Magee greets the Build Divers at a waiting room and comments that the amount of Divers assembled reminds him of the Coalition battle. Shahryar walks by while talking to Tigerwolf and nods to Parviz. Lord Lotus introduces himself to the Build Divers as the final boss. Hiroto tries to formally greet Karuna, Emilia and Kyoya, and Karuna tells Hiroto he should’ve let them know he was playing again. Kyoya comments that Hiroto has improved a lot and seems to be doing well. Magee waves over the original Build Divers, who arrive sans Riku due to him being late from a battle. Sarah greets May, and Riku arrives with Ogre following their battle. Riku introduces himself to the new Build Divers and shakes Kazami’s hand. Magee addresses the assembled Divers and explains that the battlefield will be La Vie en Crab for a replay of the famous Lotus Challenge that the original Build Divers conquered. The new Build Divers will face off against everyone else divided into five teams, with Lord Lotus as the final boss. However, if even one of the Build Divers gets shot down, they have to start over and try again. Momo thinks that’s too hard, but Kazami explains that this is what they want, and Parviz adds that they want to clear the mission together. Magee mentions that the atmospheric launch part is being skipped, and Hiroto explains that they’re still trying to figure out how to get to space. Just before the battle begins, Kazami and Hiroto comment on Parviz’s upgraded Ex Valkylander, which took design inspiration from Cuadorn. Parviz then comments on May’s upgraded Wodom Pod +, and Lord Lotus initiates Lotus Challenge Version Eldora. Elsewhere, Masaki sits in a room at the hospital with several kids as they build Gunpla. A nurse tells Mizuki that the kids forced Masaki to help them once they saw his Gunpla. The nurse comments that Gunpla and videos from GBN are really popular now with kids. Mizuki then goes outside and starts watching Gunpla videos on her phone. The Do-Ji GN-X attacks Kazami’s Aegis Knight, but Kazami blocks. Rose’s Jagd Doga Thorn opens fire on May, while Oboro’s Rig Shokew Magatsu and Nuts’ Maganac Cinnabar attack Hiroto’s Jupitive Gundam. Parviz blasts them and grapples onto the Jupitive Gundam so they can fly past the enemy line. Yukki then fires all the Jegan Blast Master’s beam weapons at them, but they avoid getting hit. Koichi uses the Galbaldy Rebake’s hammer pliers to hit Momo’s Momokapool like a baseball and drive her past Hiroto and Parviz so she can fire her hyper belly beam. Parviz is attacked by Ayame’s RX-Zeromaru and is destroyed, resulting in mission failure. In the fifth attempt, Hiroto faces off against Emilia’s Impulse Gundam Arc and Karuna’s Impulse Gundam Lancier, and Emilia tells Hiroto that his dodging pattern hasn’t changed. Kazami and Parviz are assailed by Ark’s Gundam Shining Break and Zen’s Gundam G-Else, and the time limit runs out on the mission. On a later attempt the Build Divers finally advance to the third line and are confronted by Tigerwolf’s Gundam Jiyan Altron, Rommel’s Grimoire Red Beret and Shahryar’s Seravee Gundam Scheherazade.
Hinata sits down with Yuriko for cheesecake and recalls that Yuriko baked it in response to Osamu proposing to her. Yuriko explains that she baked it this time to wish Osamu good luck with his writing project and Hinata with the bow ritual. Osamu then comes out of his office to announce that he’s finished, and he’s excited to see the cheesecake. On the 12th challenge, Tigerwolf penetrates Kazami’s defenses and destroys him. On the 16th, Rommel fights May at close range and distracts her from the incoming group attack by his men. For the 20th attempt, Parviz activates Gundrans-Am to fight Shahryar, but his brother responds with Trans-Am and smashes Parviz into an asteroid. During the 25th challenge, Kazami fights Rommel while Tigerwolf fights May and Ogre’s GP-Rase-Two-Ten attacks Hiroto. Hiroto dodges just as Ogre slices an asteroid apart. Kazami wonders if Rommel’s next attack will be his end, but then he says Captain Zeon wouldn’t give up. Rommel is momentarily distracted, and Kazami repels his attack before escaping. Hiroto defends against Ogre’s attacks, and Ogre asks if this is all he has as his team’s ace. Kazami then arrives to provide backup for Hiroto. Masaki returns to his room and finds Mizuki watching G-Tube videos of the Build Divers on Eldora. Mizuki states that she thinks she understands now why Masaki did what he did on Eldora. But she doesn’t understand how he can do anything with Gunpla, so explains that GBN scans Gunpla and analyzes data to recreate it as a digital unit. She asks about how much building skill matters, and Masaki answers that the most important element is the Diver’s feelings. Riku activates the Gundam 00 Sky Moebius’ Trans-Am Infinity to attack Hiroto. In response, Hiroto ejects the Core Gundam II from the Jupiter Armor to fire back. Sarah tells Magee that Riku and Hiroto’s Gunpla are happy and that their feelings of love for Gunpla are colliding with each other. Riku and Hiroto are both excited as they charge toward each other and attack. Kyoya wonders if the new Build Divers are strong enouch to protect a planet, so he uses his Gundam TRY AGE Magnum to instantly destroy the whole team. On the 40th