Gundam Build Fighters Try Episode 16

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Recap

After Team Try Fighter’s bombastic introduction at the nationals, it’s time for the other teams to strut their stuff. And as we all know, all great Gundams are built on the blood of GMs.

Gee’s Thoughts

It’s taken a while, but Try has finally started gaining the kind of momentum that made its predecessor so enjoyable. We’re treated to a highly entertaining series of events this week. Right off the bat, we see Minato Sakai’s absolutely awe-inspiring Tryon 3, a total subversion of the standard Gundam approach. The crowd’s stunned silence is perhaps a distinct commentary on the nature of Gundam fans. Some Gundam fans, especially UC-purists, often see other mecha as lesser to the “true mecha” that Gundam represents. Honestly, considering how much other bullshit occurs on a regular basis in the Gundam universe, Tryon 3 should probably be the least of their worries. With rocket punches, arm blades, and chest lasers, it’s a fantastically fun alternative to the usual gunpla antics we get.

In something of a strange development, Minato’s character has actually become one of the most interesting in the show. Initially coming off as an arrogant jerk, seeing him express humility and sincere motivation is a satisfying development over the course of the show. It seems Minato did learn some good lessons from his master.

Another side note. OPs that suddenly have sound effects are the shit. You’re wrong if you think otherwise.

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The rest of the episode proves to be equally enjoyable, proving that Gundam Build Fighters is at its best when it focuses on the robots. Tons of great cameos this week, ranging from GMs to ninja-themed Gundams. As a fan of Gundam grunts, it was a bit of a shame that the GM Custom and the GM III, both my favorite GM designs of all time, were so unceremoniously crushed. I mean at this point, it’s what I’ve come to expect from any mecha show, but man, it would have been nice if a GM could have gotten at least a shot in.

It’s the last fight in the episode that is easily the lowest point. For all of Wilfrid’s talk about trying to find a worthy opponent and the important of sportsmanship in gunpla battle, his team sure is a bunch of arrogant jackasses. Making Shia fight Kei and his mobile armor, the Vagan Gear K, in a one-on-one battle is quite possibly one of the most arrogant things I’ve ever seen in the entire franchise. I already wasn’t too hot on the idea of Wilfrid being Sekai’s main rival, but his behavior has endeared him even less. Shia, despite encapsulating enough of my personal fetishes to be the most obviously Yasuda-designed female character in the cast, proves that looks can only get you so far. Her G-Portent is one of the most boring designs in Try. It’s telling when your gimmick is that your gunpla is so well built, you can walk on laser beams. There’s literally nothing special about it other than everyone gushing about how well built it is. And honestly, that’s boring. If we’re going to talk about simple straightforward builds that are still interesting, one only needs to look at Yuuki’s builds, such as the Zaku Amazing or the Red Warrior, which encapsulate both high craftsmanship and distinct personality.

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Despite the disappointing finish, this week’s Try is still better than it’s been in a long time. With the triplets and their SD Commandos being Team Try Fighter’s first big opponents of the national tournament, I hope they can carry the momentum. The K9 Sniper fight was one of the best of Gundam Build Fighters, and while I’m not particularly interested in SDs, I’m hoping their tactical bent will bring some much needed depth to the fight.

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