10.08.2014

Mecha Analysis: Gundam Build Fighters Try Episode 1


Battling with Gunpla, whether it be through the imagination of a kid smashing plastic together, or the imagination of writers and developers, through manga, anime, and video games, has been an integral part of the Gundam franchise as early as 1982 (Plamo-Kyoshiro). Not only do I think it would be wrong if I did not write about the anime the scale models in this blog are based on, it would be even worse if I did not write about the anime that bases itself on Gunpla. Like Gundam G no Reconguista, instead of analyzing the episode, I would like to take a closer look at the machinery (in this case, Gunpla) in each episode. This way there may be more context in the next episode of 'Why I Hate Money.'

If you missed my Mecha Analysis for G no Reconguista episode 1 & 2, click here!

Background
After the success of Gundam Build Fighters earlier this year, 'Encore' could be heard repeated across the globe. Around early April, days after the final episode, the Director ensured us that a second season was coming. Now here we are in October, and the sequel, Gundam Build Fighters Try has finally come!
Seven years have passed since the events of Gundam Build Fighters, Gunpla Battles have since expanded. The story focuses on three students, Sekai Kamiki, a Reiji look-alike who is adept in martial arts, Yuuma Kousaka, an amazing Gunpla Builder who is the spitting image of Sei Iori, and Fumina Hoshino, a girl that pilots yellow gunpla...like China. Wait a minute, they're just like the cast from the original Gundam Build Fighters! Something, something, something, Team Fights, love triangle, synopsis. If you're reading this blog, I hope you're watching the anime.

The mechanical design team for Gundam Build Fighters returns for Try,
  • Kunio Okawara: THE Gundam designer, designing the original RX-78-2, and Zaku II along with many designs through the years. He's had his hand in Zeta, ZZ, 0080, F90, F91, 0083, Victory, G Gundam, 08th, Wing, X, Turn A, SEED, 00, Unicorn, and many other non-Gundam anime. Holy crap this list is long.
  • Not much is said about Junichi Akutsu, Junya Ishigaki, and Kenji Teraoka.
  • Kanetake Ebikawa, though has been working as a mechanical designer since the late 90s with anime like Blue Submarine No.6 and Full Metal Panic!, did not start designing for the Gundam franchise until 2007 with Mobile Suit Gundam 00. Other notable works include Gunpla Builders Beginning G, Gundam AGE, and Euerka Seven: AO.
Because this series is based on Gunpla and all the Gundam series affiliated, it is hard to see the exact influence these mechanical designers have on the mobile suit, as customized as they may be. At least we can see where these designers are coming from!

Episode 1

Introductions after introductions! Definitely not as strong of an opening episode as the previous season, but the action was definitely there. I'm hoping this series doesn't feel like Gundam Build Fighters Tryhards in the sense that the writers tried too hard to add cameos and sell kits, even though that was the goal from the beginning.

Powered GM Cardigan

From the very beginning, we see this mobile suit in action. The Powered GM Cardigan is piloted by Fumina Hoshino, the last Gunpla Battler in the Gunpla Battle Club. She seems pretty desperate in finding partners to battle with.


The kit is bulked up from its base kit, the Powered GM, equipped with a small arsenal of weapons, shields, even the iconic UC decoys, first seen in ZZ, used in CCA, and beautifully animated in Unicorn!


The Cardigan is definitely an interesting mobile suit and I would like to see more action from it, utilizing its full arsenal.


Even so, The Powered GM Cardigan does not instill as much inspiration as its first appearance in 0083: Stardust Memory. Maybe its because I know what becomes of it very quickly - Sometimes I wish I didn't read so much into the descriptions of these mobile suits.

Dom
Why is there a Dom stored inside a trophy. Why does a trophy have a storage compartment? Some things are better left unexplained, but I still want to know what Sei Iori was thinking when he made the decision to fashion a hole in his trophy to store a Dom.


For those who watched the episode, we all know the Dom gets obliterated in this episode, so not much needs to be mentioned about this suit. Though I should mention Sekai makes the Dom look pretty badass.
 

In its short life, we see the martial art capability Sekai has, even with a simple, unmodified kit like the Dom. We'll see how much more powerful he gets with a Gunpla kit that suits his capabilities...


Nevertheless, Doan would be proud.

Enact

What is this lime green color? Why would a "Gunpla Artist" think Lime Green was a good color to paint an Enact? Good thing this suit also lasts one episode before it gets destroyed by Sekai's Seiken-Zuki.


So long, Lime Enact, you will not be missed.

Lightning Gundam

Hold up, everyone: we have a badass coming through.
Yuuma comes out in the end to save the president from utter defeat (he was technically too late). Not much is shown of this highly customized Re-GZ. Wait a minute...the guys at Sunrise created a Sniper type from a mobile suit from CCA that is known for high mobility. Seems awfully familiar to my Jegan Sniper Type...

 

For most of its debut, the Lightning Gundam is seen in the poses above, shooting away from a high point. It is not until the very end of the episode where we see him move.


I guess we'll have to wait until episode 2 to see any more of the Lightning Gundam.

Build Burning Gundam

Before I go over the suit as seen in the show, I would like to point out one interesting fact. Build Burning Gundam is based on Mobile Fighter G Gundam's lead suit, God Gundam. In various localizations, particularly the American version, God Gundam's name is changed to Burning Gundam (and Devil Gundam to Dark Gundam), as a way to thwart any accusations of blaspheme or religious slander.


Why I bring this up is because the writers and/or producers of this anime had an international audience in mind even before the show came to fruition: Build Burning Gundam's design surrounds its name 'Burning' with its fire motif.


Now what actually happened in the anime? Why does Build Burning burst forth from the Dom? What was Sei thinking? Or is this Reiji's ridiculous work? Either way, nothing makes sense right now. Then again, Reiji's appearance in the previous series still doesn't make sense.

In terms of its performance, we only get to catch a glimpse of it in action. The best thing about Build Burning Gundam, like its predecessors in both G Gundam and Build Fighters, is shouting attack names as they are used - very Shounen Jump. The iconic move of this episode is Shippu-Zuki, roughly translated "Hurricane Moon," thanks, /u/CureChihaysaur!



Let's see how far Yosuke Kuroda will take the Shounen Jump style action in the coming episodes.

Cameo of the Week
One unique feature the Gundam Build Fighters universe offers is the ability to show any mobile suit they choose, whether it be an obscure suit from an outdated kit, a custom fan creation, or an in-house custom mobile suit. Almost every episode of Gundam Build Fighters has at least one cameo and Gundam Build Fighters Try is no different. Here are the Cameos that stuck out to me.


Shin Musha Gundam right off the bat! This is the second time it appears in the Build Fighters series. Last time it was on a shelf, this time, its the final boss as Fumina seems to be struggling to find any decent Gunpla Battlers. I'm glad my favorite kit keeps showing up!


The image above shows a Mk-II and Hi-Zack. I found this interesting because it is the same pose from 0079, but parodied with the cast of Zeta Gundam. Nothing amazing, just an interesting use of the sequel's mobile suits to achieve the same iconic scene.

I'd go through and figure out every cameo that exists, but one has only so many hours in a day. I'll leave that work for Oyama7. With that, it's time to wrap things up here. I hope you enjoyed this article. Until G no Reconguista episode 3, this has been Mecha Analysis! See you then!