The Infinite Zenith

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Tag Archives: Gundam

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.

Gundam Build Fighters: Full Reflection and Recommendation

“You like something because you like something. You don’t need to justify it.” Master Chinan to Mao

I am quite surprised that no major anime blog has even bothered to talk about the surprise of the Fall 2013 season: the last time a post bore a “Full Reflection and Recommendation” title, it was August, and I had just finished watching Puella Magi Madoka Magica. Now, I enjoyed the TV series and all of the movies, having written the internet’s first (and only) review of Puella Magi Madoka Magica: Rebellion with screenshots, but today, the focus of this talk is Gundam Build Fighters, a show that I had initially followed with a moderate interest. Build Fighters is a solid series about Gunpla Battle, and Sei Iori’s quest to participate in tournaments with his Gunpla. The series takes things from Beginning Gundam one step further, introducing the idea of Plavsky particles to animate plastic models and allow them to do battle with one another: a model kit’s performance is dictated by how well built the model was, and the game occurs in a holographic battlefield that adds impressive background and visual elements. The series begins off slowly, introducing Sei to Reiji, a boy with a mysterious background and an impressive innate talent for piloting Gunpla. Together, Sei and Reiji make their way through the tournament: Sei’s impressive building skills and Gundam knowledge complement Reiji’s natural skills, allowing them to progress, and in the process, the two befriend a colourful array of individuals, including Ricardo Fellini (an Italian champion), Mao Yasaka (a Kyoto native tutored by Master Chinan), Nils Nielsen (a prodigy who aims to learn the secrets of the Plavsky particles) and Aila Jyrkiainen (a Finnish gunpla fighter), while striving for the title of the world’s strongest.

  • Sei Iori is the co-lead of Gundam Build Fighters with Reiji, having an incredible talent for building Gunpla kits. However, his piloting skills are very weak due to a subconscious desire to avoid damaging his Gunpla. Sei’s knowledge of Gundam matches that of one of my friends, who is also a Gundam aficionado. I daresay that my friend’s knowledge of Gundam is roughly equivalent to my knowledge of software development and biology: consider that I’ve been studying in both fields for the past five years.

  • There is no shortage of callbacks to Gundam lore in Gundam Build Fighters: Mr. Ral is a carbon copy of Mobile Suit Gundam‘s Ramba Ral, right down to his insane piloting skills and love for the Gouf, which has more power and more armour than a Zaku (it’s completely different!). Here, he tells Sei that there is no best mecha collection, and he is voiced by Masashi Hirose, who supplied Ramba Ral’s voice in Mobile Suit Gundam.

  • I build Gunpla in my spare time: I am particularly proud of my Master Grade 00 Gundam Seven Sword/G, which I procured nearly two years ago and built following my MCAT. The building process is an incredible experience, transforming 2D runners into a 3D model. It was the desire to try this out for myself that led me to get into Gunpla: my first model was the HG 00 Raiser with the GN Sword III, and since building this in December 2009, my Gunpla collection stands at a modest six completed models and two that I haven’t even touched yet.

  • China Kousaka is Sei’s classmate, being skilled painter and a member of the school’s art club. She has won the grand prize at several art shows for her paintings; the most recent of which is based on her customized Beargguy III. China develops an interest in Gunpla Battle thanks to Sei’s interest, and she is shown to have a crush on Sei, which everyone, including Sei himself, seems to be aware of to some extent, and she shows some joy when some believe them to be a couple, even though they have not made it official themselves.

  • Mao Yasaka is a Gunpla Fighter from Kyoto and the reigning Japan 5th Block champion. He learned his skills from the Gunpla Shingyo School, which he hopes to inherit from Master Chinan. As his master has long feared the talents of Takeshi Iori, Mao is sent to Tokyo to challenge Takeshi’s son Sei and discover the extent of the Gunpla world. Initially intent on becoming Sei’s rival, the two quickly become friends, and they have high respect for each other and their skills at Gunpla building.

  • The first real surprise in Build Fighters was the presence of a 1/48 unmanned Zaku that appeared on the battlefield during a Battle Royale type match, forcing Fellini, Mao and Sei/Reiji to work together to take it down. Gundam Build Fighters excels at being able to balance competitive spirit with fun, and some of the episodes involve competitions that don’t involve regular death match, such as racing, baseball and even a variation of Halo 2‘s “Siesta” game, where players are given randomised weapons.

