Gundam Build Fighters Try
by Lauren Orsini,
Don't expect any major plot developments from the final episode of Gundam Build Fighters Try. With the major drama of the tournament finals done and dusted, this episode is a less like a thrilling conclusion and more like optional viewing for between seasons, packed with fanservice for loyal viewers and not much substance otherwise.
The entirety of the episode takes place at the Meijin Cup, the tournament in which Gunpla are rated solely on their appearance and construction, not on their prowess in battle. There's plenty of eye candy as we glimpse the models created by characters we've come to love. Expect plenty of gorgeous mecha—many of which you may recognize—and dozens of cameos from the show's massive arsenal of side characters.
When it comes to announcing the winner, you probably won't be surprised, but you will be entertained as Minato pulls a Kanye on Yuuma's acceptance speech. One thing leads to another, and Minato, Yuuma, and the entire audience end up battling at the drop of a hat. It's a farce of a battle without a moment of tension, but the sincerity and humor keep it fun.
I'm not a fan of the way this episode relied on a battle of the sexes as the basis for much of its humor, but I appreciate the show's self-awareness. Minato's prank on Fumina may have been well intentioned, but nobody takes Fumina's displeasure lightly or tells her that she's overreacting. As Meijin Kawaguchi says, “Gunpla is freedom, but there are minimum rules everyone must follow! It's inexcusable that you didn't get her permission.” Then there's the matter of Sekai's harem, which somehow persists even as an increasing number of eligible talented battlers continues to be introduced. Still, Gyanko, Fumina, and Shia have a great dynamic, even when they're just squabbling over a guy, and that's what this free-for-all battle was all about: highlighting all the miniature spats and rivalries that still persisted after the major events of the season were over.
As the battle rages on, Sekai, Yuuma, and Fumina get a bit preachy discussing the joy of Gunpla battling and their continuing aspirations to reach their goals. It's very obvious now that Gundam Build Fighters Try will get a second season, so the continued buildup feels somewhat tiring. I don't want to hear about the future, I want to see our trio work toward it.
In the final minutes of the episode, there is one Very Important Cameo that will elicit girlish squeals, regardless of your gender identity. Since episode one, I've been predicting that a certain character from a previous series would show up in this season. It's as late in the game as possible, but we've finally got confirmation and it feels so good.
In short, this episode was full of fanservice fluff and little else. Nothing happens here that was designed to give you a better understanding of the plot or world of the show. At the same time, it felt like a reward for sticking with the show through its ups and downs. Our characters have been through a lot over the past few months, but this episode was about them kicking back and enjoying some lighthearted fun, and it encourages the viewer to do so too.
Gundam Build Fighters Try is currently streaming on Gundam.info.
Lauren writes about anime and journalism at Otaku Journalist.
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