Back when I was a kid Id say 4 or 5 I began my path to geekdom with two legendary and out of this world scifi series Robotech and Star Wars. These two golden oldies were part of my childhood and I cant thank my parents enough for introducing them to me. More than 10 years later Id eventually hear about the Star Wars of anime Gundam a legendary robot war franchise as expansive as the Star Wars universe itself. I loved Code Geass all 3 seasons of Robotech Macross Southern Cross and MOSPEADA so I was interested. More than a year and several Gundam series later I wound up here. I felt like a kid again. mild spoilers Gundam Build Fighters was such a personal breath of fresh air for me that I havent had since the early episodes of G Gundam and the 4 monthly episodes of Thunderbolt Second Season over the course of Spring 2017. The story goes that for 5 months in a row I had never seen a legitimately very good or very fun series ever since the Winter 2017 season when I showed my love for Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu: Sukeroku Futatabihen and gloriously took down the disaster known as Hand Shakers I watched almost nothing but anime that either sucked or disappointed me. Sure I still had the absolutely stellar Gundam Thunderbolt Second Season but that only came on one episode per month and then it was back to more disappointment and suffering. By this point Zeta was declining a bit in quality towards the end the Akito movies were trash I was massively disappointed in JinRoh as while G Gundam and Kings Avatar cake close neither series ever quite gave me that spark of greatness and awesomeness I had longed for barring episodes 612 of G Gundam not to mention that I saw EromangaSensei Gundam ZZ Musekinin Galaxy Tylor and Super Kid four anime that I despise greatly and had a horrendous viewing experience of. I was about to give up. I was even ready to give up on Gundam for a while once I was done with this and ZZ. Once I reused this however things began to change. I started having fun again fun I hadnt had since the aforementioned episodes of G Gundam and the monthly viewing experience of Thunderbolt Second Season which gave me joy I hadnt had in anime since Winter of 2017. I started geeking out again and gawking at the epic flashy mobile suits being introduced. This anime wa super fun. It was great...kinda. You see this anime is a Valhalla for Gundam fans seeing all ther favorite Gundam units and mobile suits either present or reimagined with even some characters from these Gundam anime we know playing minor roles and cameos but despite that this is a silky and sometimes stupid kids show akin to G Gundam and while thats not an absolutely bad thing t means this anime wasnt quite as great as it could be. It fought valiantly however and Im proud of it not only for that but for reigniting something in me fully. Thank you for listening to my story so for now lets skip the usual segue and just jump into the review proper shall we? Ill address the bad first this time around unlike usual. First off they really underutilized he whole alternate world thing involving Reiji the Chairman and the Plavsky particles. We dont know how Reiji could go back and forth at his own leisure or anything about the other world beyond Reiji being a prince and his rock beings stolen that can generate these plavsky particles. Also Gunpla tournaments are horrendously managed since its insanely easy to cheat and there is literally no rules beyond maybe one that is clearly being broken anyway no suits that enhance abilities making it insanely easy and common to blatantly cheat with no repercussions or anyone to report cheating. Some victories are pretty much either asspulls or otherwise things that couldve been easily stopped especially in the later episodes such as in episodes 21 and 24. Certain losses feel forced too and a forced loss is always a horrible thing. However what makes this script way better than it has any right to be is the sheer attention to detail with the fanfare and what certain things mean. While I wish they were drawn instead of just real life images its nice seeing the actual Gunpla boxes in stores and stuff and white frankly its amazing to be able to look at Gundam units and mobile suits and recognize what they are and what particular Gundam anime they came from as well as seeing the new variation and pinpointing what inspired it and where said mobile suit came from. They even snuck in glorious character cameos for fans like me to geek out at. Each mech used in combat from one of the other anime is represented faithfully as well. I like that Plavsky also rhymes with Minovski the particles from Universal Century and that Ranba Ral is a side character who quotes/paraphrases iconic lines from the actual Ral character from 0079. Lastly I like how Seis dad piloted the original Gundam from the original Mobile Suit Gundam while Sei now pilots a variation of the Strike Gundam from SEED. Reason being that its really like passing the torch to someone who imitates and looks up to you. After all SEED is a modern for the time attempt at recycling the original Gundam anime you know its true. The characters in the show are fine for what they are but most of them are the plain characters youd see in a younger action anime of this type though theyre done decently enough without being obnoxiously cookie cutter. Its interesting that Sei is a total SEED fan who originally wanted his Gundam to adhere to that series technological mythos though that particular method is kinda broken thanks to the Destiny Gundam making no sense from that standpoint and that he subconsciously knew all of the dialogue from the original Mobile Suit Gundam but it adds very little to him. Honestly my favorite character is Rinko Seis mom not just