Gundam has always been about war, what causes it, and human evolution. But it has also been about model kits. In Model Suit Gunpla Builders Beginning G, war is completely ignored and the models become the focus; celebrating thirty years worth of plastic kit building.
The story starts when Haru Irei goes to see the Odaiba Gundam with his father. When he decides he wants to build a model kit, he fails to pick up the last RX-78 and instead stumbles upon a rare model kit, the Beginning Gundam. Upon completing it, he starts to play in the Gunpla Battle video game where his model is scanned into a computer so he can actually pilot it against other model kits. In one of these battles he meets the mysterious Boris Schauer, who shows him how deep the world of Gunpla can get.
The series is a three episode OVA of episodes consisting of fifteen minutes each. It can either be seen as a crass marketing ploy that cuts out the War Is Hell middleman or a cute little show about the culture that has kept Gundam going for thirty years - which seeing as its meant to celebrate the models - not the series, the latter would the optimal mindset to enjoy it. Either way you can view it online here. It also spawn two side story mangas, Gunpla Builders Beginning D and Gunpla Builders Beginning J.
Now has a Defictionalization in the video game Gundam Breaker for the Playstation 3 and Playstation Vita, which serves the OVA's purpose in Video Game form, as well as the foundation for what will later be known as the Gundam Build Series with the Spiritual Successor in the anime series Gundam Build Fighters which expands the idea even further.
Gunpla Builders Beginning G provides examples of the following tropes.
- The Abridged Series: So far only 1 episode was made by Gutted Wren Studios, the creators of Mobile Suit Gundam Abridged.
- Beautiful All Along: In J, when Figlia Contini removes her glasses, both Takeru Nekki and Hikari Arisugawa are quite shocked.
- Broken Aesop: After spending most of the story learning that what matters is not only build quality, but also passion, effort and hard work, Haru eventually rises to the level of his rival Boris thanks to nepotism. His dad, who literally works at Bandai, directly sends him the new and obviously overpowered Beginning 30 parts. It's especially obvious when compared to Koji, who took the lesson to heart and earnestly rebuilt his Hi-Nu himself, yet gets destroyed in seconds as a throwaway joke.
- Char Clone: Boris Schauer. One may argue that he might just be a cosplaying Char fanboy, but he still serves a similar role, being Stealth Mentor, and later The Rival to Haru. Oh, and he gets around riding a Cool Horse, just like Char.
- Cosplay Otaku Girl:
- Saki Mishima of Gunpla Builders D is always dressed in an Elegant Gothic Lolita costume and she's a gunpla builder. When entering a Gunpla Battle, Saki switches her contact lens from usual gold to red, just to emulate the Red Eyes, Take Warning trope. In the 7th chapter, she switches her costume to a mobile trace suit.
- Figlia Contini from Gunpla Builders J walks around in a military officer costume, keep in mind that she's just an Ordinary High-School Student.
- The Cameo: A few lesser known suits pop up in this namely the Astray Red Frame which only has a few seconds of screen time before it's carved up by The O.
- Elsewhere Fic: The manga series Gunpla Builders D and Gunpla Builders J tell stories of other kids who get Beginning Gundam, Shingo Asume and Takeru Nekki.
- Expy/Homage ...it'd be easier to list anything that isn't one or the other considering the celebratory nature of this mini-series, between the names, the Char Clone, and the very gundam models themselves...
- Epic Fail: One of the reasons why Koji Matsumoto's Hi-ν Gundam loses to the Beginning Gundam is because clumsiness on the part of Koji's assistant caused the Hi-ν's left hip polycap to break in the middle of the battle. The fact that the Hi-ν was already stuck in a tarp didn't help either.
- Fiery Red Head, Hot Blooded Sideburns: Takeru Nekki◊ from Gunpla Builders J has them both. And true to them, his Gunpla modification is more crazy than Haru and Shingo. His vanilla Beginning Gundam is armed with a giant Rocket Punch. When he upgraded it to Beginning J, he replaced the beam sabers with BFS taken from Sword Impulse and later, turned it into a centaur-like MS using parts of Fuunsaiki from Mobile Fighter G Gundam, with a Badass Cape taken from the Master Gundam.
- Fun Size: 1/550 Big Zam, oh lord the irony
- He Was Quite a Looker: In Gunpla Builders D, when Shingo found an old photo of the Mishima siblings, he has no idea who they are (only Daiyu plays this trope, young Saki simply wasn't dyeing her hair nor wearing the costume yet).
- Lethal Joke Character: Bearguy is so maladjusted and ridiculously pimped that her opponent don't expect it to pack decent weaponry at all.
- Lighter and Softer: Obviously.
- Mecha Expansion Pack / Midseason Upgrade: The Beginning 30 Gundam, which is a Meaningful Name when you consider that the OVA was released on the 30th anniversary of Gunpla.
- Mix And Match Gunpla: Super Custom Zaku F2000 was a Zaku Type F2 with extra armor and armed with equipment from other Zaku II kits. Many more are appear in D and J.
- Mundane Made Awesome: Inversion. Kenta's white Sazabi is just a Palette Swap, but if you also build Gunpla and ever tried to paint the red Sazabi into Kenta's white, then you know it's truly amazing paint job.
- Named After Somebody Famous: Figlia Contini's Akatsuki Corleone in Gunpla Builders J is based on The Godfather because she's a fan of the movie.
- Original Generation: The Beginning Gundam is the only one not modded from a mecha from the Gundam franchise (an odd choice for the leading character considering the whole homage thing).
- Palette Swap:
- Kenta's White Hyaku Shiki and Sazabi and Kouji's Nu-Colored Hi-Nu Gundam are custom colored versions of the said 3 mobile suits. The sidestories add many more of them.
- There's also plenty of palette-swaps shown during the Gunpla Championship Fights, such as the black-painted The O, and the red and blue Z'Gok.
- Shout-Out: The last scenario in Episode 2, where Boris is creating an upgrade kit for Haru's Beginner, is a direct Shout-Out to Char's intentional leakage of Psycho Frame to Amuro and his Nu Gundam in Char's Counterattack.
- Split Personality: Tatsu Shimano is a Nice Guy and also being one who teach Haru and Kenta about gunpla modification, but he becomes Ax-Crazy in Gunpla Battles though. Interesting enough, his main tactic is "using Macross Missile Massacre to lure enemy up close, then finish them with melee attack" which also used by another character with a Split Personality in After War Gundam X.
- Super Prototype: Downplayed. Since Gunpla are commercial modeling kits, most of them are mass produced. Still, limited kits such as the Beginning Gundam are more powerful in Gunpla Battles than generic kits.
- Ace Custom: Ranges from subtle changes as seen in the Hi-Nu Gundam (it's actually built using parts from three separate kits, since each kit only has a pair of fully functional fin funnels), to extreme makeovers as seen in the Forever Gundam, the Super Custom Zaku F2000 and, of course, the Bearguy.
- Unskilled, but Strong: Haru was just newbie in Gunpla Battles in first episode, but his Gundam's power overwhelmed his enemies even when it was not properly built!