Episode 2 – “Chaotic Orgy,” wait, “Chaotic Ogre”
Can Gundam Build Divers deliver on the foundational promises in its opening animation? To cute-slap the audience’s face with cat-boys, weasel-commanders, and wolf-captains (oh my)? Not to mention ninjas, Haro, and a veritable cornucopia of horned men. Episode two answers the aforementioned questions and more with an emphatic “probably.”
Conflict embroils Riku and Yukki as they evade Momoka’s normalizing presence–an existential threat to the childhood dream of eternal gaming–trading hunks of plastic fantasy for the “s” word (sports). Luckily, the Gunpla besties manage to slip past their female friend’s social dragnet and sneak back into their better, virtual world.
Within the PlaMo Pleasure Halls, the boys re-familiarize themselves with the virginal lass from episode one–Sarah. She arrives just in time for “Pretty Lady” Magee’s update on GBN syntax, policy, and protocol. Gaze in wonder as the magical world of “Collect Missions” and “Friend Requests” unfolds before your very eyes!
Yukki spends the majority of the episode babbling, rambling, and all-around word-vomiting meticulous explanations of every game mode, strategy, and Gundam particularity–a prattling so egregious, so eye-wateringly boring, a reviewer must slip away for a moment and guzzle a handful of painkillers before pressing “play” again.
Riku and the gang slog through the remainder of the episode by picking flowers from the field “Shakti from V Gundam” planted, meeting The Brothers Horned, and not battling due to our damsel’s sensitivity to Gundam emotions. Thus, the AniMessenger crumples to the floor, clawing his way back to the anime oasis, far, far away from the nightmare of–
Indeed, the bread and butter of the Build Fighters franchise, its premier fanservice robo-battles, nudges the episode back on its feet. The Hellfire Ogre, an anthropomorphized bundle of one-liners, forces our hero to (wait for it) activate his 00’s Trans-Am mode. A tragic decision since, in the Gundam Build Divers universe, overworking virtual reality projections of plastic models results in devastated mystical girls.
Our fledgling mecha-shounen-mish-mash manages to flesh out its fictional VR network, but forgets to do the same for its characters. Unlike the past two series, Divers exchanges relationships for world-building. The result: tutorials, headaches, and spits of past Gundam locales. Can Divers rest on its explosion-based laurels for an entire series? And when, oh when, will we witness the glory of the Weasel Commander?
And, please remember:
~ Don’t Shoot the Messenger