Gundam Build Fighters Try is a 'loose' sequel of Gundam Build Fighters (which I wrote about here). Taking place 7 years after the original series, Seiho Academy (the school Sei comes from) fails to continue on his success and the Gunpla battle club is left with one member Fumina Hoshino. That is a problem because now Gunpla battle has become a 3-on-3 team battle and there is no way Fumina can join competition alone. Until one day a transfer student, Sekai Kamiki, appears and Fumina is desperate enough to get anyone to join her club. Lucky for her, despite being a total beginner to Gunpla, Sekai who is good in martial arts fall in love with Gunpla as he can use his martial arts skills there. With that, Fumina also convinces Yuuma Kousaka to return to Gunpla battling. Together, they form 'Try Fighters' team and aim to compete in the national competition.
I say it is a loose sequel because GBFT (to make it shorter to type) tries to be a stand alone series and avoid too many references to GBF. Yuuma is younger brother of China Kousaka (the main girl from GBF), Sekai's Gunpla is actually built by Sei and hidden behind the World Championship Cup in Seiho's Gunpla clubroom in hope of Reiji's return some day, Nils Nielsen has become a scientist in Yajima Trading which invented a way to still play Gunpla battle after the event at the end of GBF, Gyanko is a sister Suzumu Nazaki, Minato Sakai comes form the same Gunpla school that Mao came from, Lucas Nemesis turns out to be the grandson of Finnish's Gunpla team owner which invested in Aila to win the World Chammpionship. For the GBF characters, Mr Ral comes back as the coach for Try Fighters, Tatsuya Yuuki (as Meijin Kawaguchi) appears a lot as observer of the battles, Allan Adams become the coach for the Gunpla Academy team, China appeared for a few times, and Sei is mentioned a few times and his (half) face only appears once.
Sadly, this GBFT seems to be avoiding all the good things that make GBF fresh. In GBF, we are in World Championship so who will give a shit about school and national championship in GBFT. Pfft... The battles no longer show something original and exciting. The 3-on-3 format does not offer a better dynamic in the battles as most of the time it will still be a 1 vs 1 between the Gundams instead of a team effort. GBF still kinda makes sense with the fighters trying to add features to their Gundams etc but in GBFT this aspect is almost gone completely. It is mostly about raw power: whoever can shoot bigger beams and flashiest light effects will win -which is kinda WTF.
Sekai keeps repeating the same moveset right from beginning of the show and those get old pretty quick. That makes him quite unexciting as the main character. Thank goodness we have Fumina. Fumina seems to be the only one to put in more tactics/strategies with her Winning and Star Winning Gundam as well as how hers help Sekai's Build Burning and Yuuma's Lightning (at least that shows a teamwork). The only one that deserves special mention is Tendaiji's school Tryon-3 which reminds me of power rangers with combining of 3 Gundams into 1. But then, the marvel stops there because Tryon-3 is all about raw fire power as well. No strategy whatsover, just shoot those beams.
With 3-on-3 format, we are dealing with more characters in the series and that becomes a problem with the character development. Many characters are forgettable and "You are my rival" are spewed so frequently that it lacks the impact of what it means to be rivals.
In terms of the story, unlike GBF, there is nothing really Gundam-y this time as there isn't really any enemy or antagonist or even conflict. It feels like a school J-dorama of school kids achieving success in their youth and club activities. Perhaps that explains why the characters development and interactions are as what I mention in the paragraph above. The good thing about the J-dorama feels is the comedy (I must say that this is more hilarious than GBF) and all the friendship (I suck for this kind of thing and I cried a lot when friends sacrifice to help one another that kind of bullcrap haha...).
Gundam Build Fighters Try is basically another example of a sequel going bonkers which tries too hard to distant itself from the original series and ends up without all the good things that make the original series work and end up with all the unexciting things. There is not many easter eggs and references to other Gundam series here although the big surprise is revealed at the end that Jigen Haoh School's master is Domon Kasshu, the main character in G Gundam!!
Gundam Build Fighters Try Island Wars is a special episode which is considered a sequel of GBFT. Nils Yajima improves on Plavsky Particle and is experimenting to use it to enhance the Gunpla battle system. Several characters are invited to try on this new battle system. However, things go out of control which reminds us of the final event in GBF. The particles go out of control because of the presence of Arista crystal which belongs to a mysterious girl who at the end of the show is revealed to be Reiji and Aila's daughter.
I consider Island Wars to be a filler episode, rather than a sequel, due to the lack of plot and it is mostly just comedy for fun. It is like GBFT characters put together in an island for a holiday and having fun together. The battle tries to copy the epic finale of GBF with no originality and minus the excitement or the emotion. It is kinda rubbish if you consider this a sequel but it is kinda okay if you just consider this as a filler episode.
Gundam Build Fighters Try is a fun show but with its placement as a sequel of Gundam Build Fighters, I think it fails big time because I am honestly more interested in knowing what happen to Sei, Reiji, Aila, and other characters from the original series rather than the new characters.