(50ish episodes ?)
What’s it about ?
Why bother with a space opera plot ? Let’s just have some kids play around with Gundam models.
Sei, our protagonist. He’s very good at building Gundam models, including custom ones ; on the other hand, he’s complete crap at this “Gunpla Battle” VR fighting game that’s all the rage.
Sazaki, his rival. This kid oozes smugness ; he’s good enough at Gunpla Battes to beat Sei without breaking a sweat, despite having way worse models to play with. He’d love to partner up with our hero : between his skills and Sei’s top-class models, they’d be a force to be reckoned with. Sei refuses, on the ground that Sazaki is a jerk who treats models badly.
Reiji is a foreign-looking dude that Sei randomly bumps into in town. He’s the kind of alien who’s never heard of Gundam Battles (despite a street ad playing right in front of him), and has trouble with complex customs such as paying for the food he takes. After Sei saves him from an angry foodseller, he promises to always be there for his rescuer, giving him a magical pebble to summon him. That promise comes handy when Sazaki is laying yet another virtual beatdown on Sei : Reiji comes out of nowhere, and wins the match within minutes despite never having played it before.
Supporting characters include Sei’s mom (hello, Kotono Mitsuishi), who’s bravely tending to their modeling store despite not being too well-versed into those things (it’s his currently-not-around dad who used to be into it, even competing nationally). Also, Mr Ral shows up as a guest referee for the climactic match. No, seriously, this is a thing that happens.
[For those who haven’t been following my Gundam marathon : Ramba Ral was a minor but memorably badass villain in the original Mobile Suit Gundam series.]
You can bet Sunrise is making the mecha battles look as good as ever : this is a glorified toy commercial, after all.
This must be the stupidest thing ever associated to the Gundam name I’ve ever watched. And I’ve been through Mobile Fighter G Gundam.
But hey, it’s gloriously fun to watch. I’m not exactly the target audience (I watch Gundam for the plot, not the mecha ; I have trouble telling apart the various Gundam models, let alone recognize what the heck Sazaki is using – that’s a doll model from Wing, maybe ?) ; but it is a pleasant-looking show that goes through all the usual toy commercial tropes with gusto.
A niche product as far as most of you are probably concerned, but I’m in.