Hey guys and welcome to the last entry in the special “Week of Mecha Monday!” Friday’s article features a review of the OVA Gunpla Builders Beginnning G. Hope you enjoy my review!
While attending the 1/1 RX-78-2 Gundam (built in 2009 to commemorate the 30th Anniversary of the franchise) display event in Odaiba‘s Shiokaze Park, Haru Irei goes to the merchandise section to choose a Gunpla kit. When he fails to pick up the last available High Grade (HG) 1/144 RX-78-2 Gundam kit, he discovers the HG 1/144 GPB-X80 Beginning Gundam and makes it his own. With his newly-assembled kit, Haru participates in Gunpla Battle, a virtual simulation game where players have their Gunpla models scanned and battle each other with them.
The basic premise of Gunpla Builders had me interested right from the get go. As an avid Gunpla builder myself, a Gundam series that focuses on model kits was a perfect fit. The show really depicts some of the intricate details of making a Gunpla. Example include sanding, painting, panel-lining, and customizing. Throughout the OVA, you can really get a feel for how much time it actually takes to make a good model. It’s both a show for entertainment and a celebration of an art. Some great custom models can be seen throughout the show. It’s interesting to note that only U.C. mobile suits were featured, minus one very humiliating cameo by a *cough*Gundam Seed*cough* mobile suit. Take a look for yourself at some of the awesome customized Gunplas as well as the shameful cameo of a Seed mobile suit.
I especially enjoyed the battles in the OVA. It was very clever having machines that could scan your Gunpla to use in battle. If only machines like that really existed…I would be spending all my time at the local hobby/game shop duking it out with fellow Gunpla builders. I liked the fact that the quality of your constructed Gunpla determined it’s strength in battle; as a person who is obsessed with detail to the point which many would consider unhealthy, my Gunpla would definitely be one of the better ones. As I said before, there are so many intricate little things that go into making a great model. Every little broken seam or half-hearted cut makes a difference. It truly is an art.
Now I’ll quickly cover some review topics. I think you guys can guess from my earlier praise, but I loved the plot. A kid sees the 1/1 Gundam and is inspired to create the best Gunpla he can. All the details of model making and the action scenes were great. Sure there were some goofy things mixed in like the Bearguy, but it was still interesting. Protagonist Haru sees a good amount of development from start to finish, going from a novice to a full-fledged Gunpla Meister. The supporting cast each serve their purpose; since it’s a short 45 min OVA, their roles are simple. Kenta is the best friend who helps Haru along the path, Rina is the female support, the hobby shop owner is the information dude, and Boris Schauer (the Char clone with an absolutely ridiculous name, and the fact that he rides on this makes him even moar hilarious) serves as the main rival who spurs Haru on to become better. Throw in some minor rivals like the spoiled rich kid and the sadistic killer and you got yourself a pretty nice cast. I don’t think I need to say much about the art and animation; they were both superb. If the mobile suit battles didn’t show this, then I don’t know what will. The general music was also very pleasing and upbeat, definitely matching the overall image of the show. The battle music, however, was typical Gundam: intense and fucking awesome. All the classic sounds of previous Gundam shows (beam rifle shots, beam saber sounds, vulcans, etc.) were present.
So in closing, I guess if I had to sum of this show it would be something like this: a must-watch for Gundam fans and non-fans alike. The beauty of the show lies in it’s focus on a hobby that is a lot moar complex than meets the eye. There’s great action as well, with a cast that is simple yet likable. It’s light-hearted and fun (and occasionally goofy), which makes watching it very easy. Production values are great. So what are you waiting for? Go watch it now!
Rating: (due to it being such a short OVA, I just went with a simple overall review…I think I explained all the points well enough in the post)
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