I’m sure at one point in our childhood lives, we were fascinated with toys. Toys can do cool things like move around, make noises, and even do a bit of action. But what about Gundams? Piloting one would be impossible with our current technology in the modern world. However, we do have these cool little gadgets called Gunpla that resembles the big bad mecha you see in the franchise. Gundam Build Fighters Try returns for another season where Gunpla takes the skies and our characters steps into the driving seat.
As a direct sequel, you may be asking if it’s imperative to watch the first season known as ‘Gundam Build Fighters’. While it’s not entirely necessarily, it is very much recommended as there are cameos from important characters and interconnections to the main story. This season is directed by Shinya Watada and we have three main protagonists - Sekai Kamiki, Yuuma Kousaka, and Fumina Hoshino. They come from a school known as Seiho Academy where they form a team known as ‘Try Fighters’. The story tells of their journey revolving with Gunpla and how the sport revolutionized in their world
If you’re new to the concept of Gundam, be sure to freshen your mind a bit from the first season. Set 7 years after the events of the first season but in the same universe, the sequel doesn’t go into info dumps; although it does revisit concepts on some breather episodes. Instead, the series focuses on Try Fighters and what I call a journey for them to make a name of themselves. But for starters, they debut as underdogs. Because let’s face it, almost everyone starts off as a newbie when it comes to sports. For team Try Fighters, they experiment with Gunpla battles and what it’s like to work together as a team. This is especially true for Sekai as he had virtually no experience involving Gunpla. What’s fascinating about Sekai isn’t just his skill in the martial arts but his great enthusiasm. From his early debut, it’s easy to tell that he shows interest in Gunpla by the style he plays. His adaptation is almost surreal at times when we see how focused he is. On the other hand, we have Yuuma Kousaka who shows little interest at Gunpla. There’s actually a reason for this because of an event from his past although he later regains the confidence to fight again. His relationship with Sekai also has a rocky start as the two constantly gets into arguments. But later on, the show resolves their issues and unites them with the team. That actually brings up the final member of the team, Fumina Hoshino. As the leader, she enlists the help of Sekai and her childhood friend Yuuma to participate in Gunpla battles. For what this is worth, the show is pretty standard when it comes to its ideas. Yet with this basic setup, the show has this unanimous momentum from the beginning.
The first episode clearly illustrates the intensity of Gunpla battles. No less than a minute into the sequel, we have all out battles between Gunpla piloted by skilled players. It’s also noticeable that the show introduces variety with many type of battles throughout the season. Gundam Build Fighters Try isn’t shy to stir up unique twists throughout its story whether it’d be creative battle fields or astonishing tactics to wow the audience. The sequel isn’t a stranger to diversity either with all types of mobile suite appearing from the other Gundam series. This is what will inspire fans to stay in touch with the show especially for those who wants to see them in action again. Not to also mention, the show evolves with both new style of battle and rivals. This revolves with Team Build Try’s journey and the experience they gain by facing against powerful adversaries. The show adds texture to their growth by presenting both wins and losses. By losing, they also learn from their mistakes and it’s what makes them evolve. For what is worth, the show is like an experience for these rising stars.
With a show like this, it also depends on acceptance. If you’re looking for a series involving intergalactic wars or tragic storytelling, then you may be in the wrong place. Gundam Build Try is more of a fun show with interesting concepts involving Gunpla. It has some ambiguous way of storytelling with characters’ roles that all connects with the story. Then, there are the straightforward parts with conventional fashion involving Gunpla. I dare say that the series is also thoughtful when it comes to characters. All of them have some sort of unique personality that makes them stand out on their own. When they are put together as a team, it brings the best out of them individually and collectively. The series also adapts solid action with consistency when it comes to pacing. Every battle (regardless win, loss, or draw) has some sort of meaning that further expands the story’s purposes. If you’re a fan of Gundam and the first season, you may be more surprised by what this season can do.
Despite with all the fun style of the series and its highly entertaining doses, it does suffer some problems. Pacing sometimes become an issue when some episodes feeling a bit sluggish while other times may resolve issue in quick fashions. The show also has a more amateur feeling with the characters looking goofy. In essence, the show doesn’t adapt a serious or mature style like Gundam 00 or Gundam Seed. After all, the show is treated more as a sport for fans united for their passion to compete. The downside of this is that it may sway fans who are looking beyond more than that. Although the series’ story does go beyond Gunpla battles on occasions, it’s still the main focus and patience will be a key to adapt with the season’s style. Sometimes though, the series seems to try a bit too hard with itself. Comedy becomes part of this mix with cheesy lines and interactions. The show’s performance with its overall story tone also feels repetitive and can also be predictable at times. Tossing this aside, there are also moments when the show just feels too goofy for its own good when it comes to themes such as romance.
Similar to the first season, Gundam Build Fighters Try adapts the animation quality with a platform of creativity. Every single Gunpla in the show is unique whether it’s Sekai’s Build Burning Gundam, Fumina’s SD mobile suits, or even Bearguy used by Sekai’s elder sister. Speaking of which, the show also has a colorful sense with its character casts. Mirai Kamiki is designed with elegance and beauty while other characters such as Fumina has a more tomboyish outlook. Sekai may remind people of Reiji from the first season (hey even Ral mentions that he could be his second coming) with his character design. Still, the majority of the creativity comes with the Gunpla models and unique battles they participate in. It also seizes every opportunity to bring out the best of them with its intense battle scenarios. Although many of the battles are team-play, single one-on-one battles are also adapted well with full throttle action. You may sometimes have to catch a break or two after watching.
Soundtrack remains top notch if you are familiar with the first season. The OST exceeded my expectations and will leave you a strong impression if you are a fan for action. As for the main characters, each of them has a good note for their voice. Sekai is a prime example for the energy he brings into this show. Not only that but every character seems to have a life with their voice mannerisms. They also reflect the personalities in battle too when the opportunities come to give them their time to shine. Finally, OP and ED songs are decent with BACK-ON returning for the first theme. The ED songs also have a decorative sequence as a way of motivation.
Gundam Build Fighters Try is a show that I recommend to not just for those who enjoyed the first season but also if you’re interested in something different from the usual mecha wars. The series undertakes the task to adapt this unique sport with a very colorful cast of characters. Throw those in with a variety of Gunpla along the way and you’ll get entertainment. It also has a story of course with a sense of purpose and it never loses track of what it’s trying to do. And although it may lose focus on occasions with its pacing, the show ultimately connects together as a way to celebrate the Gundam franchise.