Gundam Build Fighters Try
Episode 5

by Lauren Orsini,

By episode five, our three protagonists Fumina, Yuuma, and Sekai, have hit their strides. Their passion, hard work, and extraordinary talent is bound to win them the tournament. Of course there will surely be setbacks, but in the end we know they will triumph against all obstacles.

You know, just like last season.

It's hard to deny that Gundam Build Fighters was a game changer, a much needed injection of energy into the lagging Gundam franchise. However, despite my extreme optimism for Gundam Build Fighters Try, I'm starting to question whether it's just more of the same.

The sequels of great shows always have an uphill battle ahead of them. The better the first season, the higher our expectations for season two. Gundam Build Fighters Try has done a great job of matching its predecessor, but not exceeding it so far. As a result, I feel like I'm a lot harder on this generally good show than I would be if it was its own thing.

This episode was half training montage, half battle montage. We're learning more about the villains of the show, though only Sekai and the illustrious Gyanko have had serious screen time. The tournament's organization has changed drastically since Sei and Reiji's time. One of the things that made Build Fighters so fun was the collection of eccentric Gundam fighters from around the world. Now our villains seem to be just different middle school and high school kids, though it's not too late for that to change.

Exposition dominated this episode, delineating motivations for protagonists and antagonists alike, but the action didn't match the dialogue. Team Try Fighters is filled with disagreements and infighting and they win anyway. Season one found a loophole that allowed Sei and Reiji to make the top sixteen without winning every time, but right now it looks like Team Try Fighters can only advance by winning, so if the story is going to keep progressing, they're going to keep getting victories. Yawn.

Another downer of episode five: astute listeners may have noticed that Mr. Ral's voice has changed. That's because his usual voice actor, Masahi Hirose, was hospitalized back in September. Hirose is the original voice actor of Ramba Ral in 1979's Mobile Suit Gundam, so it's safe to say he's getting up there in years, but it is still very sad.

Halfway through the episode, Fumina mentions she got into Gundam battling because of an older woman Gundam fighter she wanted to meet. It's weird that her motivation was never made clear until this late in the game. However, the promise of meeting somebody from the original series makes me glad they added this in, even if it seems last minute, as we only get a glimpse of her near the end.

Gundam Build Fighters Try is a good show with quick pacing, and it's never boring. Still, Gundam Build Fighters is a hard act to follow and expository episodes like this one aren't helping.

Rating: C

Gundam Build Fighters Try is currently streaming on Gundam.info.

Lauren writes about anime and journalism at Otaku Journalist.


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