「百鬼オーガ」 (Hyakki Ogre)
As quickly as it was introduced, Riku’s Trans-Am rights have been revoked. Or rather, his ability to control his Custom 00’s features are still too green. Before becoming a Gundam to channel his inner Setsuna will have to wait, he’ll need some more time on the field, it is interesting how they’re going about the talent Riku has. He’s got enough innate talent to go toe-to-toe with Ogre, but not enough to be able to shift into Trans-Am mode without frying his gunpla. Where it might seem like a cop-out that he has the talent that he carries within him because he’s the main character, but his inexperience holds him back from being as broken as he could have been.
One development that is particularly interesting is Sarah’s in-born abilities. While she doesn’t have a gunpla attached to her identity, she has something more skin-deep with the mobile suits in the game. To be specific, she can feel pain from the pressure that surrounding pilots exert on their mobile suits. The times that Riku shifts into Trans-Am mode and the subsequent strain this puts on his gunpla are quickly followed with Sarah feeling the strain go back to her as she takes on the brunt of the force that is placed on the Custom 00. She also starts feeling ill and pained as soon as Ogre’s main rival puts his mobile suit in Break Boost mode, submerging the gunpla in a eerie purple aura that saps away at Sarah’s energy. It is a curious case of how much of the gunpla’s pain or damage she feels, or if this is strictly regulated to the strain of the various modes and drivers that are available to a set unit.
Meanwhile, Divers‘ fanservice continues to be a key asset to how the show can help retain its older fan base as they offer quite a bit of Gundam knowledge for viewers to chew on. The fireweed flowers that Sarah picks from a field happens to be the same variety that Shakti collects in Victory Gundam. Along with the gunpla available, Nanami’s penchant for cosplay has her dressing Momo up in various outfits from the franchise, including the pajamas of Harry Ord, the pilot with the best personal wardrobe in Turn A. The show still has to grapple with its younger target audience as far as plot and content goes, but the little nods to us old folk do make it enjoyable and easy to digest, not to mention that some of the neat information nuggets we get from Episode 2 add to the intrigue behind Sarah and GBN.