With broken spirits and enigmatic questions that hold no answers lingering, Jil is still trying to figure everything out. Then, a mysterious girl named Kai appears before him and says: "Take me to the top of the tower."
Kai's request shrouded in ambiguity, Jil will have another chance to work towards completing his destiny and ascend the Tower. With his hopes and aspirations seemingly slipping out of his hands, Jil must rise to the challenge once again on this never-ending adventure.
Tower of Druaga is a two-season anime (Aegis of Uruk - 1st season; Sword of Uruk - 2nd season) that isn’t anything spectacular, but manages to deliver great fun and enjoyment. Each season haves 12 episodes but season one has an extra episode, it’s an alternative version of the first episode. This is only funny stuff but explains some things so I recommend watching it.
Mainly I’m going to review Sword of Uruk but there are going to be some comparations and references to Aegis of Uruk so this could be considered the full anime review. Firstly I must say that I don’t usually watch
this type of anime. This is the typical “save everyone” character (incredibly stupid at that) that has to save the world by defeating a great evil at the top of a tower. Pretty common story huh? Well don’t be fooled because the anime gets really interesting at the end of the first season and literally forces you quickly jump into the second one because you desperately want to know what happens next.
The story is set on a medieval/fantasy world that seems somehow modern. The events revolve around Jill, the main character, and his struggle to get to the top of the Tower Of Druaga. Those who climb the tower are called “climbers”, there are lots of climbers although the series focuses on some especifics groups of them. In Aegis of Uruk the characters will usually find themselves in really absurd and funny situations. In fact the 1st season doesn’t get serious ‘till the last 3 episodes. Sword of Uruk gets serious at the beginning and unfolds a story that is a lot more dramatic than Aegis of Uruk. It's a story full of hate and betrayal.
In Aegis of Uruk Jill is a rookie climbing for the first time. He thinks he is climbing to defeat the evil god Druaga but his brother (Neeba) has other plans. First Jill gets dismissed from his party and joins another one with very funny and important characters in it, Kaaya being the most important. At the end, when they reach the top another conflict unfolds and Neeba leaves alone joined by Kaaya. Sword of Uruk plotline unfolds six months after the events in Aegis of Uruk (3 years inside the tower due to some flow of time issues) the story is less funny and more serious, it concludes the anime for real. The battles are more fierce and the drama more intense. The objetive is basically the same: climb the tower again to reach another one (Mythical Tower) and defeat another evil being.
One thing to note is the pace in which the story develops. In Aegis of Uruk the story feels fast while the party climbs the shirines and gardens. In one episode they are on level two shirine and in the next one the party magically appears on level five. In Sword of Uruk the story is more paused and seems to be slower. It goes on in a more drama-oriented, detailed way. The story has it twists, almost all of them happening at the end of the first season and in the second season.
I was fooled when I first saw the Aegis of Uruk opening on the second episode. The opening has some amazing sequences that are really well done, but have nothing to do with the real anime, only some character behaviors are loyal to the anime plot. Sword of Uruk has some “nothing-to-do –with-the-anime” sequences as well. The two openings are just fun to watch and the design of every little thing is beautiful. Theese work like fanservice but at the same time indicate that the anime is far from serious, being it mostly a comedy.
Overall the anime looks good. The spaces are diverse and go from lively and beautiful to dark and scary. The main leads are very well detailed and very distinctive from each other. From Kaaya to Fatima the girls look gorgeous and really do make a diference from other animes girls. But some things like Jill’s armor and weapons are poorly detailed. On the first episode you see Jill with this huge shield, but after he leaves his first party he get’s to wield a really lame tiny shield. Another thing is the sword that he get’s from Kaaya: you only see it on the first season and them in the second season only in the last 3 episodes, and it isn’t anything special. I was hoping for a more powerful and mythical looking weapon (with some sort of power?) The only weapon I liked was the flame staff-gun that Fatima wields; it’s really awesome and original. The monsters are varied as well: they can be lame and simple looking or really ferocious and complex. I was as well dissapointed with Druaga’s looks.
As I said before the openings of boths seasons are just creative and beautiful. The singles that acompain the openings are really good as well. The music is completetly different from the one that is inputed during the anime. These are J-Pop songs that, after listening two or three times, become incredibly adictive. On the other hand the endings are slow and tranquil. So the basic formula: an agitated and fast opening to start up the action and to end up a light and somehow sad single to leave the animation on a nice mood.
The BMGs are really dramatic and have that medieval/legendary feeling. These give more drama to battles and more enjoyment to the, pretty random, humor moments. The sound quality is awesome and the BMG’s sound like taken out from a movie. The seiyuu cast is awesome as well and do irradiate each personality with their voices.
