5 Point Discussions – Gundam Build Divers 14: “A New Power”

by Sage Ashford

Riku researches his past battles and talks to old friends to discover how he should move forward as a member of Gunpla Battler. 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. Our heroes finally meet Ayame in person, a slightly older school girl named Aya Fujisawa, and I have one question: how did she know where they lived?  Even assuming they’re in the same city, I can’t think of a single answer as to how she found them that doesn’t make me seriously uncomfortable: her boss telling her, Riku and the others telling her, or GBN just telling where everyone lived?  Ew, ew, and ewww.
Anyhow, much like Riku, Momoka, and Yukki–she looks exactly like her in game self.  I wish there was some sort of connecting reason for this–like the younger players almost always creating someone resembling their real selves for immersion, while older players create unrealistic avatars for escapism, but this show doesn’t put quite enough thought into things for us to have something so interesting.
Still, Ayame apologizes for her actions, reaffirms her commitment to Build Divers, and even promises to help Riku rebuild the 00-Diver.  Also, Koichi instantly develops a crush on her, which is something I hope comes up more often as the series goes on, because this show desperately needs something to spice it up.

2. I almost didn’t recap this episode, mostly because the first half of it was totally recap city. In an effort to get inspiration to the next step for him and 00-Diver, Riku goes around to nearly every important person he’s met over the course of the show. He meets up with the Magee, Tigerwolf, Shahryar, the Champion and even General Rommel–and with each conversation there’s a flashback to what it was like when they first met and how much he’d grown.
I understand the necessity of recap episodes, but a half recap just kind of symbolizes what’s wrong with this show in the first place–it wastes too much. Instead of spending this episode with Riku building his new 00-Diver while setting up new opponents for the group, it’s just going back over the plot points of the first half of the series. As much as I find the characters likable, the show itself struggles because they’re never given much to do.

3. After meeting with everyone Riku finally decides to start working on building the 00-Diver.  He uses the advice gathered from all his friends within both his Force and his friends in the world of GBN, including the master builder Shahryar, who gives him a detailed list of all the flaws of his 00-Diver.  (Despite getting a list of his mistakes, he still winds up using Gundam SEED Destiny parts for his suit, so I guess he’s still got a lot to learn.)
At any rate, when it’s finished the entire group gets a look at the suit.  It’s a cool enough upgrade, though I question leaving the scar he got fighting Shiba Tsukasa’s Astray No-Name.  He talks about how he believes he and 00-Diver shouldn’t forget the battle they went through together, and that’s cool dude, but eventually someone’s gonna notice how underneath the shiny green emblem there’s a gaping hole in your Gundam that’s an obvious weakness.

4. This show’s existence is baffling sometimes. After two years of placing characters in tournament settings, showing youngsters polishing their ability and climbing to the top of the Gunpla Battle world, Divers decides to toss all that out in order to develop a virtual world of Gunpla, where a rip-off of the Digimon Emperor uses up half the series episode count to terrorize everyone. After wrapping up that plot, does the show start to head toward finally getting Riku up to be more of a big player in the world of GBN? Nope.
We’re going right into the Sarah subplot, with the parts of this episode not focused on Riku building his new suit pointing this out with bright, neon signs. From Sarah mentioning how she wants to see the rest of them in the real world, to the Champion asking Riku where his suit’s magic healing wings came from, and even having GM asking the Champion if Riku and Sarah had hacked the game. And if none of that’s enough, the end of the episode sees a computer center on a picture of Sarah, saying she’s a match for…more plot armor, presumably.
I’d actually be fine if we just stuck to the usual levels of inexplicable magic GBN had and let that be enough, but nope. Time to find out if Sarah’s an AI or just someone who’s really good with computers.

5. Next Episode: With Riku having built the Gundam 00-Sky, he needs the opportunity to test it’s abilities out. Looks like he and the rest of team Build Divers will be taking on a new form of challenge to push them to their limits!
Looks like we’re getting the “invincible first appearance” out of the way before we move on to bigger things. Makes sense. I also spotted what seems to be Ayame’s improved Gunpla model, so Riku won’t be the only player who’s got an upgrade.
Gundam Build Divers is available on Crunchyroll and Bandai’s GundamInfo YouTube channel.

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