5 Point Discussions – Gundam Build Divers 7: “Force Battle”

by Sage Ashford

The team has their first Force Battle!  But…they need one more member to join them!  Will they discover one in time, or be trapped in a 4-on-5 match? 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. One thing you can’t say about Build Divers is they aren’t careful about setting things up.  We’re seven episodes into a show that’s presumably only two cour and 25 episodes, and yet we’re just getting to the team’s first battle.   It’s taken them that long because Riku and Yukki had to go from complete novices to being experienced enough to believably win.  They’ve had training from some of the best people on GBN, from the greatest builder to the Champion of GBN Force battles.  They’ve tested the limits of what the game world will allow them to do thanks to Tigerwolf.  And they’ve recruited people gradually to go from a team of two to a team of five.  Well, kinda.
Even the opening of this episode has been specific in it’s world building, showing Riku, Yukki, and Momoka looking over potential Force battles to secure a win.  Slow moving as it might be, it’s appreciated when the last two seasons immediately catapulted the heroes right into relevance, while this group has done a significant amount of studying and testing to build up to this exact moment.

2. Of course, they forgot one thing: one of their five members doesn’t pilot Gunpla.  Despite carrying Sarah along as their fifth member all this time, literally no one has thought about this, and it’s only then they realize in a 5 on 5 match they’re going to be at an extreme disadvantage.
Fortunately, the group is lucky enough to run into Ayame, the ninja girl who’s been spying on them for the past three episodes.  They ask her if she’ll be willing to join their force, and surprisingly she says yes.  It’s been a pretty quick turnaround from when she didn’t seem to want anything to do with them, but one supposes you can only spy on people from afar for so long before you need to get in close to continue doing your job.  Ayame says she pilots an SD Gundam, which are small cutesy types that tend to be more outlandish than your usual, non-G Gundam Gunpla units.  In her case she pilots a literal ninja Gundam known as the RX-Zeromaru.  The last time the show leaned into SD Gunpla, it was with a unit that was capable of transforming into a normal Gunpla–I suspect this time will be different, hence Ayame using a more fantastical design that simply looks cooler than Gundam Build Fighter Try’s Winning Gundam.

3. Once the team gets five people who can pilot Gundams, there’s still much work to be done.  Momoka designs a new Gundam from scratch, which is surprisingly easy because apparently the Gundam Base shop can 3D Print model pieces.  Holy crap, these kids would be broke within a month in real life. There has to be a way to game the system or maybe
The rest of the team spends their time having real life and in-game strategy sessions, the latter becoming easier because as a Force the game automatically provides a special “house” for them–a Force Nest.   They improve their suits as much as they can as well as come up with strategies to work together right until the day of their match.

4. Finally, the day of the match comes…and the team’s walked into a set up.  Their match is against the rookie 7th Panzer Division, led by General Rommel.  Yes, our adorable ermine is back, and his idea of “rewarding” the newest members of their Force for completing their training is a match against some rookie players.   As cute as the character is, there’s a reason why he’s a part of the second best Force on GBN.
In any case, all of the group’s friends are here as well–Tigerwolf, Shahryar, even the champion Kyoya Kujo–to watch the Build Divers team in their first match.   Hilariously, it winds up being a one-sided stomp.  The 7th Panzer team tries to outstrategize the Build Divers, but their weeks of training, practice, and the fact that the 7th Panzer Division consists of a bunch of scrub Zaku players pays off.  They don’t lose even a single player, with each of them achieving vital kills that lead to the Divers’ first victory.  The best part of the match by far is watching Rommel slowly lose it–he starts out sitting in a chair sipping a cold beverage, then gradually starts to pay more attention to the match before finally snapping at the embarrassment his Force suffers.
Though a one-sided victory is the “easy” way out, it’s hard to say their win here doesn’t feel earned.  Training under some of the best fighters and builders in the game, having an experienced player in Ayame and former legend in KO-1….the subtle reality here is Build Divers were actually the better team by far.  They put in more work, and weren’t given a softball just to get their confidence up.

5. Next Episode: Bear bear bear?!  I’m sorry, guess I got infected with what the kids have in the preview.  Next week, they take some time off to attend a festival, featuring an absurd amount of Beargguys.   Things are about to really cute!
I confess to being a tad concerned that we’re veering away from any sort of plot so soon after what we just got, but there’s a strong chance this might be the set up for the proper plot–tons of rest episodes wind up doing just that.  In the meantime…bear bear bear!  Wait, I mean–guess we’ll have to wait to find out!
Gundam Build Divers is available for streaming on Crunchyroll and the GundamInfo YouTube channel.

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