how to climb a tower

I’m just dying for a surprise roper attack whenever Fatima’s on screen. Where were they during the hot tub scene? I feel so cheated.

One of the things I don’t care for in blogging are the episode-by-episode posts. They have their purpose (most importantly, they give an easy out for writer’s block… what am I going to write today… oh, Gundam 00 S2 16 then 17 then 18!), but they their disadvantages as well (like before forced into coming up with interesting angles weekly… Haruka was amazing in Okaeri 1! Still amazing in 2!). One disadvantage that really doesn’t get mentioned but is dear to me is that when I do episode-by-episode, I can’t marathon that show.

Some shows I like to just plow through a handful episodes at once instead of watching weekly. Gundam is typically one of these shows (since it takes about 3 episodes of Gundam to have the same narration quantity as an episode of any other anime). Tower of Druaga is another one. Sure, Druaga is somewhat episodic, but there’s enough going on that I want to watch another episode after the first one finishes.

(I’m also used to marathoning shows since this is how I watch Hollywood TV now. Love whipping out three or four episodes of Sarah Conner Chronicles or The Wire in a row.)

Some shows though aren’t meant for marathoning. As much as I enjoy Michiko to Hatchin, I can’t watch more than one episode at a time in a sitting. I dunno. Maybe I need ten minutes to digest the episode that I can’t another right away. Same with Clannad After Story (though this is more due to exceeding my USDA of corn and sugar).

And there’s another type in Gurren Lagann— a show that I know would be better in two hour chunks, but I just can’t wait. It’s like a twelve year old boy knowing there’s a Wii under the Christmas tree and just constantly bugs his mom if he can open it before Christmas morning. That’s Gurren Lagann. (If you haven’t see the Alex Baldwin Wario Wii sketch from SNL, you gotta see it. Fantastic.)

Now back to Druaga— it’s a consummate marathon show. It’s not omfg awesome enough of a series to warrant the Christmas/Wii comparison, and it’s serial enough that watching just an episode doesn’t seem filling enough. So with the new season of Druaga, I chose to watch it in four episode batches. Sword of Uruk continues where the first season left off, with Kaaya and Neeba deep into the second tower while leaving behind Jil and Fatima.

I was very mixed on the original series; so how does this new season fare? Pretty much more of the same. The original had sloppy animation; season two has sloppy animation. There’s a straightforward plot. There’s some humor. There’s ropers. And there’s definitely more than enough to keep me interested to the end. What I’m looking for:

1. Pantheon-class episode. The original had one of the most memorable episodes of 2008 with The Trap Episode. It was just fantastic, and it shows what Druaga could be. Too bad there weren’t more lighthearted moments like that (the roper dance episode wasn’t bad either). I think Druaga is at its best when it is trying for the comedy and not the serious tense action drama.

2. Fatima with ropers. Needs no more explanation.

3. An ending outside the obvious. Jil saves Kaaya and redeems Neeba. Most likely Neeba will die. Okay, that’s the boring ending. Also can’t rule out the ending where Jil saves everyone, but Kaaya passes because her magic is part of the tower that’s now vanquished. But what about the ending where Jil and Fatima become apple traders? Or the ending where they discover another tower inside this tower that’s inside a tower? Or The Coopa Ending? Who wouldn’t like a good ol’ Coopa ending?

4. The Gonzo Factor. Trying to decide which anime has a greater variation in animation consistency and which could benefit more from a different studio: Tower of Druaga or Minami-ke. Thinking about Bones + Druaga or Doumu + Minami-ke only raises my blood pressure. (Though a Gonzo Clannad would be fascinating…)

5. Fatima with ropers. Needs a repeat.

6. Manifest destinies. Jil and gar… does it happen? It seems like his manifest destiny, but it’s very, very hard to award gar to anyone who does a roper dance. Then again, I never thought I’d bestow gar status on a frickin’ meido. But more interestingly, where does Fatima and Kaaya end up on the Toradora hierarchy? Right now, it seems like Fatima is like Ami-chan while Kaaya is like Minorin. Will this analogy hold up by Toradora 23 and Druaga 11?

7. Tower of Druaga Sword of Uruk 11. Will I ever make another blog post about this series… mmm… good question.

17 Responses to “how to climb a tower”

  1. Fatina with ropers FTW

  2. Fatina with an ‘n’

  3. I also quite enjoyed Henaro’s behind and her headshot.

  4. Since I almost gav you would return in the near future, it was a WTF?! moment when I saw not one but two new posts, when I decided to check your site today.

    So I’m glad your back, and don’t push yourself too much :)

  5. >>Or The Coopa Ending? Who wouldn’t like a good ol’ Coopa ending?
    No, no, no. By which I mean “YES! OH GOD YES!” of course but a Coopa ending is still far too inside the box for a surprise. A Fuuko ending however…

  6. @Giant Humanoid Robot:

    I’m waiting for the Roper ending myself.