  • Ricardo Fellini is the reigning Italian Gunpla Battle champion. He rides a cream-colored Vespa scooter with sidecar, and is seen flirting with Mihoshi at a party. Better known by her stage name Kirara, the latter initially has no interest in Gundam or Gunpla, but her agency sees Gunpla Battle as a stepping stone to her career as an idol. Because of this, she cheats her way into Gunpla Battle by paying fans to build her Gunpla and getting to know her opponents up close and personal before sabotaging their Gunpla, although she eventually cares for Fellini, Sei and Reiji as the season wears on.

  • The battle between Fellini and Sei/Reiji was the magic moment in Gundam Build Fighters for me: the emotionally charged battle, plus callbacks to some of Amuro’s tricks used in Char’s Counterattack, thoroughly convinced me that Build Fighters was worth watching. From this episode onwards, I followed things with great enthusiasm.

  • The reason why a disproportionate number of my images are from the later episodes is because I have much more to say about the events that happen later on: the earlier episodes do an excellent job of setting the table, but after episode fifteen, it seems that every subsequent episode is determined to out-do the previous one in terms of excitement. The best part of this is that they are rather successful at doing so.

  • The beauty about Build Fighters is that everyone significant encountered in Gunpla battle winds up becoming friends with Sei and Reiji; in fact, Sei and Reiji’s friendship developed directly because of Gunpla battle. The notion that sportsmanship and competition lead to friendships being built is a common theme in anime, and Build Fighters joins the ranks of Saki and Girls und Panzer in capturing these ideas in a thrilling, captivating show. Each anime does it differently, and the end results are unique, impressive.

  • There are so many customised Gunpla models in Build Fighters that even my friend’s encyclopedic knowledge of Gundam was overwhelmed in the first few episodes, where he tried to identify all of the models seen. My own knowledge of Gundam is probably about a hundredth of his, although I’m still able to identify some of the suits now. The battle with Mao is equally as thrilling as the previous one with Fellini, and I was wondering if Build Fighters would be able to maintain this pacing for the remainder of the series.

  • I’ll try not to discuss anything related to the various pairings in Build Fighters (namely Sei/China, Reiji/Aila, Mao/Misaki, Nils/Caroline and Fellini/Kihoshi) because that particular topic just became a rather painful one to discuss. Time will probably heal those wounds, but for the present, I will forcibly change the topic by getting the stomach cramps every time relationships of a non-mathematical nature are mentioned.

  • The dynamics between Tatsuya Yuuki and Allan Adams reminds me very much of the interactions between Gundam 00‘s Graham Aker and Billy Katagiri; Tatsuya takes on the title of Meijin with the hopes of bringing back the fun to Gunpla battle, contrasting his predecessor’s single-minded pursuit of victory. This marks the third anime where pursuit of victory is thrown under the spotlight (Girls und Panzer and Stella Women’s Academy are the two previous shows where victory and fun were thematic elements), and the message winds up being the same: that having fun is of much greater importance and much more meaningful than winning.

  • Secretary baker and Nils Nielsen share a conversation; the latter partakes in Gunpla battle to understand the mystery behind the Plavsky particles and holds three doctorates in physics at the age of 13. Despite clashing ideals with Sei about Gunpla battle, Nils eventually shows that he too enjoys Gunpla battle beyond the physics and scientific applications of Plavsky particles.

  • Thanks to Nils’ Sengoku Astray’s capacity to manipulate Plavsky particles, and Nils is adeptness at using Chinese martial arts techniques, as well as his unit’s swords in combat, the Segoku Astray is a formidable unit that has a perfect record. In a brutal match, the Sengoku Astray is bested by the Star Build Strike. This episode answered my questions: Build Fighters consistently pulls off the impossible, maintaining the incredible tension in the atmosphere that surrounds every Gunpla battle, but simultaneously adding in humour to remind viewers that the participants are aware that this anime is about fun.

