Deep Dive: References in ‘Gundam Build Divers’ Episode 7

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.


Gallop, Mobile Suit Gundam (anime)

While it’s partially obscured for most of the episode, Rommel’s observation post for the Force battle is the same land battleship used by Ramba Ral.

MS-05 Gavane Goonny’s Borjarnon, Turn A Gundam (anime)

The 7th Military Academy Force’s choice of mobile suits are all Zaku derivatives, but their lead unit takes kind of a roundabout path. His unit is Gavane’s custom Borjarnon from Turn A Gundam painted in standard Zaku II colors. In Turn A, Borjarnons are excavated from underground, and named for the Borjarno family. The Borjarnons for the most part resemble slightly softer Zaku IIs, but Gavane’s unit more closely resembles a Zaku I (but with the head tubing of a Zaku II). Here, it’s also been equipped with the gatling shield and heat sword from the Gouf Custom.

MS-06F2 Zaku II F2 Type (Kinbareid Forces), Mobile Suit Gundam 0083 (anime)

The 7th Military Academy’s Zaku II F2 is based on a specific unit from the Zeon Remnant Kinbareid Forces left behind in Africa. The only difference in loadout here is that instead of having a leg missile pod, this one has a Geara Doga shield.

MS-06K Zaku Cannon, MSV (design series)

The artillery version of the Zaku II has appeared in animation before, but the version here actually uses the gatling loadout version from the MSV-R design series.

MS-11 Act Zaku, MS-X (design series), Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam (anime)

The Act Zaku (aka Action Zaku) was the Principality of Zeon’s ultimate Zaku unit, equipped with beam weaponry and built with a magnetic coating similar to the one the RX-78-2 Gundam was upgraded with. It was produced in small numbers but would ultimately be adopted by the Earth Federation after the One Year War, as seen in Zeta Gundam. The 7th Military Academy’s unit uses the original Zeon colors as seen in the MS-X design series rather than the Federation’s darker color scheme.

MS-06R-1 Shin Matsunaga’s Zaku II High Mobility Test Type, MSV (design series)

The last member of the 7th Military Academy uses a further customized version of MSV-only Zeon ace pilot Shin Matsunaga’s High Mobility Zaku II, opting for two spiked shoulders instead of the typical asymmetrical ones. The weapon loadout, on the other hand, seems to come straight from Anavel Gato’s Gelgoog, right down to the prototype beam rifle.

Saber Jump Pose, Mobile Suit Gundam (anime)

The 7th Military Academy’s lead unit may very well have been going for a misdirect here mimicking the famous pose the original Gundam struck in mid-air before bisecting its first Zaku. In the end, the Borjarnon only ended up firing its gatling gun.

Champagne Glass Grenade, Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team (anime)

After the 7th Military Academy’s defeat, Rommel holds up a champagne glass with a grenade in it, referencing a scene from The 08th MS Team. In the anime, Zeon commander Ginias Sahalin, descending into madness, drugs his engineers’ drinks and then drops a grenade into one of their glasses, killing them all. At least Rommel wasn’t quite that upset.

Kai Shiden’s Photograph, Mobile Suit Gundam (anime)

In a classic scene from the original Mobile Suit Gundam, Guncannon pilot Kai Shiden sets up a photo for the White Base crew to take with the visiting Lt. Matilda. He doesn’t quite make it into frame, and that’s just what happens to Team Avalon’s Karuna.


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