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Lotus Challenge is the fifteenth episode of Gundam Build Divers.

Synopsis

The Lotus Challenge is an almost unbeatable created mission in which you must conquer the impregnable Lotus Fortress within a certain period of time. Even the champion's Force Avalon has failed to overcome this obstacle, but now that they have the Gundam 00 Sky, Riku and the other Build Divers are determined to attempt the challenge [1].

Plot

400km over the Earth's surface, Emilia notes it took 11 minutes for the Avalon's shuttle to reach the thermosphere. As she, Karuna and Kyoya launch in their Gunpla, Karuna grouses that even the shuttle they used couldn't break 10 minutes. Kyoya notes that it's still 30 seconds faster than last time, and gives the attack order. Speeding pass the first wave of enemy attack, they encounters a minefield. Karuna charged ahead, easily flying past the floating mines, but his Gunpla is rattled by the homing and timed mines that followed. With time running out, Kyoya takes charge and destroys the mines from afar with multiple beam shots. He then transforms his Gunpla into its Mobile Suit form, and is warned about enemies ahead as he closes in on the enemy’s fortress. Before him, numerous aquatic life form-based machines appear, guarding the fortress. Kyoya attacks the guards and as he gets pass them, he is struck by the Mermaid Trident thrown by the GF13-026ND Mermaid Gundam. The Mermaid Gundam's pilot praises Kyoya’s performance, but claims it is not enough to destroy his fortress. Kyoya shoots at one of the fortress’ claws, only to have it blocked by an I-Field. At that, he is informed the 15 minutes time limit is up, and Force Avalon has failed the Lotus Challenge. Kyoya smiles wryly while Karuna curses.

In Avalon’s Force Nest, Kyoya notes they failed the challenge again and Karuna utters that they just don't have the speed or firepower to clear it. Emilia lists their options – they can deploy five Gunpla if they use a large shuttle, but the increased mass would delay arrival at the thermosphere. On the other hand, a smaller force allows them to use a high-speed shuttle, but they cannot break through enemy lines. To her, it's a no-win situation. Karuna notes the enemy fortress has very good anti-beam generators and anti-air equipment, meaning they can only inflict damage with super-close-range attacks. Emilia states that even Rommel Team has failed 7 times in a row, and Karuna declares that it’s hopeless and they should give up. Kyoya refuses - administration would never approve an unclearable mission, and he believes there has to be a winning plan. A surprised Emilia remarks that he’s enjoying it. Kyoya affirms it, declaring that one must use ingenuity to beat a challenging quest, and that nothing is more boring than an easy game. He plays back the mission announcement, in which Force Lotus’ captain challenges Divers to conquer his Lotus Fortress so as to obtain GBN's biggest reward and the highest honor.

In The Gundam Base, Nanami informs Build Divers of the Lotus Challenge and the kids are shocked to hear the reward is 30 million Build Coins. Momoka and Yukio dream of what they could buy with the reward, while Riku and Koichi stare at them from the sides. Amazed that a Diver, and not the administration, is offering the huge reward, Koichi infers that it must be pretty difficult. Later, in the Build Divers' Force Nest, Yukio explains to Momoka and Sarah what the La Vie en Rose is, and that Force Lotus had remodeled it as their Force Nest, renaming it 'Lotus Fortress', also known as 'La Vie en Crab'. A video about the Lotus Challenge is then played; it calls for a team of up to 5 to ascend from the Earth's surface to the thermosphere, and destroy the Lotus Fortress’ core unit, all in 15 minutes. Riku asks if it's hard, which Koichi says it's unbelievably hard as the time limit given is extremely tight. Yukio brings up a list of forces that have tried, noting that Avalon tried 5 times and Rommel Team tried 7. Momoka is disheartened when she discovers not a single force had cleared the challenge yet. Ayame then arrives and opines that it is still worth a shot. Yukio agrees, noting that it would be the perfect opportunity to test out the Gundam 00 Sky.

