Gundam Build Fighters (2013) isn’t just one of the top-rated recent Gundam shows, but one of the top-rated shows of the past decade, period. A veritable love-letter to Gunpla, Build Fighters is a show for, by, and about Gundam fans. It offers humor and heart through references so arcane, it’s clear the creators dredged the depths of the Gundam canon.
Welcome back to Deep Dive, Tom Aznable’s reader-favorite column all about catching the more esoteric aspects of the Gundam multiverse that make it into the show. Nothing passes Tom’s eagle eye for spotting this stuff (we suspect Newtype abilities), but this column focuses specifically on rare sightings and deep cuts. Read on to see what you may have missed:
Episode 07: World-level Ability
Jamil Neate, After War Gundam X (anime)
The Gundam character look-alike this time around is based on Captain Jamil Neate’s appearance during the main events of Gundam X. This battler’s personality is pretty different from Jamil’s though, considering the latter is a reserved man haunted by the trauma of his time as a Newtype Gundam X pilot during the apocalyptic 7th Space War.
FX-9900-GB GX-Bit, After War Gundam X (anime)
Sei actually does a pretty good job of giving the gist about G-Bits here: that they’re unmanned mobile suits controlled via the Flash System from the Gundam X universe. A bit more detail here: the aforementioned Flash System was a Newtype-use system installed in the United Nations Earth’s Gundam units during the 7th Space War.
Each of the UNE’s Gundam’s had a corresponding G-Bit design: the Gundam Airmaster had the GW-Bit, the Gundam Leopard had the GT-Bit, and the Gundam X had the GX-Bit, which is the one seen here being controlled by the golden Gundam Double X. Every G-Bit had equivalent firepower to their controlling Gundam, which means that a GX-Bit would also have the ability to use the Gundam X’s incredibly powerful satellite cannon. That doesn’t seem to be the case with these green ones though, since the Jamil imitator only relies on their numbers and doesn’t even attempt to use his own satellite cannon until it’s too late.
The clock in Sei, Reji, and Ral’s room at the inn says “Anaheim” on it, a reference to the Anaheim Electronics corporation from the Universal Century. While they’re best known for the development and manufacture of mobile suits for any side in a conflict, be they Earth Federation, AEUG, or Zeon movements, they are a massive and diversified conglomerate that does everything from engineering and software development all the way to entertainment, insurance, and even credit cards. It’s not impossible for some company under the Anaheim Electronics umbrella to actually have made a clock just like this.
I did some due diligence myself to check Anaheim Journal, a book released for Gundam’s 25th anniversary written as an in-universe commemorative magazine published by AE in UC 0099. While Anaheim Journal describes a good deal of AE’s subsidiaries, the closest potential hit I could find was AE Business Equipment Inc., which manufactures and sells office supplies and furnishings.
Apsaras III, Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team (anime)
Tatsuzo’s champion Gunpla is a 1/144 Apsaras III mobile armor—which, questionable legality in Gunpla Battle aside, is an impressive feat since it must be largely scratch-built. Now, a B-Club resin kit of the Apsaras III does exist, but it’s 1/330 scale. This colossal mobile armor comes from the two-part finale of The 08th MS Team “The Shuddering Mountain” as the final result of Ginias Sahalin’s Apsaras Project. Tatsuzo’s own version has a number of customizations that make up for some of the Apsaras III’s clear shortcomings as demonstrated in that finale: namely its I-field which serves to protect its stabilizer legs from being destroyed.
Adzam Leader, Mobile Suit Gundam (anime)
Another of Tatsuzo’s additions to the Apsaras III is the incorporation of the Adzam mobile armor’s Adzam Leader weapon, and it’s actually implemented here in a way that’s consistent with the source material! The Adzam Leader is often just depicted as a kind of cage that then shocks its trapped victim, but the Leader is supposed to work in tandem with a conductive powder the enemy is covered in to maximize its effects.
Both our closing line and next episode title are a reference to “Soldiers of Sorrow” (aka Ai Senshi) by Daisuke Inoue, the title track from the second Gundam compilation movie. “What will you bet and what will be left behind” is a direct quote from the song’s lyrics. The next episode’s title, pronounced “Ai senshi-tachi” in Japanese, is more of a punny lyric reference, with “Ai” being written using a different kanji.
Gundam Build Divers Re:RISE returns July 9!
We hope you’ve been enjoying this revisit of Gundam Build Fighters with Deep Dive Classic! Next week will mark the return of Gundam Build Divers Re:RISE S2 from hiatus with episode 19, and Deep Dive will shift gears back to covering that series week to week. If you’d like to see Deep Dive Classic continue after Re:RISE concludes, please let us know! In the meantime, enjoy this preview of Re:RISE’s final episodes, and we’ll meet you back here soon!