Arbiter's Corner

The place to discuss anything relating to anime or manga.
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Arbiter GUNDAM
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Arbiter's Corner

Post by Arbiter GUNDAM » Sat May 02, 2020 5:23 pm

Well, I'm finally back, after a very long absence. My brother, who is a total hipster, surprisingly got back into Gundam because of all this quarantine stuff and that in turn got me back into it. So this is going to be a thread where I comment on the stuff I've been watching such as Gundam Build Fighters again and stuff I never finished originally, like IBO and I'll also try to muscle through Build Divers, G-Reco and BD: ReRise.
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Re: Arbiter's Corner

Post by Chris » Sat May 02, 2020 5:33 pm

Good to have you back!

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Re: Arbiter's Corner

Post by Arbiter GUNDAM » Sat May 02, 2020 6:56 pm

Chris wrote:
Sat May 02, 2020 5:33 pm
Good to have you back!
Good to be back. :)
I can fly if I ride the wind! Gori gori!

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Re: Arbiter's Corner

Post by Arbiter GUNDAM » Mon May 04, 2020 6:56 pm

So I’ll just be writing down a few thoughts, pretty much just stream of consciousness.

Oh and I also rewatched Gunpla Builders beginning G, since, like Unicorn, this years is its 10th anniversary. It didn’t start the idea of Gunpla battling, that was the manga series Plamo Kyoshiro, but tis still a fun little OVA that did help kick off the idea in the modern age. It’s probably not a coincidence that just three years later we got Gundam Build Fighters. Speaking of, I actually watched that next before diving back into the stuff I never finished. I shouldn’t like Build Fighters but I do. I love it to death. I swear, if there really was a Gunpla battle game like BF or even like Gunpla Builders or Build Divers, I would play the ZOINKS of it.

As for IBO, I’m enjoying it the second time around. I like that they decided to not give any of the mobile suits beam weapons. It’s a small touch but it works for this series. However you can tell some things here from these early episodes that are going to have an impact on the series down the road. Orga’s drive for Tekkadan to always be bigger and better, Mika feeling like he’s just part of the cast, not the central protagonist, his forced relationship with Kudelia, that sort of stuff. Also, the show needed to stop telegraphing deaths so hard. Fumitan and Biscuit’s deaths would have had so much more impact if I hadn’t seen them coming 10 miles away.

You know I think I finally figured out, rewatching it and everything, why I almost instantly gave up on this series [Build Divers] and it's all in this one scene.
So Do-Ji tries to pull the most obvious Sick Man Routine possible, so blindingly obvious that Yukio, the smart and genre-savvy one, instantly recognizes this guy is shady but our main character, Riku, being a horribly naive, rock-stupid shonen protagonist, falls for it and nearly gets his ass handed to him. That is a microcosm of everything that's wrong with Build Divers.

Another thing that bugs me about BD right from the get-go is that there are no stakes with this now being a virtual battle. Your Gunpla gets blown up in a battle? No biggie, just wait for a timer to count down; it's not like anything actually happens to your REAL Gunpla.

And why are they called “Mass-Divers?” Mass is an object’s resistance to acceleration when a net force is applied and what gives very large objects their gravity. It has nothing to do with what the Mass Divers are which is hackers/cheaters.

So BD spent an entire episode hammering home that what you would feel in real life doesn’t apply in GBN… only to go back on that in the very next episode for the sake of a cheap, stupid joke. Also, a very contrived way for them to meet Ayane (yes I know it’s AyaMe, I’m spelling it with an N on purpose.)

Say what you will about Tomino, at least he lets the ladies pilot proper mobile suits

Well, if I hadn’t given up this show the first time around episode 7 this would be the time. To quote the AVGN, this is the critical mass of ass. Because this is… utterly inexplicable. A B S U R D. Underline absurd. To the point of WEEPING HILARITY. We are seriously expected to believe that game devs of GBN Online would do absolutely nothing in this situation. They know there are hackers. They even know how they do it (don’t get me started on the illogic of how the Game Master can know how the Mass Divers do what they do yet have no proof) There is video evidence of their hacking. And yet they do nothing because there is “no proof.” THAT IS NOT HOW REAL LIFE WORKS, STUPID SHOW. YOU ARE SETTING THE KIDDIES UP FOR A VERY RUDE AWAKENING. These days you can get banned just for being falsely accused of doing something.

This also asks us to believe that Tsukasa, whom we’ve barely seen up until now, is such a [email protected] [email protected] that he can make sure that the Build Decals leave no trace for the devs to find, which even if it were possible, wouldn’t matter because the show ALSO asks us to believe that GBN’s forums and social media aren’t being lit up with people complaining why the devs aren’t doing anything.

In the end, it’s all an extremely contrived and forced situation so that the Divers have to go in and save the game themselves. But why should I be surprised that this font of stupidity is coming from a member of the brain trust that gave us Gundam AGE? Sure it might be that the Divers production team is being handcuffed by Banrise into making this as generic as possible… but I have sneaking suspicion that it’s just plain bad writing.

