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 24: Build Divers
Gundam Build Divers Break Characters
Spotted in the lobby for Lotus Challenge ver. Eldora are two Forces from the Build Divers Break manga: protagonists Zen and Ark of Team ZA-∀Z (more on them later) and the members of Gonbuto. While Onoko (the one shaking Patrick Colasour’s hand) had popped up in the comments for Magee’s repost in an earlier episode, this is his first appearance onscreen. Behind him are the other members of Gonbuto: Nobuyo and Zakamoto. While Gonbuto’s stated goal is to be the “manliest force” around, by contrast, Onoko’s real-life player is a cute girl, and her teammates are both pretty-boys.
Dictus, Mobile Suit Crossbone Gundam: Steel Seven (manga)
Several anime debuts here, though of course they are all basically stills.
First off, while it appeared a few episodes ago as Onoko’s avatar, the Build Γ (Gamma) Gundam appears here in full for the first time. The Gonbuto force favors the Rick Dias, as you can see the Build Gamma accompanied on either side by the other members. The namesake of the Build Gamma itself comes from Anaheim Electronics’ original development name for the Rick Dias: the γ Gundam (though the gamma they used was lowercase).
Below it we see the Ghost Gundam, a repaired version of the Phantom built using parts from the Crossbone Gundam X-0, X1, and X2. The Ghost Gundam boasts increased stability over the original Phantom, as it is able to better use its signature “Phantom Light” system due to an improved cooling system. It is also more durable due to a silver coating that better protects against both beam and conventional weaponry, made from a rare extraterrestrial material. Since we saw a Phantom added to the events of the original Build Divers via flashback earlier this season, perhaps this is meant to be the same Diver?
The last of these three debuts is the Dictus, bearing the distinction of being the only Crossbone Gundam enemy MS to receive a Gunpla release (due out via P-Bandai in October). Its distinct, bizarre look is fairly typical of Jupiter Empire mobile suits, though it’s hard to call anything weird-looking with this many Mermaid Gundam prototypes in frame. The Dictus exists as a pair of custom mobile suits used by Callisto’s Light, the president of the Jupiter Empire, and his clone Callisto’s Shadow. Each Dictus is functionally identical but is the mirror image of the other: the one that appears here is the Iurisdis Sinistra Dictus, and its twin is the Libertas Dextra Dictus. These names translate from Latin to mean “Left Hand of Judgement” and “Right Hand of Liberty” respectively, a conceit reflected in the mobile suits’ hand-like mobile armor mode.
Team ZA-∀Z, Gundam Build Divers Break (manga)
Team ZA-∀Z has appeared in Build Divers before, but this marks a fairly major cameo from them: both Zen and Ark are named and have lines (with Ark speaking on screen for the first time!), are acknowledged by the main characters, and are shown piloting their own Gunpla! Most of these ingredients have appeared separately before but never all together like this. These two started out as Mass Divers and would regularly use Break Decals in battle (remember those?). The two split for a time when Ark swore off Break Decals only for Zen to pursue their use even further into a dangerous, emulated version of GBN. At the point, we see the two now though, it’s clear that they are completely on the same page.
Try Age Gundam, Gundam Try Age (video game)
Kyoya’s Gundam Try Age Magnum is based on the Try Age Gundam, a newer version of the Gundam AGE-1 souped up by the AGE System with the benefit of three Asuno generations worth of combat data. This Gundam’s namesake comes from the card-based Gundam Try Age arcade game it debuted in, which has been running in one form or another since Gundam AGE was airing in 2011.
This isn’t even the first time a customized Gunpla of a Try Age original has appeared in a Build series: the memorable super robot influenced Tryon 3 from Gundam Build Fighters Try was based in part on the game’s own aptly named Try Zeta Gundam.
Dagon’s Jaw, Gundlander (gashapon/card line)
I’d pointed this feature of Par’s Gunpla out before, and here we have it confirmed in dialogue! To quickly refresh, Dagon’s Jaw is a feature unique to the Monstro Slayers (as in MS) of SD Gundam’s underappreciated barbarian setting Gundlander. This specialized bit of anatomy takes the form of a mouth on the MS’ chest that draws in energy from its surroundings, giving the Monstro Slayer extremely long life. We first saw the Valkylander’s Jaw used to power up its Avalanche Rex Buster weapon, and more recently it’s also demonstrated the ability to activate Gundrans-Am (I assume calling it Gundlands-Am may have been too on the nose). Kouichi observes that in combining a Gundam 00 suit with Gundlander, the Dagon’s Jaw functionally takes the place of a GN Drive.