Gunbuster, known in Japan as Aim for the Top! (トップをねらえ! Toppu o Nerae!), is a six-episode anime OVA series created by Gainax in 1988. It was the directorial debut of Hideaki Anno, best known as the director of Neon Genesis Evangelion. The title is a combination of the titles of classic tennis anime Aim for the Ace! and hit action drama film Top Gun, whose plot inspired Gunbuster’s. To celebrate Gainax’s 20th anniversary in 2004, an official sequel to Gunbuster, Diebuster (or Gunbuster 2), was released as an OVA. The sequel features new characters and mecha, but retains the format and many of the concepts of the original series.
The story itself was well done. While the actual content can be summarized to “Giant Robot destroys an army of aliens,” it is multitudes deeper than that. But just as important as the content itself, the pacing to this Anime is wonderful. It zips right along with just about nothing that seems like it could have been omitted, and yet never felt too fast. It was the perfect length to keep myself fully engrossed into the plot. What really made the plot matter was its wonderful depiction of the characters it entangled. They were all well detailed, and I felt no character was robbed of screen-time despite the shows brevity. Again, like the plot, I also felt no character wasn’t needed as well. Even the weakest of characters get returning air-time, and prove to be an adequate drive for the main-characters to perform their duty. I’d say Gunbuster is easily one of my favorite Mecha Anime ever produced. If you are even in the least bit interested in this show, I’d say give it a shot. Its short enough that you can spend a single rainy night finishing it, like I just did today.
Opening Theme: “Active Heart” by Noriko Sakai
Ending Theme: “Try Again” by Noriko Sakai