Episode 11

「裏と表」 (Ura to Omote)
“Heads or Tails”

Episode 12

「道の果て」 (Michi no Hate)
“End of the Road”

I do not know how to feel about this ending. One side of me foretells it as a really good ending, the story concluded with a satisfying finale, yet there were certain elements that were left unanswered, intentionally of course, so that the second cour could flourish. I’m all up for it! But on the other hand, a side of me feels like it’s just mediocre at best and it’s just another cliché plot we’ve seen million times over.

Spoilers for the ending of Build Divide Code Black follow. Turns out that before Teruto lost all of his memories he was shown the truth, he was exposed to the world outside of Neo-Tokyo, we should have seen it coming honestly. This (inside matrix) world is located inside a void and that should have been enough to expose that it was actually a virtual world, alas the dwindling viewership and my dissociation with the show, in general, lead me not to think too much of it. It doesn’t really matter as that time has passed.

I don’t really know what else to say, what else to analyze, or what else to talk about this show, so instead let’s thread an overall picture of Build Divide Code Black as a whole.

Overall Enjoyment

There’s some joy to be had with this show the narrative thread it poises is consistent and manages to include enough card battles to keep you entertained through its runtime, however, that’s the only thing this show has going for it, aside from some tidbits here and there, character development is basically nonexistent. Characters have a single motivation and move mountains to achieve that single goal. That’s not how people work.

People with a single goal in mind and with enough willpower to achieve it tend to be viewed as one-track-minded or single-minded. Because usually, they leave everything else out of the equation. That’s how it feels for the characters of the show, there’s never a distraction big enough to demotivate them or push them aside, Teruto might suffer some bumps here and there, but his female companions are there to support him on his journey and push him to be better. But they never become a harem to him, in fact, there’s also a male counterpart to Teruto that also has some beef with the creators of this world. As seen in these two episodes, Naomitsu is sort of like Rei situation, however not much more is known about his character at this time, as in the final episode he tried to resolve his issues by going against his dad, but the show abruptly cuts their father-son reunion short in order to bring Teruto into the void. Also, the dad character was trying to use Teruto’s and Kikka to form some type of energy. Which is like… okay? It seems Build Divide is taking some inspiration from one of the largest franchises in modern history. The Matrix. But it fails to comprehend the nuisances and social commentary that the movie trilogy (now quadrology) provides, trying to make Kikka and Teruto into a sort of Neo and Trinity, it all put snatches its narrative rope without properly understanding what it really is all aboutIt’s dumb, and frankly a poor excuse for a copycat.

Enjoyment also comes from the series lighting fast pacing, I could totally see someone bing watching this show during a weekend gateway or something like that. Especially if you’re a fan of TCG anime. Yet, it’s not a show that is going to stick with you or wow you in any of its departments. Its audio mixing is okay, visuals are there, the story is convoluted until its final moments, among other things.

TCG characters rarely make any sound except for slashing sound effects and the like. Close up on their faces with nothing but silence causes a weird knee-jerk reaction in me. TCG characters should at least gasp at upcoming attacks or something like that. The animation is flashy at times, but never satisfactory enough for you to wrench your teeth and ‘oooh’ or ‘aaaah’ at the screen. It’s flashy sure but never shiny. Refer to any episode of  F/GO Babylonia for a comparison of what shiny animation looks like. What can I say, the show is barely there.

Final Conclusions

I just can’t fully wholeheartedly recommend Build Divide to anyone out there, western viewers have all but abandoned this show and with the rise and comeback of a new season of Demon Slayer pushing for your attention during that Saturday block, Build Divide is a hard sell to those that have limited time to enjoy their hobby. What can I say? It’s a mediocre attempt at getting you to buy the Build Divide TCG.

As an anime, it might stand on its own (sometimes) but other times it’s just one big mess that’s hard to watch and a little boring at times. There’s no real intrigue when it comes to its world, you just take it at face value, they all but hide the fact it’s a virtual world never hinting you in on it. It’s not a mystery if you never actually hint at it. So in the end I guess it was okay, but it never blew me away, it just kept me entertained, but never fully immersed.

F in the chat bois… And that’s more than a metaphor.

What else? What else? Oh! I guess it has a cool OP, but yeah, that’s mostly it.

Anyway, thanks for reading, hope you all had a wonderful holiday, stayed safe, kept warm and cozy, or turned on that AC through the blistering heat of Summer! Wish ya’ll have a very nice new year, whenever that happens for you. For now, let me point you towards some extra reading material. The RC Winter 2022 Preview! By the way, this is my last post of 2021, but I will be back at the turn of the century with new shows and more coverage for Winter 2022!

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