Annotated Anime: Gundam Build Fighters Episode 20 & 21


Clash of the Meat Buns

We’re getting close to the end now. We’ve got the last battle to determine the Elite Four of the Gunpla World Championships. It’s a battle between “Italian Dandy” Ricardo Fellini and Aila, the stoic lover of meat buns. It’s a battle that will pit Sei and Reiji’s friend against the crazy Newtype of the show, so you know there’s bound to be a great amount of drama.

In short, yes, there’s a ton of drama and an equal amount of fallout afterward. So much so that we finally get some plot development from a character who has managed to remain pretty mum about their background.

Hit the jump to get the skinny on Sei and Reiji’s continued fight toward the top of the gunpla world!

After Sei and Reiji beat Nils, they’ve decided to try to help him out. The means that Nils is gonna try some good ol’ fashioned hypnotherapy. All he manages to do to Reiji is knock him out, so he switches his attention to Sei. The result? Sei recites the entirety of the original Mobile Suit Gundam. From memory. Acted out. Impressive from a fans perspective, but perhaps indicative of different problems all together. Also, it doesn’t get Nils any close to discovering the source of Plavsky Particles.

Fellini’s life isn’t as care-free. He’s got a helluva hill to climb in Aila and her Qubeley Papillon. A pep talk from Ral gets him ready for battle, which is good because Aila comes out of the gate swinging hard. Fellini figures out her secret: clear funnels that are hard to see with the naked eye. Fellini uses the smoke from his bike to spot them and he destroys them. Another wave of visible funnels get destroyed, forcing Aila into close combat. Unfortunately for Felline, Aila’s handlers decide to flip the switch on some sort of helmet that amps up her Newtype-esque abilities. She goes berserk and wipes the floor with the Fenice. Even after Fellini forfeits, she continues pounding his suit. She collapses and Reiji see’s behind her mask. Let’s just say that he isn’t very pleased that his meat bun companion lied to him. So mad is he that he reveals where he’s from: Arian. While it doesn’t register to anybody else, it makes the Chairman freak out.

Reiji becomes pretty sullen, requiring a scuffle with Fellini to snap him out of it. On the other side of the gunpla table, Aila’s handler continually reminds her that the only reason she has a home and any sort of support is because of her ability to see the movement of Plavsky Particles. She’s going into her fight with Reiji fairly dejected, but Reiji is able to enter with a clearer head. When she starts resisting the battle, her handler activates the same system that made her go berserk. Thanks to some earlier intervention from China, her cries reach Reiji and he’s able to comfort her in an odd Newtype moment. The two finish their fight on equal terms, leading to an easy victory for Reiji. Next time, Yuuki is set to battle against somebody else who was up for the title of Meijin. That’ll be another pretty awesome fight, no doubt.

Man, these two episodes were full of amazingly subversive Gundam moments. Fellini acts like the older senpai who would usually die horribly at the hands of the manipulated Newtype. Obviously, he doesn’t have to die here, so he gets to stick around and deliver the necessary “senpai punch” to his younger ward. Aila acts the part of the special pilot being jerked around by the mysterious institute. Since the stakes really aren’t that high, we don’t have to see her getting blown to bits by the heroes. Instead, she gets what other Newtypes like Four Murasame could never get: a happy ending. And the fact that it’s done via a Newtype mental moment? Genius! Oh, and it looks like either Baker or the Chairman will be piloting some version of the Exia at the end. I’m pretty damn happy about that.

[You can watch this week's episode over at the Gundam.info Youtube page!]

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Pedro Cortes
Pedro CortesAssociate Editor   gamer profile

Pedro Cortes has been known to swoon at the sight of a robot. This is understandable, as robots are pretty awesome. more + disclosures



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