
Speaking of which though, one of the more interesting parts of the episode was when the mysterious woman suddenly appeared in front of Fatina. For one, I didn’t realize Yukana was voicing a character in this series (using a C.C.-esque voice to boot), so that was a pleasant surprise. The credits label her as “Succubus”, which sounds rather generic, but her role seems more important than that since she’s shown that she’s already well acquainted with Neeba. She refers to Druaga as Druaga-sama, so I assume she’s on Druaga’s side, however the question still remains why she and Neeba know each other – since she’s a succubus, maybe she seduced him in the past or something. In any case, she probably won’t be showing up next week since the preview makes it look to be a light-hearted episode with armored cartoonish mice and Neeba growing animal features. Perhaps they’ll be able to return to some of the same style of humor from the first episode.