Speaking of bad writing, last I checked, most MMOs don’t allow you to hide your player information, unless it’s asking to believe that Tsukasa has hacked that too. Actually that is one thing I could believe him doing.

Oh look, Riku’s being stupid again and going off on his own to get his ass kicked. Well he WOULD, if this show was being written by a cynical bastard like me. :D

And so we come to the end of the battle and honestly? It feels cheap. The Coalition just flies around blasting various Gunpla, the Big Zam shows up and it’s invincible so the only way the good guys can win is through Deus Ex Machina, more specifically Machina ex Machina. Actually, all the battles in this series have so far felt pretty cheap except for episode 7. Pretty much all the battles have followed a pattern: A Battle or/event happens but then the flow of everything gets interrupted by a break decal and then they fight that instead. This battle feels like it’s talking down to its audience, playing it out exactly like kids would IRL. Well, my Big Zam’s INVINCIBLE, one says and the other responds, oh yeah?! Mine has wings of light that break your invincibility and solve ALL the problems. Lazy, cheap, hack writing, also because it wasn’t foreshadowed properly. If this series was being written by someone competent, then this would have all dovetailed into the problems the 00 Diver has been having with its Trans-Am. Sarah would have been consciously or unconsciously enhancing the performance of the Trans-Am past normal limits, even though she knows its wrong to do so, but she just can’t help it because she wants to help these first friends she’s ever had. When the battle against Tsukasa happens, she has no choice but to break out this Machina ex Machina to save GBN but this then finally confirms to Riku that she’s been messing with his Gunpla this whole time and that leads to lots of drama and stuff. Instead we just get cryptic comments about Gunpla’s feelings and lots of overly-melodramatic dialogue about saving GBN. But even that is low stakes as well because even if GBN were destroyed by Tsukasa’s break decals… couldn’t they just bring it back? I admit, I’m not a programmer or knowledgable in network architecture but it seems to me that unless the servers are physically damaged in some way, they can just do a purge and erase and reinstall. Sure, everyone’s character and battle data will be lost but the game itself won’t be gone forever.

It also contributes to this idea that Riku is not really improving at all and/or getting better at GBN. We never see him really working at it, it just kind of happens. You never see him fighting 100 battles to train for an upcoming match or spending hours and late nights kit bashing stuff to get the 00 Diver to work.

And another thing that bugs me about Divers: It seems like it’s just trying to beg off the popularity of similar anime like Sword Art Online, Log Horizon, Shield Hero, the Fate series, etc. etc. Why do I say that? Well look at the characters’ avatars. Most of them, the ones who are named and important, are not wearing outfits that really fit with a sci-fi, mech-battling game. They mostly all look like they belong in some fantasy RPG. Hell, even the members of Ayane’s old Force are dressed up like that. It just seems like it clashes.
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Re: Arbiter's Corner

Post by Henyo » Mon May 04, 2020 9:01 pm

agree on all points about IBO and Build Divers. Try has its fair share of faults(i hate Sekai because, DOUJINS!) at least consistent on its setting most of the times. did they ever foreshadow the particles amount limit thingy? there wasn't something like that in the original Build right?

IBO's problems is that it repeats the adults are VERY VERY bad people like..4 times. i rolled my eyes when we went back with the group that Akihiro's brother belonged to. could've went for something else. also Iok Kujan.
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Re: Arbiter's Corner

Post by Arbiter GUNDAM » Tue May 05, 2020 3:31 pm

Henyo wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 9:01 pm
agree on all points about IBO and Build Divers. Try has its fair share of faults(i hate Sekai because, DOUJINS!) at least consistent on its setting most of the times. did they ever foreshadow the particles amount limit thingy? there wasn't something like that in the original Build right?

IBO's problems is that it repeats the adults are VERY VERY bad people like..4 times. i rolled my eyes when we went back with the group that Akihiro's brother belonged to. could've went for something else. also Iok Kujan.
I hated Sekai because he was one of the blandest, most generic, cookie-cutter, been-there-done-that-bought-that-t-shirt shonen protagonists I'd ever seen, but anyway....

It’s somewhat bittersweet to go back and watch Unicorn after all this time, knowing what the score is and what LaPlace’s Box really is. Going into it with that knowledge makes the whole thing seem like a cruel joke played on all of the characters. That being said, Unicorn is still beautiful to look at, has some of the best Mobile Suit combat scenes we’ve ever seen and the characters are even mostly likable. :D Plus it’s nice to see the grunt suits actually be able to put up a fight against suits like the Kshatriya.
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Re: Arbiter's Corner

Post by Arbiter GUNDAM » Fri May 08, 2020 2:35 pm

Well, that's it for season of IBO and what a ride. Although I would have preferred if they had spent a bit more time on Mars, it was still an enjoyable ride. I can't help feeling sorry for Gaelio and Ein. As revenge-obsessed as Ein was, it was still sad to see that ultimately he was just a pawn for McGillis.