Gundam Build Fighters is conceptually no different than Beginning Gundam, and initially, the series’ slower pacing meant that I watched episodes with a moderate interest. One of my friends (with Gundam knowledge similar to that of Sei’s) greatly enjoyed these early episodes and took great joy in identifying custom models from the different universes. Sei and Reiji initially participate in Gunpla Battle together to continue evening out debts to the other. At this point in Build Fighters, the pacing is still very casual, like a slice-of-life, but as Sei and Reiji become closer as friends and put more heart into each battle they participate in, Build Fighters truly becomes captivating. The turning point for me was episode fifteen: I was no longer just watching episodes as time permitted; I was following them with great anticipation. The thrilling battle between Sei/Reiji and Fellini captured my interests entirely, and, perhaps bearing testament to my own growing experience with Gundam, I saw callbacks to elements from Char’s Counterattack in this duel, which ended in a draw. Every subsequent episode somehow managed to raise the bar further, whether it be Sei and Reji’s battle with Mao, Nils Nielsen or Aila: every episode was simply so well composed, masterfully balancing character dynamics with action scenes. The comedic moments allow for the characters to interact naturally with one another and reinforce the idea that Gunpla Battle is a competitive sport, not war, so lives aren’t at stake, but at the same time, the battles are as emotionally charged as battles from other universes, where lives are indeed on the line. However, after battles, the characters demonstrate exemplary sportsmanship, serve to remind viewers that this is a game, and that in spite of a match’s outcome, friendships can be formed, and new things can be learnt.

  • The battle between Fellini and Aila was a haunting one: after Fellini gains the upper hand, Aila is subjected to the Embody system, overtaking her mind and forcing her to go berserk. Fellini then decides to end the show with a bang, but Kirara shuts him down with an angry speech about how self-destruction is cowardice. Aila was once a homeless orphan until she was recruited by Nine Barthes of the Flana Institute due to her ability to accurately predict the outcome of a Gunpla Battle by observing the movement of the Plavsky particles. Several years after her training, Aila joins “Team Nemesis”, a Gunpla Battle team that is bent on conquering the 7th Gunpla Battle World Championships.

  • Aila’s interactions begin with Reiji after they fight over the last meat bun at the nearby mall, but she does not reveal her identity to him or Sei out of fear that they’d reject her. Her feelings for Reiji eventually cause a decline in her performance, and their relationship is strained when Reiji discovers her identity under the helmet.

  • I had to shift through some 130 images to pick thirty that would be used for this post. Most of the images picked were from the second half of the season, after the magic moment that convinced me Build Fighters was in a league of its own and very much worth watching. Here, Sei questions what he should do after Reiji vows to fight for revenge.

  • Despite Reiji’s overwhelming skill and Sei’s superior craftsmanship, the Star Build Strike is slowly overwhelmed by Aila’s Qubeley Papillon. Before anything serious happens, the Arista crystals Reiji and Aila carry begin to resonate. One of the more subtle but entertaining elements in Build Fighters was the electronic voice that announced the battle status and map in perfect English. I was joking about this mechanic with one of my friends, going “Field 3: Desert”, and we spent a few moments laughing after he corrected me by saying “Field 3: forest“. One of my projects for the summer will be to isolate the sound files the best I can.

  • The battle between Aila and Sei/Reiji takes on a hilarious turn after Reiji and Aila finally understand one another in the particle fields that have done the same for characters in Gundam 00 and Gundam Unicorn. No longer constrained by the Flana Institute, Aila discards her helmet and resolves to duel Reiji with her own skills. The two’s couple-like bickering incurs the bewilderment of everyone in the stadium; this moment is quite possibly one of the best mood-changes I’ve seen in any anime.

  • I will take a moment to praise the Gundam Build Fighters soundtrack, which features a diverse range of music for all of the combat themes, mood pieces and character motifs. The genres covered are diverse, including orchestra, rock and even pieces with international elements. It is quite possibly one of the best Gundam soundtracks of all time, which is saying something, considering the quality of the Gundam Unicorn and Gundam SEED soundtracks. Among my favourite tracks include “Gundam Build Fighter” (the main theme), “Mortal Combat”, “Rival”, “Aila’s Theme” and “Allied Force”.

  • The fight between Tatsuya and Julian Ayers Mackenzie was a particularly personal one: the latter was Tatsuya’s mentor at the Gunpla Academy but eventually left after finding himself in disagreement with the second Meijin’s ideology of conquering others for victory. During his battle with Julian, Tatsuya fields the incomplete Amazing Exia against Julian’s F91 Imagine in an intense, emotional duel.

