Gundam Build Divers is back with a sequel series, Gundam Build Divers Re:RISE, that is just as referential as its predecessor. It would take a keen eye and bottomless Gundam knowledge in order to catch the more obscure references it makes to every corner of the Gundam multiverse. Fortunately, we have Gundam expert Tom Aznable to help.
Welcome back to Deep Dive, Tom Aznable’s reader-favorite column all about catching the more esoteric 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:
Episode 22: Seltsam’s Deadline
P-Spray Gun, Gundam Build Divers (anime)
Par applies the finishing touches to Cuadorn’s new wings with a P-Spray Gun, a Beam Spray Gun inspired airbrush item previously used by Nanami’s Diver form in the original Build Divers. This is a rare item within the world of GBN, though it ought to be used with the also-rare L-Compressor backpack for best results.
Hiroto and company are confronted by two newly-equipped versions of the Alus Core Gundam: the Dubious Arche Gundam and Fake Nu Gundam. These impostors, no doubt named with the help of a thesaurus, give me an excuse to talk a bit about their likely conceptual ancestors: the Nise Gundam family of SD mobile suits.
The original Nise Gundam is a lonely but cheerful Zaku II in search of friends masquerading as an RX-78-2 Gundam, with nise (にせ, pronounced “knee-say,”) being the Japanese word for “fake.” It made its most prominent appearance in the OVA SD Gundam Mk. IV, in a Wacky Racers parody where it drove a Musai-inspired car done up to look like the White Base. Unfortunately, due to stricter Japanese parody laws, this short has been left off any SD Gundam rereleases. More recently, the Nise Gundam made a two-frame cameo via an impact frame in the Gundam Build Fighters Try: Island Wars special.
Outside of anime, mostly via trading cards and gag manga, you can find even more Nise Gundams The Nise Gundam Mk-II is a Hizack that looks like the Gundam Mk-II, and the Nise Z Gundam is…a Z’Gok that just kind of looks like a Gundam. The joke there is that the Z is actually pronounced Z’Gok, not Zeta. There’s also a colorful Nise Gundam sentai team: Nise Gun V (Five)! Their members include:
- Nise Gun Red – a Sazabi that looks like a red Nu Gundam with a fin funnel umbrella (not too unlike the Nu-Zeon Gundam actually)
- Nise Gun Blue – an Act Zaku that looks like the Gundam NT-1 “Alex”
- Nise Gun White – a Den’an Zon that looks like the Gundam F91
- Nise Gun Green – a Zaku III that looks like a green ZZ Gundam
- Nise Gun Yellow – a Zssa that look like a yellow Gundam F90
An unrelated Nise Gundam (written in katakana as ニセ) piloted by a ninja named Rasetsu also appears in the non-SD (though still quite goofy) manga Hidden Shadow of G, which features ninjas piloting custom ninja mobile suits through the secret history of the Universal Century.
Gundam Extreme VS Series
This week marks the international digital release of Gundam Extreme VS Maxi Boost On, and just in time we get a not-so-subtle plug in this episode on the left half of the Gundam EXVS banner graphic. If you haven’t played any of them, the Extreme VS titles are fast-paced 3D Gundam arcade fighting games, with roots in games like Federation vs Zeon and Virtual-On.
Maxi Boost On had been the most recent arcade installment in the series before it got ported, with the current version being the much more simply titled Gundam Extreme VS 2. That game just happens to be the one on the right part of the graphic.
The home version of Maxi Boost On is the first arcade-to-home port since the release of Gundam Extreme VS Full Boost back in 2014, though the console-exclusive reboot Gundam Versus did get an international release in 2017.
Right below Patrick’s requisite cameo is a message from Onoko, a character from the current arc of the sidestory manga Gundam Build Divers Break. Onoko is a masculine, muscular Diver in the style of characters from Gundam IBO. He leads Force Gonbuto, striving to make it the “manliest force in GBN.” The twist here is that in real life Onoko is actually a cute, perky girl named Emo Yumesaki.
— ガンダムエース (@gundam_ace1) July 31, 2019
Onoko’s avatar in chat is his Build Γ (Gamma) Gundam, a customized Rick Dias. The name “Gamma Gundam” actually comes from a development name for the mass produced Rick Dias (γ Gundam, using a lowercase letter more typical of UC Gundam names). While a Prototype Rick Dias design does exist in the M-MSV design series, it doesn’t appear particularly Gundam-like. Onoko’s version, on the other hand, lets us imagine what the Rick Dias could have looked like if it had kept its Gundam name through to the production line.