Episode 3 – “The Protector”
The time has come. After three weeks of taunting, teasing, and dangling of the proverbial carrot–Sunrise catapults Gundam Build Divers to the apex of anime preeminence. Miyazaki, Shinkai, Hosoda–take your final bows and vacate the stage. We enter a new epoch–a paradigm shift.
The Time of Weasel.
Our highly-informative series kicks off episode three with the “ew, cooties” tag-a-long, Momoka. Having abandoned her quest to de-nerd her peers, she stoops to her male friends’ levels, diving headfirst into the land of unitard-sparkle-men and VR plastics. Little does she know of the hazing ritual GBN requires of all female players.
“The Protector” zombifies viewers through an extended explanation of “serial missions,” revealing the producers intentions of making an anime inspired by the “boring parts in a Pokemon game when the characters drag you around and talk about features.” Before Riku and his crew’s brains overheat from processing the concept of a multi-phase mission, a mysterious masked man (prone to eavesdropping) joins them, longing for a chance to explain the baffling new game mode.
So far, The AniMessenger finds no reason to invest himself in the show. Character-wise? Shallow as a worm’s grave. Riku’s motivation (as revealed to the not-champion): “I must win because losing makes me mad.” Plot-wise? The primary conflict consists of a group of half-witted hackers who manipulate code to boost their Gunpla stats. Oh, and Lala Junior, like every other female in the Gundam multiverse, needs a visor-faced protector.
Unfortunately, Build Divers sells off the franchise’s patented “underdog hobby club” themes, content with the “twenty-minute-long commercial” approach. True to the Build Fighters formula, episode three parades out its museum of old-school mobile suits–a gaggle of Jegans and the Devil Gundam for all those G Gundam fanatics (all three of you). Add in the not-champion’s Custom AGE II’s beam saber theatrics and longtime G-boys still manage to walk away with warm, flash-filled bellies.
This reviewer stumbles forward, parched and starving—ribs poking from the skin, mouth foaming, body bloodied and bruised—another casualty of Sunrise’s war on quality. Even the show’s target demographics (ten-year-olds, model builders, and Gundam completionists) might scoff at the show’s blatant vapidity. Oh, White-Furred Messiah! Claim your role as protagonist! Patch this sinking ship before we all die a gurgling death at the bottom of the Sea of Mediocrity!
And, please remember:
~ Don’t Shoot the Messenger