「星を掴む人」 (Hoshi o Tsukamu Hito)
“Reach for the Stars”
So things seem to be happening for Build Divide, finally, it seems, the plot is starting to make heads and tails of itself. But the key moments of plot revelation came towards the end of episode 09 and continued through the next. It’s building a narrative that most people all but forgot about. Is it too late for Build Divide to make a save of grace and manage to coherently give us a cliffhanger that will make repeat viewers come back? A second cour is in production and slated for Spring, so we’ll have to wait and see. Was Build Divide doom from the start? There are things I’d like to touch on as its flaws and things I’d like to praise it for. For starters one of the things that is against Build Divide is that it’s constrained to Japanese anime production schedules, I believe with a little bit more time in the boiling pot, Build Divide could truly be great. Its plot is there, but its heavy resilience on flashy VFX is what’s keeping it from popping off the screen. Attack animation’s and battle cards are rendered in full resolution, through the magic of hologram technology, (or something). Build Divide set’s the narrative of a typical card battle show, the rules, and mechanics of the game follow the popular set of rules known to many TCG players in the modern era. It tries to spice things up with Shot Trigger’s; A deadly comeback attack that can spout randomly when an opponent attacks. It’s not very creative or something that will modernize the way we think about TCG anime. Instead, it all feels put a mediocre and crappy, budget-constrained production that leaves, frankly, a sour taste in my mouth.
The show is there, in fact, it has great pacing, I find myself wondering where the time went by, it doesn’t feel like 25 minutes, but instead, less of that time, as the credits roll by, I ask myself. Was that it? This is usually how I size an anime. Is it engrossing? Does it keep my attention? Build Divide is not exactly a show you’d want to be invested in, I mean with the characters. They don’t have nearly enough depth or exercise enough personality for me to think of them as real. They’re animated cartoons and that’s it. Usually falling under the 2D or 1D tropes. There’s not something that I can think of as the hook however, it’s in the battles that this anime shines. As when it doesn’t have battles, it feels lazy and uninteresting. During battles, attacks are animated, Territories take half the screen, and puppet masters (the writers) provide an interesting premise for at least the battle. Even if the actual reason for fighting is flown over our heads. During battles, flashy effects take place, and cards are fully rendered, there’s never a drop of CGI, and it looks like some love went into it. But as the series has progressed, its quality has simmered down. It’s kinda tragic, viewers here on RC rarely comment on the posts, and Build Divide has become more and more underground. Losing the western viewers during its runtime, at least those that look for good anime and can’t tolerate even the most minor of inconvenience in their watch time. Currently holding a 6.1 on MAL, and an average score of 58% on Anilist. It’s not bad, but it’s not exactly the best. With giants like Wit Studio taking the helm this season with Ousama Ranking and telling a dam good story that pulls us emotionally. With Jojo having a new part streaming all at once on Netflix. Mushoku Tensei and Kimetsu no Yaiba. Anime fans have more than enough food to watch during that sleepy Sunday afternoon after all weekend chores are done and it’s time to finally have a coffee or smoke and finally just relax. Spend some time with your hobbies. Build Divide is not exactly at the top of that list. So yeah, this whole section was supposed to be about Episode 9. But instead, I’ve rambled about one of its major flaws, the plot is there, even if it’s bare-bones, the fights are there, even if it’s just OK, and character drama is there, even if it’s just another morning TV melodrama.
I’ll take some time however to write about the plot twist Build Divide hits us with during this two-episode run. Sakura turns out to be a soul vessel that comes from Kikka or something like that. For a while now they’ve been teasing that Sakura is not exactly a flesh and blood person, for a long time I thought she was a hologram, but then there are several scenes where she interacts with other people. Touching them and stuff, on the shoulder and things like that. So that couldn’t be, right? Yet when she puts her hand to a star, you could see right through it. Then there’s the fact the King boys are calling the players humans. Like they themselves are not humans. But instead have taken a human form. Anyway, through Build Divide, Kikka destroys Sakura and in the process merges her soul with herself. It’s whatever. At this point it feels forced and unnecessary, tidying up a mess of a plot, but hiding the trash under the rug, you didn’t actually do anything, you just made us not see the trash. Of course an analogy, it doesn’t mean it’s actual trash. So yeah, my patience is running thin with this one. Most of the time I feel like I’m wasting my time and not actually getting anything in return from this spitball plot.
But I guess I have no choice now, I’ll be blogging a double episode in 2 weeks with the finale in part. This is one of those shows that could have gotten the 45-minute treatment and be all the better for it. Big sigh with this one, hopefully, its finale has something interesting to offer.
Thanks for reading!