From the get-go, I’ll say very truthfully that I’m a Universal Century purist. While I have watched (or read) pretty much every Gundam series released to date, I hardly appreciate any Alternate Century stories.
Many would be familiar with Gunpla building as my hobby, and while Gundam Build Fighters is neither UC nor AC, it does have an interesting premise of its own.
Allow me to dive into the details (partially mentioning on what Bandai could possibly hope to do with this series).
1. Building an interest in creating your own original Gunpla
Many fans love to build their favourite Mobile Suit in a particular Gundam series. During my secondary school days, I was commissioned (more like being asked to help) with painting my classmate’s Gunpla. I built several 1/100 Endless Waltz kits, and it was boring building the same kit again and again.
But recently, I enjoyed customizing my kits through additional weapons, different colour schemes, and using parts from various other kits. My guess is that Bandai wishes to make Gunpla building more fun by introducing an easier way to promote Gunpla builders to customize their own kit. Bandai Namco’s PS3 game Gundam Breaker promotes this through a virtual environment, while Gundam Build Fighters helps to promote it through anime.
Bandai’s angle towards promoting the series (releasing all major series in High Grade 1/144 format) actually helps in making me excited for their kit releases. The High Grade series provides the best cost, ease of build and customization options ratio as compared to other Grades, say Master Grade or Real Grade.
Not to mention, High Grades these days can be compared to (or even surpassing) the earliest Master Grades in terms of posability and quality. It has been ages since I’ve longed for Bandai to release proper HG versions of X, V, and Turn A Mobile Suits. My only wish left is to have a proportionately correct EX-S kit (uber large shoulders and all).
2. Gundam Build Fighters isn’t only for the kids
Yes, the premise and designs by be kiddy, yet the kid within me is still thrilled whenever I enter a hobby store, especially the ones in Japan. Episode 1 of Build Fighters realistically captures that excitement of entering a hobby store.
Aside from that, the animation during the fight scenes is probably second to the ones we see in Gundam Unicorn movie series. None of the scenes looked re-used (like Gundam SEED), and they move fluidly. It is also pretty awesome to see UC and AC Mobile Suits duke it out.
3. Suitable for standard Shounen battle lovers
If you can appreciate Yu-Gi-Oh, One Piece, CardFight!! Vanguard or basically any standard battle-type (or hobby) anime, you’ll appreciate what Gundam Build Fighters has to offer. While I have never watched any of the aforementioned series, I relate Build Fighters very much to the 2001 anime series Angelic Layer, which I enjoyed.
Based off the past two episodes I’d say this: whether you are a Gundam faction purist, a kit builder, or even a standard battle anime otaku, you should give Gundam Build Fighters a chance and just watch it.
In fact, I was so sceptical at first, thinking it’ll be another campy Gundam series. It is to a certain extent, but its entertainment value cannot be denied. However, I still dislike Build Strike’s design as a Mobile Suit. There’s this one particular upcoming Mobile Suit that interests me very much – the Sengoku Astray.
Anybody else who share similar initial thoughts or experiences with regards to Gundam Build Fighters?3 comments