5 Point Discussions – Gundam Build Divers 24: “Decisive Battle”
by Sage Ashford
Riku finally gets his match against the Champ, but if he can’t win then it’s game over for Sarah. And if he does win, is it game over for GBN? 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. There’s probably a lot more mileage we could’ve gotten out of this massive, lop-sided raid battle, but if nothing else I appreciate that the opening between Tigerwolf, Shahryar, Magee and Rommel clarified everyone’s positions on this. Even if Riku’s team is like “We’re saving Sarah, screw what anyone else thinks”…they’re also all just children, aside from maybe Koichi.
Everyone else involved in this is much older, and having the show clarify how each character feels about what’s at stake makes their place in this easier to understand. It isn’t just “Well, the Divers are our friends”–they’ve accepted that if Sarah’s creation was a result of their love of Gunpla, then attempting to erase her is literally destroying that love. Rommel on the other hand still wants to protect GBN for his friend who’s unable to enjoy the game in real life without it–he’s willing to be the villain, and while I’m still wondering why there aren’t other VR games, I respect his resolution. Still, there’s a great line from Tigerwolf about how even if the Coalition wins they won’t be able to enjoy GBN afterwards because Sarah’s ghost will haunt them. In another timeline, Build Divers fails and GBN’s forever haunted by the love they rejected.
2. In the eleventh hour of Team Build Divers’ battle, as it finally settles in that Team Build Divers is up against both the most powerful and second most powerful Force in the game, they finally get a bit of help. Ogre’s Force, Hyakki, shows up just as Build Divers is getting pummeled and stops things from ending far too soon. Their help is appreciated, but simultaneously I can’t help feeling like this is the least Ogre can do.
If Riku hadn’t wasted so much time fighting Ogre when he was meant to be looking for Sarah, this potentially could’ve been avoided in the first place. If anything, this all just reminds me of how much I wish this was a longer series that could’ve had traditional tournament battles. I really wanted to see Hyakki’s Rose go up against Avalon’s Emilia in a serious fight instead of just a thirty second tease before they shifted back to plot stuff.
3. Given it used up a solid three minutes or so, I guess we have to talk about The Speech, huh? As someone who’s wanted to help team Build Divers but has been held back thanks to his position in GBN, during his match against Riku and Ogre the Champion finally gives Riku a chance to speak to the world of GBN. Without Riku realizing it, everyone gets to hear him explain the reasoning behind his desire to save Sarah. It ties up a lot of stories together as walks through his story of getting into GBN and falling in love with the game, meeting the Champion and making friends, with Sarah being by his side every step of the way.
It’s pretty inspiring, even if he repeats himself a little (though an off-the-cuff speech like that probably would involve repetition), and my only problem with it is how they feel the need to invite everyone in Team Build Divers to talk as well. It makes sense for Yukki, who was there with Sarah before there was a group, and was supporting him during his focus episode. And I can give you Momoka, because Sarah being there probably made the team feel like less of a boys’ club. But Ayame? Koichi? They’ve got these heartfelt words for someone who provided them token support at best, and it just felt like they made them speak because they thought it’d be weird if the entire Force didn’t say anything.
4. Are we sure the Champion isn’t using his own version of a Break Decal? Beating Riku stupid feels like a logical outcome given the power levels they’ve set up, and beating Ogre isn’t much of a surprise either, but he’s still freakishly strong. He activates his special technique and it sends multiple Gunpla flying just from the pressure of it. Even Riku and Ogre working together fails, which is ridiculous in its own way–while Riku isn’t better than any major rival he’s met this series, he’s been shown multiple times to be capable of fighting on their level. At this point, the Champ’s beaten Tigerwolf, Shahryar and now Ogre and Riku–all Top 20 fighters on their server. You’d think fatigue or wear and tear on his Gunpla would set in, but his suit’s just as pristine as it is at the start of the episode. He’s like the Gunpla version of Jiren; less like an actual challenge to be beaten and more like an inevitability to fall to.
The only thing saving Riku at all is a last minute boost of power courtesy of Build Divers’ own hax girl, Sarah. That blows the Champion away and does enough damage to briefly shut his suit off, while Riku flies towards Sarah thanks to nothing more than gravity, since the 00-Sky is completely wrecked. So after a hard-fought battle, Team Build Divers just barely clears this impossible raid, saving their friend. Well…sorta.
5. Next Episode: Oh man, what’s up with this Raid Boss crap? Like, with one episode left you wanna shove another obstacle in the way? Logically you’d think the last episode would be all epilogue, since usually “Gundam Build” series uses a main cast for only a single season only for you to never see them again. Hell, if Build Fighters Try is anything to go by, we’ve got a better chance of seeing Magee, the Champion, and Rommel again than Riku, Yukki and Sarah. I was hoping for a full closure episode but this looks like it’s going to be rather rushed.
Gundam Build Divers is available on Crunchyroll and Bandai’s GundamInfo YouTube channel.