because of her beauty but also because of how avidly she ships her son with China. And shes a side character with no real important role. The other good character here is Ricardo Fellini the Italian Dandy simply because of his sheer style and his awesome Italian variation on the Wing Gundam an overrated mobile suit that had a much worse color scheme in its original form than in this variation the Wing Fenice. Tatsuya...starts out interesting but under the guise of Meijin becomes a boring broken record whose two favorite words are Meijin and victory though as his normal self hes a decent enough rival character. Aila is definitely the most complicated and somber and I do like that she is just as douchey and gluttonous as Reiji whom she grew to like her whole tsundere gig thankfully spared from some of the most egregious tropes that ruins a tsundere immediately with always calling him Baka and blushing and acting all stuck up when shes embarrassed sort of became annoying at times. Im not gonna talk about everyone since theres quite a lot of them heck I hardly even brought up the main leads but Ill try to list a few things here and there. Kirara is a beautiful idol character who needs to write better songs and I like her relationship with Fellini Ral is a mostly chuckleworthy comic relief Ramba Ral quoter who gets a cool scene where he fights a dude who is disrupting a match Mao has infinitely better taste in Gundam waifus than his master and Reiji can be kinda fun to watch at times whether its him being sassy or getting sassed at. The only character in this show that is truly terrible is the chairman and I have no idea why they made him the main bad guy a pathetic comedic character who cant get shit done and is always whining and cowering in fear. But yeah an overall meh cast with some decent and some bad characters. I guess this is to be expected for a kids anime though. Each old Gundam and Mobile Suit are recreated perfectly in this installment of the franchise and the designs of the original suits or variations of old suits look amazing as well with standouts being Star Build Gundam Gundam X Maoh Crossbone Maoh Wing Fenice Sengoku Astray Gundam and Gundam Exia Dark Matter. The fight scenes are mostly pretty good with some epically flashy attacks and equipment shown in each battle from the digital effects lasers to the capes that deflect beams to each powered up mode of the Star Build Gundam. Sure a few bits here and there including a bit in OP 1 and ED 2 have kinda choppy frame rates and theres a bit of bad CGI including the gray explosion clouds which dont look good and the character designs are only decent and not as good as say 00 or Unicorn but overall the series is well animated and the digital effects are used brilliantly here. Shoutouts to some of the crazy cool techniques they used in Sengoku Astrays battles in episode 19. OP 1 Nibun no Ichi by BACKON is a pretty good and upbeat first OP they really sets us in such an upbeat and fun series. OP 2 wimp ft. LilFang from FAKY by BACKON is even better and honestly one of the best this franchise has to offer though I find it hard to describe what makes it so good other than the great vocalists. ED 1 Imagination Reality by AiRI is a generic ED and as such its easily skippable. ED 2 Hanpan Spirit by Hyadain is a pretty charming and nostalgic ED and is overall much better. I especially love the ending part of that. The actual OST is...overplayed. There arent a whole lot of tracks just like in Zeta Gundam but those tracks were on the whole superior to these. There are some pretty good tracks like MeijinSix times the passion of an ordinary flamenco and Samurai edge but the main standout I can find the name of is PowerResonance. Still none of these themes are bad and not a lot of them are truly forgettable but thus small OST is overall just good and not great even with the stellar OPs. To be honest even with some irritating cliche moments and weak character writing as well as a few disappointing fight outcomes I still enjoyed the hell out of this series. I geeked the fuck out over seeing Gundam units like MK.II Zeta F91 and so many more and going I know that Gundam from that one series as well as doing the same with the variations and the nonGundam mobile suits. Thats a major factor in the charm of the series especially in the first half where that is more prominent. Though episode 23 was also amazing since we literally get to see so many characters from these Gundam series make background and minor cameos including many dead characters too. I especially loved Chars and how he sasses Seis dad. Honestly this is why Id recommend this series only to people who have seen a ton of Gundam anime from multiple timelines. Newcomers wont get all this or be able to truly appreciate this kind of hypeinducing fanfare like I did and thus some of the charm especially for the first half will have been robbed. The actual fights were overall pretty exciting too like Build Strike vs Zaku Amazing in episode 6 Star Build Strikes reveal in episode 10 Star Build Strike can Sengoku Astray in episode 19 the battle of Ao Boa Qu in the finale and many more. I wouldnt outright say I love this series but damn was it pretty fun. Heck despite the fact that it never quite reaches true greatness as an anime in and of itself its still pretty good mediocre character writing and occasionally disappointing storytelling aside. Its best as a celebration of what Gundam is and was as well as being an insanely fun promotion for Gunpla kits. Quite frankly its still one of the more fun Gundam anime out there and thats pretty important too for an anime about giant robots fighting and destroying each other. Well with all that said I bid you adieu.
73 /100
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