"Do you dare perform ... the Back Stretch Of Doom!!!???"

"Dude, that's just a back bend."

"Okay, look, I did it once and got stuck and had to go to a chiropractor and that wiped out my savings and then the rains came and I lost my house, leading me to a career of crime and villainy that grew a gang, an army, and now control of the entire Dread Empire!"

"So ... you're the Dread Emperor because your country charged money for healthcare, and then it rained?"

"Yup."

Shit. Clicked on a new tab and lost thirty minutes' worth of head-loaded conceptual understanding of a problem. That is the true danger when writing.

"Darkness was environmentally friendly, and Scrooge liked it."

Y'all ever wake up with a word bouncing around the front of your head? "Plantagenet" was today's.

In a surprising twist, today I discovered a tile layout editor thorbjorn.itch.io/tiled and used it to lay out a DND level. There're some open-licensed tilesets out there, like opengameart.org/content/libera, and with a custom tileset I was able to get something that impressed the DM.

I guessssssss it gets better after the 7th episode, but the main character's story is so much less interesting than the backing characters.

Oh bleh, the game network also has people who break a game not because they dislike the game, but because breaking the game lets them increase their point scores.

And then there's a character who wants to destroy the game because it's different from a previous iteration. I was not expecting -gate commentary in a kid's TV show.

"Miss Ayame-san, I don't understand!" screamed the treteen protagonist as his adult idol turned on him.
"There are more things, in GBN and on earth, Rikku, than are dreamt of in your philosophy."
"But why are you fighting a team that wants to keep the game pure of the hacks of Break Decals?"
"Well, you could say it's because I sold my soul to someone who promised me back something I had lost, but really it's because I serve MEGAHAHA, Demon-Pope of the Domain of Excessively Ordered Meta-Balance."

"The smugglers were crouched in trios, backed into triangles where pressed. That habit of close fighting was a trademark of the Imperial Sardaukar."

Or of Rommel Force, apparently. But in zero gravity, shouldn't fighting mechs form tetrahedrons?

The Game Master's depiction of the game's moderation practices is also 100% realistic. "Here's screencaps of the Break Decals in use!" "We tried to match that to the logs and it's not showing in logs. So no action, sorry." It's like birdsite.

And that GBN users would retaliate against Break Decal users with in-game resources, rather than out-of-band tools.

And that a game would have on-point anime hair and furries.

Two episodes in a row driving home the message that your friends are your friends because they like you, not because of your fighting prowess. That's on top of the message that cheating is bad and ruins the game for everyone, including the cheater.

Who wrote this show's educational curriculum, and who slathered it onto the plot with a roller brush?

I will be vindicated and _pissed_ if it turns out Magee is the one handing out the Break Decals.

This is actually a good lesson in figuring out what in the worldbuilding is relevant to your story and only keeping that. The story is about friendship and betrayals of it, not about the mechanics of life-support systems in full-immersion sims and the economics of teenage video-game habits. Focusing on that would get in the way of a story about two bros, their supportive adults, their friends, and how they grow as people through plastic toys.

Are they actually spending 12 hours a day logged into a console in an arcade, gallivanting through cyberspace with strangers in a full sensory immersion sim? Or are some parts of what is presented to viewers as happening in-person in GBN actually merely conducted through teleconferences or chatrooms or text messaging?

And Gundam Build Divers is one of those shows that doesn't examine its worldbuilding that deeply — it's about the characters and the mechs and the battles — but I am curious how the GBN thing is supposed to work. Who pays for these kids' time in the sims? How long do they actually spend hooked into the game? Are the "Break Decal" hacks physical stickers on the Gunpla, or are they software backs of the players' PDAs? Does it matter?

HOW DO THEY POOP

On the other hand, the Beargguy festival is the most-realistic thing I've yet seen in this show. A kawaii fan mod of a bad-guy suit becomes a moneymaking phenomenon. youtu.be/frEKmEG3c-o

Like, there's so much blushing in this show that to say the characters held each other in warmest regards as only Victorians could would be to subtly understate the amount of telegraphed romantic tension this show would hold if the characters were a few years older.

In comparison to Build Divers, Iron-Blooded Orphans is a much better Gundam show.

... should I drunkenly hate-blog Build Divers tonight, having better things to do?

Maybe it's that the characters are in their early teens, and maybe it's the current fads in animation, or the target audience, but Gundam Build Divers does this thing where instead of at least using /words/ like "凄い/sugoi", they'll just look at each other and make a heavily aspirated aaaa! noise. Feelings are only gestured at with bare sounds, rather than conveyed through word choice, and it's really grating.

Alright, I can't watch any more Build Divers. The protagonist is waaaay to much of a self-insert for the viewer, and the show is way too much of an advert. Too many coincidences.

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