attempt, the entire team is placed on the defensive by Kyoya until Hiroto suggests they do what they tried before. The team then carries out a coordinated attack that ends with them beating Kyoya and advancing to face Lord Lotus with only 30 seconds left. The Build Divers then rush in and complete the challenge. Masaki describes a Diver’s feelings as wishing to be stronger, or trying to support the people you care about. Mizuki sees that it’s the same as what she felt when doing the bow ritual. She asks Masaki if he’ll let her feelings ride with his Gunpla and reveals that she secured permission from the doctors to let him briefly leave the hospital. She then tells Masaki that he has to come back this time and she won’t forgive him for being late. The Build Divers are amazed that they beat the Lotus Challenge and earned their special move. Everyone then gathers at the Force Nest of the original Build Divers to celebrate. Tigerwolf offers to train Hiroto, but Shahryar warns that he’ll end up as a meathead if he does. Karuna reminds Hiroto to visit Avalon, and Ayame and Koichi express to Parviz their admiration for his team’s solution. Do-Ji tells Kazami that at first he thought Kazami was just a show off, but was proved wrong. Ogre insists that he wants Kazami to fight him next time, and Parviz asks Shahryar for advice. Rommel asks Kazami about liking Captain Zeon, and Kazami answers that in his heart Captain Zeon is his master, which excites Rommel. Momo tells May that they should do a mission together as fellow Build Divers. Hiroto heads up to a cliff overlooking the Force Nest, and May shows up and tells him to wait. Riku and Sarah then show up, and Riku and Hiroto simultaneously try to apologize to each other. Riku explains that he heard about Eve, and Sarah thinks that Eve sensed her presence and absorbed the bugs so she could last longer. Riku explains that he didn’t know such a loss made it possible for them to save Sarah, and Hiroto tells him not to apologize. Eve wanted Sarah to live and GBN to continue existing, so Hiroto believes that her wishes came true. Riku shakes hands with Hiroto and says they should battle again some day. Later, Hiroto talks to Hinata on the balcony and she tells him that she’s going to perform the bow ritual tomorrow. She explains that it’s meant to pray for the safety of ships on the sea, but she plans to sneak in her own prayer. She mentions that she’s OK with having a tiny role in things, but Hiroto doesn’t think it’s tiny at all because people’s feelings and wishes overlap and connect. He believes in that power and thinks he’ll be stronger with Hinata praying for him, and he plans to cheer for her too. On Eldora, Alus looks at a digital display about the satellite cannon.
It’s almost time for the final mission, but before that, the Build Divers test their might against every major Force from the first series. This sees Hiroto reunited with his former comrades in Avalon, a meeting of both Build Divers teams and even cameos by Ark and Zen from the spin off title Build Divers Break. After learning of Eve’s backstory, it seemed inevitable that Hiroto and Riku would cross paths, and they do have a battle here. The heroes of two series fighting each other definitely had some vibes of Shinn Asuka and Kira Yamato in Gundam SEED DESTINY, but obviously with much friendlier overtones. A frequent criticism I had of the first series was that the Build Divers, and Riku especially, pulled off all these victories without much trouble that didn’t feel earned. One in particular was the Lotus Challenge, which plays out again a bit differently here. Although the victory occurs off screen, it definitely feels earned here given that it took 40 consecutive attempts by the new Build Divers. Because he’s not the focus here, I can accept Riku now as a veteran Diver with two years of experience under his belt, although Kyoya is still the superior Diver. Kazami has an encounter with Rommel that hinges on the mention of Captain Zeon, which makes an explicit connection out of a voice acting joke. In the Japanese version, Rommel and Captain Zeon are both voiced by the legendary Sho Hayami, but I always treated this as a mere coincidence. Now the series is explicitly hinting at Captain Zeon being an alternate identity of Rommel’s, which makes perfect sense considering his focus on justice, fairness and player etiquette. We also see Parviz and Shahryar interacting, but for whatever reason they don’t publicly acknowledge that they’re brothers. Masaki’s role in this episode makes it clear he’s going to return to Eldora, likely as dramatically timed backup to the Build Divers. The meeting between Riku and Hiroto after the battle is a good moment that addresses Eve’s sacrifice, which of course is a retcon since she didn’t actually exist when the first series aired. I think it does wrap up the storyline of Hiroto getting over her loss, and you can see that he and Riku have mutual respect. Finally, the most interesting thing about this episode is demonstrating how the Build Divers have grown. The self-imposed condition of beating the Lotus Challenge together is not something they would’ve done at the start of the series, and lone wolf Hiroto would’ve abandoned them all to get the win. They’ve come a long way.