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Gundam Build Divers – 00, 01

OP Sequence

OP: 「Diver’s High」 by Sky-Hi

「Welcome to GBN」

Gundam Build Fighters was a novel concept that clicked immediately; take the popular hobby of collecting Gundam model kits, create a system where you can use your Gunpla’s stats and data to pit them against each other, make the main character’s mom irresistibly attractive, and you have the recipe for something that turns out far better than you would’ve thought for an anime catered towards younger audiences. With Divers, the series takes a direction that may seem like it’s riding the wave of online gaming anime, but it’s a natural progression given where trends in gaming have headed towards.

Divers takes away the physical element of Gunpla battles, and takes it to the digital era with Gunpla Battle Nexus Online or GBN. GBN is an online game where the player controls a player avatar through a VR set to navigate through a player lobby with custom outfits and use your Gunpla as an actual mobile suit to face off against CPU and online players alike. Compared to Fighters, it’s a little more realistic in the sense that it plays out exactly like if the Gundam Versus or Extreme Versus arcade game had online lobby options, or if you bought the console versions and happen to be playing it from a swanky high-tech pod room with VR compatibility. Much like real life online games, there are also are creeps in the lobby section like scammers or rookie killers that you know are evil because they use a Gundam AGE mobile suit. The concepts of the fights don’t even feel too outwardly different from the objectives of many Gundam games out there as indicated in the prologue episode’s tourney-level gameplay with Team Avalon and 7th Panzer Division. The prologue does well to introduce the gameplay mechanics and our higher level players, but this is mostly the story of Riku (Kobayashi Yuusuke), and his inspiration to play GBN.

So far, what Divers has in common with Fighters from a quality standpoint is its cast. So far, everyone is likable with our two leads, Riku, who has a goofy side that sometimes gets in the way of his drive and talent in Gunpla, and his best friend Yukki (Fujiwara Natsuki), who’s supportive yet puzzled by the logic those around him operate off of. The cast also has a good amount of interesting women like Nanami (Itou Kanae), an employee of The Gundam Base Tokyo that has access to the store’s wide array of model kits, a rooftop garden, and the VR room despite having basic knowledge of the series, classmate Momo (Hieda Nene), a soccer player who is unsuccessfully trying to get Riku to take his talents to the soccer club, and a mysterious girl who appears to be a combination of Four from Zeta Gundam and Tiffa from X Gundam named Sarah (Terui Haruka). The cast is rounded off so far with a navigator Magee (Murata Taishi), whose flamboyant appearance doesn’t undercut their skill as a pilot and a mentor for Riku and Yukki. It is early to gauge how well they’ll all mesh with each other, but by first impressions, it’s great to see that the main cast is fun to follow so far.

The only demerit, and this is for Fighters as well, is that you can tell it was made for a younger audience. The eccentric and peppy feel of the characters and the show’s sense of humor as well as Riku’s can-do attitude are on-par with most titles that fit this similar niche. Riku also falls into ridiculous traps for the sake of plot movement like accepting a free battle from a rookie killer who unconvincingly played possum to take advantage of his kindness. It’s the kind of stunt you would see from Pokemon‘s Satoshi/Ash where they automatically make the worst decisions out of naivety, but it works out in the end so all’s well that ends well.

Still, part of the appeal for older viewers would be to watch something that tickles their nostalgia sensors, and both Fighters and Divers fill in this niche very well. On top of being a relatively pleasant show, there’s a lot for Gundam fans to be able to sink their fangs into. The immense catalog of Gunpla models being used in the game are all from a host of the franchise’s shows, as are the avatars that players walk around wearing. Fans of 00 will be happy to hear that Riku’s prized Gunpla model is a custom GN-0000 00 Gundam, but the show as a whole is looking to hone in on the the little things that make being a part of the Gundam fandom an exciting experience, and Gundam Build Divers has the same fun and compelling appeal that made Fighters a great series to keep up with. Now just for some Turn A representation.

ED Sequence

ED: 「Ashita e」 by Iris

Preview

April 4, 2018 at 8:39 am
14 comments »
  • April 4, 2018 at 9:03 amInclemens

    While I liked GBF and Try (though try not as much), I think this is catering too much to childeren for me to enjoy it. The other two series take themselves a bit more serieous and that makes it enjoyable, but this series is too much of a kid’s anime for me.

    • April 4, 2018 at 11:30 amHalfDemonInuyasha

      This is actually par for the series so far – where battles for the first few episodes start out more casual that try to play up the seriousness of their battles (usually just to show off various custom Gunplas and introduce us to some more characters) until the actual serious stuff starts happening, so I wouldn’t go dropping it just yet.

