And for the final post of the week; Tower of Druaga: Aegis of Uruk (2008). This is the first series of an adventure/fantasy anime that is the continuation of a video game franchise that started in 1984 with “The Tower of Druaga“. The first series is 12 episodes long.
What’s it about?
Climbing to the top of the Tower of Druaga is no easy task; not only do you face many traps and monsters on the way, the god Druaga must be defeated at the very top. However, it is worth the peril, for the climber who succeeds will gain the Blue Crystal Rod, which will grant any wish. Jil is the hero of the story, and after his older brother Neeba kicks him out of his climbing group because of incompetence, he is recruited by the oracle Kaaya. Forming a team alongside the two are Ahmey, Melt, and Coopa, however, the group have to learn to work together to conquer the tower.
This anime has great strengths in its sheer entertainment. It’s light hearted throughout, although there are some nice action scenes to complement it. The first episode “The Great Tower of Druaga (Inner)” is an enjoyable parody for anyone who has watched any adventure or fantasy anime before, or enjoys RPG’s. However, after this episode, the series begins its plot development, but still retains a lot of the parody and comicality of the first episode. Although a little too tame to consider ecchi, a couple of the comical moments are a little more mature that what you’d expect. This is quite clear in the fifth episode, “Ziusudra’s Trap”, which is another episode that is focused on comedy rather than plot.
Secondly, the characters are entertaining and interact well during the series. This is especially true of Jil’s team; Coopa is Melt’s very serious servant, who is often disgusted at her master’s behaviour and acts at least twice her age. She is also incredibly strong, and this is played upon a couple of times in the series. Ahmey’s the quite, serious, leader-type, but is shown on a number of occasions that just below the surface is a sweet, naive girl. Kaaya is a fun little oddball, and says a couple of things that will make you question her sanity. Mixed in with Melt, the lazy son of a once-rich family, and Jil’s constant attempt to please everyone and be a hero, you have a solid group of main characters that will keep you laughing.
As you would expect, Tower of Druaga: Aegis of Uruk focuses on both the hero development of Jil , and the development of the team’s ability to work together. This is done in an incredibly standard and predictable way. I consider this a positive, however, because it is more enjoyable than what you’d expect. Having this done well is an unexpected strength of this anime- it’s surprisingly refreshing to have something straight-forward with entertaining characters.
The main negative of this anime is its predictable and unremarkable plot; you can pretty much already call what happens. It follows the standard fantasy/adventure format a little too well to make it anything but mediocre. Any ideas in the plot are very brief with no explanation. Only the final episodes manage to deliver something a little more interesting.
The only other problem I had with this anime was the way in which it transitioned from funny to serious moments- I wasn’t sure if I was meant to take them seriously or not.
Art: 7/10: A little bit of an older style, but the anime is quite rich in detail.
Story: 5/10: Predictable and unremarkable, but there are plenty of laughs along the way.
Characters: 7/10: The main characters are quirky and fun.
This lighthearted anime is good for a giggle and is easy to watch. If you enjoy fantasy or adventure anime, or you’re aware of the game that this anime is a sequel to, or if you enjoy RPG’s, you will probably enjoy Tower of Druaga: Aegis of Uruk, especially the parody episodes. However, don’t expect too much from it. I’m going to have to finish of the week with another overall score of 6/10.
That wraps up my three reviews for this week. It’s interesting to see that they ended with the same overall rating, although the three had differing strengths and weaknesses. I’ll go back to one review next week… that is, unless I’m too lazy and skip it again 😛