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Episode 5: Holy Land of Perisia

 

Review by Chris Guanche

January 2, 2019

 

Summary

 

Riku, Momo and Sarah complain to Yukki about having to walk forever through a desert to reach the city of Perisia. Yukki explains that Perisia is a neutral area and that depending on their rank, players aren’t even allowed to bring their Gunpla. Momo points out that they look close on a map, but Sarah notes the scale, so they’re actually over 100 km from the city. They stop an approaching jeep driven by a ninja girl, but she quickly drives off and leaves them behind. The ninja girl, who introduces herself as Ayame, then gives them a ride and asks why they were traveling without knowing the distance to Perisia. After arriving in Perisia, Yukki notes that the city is a Mecca for Gunpla builders from around the world. Sarah notes that Ayame is gone, and Ayame watches the group from a nearby rooftop. Riku is amazed by the quality of the Gunpla, and Momo asks about an old style 1/100 scale Gundam from the early days that lacks joints. A player then walks up and says that the Gunpla is beautiful and not meant for battle. He notes that the Gunpla is well-made and features minimal modifications to such a vintage design. He says that all Gunpla have merits, whether they’re new or old, and not everything is about winning Gunpla Battle. Yukki asks the player to look at their Gunpla, and he assesses them as being built with love, but lacking real world building skills for their ambitions. Momo asks him what’s so special about his own work, and he shows them a detailed diorama of Petit’gguys. They overhear someone announcing that the famous builder Shahryar is in town to show off his newest Gunpla. Tigerwolf calls Magee and tells him that Riku and his friends were an interesting bunch and might have potential. Magee mentions that they’re in Perisia now, which annoys Tigerwolf because he thinks Shahryar is a snob.

 

Momo asks Yukki if he’s ever seen Shahryar, and Yukki answers that he rarely appears in public. Riku is less than impressed by Shahryar, who unveils a heavily customized Xamdrag, which people in the crowd dismiss as a hodgepodge of weapons. Riku says he doesn’t get it and doesn’t feel anything from the Gunpla, like the other player said. Shahryar’s tout tells Riku that he doesn’t understand anything about art. Ayame drops down from the rooftop and claims that the Xamdrag is not a Gunpla built by Shahryar. She dares them to move the Gunpla so that builders can see how well it’s constructed. The revealed imposters then leave town, and Riku thanks Ayame for getting him out of that situation. He asks her to hang out with their group, but she declines and says she doesn’t like socializing. Ayame enters an alley and gets a call from the hooded figure, who tells her that his client, the fake Shahryar, complained about her intervention. The fake Shahryar appears in his Xamdrag with Ayame as hostage, and the player Riku met earlier offers to help them. He gives them a Gunpla version of the Ptolemaios to give chase to the kidnapper. The Xamdrag attacks, but the Ptolemaios dodges and returns fire. Riku and Yukki are amazed by the Gunpla’s construction and note all the flaws in the Xamdrag. The Xamdrag can’t use its special move due to its joints being clogged with sand, and Momo and Sarah rescue Ayame. The fake Shahryar activates a Break Decal and transforms the Xamdrag into a leaner Gundam-style suit. He then attacks the Ptolemaios until the other player - the real Shahryar - shows up and reveals himself. He then summons his Seravee Gundam Scheherazade and uses a GN Field to knock away the Xamdrag. The Ptolemaios then transforms into a cannon and backpack for the Seravee Gundam, which Shahryar uses to blast the Xamdrag to pieces. After the battle, Riku and Yukki are surprised that they were talking to the real Shahryar all along. He offers to let them join his force, but Tigerwolf suddenly appears and objects. Shahryar asks which force they’re going to join, and Riku answers that he wants to find his own style and strength, so he’ll create his own force. Ayame drives through the desert in her jeep.

 

Commentary

 

This episode introduces another top level player as a mentor to Riku’s group, but there’s a lot of things here that make no sense. Why would you make it that people have to cross a desert in an MMO just to get to a city? I understand having a persistent world, but no warping or fast travel? It’s all just a contrived situation to get them to meet Ayame, who is secretly spying on them. Also, why does everyone look hot and bored walking through the desert? The previous episode established that what you feel in the real world doesn’t apply in GBN, so they’re already being inconsistent with their ground rules. The idea of the the Shahryar imposter reminds me of the Newtype imposters from the beginning of Gundam X, but this too makes no sense in GBN. How do you impersonate another player in a game where you have player profile IDs, avatars, a friends system, etc? Why would anyone think for a second that this faker is the real person when it’s so easily disproved? The battle here isn’t particularly interesting either, as it’s just another Mass-Diver using a Break Decal but still losing in the end. Not a good episode by any stretch.

 

Overall Rating

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2.5 out of 5 stars
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Gundam Build Divers Episode 5 Gundam Build Divers Episode 5

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