The Tower of Druaga: “If you want to fight me, first you must defeat me!”

Today’s image slightly smaller than normal due to BOST TV being unable to provide larger-size HQ video files. I can tell you, though, that there is nothing quite like watching the first episode of Tower of Druaga on your portable video-playing device whilst driving around the rural countryside looking at high water levels with your family and trying really, really hard not to laugh obnoxiously loudly. Especially during the tentacle rape scene.

The first episode, of course, has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with anything whatsoever. It’s not even a good episode to judge whether or not you’d like the rest of the series. What it is, however, is a hilarious send-up, pastiche, and mockery of generic RPG plots, such as (gasp!) the one found in the Namco original game Tower of Druaga. It’s an incredible way to start a series, and, while I’m somewhat upset that the first episode didn’t really show us what the series was going to be like, I must admit, it is vastly entertaining. From the joke featured in the post title (which was one of the best moments of the episode) to the aforementioned tentacle rape scene, to the numerous overstaged and ludicrously overdramatic character deaths and general nonsense talking, it’s clear that, at the very least, the writers of the series are capable of pulling off humor extremely well. We only get to see about three minutes, total, of the reality of the series, however, but I’d assume that, if the humor is this good and well-executed and written, the rest of the series should be adequate, and possibly even much better than that.

I am still slightly worried that the series will become the typical Gonzo “let’s have an action-fest of a series” and forget to do other kinds of things along with it, such as be interesting to watch, but 1) it’s done by the Last Exile/Brave Story director, Chigira Koichi, and 2) I didn’t mind the style of the seven episodes of Romeo x Juliet I saw (but I’m a sucker for Romeo & Juliet in general, and it’s still back on my backburner of “things to do”), so, based on these two trends, I’m cautiously hopeful. I’m not expecting it to be a complex and involving character drama–I would be legitimately crazy to expect that–but, as it’s going to be about the fighting anyway, hopefully there’ll be some kind of hook to keep me interested. If they keep the spirit of the first episode alive and adopt a somewhat lighthearted tone throughout the rest of the series, rather than try to be drama, then we’ll probably be fine.

Interestingly, on the legality front, I opted to go for BOST TV, as it appears that they’re the ones responsible for the suntitling, and I don’t particularly trust Crunchyroll (although apparently they’re the ones offering the HQ downloads for a fee), but at any rate I purchased an episode of anime and watched it totally legal. I’m excited. As the BOST TV thing has a weird point system, and I didn’t know about the season pass voucher thing before I bought the first episode, I’ll have to spend a tad bit more extra on it, but that doesn’t bother me too terribly much, as this is a concept I have been pushing and pushing for, so I’m going to support it as much as I can. I’ll have to deal with low-quality encoded-for-PSP video files, too, but they are DRM-free video files, and much appreciated for that.

At this point, my prime concern isn’t whether Tower of Druaga is a good series or not, but whether Gonzo’s release strategy will succeed. I hope it does. I’d much, much rather pay a company money for the privledge of watching anime, rather than deal with a set of shady and unknown fansubbers who may or may not be making things up as they go along. It’s a risky thing Gonzo’s trying, but, for the sake of the industry, I hope Tower of Druaga succeeds. The other one they’re doing, Blassreiter, well, I know nothing about it, but hopefully it will attract enough of a paying audience to make this venture a good idea. And this is an idea that I think needs to succeed.

10 Responses to “The Tower of Druaga: “If you want to fight me, first you must defeat me!””

  1. 1 rah2 4 April 2008 at 10:56 pm

    As you did, I laughed heartly at ep 1 due to it’s fast flurry of RPG parodies (like the death flags: “After this fight I’m going back to my home town and getting married” “Why are you telling me this” “LET’S GO! AAAAAAAAAAAA *stabs*” “UTU ;__________________;”). That and Fatima being voiced by Yui Horie was also wonderfully delicious. ESPICALLY with Nekomimi and the tentacle rape. To be honest, I think this stratagy has a pretty good chance of succeding, maybe even enough to get the game tie in localized (I’d play that). As for Blassreiter, it looks like Dragonaut levels of QUALITY all over agian, so I wouldn’t bother. I still think it’s werid though that people are realesing raws for fansubbers to use when the company did that themselves, but hey…

  2. 2 OGT 4 April 2008 at 11:06 pm

    Well, I think the rest of the series will have a decidedly more serious bent. As long as they handle that somewhat competently, it’ll be fine.

  3. 3 rah2 4 April 2008 at 11:30 pm

    I figured as much, but still, I’d like the show to have a sense of humor of at least half this level. That and I think the chances of this turning out to be good are fairly high, since it seems most of their other staff is doing Blassreiter and…well the difference in quality is clear :p. More Fatima would be nice too, but it looks like we will be seeing more of that group that was in the ending theme (same one as the promo poster)

  4. 4 Lana 5 April 2008 at 1:28 am

    I suspect that most of the humor here is from Shoji Gatoh (he wrote the Full Metal Panic novels as well as the script for the first half of FMP:The Second Raid and the Computer game episode of Haruhi). Normally I’d be worried about Gonzo writers and their tendencies to slip up after the first few good episodes, but the show just feels so much like it’s Gatoh’s work at the moment that I think the first episode is a sign that we are in good hands.

  5. 5 TheBigN 5 April 2008 at 2:10 am

    “As for Blassreiter, it looks like Dragonaut levels of QUALITY all over agian, so I wouldn’t bother.”

    If it’s that way, I might have to check it out then. :P

    This was a nice surprise, especially since I came into the show knowing nothing about it. For me it was one of the more hilarious episodes of anime that I’ve seen in a while, and I’ll be paying some more attention to this show, which is what I think the creators wanted all along. :P

  6. 6 OGT 5 April 2008 at 8:03 am

    >> Lana

    Yeah, I meant to bring up Gatoh Shoji in the post but somehow forgot. His involvement can only be a good thing, I think.

  7. 7 testman 12 April 2008 at 10:24 pm

    The first episode has two chapters. One is outer chapter, the other one is inner chapter.

    The outer chapter is really funny and I did enjoy it. But if the rest series continue this nonsense humour, they will be unable to sell a single game packet later.

    The inner episode 1, together with the following episode 2, shows the real appearance of this anime. It still filled with humour and “H” elements, but looked more like a traditional RPG anime.

    Well, I like the latter style more.
    Just wish Gonzo staff won’t ruin this product after a few episodes…

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I cannot understand those that take anime seriously, but I can love them, and I do. Out of my love I warn them to keep clear of this blog.

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