The matches start to tighten up as Reiji’s intensity only seems to grow.
What They Say:
To have a rematch against Tatsuya Yuuki, and beat him—this has been Reiji’s only motivation for fighting Gunpla battles. But now that Yuuki has suddenly withdrawn from the competition, Reiji has lost his purpose, and aimlessly wanders the streets. Sei, too, is frustrated that he can’t have a rematch with Yuuki. Seeing the two of them, China feels an indescribable uneasiness. Now that Reiji is unable to fight Yuuki, where is he going to end up? But Sei vows to believe in Reiji, and looks forward to his eventual return. Meanwhile, Reiji is trembling with fear as Tatsuya Yuuki appears before him. And clutched in his hand is the Zaku Amazing!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Upping the female quota here is definitely not a bad thing for this series since there are a lot of women who got into the Gundam universe in the past decade and any game that wants to have a wide audience needs to appeal to people of all genders. The young women that have been appearing in the show have been different and not just more of the same, though they do have their parallels with the boys, something that’s useful. We’ve had the cocky type, the hardcore fan and the complete newbie type, so that allows the main cast to interact with them all in good and interesting ways that isn’t just the same thing over and over again.
The first half of the episode gives us a few tastes of what’s to come as we see the progress Tatsuya has been making with his side of the game and training, which will definitely make it fun when the rematch happens. But we also get some good time spent with Kousaka and Sei as he’s helping her with getting her kits up to speed. She’s certainly enjoying the time that she gets to spend with him while working on them, but he’s also impressed with her modeling ability since she’s handling the paint side of it well and doing some stuff that really makes it easy for him to praise her. The unusual part to the first half though is when we catch up with Reiji as he sits along the river and wonders aloud what reason he really had for coming to this world and doing what he’s doing. Reiji’s past has certainly been a mystery and getting even a little bit of a tease about it is definitely intriguing.
While there isn’t a lot of exploration of that here, we do get Reiji all intense and riled up as he gets to go up against Tatsuya after getting some useful words from Ral which in the end reinforces his bond with Sei. He’s desperate to fight and having Sei make it clear that the Strike he built is made solely for him just adds to his intensity, which translates very well to the space battle that occurs between the two when they play the game. The fight isn’t as long as one might hope, but it has some great moments as we see the high quality space battle animation unfold and as it really ends up showing the skill of both players in the game. Tatsuya’s Zaku is definitely a lot of fun to watch here and seeing the way Reiji and Sei are continuing to bond and grow stronger together helps a lot to really reinforce what they’re capable of.
Gundam Build Fighters is definitely working its path in a straighforward and understandable manner that does admittedly skew a bit younger than what a lot of Gundam fans are hoping for. But it’s also giving the hardcore Gundam fans something to enjoy when it comes to the game matches themselves. Eliminating the larger story scope of past series and just going for the enjoyment of the battles here as competitive matches is something that I’m definitely enjoying. With Reiji, we’re getting a touch more on what he’s all about, which is a plus, but it’s still hugely open to interpretation and I’m hoping for a good surprise to come from it that could make it even more fun. I’m enjoying the show for what it is and largely smiling throughout because it does what it wants to do. And that’s simply to be fun.
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.