5 Point Discussion – Gundam Build Divers 15: “Lotus Challenge”
by Sage Ashford
With Riku and Ayame having upgraded their suits, what will be the first major challenge the Divers take on? And will they be able to finish it, or will their first new mission end in failure? Remember, if you like this article and 5 Point Discussions, please share it on Facebook or Twitter! It really helps. And if you’ve got any comments or questions, please hit me up @SageShinigami.
1. The latest big to-do in the world of GBN is the Lotus Challenge, a quest created by a group of players and approved by the creators of the game that’s meant to be a high-level challenge to the elite Forces of GBN. Thus far, the Champion’s Team Avalon and Rommel’s Force have tried and failed multiple times. The challenge involves figuring out a way to take out Team Lotus’ Force Nest, a rebuilt version of the La vie en Rose styled after sealife (and named the “La vie en Crab”) in only fifteen minutes. In the allotted time, you have to escape orbit, fly to the La vie en Crab, navigate through a minefield, battle against members of the Force, and destroy the heavily protected base.
Once again, the most astounding thing about this show is how they manage to create an infinitely more interesting Gundam game than any of the ones we’ve ever gotten in real life. The ability for players to create their own quests and set their own rewards for other players to try and complete them is something that would lend almost infinite playability in addition to proper constant new content from the developers. Hopefully someone at Bandai-Namco has been watching this series and is making plans to figure out how to adapt a world like this into video games.
2. Though it seems small, this is actually something we don’t get nearly often enough: proper character development. After Riku went out of his way to bring Ayame back into the fold, even wrecking his precious Gundam 00-Diver to get her old Force’s freakishly built Gunpla back, she’s done a complete 180. Sure, she apologized last episode, but they could have just as easily brought her back and had her maintain her icy persona because that’s what the viewers have gotten used to. But nope, with the burden of working for a shady drug Mass Diver dealer gone, she’s become a cheery member of Team Build Divers.
3. It’s taken fifteen episodes and that’s way too long, but this show has finally hit its stride. This episode was legitimately good, and now I finally realize this is what they should have been doing all this time: letting a group of young players take on fanservice-y quests in the ultimate Gundam fantasy RPG. They just threw away too many episodes on unnecessary elements, like some whiny kid who’s mad this isn’t just Gundam Build Fighters 3, and introducing a rival who isn’t charismatic at all and barely takes any part in the series. Watching these kids plan and train to figure out how to take on this quest reminded me of some of the best moments of Knight’s & Magic, another largely light-hearted show with lots of heart and a likable cast.
4. Of course, the answer to this quest winds up being “teamwork”, which almost makes all the other ace teams look incompetent. The key to this mission was always the time limit–everyone always wastes too much time just escaping orbit. Fortunately, they have an excellent builder in Koichi, who creates a custom spaceship to put them out in space three minutes earlier than any other team. This isn’t so bad in relation to Team Avalon and Team Rommel–their skill is such that they likely believed they should be able to brute force their way through with the sheer strength of their Gunpla.
In any case, afterwards it comes down to Ayame, Riku, and Yukki’s rebuilt suits pouring on as much firepower as possible. Surprisingly, Ayame’s “real mode” makes a return (which I guess is now just a thing for “Gundam Build” series going forward), while Riku apparently combined the SEED Destiny and Gundam 00’s special abilities to create something new: Trans-Am Infinity. Using both he’s able to replicate the wings that saved them during the Coalition of Volunteers mission and destroy the core of the La vie en Rose with only seconds to spare. It’s more than a little cheap that somehow he’s able to combine the powers of two completely different shows, but not any more so than the Champion, Tigerwolf, or Shahryar’s special powers–he was less creative and wound up with a better ability. Them’s the breaks.
5. Next Episode: Spinning directly out of this episode, Team Build Divers now has thirty million credits to spend. Just how do they put that to use? Buying a new Force Nest? Furniture? In-game pets? They should totally just go over the top and come back with a White Base with GN Engines they can take into battle and turns into a giant robot. White Base always looked like it was one step away from being the SDF-1 Macross anyway.
Gundam Build Divers is available on Crunchyroll and Bandai’s GundamInfo YouTube channel.