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Anime: The Tower of Druaga
A Summer of Anu to Remember

Based on the (hilariously, psychotically, masochistically Nintendo Hard) 1984 game series, The Tower of Druaga, this anime is broken up into two seasons, subtitled The Aegis of Uruk and The Sword of Uruk. It follows the story of Jil, his older brother, Neeba, and their two groups as they climb The Tower in search of the fabled Blue Crystal Rod.

The titular Tower of Druaga is a monster-infested tower that stretches above the clouds. Although the sheer amount of monsters normally there make any attempt to ascend it near suicide, once every few years the Summer of Anu comes around when the monsters weaken and Climbers, as the opportunists and adventurers who commit themselves to the task of becoming rich from taking artifacts and treasures from the Tower are called, gather in force and try to reach the summit to claim the mystical prize of the Blue Crystal Rod, a magical staff that will grant a single wish to the person that finds it.

Not to be confused with Tower of God.

Contains examples of:

  • A God Am I: Shadow Gilgamesh and later Neeba.
  • Alien Lunch: We have things called "sea peppers" which in addition to being very nutritious, have a set of legs and eyes. And people chop them up, and put them into food.
  • Aloof Big Brother: Jil's older brother, Neeba.
  • All Just a Dream: The first episode. Also a prophetic dream, if you turn your head and squint.
    • There's an alternate version of said episode which talks about what happened after Jil was knocked out.
  • An Axe to Grind: Utu.
  • Animation Bump: Occurs in a few shots in the final fight between Neeba and Jil. Comes off oddly due to the last two episodes having noticeably worse quality than the rest of the series.
  • The Anime of the Game: Based on and a sequel to the 1984 game of the same name.
  • Artificial Human
  • Art Shift: Into those of the original game, as per the trap of an insane wizard. It's Hilarious!
  • Ascended Extra: Some of the members of the Red Shirt Army below.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Druaga.
  • Ax-Crazy: Pazuz's Magic Knights.
  • Babies Ever After: Though its not for certain that the kid is his, Neeba and Succubus seems to have a half-demon little girl in the epilogue.
    • Others thought Succubus reverted to a little girl instead.
  • Badass Bystander: Henaro in the second season, who's just a random druid who gets dragged along with the party against her will when soldiers raid the bar they're in, and turns out to be more than capable of holding her own. Subverted when she turns out to be The Mole.
  • Bait-and-Switch Credits: The opening credits seems to suggest some sort of Slice of Life show about school children, with subtle references to what actually happens in the anime and most of the characters cleverly hidden in plain sight.
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: Quite a bit of it, actually.
  • Because Destiny Says So: Or Ishtar, in Kaaya's case.
    • Screw Destiny: Neeba's attitude towards Kaaya's belief that everything is Ishtar's will. Or against just Ishtar.
  • Berserk Button: No matter how docile Ropers appear to be, never threaten their kids.
  • Betty and Veronica: Kaaya and Fatina.
  • BFG: The Tower itself.
  • Bifauxnen: Gremica's young assistant/mage, Arca
  • Big Damn Heroes: Kelb.
  • The Big Guy: Utu. Coopa displays the characteristics of one despite being the shortest and youngest character around.
  • Big Sister Mentor: Ahmey.
  • Black Magician Girl: Since the characters seem to resemble set RPG Classes, there are a few of these like Fatina.
  • Blessed with Suck: Gilgamesh is immortal, but it's eating away at his soul as the burden of being king piles up while being subverted by his own shadow.
    • Watching his son die and his wife soon after due to grief does not do well for his sanity. His wife got better though, kinda.
  • Bokukko: Henaro
  • Break His Heart to Save Him: Kaaya's betrayal at the end of season 1 ended up being this.
  • The Call Knows Where You Live: Henaro was just a customer in Kelb's shop who had the misfortune to finish eating only after the Golden Knights put the city under martial law or so she wants everyone to think.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Parodied in the first episode, when Jil derides another character for doing this, then does it himself later on in his dream. Averted for the most part in the series proper.
  • Call a Rabbit a "Smeerp": Most of the monsters are your average fantasy types with different names. Minotaurs are called Kusarakks.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Ahmey's Spear. And a recent season 2 episode shows us the contents of those coffins brought by Pazuz.
