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.
Jane Conty, Mobile Suit Gundam: Lost War Chronicles (PlayStation 2 game, manga)
This cameo is a bit hidden; the player isn’t in focus, but her blue Zeon secretary uniform is identifiable. There have a been a few minor characters that have worn this uniform across Gundam media, but this player’s hairstyle suggests she’s going for Jane Conty from the PS2 game Lost War Chronicles. Jane appears in the Zeon campaign as the secretary to your team’s commanding officer, and most of your interaction with her as a player are being either praised or scrutinized after a mission based on your results. The game never came west, though the manga was released in two volumes in the mid-2000s by Tokyopop.
McDaniel Hamburgers, Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam (anime), Gundam Cafe (restaurant)
This UC fast food chain first appeared in Zeta Gundam (as MacDaniel), where one particular franchise on the moon operated as a cover for an AEUG meeting place. The logo seen here is actually one of the ones used by the real-life Gundam Cafe when they’ve served McDaniel burgers as part of a special event/promotion.
Gundam Metaverse Europe
This episode is largely set in what appears to be an amalgam western Europe made up of fictional European nations from various Gundam universes. Yukio points out the pacifistic Sanc Kingdom (Gundam Wing), the medieval fantasy setting of Lacroa and home of Knight Gundam (SD Gundam Gaiden), and the Republic of Moralia (Gundam 00). After landing, Yukio also notices that the flowers there are the same ones planted by Shakti from Victory Gundam. This likely places them at Point Kasarelia, home of Victory Gundam pilot Üso Ewin.
MA-115HT Union Realdo Hover Tank, Mobile Suit Gundam 00 (anime)
This artillery variation of the Union Realdo scarcely got more than a cameo even in its own debut series, and it’s back for another one here alongside the Javelin from Victory Gundam. While the Union Realdo is a transformable, airworthy grunt unit, the Hover Tank version is scarcely used as more than a gun emplacement whenever it appears.
Straight G, Strict-G (clothing line/store)
The name may be a little different, but Straight G at the Gundam Base in Build Divers bears a striking resemblance to the Strict-G store at the real-life Gundam Base Tokyo. Strict-G is basically a designer Gundam clothing line, with prices to match. Straight G seems to be more of a cosplay goods store, prominently displaying outfits based on Gundam 00.
YMS-08B Dom Test Type, Mobile Suit Discovery (design series)
This MS comes to us courtesy of Gundam: The Origin’s own MS development-focused variation series Mobile Suit Discovery. The Dom Test Type’s design is itself predominantly a mash-up of two other testing prototypes: the Zaku High Mobility Test Type (08th MS Team) and Gouf Test Type (MSV). Its primary weapon, a beam bazooka, originally appeared in the novel version of Mobile Suit Gundam equipped by Char Aznable’s Rick Dom. That said, it actually seems somewhat fitting that this in-universe Zeon kitbash would see its anime debut here. On top of everything, one unit in this force is wielding a Large Heat Hawk, originally used by the Super Custom Zaku F2000 from the original kids-battling-Gunpla anime Gunpla Builders: Beginning G.
Relena’s Birthday Invitation, New Mobile Report Gundam Wing (anime)
While it may seem obvious to any fan of Gundam Wing that this costume Momoka is trying on is Relena’s Sanc Kingdom outfit, there is one thing you may have missed: the tiled background appears to be a certain infamously torn note!
Harry Ord’s Pajamas, Turn A Gundam (anime)
If any outfit in Momoka’s Straight G montage deserves to be singled out, it’s Harry Ord’s memorable, frilly-collared star print pajamas. These appear a grand total of one time in all of Turn A Gundam, and even among Ord’s notoriously quirky wardrobe it really makes a statement. The checkered background also seems to be a reference to a similarly ostentatious sweater vest Ord wore while incognito.