Everything is varied and fantastic in the world of The Tower of Druaga, the characters are no exception. In Aegis of Uruk there are a lot of interesting characters and in the Sword of Uruk you get to see all theese characters again and some new additions. Again the girls look awesome and sexy, Fatima being my favourite. Definitely I love Kaaya’s personality, she’s just weird and likes things that nobody else likes, she doesn’t get bothered by nothing and works really hard. On the other hand Fatima is an aggressive girl that gets bothered by practically anything but works hard as well. These two characters suffer a transformation after Aegis of Uruk ends. In Sword of Uruk Fatima starts up being a lay down and really quiet girl. Kaaya doesn’t show up too much until the last episodes but she seems sad and quiet as well.
But characters like Jill, suffers minimal changes. He starts up the second season sad and gloomy, but when he gets to know how to get where Kaaya and Neeba are he regains that irritating “save everyone” actitude. The problem is that he is indecisive and isn’t aware of anything at times. In my opinion a bad main character.
The main thing about secondary and other less important main leads is that they do have an important development and are not left alone. They do have important roles in the story development and one’s never kept wandering where a certain character is: they all participate and develop amanzingly well in the story.
At the end The Tower of Druaga is an enjoyable anime. It doesn’t have a strong story or great animation either but everything else make up for it. The anime has a big enjoyment factor: when you finish the first season you’ll quickly jump to the second one. And when you finish the second season you will end up loving the anime, mostly because of the relationships between the characters. I really enjoyed Tower of Druaga and I recommend everyone to watch this, you’ll get to laugh a bit, to experince sad moments and to, most impotantly, appreciate everything this world has to offer.
The Sword of Uruk diverges rather heavily from its prequel. Instead of "everyone happily going on a hiking trip", the story is centered more on betrayal and vengeance - PG style. Unfortunately, the animation quality hasn't improved much from season one, but they have finally stopped cramming in weaksauce CG like Gonzo's previous projects (ie. Druggynaut, BlAss-rater, etc.). Fans of season one are more likely to enjoy this due to the obvious reason of "sequel", but they are enough flashbacks to make season one optional.
Hokay, so its no longer a secret that Fatina is so bangin' hot and every man in Uruk wants
to have her babies. But not even the Scarlett Johansson of Meskia can keep us entertained if all the fights in this show look like Street Fighter Alpha. Hell even Pokemon had more exciting battles. So... what I mean to say is don't expect any Soul Caliber from this show.
Fairly catchy OP, although most of the attractiveness is in the form of a smokin' hot blonde mage (magess?). There's really not much to say about the sound, cuz honestly, who cares?
If there is one redeeming aspect of the Sword of Uruk, it would be the addition of new characters, as well as the expansion of previous ones. One gripe I had with season one was the shallow-ness of the entire cast. This just... happened, no one knew, no one asked, no one explained. This time around, there is some back-story to explain the reasons for the characters' actions in season one. As random as they may be, any explanation is better than no explanation. Jil forming a new party with Neeba's old comrades was a good move since it gave an opportunity for them to say things that they couldn't in season one.
To be honest, I probably wouldn't have enjoyed this show if it wasn't for Fatina. There must be something about that bangin' hot body that makes me laugh at all the lame gaffs in this show. For those of you who don't like hardcore, bloodthirsty, action animes I high recommend you to give this a look. Ditto for those of you with a soft spot for tsundere blondes.
It's generic fantasy done fairly well on the surface, but ultimately it's a hollow experience which reeks of missed potential. Though I haven't really spoiled anything explicit, I do refer to a fair amount of events in this review, so it won't be for those who don't want to know any details of what they'll see.
Plenty of SoU's merit rests on our shared experiences with the characters from the previous season. It also does a satisfying job of tying things from AoU's storyline into this one, though unfortunately it fails to improve on AoU's foundation or deliver satisfying resolutions of its own. SoU started off
pretty strong, with an exciting build-up in the first two episodes as the old crew gets reunited, and some fun adventures through exotic landscapes and fiendish new enemies in the more threatening Mythical Tower, culminating in the somewhat emotional 7th episode which was in my view the high point of the series. Some of the characters here receive interesting glimpses of characterization and there's hope that the story will continue to do things with them. And yet, by its end the show has devolved into a chaotic, ugly blend of clichés, yet more boring betrayals and often shaky dialogue whilst seeming to take itself far too seriously for the crap that it's giving you. It features a very weak and kind of ridiculous "battle against heaven" and unimaginative fights lacking the animational potency or enough unconventional features to be interesting.
