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What the F&%$ Did I Just Watch? TOWER OF DRUAGA

An Anime N00B's take...

YOINK! That’s the sound of the rug being yanked out from underneath me at least five times while I was watching the first episode of THE TOWER OF DRUAGA: AEGIS OF URUK (and thanks to Gia suggesting it to me). For the opening teaser, I was getting a little nervous that this was going to be like RECORD OF LODOSS WAR.  Sorry to fans of the show, but I couldn’t watch that past a couple episodes because it was so dry - - and I suspect that had a lot to do with the story being governed by the rules of DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS. So, when this episode started off with characters charging up and announcing their attacks like this was a turn-based RPG, I got a little anxious.

Then the boy named Jil (a cousin of Johnny Cash’s “Boy Named Sue”?) gets conked out, we cut to the opening titles and I’m seeing the questing band’s real life counterparts roaming around the subway while a bubbly girl sings about “swinging.”   Oh, OK…   I see orc warriors roaming around the train station and tripping on the turn-styles. This series is about a bunch of kids’ fantasy lives colliding with their real lives. I’ve got it. It’s like the NEVERENDING STORY.

Then the boy named Jil fills us in on the back story of the fantasy world and, again, color me surprised, because I DID NOT expect this series to be drawing from the Epic of Gilgamesh. I’ve seen modern fantasies inspired by Greco-Roman mythology, Norse mythology, Egyptian mythology, even Celtic mythology… but this is the first time I’ve seen SUMERIAN mythology. Kudos to these people for fishing outside the pond.

Then the boy named Jil starts running into a number of funny gags and this anime becomes a (very funny) spoof of fantasy tropes.   Again, not what I could've called. I particularly liked the gags about the guys ogling the girl in their band writhing in a tentacle trap rather than save her right away (shades of that really disturbing vine-scene in EVIL DEAD there), the taboo words of voicing your plans to get married and settle down after an adventure marking you for death (glad to see clichés can be ridiculed on both sides of the Pacific) and Jil’s careless insistence on getting the Black Knight’s name wrong. I’m starting to suspect this is like that one of episode of SOUTH PARK where the kids are acting out their ninja fantasies with their very real, and very dangerous, ninja weapons. I’m waiting for the fantasy to end abruptly when TOWER OF DRAGUA’s Butters-equivalent gets cut on his own katana.

Then the boy named Jil destroys Druaga and wakes up back at the beginning scene. What? That was all just a dream? Is this about the wacky fantasies of a character within a fantasy? Where’s the reveal of their real life identities? Is that something they’re not going to get to for a few episodes? If it all? Now, I’m intrigued…

-- Tom Pinchuk is the writer of UNIMAGINABLE for Arcana Comics and HYBRID BASTARDS! for Archaia Comics.   Watch out for the HYBRID BASTARDS! hardcover collection this March - - available for pre-order now on Amazon.com.

drgnballzon March 3, 2010 at 7:52 p.m.
I've actually seen up to episode eleven or so in the first season. Yes, there are two seasons... It isn't too bad, but it's really something I'd watch when I was bored and had nothing else to watch, which is exactly what had happened. Some of the episodes are amusing, but you get used to the plot a little too quickly and there aren't too many plot-twists that you cannot foresee happening.
JackSukeruon March 3, 2010 at 11:45 p.m.
Hm, maybe I should continue watching the second season of this... 
 
As for you though, the first episode should be enough, it's really the best part of that entire series.
YotaruVegetaon March 4, 2010 at 7:04 a.m.
I really liked Tower of Druaga Season 1. Second season fell flat for me. 
 
Ha! There's a lot of "the boy named Jil" in here!
 
Episode 1 is not indicative of how the show is going to go. It really tricked me when I saw it. Not that the series isn't exciting, but episode 1 is really crazy.
Baku_Senseion March 4, 2010 at 7:32 a.m.
I think I made it through 4 episodes before I lost interest. Whenever the mage guy was introduced...
ThePsychoGameron March 4, 2010 at 11:10 a.m.
You saying it's like an RPG is kind a funny, the anime is based of a 80's arcade game of the same name from namco, i wouldn't call the original an RPG, but a few years later it got a remake for the PS2 witch was a generic RPG. I have aso heard that Namco is planing an MMO based of the anime adation. Still i say this series is the rare anime version that is actually better then the game it's based off
YotaruVegetaon March 4, 2010 at 1:19 p.m.
It isn't too hard to be better than a game that so few people have heard of or have fanfare for.
 
In parts of the series they use video game allusions. I guess that's a nod to the original game.
haseo_yashimoraon March 4, 2010 at 1:55 p.m.

lol the first ep. is sooooooooooo BO BOBO like XD

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