Gunpla fans are rejoicing over Gundam Build Divers, a new Sunrise anime all about our favorite model kits. But it could be tricky to catch the more obscure Gundam references in the show… until now.
Welcome to Deep Dive, a new column from Gundam expert Tom Aznable that points out the more unexpected 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 11: Ayame’s Tears
Jia Xu Ashtaron, SD Gundam Sangokuden: Brave Battle Warriors (anime)
Jegan (自衛刃), SD Gundam’s Counterattack (anime)
Heavy Metal Gundam, SD Command Senki II: Gundam Force (model kit line), SD Gundam Festival (anime)
Wizard Nu Gundam, SD Gundam Gaiden (model kit line)
As if the previous episode didn’t make Build Divers’ appreciation for SD Gundam Force obvious enough, we learn that Ayame was at one point part of a literal SD Gundam Force. Taking it further, said force includes a Storm Knight Tallgeese from that show.
The rest represent a variety of what the SD Gundam franchise has to offer. The Jia Xu Ashtaron is a personification of the Romance of the Three Kingdoms figure from the Sangokuden anime. The white Jegan here, written stylistically in Japanese ateji, is from the samurai-themed SD Sengokuden setting. It’s also meant to resemble the AV-98 Ingram patrol Labor, since the short it appeared in was originally screened in theaters with Mobile Police Patlabor: The Movie.
The Heavy Metal Gundam appeared briefly in episode 8 doing karaoke; maybe this is the same unit? The last founding member of the SD Gundam Force uses a Wizard Nu Gundam, from the original medieval-themed setting SD Gundam Gaiden.
During Ayame’s montage of good times with her old Force, they hang out for a bit on the outside of the AEUG flagship Nahel Argama’s bridge. The details here are consistent with the version of the ship that appears in Gundam UC specifically.
Loran’s Cabin, (Turn A Gundam)
Knight Commandlander Voyager Daishogun / Gundam X-30 / Kizuna Gundam
The many names of the SD Gundam Force’s symbolic lead Gunpla were revealed by mecha designer Shinya Terashima (or at least by his wife) on Twitter:
— てらつま@寺島慎也の嫁 (@oyomesandazo) June 12, 2018
The first of these names (and the overall design) allude to the various settings among the SD Gundam franchise. “Knight” refers to Knight Gundam of the SD Gundam Gaiden setting. “Command” refers to Command Gundam of the military-themed SD Command Senki setting. “Lander” refers to the barbarian-themed Gundlander setting and its eponymous hero. “Voyager” refers to the time-travel-themed Gunvoyager setting (which itself is a pun on “Gunboy,” Mobile Suit Gundam’s working title). “Daishogun” refers to any number of super SD Gundams from the SD Sengokuden setting.
The name “Gundam X-30” is likely a reference to this as a conceptual successor to the Gundam X-10, a Carddass (vending machine trading cards) design commemorating the 10th anniversary of SD Gundam. Since SD Gundam began in 1985, it’s been more like 33 years. This may imply that the dissolution of the SD Gundam Force was a few years ago (remember, avatars don’t necessarily reflect age). The last of these names, “Kizuna Gundam,” refers to the bond the Force shared, since “kizuna” (絆) means “bonds” in Japanese.
Since this Gunpla is actually controlled from the inside by the Wizard Nu Gundam, this may also be an indirect reference to the mobile suit-like Machine Soldiers piloted by the SD characters in the theatrical anime SD Gundam Matsuri.
xvm-mzc Zeydalus, Mobile Suit Gundam AGE (anime)
This Vagan mobile suit makes only one appearance in all of Gundam AGE: the epilogue episode for its second generation arc. It didn’t even make it into the Memory of Eden compilation! It is dispatched in the TV series by the Gundam AGE-2 customized in the fallen ace pilot Woolf Enneacle’s white color scheme.
RMS-006G Jenice Kai “Slash Buffalo”, After War Gundam X (anime)
Burikimaru, SD Gundam Musha Maruden III (manga, model kit line)
Barzam (刃亜坐武), SD Gundam (Carddass trading card series)
The steampunk Burikimaru is from the 2003 installment of the long-running Musha Gundam line in the SD Sengokuden setting. The fallen ninja Barzam (its name also rendered in ateji), on the other hand, also belongs in the same setting but dates back to the original series of Carddass trading cards.
- References in ‘Gundam Build Divers’ Prologue and Episode 1
- References in ‘Gundam Build Divers’ Episode 2
- References in ‘Gundam Build Divers’ Episode 3
- References in ‘Gundam Build Divers’ Episode 4
- References in ‘Gundam Build Divers’ Episode 5
- References in ‘Gundam Build Divers’ Episode 6
- References in ‘Gundam Build Divers’ Episode 7
- References in ‘Gundam Build Divers’ Episode 8
- References in ‘Gundam Build Divers’ Episode 9
- References in ‘Gundam Build Divers’ Episode 10