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Gundam Build Fighters Try (up to) episode 22

March 14, 2015

muppetmanSo how many more episodes have we got of this? I hope it’s only 3. I’m not hate-watching GBFTry but I WOULD like my suffering to end. Which is ironic, considering this was the best ep in GBFTry. There’s really not much hope that the upcoming eps will top this one, we have nowhere to go but downhill.

It’s not that I’m saying the last few episodes of GBFTry can’t be good or even better than ep 22 on a technical level. But we have a nerfed villain and 2 of the most boring villains in the entire series coming up. First up is Saga, who was revealed to be the guy who mocked one of the main kids into retiring, but now he’s just a crazy battle guy who enjoys a challenge and wants to win FUCKING honorably. I mean, whatta fuck? He coulda been the jerk of the final villain team, but now he’s just a regular battler (since EVERYONE is already a crazy battle guy/gal who enjoys a challenge). Then we have Shia, who has a rivalry with the main girl because… I dunno, because women hate each other on an instinctual level? Shia and the main girl have more interaction with a side character named Gyanko than they do with each other. Similarly, her brother, Wilfred, is the final boss and like Shia, he has a rivalry with the main guy. There’s really no reason why they should have declared each other as rivals though. And despite having way more screen time than Shia, he’s even more booooooooooooring and pointless. Shia actually has a minor quirk or two, but Wilfred is just utterly devoid of anything that could make him the least bit interesting as a character.

So yeah, even if GBFT has a huge budget for the final episodes and we get some intense, well choreographed fights with lots of heart pumping music and hot blooded “Iiii-kkkkeeeeeeeeeeeh! /Ggggg-oooooo!” …who the fuck cares?

I don’t actually dislike GBFT. On average, I’d say it’s an above average show. Mind you, considering how much garbage there is in anime (or any form of media really), the average is “crap”. But while GBFT isn’t overall good or great, it’s definitely, on average, “decent”. It’s about on par with stuff like Monsuno or LBX or Future Card Buddyfight and shows of that ilk. It’s got better animation but when you get down to it, the relationship between characters and the charisma of said characters, are about on par with those shows (which is to say, generally shallow).

Iiiiiiiiin any case, this post is about episode 22 of Gundam Build Fighters Try.

The primary portion of the episode’s good. It actually let’s the rival/villain do his thing. It was super fun. Let down mostly by the fact that we knew he wasn’t going to win. Y’see, this guy’s Gundam is pretty much a Super Robot. So this episode was like, a major homage to the Super Robots sub-genre, with probable attention to the Brave Series, which Sunrise did back in the day. So the episode had lotsa hot blooded action set to a soundtrack that set the soul ablaze.

But the dude is not on the main cast, so he lost.

The one big redeeming feature of this episode is that for this episode at least, the main characters pretty much did a heel turn. They didn’t suddenly grow pencil thin mustaches to twirl or anything, but in a story with protagonists and antagonists, they were firmly not the protagonists.

It’s the little things that add up to the heel turn.

It started since the early episodes.

Sekai beating up kids was a sign of respect from him, in that he wouldn’t insult you by going easy on you. And the way they villainously walked in as they’re about to wipe out Team Free was played for laughs. But then Sekai started being hypocritical; such as by telling people off for being overkill while doing it himself the very next episode, and then there’s the times when the Try Fighters needlessly gang up to gank someone; ostensibly it was to show off their new Gunpla and teamwork, but they were pretty much gankings.

As time went on, you got the impression that all their talk of “playing for fun” and honor were just either hypocrisy or as an excuse if/when they eventually lose.

Their main objective’s simply to win. Which is fine. There’s nothing wrong with that except for their holier than thou attitude.

It’s this ep that made them turn heel for me though. This was the straw that broke the camel’s back. It’s not just that they tried to attack the opponent during his gattai sequence. Even the ending of the fight painted them as the villains. With emotional music blaring in the background, we knew the broken Tryon-3 was walking into his death, and then we hear the mournful pew-pew from Yuuma’s rifle. It was like Bruce Lee at the end of Fist of Fury or Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid.

I’m not saying the Try Fighter kids are actual villains, of course they’re not. But this episode sure painted them as the baddies. Maybe not openly malicious baddies, but baddies nonetheless, especially since the episode opens with the Gunpla Academy being all noble. Hell, Saga even does the “Dammit! This doesn’t feel like a win!” routine (Which doesn’t make sense unless Wilfred lost but the team won. Srsly, none of that scene made sense unless Wilfred lost, which he didn’t.)

So yeah, I’m just being a masochist by keeping up with Gundam Build Fighters Try. It had a decent start, which slowed, and then things looked like they were gonna get better, but they didn’t, and several episodes ago, I realized they had no more time to pull themselves out of the crap-mire and I’m just gonna suffer until this fucking thing ends. Still, I watch because the first season was genuinely charming.

GBFT might not be as shitty a sequel as Mai Otome was to Mai Hime, K-On!! to K-On or even Baka Test 2 to Baka Test. But boy is Gundam Build Fighters Try a letdown.

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