Hey, Kaushik here with this week’s Mecha Monday. This week, we’re doing Gundam Build Fighters, Sunrise’s new Gundam project. This one is just a little bit different though, since it’s not really Gundams in this show. Well, kind of. It’s all about the model kits this time, in Sunrise’s most unabashed attempt to plug Gundam’s model line yet. They’re cutting out the middle man of having an in-depth plot with political intrigue and Gundam action. There’s still some Gundam action, but they’re just model kits battling it out. But that’s alright, you know, as long as it’s done well. Is it? Let’s see~
The good news is, Gundam Build Fighters isn’t all bad. There’s definitely some cool aspects to the show, but only if you’re a fan of Gundam. There’s a lot of great references to both the Gundam series at large, and many of the mobile suits featured within the series. For example, one of the main characters named Ral, is pretty much a homage to Ramba Ral, from the original Mobile Suit Gundam series. Being a guy known for some famous lines, it’s pretty fun seeing him in this new series.
Besides that, there’s plenty of interesting mobile suit tie-ins, but the cool thing is that all of the main characters have variations on some popular Gundams. Sei Iori, the main character, builds his very own variation of the Strike Gundam, called the Build Strike Gundam. There’s variations on the Wing Gundam, the Gundam X, even a heavily customized Zaku II. As someone who appreciates Mobile Suit Variations (MSVs), seeing all these versions of mechs I recognize and enjoy is pretty cool.
Unfortunately, there isn’t much more to the series outside of that. It was clearly created to sell models, and hopefully it can manage that because the show isn’t very interesting. Just a simple plot line about a kid who wants to win the Gunpla grand tournament, and the various hurdles and struggles he faces on his way there. Not that I expected anything exciting out of the plot for this show, but the way it’s laid out and presented to you, it’s difficult to find much to enjoy. Unless you’re a big Gundam fan, the show simply isn’t that interesting. The characters aren’t great, the plot isn’t engaging, and there isn’t much keeping you viewing. Even if you are a Gundam fan, I would say the novelty wears off fairly quickly. I enjoy the MSVs and cute references more than most people, but even then I’m finding it difficult to keep up.
My verdict on this show? Pass. If you’re a big Gundam fan, maybe check it out, but keep the hopes low.
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