In the next round of the qualifiers, Team Try Fighters is up against Team SRSC, a famed trio who have made it to the nationals in the past. With their team of custom Ez-8s and effective tactics, they’re a dangerous team. Meanwhile, Fumina reveals the true abilities of the Winning Gundam…
This week we see the debut of my favorite Gundam of all time, the Ez-8! Unfortunately, this episode is also the one that exposes all of Try’s inherent problems. Right off the bat, it becomes quickly apparent that the 3-man team format of Try is actually working against what made the original so engaging. With three times the robots and three times the team members, it becomes increasingly difficult to juggle the cast and ensure that everyone gets their fair share of screentime. As we’ve already seen, barring the main trio, most of the other rivals end up being focused on at the expense of the rest of their team. One only needs to look at Gyanko, whose team members are almost entirely ignored. This issue becomes exacerbated when our heroes go up against Team SRSC, who get barely any development. Even their coach, who seems to have a design implying some kind of history, gets zero development. As a result, this week’s opponents almost come off as padding filler. Due to the elimination tournament format of the story, this means that any characters who might even seem interesting will likely never show up again. I seriously doubt Team SRSC will ever show up on screen after this episode.
The fight itself doesn’t fare much better. The all Ez team manage to do a great job of putting our heroes on the defensive. In fact it could be argued they do everything right. They set up an ambush Shiro Amada would have been proud of, and not only do they manage to pin down Team Try Fighter’s sniper, they also focus fire on Sekai, knowing that immobilizing him is key to cracking the team. The fight’s conclusion however, is where it all begins to fall apart on multiple levels. Many of us on the Glorio crew who have been watching Try have been concerned with Fumina’s characterization. After losing the Cardigan, it became increasingly apparently Fumina was going to be relegated to a supporting role during the fights. However, I don’t think any of us realized just how badly this would end up. Not only does Fumina not contribute to the fight, but the gimmick of her combining with her teammates means that Fumina is literally just there to make Sekai and Yuuma better. It’s the absolute worst way to make her an entire non entity in the show. It’s even worse that everyone is acting like Fumina’s actions are some kind of genius stroke of teamwork when in reality all it’s doing is shoving her even further to the sideline.
The fight also illustrates the issue with having six robots fighting instead of two. In the original, the one-on-one fights were engaging because each robot had to show off its stuff. With the three-on-three format, we have a situation where some of the fighters aren’t even getting more than a few seconds of screentime per fight. Yuuma basically spends the entire fight hiding behind cover and we get so little development for the Ez-SRs that they’re basically gone before we’ve even seen what they can do.
Overall, this was a disappointing episode of Try. While it’s not enough to make me condemn the show, the way it’s treating the fights and its characters; the two best aspects of the original, is not a good sign.