During a Gunpla World Championship, young Hoshino observed a magnificent player and decided then and there to aspire to the same greatness. Hoshino is now 14-years-old, building Gunpla, and the head of the Gunpla Battle school club with a goal of putting together a team to take all the way to their own championship.
Hoshino is a young woman and her inspiration is also a woman. And Hoshino is the protagonist of Gundam Build Fighters Try.
As someone who has listened to Gundamn for several years I have noticed a few recurring questions that pop up in their mailbag from time to time. (Apparently podcasts can regularly receive questions. Shocking but true. I have no experience with that phenomenon so this is all apocryphal.) One such question usually involves some variation of, “When do you think a Gundam series will have a female protagonist and what will she be like?” The general answer is that the closest they have come so far is Haruhiko Mikimoto’s Gundam École du Ciel manga and that is currently on indefinite hiatus and Tiel’s Impulse which I did not even know existed until I checked just to make sure there were not any other notable female Gundam heroines.
It would be foolish to discount École du Ciel and Tiel’s Impulse as unimportant steps towards a female protagonist in Gundam but I think the real victory for the fans who want a little more gender equality in Gundam would be a woman in the driver’s seat of a Gundam TV series. While Gundam is not totally married to the idea of a persistent canon the parts of the franchise that have the strongest claim to canon tend to be the TV series. That means that a Gundam TV series with a woman at the helm would set a powerful precedent.
As surprising as it is Fumina Hoshino might actually be the leading lady Gundam fans have been waiting for. Gundam Build Fighters Try might not be the expected route for the first female Gundam heroine but a slightly obscure path might be exactly what was needed for it to happen.