First Look Fair: The Tower of Druaga 1

Only in your dreams, boy

Who knew the first officially speed-subbed anime would be such a humongous hoot? Though I have a few questions…

Silly cliche romance #1That\'s always a great idea!

The story that this episode tells is basically the sort of fantasy story I would have been writing in seventh or eighth grade. The good thing about the creators is that they know that, too, so they managed to stuff every single shounen fantasy cliche imaginable in the space of 22 minutes. It has it all: Jil’s ridiculous fighting abilities. Promises of marriage, which is regularly sent-up by multiple characters–and is conveniently forgotten by Jil at a crucial point. A very, very obvious Star Wars homage. Former enemies becoming self-sacrificing friends. And most of all, the vision of all his friends helping him out as he is about to die–quite literally, too. The only thing missing were Monty Python references during the battle with the Black Knight.


I was initially confused by the OP, however, which showed very modern scenes; so for most of the episode, I was supposing that this was either the dream, or the MMORPG session, of some teenage boy in our world who needs to be woken up by his Childhood Friend Character or dragged to school by his mother. Perhaps the OP is just a conceit, a way of getting some of the female characters into sailor suits and the like. (Zero no Tsukaima 1st season did that with Siesta in the OP–never mind she does appear in a seifuku in season 2.) To tell the truth, I was all set for the hilarious denouement of looking at a gamer being woken up from a fantasy, which would have been doubly appropriate since The Tower of Druaga is, in fact, originally a game.

Bet: they will find a dimensional wormhole to our world later on

In either case, this was a great way to start off Gonzo’s grand experiment in legal streaming/downloading. (I downloaded a copy for $2 from Crunchyroll, and this is the source of the screenshots. Please do the same if you can so Gonzo will know that fans support this.) The show started with literal bangs and was supremely entertaining. They can’t really pull off this trick again, of course, so I’m curious to see how they will take it in the future; will it be straightforward action, or will this turn out to be the Abenobashi of the fantasy/RPG genre? We’ll see–legally. 🙂

Note on the translation/subtitles: the subtitles are in grammatically correct English, hooray! The OP and ED are not translated, though, which is a small disappointment. As I don’t know Japanese, can anyone give any word on the accuracy of the translation?

Author: gendomike

Michael lives in the Los Angeles area, and has been into anime since he saw Neon Genesis Evangelion in 1999. Some of his favorite shows include Full Metal Alchemist, Honey and Clover, and Welcome to the NHK!. Since 2003 he has gone to at least one anime convention every year. A public radio junkie, which naturally led to podcasting, he now holds a seminary degree and is looking to become Dr. Rev. Otaku Bible Man any day now. Michael can be reached at You can also find his Twitter account at @gendomike.

5 thoughts on “First Look Fair: The Tower of Druaga 1

  1. I have to agree that it was really funny. In a lot of ways it was what I wished Record of Lodoss War had done, which is push the cheesiness of it to the extreme level.

  2. I just donated 2 bucks for this episode. If I want to experience this great advance in legal digital fansubs from the official studios, I want to do it in a big way. If this series is worth it, that means more bucks from my wallet will go to Gonzo.

  3. I donated $2 as well. I am shocked at what Gonzo is doing and shocked that I really liked the first episode of Druaga. This series didn’t look all that interesting to me at first. But I was really surprised. It was nothing like what I was expecting.

    It was well worth the $2 I paid. Its revolutionary stuff Gonzo is doing here. More companies need to start doing this if they really are serious about stopping fansubs. I hope they show the characters outside of the game as shown in the OP though. I think switching between the game world and the real world will be really interesting for this series.

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