Gonzo to set a revolution?

Posted by Neko Kyou in Thoughts on April 7th, 2008

Tower of DRUAGA - the Aegis of URUK -

OMFG! It’s a Crusader from RO!

By now you should already know that Gonzo has decided to stream 2 of their latest series, The Tower of DRUAGA – the Aegis of URUK – and BLASSREITER online through Crunchyroll, YouTube and BOST TV right after the Japanese debut of each episode. The streaming will allow anyone to enjoy Gonzo’s latest shows for free, while at the same time providing the option to download the high quality version of the episode by donating any amount you like to the studio.

This is truly a step forward in the anime industry, and one I hope many will show their support by donating to download the HQ version. And looking at Crunchyroll, it seems that Gonzo has set very realistic goals to their effort. Apparently, they do not expect fans to donate large sums of money per episode, and even offered an incentive to those who donated USD$2 or more, although its not something which would appeal to everyone.

Personally, I wouldn’t mind paying $2 for each episode I download, and more if the episode was a great one. And I think its a great way to motivate Gonzo to produce better episodes in order to get fire up the fans to donate more and as a signal that the series is taking a downturn when the donation starts to slow down. It’s a direct feedback between fans and the studio, one that will get their attention since it would directly impact their profits.

However, I do have one complain about the downloaded episode. For a file that’s over 300mb, I was expecting a better quality video compared to fansubs, but they are generally the same. And because the link itself is a redirect, that means you can’t use any download managers to resume your download. It took me 2 days to actually download the episode because the file keep showing up as complete halfway. It wasn’t my connection problem either, as Dyna had the same problem I did. This becomes even more of a problem since each link can only be accessed from 5 different IPs, so if you’re ISP is like mine, which gives out dynamic IP and often gives problem, it can be a real headache.

DRUAGA: Jil Final Form

Tengen Top… Oh wait, wrong anime…

The first episode of The Tower of DRUAGA left me very confused. Initially the whole episode seems to be a parody of most generic RPG games, and even the OP animation suggested that they were all playing an MMORPG like in .hack, but the ending as well as the alternate version showed otherwise. Oh, if you didn’t know, there was an alternate version to the first episode of DRUAGA, which shows what actually happened after Jil was knocked unconscious and began his dream. Unfortunately, it’s only available on NicoNico, for now at least. Regardless, DRUAGA has officially caught my interest and gave hope that Gonzo’s effort will not go to waste.

BLASSREITER, on the other hand, was much less appealing. Perhaps what CCY said about adults in anime is true after all. Then again, it could have also been the poorly done CG scenes, or it just looks really bad on Crunchyroll – either way I’ll find out soon enough 😈

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