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Episode 19: If It Weren't for You

 

Review by Chris Guanche

July 19, 2020

 

Summary

 

May asks Hiroto if he found what he was looking for, and he comments that he never thought he’d use the beam shoot rifle again after that day. Hiroto recalls the second Coalition of Volunteers battle, when he had Riku’s Gundam 00 Sky in his sights. Long before that, Hiroto and Hinata visit The Gundam Base as Gunpla Duel (GPD) is about to be replaced with GBN. Hiroto tells Hinata that he wanted to create an original Gunpla, but he couldn’t come up with any ideas. At the G-Cafe, an employee gives Hinata the last of a special gift for the first 100 customers: a Speed Grade RX-78-2 Gundam, and she asks Hiroto to help her build it. Afterward, they watch a GPD battle where multiple opponents fall to a man using a Perfect Grade Strike Gundam. Ken explains to Hiroto that the man is trying to sweep all the GPD farewell tournaments, and two other players ask Hiroto to stop him. Hiroto mentions that he doesn’t have his Gunpla with him, but then he recalls the Speed Grade kit Hinata has. After assembling the kit, he challenges the champ in a GPD level set in a space colony. Hiroto has difficulty landing any hits on the Strike Gundam due its massive size of 1/60 scale. The enemy attacks with his Grand Slam sword, and Hiroto spots a field full of parts from defeated Gunpla that he can use. First, he rides a Crossbone Gundam Core Fighter and crashes it into the Strike Gundam’s beam rifle to destroy it. He then rides a Gundam Maxter shield and fires his bazooka and the shoulder launcher from a Gundam Heavyarms. Hiroto then tosses a pair of Shiguru blades at the Strike Gundam’s eyes, and he then mounts a Unicorn Gundam arm to fire the beam magnum. The Strike Gundam’s head is destroyed, giving the victory to Hiroto. The opponent tells Hiroto that he’s really good. Later, Hiroto logs on to GBN for the first time with his new custom Gunpla, the Core Gundam. He then tests out the Core Gundam in a training Dimension but has engine trouble and crashes into the ground. Hiroto gets out and comments that this wouldn’t have happened with an actual Gunpla. A girl appears and compliments him on having a nice Gunpla. She tells him the Core Gundam is happy that Hiroto built it and wants to go on an adventure. Hiroto comments that it’s just data, but she says it’s really here, just like he is. She asks for the Gunpla's name and his own, and she introduces herself as Eve. Hiroto prepares to log off, and Eve says the Core Gundam is hurting in its back area. Back at home, Hiroto removes the Core Gundam’s backpack and finds an issue. He later returns to GBN and runs into Eve again. He asks how she knew about the problem, and she asks what he wants to do with the Core Gundam. Hiroto answers that he wants to win at Gunpla Battle, but Eve says the Core Gundam doesn’t agree and feels it was built to prove what small Gunpla could do. Hiroto spends more time with Eve and starts designing upgrade parts for the Core Gundam to make it the size of a regular Gunpla. He eventually completes a ground armor pack.

 

Hiroto takes Eve for a ride on the Core Gundam, using the ground armor pack as a sub-flight system. Eve says the Core Gundam is happy that Hiroto built it with all his heart. Hiroto tells Eve that he wants to see all the possibilities of Gunpla, so he starts developing additional armor systems to use in battle. Eve comments on how Hiroto has built lots of different armors, and he credits her for giving him ideas. She then says that she loves this world and wonders how far GBN extends. Hiroto says they could do an area transfer, but she wants to take the journey the long way past all the planets of the solar system. She thinks any miracle can occur if they gather everyone’s feelings in GBN. Purple lightning arcs across the night sky, and Eve’s avatar starts to glitch. She falls off the edge of a cliff, but Hiroto catches her. Hiroto then decides to name all his armors after the planets of the solar system, and he and Eve come up with Earthree Gundam as the first name. Later, Eve embraces the dark version of Sarah and absorbs that energy, which results in her experiencing more glitches. Hiroto has a bad dream and tells Eve that he felt as though she were suffering. Eve tells Hiroto that he always makes her cheerful, and she continues to glitch. She suggests that he join a Force so that he can experience a new world, so he signs up with Kyoya Kujo’s Avalon. Eve likes seeing him in Avalon’s uniform, but he still feels uneasy about it. Hiroto then gives Eve a custom earring that he created for her, and she loves it. Hiroto thanks her because he wasn’t too interested in GBN, and if it weren’t for her, he wouldn’t have made the Core Gundam. Eve says that she’ll never forget this and takes a picture with Hiroto and the Core Gundam. One night, Eve meets with Hiroto and asks him to erase her.

 

Commentary

 

The long-teased origin story of Hiroto and Eve is finally addressed, and it makes some pretty big changes to Build Divers lore. Hiroto’s experiences with Eve are set parallel to the first series, so this retcon means that Sarah was the first classified EL-Diver, she wasn't the first to exist. This episode also provides an origin story for the Core Gundam’s design, and it’s interesting that it resulted from Hiroto using a Speed Grade kit and random parts to take down a gigantic Perfect Grade. At this point, Hiroto doesn’t know the situation he’s getting himself into and the tragic fate that awaits. My concern with this origin story is that it’s spreading out over two episodes and taking place late in the series, thus detracting from the story in the present on Eldora. I could see giving up two unimportant episodes earlier in the show where the team fights the One-Eyes to better accommodate this story, while still maintaining the momentum of the main plot.

 

Overall Rating

Full StarFull StarFull StarHalf StarNo Star

3.5 out of 5 stars
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Gundam Build Divers Re:RISE Episode 19 Gundam Build Divers Re:RISE Episode 19

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