When we saw the first episode, it seemed like "Angelic Layer for boys" to me -- with Gundam model kits instead of angel-dolls. And that turned out to be not very wide off the mark. We've had a good time watching the series. Yes, it's a tournament-story, with a team of young boys beating the odds to become world champions, but there's lots more going on -- it's not all about the tournament, there's quite some space devoted to character development too, and there is an underlying plot that only gets revealed towards the end of the series as well.
Things that I liked:
- It's not as shouty as other series of its type. That is because the characters don't spend all their time fighting their gunpla: there's lots of room for other stuff;
- It has plenty of female characters. And those characters have personalities of their own, with lots of 'agency'. This is refreshingly balanced for a boys' series, and I approve;
- It's funny at times, but at times also serious;
- There is an underlying plot that, though it is connected to the tournament, it is apart from the tournament. In fact, the boys win the tournament in the penultimate episode, and the last episode is devoted to wrapping up the underlying plot.
We've had lots of fun watching this. It has a nice mix of action (the battles themselves) and character development. I had not expected to have as much fun as I did, going into the series. Yes, it's a boys' series, but it breaks the mold in several refreshing ways. I'll give this series an 8.