5 Point Discussions – Gundam Build Divers 9: “Return Of The Ogre”
by Sage Ashford
What’s a…Battle Random? Wait, all of Team Build Divers are facing who?? This is going to be an intense match up for sure! 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. I’m slightly salty about this episode setting up rules then immediately ignoring them for the sake of hitting its plot points. Team Build Divers is set to enter a “Battle Random” this week, a Force-specific event where players don’t know where or who they’re battling until the actual match. It’s meant to randomly pair you up with someone in your skill level, but…there’s no way that’s what happens here. Build Divers, who’ve been in all of one major match we know of, is paired up against Hyakki, a team that has an average ranking of A, and a team leader ranked SS. They call it a Random Battle, but it’s like expecting to fight a Cactuar and somehow winding up paired against Ruby Weapon.
2. Unsurprisingly, the match up goes entirely in the other team’s favor. The team consists of Ogre–the guy who put Riku down in episode 2 after wrecking three other suits with ease, his cheating ass kid brother Do-Ji, and three of their friends, not one of them ranked lower than A. If there’s something to pull from this episode, it’s that Team Build Divers isn’t instantly capable of fighting whoever you throw at them–despite having the advantage of turrets and only having to defend for a certain time limit, all of them have their backs against the wall from the very beginning.
The only exception is Riku, who faces off against Do-Ji and crushes him off screen with ease. Ogre pops up seconds later and we finally get a rematch against the two. I was hoping for a dead even match here to show off Riku’s growth, but the best he manages is dodging Ogre once while his suit’s in Trans-Am form. Of course, Riku is still stubbornly refusing to go Trans-Am, which makes less sense the more this series goes on. In episode two, he didn’t understand how to build his mobile suit properly, so Trans-Am malfunctioned. But weeks later, he’s learned both as a pilot and as a builder, so at this point the only excuse not to use Gunpla from the 00 Gundam series is to flex on Ogre and prove he can beat Super Saiyan in base form.
3. Finally Ayame’s loyalties are tested as she finally receives orders to go against her team. After Do-Ji gets rekt by Riku’s abilities to…actually try to improve, he snaps and activates his break decal. Revealing himself to be another mass diver, Do-Ji wants to help his brother Ogre out in battle…but he completely loses control of his suit and instead attacks the both of them against his will. As the most talented member of the group, everyone asks Ayame to back Riku up, but finally her mysterious benefactor appears again and informs her to hold back. She’s forced to watch the battle from afar, while Do-Ji’s mass dive attempt lays waste to the surroundings–seems like whatever break decals do to the game, the damage is getting worse.
Whether Ayame is able to remain a member of Team Build is obvious, but what’s up in the air now is how effective she’ll even be. Yukki and Riku both are absolutely trying to stop Mass Divers, so her actions are eventually going to have to be called into question.
4. Ugh, Do-Ji’s the absolute worst. When we first met him, he was a twerp taking advantage of new players for easy level up points. Then when we ran into him again, he was content in letting his more talented brother beat up the guy who crushed him. Several episodes later, he’s gotten no better–we saw him a few weeks back seeking out the Break Decal dealer, and now he’s all fired up, wanting to use it to impress his brother. But instead of helping team Hyakki, he holds them back; Riku and Ogre have to team up to destroy his Gunpla once it goes berserk and starts attacking them both.
After Riku uses one of Do-Ji’s mass dive enhanced weapons to take out the Gunpla, Ogre surrenders out of embarrassment just as time runs out. The crushing truth of this is Ogre had this battle in the bag–Riku’s Gunpla was about to get destroyed before Do-Ji cut his break decal on. He’s a walking liability, but instead of being made to accept his actions he just cries about wanting to keep up with the rest of the team, and his teammates all tell him he’s respected and they don’t want him to cheat but get better on his own strength. He’s surrounded with all these great, honest people and he chooses the easy route while the story wants to make us feel sorry for him. But there’s nothing separating him from Riku and Yukki–he even had it easier in getting to join a force rather than build one. He desperately needs a character arc that doesn’t make people want to punch him in the mouth.
5. Next Episode: In the epilogue before the Next Episode Preview, we see the Break Decals are becoming worse. This time, they destroyed all of Rommel’s ace fighters before finally being taken down. So, in the next episode, the Champion is seemingly forming a group specifically for the purpose of beating the mass divers and bringing to this. How that goes, and whether or not Ayame will realize she can’t do both of these jobs without something bad happening? Well, that remains to be seen.
Gundam Build Divers is available on Crunchyroll and Bandai’s GundamInfo YouTube channel.