    • Also from season 2, Neeba's Void Arrows.
    • Not so much a Chekhov's Gun as a Chekhovs Event, but when the characters visit the "House of the Dead" the only human to not have someone they care about appear is Uragon.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Most of the surviving troops from the army become major characters later in the show. The least distinctive member of Fatina's party later ends up with her.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: Gilgamesh and Ki.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Neeba winds up having betrayed not only just his previous party but nearly every ally he has had by the end of the series. Also inverted, Jil has been on the receiving end of many betrayals.
  • Clothing Damage
  • Clothes Makethe Superman: In Season 2, Fatima seems to be much stronger fire user when in her adventurer's gear. Which makes perfect sense, since she is a Sorceress and her spells becomes stronger the better she looks.
    • Her gear is essentially neco ears, high heels and maid-like outfit. Apparently, it is well enough to send her Charisma through the roof.
  • Cliff Hanger: The end of Season 1.
  • Conspicuous CG: Druaga, many soldiers and effects. This is Gonzo after all.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Melt, hilariously so.
  • Continuity Nod: Many to the original game series and often to characters or things referenced earlier in the show.
  • Covert Pervert: Jil, oddly enough.
  • Credits-Brand Products: Both openings.
  • Creepy Child
  • Crucified Hero Shot: Kaaya in a Bad Future vision.
  • Deep-Immersion Gaming: The story often shows two-dimensional mazes from the game (including a hot spring scene).
  • Cute Bruiser: Fatina, as shown within the first episode of season two, where she kicks over one guy, and punches another behind her (who looks about twice her size).
  • Disappeared Dad: Pazuz to Henaro.
  • Disposable Woman: Alas poor Gremica.
  • The Drag-Along: Both Melt and Henerao early in the second season.
  • Drop the Hammer: Utu throws the hammer actually, exploding hammers.
  • Easily Forgiven: Kaaya, who had her reasons but still got off pretty lightly for betraying the group at the end of season 1 without ever trying to give an explanation until later.
  • Egopolis: Meltland.
  • Enemy Within: Gilgamesh, to the point where he wants to kill himself to stop it, but he can't due to his Immortality.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: Surprisingly, Utu. When Jil first sees him without his helmet on, he blushes and says he didn't think Utu would be that good looking.
  • Everybody's Dead, Dave: Uragon and Cumu are the last of their group.
  • Evil Chancellor: Gilgamesh's advisors are following in the footsteps of the Titans.
  • Evil Old Folks: Gilgamesh in The Sword of Uruk. He has a reason though.
  • Expy: Jil and Kaaya are somewhat based on Gil and Ki, such their names and their physical appearance.
  • The Faceless: Utu. When his face is actually shown, no one but the person from his former team recognizes him.
  • Face-Heel Turn: Melt. Of course the reverse happens just a few episodes later.
    • Done seriously later with Henaro. Same thing happens later.
  • Fake-Out Opening: Both seasons.
  • Disc One Final Boss: The "Druaga" fought in season one looked to be just a guardian for the tower's upper half.
  • Five-Man Band: The main Climber parties, minus one for Neeba's team and again with Kally's death.
    • Season 2 starts off with a newly formed bunch formed with some of the older characters and two new additions.
  • Free-Fall Fight: The ice battle to save Neeba.
  • Freudian Excuse: Neeba has one, but it's really hard to sympathize with him even if you hear it.
    • They THREW him out of the HOUSE. Into the RAIN.
  • Furo Scene: With the usual Censor Steam.
  • Gatling Good
  • Gender Bender: In one episode, a trap does this to Jil's group. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Gender-Blender Name: Jil, though not in-universe.
  • Groin Attack
  • Guide Dang It: Lampshaded in the Anime where the cast actually use a guide to help defeat the original tower.
  • The Gunslinger: Henaro uses a gun that shoots magic bullets shaped like little plunger-things.
  • Hallucinations: One episode of "Sword of Uruk" features hallucinations of fallen loved ones as the main puzzle on the floor for the climbers to overcome.