  • I got the chills while watching two titans do battle with one another, and smiled upon recognising some of the Exia’s trademark moves from Gundam 00. This battle demonstrates Tatsuya’s commitment to fun, something that Julian did not realise about the former’s decision to take on the mantle of Meijin (名人), which literally translates to “expert” or “master”. However, after the dust settles, Julian and Tatsuya come to terms with one another.

  • Despite her initial efforts to sabotage Sei and Reiji’s Star Build Strike, Kirara does not have much of an antagonistic air to her. Like Saki, care is taken to give all of the characters a solid, credible reason for participating in Gunpla battle to humanise them. One of the exceptions is the Renato Brothers, who participate for their own reasons, but otherwise, opponents and rivals become friends as the series progresses. This point bears mentioning because (to me, anyways) it is perhaps the most significant part of Build Fighters: that through competition, the outcome is secondary to what one takes away from it, and that one can never be truly defeated if they approach defeat with good sportsmanship and continue putting in their fullest efforts.

  • As the series draws to a close, Fellini and Kirara’s relationship become more interesting. During a free-for-all battle at a festival, Fellini encounters Kirara, who asks him to go easy on her and subsequently puts his rebuilt Gundam Fenice Rinascita into a hold that he wouldn’t have minded happen to him in reality.

  • Despite being the Meijin, Tatsuya deviates from his predecessor’s beliefs and strives to work towards promoting fun in the sport, rather than victory. However, meddling from Chairman Mashita precludes the possibility of seeing a fair fight. Mashita is the CEO of PPSE and was originally a petty thief in Arian, he stumbled upon Earth and made his fortune by partnering with Baker and using a giant Arista he stole from the Arian royal treasure room to produce Plavsky particles. Despite his success in founding PPSE, he is extremely distraught by Reiji’s appearance in the 7th Gunpla Battle World Championships. Chairman Mashita also has a childish personality, often relying on Baker to calm him down. Following the destruction of the giant Arista, Chairman Mashita finds himself teleported back to Arian, where he and Baker set up a new business selling Gunpla there, having been humbled by his experiences on Earth.

  • China and Aila partake in building a new Gunpla: after the Qubeley Papillon was destroyed in the last battle, Aila sets about building a Gunpla suited for herself, resulting in the Miss Sazabi.I absolutely love all of the little details put into the construction process, including painting and panel-lining. Gunpla is quite big in reality, too, and as of late, I’ve been watching AnimeSuki’s Wild Goose and his adventures in building Jegans. I’m more of a lead machine person, but I do see the joy in mass production multirole mobile suits, too.

  • The Dark Matter Exia looks downright evil: Chairman Mashita is desperate to make sure Reiji loses in the championship by any means necessary to prevent his crimes from coming to light and forces Tatsuya to wield an upgraded version of the Embody system. In the final match of the tournament, under the Embody System’s influence, Tatsuya does not fight with his typical style, employing a more brutal style to physically shred his opponent.

  • Despite being completely outmatched and losing most of the Star Build Strike’s weapons, Sei and Reiji manage to destroy the Dark Matter Exia using the RG System’s signature Build Knuckle. This move is reminiscent to the G Gundam’s Shining Finger and is typically used in conjunction with the RG system to deliver a devastating punch that shatters the opponents’ Gunpla.

  • After Tatsuya comes to his senses, Sei and Reiji resolve to do battle with him properly. I’ve omitted some images from the finale for brevity’s sake, and will summarise my experience with Gundam Build Fighters as an overwhelmingly positive one in all departments, from the story, to art, animation, character growth and music.

Messages of sportsmanship, friendship and determination form the core of Gundam Build Fighters, marking a departure from traditional Gundam series, where themes from warfare and human nature are brought to the table. Indeed, Build Fighters is very light-hearted in that sense, forgoing the more serious elements for elements individuals may encounter in their day-to-day lives. In this sense, Build Fighters is Gundam for all viewers, old or young, experienced or not. I realise that Gundam AGE was controversial for a handful of reasons, and I admit that I did not watch it because the more serious story stood in stark contrast with the character design, taking away from the show. Artwork does make or break a series; the character designs in Gundam AGE were inappropriate given some of the themes AGE was exploring, but in Build Fighters, the designs fit the setting properly, enhancing the series’ mood and flow. If there was a Gundam for younger viewers, Gundam Build Fighters would be it, although the show is also well-suited for older viewers who may have seen Gundam previously. Apart from appropriate character design and solid animation sequences, Gundam Build Fighters also has a phenomenal soundtrack. The musical accompaniment is very diverse, ranging from J-rock and J-pop to more atmospheric, orchestral pieces and songs that have a distinct geographic origin. There is something on this soundtrack for everyone, and listening to it is an audio treat for the ears: I enjoy the emotional pieces the most. When everything is said and done, Gundam Build Fighters excels because it is able to bring in elements for both old and new Gundam fans, and incorporate all of these elements into a series that never tries to be excessively serious or dramatic. The end result is a product that is engaging and incredibly fun to watch.