As the team examines the 00 Sky, Ayame mentions she also wants to test the improvement she made to the RX-Zeromaru. While Momoka and Sarah noted the new colors, Ayame explains the improvements signify a fresh start, and Koichi goes through the list of changes made, concluding that it will have incredible performance. After a brief consideration, Riku decides on giving the Lotus Challenge a try and the group breaks off to prepare for the challenge. Ayame and Koichi researched on the fastest route and best shuttle. Yukio enhanced his GM III Beam Master’s weaponry for the challenge. Riku worked on enhancing the 00 Sky and also exercised with Momoka after taking to heart Tigerwolf, Shahryar and Rommel’s advises. In a jungle-themed cafe, Magee and Tigerwolf discuss Build Divers taking the challenge. Tigerwolf finds it reckless, while Magee is curious about their growth. Elsewhere, Shahryar, Rommel, Ogre and Kyoya take notice of this as well, and look forward to it. Later, the Build Divers gather at their Force Nest for a strategy meeting. Ayame and Koichi noted that putting boosters on the shuttle and launching from a Mass Diver is the best way to reach the thermosphere. However, they can only use three Gunpla due to the weight restrictions, and suggested the 00 Sky, GM III Beam Master and the Zeromaru based on their fighting strength. As for Momoka and Sarah, Momoka will pilot the shuttle with Koichi, while Sarah accompanies Riku in the 00 Sky. With shuttle speed, tactics to defeat the enemy units, and firepower to destroy the fortress being the three key elements to victory, they named the operation "Three Arrows".

With the challenge starting, Magee, Tigerwolf and Shahryar meet at the lobby to watch the Build Divers’ attempt. In Avalon’s Force Nest, Rommel watches the challenge together with Kyoya, Emilia, and Karuna. Rommel notes that Build Divers are using the mass driver in Gibraltar as expected, while Kyoya remarks that was also the tactic they used and wonders if it will work for them. As the challenge starts, Rommel notices the ascent speed of the shuttle is far greater than expected. As he ponders what happened, Kyoya realizes something odd about the shuttle. At La Vie en Crab, Lotus’ captain is informed that they were 8 minutes in and the enemy should be there in about 3 more minutes. However, the captain corrects his subordinate, saying the Build Divers are already here. Some distance away, Build Divers’ shuttle opens its cargo doors, revealing the three Gunpla within. Tigerwolf is impressed they reach the thermosphere in 8 minutes, and Kyoya explains they had used a shuttle not in GBN’s data, causing Rommel to be surprised such a large shuttle was built, which Magee and Shahryar attributed to Koichi’s skills.

With their first arrow in place, Build Divers’ Gunpla launched. Ayame detected the minefield, and Yukio takes charge, ready to use the second arrow. He unleashes a barrage of beam vulcan fire from the two Changeling Rifles, and launches several multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles (MIRVs), clearing the minefield in an instant. Shahryar commended Yukio for putting love into his Gunpla, while Kyoya notes they are using a different approach. Yukio switches the Changeling Rifles to the beam rifle mode, and destroys the enemy’s guard units with long-range beam fire. As Yukio holds off the enemy, Riku and Ayame races ahead, but is intercepted by a pair of dolphin-like Gunpla. Riku and Ayame successful landed hits on the two enemies, eliciting praises from Tigerwolf and Shahryar on the performance of the new 00 Sky and Zeromaru. Lotus’ captain intervenes by throwing the Mermaid Gundam’s trident, separating 00 Sky and Zeromaru from their respective enemy, destroying 00 Sky’s beam rifle in the process. The captain vows that Build Divers would not get through, and with that, numerous beams are fired from various parts of the La Vie en Crab, impeding Riku and Ayame from going forward.

