The real game is about to begin and the sense of something larger amiss grows.
What They Say:
The Gunpla Battle Championship World Tournament begins. One by one, representatives from throughout the world enter the holy ground of Shizuoka. The day before the tournament begins, Reiji skips the reception party and heads into town in search of tasty food, and there he has a fateful encounter with a mysterious girl. On the first day of the tournament, the world’s top players are proclaiming themselves victorious as usual…until Aila Jyrkiäinen, who became Finland’s representative by defeating the previous World Tournament winner during the qualifiers, makes her entrance and shows the world her overwhelming strength. Then Sei’s and Reiji’s battle begins. Their Star Build Strike, a new Gunpla created for the world championship and equipped with revolutionary new systems, finally flies into the world!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Spending time in the previous episode on China was definitely useful as the show has done somewhat decent with the female characters so far but had largely relegated them to opponents or those uninterested in Gunpla itself. China’s match and her time training and working with Sei was largely fun to watch since he treated her properly and she wanted to learn and grew into enjoying it. But now the show is shifting to the World Tournament itself as that’s getting ready to open and everyone has to get ready for the real battles that are ahead. And amid all of this, we see the mysterious adult organization that seems to be tracking events here becoming more worried about the mysterious girl that’s made her place in the game with some striking abilities.
With the boys all keen to get going on the matches as everything has lead to this point, it’s fun to watch as they head off with Ral being their guardian for it. It’s light and simple but it also goes for some fun since there are some formal events tied to it as well, which includes having them getting all dressed up in tuxes in order to socialize with everyone. Not that Reiji will put up for that and that makes it an event for Sei to cope with as best as he can. It’s pretty impressive how they put it all on and you can see it being very intimidating for a young man his age. But he knows others there of a similar age and that helps to ease things somewhat as it goes on. There’s a lot of fun to this, and the general mall shopping experience that follows which introduces the characters to that of Aila, the power player that’s at the forefront of what people know of team Nemesis.
While there’s some goofy material that goes on while out and about like that, the second half of the show shines more when it comes to the action in the Gunpla battles themselves. It’s here that we see the way the various players are going at it and the kind of intensity that there is to it, which is surprising to a lot of onlookers since this is the cream of the crop and there are some fantastic dynamics going on here amid the battles. Reiji and Sei naturally manage to shine more than a lot of the others, especially because of their age and the fact that they really did come out of nowhere. You do expect there to be more notice of who Sei is based on his father though, but that’s quietly swept under the rug in order to get to the expansive space battle that dominates it with what Sei has brought to the tournament.
Gundam Build Fighters continues to move along nicely as it seems like it’s really building towards something and taking the time to get there. We’ve had a lot of encounters before, a good number of matches and the maturing of Sei and Reiji’s relationship and understanding of the game that has now brought them to the World Tournament. The first half is all kind of light and simple, but it sets up how they’re there and the kind of interactions that goes along with any competitive event. It also gives us some time with Aila, who is still largely mysterious so there’s not a lot to work with there yet. But in the end, what we get here is a solidly engaging and fun to watch action sequence that lays out more of how the show will be going and hinting at what’s to come.
Streamed By: Official Gundam YouTube Channel
Sony KDL70R550A 70″ LED 1080P HDTV, Apple TV via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.