Haru Irei, who witnessed the 1/1 scale RX-78-2 Gundam in Odaiba, becomes inspired to build Gunpla, which is a portmanteau of Gundam Plastic model kit. Haru purchases a one of a kind gunpla, the GPB-X80 Beginning Gundam. After building the kit, Haru, now a Gunpla Builder, and the Beginning Gundam enter the virtual world of Gunpla Battle, where players can pilot their customized Gunpla in team matches or one-on-one fights. Haru must rely on the support of his friends if he is to become a Gunpla Battle Champion and attain the rank of Gunpla Meister.
Commercials aren't usually much fun to watch. Actually, most people see them as a chore if they really have to sit through them, or a bathroom break if they don't. Occasionally one comes across a particularly funny one, but the memory of those few seconds rarely remain. Even so, this works out for advertising purposes. If one sees enough advertisements for the same brand or product, it is hard not to have a name associated with a product stuck in permanent memory. Anime like Mobile Suit Gundam have made a business by producing cartoons essentially created to sell products, toys in this case. However, before
Mokei Senshi Gunpla Builders Beginning G (from here on referred to as Gunpla Builders), they had not made such a blatant push for a specific line of products in a full-length cartoon form.
Gunpla Builders is surprising in how enjoyable it really is, despite its nature and simplicity. At this point, fans of Gundam as a franchise have certain expectations when it comes to the plot points and quality of the story of their favorite series. At only three episodes, and only about forty minutes at that, there is not much time to develop the sort of extensive narrative Gundam typically portrays; however, one of the strengths of Gunpla Builders is that it is aware of its own essence. A young boy finds a new skill, meets new people, experiences new things, and eventually comes to become his own person through his adventures. While this is the plot of an innumerable amount of other cartoons (particularly Gundam as a whole), Gunpla Builders does not feel like a chore to watch like the rest do because it is so short. In forty minutes the viewer is given what other cartoons take anywhere from twelve to hundreds of episodes to accomplish. In addition, the ridiculousness of the mechanics of the show, such as the arcade game they play, are easily overlooked because Gunpla Builders never takes itself too seriously. The only serious complaint here is that, for a show about building models of robots, there was very little time given to the actual building and not much information given about how the process works. The occasional bone is thrown, such as showing different types of parts or how to paint the models, but it wasn't quite as thorough as one would hope from a show specifically made about models.
On the other hand, despite the simple story, the animation in Gunpla Builders was very nice. The action scenes are quite fluid, giving the arcade game battles the same feel as one would have from a typical Gundam show, which is definitely appreciated for a glorified commercial such as this. During battles, action is constantly happening in the background, and even the shorter or less important skirmishes provide plenty of interesting and fun to watch material, on top of being well-animated. The theme of custom models was clearly given thought to in the battles, as non-traditional, especially creative mobile suit designs fly around constantly during every scene. Despite this, the connection to the usual Gundam universes is provided through the various battlegrounds seen in the show. The viewer is treated to a quick and dirty pass at the progression of any given Gundam series through Gunpla Builders' steps through very familiar environments, one after the other, in a similar order that one would expect from the series. The score has a similar nostalgic feeling; though it isn't quite as strong as the visuals, it is clear effort was put into making Gunpla Builders feel as natural as possible.
There's not much to dislike about Gunpla Builders. It is, in essence, a more honest form of advertising, but it is also so much fun to watch that one can't help but forgive it for its intentions.
This anime is a great way to introduce the gunpla to the new generation. Too bad its only a short ova. It would have been better if it was a seasonal anime. Also, the show should have focused more on the gunpla building aspect rather than the gunpla battle. There are only a few scenes where the anime features some tips on gunpla. I guess its only natural to exaggerate the gunpla since its in anime. The anime also features some of the popular gunplas such as Hi-nu, Red Astray, Zaku, Forever and many more. Despite the fact that its a short anime and lacking
on the gunpla building aspect, I still like the anime. Its a good combination of the gundam hobby and gunpla hobby. I recommend this anime to the gundam fans and to those who are interested in gunpla.
I'm not gonna lie but this show was made and marketed to sell more Gunpla toys, but that doesn't necessarily mean it is a bad thing.
The story itself is nothing to marvel at as it follows a youngsters who was inspired to build Gunpla models after witnessing the life sized Mobile Suit Gundam erected in Odaiba years ago. Later, they discover the existence of 'Gunpla Battles' an arcade mobile suit simulator that allows people to drive their own personal Gunpla models in heated battle. The show does however draw homages from previous Gundam series and parodies in a sort of way that makes it enjoyable.
The show allows many breath taking opportunities for Mock Mobile Suit battles as it is not set in any Gundam timeline. Many hardcore fans will be satisfied with the epic fight sequences between mechs of different timelines and be pleasantly amused by Customised Gunpla that can be easily crafted in real life.
It also adds realistic elements to the battle sequences as certain faults could be made by Gunpla Builders when they handle the Gunpla parts. These mistakes are critical to Gunpla battles and also suggests the theme that:
'Gunpla is not simply following instructions, builders have to handle the parts carefully and through care and hardwork can a person build a perfect Gunpla'
My only quarrel with the show is that it was too short as a few more episodes would not have been a chore.
It may be all about over-the-top tinkering and playing with action figures, but Gundam Build Fighters is indeed a fun watch with lots of action that fans of all ages can enjoy. Whether you're into Gundam or not, it will definitely move you, one way or another!