Gundam Build Fighter and Childhood Joy

Anime has been what I frequently watched ever since I was little. I grew up from kids anime like Doraemon, Ninja Hattori, Beyblade, B-Daman etc. to the Shonen stuff such as Flame of Recca, YuYu Hakusho, Law of Ueki, Bleach and most importantly, Naruto. There’s just something about the medium that speaks and resonates to my inner geek and makes me excited to watch them anytime.

Of course as I grew up, I began to realize that anime is a vast medium that contain many genre outside of those. A few months after that, I began lurking around aniblogsphere and I was amaze by the analysis and the insight of the several anibloggers there. From then on, i’ve decided to be more of a critical thinker and began watching more “mature” or “deep intellectual” show. So i branch out and started watching things like Shin Sekai Yori, Kyousougiga, Fate/Zero, etc.

All of those were compelling and have some deep thought provoking themes and messages. Recently however, I noticed i didn’t enjoy anime as much as i used to anymore. Sure those shows that i mentioned aren’t exactly crafted to be an “enjoyable” watch, but “fun” stuff like for example, Chaika, Ping Pong or Tatami Galaxy didn’t really give me a delighted feeling that I used to have when I was watching anime as a child. They’re fun and enjoyable, but it’s just not the same.

I feel like i’ve forgotten about what got me into the medium in the first place. While watching those “deep intellectual” show did gave me some insights on human nature and expand my worldview, it also feels that it cost me that one feeling of exuberance as I watched hand drawn japanese animation fly across the screen.

That is of course, until one certain anime reminded me of that feeling.

My first encounter with Gundam Build Fighter or GBF, was when an aniblogger, Iblessall did a review on that show. Despite expressing some interest, it wasn’t enough for me to really started watching it. A few months later, I noticed several people on anitwtter began to also talking about the show. Because i didn’t really watched that many shows in fall season and I was looking for some action, i’ve decided to watched it (it’s also free and legit on youtube :D)

And boy, did that show hit me.

Because GBF has to be one of the most well written,  well constructed and well produced toy advertisement i’ve ever seen. It broke through viewer’s cynical of expectation through its loveable cast of characters, the sheer exuberance and energy, and the overall light hearted honest fun atmosphere. In fact, I dare to say it’s almost like an anime series version of Lego Movie (which incidentally was release after GBF).

Like any other commercial art works, GBF aim was of course to gain money. But it also serve as an advertisement for Gunpla model. But more than any of those, GBF is a celebration for Gundam, Gunpla and last but not least, it’s fans (in other words its a fanservice). GBF invited the audience to go along a fun ride with them, the series teaches and show the audience the joy of Gunpla, and they are very unadulterated about it.

There’s also quite an interesting messages and exploration on why are we so invested and focused on our hobby. Time and again, several of its own characters question upon why people was so serious about Gunpla and the series answered it by acknowledging that by the end of the day, Gunpla was just a hobby they do for pleasure, for fun. But because of the fact that its game for fun, its also why its so engaging to do and to take seriously.

Because of that reason, watching this show really feels like i am watching anime again as a child. 😀

While i appreciated what anime has done to innovate storytelling whether through its narrative construction, the theme and messages, or the visual metaphor that it couldn’t be done in any other medium and I was delighted on watching those anime, I somewhat almost forgot why i watched and why i was attracted into watching anime as a hobby for. And thus, I also felt lacking in terms of enjoying watching anime recently.

I welcome any sorts of deep, complex or beautiful artwork that could give deep insight toward human condition and elevating anime or storytelling in any medium in general. But I always going to cherish an anime that’s just simple honest enjoyment like GBF.

So yeah, great job Sunrise. You did well on this one. (SO STOP MAKING THINGS LIKE CROSS ANGE!)

So dear readers, do you ever had the same feeling that I said in this post? Is there any series that reminded you of that feeling like GBF? 

End Notes:

– I guess the big questions right now are, is Try, the sequel, any good guys? Let me know in the comments…

– As much as i wanted to ship ReijixAila, for some reason i am bit jealous of their relationship. Darn, I need to get a wife…..


  1. miharusshi · December 26, 2014

    I keep hearing good things about GBF. I might as well add it to my PTW list.

    Watching various series/franchises for years, I realized that I generally like SOL, light-hearted anime that usually make me feel good. “Intellectual” series are normally not my cup of tea, but some of them manage to provide a different kind of entertainment as well. And then there are shows that are easily forgotten because they simply weren’t subjectively the best in what they were intended to be.

    Overall, I think watching assorted anime is a healthy way in consuming the medium because you learn to know which are just right up your alley and which aren’t. Everyone’s got different tastes and interpretations in anime that we watch, so it’s okay if what one likes is different from what another likes.


  2. iblessall · December 26, 2014

    Great piece! Sounds like you had something of a similar experience to mine when I first watched Build Fighters. From a critical perspective, Build Fighters is super interesting because it’s simply constructed, yet elegantly executed. It’s like, why do you need a 14 cylinder monster engine when a 6 cylinder will get you everywhere you need to go? As long as you keep the 6 cylinder in good running shape, you can go anywhere you want.

    Long story short, glad you liked it and let me know how Build Fighters Try is! I don’t think I can watch a Build Fighters show weekly, so I’m waiting for it all to be out so I can do another marathon! ^_^


    • Namhur · December 27, 2014

      Right now I also going to wait until Try ends and I’m keeping my ears to ground about any mention of it. I’m somewhat afraid that the show run into sequilitis problem i.e. makes everything bigger, repeating the same formula/structure and losing focus of what makes the prequel good. But I’m hopeful about it and I can’t wait for more Build Fighter 🙂


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