Gundam Build Fighters Try
by Lauren Orsini,
There wasn't much action this week on Gundam Build Fighters Try, as our heroes, their friends, and their antagonists geared up for the final showdown. It was a “calm before the storm” episode that failed to excite or raise tension, simply biding its time because this series is obligated to have exactly 24 installments, or so it seemed.
Over and again, Gundam Build Fighters Try demonstrates that without its crazy battles, it tends to regress into an overlong toy commercial. The characters are nothing special, without many original thoughts or ideas. It's also apparent that the director's time, attention, and budget goes into making those Gunpla battles pop. Beautiful animation, art, and choreography go into these battles. All the easter eggs poured into Gunpla design and strategy for older fans betray a huge amount of effort. Gundam Build Fighters Try has the advantage over older Gundam shows of being able to render battles more smoothly and sharply than ever before. Without them, why am I even watching?
Not only was this episode slow, it was full of reminders that less time has passed for the characters than it has for the viewers. “Up until three months ago I didn't know anything about Gunpla,” Sekai tells Shia, although I've been watching his antics since October. With nothing much to do except wait for the final battle, Sekai discusses how great he's discovered Gundam to be, and how he wants to learn more, build more, watch more, buy more, and generally consume more. Buy all our playsets and toys!
The highlights of this mediocre episode were the short scenes that depicted the characters' one-on-one interactions in delightful ways. Fumina and Lady are quickly developing a witty repartee, as are Minato and Yuuma, and Junya and Suga. I am glad the show is finally embracing a potential relationship between Gyanko and Shimon, which I've been rooting for for a while now, especially now that we've completely dropped the storyline of Sekai's harem of eager ladies. Speaking of Sekai, was there anything more out of joint than Junya beating him up while a gentle melody plays in the background?
By the end of the episode, everyone is getting ready to watch the finals, including Yuuma's big sister China as she calls an offscreen Iori Sei from the other room. Why can't you just show him to us already? Also, China has set out four teacups on the table. Could the other two be for Reiji and Aila? Or Fellini and Kirara? I don't know, I've lost all hope. For 23 episodes we've had hints of their existence, and of Sekai's master possibly being Domon Kasshu, but the show simply hasn't delivered on this kind of fanservice.
However, the biggest disappointment of the episode is the scene after the ending credits, in which a random character we've never met pulls a piece of plot out of a hat that will basically guarantee Team Try Fighters' win, though not on their own merits. It was a hasty, sloppy solution that could spoil the final battle if the show allows it. Still, I highly doubt that will happen—we're probably going to get a showdown of epic proportions, because when this show is good, it's spectacular, and what it does best are battles. Here was an episode that told us how great Gundam is, when it is much, much better at showing us. We could have lived without it.
Gundam Build Fighters Try is currently streaming on Gundam.info.
Lauren writes about anime and journalism at Otaku Journalist.
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