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Episode 15: Lotus Challenge

 

Review by Chris Guanche

March 26, 2019

 

Summary

 

Kyoya, Emilia, and Karuna launch into Earth orbit in an attempt to breach the Lotus Fortress. They dodge missiles and approach a minefield with under two minutes remaining on the time limit. Kyoya blasts the mines and approaches the fortress, only to come under attack from hordes of crustacean-themed Gunpla. Fortress commander Lord Lotus appears in a Mermaid Gundam and tells Kyoya that he can’t win. Kyoya fires his rifle, but the shot is deflected by an I-field. The timer then runs out, resulting in Avalon failing the challenge. Back at Avalon’s Force Nest, Kyoya discusses with Emilia and Karuna how they failed the Lotus Challenge again. The issue comes down to time, and Emilia calls it a no-win situation, noting that even Rommel has failed seven times. Kyoya doesn’t think the Administration would allow an unclearable mission, so he’s sure there must be a way to win. At The Gundam Base, Nanami tells Riku and the others about the Lotus Challenge and 30 million Build coin prize. At the Force Nest, Yukki tells Momo and Sarah that La Vie en Rose looks like a crab and is the basis of the fortress. Koichi looks over the rules, which requires a planetary launch, a limit of five machines and a 15-minute time limit. Yukki looks at a list of forces that have taken on the challenge and sees that Avalon has failed five times, and beyond them, no one has actually beat it at all. Ayame thinks they should try the challenge, and Yukki believes it could be a good test for the new 00 Sky. Ayame shows them her RX-Zeromaru, which has been upgraded and given a new color scheme. Riku decides to take on the challenge and thinks they can do it by working together. Ayame and Koichi work on mapping the fastest route to the fortress, while Riku and Yukki work on their Gunpla. Riku and Momo also jog and play soccer at school for training. Magee tells Tigerwolf that the Build Divers have signed up for the Lotus Challenge, and he’s curious how they’ll do. At a force meeting, Koichi outlines their strategy, which is to use a shuttle and booster to take off from a mass driver. They can only use three machines due to the weight limit: the 00 Sky, GM III Beam Master and RX-Zeromaru. Sarah will join Riku, while Momo co-pilots the shuttle with Koichi.

 

Magee, Tigerwolf, and Shahryar gather in the GBN lobby to watch the Lotus Challenge. The Build Divers shuttle takes off from the mass driver in Gibraltar and flies into space at high speed. At eight minutes in, Lord Lotus declares that the enemy has arrived. Kyoya and Rommel realize that the Build Divers didn’t use a GBN data shuttle, but rather a custom unit they built themselves. Riku, Yukki and Ayame take off and head for the minefield, which Yukki blasts with custom MIRV warheads. Yukki then fires long-range beams at the Lotus forces while Riku and Ayame charge forward. Riku dodges beam attacks and sees that he has less than four minutes remaining. Momo doesn’t want to stand around doing nothing and brings the shuttle in closer. Ayame transforms the RX-Zeromaru into its real form and takes on multiple enemies. Momo slams the shuttle into an enemy, which is then destroyed by Yukki. Riku fights at close range against Lord Lotus and tries to blast him with a cannon. He then rushes toward the fortress and dodges its massive beam cannon. He throws a trident at the fortress and causes a crack, allowing him to fire past the I-field. Yukki and Ayame join Riku with their own beam attacks, setting off explosions around the core unit. Riku pushes Yukki aside to save him from a claw arm, and he then generates an energy attack with the 00 Sky’s legs that hits the core unit. Lord Lotus laughs that although they destroyed the fortress and sent its remains falling towards Earth, the core unit is still intact. Riku activates the new Trans-Am Infinity, which combines Trans-Am with the Destiny Gundam’s wings of light. He hits the core unit with his beam saber and destroys it with only three seconds to spare. After their victory, Momo wants to celebrate by buying a super rare pet with Sarah. A bird watches the Build Divers from the nearby team.

 

Commentary

 

This episode introduces the concept of the Lotus Challenge, a timed mission so difficult that even high level forces like Avalon and the 7th Panzer Division have each failed it multiple times. Which means, of course, that the Build Divers will nail it on their first attempt. Their strategy comes down to building their own high speed shuttle and having Yukki blast the minefield to create a path for Riku and Ayame. This doesn’t seem like a particularly advanced strategy, so I don’t see what works for them compared to these other forces with higher skills. At the very end, Riku’s upgraded 00 Sky saves the day with the gimmicky new Trans-Am Infinity, which combines Trans-Am and the Destiny Gundam’s wings of light. In what is definitely a repeating pattern here, it feels like the Build Divers won simply because the story dictates that as main characters they will, not because they actually earned the victory with their own skills.

 

Overall Rating

Full StarFull StarFull StarHalf StarNo Star

3 out of 5 stars
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Gundam Build Divers Episode 15 Gundam Build Divers Episode 15

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