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When I heard of Gundam Build Fighters I thought it would seem like a pretty shallow dumb idea. However, I'm all the more glad to be proven wrong given how this show is pretty awesome.
For starters, the fights are cool and thrilling. Rather than rely on cheap asspulls, these fights are based on clever tactics with each player adjusting fighting styles to counter each other. Even though Sei and Reiji would eventually beat everyone and win, all their competing Gunplas and interesting enough that the fights remain engaging.
While GBF isn't somber and grim, it still offers profound character drama and sociopolitical commentary. Aila's backstory as an impoverished orphan forced to play battles resembles child exploitation by corporations. While the rivals seem like stock caricatures at first, they gradually develop more depth in a reverse-flanderization sense. Ricardo Fellini was initially presented as a playboy who fails to win over ladies. Later though, he's shown to be a spirited competitor who believes Gunpla battling should not be driven by hatred and also cares about his Wing Gundam as a childhood friend.
Overall I would say that is one of the best toy commercial shows given how well-made it is. Sunrise could've just thrown in a cookie cutter tournament show with dull characters, tedious arcs, and cheap fights but instead gave us an awesome show. All I can say is that after watching this celebration of Gundam, I'm proud to be a Gundam fan.
I have always been a fan of the Gundam series, so after the disappointment that was Gundam AGE, I was worried about the future of the series. When I heard of this new series, I was hugely skeptical. Still, I decided to give it a shot.
It's surprisingly good.
Gundam Build Fighters' primary purpose is to promote Gundam kits, but unlike most commercial series, it is actually very fun to watch. Sure the story is pretty cliche (although recent developments hint at future more serious events), and has none of Gundam's major themes (like war and racism) and darkness, but it is very humorous and entertaining. The show doesn't take itself too seriously, and as such as none of the heavy messages of previous series (aka you won't have the protagonist keep shouting at his opponents to stop fighting etc...).
The main strength of the series is both the fanservice and animation. Shout-out to other Gundam series are legion, and most importantly, the fights are very well done and the animation is top notch. Seeing mechas beating up each other has never been so fun to watch. The battles can go from completely over the top to very clever and epic (episode 15 has one of the best duel in mecha history), but they are never boring.
In conclusion, it's actually a good surprise and a show worth watching. If you wish to see an entertaining Mecha series that doesn't shout heavy messages at you, this series is made for you.
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