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.
- 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
While you never really see it all at once, enough of the details seem to point to Ayame’s jeep actually specifically being the Earth Federation’s Lakota model.
Perisia is full of businesses with references to Gundam characters and factions! Right away we see a vegetable stand named after the AEUG technician Astonaige (Zeta Gundam), with a neighboring kebab stand named after ZAFT officer and noted kebab fan Andrew Waltfeld (Gundam SEED). Behind a displayed Sakibure model, we see Club Zala, named after Aegis Gundam pilot Athrun Zala (Gundam SEED). A little later, we see Garvey Enterprise, likely named for Zeon remnant Loni Garvey (Gundam UC). The factions that seem to also have set up shop in Perisia include Neo-Zeon (Gundam ZZ), the Zanscare Empire (Victory Gundam), and ORB (Gundam SEED).
Reiko Holinger & Catharine Blitzen, Mobile Suit Gundam 0079: Card Builder (arcade game)
One quickly after another, we see two player avatars dressed as the video game pinup mascots Reiko Holinger and Catharine Blitzen, representing the Earth Federation and Principality of Zeon respectively.
Catol, Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ (anime)
This shot is focused on a Hamma Hamma equipped with a FAZZ’s Large Hyper Mega Cannon (yes, really) but there are a couple more ZZ references tucked in there next to it. Prominently displayed is the mobile worker Catol, which was revered on the luddite colony of Moon Moon. At its feet, we see an avatar dressed as the junk dealer Gemon Bajack, a character that actually built his own mobile worker from scrap.
EMS-05 Agg, MSV (design series)
The Agg is part of the “Agg” family of quirky Zeon mobile suits which includes the Acguy, Juaggu, and Agguguy. That said, it’s a bit of the black sheep of the family; unlike its amphibious siblings, the Agg specializes in underground attack. This is the Agg’s second anime appearance, having made its debut as a cameo in the first Build Fighters series.
Knight Gundam, SD Gundam Gaiden (card game, anime)
The hero of Shahryar’s GBN Builders’ Contest-winning diorama is a non-SD Knight Gundam, the protagonist of the SD Gundam Gaiden sub-franchise. Here he rides atop a Fuunsaiki (G Gundam) steed to fight a Doggorla (Victory Gundam), a Zanscare mobile armor which explicitly resembles a dragon.
It seems whoever built the Agg seen earlier wasn’t the only fan of that line. Both the Agguguy and Juaggu have the distinction of debuting in the MSV design series and later getting one-off animated treatments in mainline Gundam anime. Here, the displayed Agguguy is equipped with claws rather than its more typical tentacle-like heat rods.
Sitting behind the Agguguy is the infamous Ball mobile pod, but done-up in the color scheme of the K-type ball that Shiro Amada piloted in the first episode of The 08th MS Team.
Wappa, Mobile Suit Victory Gundam (anime)
Shahryar may show up to save the day dressed in Amuro Ray’s desert wanderer outfit, but he comes in riding the Victory Gundam version of the Wappa personal hovercraft. The original Wappa was first seen in Mobile Suit Gundam used by Zeon soldiers, but 70 years later it has become a generic term for a small hovercraft. This version, used by Victory Gundam pilot Üso Ewin, bears the closest resemblance to its Zeonic ancestor.
I put a question mark because it’s mostly obscured and in the extreme foreground, but I’m pretty sure about this one. That distinctive head shape and color scheme should be a dead giveaway for the Efreet Custom, rival Zeon character Nimbus Schterzen’s original mobile suit from the Sega Saturn Blue Destiny games. This wouldn’t be the first time an Efreet variation has shown up in anime, but it would certainly be the Efreet Custom’s first appearance.