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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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....
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.
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.
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.
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 bookTik-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.
Episode 3 of Sword of Uruk features shout-outs to of all things 24note with the same ticking countdown and sound effect used in 24 and The Shawshank Redemptionnote Jil's version of how the Roper dig a tunnel to escape is almost exactly the same as Andy Dufresne's before he derails in typical Jil fashion.
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.
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.