A show that I haven’t watched in years is the ever-famous Gundam series. People love this show, heck, I used to ADORE THIS SHOW! So, why did I give up on it? Well, I guess to fully detail what happened, I’d trace this bad to the early 2000s. You see, growing up, I loved giant robots. Giant mechanical behemoths that duked it out with each other was a really interesting concept to me.
Eventually, I discovered Mobile Fighter G Gundam, and fell in love with this series! Gundam shows often revolved around young men or teenagers piloting giant robots to save the world, drive back an enemy force, or fight in a gigantic tournament. That last one was more exclusive to G Gundam then any other show, however. I fell in love with G Gundam, which in turn, introduced me to this venerable franchise.
It seemed like a match made in heaven, until… I watched the other shows. You see, G Gundam was a rather unique beast among the franchise. Instead of being a melodramatic soap-opera about the dangers of war and the mental and physical tax it had on humans, it was instead Dragon Ball Z with giant robots. I started watching these other Gundam shows in my teenage years, and I found that I just could not get invested.
That was, until rather recently. I started re-watching some old Gundam 00 DVDs that I got years ago, and now I find that the series to be rather interesting. I now had an attention span that wasn’t lacking, and I could now follow those darker and more serious plot-lines. Still, as much as I loved the darker and grittier Gundam shows, I still craved the energetic and sillier iterations that got me invested in the series to begin with.
That’s where Gundam Build Fighters comes in. Gundam Build Fighters is an anime that premiered a few years back, and focused on the “Gunpla” model kits. The Gunpla are essentially build-able figurines, based off giant robots from the Gundam series. Build Fighters takes place in a universe where the popularity of these model kits hit a resurgence. They became so popular, in fact, that they invented an entire game revolving around them. People can now pilot these models in a small enclosed environment, fighting against other models.
The story itself focuses around a young Gunpla builder named Sei Iori. He wants to be the best Gunpla battler ever, but he sucks at the game. For real, he’s super awful. He can build them very well, but can’t properly control them. Sei meets a mysterious individual named “Reiji”, who pilots Sei’s “Build Strike Gundam” on his behalf. With Reiji’s unnaturally good piloting abilities, and Sei’s skill as a Gunpla mechanic, the two quickly attempt to become the ultimate Gunpla team.
Yeah, this is pretty standard fare for a kids show. Despite its seeminlgy generic concept, the show somehow pitches these ideas very well. It manages to throw in all these references and Easter Eggs to all the old shows, while still bringing enough character and wit to stand as a standalone product. It reminds me a lot of the earlier Yugioh shows, or Little Battles Experience.
The show has a special kind of energy to it, and even though I’ve only watched a couple of episodes, I find myself already hooked on it. Fights are well-animated, which is to be expected of a Sunrise Gundam show. The clash of steel on steel, the epic giant robot confrontations, all of that classic Gundam action is there. It’s all wrapped up in a show that’s a kids anime with like-able and relate-able characters. While I still haven’t watched all that much of this series yet, I find that I’m starting to get really hooked on this show. Once I complete season 1, I’ll be sure to do a full review. For now, these are just my personal thoughts. I just hope that this show can continue to surpass my lofty expectations!