Bandai announced today Gundam Build Real, a live-action web series based off their various Gunpla Battle series.
The live action series bears a striking resemblance to a whole branch of Sunrise’s Shonen spin-offs, featuring a high school student who participates in the fictional esport of Gunpla Battle, where a computer scans your Gundam model kits and projects them in a virtual fight.
The series premieres on the Gundam Channel YouTube channel starting March 29th, and will be available to watch in its entirety there. They’ve also released a short PV of the upcoming live-action series, although they’ve kept the actual Gunpla Battle under wraps.
While it shares many similarities to the Build sub-franchise, it’s not a live-action retelling. The plot focuses on Hiro and his friends, who had a falling out in elementary school after losing their competition-ready Gunpla right before a big tournament. However, 4 years later, they’re reunited and ready to join the big tournament.
Unlike the Build Fighters series that had actual models fighting each other thanks to interdimensional space magic, Gundam Build Real seems to be using more of a VR-based approach, similar to Build Divers. Unlike Divers though, Real will not feature MMO elements.
The Build series has been Gundam’s more shonen branch, taking place in a world where Gundam is a pop culture phenomenon and featuring many references to the franchise as a whole. Rather than dealing with things like war crimes and genocide, it tends to focus more on lighthearted themes such as friendship and passion.
While not considered part of the Build Series, Gunpla Builders Beginning G was actually the first one to promote the concept, even getting its own OVA with the titular mech from that series making an appearance in Build Fighters.