The Nihon Review - Anime Reviews & Editorials

The Tower of Druaga: the Sword of Uruk

Title: The Tower of Druaga: the Sword of Uruk
Genre: Action/Drama
Company: Gonzo
Format: 12 episodes
Dates: 8 Jan 2009 – 26 Mar 2009

Synopsis: It has been half a year since Jil and his friends defeated Druaga and were betrayed by their companions Kaaya and Neeba. With all the monsters of the tower gone, Jil and his companions have returned to their everyday lives trying to forget what they have lost. This uneasy peace does not last long, however, when a mysterious girl named Kai gives Jil an ominous vision of the future, the young hero returns to the tower to confront his brother Neeba and his former lover, Kaaya.

The Highlights
Story: Competent but generic.
Comedy: Weak; usually just small gags here and there.
Aesthetics: Meh.

The Tower of Druaga: Aegis of Uruk was an entertaining, seldom serious action/comedy anime that followed a conventional 16-bit RPG storyline and constantly made fun of both itself and its surrounding archetypes. The Tower of Druaga: Sword of Uruk is an almost straightforward action/drama sequel that ties up the loose ends of the first season and closes the door on this world with an oddly satisfying but thoroughly unimpressive ending. Though the anime is perfectly watchable, I’d advise fans of the first season who have yet to see this anime to save themselves five hours by skipping this incarnation altogether.

The Tower of Druaga franchise is one of the few anime that can benefit from less substance and more humor. Due to the semi-farcical setting and the mediocre characters, this is an anime that simply cannot excel at drama, especially with Gonzo‘s unwillingness to truly break any molds. Though there are hints of serious plot elements here and there, they were not substantial or memorable enough to truly stand on their own.

Though I don’t consider the first season of Tower of Druaga to be anything special, I believed that the show had a handful of genuinely funny gags, and in my opinion, some real creative comedy. It was oddly hilarious to watch the characters take the life of a stereotypical RPG hero so seriously, fall victim to random gags, and at one point, literally play a video game of themselves. The second season cuts out the comedy in favor of a more serious atmosphere with occasional comedic interjections which effectively shred any modicum of gravity the show tries to build since it never feels all that menacing in the first place. As a result, expect to see lukewarm climaxes, plot-twists that no one cares about, and in general, drama that fails to impress.

Though the anime does not excel at anything, it does not outright fail at anything either. If you can swallow the ending, the story is mostly competent; the characters are likable and reasonably developed. On the flip side, the animation is inconsistent and the music is merely passable.

If there is a single word to describe this anime, it is “inconsequential.” The first season probably could justify its existence with its self-aware comedy, but Sword of Uruk is just cleaning up the very little plot the first season left behind. Quite frankly, the show is only slightly more entertaining than zoning out for five hours, so if you have absolutely nothing else to do, give this sequel a try.

The Rating: 4

Reviewed by: Shadowmage

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