Gundam Build Metaverse Ep 2 & 3 Review

Well, this is it! The culmination of the anniversary OVA of 10 years of Build series is here. Episode 2 and 3 of Metaverse dropped on the same day with a 50-minute marathon to deliver a somewhat…underwhelming experience. Viewers are left confused by what they just saw and wanting more of what could have been. While we know the OVA just doubles as a Metaverse (the app) advertisement and a brief tribute to the Build series, we can’t help but looking forward to something with more substance. Not to say Rio’s journey is bad, but it was riddled with problems that the staff can’t do much about due to the constraining runtime.

Well, let’s talk about the “main” antagonist of the series – Seria’s twin sister Maria. This girl has some issues for sure. She’s very similar to the Barba-edgy guy in Breaker Battlogue, but her bitterness is just another type and possibly lasted years longer. I get that losing a match and breaking your promise with your sister is painful, as well as taking her kits without telling her, and have her pitying you afterwards is excruciatingly painful and embarrassing, but to hold a grudge for years on end and to actively trying to put her down is no doubt the weirdest and unhealthiest way to go about it. I guess they need a quick antagonist for Rio to fight so they bring up this “deep” yet shallow plot.

And the events of at the start of ep 2 is kinda confusing too. How did they run into each other again? Why did they decide to fight? The whole chain of event wasn’t explained clearly and “just happened”. Either way, Rio discovered that the both his Gunpla master and Battle master is the same person (I mean, dude really had no idea). Rio is a very optimistic and headstrong guy – very much like Riku or Kamiki. He looks forward no matter what devastating obstacle get in the way. Well his positivity is admirable, but sometimes it could come off as antipathy to Seria’s feelings. To be fair, Seria and Rio played off each other extremely well. The older age-range tend to be less optimistic and find it hard to let things go, while Rio is youthful and despite not being the most mature, he can instinctively tell when one need to let go and push forward. Alas, I don’t want to say it’s onee-shota but…it’s freaking onee-shota guys.

Well, in regards to action, there is very little action, despite most of the two episodes are fight scenes. But imagine 10 fights got crammed into one episode and right after the first strike is made, they cut away from another. The fight-switching is even crazier than Avengers Infinity War. We got Kamiki and Hiroto, Meijin and Sei/Reiji, Kyoya and Meijin, all being cut off after the opening clash. We want to see a “complete” fight, however short and brief it is, but cutting away from all the action constantly isn’t a good strategy. In exchange, every frame with the “main character” Gundams are beautifully done with maximum Obarism. The charged punch, the hissatsu, the combining scenes…are all very well done. Obari tried his best to salvage the scenes, but the short runtime really hurt the series.

Aside from that, Rio’s Lah Gundam isn’t too shabby either. It was quickly revealed that he is a skilled fighter in the art of armed combat – with who I can assume is Mr. Bushido’s master as his teacher. It is really unexpected and came out of nowhere, but it is a pretty cool development. Dude channeled all the Obari pose he could and defeated Maria in an almost too easy fight. Gotta love it when the antagonist suddenly decided to call their MA and became a much bigger, clunkier target while they are doing just fine against the protag. When she called out the Kutan, I knew she’s gonna get danced around and promptly “enlightened” by the protag’s talk-no-jutsu. It’s pretty funny how “family” conflict can be easily resolved by an outsider, while Maria literally couldn’t stand the sight of her sister.

As a tribute series, Metaverse did the job half-way: it features a decent main storyline and all the good cameos. However the chain of event doesn’t make sense, and the cameos are wasted by cutting away from the best moment. The fight animation are done very well, which makes us craving the “actual” fight between the previous Build protagonist. Hate to say it, but out of all of them, only Riku has a “completed” fight, and maybe that’s why they didn’t even include him in ep 2 and 3 and the big final battle either. Overall, it’s more like an ok OVA with some pretty frames – the jack-of-all-trades but master-of-none of the Build series. If you have some spare time and want to see some nostalgic interactions between Sei, Reiji, Meijin, Sekai, Hiroto and Riku, you can give this series a try. Also if you like Seria and *cough Fumina *cough as well.
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