Shahryar repeats his offer to let Riku’s group join his force, but Tigerwolf insists that they’re his disciples and he found them first. Shahryar figures that they’re having trouble scouting an experienced player. He notes how Momo’s Kapool is a rental, but very well built, and a builder of that caliber could increase their force’s strength greatly. At The Gundam Base, Riku asks Nanami who built the rental Kapool, and she answers that it was her big brother, Koichi. Riku, Yukki and Momo then visit Koichi at his apartment and ask him to join their force. He answers that he’s retired from Gunpla Battle and shuts the door. The three then keep bothering Kochi day after day until he finally calls Nanami to complain about them being a nuisance. The three apologize to Nanami for bothering her brother, and Riku looks at more of Koichi’s Gunpla and wonders why he’d quit. Yukki is shocked to learn that Koichi was K-1, the famed Gunpla builder who came in third place in the Japanese Gunpla Championship and eighth in the world tournament. But he stopped playing four years ago, and Riku again wonders why he quit. Riku is distracted during training with Tigerwolf, and Shahryar expresses surprise that the Kapool was built by K-1. Tigerwolf thinks there’s probably no bringing Koichi back to the game, but Riku still wants to try something. Sarah comments that Koichi puts his heart into his Gunpla and that he’ll understand Riku’s heart. Shahryar notes that there must be a reason why Koichi is being stubborn, and they’ll have to discover that. Riku’s group asks Nanami why Koichi quit, and she explains that Koichi used to play Gunpla Duel (GPD), the predecessor to GBN that involved actually controlling Gunpla. Koichi was part of a team, but they all slowly quit once GBN surpassed GPD. That led to him falling into depression, so Nanami had him build rental Gunpla to do something constructive with his time.
Koichi thinks back to his team members quitting, and his friend Tsukasa declaring that GPD was over. He’s annoyed to run into the kids again outside of a convenience store, and Yukki mentions that Shahryar thinks Koichi’s Gunpla are brilliant and have a unique worldview. Koichi reiterates that he’s retired and leaves. At his apartment, Koichi is amazed that Shahryar praised him and pulls out a personal GBN terminal to log in to his KO-1 account. He then runs into Sarah, who immediately recognizes him as the builder of the rental Kapool. He’s shocked when he runs into Shahryar, Tigerwolf and Magee. Tigerwolf asks Koichi if he’s joining Riku’s force, and he and Shahryar mention that Riku can always join their forces. Tigerwolf asks Magee about not inviting them, and he answers that he would if his force had openings. Shahryar mentions that he’d like to fight Riku’s group once they’re more experienced. Koichi is overwhelmed and runs off to a quiet spot where he can view video of Riku’s battles. At The Gundam Base, Nanami shows Riku’s group a GPD unit and the old Gunpla that Koichi had built for his team. The GPD unit activates by itself and displays video from the team’s old battles. After watching Riku’s videos, Koichi is shocked to see that Sarah was sitting next to him. She asks him if he loves Gunpla, and he runs off again. Riku sees that the reason he wanted Koichi to join them wasn’t to teach them Gunpla building. Koichi thinks about what Sarah said and wonders when he became unable to say he loved something. Nanami shows up and drags Koichi to The Gundam Base, where Riku’s group is working on repairing his old Gunpla. Riku says that he sees how Koichi’s team loved Gunpla, and it’s ok if he doesn’t want to join them. Riku says that he wants Koichi to recover those feelings and love what he loves, and Koichi steps forward. Koichi offers to join and help them, on the condition that they build their own Gunpla. In GBN, Riku and the others register their force, but they’re unable to complete due to Koichi being Rank F. To create the force, they have to get Koichi battling and up to Rank D.
This episode introduces a new character in Koichi and continues Riku’s quest to build his own force. I really can’t understand the interest that Shahryar and Tigerwolf show in Riku’s group. Other than the fact that they’re main characters, they’re completely unremarkable amateurs with no appreciable combat skills or Gunpla building talent. It really just comes across as bad fanfic of characters that all the top people want to be friends with for no discernible reason. There is also literally no reason for an experienced adult like Koichi to want to join up with a bunch of kids. We do learn that Koichi used to play an earlier game that actually involved Gunpla, similar to Gunpla Builders and Build Fighters. There’s also the revelation (via voice) that Koichi’s teammate Tsukasa in the mysterious hooded figure lurking in GBN. As a side note, Koichi’s messy apartment is full of Gunpla magazines, one of which shows Shahryar on the cover and further disproves the idea that someone could’ve impersonated him in the previous episode.