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.
This is the final column for Gundam Build Divers. If you’d like to see Tom do Deep Dives to identify mobile suits from other shows, let us know in the comments!
Episode 25: A New World
Gundam Build Divers own “end boss” is based on Alejandro Corner’s personal mobile suit from Gundam 00’s finale, with one of its instances even having the original Alvaaron color scheme.
NRX-007 Correl, After War Gundam X (anime)
This is yet another one of the New UNE’s specialized MS that appears in Gundam X’s Newtype-of-the-week story arc. Its pilot is the psychotic Demar Griffe, who demands the MS be painted a pure white before it is fit for him to use. The Correl is specialized for high speed and close combat, having very little armor and armed only with a beam knife.
MS-06R-2 Johnny Ridden’s Zaku II High Mobility Type, MSV (design series)
One of the Raid Boss instances is located on the lunar city of Von Braun which appears in several Universal Century Gundam series. In the bottom left, you can see Johnny Ridden’s Zaku II High Mobility Type, the high-spec Zaku mobile suit the MSV ace is most associated with. This particular unit was also likely a large, direct influence on the Psycho Zaku from Gundam Thunderbolt.
FA-00100S Full Armor Hyaku Shiki Kai, M-MSV (design series)
This marks the second time Build Divers has given a Hyaku Shiki variation its anime debut after the Land Combat Hyaku Shiki Kai! The FA Hyaku Shiki Kai’s is heavily armored but has limited mobility, and its backpack is loaded out with many fixed weapons.
YMS-07A Prototype Gouf, MSV (design series)
“The Gundam”, Mobile Suit Gundam AGE: EXA-LOG (design series)
The yellow Prototype Gouf is a prototype for the Gouf based on the MS-06J Zaku II. An alternate version called the “Tactical Demonstrator” recently appeared as part of the Gundam: The Origin MSD variation series.
“The Gundam” is a recreation based on data from the EXA-DB on the legendary mobile suit that inspired Flit Asuno to create the Gundam AGE-1 in the first place in Gundam AGE. Looking back on it, its solid sword weapon and proportions compared to other AGE Gundams almost gives it more of an Iron-Blooded Orphans Calamity War feel (no actual relation, just saying).
MS-15KG Gyan Krieger, Mobile Suit Gundam: Gihren’s Greed: War for Zeon Independence (video game)
ZGMF-X56S/θ Destiny Impulse Gundam, SEED Destiny MSV (design series)
BN-876 Scramble Gundam, Gundam Build Fighters Try: Island Wars (anime)
The Gyan Krieger on the left is the ultimate variation of the YMS-15 Gyan, first appearing in the PlayStation 2 War for Zeon Independence installment of the Gihren’s Greed strategy game series. It has a higher generator output and acceleration, and its beam lance can destroy a battleship with ease. It received a P-Bandai HG release in early 2018, and this appearance marks its animation debut.
The Destiny Impulse Gundam on the right is to the Impulse Gundam what the Perfect Strike is to the Strike Gundam: namely, it combines the functionality of all the Impulse’s silhouette packs into one, thus acting as a sort of conceptual prototype for the Destiny Gundam. The Destiny Impulse previously had a prominent appearance in the finale of Gundam Build Fighters Try.
The Scramble Gundam at the bottom of the frame appeared in the Build Fighters Try special Island Wars, where it was an experimental Plavsky particle testing unit that went berserk. This color scheme may be a reference to the mysterious, unnamed purple-haired girl that caused the Scramble Gundam to run out of control in the first place.
MS-06BR Ballistic Zaku, Gundam Build Fighters: Battlogue (anime)
The Ballistic Zaku is an Origin Char’s Zaku II equipped with an HGBC Ballistic Weapons pack. It appears in the first installment of the anthology ONA Build Fighters: Battlogue, where it is piloted by an AI simulation of Char Aznable.
Victory (飛駆鳥) Daishogun, Shin SD Sengokuden: Shichinin no Choushogun-hen (manga & model kit line)
The Victory Daishogun is the ultimate form of the Musha Victory, based on the V2 Gundam. Its armor is based on the Crystal Phoenix. It recently received a P-Bandai release as part of the Legend BB line in August 2018.
Gundam Tryon 3, Gundam Build Fighters Try (anime)
- Color scheme: King Exkaiser, Brave Exkaiser (anime)
GF13-039NP Jester Gundam, Mobile Fighter G Gundam (anime)
RX-78-1 Prototype Gundam, MSV (design series)
The center of this group features fan-favorite super robot Gunpla Tryon 3 recolored like the King Exkaiser, from the first series in the Brave franchise Brave Exkaiser. To its left is Neo-Portugal’s Gundam Fighter Jester Gundam, piloted by a literal clown. In the upper right is the 0 Gundam as it first appeared to future Gundam pilot Setsuna F. Seiei in his time as a child soldier. In the bottom right is the Prototype Gundam, an early version of the Gundam developed at the Earth Federation military’s headquarters at Jaburo.
MSN-02 Perfect Zeong, MSV (design series)
When Char Aznable sortied in the final battle of Mobile Suit Gundam in the Zeong, it was notably “80% complete.” The Perfect Zeong is the complete version, and its legs make it tower over most mobile suits, with the massive Psycho Gundam being only 5 meters taller. The 1/100 Master Grade Perfect Zeong model kit is known for the fact that it is the size of most 1/60 Perfect Grades.
The Zee Zulu is an amphibious version of the Sleeve’s Geara Zulu mobile suit which appeared supporting Zeon remnants on Earth in Gundam UC episode 4.
