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Episode 23: Gunpla Eve

 

Review by Chris Guanche

March 28, 2014

 

Summary

 

Yuuki visits the second Meijin in the hospital and vows that he'll spread the fun and joy of Gunpla as the first Meijin did. Kirara reports that a Gundam festival is being held in Shizuoka to celebrate the upcoming final battle of the tournament. She notes that the 1:1 scale Gundam has been brought in from Odaiba, along with a new matching Zaku II in Char's colors. Kirara points out a Gunpla construction area where fans can build the kits they've just purchased and can use in free battle against tournament fires. In one free battle, Cziommer's WaDom is destroyed by a young boy's Gundam Deathscythe. Kirara mentions that she'll be holding a concert later, and Takeshi sees Rinko on TV. He wonders why he didn't realize earlier that she'd be at the tournament, and a Char look alike tells him he's a spoiled kid. China, Rinko and Aila walk by the free battle area as Cziommer's Zakrello loses to a custom Zssa Storm. Rinko is reminded of when Takeshi competed in the tournament, and at the same time he tries to hitchhike. Aila wants to build her own Gunpla and asks China for help. Baker reports to Mashita that tournament attendance and Gunpla sales have vastly increased over the previous year, but he's still upset that Reiji is in the game. He doesn't want Reiji to win and yells at Baker for always promising to take care of things and failing. Baker explains that they'll definitely lose to Meijin Kawaguchi, but to make sure she's asked Barthes for his help. Reiji stuffs his face with free food, but Mao is depressed over losing Misaki and the Gundam X Maoh. Chinan appears out of nowhere and drags Mao away to whip him back into shape. In a free battle to win a year of Gunpla, Gonda uses his gold Turn X against Sazaki's custom Gyan Vulcan. Gonda activates the Moonlight Butterfly and is forced to separate when Sazaki attacks. However, Sazaki opens fire on each Turn X piece and destroys them all. Gonda sees Sei and wishes him good luck, while Sazaki insists that he's just come to see next year's competition. A new challenger then appears: Fellini's upgraded Gundam Fenice Rinascita, which easily destroys the Gyan Vulcan. Sei and Reiji join up with China and see Yuuki giving Gunpla tips to Aila. Nils spies on a Plavsky particle tanker truck and is unexpectedly joined by Caroline, who now declares herself to be his fiance. The truck then leaves, and Nils wants to follow it to the Plavsky particle production plant.

 

Fellini fights a King of Hearts and slices it in half with his beam saber. He's surprised by his next opponent, a new Gerbera-Tetra built by Kirara. However, Fellini is quickly overtaken by Kirara, to the embarrassment of other fighters. Away from the festival, Reiji asks Yuuki why he isn't the Meijin today, and Yuuki jokes that the costume hurts his shoulders. Sei asks Yuuki if he dropped out of the qualifiers to become Meijin Kawaguchi, so Yuuki apologizes to them. However, Reiji says it's ok because now they can fight on the best stage with the whole world watching. Yuuki reminds them that he promised to tell them why he cares about them if they won, and he reveals that he learned the joy of Gunpla from Takeshi. At the time, he was set to inherit his father's company, which wasn't the path he wanted. He then met Takeshi, who taught him that Gunpla is freedom. At the festival, Fellini loses to Kirara, while Misaki comes back to see Mao. Yuuki explains that he became Meijin to help spread the joy of Gunpla. He wants to have a great battle with them next week so that the whole world can feel the joy of Gunpla. Reiji wants to have a Gunpla Battle, so he uses his Beginning Gundam while Sei picks the Build Gundam Mk-II. In a space battlefield, Sei dodges Reiji's attacks and fires into a space colony to create a smokescreen and get in close with his beam saber. Sazaki and Gonda are surprised by how much Sei has improved, and Mao says that's to be expected after going through the world tournament. Sei separates the Build Booster Mk-II and uses it to attack independently. As the festival continues, Kirara holds her concert, Aila works on her Gunpla and Yuuki hangs out with Gonda. Chinan creepily closes in on Rinko and is blocked by Ral. Just then, Takeshi arrives and is happily reunited with Rinko and Sei. Aila completes the Miss Sazabi, while Mao builds the Crossbone Gundam Maoh. Takeshi runs into Yuuki once again. Nils and Caroline follow a Plavsky truck to a long underground corridor that leads under the arena. They find a room containing an enormous Plavsky crystal and are immediately captured by Baker's goons. When the final battle begins, Sei and Reiji are shocked to see a very different Yuuki using the customized Gundam Exia Dark Matter.

 

Commentary

 

As we've had in the past, this episode takes a break before a major event. With the final battle of the tournament approaching, it's time to start wrapping up some plot lines. Nils' investigation finally pays off when he discovers an enormous Plavsky crystal, but a room full of goons are trouble. Mao finally stops whining about Misaki, which frankly was becoming pretty tiresome. Sei and Reiji get to speak to Yuuki when he's not being Kawaguchi, and he references meeting Takeshi, which is chronicled in the spinoff battle Build Fighters Amazing. We finally see Takeshi reunited with his family, and there are appearances by minor characters like Sazaki and Gonda. One of the highlights of the episode is seeing Sei show off his greatly improved fighting skills. Interestingly, he makes much more use of the Mk-II's abilities than Reiji ever did. The festival is overflowing with character cameos from almost every Gundam series, which was fun to see. Given that everything was going so well for Yuuki, you knew it would go horribly wrong the second Barthes appears. That's evident when we see the villainous Exia Dark Matter and a Yuuki who is clearly wearing customized Embody glasses. Yuuki's already a tough enough opponent normally, but Embody will just turn him into a monster. It should make for an interesting, if difficult, battle.

 

Overall Rating

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4 out of 5 stars
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Gundam Build Fighters Episode 23 Gundam Build Fighters Episode 23

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