  • Half Truth: Kaaya tells Jil that her reason for climbing was to get the blue crystal rod since it might be able to cure her little brother from an otherwise incurable disease. Just replace "little brother" with "great-grandfather" and you have her entire reason for climbing. She even says "I lied" followed by a "Just kidding. It's the truth."
  • Heroic BSOD: Jil has a nasty one in Episode 11 when Ahmey is impaled by Druaga. It's so bad that he doesn't react at all to Druaga resuming attack and about to kill him, the flash that stops said attack or being dragged away. It carries over into the second season though it's more to do with Kaaya ditching the party to enter the upper tower with Neeba.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Notably Kally and Ahmey.
  • Hey, It's That Voice!: Gilgamesh (Gil) is voiced by Tomokazu Seki, who also voiced another Gilgamesh. Both are based on the legendary Sumerian King, the latter far more than the former.
  • Hope Spot: Jil's Roper Dance looks like just the interesting thing that would open the gate, but it had just saw it already. Neeba watched their dad teach it to Jil in secret years ago and used it first.
  • Hot Springs Episode
  • Hypercompetent Sidekick: There's no telling where Melt(or anyone in the party) would be if it weren't for Coopa.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Kaaya left her True Companions behind because continuing up the tower meant you could never return.
  • Idiot Hero: Jil in a nutshell.
  • If We Get Through This: Nearly everyone who said this in Episode 1 died immediately, played for laughs.
  • Immortality: King Gilgamesh.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Almey's death.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Mages sometimes use weird devices in their magic spells. Melt uses Lighting magic with what appears to be a set of medieval golf clubs, Fatina uses Fire magic with what seems like a flame thrower/blaster, Henaro uses magical crossbow that fires out plunger arrows, etc.
    • Let's not forget a certain warrior's drillspear (I guess you'd call it), and Kaaya's weapon.
  • Incorruptible Pure Pureness: Jil, pure to the max and always willing to forgive his enemies.
  • Item Caddy: Coopa, although she can do much more.
  • Indy Ploy The main characters' modus operandi. Lampshaded:
    Henaro: "What? That's crazy!"
    Jil: "But?"
    Henaro: "It'll work out somehow."
    Utu: "You're starting to get the hang of it."
  • Jumped at the Call: Jil does this twice.
  • Kick the Dog: Done regularly by shadow Gilgamesh and his underlings.
  • Kill It with Fire: Fatina's weapon is some sort of flamethrower.
  • King Incognito: Kaaya is the granddaughter of King Gilgamesh and Ki.
  • Konami Code: Kaaya's minigame sidequest involves one of these (though it's not the original code)
  • The Lancer: Ahmey, both figuratively and literally, to Kaaya. Also, Fatina to Neeba and Ethana to Kelb.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Utu wears heavy armor, is quite fast and can mow down hordes of Mooks with his ax.
  • Lost Superweapon: Two or three of them, in the same episode (the battle vs Druaga).
  • Lotus-Eater Machine: After a fashion. In a certain level of the tower, people can meet with those who have died but they still want to meet. While they make no active attempt to hinder people, it's still tempting for some to just stay.
  • Luckily My Shield Will Protect Me: Jil lives and breathes this trope.
  • Made of Iron: Jil.
    • The guy deflects an arrow, several arrows, a ballista bolt, and finally a catapult launched boulder in succession in the start of season 2. Being Made of Iron kind of comes with the territory of being a guardian (aka Tank), but seriously, boulders?!
    • He's this even without his armor. During a fight in the second episode, some thugs bash him in the head with a large rock. Not only does the rock break, he doesn't even notice. Though he did pass out later from blood loss.
  • Magitek
  • Man, I Feel Like a Woman
  • Manipulative Bastard: Neeba and Kaaya. Although Kaaya had a good reason for it.
    • Kaaya is something of a subversion. She had planned on simply using Jil and co. as tools to help her ascend the tower, knowing full well that it would likely be a one-way trip. She didn't have the steel to pull it off however, particularly after she started to develop genuine feelings for Jil. Almey's death was the final straw, and was the reason for her Break His Heart to Save Him moment.
  • Manly Tears
  • Mauve Shirt: One of Kelb's subordinates reappears in Season 2. Its only passingly mentioned that his name is Cumu, and only once in over six episodes.