New York Fries and the MG Nu Gundam

The acquisition of the Master Grade Nu Gundam Ver. Ka. is a story that is worthy of its own post, albeit a short one. The day following a faculty Christmas party, a friend and I hit one of the hobby shops in the downtown core. It had only been five days since the release of the Nu Gundam, and I had settled on the kit as a Christmas gift of sorts. It had been a cloudy morning, and I was replaying “The Maw” in Halo before realising that I was to meet up with said friend for our excursion, which had become something of an annual Christmas break tradition. Because the kit was such a new release, I was not expecting the kit to have shipped so quickly, but upon arrival, I was pleasantly surprised, for there it was, being one of two in stock at the shop. The fact that it was in stock give me the opportunity to purchase the kit, and I would build it on Christmas Day, finishing two days later. My thoughts on this beast of a war machine can be found here.

  • Despite being called “New York Fries”, there are no locations in New York City, and in fact, New York Fries was founded in Brantford, Ontario by Jay Gould and his brother in 1983. The first time I went back in 2009, I had the classic fries with gravy.

  • New York Fries are distinct from other fries in their preparations, which utilise a three stage cooking process which is cited to maximise flavour and produce crispy, lightly golden french fries. The difference can be tasted, and this year I went with “The Works”, a fries dish topped with beef chili, sour cream, a cheese sauce, green onions and bacon. 

After I had purchased the model (my friend had picked the Real Grade Zeta Gundam), we made our way to The Core. Having been reopened since its renovations a year ago, entire area is revitalised and boasts more natural light owing to a massive skylight. The upper floors are occupied by the Devonian Gardens and a food court of sorts, with New York Fries being among them (yet another Christmas tradition, started when I purchased the HG 00 Raiser+GN Sword III). Following  a break here, we would make our way home as the sunset began. Thusly, I now have a glorious Gundam model that acts to recall this late December day following the conclusion of my penultimate term as an undergraduate student.

MG 00 Gundam Seven Sword/G Another Angle

It has been about a quarter-year since I completed the Master Grade 00 Gundam Seven Sword/G, and the time seems appropriate to consider this Master Grade from an alternate viewpoint, so to speak. I had purchased and reviewed the kit back in August, taking into account all of the weapons and the overall appearance of the suit. However, on occasions, I would take the model and change up some of its poses and weapons, and in doing so, I have come to notice the detail present on the body of the Gundam itself where all the weapons are absent to an even greater extent than before: whereas I was primarily interested in the fully-loaded model, inspecting the Gundam from a different perspective has revealed hitherto unexplored, seemingly trivial elements about the Gundam.

  • As per the instruction manual, I always build the head of any Gundam model first. The 00’s head was remarkably fun to put together, and the proportions are aesthetically pleasing, with the yellow of the V-fin and red of the crown offset by the blue-greens of the side condensers and the bit of grey visible on the sides of the face.

  • It is enjoyable and satisfying to, on occasion, merely gaze at the sheer amount of details found on the MG 00 Gundam, whether it be the grey parts that are found under the main armour or the laser-etched symbols on the head crown and condenser pieces.

In my original discussion, articulation was not mentioned. With that in mind, the 00 Gundam itself is highly flexible and is capable of making numerous poses. The sheer number of moving parts makes achieving a specific pose more challenging, and of course, increased articulation comes at a price: the parts are not as stuff as they could otherwise be, so some poses may not be held for long periods before the laws of gravity kick in. The overall design of the 00 Gundam is immensely appealing in terms of composition and the presence of grey throughout every part of the model, placing grey plating underneath the external armour and exposed at certain points to really give the kit a Master Grade quality.

