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Episode 13: Battle Weapon

 

Review by Chris Guanche

January 8, 2014

 

Summary

 

Sei leaves the hotel to pick up China, while Reiji tries to ice his swollen wrist in the bathroom. He recalls his confrontation the night before with the punks, when one of them hit his wrist with a metal bat. Reiji tells himself that the injury is nothing. China thanks Sei and Ral for coming to pick her up. She's staying nearby with relatives and says she'll cheer Sei on every day, but he says she doesn't have to. She asks if he doesn't want her there, but he explains that he just figured there would be other things she'd want to see. Ral then complains about his butt itching, and Sei asks him if it's hemorrhoids. Reiji wonders why Sei is late and lies down on the grass in the park. Aila approaches Reiji and asks about his wrist. Reiji is surprised that Aila is worried about him, and she insists that she would've beaten up those guys on her own. He counters that he won't let girls fight as a matter of family dignity. Aila then suddenly thanks Reiji and runs off. Sei walks up and asks who Aila is, but Reiji doesn't even know her name. Ral's butt begins to itch again, and Sei still thinks it's hemorrhoids. Aila returns to the team's trailer, where Barthes notes that she's late. China and Ral take their seats in the stadium to watch the next match. Kirara explains that the next round will be an original weapon battle where fighters choose weapons by lot and fight in a one-on-one match. No one will know what weapon they get until the container is opened in battle. China asks Ral what to do if you get a useless weapon, and Ral answers that you'd have to be resourceful. Aila suits up and thinks that drawing lots and Gunpla battles are ridiculous. Fellini pulls the level and draws 23, followed by Nils' 47, Mao's 7, Aila's 16, Yuuki's 1, the Renatos' 36 and Luang's 43. Reiji hesitates because he doesn't want Sei to see his wrist and asks him to pull the lever. Sei pulls the lever and draws an unlucky 44, which means they'll be fighting Luang. That worries Sei since he instantly saw the weakness of the absorb shield. Luang introduces himself and says he's been watching their progress closely and is impressed. Sei shakes his hand, but Reiji declines and vows that they'll win. Luang likes that and says he wants to fight them at their best. Baker thinks to herself that Sei and Reiji will definitely lose, thanks to her plan.

 

The battle begins with Yuuki's Kampfer Amazing getting a pair of tonfas. A Zaku Flipper attacks ineffectively with a railgun and gets beheaded by Yuuki, who says a good weapon is pointless if you can't use it. The Gundam X Maoh retrieves a spray gun and is attacked by a hammer-wielding Zeus Gundam. Mao uses the spray gun's paint to blind his opponent and steal his hammer, which he uses to win. A GOOhN uses a vulcan cannon to attack the Qubeley Papillon, but Aila uses a scissor shield to slice it in half. Using a beam yo-yo, Nils' Sengoku Astray Gundam defeats a Dreissen. Rainer pulls a handgun, but it's too small to be used by his massive WaDom, so he falls to a scissor blade wielded by Fellini's Wing Gundam Fenice. Ral compares Luang's abilities to those of Char Aznable, Johnny Ridden and Anavel Gato, but China doesn't know who they are. The Star Build Strike launches into an empty field and grabs its weapons, which include a baseball cap, catcher's mitt and balls. Mashita laughs and asks what's going on, so Baker explains it's all part of giving them a dramatic defeat. A baseball stadium then rises out of the ground around the Star Build Strike, and Luang lines up at home plate in the Abigorbine with a spiked bat. Sei can't believe that they're going to have to play baseball, but Reiji doesn't even know what baseball is. Ral thinks Reiji has the advantage and explains to China that most batters have a hitting average of 30 percent. Reiji tosses the first ball, but thanks to his injury, Luang is able to hit it out of the ring and get a foul ball. Mashita is impressed, and Baker explains that he played on the Thai national team and had a batting average of 89.9 percent. However, Baker wonders why Luang hit a foul ball instead of a home run. Luang says he knows Reiji can do better than that and wants him to give it his all. Reiji tosses another weak ball that Luang hits. While Reiji catches it, the force is so strong that it destroys the Star Build Strike's left forearm. Because the ball vanished, there's going to be one more pitch. Sei examines the damage and finally sees Reiji's swollen wrist. He wants to take control, but Reiji doesn't want to give up on such a fun battle. Sei agrees, but tells Reiji to move exactly how he dictates. Sei decides to activate the Radial General (RG) Purpose System and concentrate its limited power on the right arm. The Star Build Strike begins to glow, which gets Luang fired up. Reiji follows Sei's instructions and throws the final pitch, which knocks Luang off home plate. Mashita is shocked over Luang's loss, and Baker says nothing. Luang congratulates Sei and Reiji on their victory and hopes they'll fight again, to which Reiji answers that they'll win again. After the match, Aila walks through the hallway with a headache from her fight. She sees Sei and Reiji walk by and is shocked to learn that Reiji is also a fighter.

 

Commentary

 

This episode diverges from what we've seen in the past by featuring, of all things, a baseball game. Of course, it's all part of Baker's plan to have Reiji lose, and at first blush, it's a good plan. Since Luang was apparently a pro baseball player before being a Gunpla fighters, it's a sure-win strategy. But channeling the cliches of sports anime and themes of sportsmanship and overcoming adversity, Reiji manages to squeak out a win. Sei unveils the last of the Star Build Strike's gimmicks, the RG system, and I don't think it's any coincidence that its initials match those of the Real Grade model kits. Seeing the Star Build Strike pitching Balls was pretty amusing, and its pitcher's cap made it resemble the Dragonar-1. The weirdness of the other matches was also amusing, including Mao's paint gun and Rainer's comical misjudgment in using a gigantic mobile suit with a regular-sized weapon. With Mashita's plan foiled, you have to wonder if he's going to give up or keep interfering as Wong did in G Gundam. There's also the end credit revelation Aila has about Reiji being a fighter, so I wonder how that'll develop in the future.

 

Overall Rating

Full StarFull StarFull StarHalf StarNo Star

3.5 out of 5 stars
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Gundam Build Fighters Episode 13 Gundam Build Fighters Episode 13

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Buy the collection (eps 1-25) on Blu-ray or DVD from Amazon
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