It has taken quite some time for me to properly work out why I dislike Gundam Build Fighters Try in comparison to the original first series; for much of the series’ run time I was unsure if the weaknesses I was identifying within it were based on misremembering the merits of the original. After all, both series embodied similar tropes – that of a naturally talented character helping out technically proficient but less skilful teammates in pursuit of the grand prize of a wargaming tournament. Both protagonists fielded powerful units with over-the-top weapons to face dramatic opponents, so complaining about the way in which fights were resolved by means of a finishing-move judiciously deployed seemed inaccurate. Eventually though I realised the problems with Try were as much with its ethos – its whole attitude behind the game-selling message front and centre – and its characterisation as anything else.
In my previous article on the Aria franchise I talked about how it presented a subtly idyllic science-fiction world, one where the progress of technology and civilisation has created a return to a much more old-fashioned sense of community. The emphasis of the first series on Akari and her friends’ interactions with the locals around them, and the gradual expansion of the series’ scope from the very intimate (focusing purely on Akari’s response to a memory of meeting one tourist) to build a better picture of the setting as a whole, taught the viewer about the world they were witnessing; the drive of the series, its entire plot, was depicting a world that is lived in.