MG 00 Gundam Seven Sword/G Reflection

My second Master Grade to date, the 00 Seven Sword/G was procured on a cold winter day, but was not constructed until an August Monday following a Sunday brunch at the Chinook Restaurant inside the Banff Park Lodge. I typically make it a point to have an omelette and roast beef from the carving station regardless of what brunch I go to, but there are two elements that separate the Banff Park Lodge from other establishments: they offer snow crab legs and have a chocolate fountain. Granted, I could probably write an entire passage on how awesome the Chinook Sunday brunch is, but that merely sets the stage around the building of the Gundam: previously my Gundams have been built around special occasions, and the latest Master Grade is no exception. The MG 00 Seven Sword/G captivated me since it was originally released in September 2011 with its design: I had long wished to build a master grade 00 Gundam without the O Raiser, given that I’d already built the high grade version a few years ago, and the seven sword variant was distinct enough from the 00 Raiser for me to justify the purchase. At roughly 70 Canadian dollars (5500 yen) thanks to a strong Canadian dollar, the seven sword is slightly less costly than the 00 Raiser and appears more as a true upgrade to the 00 Gundam. In fact, it appears to be the intermediate between the 00 Gundam and the 00 Qan[T] when it is fully completed.

  • The original 00 Seven Swords/G is typical Gundam colours. It is represented in its Inspection colours here, another variant in the side-story that gave the 00 Gundam additional operational capacity in Trans-Am mode.

  • The first thing I’ve noticed when standing the 00 Gundam next to the 00 Qan[T] is the sheer bulk of the former compared to the latter, with its loadout. I plan on getting an action base for this soon: the joints on the model itself are solid and six of the eight weapons are light, making it easy to pose. Even without an action base, the unit looks fantastic on the ground with the massive GN Blaster II.

Having completed the model just yesterday, details of the construction process are still fresh in my mind (contrasting the previous gunpla discussions I’ve had), and the first thing that comes to mind is the awesome amount of detail and engineering in the 00’s inner frame. While it is very similar to that of the 00 Qan[T], the 00 distinctly feels more sturdy than the 00 Qan[T]. This probably has to do with the fact that there is no massive shield bound to the unit’s left side, and that the leg condensers do not pop out. Thus, the completed model, including the exterior armour plating and weapons, is capable of standing without the leaning found in the 00 Qan[T] and, at least for now, can hold poses exceedingly well. My personal favourite element on the MG has to be the clear blue-green elements that permeate virtually every region of the suit, whether it be the GN Drives, head elements, condensers on the arms and legs or the many weapons the Gundam carries. Contrasting the 00 Qan[T], the 00 Seven Sword/G is given a far wider range of weapons and on initial glance, appears to be more than a match for the latter, which is only equipped with one sword.

  • Some people find that the 00 Gundam series is essentially a rehashed 00 Qan[T]: these individuals are referring to the inner frame. From my end, that means a slightly faster construction time. I’m more interested the external armour and the number of weapons available on this unit: the sheer number of possible poses and weapons arrangement is quite staggering, and of course, building the weapons themselves was an enjoyable experience.

  • The MG 00 Gundam Seven Sword/G requires 4 LEDs for all of the orifices, compared to 5 for the MG 00 Raiser and 2 for the 00 Qan[T]. The 00 Qan[T] has a slight advantage in the brightness department with the LEDs, but seeing the shoulder drives on the Seven Sword lit up is another experience entirely. I especially like the fact that the GN drives are mounted in a sturdy manner, but remain easy enough to remove, contrasting the 00 Qan[T], which requires the removal of the entire backpack unit, and then the flipping down of a small peg, to access the GN drive.

Ultimately, the 00 Seven Sword proved to be a master grade I truly enjoyed building from the top to bottom (well, from the inner frame to the weapons), contrasting the more rushed experience I had with the 00 Qan[T]. I’ve since displayed the two master grades side-by-side, and the differences are immediately apparent: the Qan[T] appears more sleek, minimal and attests to the shift in technology in-universe towards a non-combative purpose, while the seven sword 00 Gundam is bulkier, more angular and gives the impression of being ready to wage war in a conventional sense as opposed to projecting a quantum field for communications. While the 00 Qan[T] is more advanced than the 00 Gundam, an objective observer might be inclined to say that the 00 Gundam, with its seven swords, is the true war machine, appropriately reflecting on how the 00 Qan[T] was not intended to be solely a combat utility.