Time to do something different yet again (some times I like to break with the standard and do something unusual). I’m going to look at a series that I’m currently watching that isn’t complete yet, in fact at time of writing this there’s only 3 episodes out. It’s time to look at the spiritual sequel of the Gundam Build series (spiritual because it’s not an actual sequel but a sequel in that it’s another series about the plastic kits, just not set on the same continuity as Build Fighters).
The setting is once again a Japan where Gundam is king (and given they have built life sized Gundams it’s questionable how far off from reality that is). But now rather than having weird particles that bring the plastic kits to life, it’s all to do with a VR MMO style setting (which answers one of my questions about the original series, what happens with Mastergrades).
Using the virtual world of Gunpla Battle Nexus Online, people can scan in there Gunpla, and then enter a virtual world where the Gunpla become life sized mobile suits and can do battle. People receive avatars that they can as they go up in level customize the appearance of to the point of making them cute furry animals (yes, there is a ferret piloting a giant death robot with a reberay) so already it has the feeling of a MMO. People progressing getting stronger, unlocking new cosmetic stuff etc.
The lead character Riku in the first scene is dragged to watch the championship match by his friend Yuiko and becomes hooked looking forward to when he’s old enough that he can join, so time skips later – he’s out buying his first Gunpla with his friend, and then customizing it and entering the world of GBNO (so I don’t need to say it in full anymore). What we have then for the first three episodes can be described as.
Part 1: lead gets caught in a battle way above his league but through unknown means manages to prevail hinting that he’s got good potential, while also giving us tid bits of something going on a mystery.
Part 2: Lead gets beaten up proving he has a long way to go and showing us the difference in skill between him and the top person, also more hints at things not quite going right.
Part 3: The champion is an awesome episode, meet your hero. Also a bit of an explanation on some of the weird things going on and how the events of the past 2 episodes tie into that.
These are a very standard style of episodes to get you invested in the show, present some key bits of world building, character introduction and first parts of growth while presenting a growing mystery of things not quite right happening behind the scenes.
Of course since this is a Gunpla series, that means it’s free to watch on YouTube since the show is designed to inspire you to get and build Gunpla of your own, and well I do like some of the designs in it, not the leads but mid series upgrades (the leads Gundam getting upgraded to a more powerful one half way through the series) do happen and it’s still the early days, plus there’s a whole lot of different mechs about so I’ve already noted a few I like.
It remains to be seen if the show remains engaging for me to continue watching but right now it is a part of my Tuesday schedule. It’s also interesting chatting with people online as we dissected elements of the opening and characters to try and find out any twists or plans for the future (looking at you SD Ninja Gundam)
I can’t give it a score since it’s still very early days (and they may mess up in the later half) but I’m enjoying it so far, and hey, frees free.
Watch: Gundam Build Divers-Episode 1