I knew Lucas had some sort of connection due to his surname, but I didn't put two and two together like y'all did. Then again, he wasn't there to see Aila's fight with the Jegan, so why would that machine mean anything to him?
From the brief glimpses we see in the OP, Junya's machine honestly looks kind of SEED-style to me, especially with that forehead plate which is reminiscent of Providence and Legend. Since it has Build Burning-style particle emission points, the real question now is, "Who built it?"
When Kei got flustered by the triplets not recognizing him, he totally sounded like Joseph Joestar, and that made me laugh.
I think "Speedy Sleggar" being Akira's nickname suggests that people within the BF universe do not, in fact, recognize that there are people who look and act just like Gundam characters, which is something that's been debated for a while. If anything, I'd say the nickname probably comes from his using the same machine as Sleggar and having a similar style.
Also, if Junya's been running around proclaiming himself a student of Jigen Haoh while being a jerk, it might partly explain why people are surprised to see Sekai, since he's a JH practitioner who's actually a nice guy. It might also explain why Akira was so cool with him after the fight.
I dunno if anyone realized, but Karin (the model who was talking with Mirai) was the winner of the Gunpla Race back in episode 10. Rather unfortunate that she had to bow out of being the image model, but I'm sure her son will be happy with a new sibling.
I can't agree with the notion that they're rushing any rival introductions here, as some have said. The entire purpose of the training camp episodes, in addition to inspiring the Try Fighters' upgrades, was to introduce the people we'd be seeing in the Nationals. In fact, the only character who was introduced out of nowhere this week was Lucas, and obviously people have figured out that he's a returning character from the first series. We do need to see teammates for Minato, Junya, and Lucas, but they might be in the same boat as Shimon, where their teammates are 100% ancillary and don't have any real impact on the plot.
And yeah, I like the new OP and ED even if it's not Back-On anymore.