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Episode 3: Full Package

 

Review by Chris Guanche

October 25, 2013

 

Summary

 

Reiji's Build Strike faces off against Ral's Gouf in a Gunpla Battle and emerges victorious. Ral tells Reiji that it wasn't his own strength that won the battle, but rather Sei's Gunpla. Reiji thinks that Ral's Gunpla is obsolete, and Ral wants to fight again. Sei walks into the hobby shop and drags Reiji up to his room. He demands to know who Reiji really is, so Reiji tells the story of another world and a prince from the land of Arian. The prince found a treasure that let him travel to Earth, and that's how he met Sei. Sei thinks that Reiji is insane and that his story is made up. Reiji mentions that Sei saw him disappear, so Sei demands to see his world, which Reiji says he can't do. Sei isn't done arguing the point, but Reiji reminds him that he has to finish the Build Strike's weapons. At dinner, Rinko laughs over Reiji's story and tells Sei that he must have his reasons, but either way, they're playing Gunpla Battle together. Sei works on his scratch built parts at night, while working and during school. He wonders where Reiji is on his time off. Elsewhere, Reiji meets with Ral, who explains that Gunpla Battle's popularity spread to North America and Europe, but long before that there were hardcore Japanese Gundam fans for decades. In a bar, fanboys dressed in Zeon and Zanscare uniforms hold matches with a High Mobility Psycommu System Zaku against a Rick Dias, and a Septem versus a Prototype Dom. The fanboys are all pleased to see Ral and greet him with cries of "Sieg Zeon!" He tells everyone that Reiji will be fighting today, and they're all shocked to hear he's never built Gunpla. Ral assures them that Reiji can fight, and Reiji picks a Ball since it's the weakest Gunpla in the bar. Using the Ball, Reiji easily takes down a Mahiroo and Shy-Tarn. One of the fanboys wonders if Reiji is from the Flanagan Institute, and Reiji comments that they're all weak. He says that Yuuki's Gunpla is way stronger, so five fanboys decide to attack at once with a Zaku I, Gelgoog Cannon, Mahiroo, Shy-Tarn and Bawoo. The Ball is damaged by the Shy-Tarn, but suddenly all five attackers are destroyed in two shots by the Wing Gundam Fenice. Reiji is angered by the intrusion, and Ral recognizes Italian champ Ricardo Fellini. He challenges Reiji to a match.

 

At school, China wakes up Sei from his daydream about his dad and the Gundam in Gunpla Battle. China notices that his Gunpla has changed, so Sei described the completed Build Strike Gundam Full Package. Its power has been increased 160 percent with its new backpack, which he designed specifically for Reiji. Sei runs off when he realizes the time, and China recalls that the first time she spoke to Sei was in the art room because he wanted supplies to sketch Gunpla with. Later, China decides to visit the location of the regional Japanese qualifier to see Gunpla Battle for herself. During one match, a Galbaldy Beta is destroyed by Sazaki's Gyan. In another, Yuuki's Zaku Amazing corners a Gunner ZAKU Warrior and forces its surrender. Yuuki is unsatisfied by the battle and is surprised to see China in the audience. She mentions that she's come to see Sei, and Yuuki tells her that he's up after the current match, in which a GM Blue Destiny Unit 1 is defeated by a customized Blue Destiny Unit 3. China asks Yuuki why people fight with the Gunpla they worked so hard on, and he explains that it's because they've put so much effort into it. They all want to prove that theirs is the strongest, even if they're damaged. Sei arrives for his match, but Reiji is nowhere in sight. Sei gets ready to fight on his own and thinks about how willful Reiji is. He calls him a fool, but just then Reiji arrives with bandages on all his fingers. Sei hands over the Full Package, which impresses Yuuki and Ral. The battle starts in a forest stage against a Hambrabi, and Reiji destroys its rifle. Sei wonders how Reiji can control the Gunpla like it's his own body. Fellini watches the battle on his phones and can't believe that Reiji forced him to fight 200 battles in a row. Reiji finishes the match by destroying the Hambrabi with a single beam rifle shot. Sei cries tears of happiness over winning a tournament match with his Gunpla. Yuuki is impressed by the performance of the completed Full Package. Fellini drives off on his motorcycle and is excited by the upcoming world tournament. Later, China brings her little brother to the hobby shop, and Sei is surprised to see her in regular street clothes. Although her brother wants a kit, she asks Sei if there's any for girls.

 

Commentary

 

Sei and Reiji fight their first tournament match with the debut of the completed Full Package. Since the last episode ended with Reiji literally disappearing in front of Sei, that had to come up. Reiji's backstory, illustrated with childish crayon drawings, is so crazy that I can believe it, even though Sei doesn't. This episode also explains (again courtesy of Ral) why Gunpla Battle is popular worldwide. I can see a bunch of people being intrigued by the idea of Gunpla Battle globally, but they wouldn't be the same as hardcore Japanese Gundam fans. So it's no surprise to see a bar full of fanboys in Zeon and Zanscare uniforms using Gunpla from their favorite shows. We're introduced to a new character, Italian champion Ricardo Fellini, whose voice actor previously played Graham Aker in Gundam 00. Sazaki returns and wins another match, but he's distressed by the Full Package, which he thinks was almost his. It's also interesting to see Yuuki fight again, along with his principle of avoiding damage to well-built Gunpla. This episode also focuses a bit on China, who clearly is interested in Sei and decides to take a dive into the world of Gunpla herself. I'll be curious to see what skills she has and how far she progresses.

 

Overall Rating

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3.5 out of 5 stars
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Gundam Build Fighters Episode 3 Gundam Build Fighters Episode 3

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