The more physical combat in this series is a good change from what is normally done in Gundam and I liked that for once, you were left dangling with wether or not After, Azee and Shino were really dead or not. So now we move on to the second season and to G-reco and the wonders (and blunders) they will bring
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Re: Arbiter's Corner

Post by Arbiter GUNDAM » Sat May 09, 2020 3:34 am

OK, here I go with G-reco again. I haven't watched it since it originally broadcast in 2014 and I left off somewhere around episode 8 or 9 so let's see what happens this time. Can't be any worse than Build Divers....

Ok well after watching five episodes... I will concede that I might have been a bit harsh on this series, probably because back in 2014, all we could do was watch it week to week, not all at once. That said I'm still not entirely sold; it still gets points taken off for characters saying and doing things that are inexplicable, such as Aida screaming "the world is not square!" Um, well, yeah, it isn't. Thank you for that cosmic insight. Or why the G-Self seems to react whenever Bellri screams "SU-Chord!!" I suppose that might have something to do with its origin, but we'll see.

And would you people please take better care of your mental patients so that they don't hurt themselves? And put handcuffs on your prisoners so that they don't, you know, ESCAPE? At least the second time that happened it seemed like Colonel Cumpa wanted it to happen. I had him pegged as villain from moment one so we'll have to see what he's up to.

Points also get taken off for Reco not doing any world building whatsoever. I'm getting very bad Final Fantasy XIII flashbacks when I have to stop in-between episodes to look stuff up on MAHQ or the Gundam wiki. I wouldn't even know what YEAR this show was set in if I didn't look that up. Another example was when I looked up these photon batteries to see why they were so important. What did people need them for when Minovsky reactors are still being used; why else would there still be Minovsky particles flying about? Well, turns out that, no, Minovsky reactors AREN'T being used anymore; mobile suits and stuff are being powered by the photon batteries. However that still raises the question of where the Minovsky particles are coming from.

I can also see why they had to release both episodes 1 and 2 for G-Reco's premiere. Not very much happens in episode 1 and the G-Self does not put on a good show, being beaten by mobile suits that aren't even equipped with proper weapons. There are still some positives here though; the series design is nicely bright and colorful and the mobile suit designs are a breath of fresh air. And it is definitely, DEFINITELY better than watching Build Divers. I guess I have to go back to that now... even though I don't WANT to friggin' go back to that.....

Oh and why did that little water ball have so much water in it? is it a friggin' tesseract?
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Re: Arbiter's Corner

Post by Amion » Mon May 11, 2020 6:41 pm

Glad to see you back, Arbiter. I descend from my own lurking portal to greet thee, fellow ancient of the days when the internet was more sociable. And the fandom yet to be consigned to the graveyard of posts. :D

You're insights are all more or less on point with mine, so I won't waste too much room debating. I must, however, take time to ABSOLUTELY AGREE completely just for the sake of it that Sekai was an utterly abrasively generic plot device cuttout copy-paste character.

I recall watching a completely random episode by random interest one day while Tri was airing, about some kind of card-based mecha things with martial arts. Majin-bone, or something? And the main character was having a development episode.

He was a martial artist like Sekai, had red hair like Sekai, and had an elder sister figure just like Sekai! Golly.

And felt like an actual human being by comparison, with legit feelings. The difference in even passing detail was incredible, and sad to see.

So yeah, Tri was awful. Just remembering that gives the whole of 2014 a bad taste. (Until I remember this is the year I first watched Code Geass. Saved 2014 for me. Long live Britannnnniiiuuuh!)

Anyway... I must say the ONE good thing to look forward to with Build Divers... is Build Divers Rerise. That anime is actually far and above, and it may even be slyly explaining some things Divers did horribly wrong. So there's some hope for you in your awful slog through BD.

I think the first season of IBO was honestly just bland. Not truly bad, not good at all either. Just... forgettable. It felt like the series could have been a far better show as an episodic Outlaw-Star/Cowboy Bebop meets 08th MS Team. Gritty, dirty, somber, tragic but with bright splashes of color and charm. Alas... such genius must remain with me. :wink:

Seriously though, Ein and Galileo were really the two best characters, along with the Fuala Griffon Squirrel version.

The only thing I disagree with you about is the comment, "The World is not Square!" It's obviously meant as a turn of phrase (If I could insert the Turn A symbol into "phrase" I would here). Like the saying, "The world does not revolve around you!" No, of course not, obvious. But it is a saying to reference a person's behavior or call them out on selfish or narcissistic behavior. In context it's clearly referencing the way the people are thinking. Sort of like saying, "Don't put your worldview inside a box", or "It is outside the narrow, simple boundaries of your thinking."

Not that I disagree there are a ton of bizarre sayings in G-Reco. It is rife with weird modern Tominoims. But "The World is Not Square!" isn't one of them, to me. It's actually one of the only lines I remember and liked.

And yes, the mecha designs are refreshing. They seemed almost to evoke at times what I wanted poor AGE to do with its designs. If only we got to see the Armorzagan again... it even got its own meme... but alas to no return.
They don't know the power of a balanced vision.

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