The Infinite Zenith

Where insights on anime, games, academia and life dare to converge

Gundam Build Fighters Try Final Impressions

“Just play. Have fun. Enjoy the game.” —Michael Jordan

The successor to Gundam Build Fighters, Gundam Build Fighters Try continues in its predecessor’s vein, being set a few years after the original Gundam Build Fighters. By this point in time, Gunpla Battle has taken off, and has evolved into a more mature form. Thus, Build Fighters Try features a much more diverse array of mobile suits, as well as new characters, each with their own motivations for participating in the tournament. However, once the series progresses, it’s quite clear that Build Fighters Try feels less substantial than the original Build Fighters; the battles’ intensity plateaus very quickly, and consequently, do not capture the sort of tenor and tensions present in battles from the previous season. Indeed, the Try Fighters’ journey to the top was very familiar: given the way the first season was structured, it was quite clear that Sekai, Yuuma and Fumina would make it to the finals, limiting the suspense. In the end, while Build Fighters Try was quite entertaining to watch for the individual fights, it does not leave the same impact as the first season did, nor does it impart a similarly solid message about the point of competition.

Screenshots and Commentary

  • Gundam Build Fighters Try never did leave quite the same impact with me as did Gundam Build Fighters: this was largely in part because the first season was the first of its kind, and the second season had felt much more bombastic in nature without emphasising the characterisation quite to the same extent as the first season. However, while the majority of Build Fighters Try is not as memorable as Build Fighters, the finale to Build Fighters Try was superb: set around the Gunpla Builder’s Contest Meijin Cup, Yuuma and Minato square off against one another with their Gunpla entries.

  • The end result is that Yuuma takes home the prize with his Lightning Zeta Gundam, and here, he also earns Yuuki’s respect: earlier on in the series, Yuuki challenged Yuuma to a duel, claiming the latter’s best is merely a self-imposed limit, and that phrases like “trying one’s best” or similar are used to cheer others on. It’s a rather interesting way of thinking and suggests that people are capable of doing much more than they believe themselves to. Yuuma appears to have taken this lesson to heart.

  • On the virtue of craftsmanship alone, Minato’s Super Fumina is a technically excellent submission: with special paint that changes the lighting based on angle, well-crafted joints, ultra-realistic hair, clever use of materials to mimic the human body and even blinking eyes, the Super Fumina possesses features that are out of the reach of even the Perfect Grade line of models. Quite recently, I was watching video reviews of the PG Unicorn: the PG Unicorn appears quite similar to the MG Unicorn, but appears to have rectified the limitations plaguing the latter.

  • The PG Unicorn itself costs some 200 CAD, while the LEDs to light up the psychoframe and the Full Armour parts costs an additional 240 CAD (120 CAD each). Gunpla is quite an expensive hobby at the upper echelons, and while a complete PG Unicorn is quite nice, I can think of a host of better uses for 440 CAD, and the first thing that comes to mind is saving it. Here, Fumina yells at Minato for having created the Super Fumina without requesting permission for her likeness.

  • Yuuki and Lady Kawaguchi decide that, in light of Minato’s refusal to accept the Meijin Cup’s outcome, there can only be one way of settling things: through Gunpla Battle.  Despite Fumina’s objections, the battle pits the Super Fumina against Yuuma’s Lightning Zeta. It becomes apparent that  the Super Fumina was built to epitomise the concept of kawaii, much to the real Fumina’s embarassment.

  • The Super Fumina also possesses a set of dummy projectors that can distract enemy mobile suits, a callback to the features of Universal Century mobile suits. As one of the more unconventional combat scenarios I’ve seen in any Gundam series, the fight seen in the Build Fighters Try finale is immensely entertaining and light-hearted.

  • After Sekai enters the battle to help Yuuma, Fumina and Gyanko question how Sekai could have come to have built the Kamiki Burning Gundam, only to realise that Shia Kijima had helped him. Feelings of jealousy surface, and although Shia insists they’re only friends, her body language and choice of words aggravate both Fumina and Gyanko to no end.

  • Love and crushes are a subtle part of both Build Fighters and Build Fighters Try, but are well-executed such that it never takes the center stage. Instead, these things come out during moments of downtime, and consequently, it never feels tacked on. In the ensuing chaos, Minato and Yuuma’s duel become forgotten as everyone partakes on the free-for-all battle.

  • Mr. Ral’s ferocity as a Gunpla fighter is only seen occasionally, but during said occasions, viewers are sure to be impressed at his skill. While Build Fighters Try might not have had the same level of impact as did Build Fighters, there is one aspect I found quite meaningful: this is the modicum of respect that Yuuma and Sekai gain for one another as the two better understand the others’ outlook and perspectives on Gunpla battle.

  • Coming up next will be a talk on Terror in Resonance, and following that, a talk on RWBY. Both posts are requested from the readers, and there’s a small pile of backlogged requests. After I get both those done, I’m going to do a talk on Tamayura: Graduation Photo and Wolfenstein: The New Order at the halfway point.

Despite its weaker performance compared to the first season, Build Fighters Try does offer a finale episode that was remarkably rewarding to watch, and over the course of this finale, more is said about the popularity and enjoyment factor behind Gunplay than throughout the entire series. The episode takes a step back from the over-the-top battles of the season, being set in an Artistic Gunpla building competition where Yuuma and Minato square off with their entries. Despite being the more unique submission, Minato’s Super Fumina is disqualified owing to consent issues, and the episode transitions into a hilarious free-for-all that involve Fumina and Gyanko expressing utmost jealousy at the fact that Shia Kijima helped Sekai build his new Gunpla. Even Yuuki and Mr. Ral join the festivities when the two conflict about whether or not they wish to see this love Calabi–Yau manifold unfold. There’s nothing particularly high stakes here, allowing the finale to take on a very relaxed, fun atmosphere that succeeds in capturing the spirit of Gunpla far more effectively than much of Build Fighters Try, acting as a solid conclusion to a modestly entertaining continuation of Gundam Build Fighters.

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