The first episode of the Gundam anime aired over here the other day, here are my first impressions.
So the story revolves around people building Gunpla and then battling in various VR scenarios. Our main character is Iori Sei, he works in his family’s model shop and loves building Gunpla. His(possibly late) father was a Gunpla Battle champion, but Sei hasn’t inherited any such ability however his building skills are top notch. When Sei meets Reiji, a strange guy who turns out to be a natural pilot, they team up to conquer the Gunpla Battle Championship!
Lots of nods to previous Gundam series inculding UC, Seed and Wing. Not to mention the familiar looking regular customer to the Iori model shop – Mr Ral. Also, the custom Mobile Suits are pretty cool looking, of course Build Strike looks the part, but a red and white Wing Gundam featured very briefly and that colour scheme looked awesome.
The not so good
They’re laying the merchandising on pretty thick… Two ads during the show and a pretty lengthy promo spiel by Sei to a customer about Wing Gundam, the enthusiasm kinda fits his character but it did feel like some heavy promotion seeing as an HG Wing Gundam kit was released last month.
Would I prefer a fully-fledged Gundam anime? Probably.. but I’m still happy Gundam Build Fighters exists, it’s nicely animated and the characters seem fun. The nostalgia value of seeing classic mobile suits battle it out should make it a good watch.
You can watch the first episode in full(no subtitles) at gundam-bf.net – look for the “new episode” link in the top right.