  7. A taste of Heaven from the god himself!

    Ropers were hot.

  8. I sense a disturbance in the force, Jason….has changed…

    oh and where can I get Jil’s blanket/comforter. DO WANT!

  9. Strangely, I thought you would be talking about this Meido.

    3rd entry.


  10. @ SilverSix:

    Hmm, I think you’re on to something here. New surprise ending time…

    The climax of the final episode is a romantic liaison between Fatima and the true boss of the tower, the Roper King. However three days before it airs a disgruntled Minoru Shiraishi (upset after Gonzo rejects his idea to replace the ED animation with him doing a live action roper dance) dons a roper costume and sexually assaults over three dozen men, women, and animals outside Gonzo’s main office. Druaga’s staff decide to pull a NICE BOAT, saving the final episode for DVD and instead airing a live broadcast of the director playing the original Tower of Druaga game where visitors to the Gonzo’s website can submit comments that will appear on the game screen Nico Nico Douga style. The airdate arrives but the director begins playing Gauntlet instead. At first the commenters and the rest of the staff assume he is joking despite the directors adamant insisting that he is, in fact, playing Druaga. As the game progresses the commenters become more and more hostile, the director is becoming more and more antagonistically paranoid, and the rest of the staff are paralyzed by uncertainty. By level 11 the dialog is reaching near Gainax vs. 2ch levels. By level 17 it surpasses it. By level 26 the director is ranting that the government is run by Atlantean lizard people, all otaku are disgusting creatures out to destroy him, and that he will have his holy retribution (strangely enough his gameplay quality remained constant throughout all this and he was actually doing quite well). At this point the staff give up on trying to salvage the program and cut the broadcast. In the resulting aftermath 99% of the staff leave the project, leaving the director to finish putting out the DVDs by himself. When the final DVD is released, viewers discover the final episode has been replaced by 23 minutes of the director in a roper costume (suspected to be the same one used in the earlier incident) dry humping a Fatima body pillow and shouting “fuck you” along with the user names of everyone who submitted comments during the broadcast. Someone manages to mix this with a eurobeat song and a KyoAni dance, to which Jason posts a link to a YouTube video and a couple lines of meme-speak. This becomes his most popular post while his epic ten page deconstruction of Chi’s Sweet Home (which draws parallels to Gurren Lagann, the current economic climate, and the 1996 NBA playoffs and is considered by many of his longtime readers to be his finest piece of work) goes largely unnoticed. THE END.

  11. How does it feel to get back on the bike?

    Druaga is my 2nd fav series atm. Definitely needs more ecchi and comedy.
    I actually thought the art was pretty good in the first season but degraded a lot in the 2nd.

  12. Don’t be surprised at assigning a Meido “Gar” status. It’s the same world where a man can win the girliest contest ever at the all-girl school he somehow managed to legally infiltrate, or where nobody expects rap– er, the ropers.

    …why did I misread “Coopa” as “Koopa”?
    Glad to see you back in the swing ‘a things, Jason. :3

  13. Why is Jil chasing after Kaaya when he has Fatina? For that matter why isn’t Ryuji going after Ami? Anime has confounded me again this season. Why don’t the lead males ever pick the awesome heroines. Don’t get me wrong there’s nothing wrong with Minorin or Kaaya it’s just that when do you get an Ami class heroine.

    I agree with them needing to focus on the comedy. That’s the one thing this show does right sometimes. I really liked the meltland episode just for the 24 hour reference and the horrible joke at the end. It was enough to make me laugh. Oh by the way have you seen the Gurren Lagann Parrallel high school manga. I read the five that are out yesterday and it’s hilarious. It made my week and I think you’d really enjoy it if you haven’t read it.

    Lastly but not leastly: I marathoned the original Druaga and I think that’s why I liked it a lot better. I’ve been watching episode by episode this time and it’s just not holding my interest as much. The first couple episodes were alright, but I don’t think there enough substance in any one particular episode to hold interest. I guess it’s like reading a really good novel. The individual chapters might not be that great, but together as a whole with the themes throughout you can see a masterpiece. A novel that panders every chapter though might be entertaining but probably won’t leave you with much after it’s over. Of course Druaga is Gonzo so they probably won’t accomplish either.

  14. A post about marathoned episodes is fine too.

  15. Uh what? I was staring and drooling at the little I could see of Fatima’s thighs in OP pic.

  16. Meltland is my favorite episode of anime in a few months. Melt’s a great character all around, actually… the whole staff caddy shtick with Coopa always makes me laugh.

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