About the most recent Gundam show Gundam build fighters
The newest Gundam show in the metaseries
Gundam Build Fighters: The newest Gundam show takes an interesting premise.
The dominance of Gunpla in the Gundam franchise
Key to the success of the Gundam metaseries was the merchandise, particularly the gunpla (used to describe Gundam plastic models). It was the selling of Gunpla by Bandai that saved the first series from oblivion and after that, gunpla has become the key merchandise for nearly every Gundam series. From the original MOBILE SUIT GUNDAM (Kido Senshi Gandamu) to the present day , every series would spawn a flood of models from their respective individual series, often of the most popular suits. Throughout the years there have been improvements that have turned the models from statues into figures capable of impressive poseable action as well as designs that match if not improve upon the animated look of the suits. To add to that, Gunpla hobbyists also make their own modifications to the models to produce very interesting design variations.
The main model categories are 1/144 (high grades and real grades), 1/100 (now mostly Master Grades), Super Deformed (designated as SD), and 1/60 known as Perfect Grades. There are other scales with some of them being exceptionally large as well as those designed mainly for display. In addition to that, there are specialized lines dedicated to the more obscure weapons used in Gundam as well as resin kits that can be used to modifying existing Gunpla. Overall, throughout the series’ three decades there have been several hundred individual Gunpla products released.
Contests have developed around building the models with some sponsorship from the main companies involved in the Gundam metaseries and the main Japanese hobby magazines always displayed pictures of superbly designed and modified Gunpla. The main example of the contests is the Gunpla builders World Cup. Other more localized competitions include the Southern California Gundam Model Competition which takes place in every November in Southern California. Sometimes Bandai would have special editions of Gunpla at important events such as contests or exhibitions all over the world. In addition, several manga series have revolved around kids using Gundam plastic models in virtual reality simulation battles.
It can be said that in the eyes of Bandai and Sunrise, a core element of the success of any Gundam show is the amount of Gunpla models that it sells. As a result, controversy has arisen from time to time as some fans have complained that the selling of merchandise, particularly the newest Gunpla, has almost taken complete precedence over telling the story, an opinion that Yoshiyuki Tomino, the creator of the Gundam metaseries has voiced from time to time. Another well-known director in agreement on the matter is Hideki Anno, the famous director of NEON GENESIS EVANGELION (Shin Seiki Evangerion) and who earlier in his career worked on MOBILE SUIT GUNDAM: CHAR’s COUNTERATTACK (Kidō Senshi Gandamu: Gyakushū no Shā) as a designer of the warships in the movie.
First Attempt: GUNDAM BUILDERS OVA
In Aug. 2010, Sunrise celebrated the 30th anniversary of the release of Gunpla models by producing MOBILE SUIT GUNPLA BUILDERS G (Mokei Senshi Ganpura Birudāzu Biginingu Jī), a three 15-minute episode OVA (original video animation), which was their first attempt at dealing with Gunpla in an animated format. It revolved around three teenagers named Haru Irei who had recently became interested in Gunpla and his two friends Kenta Sakazaki, and Rina Noyama who are veteran Gunpla builders. They collect, build, and modify Gunpla kits and sometimes enter them into tournaments that allowed them to participate in virtual reality games with their gunpla kits. Two manga series, GUNPLA BUILDERS D and GUNPLA BUILDERS J would follow in Aug 2011 with their own cast of characters and mobile suits. Kou Matsuo directed the OVA, which falls under the Bandai Visual license while the manga series are from ASCII Media Works.
A recent addition to the long line of Gundam games, GUNDAM BREAKER is a PS3 and PS Vista game, which allows players to combine different model parts to form their own new mobile suit. Players can battle each other online or can play through the single player campaign of 65 missions with suits and parts from different model scales. Bandai released the game for the PlayStation 3 in June 2013 and to the Vista on Oct. 31 along with additional mobile suits, parts from mobile suits, and 30 new missions available.