The most frustrating aspect of the DRUAGA story is that none of the characters ever received as much investment and care as we could have hoped: At the end of the day they're just vocational "Climbers" who seem to do it without even needing an objective, apparently because there's so little else to do in their world. This is pretty aptly conveyed by the point at which Utu, carrying a wounded Fatina, angrily demands to know why they're putting themselves through all of this to follow Jil, and what his reason is for going on (out of the blue, after seeming perfectly fine with not having an objective this whole time). I could only put my head into my hands when Jil replied "because I'm a Climber", with both of his sidekicks seeming mightily impressed by his response and no longer questioning what the hell they're doing. There are a huge amount of characters all aiming to reach the top, but all this does is weaken the focus (that might have been used to make core characters more interesting) and muddy the waters as to who wants what, or most importantly why they want it.
At the end of the day the show just fails to get you to care enough about the characters given that their purpose, backstory and aims seem so empty and unexplored. The old crew are by the end of the season your typical auxiliaries who can't really participate in the end battle alongside Jil by dint of not being the "chosen ones", so they ended up pretty much spectating. The deaths of a few mostly forgettable side characters really fail to make things feel more serious, while lazy writing ensures that some characters don't even receive any worthy closure to their stories at all, and feel utterly pointless. Betrayals will also have as little effect on the characters as they do on you and we can't even relate to the characters because of how undeveloped they are, how ambiguous their blank faces are about their emotional states, and how little detail we have upon their motives when they make decisions which often don't seem logical. Female characters are mostly seen falling for male ones, being rescued or fighting supportively rather than independently so there's nothing refreshing there, while the 'chosen couple' is also very bland, given their dull personalities and almost universal lack of real bonding between them throughout either of the two seasons, with most of us inevitably having opted for Fatina over Kaaya.
What kept TToD - SoU alive is that it remained a pretty fun adventure, it was easily watchable and had a nice atmosphere almost entirely thanks to its good OP's and ED's - these are graced by fun songs that draw you into the world a bit more and wrap each episode in nostalgic, magical feelings. I'd imagine it's because of these feelings and the (albeit somewhat primitive) connections we established with Fatina, Utu, Melt and Coopa that we're all a little sad to leave the world of Uruk for good. Despite this, it just didn't manage to make its best characters more than fun sidekicks for the most part, or to make its story compelling enough given how unclear and shallow the reasons behind everything relating to the plot are. It suffers from the same weaknesses of its predecessor in the domain of animation (gaping lack of facial expressions) and just doesn't really have what it takes to be a superior anime. With attempts at humour that are passable but no real improvement on its predecessor, it's as if SoU tries to be lots of things but in the end doesn't really do anything that well.
Hmmmmmmmm, what to say about this anime. I thought it was "alright". Nothing compared to the first season, which I enjoyed WAY more. I'm gonna try to keep this spoiler free, but that may be hard to.
Story - 6
The story for ToD had POTENTIAL. But it lost it for me. Most of the episodes felt like a burden to watch, and I only watched cause I wanted to see the end. There's Jil and his friends climbing the tower, little girl with some back ground story following them, and then some things happen etc etc. But what I HATED about it was how
DULL they made it all. It all seemed so familiar like I was watching the same episode over and over. And then when things do change up, it's some type of stupid plot twist. If you decide to watch the ending, you will see what I'm talking about.
I liked the art, it was colorful, it was nice, and the action scenes were well done. But you know what kills a good fight scene? Crappy CG monster models. Seriously, that KILLED it for me. At first I thought "Oh, they trying to do more like they did with the Druaga fight from the first season". But it looked pretty stupid at most parts, and it rarely got better. May sound like I'm wailing on it, but to be truthfull, the CG was the only thing that bugged me besides the story plot.
I liked the voice acting and the action sounds were fitting. Never really much to talk about in this area.
Best part of the anime. The unique characters. To be honest, some of them just sucked, but than they decided to give us gold in the form of Fatina and Melt. My favorite thing about the whole show is how they all seemed to have their positions in the plot. This character is the nagger, this character is leader, this character is gonna be a bitch. Reminded me of an MMO. Real diverse, and filled with jerks.
It was kinda hard to enjoy because of the story, but I still managed to give it a 7 (which stands for gooooooooood). It was dull and boring at some points, but than theres points where I thought to my self "this anime is worth my time" and in a way, it was. The jokes are funny, most of the actions scenes are well done, and the characters are well built. As long as you don't mind the CG monsters and the rather boring story line (Untill you get to the end. There you can decide if it was worth it all or not) this anime was good.
Overall, I rate this anime a 7. Worth my time, but wasn't all that great.
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