RB-79PP Polypodball, Gundam Build Divers: GIMM & BALL’s World Challenge (web novel)
The Polypod Ball is a land-use Ball custom Gunpla created by GBN user Ball (real name: Carl) from Gundam Build Divers’ official prose sidestory. The Polypodball, like most of the designs appearing in GBWC, was designed by famous Gunpla modeler and mecha designer NAOKI, who also designed many custom Gunpla for Build Fighters.
RX-78TB-2[SB] Gundam Stormbringer, Gundam Build Divers: GIMM & BALL’s World Challenge (web novel)
The Gundam Stormbringer is the third Gunpla used by GBN user Gimm (real name: Tim) in the GBWC prose sidestory. Gimm initially uses a GM Dominance, which he then customizes into his GM Turbulence, and finally turns it into the Gundam Stormbringer. The Stormbringer is another NAOKI design, with its initial form of the GM Dominance being originally designed for the new manga adaptation of The Blue Destiny.
XM-X1 Crossbone Gundam X-1 Full Cloth, Mobile Suit Crossbone Gundam: Steel 7 (manga)
Nearly all of the MS that appear in this spread is repurposed footage from Build Divers’ mid-season climax, with the exception of one: the Crossbone Gundam Full Cloth. This full armor version of the Crossbone Gundam from the Crossbone Gundam sequel Steel 7 first appeared in animation (as the Type.GBFT) in Gundam Build Fighters Try as a prominent, recurring Gunpla.
GF13-017NJ/B Gundam Shining Break (After Version), Gundam Build Divers Break (manga)
YG-III Gundam G-Else (After Version), Gundam Build Divers Break (manga)
The pilots of these custom Gundams, Ark and Zen, from the Build Divers Break manga had cameoed in earlier episodes of Build Divers, with Zen even having a speaking role as “Mysterious Diver” in episode 13. Here they both appear with their respective Gunpla from the manga, with each having a voiced line.
Rabbit Moon, Customize Build Contest
It’s typical for installments in the Build sub-franchise to run a contest for custom fan Gunpla to cameo in the finale, and Build Divers is no exception. The Rabbit Moon was the winner of the New Gundam Breaker game category in the Customize Build Contest, and is assembled with parts from the Nobel Gundam, Tallgeese II, and 00 Quan[t].
Gundam Frame Zogok, Customize Build Contest
Love Love Finish
Magee’s destruction of this Raid Boss drone punches a heart-shaped hole in it which then frames the Gundam Love Phantom. This is a visual reference to when the God Gundam destroys the Devil Gundam with its Sekiha Love Love Tenkyoken in G Gundam’s finale.
Riku Tryon, Gundam Build Fighters Try (anime)
The monument in front of this train station in Build Divers’ rarely glimpsed real world is modeled on the core lion component of the super robot Gunpla Tryon 3: the Riku Tryon.
“AMBAC” in the name of this store stands for “Active Mass Balance Auto-Control,” a term used primarily in Universal Century Gundam lore to refer to the technique used by mobile suits by using their limbs to help maneuver via Newton’s third law of motion. In a meta-sense, it helps justify why mobile suits have limbs at all beyond just “cool robot.”
ZGMF-X56S/ζ Gaia Impulse Gundam, Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny Astray (manga/design series)
On the right on the shelf is a Guntank with the RX-78 Gundam’s legs; the core-block system shared by the original Gundam, Guncannon, and Guntank was in theory meant as a combination gimmick, with each MS being able to mix and match upper and lower bodies. In a practical sense, this mostly looks silly, as demonstrated here. The inverse of this, with a Gundam torso on Guntank treads, is also a popular gag build with modelers.
Skipping over the Gundam Deathscythe Hell to its left is the oddball Gaia Impulse Gundam, a hypothetical centaur-like variation on the Impulse Gundam that never received implementation. The colors on this Gunpla look like a combination of the standard BuCUE colors and Andrew Waltfeld’s own custom colors.
In the upper left, you can see the lower part of Haman Karn’s Gaza-C, which made several video game appearances before debuting in animation at the end of the second Zeta Gundam: A New Translation movie.
“Don’t You Ever Stop”
The framed “Don’t you ever stop” on the wall is a character-defining quote by Orga Itsuka from Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans.
Gundam Iron-Blooded Orphans S2 Second Title Card
In another reference to Iron-Blooded Orphans, this framed image of flowers is very similar to the image behind the series’ title treatment in its fourth and final OP.
The Build Divers crew cap off their first IRL meeting with what else but Gundam karaoke. Tigerwolf wants to sing “Char ga kuru (Here Comes Char)” by Koichiro Hori, an insert song from a late episode of Mobile Suit Gundam TV.
Shahryar then pushes in that he wants to sing “Genki no G,” which is a lyric from the refrain of “G no Senkou” by Daisuke Hasegawa, the ending from Gundam: Reconguista in G. He also teases Tigerwolf that he should sing a MAN-WITH song, MAN-WITH being a shortening of the band MAN WITH A MISSION, which performed the first opening to Gundam Iron-Blooded Orphans. Much like Tigerwolf’s avatar, all the members of MAN-WITH wear wolf masks.
Magee wants to sing “INVOKE” by TM Revolution, the first OP to Gundam SEED Destiny. Yukki calls out for “Rhythm Emotion” by Two-Mix, the second opening to Gundam Wing. In a very on-brand moment, Ayame picks “Tokyo Boogie Night” by Chieko Honda & Megumi Hayashibara, the ending theme to one of the shorts in SD Gundam Mk III. Chieko Honda and Megumi Hayashibara were also the voices of Elpeo Ple (Gundam ZZ) and Christina McKenzie (Gundam 0080) respectively.
The song that Nanami has overheard Koichi singing in the bath is “Anna ni Issho Datta no ni” by See-Saw, the first ending for Gundam SEED.