One might expect me to claim that I like Build Fighters because of childhood nostalgia, a fascination with model Gundams or perhaps just an obsession with the Gundam franchise. If I ever made such a claim, it would be a lie.
It might be hard to believe for those who don’t watch it, but I like this show for its own merit.Once you have watched a bit of this show, you realize that this show is genuinely good.
In episode 5, Sei and Maou have an imaginary battle. It is great because it is just in their head and it demonstrates just how passionate these two builders are.
Yuuki vs Sei/Reiji (Round 2)
This fight. SO FUCKING INTENSE.
I bet “real” Gundam anime wished they had fights this intense.
The background music was incredible and the non-stop action sequences were also incredible. Like, seriously. There were no breaks. They exchanged blow after blow until both Gunpla’s were almost totally destroyed.
The fight ended in one big bang with Sei/Reiji losing.
If I was to make a list of top fights in 2013, this would definitely be in there.
Samurai-Boy takes down Greko
This was another intense fight though admittedly it was totally one sided. It was both a great demonstration of Nils Nielsen’s (Samurai-Boy) skills but also a good showcase of an experienced fighters determination and desire to win. Good stuff.
Taking down the Mega-Size Zaku
In episode 12, the chairman of PPSE interferes with the battle and unleashes an automatic, gigantic Zaku into the playing field. The Zaku is programmed to go after Reiji, so our heroes have no choice but to fight it.
The teamwork involved in eventually bringing down the monster was great.
Everything is sold out.
In episode 10, Reiji goes around trying to buy food but everywhere he goes, it is sold out. The cause? Aila was going around buying all the snacks. The little snack chase and obsession with food was the start of their relationship. I really, really, really hope that more relationship building things happens between the two. Reiji and Aila are a great ship! (The interactions they have later on are even better!)
(As an aside, is it just me or are the women in Gundam series always ridiculously attractive in a good, non moe way?)
Build Fighters has been a relatively consistent anime, so it is hard to pick out a bunch of moments to talk about. That said, I want to talk about two more general things.
Pretty much every character in this show approaches Gunpla with unrivaled passion, vigor and energy. I have never owned a Gundam kit and I am not really a Gundam fan (haven’t seen enough to consider myself a fan), so I I can’t relate to this passion but that doesn’t mean I can’t admire it.
These kids really like their Gunpla battles. In order to prepare for matches, they spend days if not weeks, training. The matches themselves are full of yelling, great maneuvers, twists, some strategy and fantastic action sequences. Seriously, this show is worth watching for the great, energetic action battles alone but the passion doesn’t stop there.
The passion extends to building the things in the first place. The builders take one look at another person’s Gunpla and they can instantly recognize the hard work put in and the attention to detail. They discuss things like materials used, paint jobs, weapons installed and modifications to the reference design.
This passion paints the relationships between the fighters/builders. They may be rivals but they are all passionate about Gunpla and because of that, each encounter, each meeting, each friendship is equal parts rivalry and respect. It is wonderful to see.
I might be stepping my bounds but I’d like to think that this passion extends to the staff behind the anime as well. Build Fighters features incredible production values. The action scenes are wonderfully animated and choreographed. The visuals and general character are spot on and the soundtrack is fantastic.
This anime is most certainly not a hack-job. It is not something put together last minute to rake in the dough. There is some genuine thought and passion put into it.
Ral is a middle aged man who is just somehow always there when needed. He provides match commentary (for the audience) and sometimes acts as a narrator of sorts as well. His keen insight is often used to foreshadow upcoming disasters. He also provides much needed “wisdom” to Sei and Reiji.
He is no replacement for the exciting tornado that is Speedwagon but Ral-San is great in his own way.
I am finding it difficult to capture the charm of Ral-San in words but his appearance and commentary never fail to bring a smile to my face. It is probably the mustache. Yeah, it has to be the mustache.