Episode 5 – “Holy Land of Perisia”
Our pubescent posse crosses a fake desert (because no Gundams allowed), dripping with sweat (no death in GBN, but watch out for dehydration), and a ninja driving a Humvee (normal) barrels across the cyber-universe to check up on them. Welcome to Gundam Build Divers episode five–home of logic and all things sensical!
The crew hitchhike a ride with Ninjette all the way to Gunpla Mecca–Perisia–the number one vacation spot for those looking to log in to a VR MMO and stare at static digital representations of plastic models. As our heroes meander across the town square, The AniMessenger finally pinpoints the source of his discontent: the writers replace the “real life” component of Build Fighters with a never-ending “virtual life.” By doing so, the show loses the opportunity to juxtapose the characters’ offline struggles with their online ones. Instead, the Divers creators ape preexisting stuck-in-a-video-game-anime conventions, dragging characters through unlimited, disjointed environments (with no narrative stakes).
Meanwhile, Muscle Queen Magee converses with Tigger while drizzling purple syrup on his virtual desert and ruminating on the imminent danger our heroes may soon find themselves in–the clutches of Shahryar and the Mass Divers (great band name). Don’t forget the friendly neighborhood cat-man–an erotic, pointy-eared, fluffy-tailed lover of “ai” who–
The season’s “Mass Diver” conflict under-performs more often than not, yet it enables Sunrise’s eclectic “mecha of the week” selections (which never fail to tickle The AniMessenger’s robo-fancy). Our Plamo Production drags out a Xamdrag and a Serevee Gundam (that can dock a Ptolemaios, for Tomino’s sake)–a squeal-inducing treat, replete with transformation theatrics.
For once, Divers’ relentless cheesiness results in a charming experience rather than nausea-inducing annoyance. “Holy Land of Perisia” sprinkles in snippets of what made previous Build Fighters successful: unorthodox mecha appearances, nerd babbling, over-the-top action sequences and, surprisingly, a compelling character. The first four episodes’ slow and tedious introductions (and Yukki’s rule-vomit) bear fruit as the disparate plot-lines coalesce into a passionate (and furry) climax.
And, please remember:
~ Don’t Shoot the Messenger