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Episode 19: Nadeshiko-athlon

 

Review by Chris Guanche

November 25, 2019

 

Summary

 

At The Gundam Base, Momo tells Nanami that she should participate in a girls-only event in GBN. Nanami notes that she doesn’t play Gunpla Battle, and Momo explains that it’s not a battle, but a race for female Divers. The winner will be selected as a GBN image girl, and Nanami agrees to participate. In GBN, the Build Divers gather on the island where the Nadeshiko-athlon will occur. Nanami shows up as her avatar Nami, featuring a costume based on a Federation Forces pilot suit. Nanami then introduces herself to Sarah. Rose from Hyakki is surprised to see Avalon’s Emilia participating, but Emilia explains that she’s in it for her pride, not be an image girl. Emilia recalls Karuna telling her that the Nadeshiko-athlon wasn’t for people like her, so she impulsively signed up. Rose vows to win and says she doesn’t care about being an image girl, as she’s just wasting time. Riku, Yukki and Koichi sit down in the crowd next to Magee, and Koichi comments that Nanami will probably only play in GBN today. The chairman of event sponsor Sazameth thanks everyone for participating and announces that everyone will get commemorative earrings. The chairman fires a pistol to initiate the start of the race, and Nanami gets knocked over by the crowd. Momo explains to Nanami that inside GBN pain isn’t real, so she hasn’t actually been hurt. The announcer explains that the event will have three legs: running, swimming and the Wappa road race. Rare items are also hidden throughout the course. For the first leg, Emilia and Rose are neck-to-neck. Ayame doesn’t want them to build up too much of a lead, and Momo wants to have fun. Sarah reveals that she doesn’t even know what an image girl is, but signed up anyway. Rose thinks to herself that she actually does want to be the image girl. Rose reaches the first checkpoint and finds stacks of Gunpla, and she has to pick one to build before moving on. Whatever she builds she can keep as an accessory item in her Force Nest, so she picks an MG Sazabi. She’s surprised when Emilia sits down next to her with a simple Haro kit, but she then opens the Sazabi box and realizes it will take too long to build. She thinks this kind of strategy is to be expected from Avalon’s vice captain, but then she hears every other contestant asking for Haros or other simple kits. Emilia finishes her Haro and stops when she sees Nanami building her Gunpla incorrectly. Rose finishes the Sazabi, but she stops when she sees Sarah also building her Gunpla incorrectly. As the two give Gunpla tips, Momo and Ayame are the first to advance to the swimming portion. Emilia and Rose swim fast and take the lead again, allowing them to reach the checkpoint first. This time, they have to use Gunpla and props to create pictures to post to Gunstagram. Once they have 100 likes on their post, they can advance. At GBN headquarters, bugs are detected in the Maurisia Area near the Nadeshiko-athlon.

 

Clouds with purple lightning appear in the sky over the contestants. Sarah stops when she sees a side path into a forest and says someone is calling for help. Nanami joins her and they find an SD Zakrello trapped under rocks. After they free it, it gives them several items as a prize. Emilia and Rose reach the third checkpoint and find a table with Gunpla. Rose figures it’s best to pick something strong and grabs a Neue Ziel, and Emilia picks a Gundam AGE-1 Titus. The announcer then reveals that this time they’re in a Gunpla puppet sumo match. The match begins, and the Neue Ziel falls out of the ring immediately since it lacks legs to stand on. Everyone else asks to challenge Rose to get an easy win and advance. The mysterious bird flies over the island. The contestants reach the start of the final leg, but bugs cause a network failure and destroy the machines for the road race. Rose finally catches up to everyone and hopes to get ahead. She sees the destroyed parts and says they have to blaze their own trail by piloting Gunpla. By overcoming ups and downs, they can achieve victory. All the contestants summon their own Gunpla, except for Nanami and Sarah, who have none. Nanami declares that she wants to build her own machine and pilot it like everyone else. Rose points out that they have lots of spare parts, but Emilia says they can’t do anything without the Miracle Nippers, a magical item that lets you create any part. Nanami mentions that she got the Miracle Nippers in the mountains, and everyone agrees to help her. The group completes a motorcycle for Nanami and Sarah to ride on. The Game Master thinks to himself that these bugs are similar to the Break Decals. Communications are restored as the contestants begin the race and navigate through a canyon filled with falling rocks caused by lightning strikes. A large rock appears in front of Nanami and Sarah, but a shield materializes and protects everyone. The contestants race toward the finish line, and everyone finishes in first place simultaneously. However, since racing in Gunpla and bikes is prohibited, everyone is immediately disqualified. Due to the bugs encountered during the race and a request from the Sazameth chairman, everyone who finished will be declared a winner. In the end, all the winners posed as image girls in a group poster. Later, Nanami tells everyone that she wants to build her own Gunpla to pilot. Karuna runs into Emilia in the GBN lobby and gives her a pair of earrings he got her with his points. He thinks those suit her better than cute ones, and Emilia wonders if she misunderstood everything.

 

Commentary

 

This episode is strongly reminiscent of ones from the Build Fighters series that put a spin on the standard Gunpla Battle. There is no actual battle in this all-female race, but Gunpla obviously play a part. Much of the comedy here comes from the constant competition between Rose and Emilia, along with Rose making consistently bad choices at the checkpoint challengers. Nanami is finally in GBN and gets into the spirit of Gunpla building by creating her transforming motorcycle. As the show gets closer to its conclusion, the mysterious bugs that have been showing up are becoming more of a problem.

 

Overall Rating

Full StarFull StarFull StarHalf StarNo Star

3 out of 5 stars
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Gundam Build Divers Episode 19 Gundam Build Divers Episode 19

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