Episodes: 26 (Finished)
Director: Shinya Watada
Genre: Action, Mecha, Sci-Fi
Gundam Build Divers Re:RISE takes place two years after the events of 2018’s Gundam Build Divers. The series revolves around four main characters, Hiroto, Kazami, May and Parviz, who are forced to come together by coincidence and form a team called BUILD DiVERS.
Together, they head on a mission to Eldora, where they encounter a guide named Freddie. Freddie is trying to summon help to get rid of the “One-Eyed Beings”, which are basically mobile suits that are killing the natives of Eldora.
As their mission gets harder, the team starts to realise that the stakes are getting higher and more dangerous. The story then takes a huge turn, from a predictable story to a high-stakes save-the-world situation. The BUILD DiVERS will be forced to reevaluate their purpose and see if they are committed to saving Eldora.
The team BUILD DiVERS consists of four individualistic players: Hiroto, Kazami, May and Parviz. Each character has their own distinctive personality and motivations that initially makes it hard for them to play as a team, but as they keep on completing missions together, they start to realise that they need to band together and work as a team.
Hiroto wanders alone through the world, playing as a mercenary. Kazami is frivolous and independent, joining one party after another as he pursues the one he admires the most. May is a solo player surrounded by an aura of mystery, and Parviz is a lonely novice who is interested in team play, but has never managed to seize the opportunity out of shyness.
Out of the four, Kazami feels like he has the most character development, where he goes from a foolish, headstrong and weak team leader to a strong, supportive team player that spurs on Hiroto to be the ace of the team. Hiroto, in turn, feels forced to carry the team and can act selfish at times, but we learn that he is burdened by past events that prevent him from being the best version of himself.
May is a stoic character who has problems with showing emotions and empathy for the team. Her development is also interesting to watch, as she is still figuring herself out and learning how the world works. Parviz, as a new player, has a lot of things to learn, but he is also held back by a tragic past that prevents him from moving forward.
All of their problems and desires are somewhat relatable, and each character is fleshed out pretty nicely, with everything coming together perfectly in the later part of the series.
Design & Animation
Sunrise usually takes mecha design seriously and practically, as the mobile suits depicted in the anime will usually be turned into a physical product fans can buy. As a result, the mecha designs are really neat and sleek, especially Hiroto’s Code Gundam, a miniature Gundam that can be combined with various parts to make it more powerful. The One-Eyed Beings are also impressively designed, with mobile suits that have a dark colour scheme which contrast the protagonists’ colourful palettes nicely.
As for the animation, Sunrise also takes pride in making really spectacular mecha fight scenes, especially in the second cour of the series since production of the anime was delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. With the extra time that they had, each fight scene is polished to a point where it almost feels as if you were there to witness each battle. Even the exposition scenes are really well-made with great animation.
One thing that stands out about this show is its music. The openings by Spira Spica and Penguin Research are top-notch songs that could hype up any series. They also do not spoil any scenes of the show, which is a good thing in this case. On the other hand, the endings by SudannaYuzuYully and Spira Spica both have a distinct R&B feel.
The soundtrack for the anime itself is utilised in the best way possible. When important scenes happen in the series, the music and sound design elevates each scene to new heights. The tracks themselves are also good enough to be played on their own.
Gundam Build Divers Re:RISE has everything you could want out of a Gundam story: a great setting with unexpected storytelling, a cast of relatable, characters with great character development, and exciting Gunpla battles that make this one of the most entertaining Gundam shows to be aired in recent years. The series also builds up to a huge payoff that does not disappoint at the end.
Gundam Build Divers Re:RISE also fills in some plot holes that were left behind in its prequel, Gundam Build Divers. In addition to tying up loose ends, we get some pretty hyped-up moments as previous characters make a return to help out our protagonists. As a result, I would recommend watching both series to get the full viewing experience, which I rate a solid 8/10.
Gundam Build Divers is available to watch on Gundaminfo.