Yes, yes. I am well aware that the 12 Days allotted for these posts are basically over and here I am publishing my 2nd one. Sorry about that. This post also look a lot longer to create than I expected.
I already have one 12 Day post on Gundam Build Fighters, but the second, much better, half of the series aired in 2014, so I need to cover it!
Build Fighter’s inclusion in this series likely implies that it is one of my favorite series this year. True as that may be, it is probably more accurate to claim that it is one of my favorite anime series of all time.
I love Gundam Build Fighters so, so much. I like GBF Try a lot as well.
Gundam Build Fighters
I, unfortunately do not remember the fights all that well. This aired way back earlier in the year, so yeah… That said, I think I enjoyed every fight in the second half of the series. There are two fights I remember the most though.
Aila vs Reiji & Sei
In terms of actual combat, the fight between Aila and Reiji may not have been the best fight in GBF (though it was still great), but this fight was arguably the most emotional.
Up until this fight, Aila had lived as a puppet for her employer. She fought battles she did not wish to and not only did she fight them against those she did not wish to fight (Reiji), but also using “weapons” she did not want to use.
She gave up all of her time, her youth and enjoyment of life for a bit of money and a place to live. Granted both of those are very important if you plan on surviving, but just maybe Aila gave up far too much.
Aila’s suffering came to its head in episode 21 where she was stripped of all control and turned into nothing, but a Gunpla destroying machine. (Well, technically this happened in the previous episode as well, but this was a bit more serious.)
It took some coincidental gifting of a magic necklace by Sei and China, some magic Gundum particles and a magic telepathic conversation with Reiji before Aila finally broke free of her chains. In the end, all it took was Reiji telling Aila that she should prioritize what she wants, and well he offered her a place to live as well. That Reiji. What a smooth guy, he is.
I do find it interesting how Reiji and Aila were in this respect polar opposites. Aila shackled herself for a place to live whereas Reiji continued to drift around doing whatever the heck he wanted.
One might sensibly claim that Aila’s reversal in life priorities was bit too fast or perhaps too contrived, but fuck those sensibilities. Watching Aila bicker with Reiji and then turn around and give a big screw you to everyone that had ruined her life was glorious. It was especially great seeing her tell that spoilt kid that if he wanted to win at Gunpla, he should play it himself.
The visuals this episode were wonderful (those flowers Aila saw when she lost for example) and the soundtrack was incredible, even by GBF standards.
The Final Fight
The last episode featured an all out brawl between a rogue crystal and well, everyone. It encompassed everything this show was about. From dramatic entrances by respected masters (Ral & Master Chinan), to dramatic oh noes (like China and Aila’s gunplas being blown up) to Yuki’s flashy entrance, everything was done Gundam Build Fighters style.
Maybe because of that, because of everything the show had made me invest, that final Hyper Knuckle with the opening song playing in the background actually brought water to my eyes when I rewatched it.
The fight was then followed by a quick, emotional final battle between Yuki and Reiji/Sei. It ended short, leaving behind the bittersweet taste of a draw.
The most memorable moment though was seeing Reiji disappear. Watching those two really close friends say goodbye and promise to fight again someday hit me. I think in some ways that is the biggest difference between Build and Build Try or just Build and other anime in general. Reiji as a main character is very likable and his friendship with Sei is genuine and built upon good comradery and trust.
Most memorable Moment
Well, what I found most memorable was not a particular moment, but rather a filtered collection of them. To be more specific, I am talking about:
My friend Draggle claims that GBF is the best shipping anime because there are ships for everyone. He is quite correct. GBF has good ships like Chairman x Baker, Mao x Misaki, Carol x Nils and really good ships like Fellini x Kirara.
My most memorable ship though is the one ship that stands above them all.
Reiji x Aila
Reiji x Aila is one of the best ships this year (heck, I might have been tempted to call it the best ship had it not been for Nozaki-kun). As I said earlier, Reiji and Aila are in some ways polar opposites (she does not do what she wants and Reiji only does what he wants), but they are also so very alike.
They eat delicious food together, have petty arguments over aforementioned food and just go along so well with one another. It is such a cute, great relationship and moments like the two hiding in bushes together, or the two telepathically connecting, or having a marriage spat mid battle, or Aila following Reiji to his home are just so, so good.
I am so happy that Aila followed Reiji home and pretty obviously blushed out her feelings. I really hope GBF Try shows them married (a marriage between Fellini and Kirara would be much appreciated as well).
Gundam Build Fighters Try
GBF Try has taken its time hitting its stride and that is fine. It is still the first half and the original GBF had a weaker first half as well. I enjoy the current episodes a lot and I am hoping that I will end up writing a very “OH MY GOD TRY WAS AWESOME” 12 Day post next year.
For someone who was supposed to be the enemy, Gyanko is very likable. Her fight with G-Master was a great fight and poor Gyanko tried really hard. What I really liked was her reaction to it all. The strong front she put on to convince everyone she was all right was pretty cute.
I love how she pulls out all the stops in trying to win over Sekai. Her depressions act before her match with Miyazato to get Sekai’s attention was great. Sekai x Fumino is cute, but so is Sekai x Gyanko if only because Gyanko is actually trying. Decisions, decisions.
Team Try Fighters defeats G-Master
The fight between team Try and team G-Master in episode 9 was intense. Hit after hit, both teams kept trying. They kept coming back up and the persistance on show was amazing. What was arguably just as amazing was that when G-Master lost, their President took the defeat very gracefully. This was his last chance, but he accepted defeat and moved on. This fight was representative of everything the battles in this series have stood for. Hard, serious fights and a gracious defeat because the fight itself was just about having fun. Nothing more, nothing less.
Most Memorable Moment
The Meijin Enters
This entry is kind of unfair, partly because this episode aired after this post was due, but also because it was for a character from the original GBF.
So yeah…that moment at the end of episode 11? You know the one where the glorious, incredible Meijin theme starts playing, then a red majestic Gunpla descends from the heavens, while flowers rise up to meet their savior? Yeah, that one. THAT WAS AMAZING.
What also made me laugh was how after the ending, Tatsuya is shown standing next to the other kids at the Gunpla station. Despite that awe inspiring entrance, in the end he is still just playing with toys. This show is so hilariously silly sometimes!