  • Mobile-Suit Human
  • The Mole: Henaro.
  • Mood Whiplash: The series became more serious from when Kally dies in episode 9.
    • Some people also establish that that was when the series got better.
    • The second episode has a similar effect to some, considering the first was a brightly-colored gag episode, and the second had a decidedly more somber tone.
    • The cheery ending theme does this at the end of the first season.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Fatina
  • NaughtyTentacles: Parodied (among other tropes) in the first episode.
  • The Neider Meyer: Uragon, played for laughs.
    • Lady Amina is a more serious version of this.
  • Non-Indicative First Episode: The first episode is an out and out parody of fantasy videogame and anime cliches that turns out to be All Just a Dream.
    • Not that later episodes aren't chock-full of parodies too, they're just not as hilariously blatant.
  • Non-Lethal Warfare: Within the second season (where a lot of the enemies were also human), one character picks up a weapon before joining the main cast.
  • One-Winged Angel: Neeba starts to become the next Druaga during his fight with Jil. This allows him to pull Duraga's arms and stinger out of hammerspace.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Yet another trope parodied in the first episode, with not only the Black Knight saying this to Jil, but even a random innkeeper. Unfortunately this phrase turns out to be just as fatal as "I plan to return to my homeland and get married."
  • Overly Long Fighting Animation: Part of the parodies of the first episode.
  • Pet the Dog: Uragon gets one, it even starts some Character Development for him.
  • Percussive Prevention: Played for laughs in the first episode. After Neeba suggests that he stay behind to hold off pursuers and allow Jil to advance alone, Jil punches him out, leaving him unconscious in the face of the advancing enemies.
  • Pintsized Powerhouse: Coopa. She doesn't fight with her fists or anything, but she can lift enormous loads without breaking a sweat.
  • Post Episode Trailer
  • Pretty Spry for a Dead Guy: One of the big reveals at the end of the first season is that Druaga was indeed dead all along, it is just a mindless Guardian zombie that is created as the 'guardian' of the middle of the Tower.
  • Put on a Bus: Cumu decides to stay with an illusion of his dead sister.
    • I think I saw him in the ending credits, although that could just be another gold-armored night with brown hair. And since the tower got destroyed....
  • Rage Against the Heavens: Neeba, and the Tower allows him to do just that.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Climber parties in general.
  • Recursive Reality: Okay, here's a bit of Mind Screw. The anime world is based on a game (which is at one point played by the party). Now, outside that is the "real world" which the characters live. Now, to say nothing of Jil's dream at the first episode, there is an outer world where Gil's consciousness and other weird things reside. Also, if the opening credits are to be believed, since this was in fact based on a video game, it's possible these are Real Life online gamers. And then, you, the audience, is watching this show... And then...
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Jil and Neeba. The color connection comes from which of the ghosts of the tower appear to them.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Henaro.
    • Yet adverted with Uragon.
  • Retirony: Parodied (among other tropes) in the first episode.
  • Redshirt Army: The army of Uruk and the Climber parties. Not as bad as many of the other examples of the trope, but still not as good as the heroes.
    • In season 2, the Golden Knights could be easily swept aside by the main characters. Sort of justified as the knights don't have much fighting experience, and they're basically going against the guys who defeated Druaga.
      • That and they're wearing golden armor. It could just be gold-plated, but still...
    • If you consider this an RPG adaptation, it is a regular army against an epic lvl party. Kind of one sided battle.
  • Replacement Goldfish: Fatina and Jil sort used each other after Neeba and Kaaya's betrayal.
  • Ridiculously Human Robots: Both Subverted and somewhat played straight by the Coffin Knights.
  • The Power of Friendship
  • Schmuck Banquet: In the second series there is a mansion that gives the visitors cherished things they have lost in the past, from childhood toys to brining back their lost companions from the dead. Everyone figures out right away that it is an illusion and a trap to make them stop their quest, but a mauve shirt even ends up choosing to stay anyways.
  • Ship Tease: Jil/Fatina and Jil/Kaaya. There was also some Kelb/Ahmey, supposedly before she quit the army.