GUNDAM BUILD FIGHTERS:
Announced on July 2, 2013, GUNDAM BUILD FIGHTERS (Gandamu Birudo Faitāzu) is the newest Gundam television series. Taking place in the near future, it takes the ideas behind MOBILE SUIT GUNPLA BUILDERS G and expands it into a TV series as well as the PlayStation’s GUNDAM BREAKER and another game called GUNDAM TRY AGE (Gandamu Torai Eiji). In the new series, rapid and at times seemingly unimaginable advancements in gaming technology has created a second Gunpla boom as it allows players to participate in gaming tournaments called Gunpla Battles via use of Gundam plastic models. It takes place from the point of view of Sei Iori, a first year middle school student at a private academy. His parents run a model shop and he has been into building Gundam plastic models since he was very young. However, his skills as a pilot at the Gunpla Battles games are exceptionally poor for every time competes in the games he always loses the first rounds. Fortunately, his luck turns around as he meets with a mysterious boy named Reiji who offers to pilot Sei’s newest Gunpla model, the Build Strike Gundam in the next Gunpla gaming tournament, competing against others throughout Japan and from around the rest of the world.
On the production side, Yousuke kuroda who had worked on MOBILE SUIT Gundam 00 (Kidō Senshi Gandamu Daburu Ō) and MOBILE SUIT GUNPLA BUILDERS G is the main scriptwriter for the show while Kenji Nagasaki (GUNDAM 00 and GUNDAM AGE (Kidō Senshi Gandamu Eiji)) is the director. All of the mecha designers working on this series worked in past Gundam shows such as Kunio Okawara and Kanetake Ebikawa as well as several others. The show premiered on Oct. 7 2013 on TV Tokyo and has a simulcast with English subtitles in other regions besides Japan, including Canada and the United States on Sunrise’s main gundam channel on youtube. The planned episode count for the series is 25 episodes. With the closure of its main offices here in North America as well as the general unpopularity of Gundam in America, it is unlikely that the show will ever see an English dubbed release.
To accompany the release of the new series as well as what it is striving for, Bandai will be releasing several new versions of old models from previous series alongside the standard release of suits and extra accessories for the present series. The recent suits that have been released can exchange parts to allow modelers to add extra customizations to their suits as well as the suit's weapons. In addition, a contest recently took place in which players would design their own suits via use of the GUNDAM BREAKER game. The best-designed suit in the contest will appear in the show.
Based on a story by Hajime Yatate, Yoshiyuki Tomino
Director: Kenji Nagasaki
Screenwriter: Yosuke Kuroda
Character designer: Kenichi Ohnuki
Character design assistance: Suzuhito Yasuda
Mechanical design: Kunio Okawara, Junichi Akutsu, Junya Ishigaki, Kanetake Ebikawa, Kenji Teraoka
Planning assistance: Bandai Hobby Division
Produced by: TV Tokyo, Sunrise, Sotsu
Sei Iori: Mikako Komatsu
Reiji: Sachi Kokuryu
Tatsuya Yūki/Meijin Kawaguchi: Takuya Satō
China Kōsaka: Yui Ishikawa
Rinko Iori: Kotono Mitsuishi
Ral-san: Masashi Hirose
Ricardo Fellini: Yūichi Nakamura
Mao Yasaka: Minami Fujii
Mihoshi / Kirara: Aoi Yuki
Alan Adams: Subaru Kimura
Aila Jyrkiainen: Saori Hayami
Nils Nielsen: Shinnosuke Tachibana
Luang Dallara: Takuya Eguchi
Chairman Mashita: Tetsuo Sakaguchi
Baker: Natsuki Aikawa
Mario & Julio Renato: Yuji Ueda
Susumu Sazaki: Ryou Hirohashi
Monta Gonda: Kenta Miyake
Links for Gundam build fighters.
- GUNDAM BUILD FIGHTERS -Episode 1: Sei and Reiji (ENG sub) - YouTube
The english subbed version of the first episode of Gundam build Fighters.
- Southern California Gundam Model Competition - Those Gundam Guys
The main website for one of the local competitions dealing with Gunpla.
- ガンプラビルダーズワールドカップ2013 日本大会
This is the main website for the main competition for Gunpla that is held by Bandai and Sunrise.
- テレビ東京・あにてれ ガンダムビルドファイターズ
This is the main website for Gundam Build Fighters on the tv station that is airing the show in Japan.
- GUNDAM BUILD FIGHTERS official website | GUNDAM.INFO | The official Gundam news and video portal
This link is the main one for Gundam build fighters on the website Gundam.info. It is in English.
The main website for Gundam Build Fighters.
Models from Gundam Build Fighters.
A 1/144 scale model of the main suit from Gundam Build Fighters.
DVD of the new Gundam show.
The DVD of the first few episodes of Gundam build fighters. It is only in region 2 which mean that it will not play on Region 1 DVD players.
Video footage from the show.
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