Fall 2019 Grab Bag Week 5: Gundam Build Divers Re-RISE, Assassins Pride

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I watch too many shows, so let’s talk about some other ones.

Mei is annoyed

Gundam Build Divers Re-RISE Episode 5

I’ve largely been treating this show as a relaxing sideshow, and I think it holds up decently. I like that it breaks the mold by having its main character, Hiroto Kuga, be an experienced player rather than a complete newbie. I think it’s refreshing to follow someone who knows what he’s doing, but I do wonder about how the series is handling character stories.

Par tries to leave

The story largely follows four players who find themselves thrown together D&D-style into an adventuring party within the game. I get that it’s interesting to follow along as the characters learn about each other, but I do get the sense that their pasts are a bit too mysterious. This episode is a nice opportunity for Par, but it starts with Mei displaying a preexisting relationship with Magee. Am I supposed to recognize her from the previous season?

Hiroto unveils a new form

Still, I think that the variety in the mobile suits seems interesting so far. I’ve always liked transforming Gundams, so it’s cool to watch Hiroto fight. Justice Knight is annoying so far, but what can you do? The overall story seems to be following a potential non-player ecosystem within the game, which is a natural progression from the self-aware AI that was Sarah in the previous season. The story reminds me of the focus of Infinite Dendrogram, so I think it’s promising.

Melida and Nerva are friends now

Assassins Pride Episode 4

When I last spoke about this series, I commented that I liked the concept behind its setting, but I thought that its explanations of character motivations were lacking. To be honest, that hasn’t changed all too much, but I do like that the series has been working on building its world some more. It certainly explains a lot. In other senses, I get the feeling that it’s rushing through its developments a bit. The previous episode was meant to be Melida’s debut, but this week’s episode immediately shifts to a much more important tournament without much reason.

Melida and Elise are revealed

I get that this competition is supposed to be a prestigious thing, but I still find it weird that everyone just kind of goes with it when Melida and Elise are revealed here. Also, we as the audience don’t really get a good sense of why this is a shocking reveal until it’s fully explained, which makes it feel like a weak moment. I’m not even sure I have a good sense of where Melida ranks within her school. Is she effectively a first-year?

Kufa must prove himself

I do have to give the episode credit for Carrier Marquis’s reveal. It’s not a bad fight, and I like the slight explanation of the class system within this world through her Clown class. Compared to the previous episode’s vampire reveal, it feels like a step up. Yeesh, how does Kufa trick anyone with his name?

Assassins Pride First Impressions (1): Leap of faith

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Kufa is questioned

I know it’s still too early to judge, but this opening episode felt rocky to me. To be fair, I think the series looks fine visually, and I find the setting interesting. I quite like the idea of humanity being sequestered into floating domes. But the main character is a hard sell for me, and many of the developments in this episode didn’t make much sense.

Kufa meets a mysterious girl

The story takes place in humanity’s last haven, Flandore, a floating candelabra of cities protecting them from the dangerous lancanthropes of the outside world. The main character, Kufa Vampir, is an assassin tasked with training the talentless noble, Melida Angel. He’s also instructed to determine whether she’s truly the legitimate child of his client and to kill her if she isn’t. However, he instead chooses to help her.

Kufa introduces himself

The episode basically starts in the middle of Kufa’s last job, and his main assailant ends up escaping. Given that we as the audience know nothing about this job throughout the course of the episode, it seems weird to use it to introduce a character with seeming importance. Kufa’s associate comments that the fleeing enemy is on Kufa’s level, so I have to conclude that he’s coming back later.

Kufa catches Melida

In addition to that, Kufa’s first scene with Melida felt really awkward. For whatever reason, he has to catch her as she falls from a balcony. It’s a weird way to introduce a character like Melida, who tries to remain largely self-sufficient.

Melida lacks talent

And to Melida’s credit, I do like that aspect of her. Throughout the episode, she constantly refuses help, rather than screaming at the world about how alone she feels. She seems to legitimately act to further herself without being a burden to others.

Melida tries to protect her hair

I think the strangest scene in this episode is Melida’s defense of her hair. I get that it’s supposed to inform her character, but the timing of that monologue felt misplaced.

Kufa offers to help

Kufa goes from quickly condemning Melida straight to risking his own life to save her without a clear transition. Maybe it’s just his mysterious personality, but I would have expected something that seemed less like impulse. I feel like this series generally could be good, but it has some explaining to do first.