      • April 5, 2018 at 2:23 amInclemens

        It’s not the action and fun stuff I’m worried about, it’s the childish characters and the way the show clearly aims it’s dialogue, style, humor and characters at childeren. I’m a grown man with a childish pashion for robots and cartoons, but this is too kiddy for me.

    • April 7, 2018 at 3:21 amiron2000

      I view the whole Build series as a children series.
      Gunpla promotion first, plot second (or last?).

      High possibility of a compressed endgame and rushed ending.

      If you want “adult” Gundam then its Thunderbolt as per their promotion for it.

  • April 4, 2018 at 9:54 amIncognito

    Never thought I’d see Ready Player One get an anime series this quickly after the movie…

    Joking aside, I can’t believe that the Build Fighters/Divers-verse still manages to tickle my Gundam nostalgia bone so well, especially when it comes to the Wing suits (including those Leos that serve as training bots for GBN).

    http://randomc.net/image/Gundam%20Build%20Divers/Gundam%20Build%20Divers%20-%2000%20-%20Large%2004.jpg
    “Flag MS”? Girls und Panzer much?

    http://randomc.net/image/Gundam%20Build%20Divers/Gundam%20Build%20Divers%20-%2001%20-%20Large%2006.jpg
    I almost thought Nanami was an older Fumina Hoshino (from Build Fighters Try). Also, she’s voiced by Kanae Niku“Sena Kashiwazaki” Ito? (Who also previously voiced ill girl Lu Anon in Mobile Suit Gundam AGE.) Nice! However…

    http://randomc.net/image/Gundam%20Build%20Divers/Gundam%20Build%20Divers%20-%2001%20-%20Large%2019.jpg
    There’s some…hints(?) that Nanami and Magee might be the same person based on similar poses that they do in the episode, as well as because GBN is a virtual reality MMORPG where it’s possible for IRL guys to crossplay as girls (like many who are on VRChat) and IRL girls to crossplay as guys (similar to Akane and Kyou in Netoge no Yome wa Onnanoko ja Nai to Omotta?). That being said, I can’t wait to see if that theory is confirmed or jossed.

    As for knowing Build Divers is made for a younger audience, I can’t help but be reminded of Gundam AGE‘s accusations of being “kiddy” because of its character designs–before proving itself to be almost as dark as works set in the Universal Century. (An example that would only be exceeded by Iron-Blooded Orphans.) As long as Build Divers avoids idiot plots and is written as well as the original Build Fighters, then it’s good to kick back and relax to this series. (While leaving the more serious story and mecha action to Full Metal Panic! Invisible Victory.)

  • April 4, 2018 at 6:44 pmDevastator001

    Reincarnated Biscuit has become evil I see XD

  • April 4, 2018 at 6:46 pmlurker

    nothing will ever top Rinko Iori

  • April 4, 2018 at 6:59 pmCryght

    So I can so see this existing in real compared to the previous 2 seasons.. This Season shows us a more real version of having gunpla.. a Oculus rift, a 3d Scanner, and a Cozy chair with control features on it. that can alter itself to be a cockpit? We got all those in real..

    I am super tempted to start buying Gundam kits for the hopes of seeing This becoming a reality

  • April 4, 2018 at 7:02 pmAizen

    Lord, I hope we eventually get a serious Gudnam series. What’s the deal with the digimon walking around?

    • April 5, 2018 at 7:37 amDmonHiro

      The last 3 “serious” Gundam anime crashed and burned HARD. Age, G-Reco and IBO were terrible by their end. Age started off terrible, G-Reco did not have time to stop being terrible and IBO ended up terrible. So give me more of these spin-offs please, and the OVAs of course.

  • April 4, 2018 at 7:54 pmPrivate

    Hmmm Oxygen

  • April 5, 2018 at 9:55 amsosbrigade1991

    I really enjoyed the first two seasons, I can’t wait to dive into this.

  • April 6, 2018 at 4:59 pmlkaze

    Not yet have the explosive of ‘Jigen Hao Ryuu’, however my hope is high

  • April 7, 2018 at 3:28 amiron2000

    Looks like the first arc is dealing with the ‘Oni’ guild.
    Or maybe its just a few eps?

    Also start to hint at the “Mess Divers” and their illegal tool Break Decal.
    The Leo reactivating might be this.
    Hack the network.

    A little discussion I had on G+ on February when they reveal the official site:
    https://plus.google.com/+AlvinChong/posts/aW74b3CcHCX

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