Frustrated at being held back by the enemy, Momoka takes control of the shuttle and drives it into the battlefield. Ayame come under attack by both dolphin-like Gunpla, and changes Zeromaru into its Real Mode. Using the 'Capsule Ninpo - Yari-henge Technique', Ayame destroys one of the enemies. However, the other sneaks up onto her and prepares to finish her off with a beam shot. Luckily, the shuttle arrives in time and rams the enemy away. When the dolphin-like Gunpla deploys its arm to smash the shuttle, a panicking Momoka asks Koichi if the shuttle has any weapon but receives a negative response. As the enemy brings its fists down, Yukio destroys it with a beam shot, and Koichi pulls the shuttle back to avoid the explosion. At Riku’s end, he engaged in a fierce melee with Lotus’ captain. As they catch each other’s close range weapons, Riku deploys the 00 Sky’s long rifle and destroys the Mermaid Gundam’s head despite the latter activating a protective head cover. Riku then races forward, but faces a barrage of beam fire from the fortress. He throws the captured Mermaid Trident and damages a large beam cannon in one of the fortress’ claws. He follows up with multiple shots from the long rifle and broke that claw’s I-Field, destroying the claw.

At Koichi’s urging to use the third arrow, Zeromaru, 00 Sky and GM III Beam Master launch their attacks at the fortress’ core unit. Their attacks heavily damaged the front of the fortress, earning them praise from Lotus’ captain, but it is not enough to destroy the core unit. 00 Sky’s long rifle also unexpectedly explodes, surprising Riku. Yukio encourages Riku and Ayame, and suggests that they get closer. He is then attacked by a wired spike from the fortress, but is saved by Riku. Another beam cannon on the fortress fires at 00 Sky, but Riku kicks the shot back using the sky leg guard's beam field, causing it to tear through the fortress. The Divers in the lobby give a roar of approval, and the Build Divers thought they had cleared the mission. However, Build Divers’ celebration is interpreted by the laughter of Lotus’ captain, who points out the core unit is still intact and falling towards earth due to the earlier explosion caused by Riku’s kick. He gloats that they would not be able to destroy it in time as they had overdone it. With 30 seconds left, Ayame and Yukio charges forward to destroy the core unit, but could not catch up.

Refusing to give up, Riku deploys a beam saber and activates the 00 Sky’s Trans-Am infinity, a combination of 00 Gundam’s Trans-Am and Destiny Gundam’s wings of light. Weaving through the debris at a high speed, he catches up to the core unit and destroys it with less than 3 seconds left, giving them the victory. The Divers in lobby roar in celebration, while Rommel, Kyoya, Tigerwolf, and Shahryar compliment Build Divers’ performance. Elsewhere, Ogre grunts and tightens his grips on his biceps. Magee remarks that everyone’s talents were put to good use, and congratulates the Build Divers on a wonderful battle.

Post Credits

With 30 million Build Coins at their disposal, Momoka jumps for joy and suggests she and Sarah go buy a super rare pet, dragging the poor girl along as they race off. Koichi tries to tell them to not splurge too much, but Riku and Yukio tell him it’s not possible, causing Koichi to hang his head in defeat. He then joins in on the laughter started by Ayame. Hidden in a tree, a Crystal Phoenix watches...

Stats

Characters

Mecha

Music

Notes & Trivia

  • When Momoka wishes to the spend the 30 million Build Coins on:
    • A Force Nest that is like a castle, she imagines the Zabi Palace, the living room of Celestial Being (mothership) and the Dark History Archive room.
    • Super rare costumes, she imagines Lacus Clyne's concert outfit, Harry Ord's formal wear and the costumes of Laura Rolla (Loran Cehack's female disguise).
    • Special pets, she imagines Birdy and Lucifer as well as an obscure manga character called "Dog Gundam" from the manga of the same name.
  • Yukio wishes to the 30 million Build Coins on the NPDs of:
  • The area of GBN where Magee tells Tigerwolf that Build Divers are going to take on the Lotus Challenge (10:28 to 10:37) is based on the real life restaurant area of the Villa Escudero Plantations and Resort in Tiaong, Quezon in the Philippines [2].
  • The Crystal Phoenix appearing in the post credit scene is from Mobile Suit SD Gundam Festival - The Tale of the SD Warring States: World Peace Chapter.

References

  1. Gundam Build Divers-Episode 15 Lotus Challenge(EN,TW,KR,FR,IT sub)
  2. LOOK: ‘Gundam Build Divers’ anime features Villa Escudero resort | Inquirer Entertainment
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