[Midseason Review] Gundam Build Fighters


What? The Gundam anime with the theme of small children playing gunpla fights? Well, this is an anime for small children that only advertises toys– WHAT WAIT WHAT IS THIS SO GOOD!?!?

Not a war, but a toy fight!? Well, unlike other Gundam anime, Gundam Build Fighters is not about boys around high school age who fight in the middle of a war, but about boys around middle school age who fight to win a gunpla tournament. This is what initially made Gundam fans dislike Gundam Build Fighters before it aired. But all that changed, when…

Incredible battle
Ok, I don’t understand what’s going on here. In the next mecha Sunrise anime that also aired this season, the battle (which uses a 3D model) goes almost like this: Unit A shoots -> switches screens -> Unit B gets hit/parried/dodged -> hit back.
While in Gundam Build Fighters? Movement of 2 units in the same screen, the effect of changing battlefields, regulation of fire power, damage to parts, backup weapons, fighting to the point of destruction, and others; that’s all while complemented by stunning 2D animation. Some of the fights, in episode 2 and episode 6 to be exact, have an animation quality that is truly surprising for the level of a TV series.

BGM during the fight is also amazing. Even though it’s not an orchestra or chorus like in 00 or Unicorn, each character has their own theme, Reiji with upbeat violin techno, Yuuki with Mexican acoustic guitar + chant, Ricardo with accordion + piano, and the BGM theme in ep 6 which initially feels techno but The further back, the more epic the orchestra. These themes are played with the right settings so that the climax of the song coincides with the climax of the battle.
I’m sure I’m not the only one who wants to sing “AAAIAIAIAIAIAIAIAA~~AAA, ALE!!

Ok, the battle and the music are good. How about the story?

Easy to understand for children, can be enjoyed by adults
This is not what I expected even though I know that the setting of the story follows a junior high school boy with his mysterious friend to win a “toy fight” tournament… I didn’t expect this anime to have such a level of comedy. high enough.

I don’t know if it’s because Sunrise has learned from adapting comedy manga like Gintama, Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou, Binbougami ga!, and others or because it’s just chasing the market for a younger audience (or both), but the comedy content in Gundam is one of a kind. this is way above the rest of the Gundam series, and to be honest, I personally like the lightheart element of this series. The main character of this anime, Iori Sei, will put on at least 1 comedic face per episode (or up to half a dozen times like in ep 2).

The story itself is quite light. There is a boy who is good at assembling gunpla but not good at controlling it, he meets and befriends a mysterious boy who is good at controlling gunpla, and then the two of them work together to win the gunpla battle tournament while meeting their rivals and potential rivals ( Ok, that’s a super short summary which completes the other details ).

So what about adults? For those who don’t follow the Gundam series, they can enjoy the production quality and comedy. For those who follow Gundam, especially long-time fans, this is arguably an incredible stack of references. Starting from excerpts from sentences, places of battle from the old series, parodies of old scenes, cameos of characters and units (to the ones that are too obscure , I’m sure even hardcore Gundam fans won’t be able to guess all the old units that appear in this anime), even the preview. the next episode is taken from the previous Gundam series.

*EHEM* Ok, not only is Rinko’s boobie mama popular, but all the female characters are interesting. In fact, almost all of the characters are interesting. Sei who is very interested in gunpla, Reiji who is just a fad at first but develops, boobie maman Rinko who supports BOOBS Sei cheerfully, Uncle Ramba Ral who always appears suddenly from unexpected places and the main cameo of GBF, Kousaka who is cute without being made too “moe character”, Ricardo who is a potential big rival but can be joked with, Mao who has a very thick accent (and how did he manage to assemble HGUC Kshatriya in a truck!?), to Tatsuya who *raises his hair back* “AAAAIAIAIAIAIAIAIA ~~, ALE!!!”