Riku comes face to face with the Hellfire Ogre! Will he and his 00-Diver be capable of taking him out? And just how large is the world of GBN? Remember, if you like this article and 5 Point Discussions, please share it on Facebook or Twitter! It really helps. And if you’ve got any comments or questions, please hit me up @SageShinigami.
1. The longer this series goes on, the more convinced I am this series is just a two cour pitch for the ultimate Gundam game. Much of this episode is devoted to explaining how the Gunpla Battle Nexus Online game works, and it’s hard not to find it all fascinating. When Riku and Yukki compare how many mobile suits they took out, Yukki suggests they go into Musou mode to compete for the most points. If you’ve never heard, Gundam had a trilogy of Musou games during the PS3 era which let players to slice through hundreds of mobile suits with ease.
Then later, as the two of them enter the game, they talk about how its completely possible to enter the game and complete sidequests that have absolutely nothing to do with mobile suits. They even take a quest of that type–travel to a specific area to retrieve some flowers. While on their quest, we learn about additional types of quests like Base Conquests and Invasions, as well as the prizes for completing missions–your own areas, furniture, new weapons, and more. It was hard to get through the episode without simply wishing GBN was an actual game you could play.
2. After setting up the main characters and the MMO world last episode, the Gundam shout outs came back in full force this week. Since GBN is absurdly huge, after Riku, Yukki, and their new friend Sarah decide to go on a quest to find a certain flower, the group spend a bit of time flying in Riku’s 00 Gundam and exploring some of the lands. We get a look at the Sanq Kingdom from Gundam Wing, the Lacroa Kingdom from SD Gundam and more. Areas like this existed in Gundam Build Fighters and Gundam Build Fighters Try, but only ever as a field to destroy while you were having your Gunpla fights. Now players are able to explore those lands outside of their Gundams in a virtual reality setting. Though this show might never reach the heights of the original series for most, at this point already there’s no question its going to jet past both its predecessors in pure fanservice.
3. My complaints about this series are rapidly beginning to fade now, as this episode Riku tries to go use his Gundam’s super mode (exclusive to mobile suits from Gundam 00), Trans Am. Before he and Yukki log in, Yukki asks why he didn’t simply use it last episode to make the battle easier, and Riku points out he’d heard Trans-Am can only be used by Gunpla models of a certain build quality.
Sure enough, after cranking up Trans-Am in his 00 mecha, it lasts only a few seconds before the suit starts to malfunction. Quiet mystery girl Sarah requests Riku never turn it on again, and seemingly she can “tell” when a Gundam is in pain. We’ve seen this before in Build Fighters’ series, but before the Gundams were connected directly to the system in such a way that when characters lost in battle, their models were damaged or even broken entirely, and people who could tell the suits were in pain were at least physically present. Since Sarah wasn’t even in the area, this lends credit to my new theory that she’s just sentient AI, and can tell these things through data streams.
No matter the explanation, hearing her tell Riku to never use Trans-Am felt stupid…as that’s kind of the whole point of getting a suit from the 00 universe to begin with. But it seems like Riku’s suit simply isn’t built well enough to handleTrans-Am usage right now, which brings back the elements from GBF and GBF Try I was complaining about. Mission accomplished.
4. While exploring in order to complete their quest, the group runs into the “brother” of the griefer from the first episode. While it would’ve been understandable if he’d been an even bigger sleazebag than his younger brother, turns out he takes Gundam battles super seriously. Called the Hellfire Ogre, he pilots a custom suit of his own design called the Ogre GN-X, and within seconds after Riku and the rest meet him he’s in a battle against a trio of mobile suit pilots that are a clear homage to the Black Tri-Stars from Mobile Suit Gundam. He makes quick work of them because they’re still piloting scrub grunt suits, no matter how cool they look–then he sets his eyes on Riku.
And in what’s easily the biggest shock so far, Riku…gets destroyed. Unlike most early series enemies in a show like this, Ogre doesn’t make any stupid mistakes, and Riku absolutely tries to the best of his ability–even going so far as to activate Trans-Am again–and none of it matters. He holds on longer than any of the trio of Dom pilots could, but he still winds up losing after the Trans-Am system fails again. The only thing keeping his suit from being destroyed is Sarah jumping in front of the way of Ogre’s blades at the last second.
Riku later apologizes to Sarah for breaking his promise, vowing to only use Trans-Am once his Gundam is able to handle it. But this is a good sign. Riku’s got a long way of progressing to go now, and his crushing defeat didn’t happen after he’d already run through half the relevant pilots in the series.
5. Next Episode: Despite Riku’s crushing defeat, he’s taking the loss pretty well. And now that they’ve seen the limit of their abilities, he and Yukki both have vowed to continue to get better! But the world of Gunpla Battle Nexus is a lot larger than they realize…and who’s this masked guy?
Hey, only three episodes in and we’ve already got our Char clone? He’s gonna have to do a lot to match up to the Meijin from Build Fighters and Try, but it’s pretty cool to have him. Also, bonus points to Divers for placing some of the better looking Gundam AGE suits in a series where they can be appreciated instead of mocked for being in such a trash show.
Gundam Build Divers is available for streaming on Crunchyroll.