Episode 4 – “Tigerwolf of the Sacred Mountain”
Welcome back to the world’s greatest Gundam infomercial! Let us walk, hand-in-hand, through a land of animated advertisements, panning shots of Gunpla boxes, and one-and-done characters whose existence hinges upon their mobile suits’ corresponding model kits!
Magee and his chiseled butt-cheeks direct the quartet towards their next challenge–The Quest for Tigerwolf–e.g. find a man who resembles a tiger. Or perhaps a wolf? The uncertainty surrounding their target’s furry origins straps viewers to an adrenaline rocket. Either way, our heroes receive special treatment from the top professionals in the game (they reek of Chosen Oneness) and merrily propel themselves towards Virtual World domination, champion-smashing, and cowboy hat wearing robots.
Since our cootie-infested tag-a-long survived her hazing ritual, the GBN Patriarchs give her permission to choose her own avatar: a pink cat-girl (the human version of the Haro from last week’s episode). The boys praise “Momo’s” choice of Gunpla, a Kapool–standard issue for females in the Gundam universe. Tomino forbid that Momo choose a Gundam Mk-II or something of that ilk. Stick with the SDs and girl-suits, Momoka! Keep those gender norms rigid, boys!
Finally, Tigerwolf appears–to The AniMessenger’s astonishment, he does not limit himself to a singular set of animal features, embodying both tiger and wolf. Once the titanic force of this revelation subsides, the boys (and I guess Momo too) learn the CatDog’s Toraburyu style. The chimeric martial artist then shakes the foundations of the anime world with one of the grandest quotes of all time: “You’ll be shining, like a seam line, polished down with compound.” With a few tweaks, this reviewer has a finalist for his tombstone quote.
In the end, “Tigerwolf of the Sacred Mountain” force-feeds the audience several info-nuggets:
- Meaningless physical training in VR worlds levels up your avatar.
- Characters can destroy a GBN mobile suit (on foot) by stabbing its neck with a dagger.
- No chickens allowed (but all tiger/wolf hybrids welcome).
- Combining American-sounding words = edgy character name (Daniel of Desperado, Jeff of Cheeseburger, Miranda of Meat, etc.).
- Gunpla Sith Lords exist and enjoy sitting in dark rooms and staring at recordings of young boys (sometimes simultaneously).
Unfortunately, episode four establishes Gundam Build Divers as a bona fide “little kids show”–stripping itself of the all-ages themes that defined previous Build Fighters iterations. While the pieces in play remain relatively unchanged (champion aspirations, Gundam porn, suit customization), a layer of mundanity masks the underlying charm and spirit once oozing from the franchise’s past characters. Alas, this reviewer can only dive further into GBN’s juvenile ocean. What anthropomorphized animal pilot awaits us next week?
And, please remember:
~ Don’t Shoot the Messenger