    • There's also a little bit of Utu/Fatina, they wind up still journeying together in the epilogue after Jil seems to have chosen Kaaya.
  • Shout-Out:
    • To the game, where they encounter the actual tower Gilgamesh himself went in. In the second season, episode 3, 24 and The Great Escape both get significant Shout Outs.
    • The first episode features a dragon with a glowing tail named Quokks, apparently named after the dragon Quox from the Oz book Tik-Tok of Oz, who had a lightbulb on the end of his tail.
    • The dragon in question was also previously an enemy character in the original game. Moreover, its name was originally written as "Quox" in official materials for said game; "Quokks" was used specifically for the subtitles in the anime.
    • In the fight against Druaga in the first episode, Jil whips out Gurren Lagann, Neon Genesis Evangelion and Mazinger Z references in his armor transformations.
    • Episode 3 of Sword of Uruk features shout-outs to of all things 24note  and The Shawshank Redemptionnote 
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: The end of season one. Fatina seems to be dying or at least seriously injured in Jil's arms, you don't see what happened to the others, Neeba (although you know he's not a good person by the time this happened) and Kaaya pulled a Face-Heel Turn, and it turns out they didn't really kill Druaga, just a guardian of the tower. And they can't follow Neeba and Kaaya 'cause they're up in the sky or something. Touchousha-tachi plays right after all this has happened, during the credits, which show pictures from the show, etc. By this time, you probably don't want to be reminded of what happened, though.
  • Silk Hiding Steel: Kaaya looks like a Nice Girl, and she is, but there's cunning and an alterior motive behind her pleasantness.
  • Spirit Advisor: The Succubus and Priestess Ki
  • Sleep Cute: Jil and Kaaya in the OP of the first season. They're even holding hands.
  • Stalked by the Bell: The Climbers are screwed if they're still up in there when the Summer of Anu ends.
  • Start of Darkness: Since Gil defeated Druaga.
  • Super Strength: Coopa could carry Utu (while he's still in full armor) and Melt's golf clubs with little problem.
    • Season 2 has her be able to lift her cage while injured and pull up all of her True Companions from a dangling cliff.
    • Jil is also pretty strong. In episode 2, some thugs try to steal the sack containing his armor, only to find it too heavy for them to lift. Jil then effortlessly picks up the sack with one hand and walks off.
  • Supporting Leader: Kelb.
  • Team Mom" Utu, who seems to be the one most concerned with keeping the team together. Except for that bit in episode 7.
  • (pre)Teen Genius: Coopa is like Chiyo, times a thousand.
  • Theme Naming: The original hero of the tower, Gil(gamesh) and Jil, the main character and second hero.
  • This Is a Drill: Ahmey's spear.
  • Third-Person Person: Coopa always talks about Coopa like this.
  • Time Skip: Over half a year have passed since the end of the first season.
  • Token Mini-Moe: Coopa and Arca. Spirit Ki may also count.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Jil is hopeless at the beginning of the series. By the end, he's beaten the entire tower like ten times over, and is pretty much unstoppable.
  • Trick Arrow: Neeba mixes it up a bit here and there.
  • Troperiffic: The first episode features one of the highest density of tropes that has ever been, lampshading all of them.
  • Tsundere: Fatina.
  • Upper-Class Twit: Melt.
  • Verbal Tic: de gozaimasu.
  • Was It All a Lie?: The survivors of Neeba's group to Neeba, as well as Jil to Kaaya
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Uragon suddenly disappears at the end of the series. After he stabbed Shadow Gilgamesh in the back, one would think he'd be seen.
    • Uragon is seen in the last episode, after everyone returns to the bottom of the tower, still upset over Might the Fool's destruction.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Defied by Uragon, of all people.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Neeba, several times and Kaaya at least once.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: The ending of the series.
  • Whip Sword: Standard army issue.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: Gilgamesh, though he can't do anything about it.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: Jil.
  • Wise Beyond Their Years: Coopa makes up for Melt man-child tendencies.
  • Wrestler in All of Us: Utu.
  • Year Inside, Hour Outside: Episode 8 reveals that although seven months have passed since the first season, Neeba and Kaaya have been in the upper part of the tower for only three weeks.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Jil. The Succubus and various characters.

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