5 Point Discussions – Gundam Build Divers 3: “The Protector”

by Sage Ashford

Riku and Yukki get a new friend to join them in the world of Gunpla Battle! Meanwhile, a new threat is invading GBN–the threat of Mass-Divers! 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. If you think you can forget the Battle Nexus Online world is completely different from Build Fighters or Build Fighters Try, this series immediately throws you a curveball. It starts out with the end of a match between two top level warriors–the current champion of GBN Kyoya Kujo, and his opponent Rommel. Kyoya’s your standard blonde-haired pretty boy, but despite being named after a famous German general, Rommel is…an ermine? It’s played for laughs, but to be fair I guess if you could look like literally anything you wanted, few people would choose to be a straight up human.

In any case, the two of them spend a bit of time discussing GBN’s recent surge in popularity, and lament the use of something called Mass Divers.

2. I was all set to be annoyed by Momoka, the pink-haired girl that’s been bugging Riku and Yukki to join the soccer club since the beginning of episode one. I had her character pegged as someone who was going to try and drag our characters away from cool Gundam fights and try to turn this into a soccer anime.  But I’ll admit my suspicions here were way off.

After following Riku and Yukki last episode (presumably to what I assumed she would), she winds up playing cosplay dress up with the Gunpla shop owner, Nanami, the entire episode. This week, she’s decided since her friends are so into Gunpla Battle, she’ll join in! Seems like she cares a lot less about soccer and a lot more about making friends, which instantly makes her likable. Nanami’s automatically onboard because she actually wants more girl customers, which makes all the sense in the world, and while Riku and Yukki are thrown off at first they gladly bring her along!

….Unfortunately, with no Gunpla she’s forced to sign in as a guest character…which apparently means she automatically becomes a Haro! For the uninitiated, Haros are basically the “mascot” of the Gundam universe–tiny, rolling, talking spherical androids originally built by Mobile Suit Gundam protagonist Amuro Ray. She’s bummed out because she’s been forced into a robot avatar, but after the appearance of Magee and Sarah her opinion changes–especially after Magee gives her a pair of adorable cat ears. Guess that explains why her actual avatar later on is a catgirl.

3. Riku and Yukki are pretty eager to jump into battle to test out their new weapons, so they decide to go on a serial battle. Yet another type of battle mission, Yukki describes them as a limited horde mode, where players face off against three waves of enemies, then a mini-boss, before finally facing a final boss to complete the mission.

Before they start, someone curiously named Kyoya decides to tag along with them. He’s got the same name as the Gunpla champion, he’s got roughly the same build and hair color…but because he’s wearing a mask they don’t realize it’s him. Masked characters in Gundam date all the way back to the original Gundam series with the antagonist Char Aznable, and they’re usually hiding some greater connection to the enemy army…but in Build Fighters series they always end up just being respectable rivals to the main character.

The group doesn’t have much trouble making their way through the first three waves, but at the fourth their match is interrupted by a trio of Mass Divers. Apparently, they’re players who have hacked the game to give their Gunpla greater abilities. This group of Divers apparently take advantage of beginners by waiting until they’ve cleared out the grunts and there’s only two waves of singular, if powerful, enemies to clear, so they can take the points at the end.   Man, these two have had the worst luck with GBN, but again I ask…how many points could they really be getting from a battle like this?  So far as we know, these two are still rookies and barely getting any points at all–how could they help more experienced players?

Not that it matters. Turns out, the biggest issue with Mass Divers is they’re causing glitches in GBN on a wide scale. Just their presence causes the Serial Battle to glitch and create a final boss much deadlier than what anyone was expecting.  In the middle of a battle between the group of mass divers and our protagonists, the final boss shows up and quickly pulps the cheating Mass Divers with extreme prejudice. One of their suits gets EATEN, which…yikes.

4. Much of this episode is again focused on the massive gap between Riku and Yukki and people who are actually top tier. During a brief intermission between Rounds 3 and 4, Kyoya approaches Riku and helps him see there’s no shame in losing–it means he’ll have to try harder to reach the top. Again, it’s good our heroes aren’t just instantly catapulted to top as important players in a world they barely understand.

After the Mass Divers are destroyed, Kyoya is forced to reveal his identity when his Gundam model’s outer shell is cracked while he’s defending Sarah and Momoka from a laser blast from the boss.  Afterwards though, he easily dispatches the Devil Gundam boss–his Gundam AGE-based suit has swords that function as multifunctional “bits”–remote controlled drones, basically. The swords have long range capability by flying around, but also can be used as shields from attacks…or to combine and generate a giant golden energy blade Kyoya uses to dice the Devil Gundam in half.  It’s an easy enough win for him, even if he briefly requires the help of Riku and Yukki while he generates the energy to use the blade.

By the end of the episode, our young protagonists are newly energized. Momoka is enthralled by how cool Gunpla Battle is, and Kyoya recruits them all to help him in battling against Mass Divers.  He even adds them as online friends! What a decent fellow, though I guess something had to balance out the group being attacked by cheaters three times in three weeks…

5. Next Episode: Inspired to keep pushing after meeting the Gunpla Battle champion, Yukki asks Magee to introduce them to someone who can train them! Yet another “unique” player takes the field next week, as our heroes meet Tigerwolf of the Sacred Mountain!  Silly as it is, the idea of fusing the theme of the Wild West with classic buddhist monks looks like it could create something pretty fun.

Gundam Build Divers is available for streaming on Crunchyroll.