Deep Dive is a weekly column by Gundam expert Tom Aznable that points out the more unexpected aspects of the Gundam multiverse that make it into Gundam Build Divers. Nothing passes Tom’s eagle eye, but this column focuses specifically on rare sightings and deep cuts. Read on to see what you may have missed.
Episode 20: The Truth
Monster Cockroach Byarlant, SD Gundam Gaiden (card game, manga)
This one’s name basically says it all: this is a fantasy cockroach monster themed after the RX-160 Byarlant from the medieval SD Gundam Gaiden setting.
SD Dinosaur Mobile Suits, SD Gundam Mk. IV (anime)
These MS-themed dinos come from the very end of the Dream Maron Company: A Space Odyssey installment of SD Gundam Mk. IV. The Dream Maron travel company is kind of shady and on the cheap, and they end up unintentionally sending their tour group to multiple universes parallel to their own SD setting. Most of the short has the tour group fighting for their lives as they are dropped right into the Battle of Jaburo during the One Year War. They escape through another warp, only to find themselves beset by the SD Gundam dinosaurs you see here.
Guardian Carp, SD Gundam Counterattack (anime)
The Guardian Carp is a MacGuffin from the SD Sengokuden installment of SD Gundam Counterattack. When the legendary fortress of A Baoa Qu reappears after 333 years, the Gundam Army and Dark Army each battle to plant their guardian carp atop its roof to claim it. The carp that Sarah has caught most closely resembles the Dark Army’s Zakrello-based carp.
Washtub Golem, SD Gundam Force: Destructive Daishogun Appears!! Zako? (theme park attraction)
This is easily one of the deepest cuts Build Divers has pulled so far, and yet another example of its affection for SD Gundam Force. The Washtub Golem is from a theme park attraction/ride which originally opened in 2004 at Sanrio Puroland in Tokyo. One of the villains exclusive to this ride, the SD Taurus-based Da Jarle, has the unique ability to turn his enemies into washtubs. Near the end of the ride, Da Jarle briefly animates some of Captain Gundam’s washtub-ized GM Sniper II allies into this creature.
Bull One, Turn A Gundam (anime)
The biplane Yukki flies through this mission is the Earth Militia’s mainstay Bull One fighter from Turn A Gundam.
Pushing back Axis, Mobile Suit Gundam: Char’s Counterattack (anime)
Here, the Build Divers recreate the finale of Char’s Counterattack, where a bunch of mobile suits on both sides join together in a futile attempt to keep Axis from dropping to earth. They were lucky then to have the Nu Gundam to ultimately push it bac, and the 00 Sky likely played a similar role here.
Dougram-head GBN Guard Frame
The head of the Guard Frame sent to check on Team Avalon very closely resembles the eponymous Combat Armor from the classic 1981 Sunrise anime Fang of the Sun Dougram. The helicopter canopy-visor, auxiliary camera placement, and antenna on its left side are all elements it shares with the Dougram’s distinctive head design.
Crystal Phoenix True Form, SD Gundam Festival (anime)
When the GBN developer pushes back the GBN Guard Frame bearing down on Sarah, she briefly takes the Crystal Phoenix’s true form. This is the same form revealed to the Daishoguns at the end of the Sengokuden installment of SD Gundam Festival when the Phoenix explains its true purpose.