Top wo Nerae! Gunbuster cover
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Top wo Nerae! Gunbuster

In the near future, humanity has taken its first steps towards journeying into the far reaches of the galaxy. Upon doing so they discover a huge race of insectoid aliens known as “Space Monsters.” These aliens seem dedicated to the eradication of mankind as they near closer and closer to discovering Earth. In response, humanity develops giant fighting robots piloted by hand-picked youth from around the world. Shortly after the discovery of the aliens, Noriko Takaya, the daughter of a famous deceased space captain, enters a training school despite her questionable talents as a pilot. There, she meets her polar opposite, the beautiful and talented Kazumi Amano, and is unexpectedly made to work together with her as they attempt to overcome the trauma of war as well as their own emotions. [Written by MAL Rewrite]

Ranking 1080

User Count10929
Favorites Count363
Start Date7th Oct 1988
Next ReleaseInvalid date
Popularity Rank1080
Rating Rank914
Age RatingR
Age Rating GuideMild Nudity
SubtypeOVA
Statusfinished

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Gunbuster, or Top Wo Nerae! (Aim For The Top, in English), is considered to be the first thing the in/famous studio Gainax put out that is still known of today, and is often credited for putting them on the map. There are many people who consider Gunbuster to be an unprecedented classic, and a shining example of how mecha anime should be done, even 22 years later. And as was the case with another immensely overrated, 6-episode OVA made by Gainax that I shall not name, I'm sure I will hear no end of flak for this review, but let's make this clear right now: Gunbuster is fucking awful.There is so much wrong with this anime I don't even know where to start. But much like that other OVA series I don't care to mention, I am absolutely dumbfounded by the popularity it commands. There isn't a single good thing I can name about this show, aside from maybe the fact that Hideaki Anno learned from his mistake and made Neon Genesis Evangelion, which was obviously extremely flawed in of itself.But let's begin with one of the most glaring faults this show has: the science. This show has so little respect for physics that it makes Newton cry. This is especially prevalent in the first three episodes, having such faults as training for space missions on normal earth conditions, using objects to increase the gravity on them (because obviously, increased gravity is going to be a big concern in space), several occasions of objects seamlessly entering and leaving space without any damage to the surroundings (for example, a mecha coming in from space and landing in a forest clearing, which would probably devastate a large portion of the forest in real life), sound in the noiseless vacuum of space (though this is by no means the only offender for this), as well as several other chunks of absolute scientific nonsense. There are also several logical mishaps not involving science, like how the girls' bathrooms are in clear view through a large glass panel for all to see. Which, of course, provides us with a \[i\]hilarious\[/i\] fanservice moment.Next up for the chop, the characters. While the characterisation was shaky in Evangelion, here it is nothing short of awful. The main character, Noriko, stands in the tradition of Gainax in having their main characters be whiny, over-sensitive, and frequently completely useless. Noriko fits the bill for the most part, being a clear building block in Anno's later protagonist Shinji Ikari. And Noriko manages to give me a new appreciation for Shinji, because at least Shinji was well-written. Noriko is poorly written and completely unlikeable, and the rest of the cast is even worse. Her mentor is so worthless that I honestly can't even remember her name. You could replace her with a magical chipmunk that knows how to pilot a mecha, and the plot probably wouldn't change in the least, aside from the spousal abuse shifting to the animal variety. The worst character, however, is probably Jung Freud. I defy you to name a single thing she does in this show. She doesn't have the remotest significance, but Anno makes it clear we're supposed to know who she is. As far as her personality, she seems to flip from being the Action Girl to being The Rival, depending on what Anno wants her to be in whichever particular scene, but ends up completely insignificant regardless.Next is the plot. Everything about it is very badly written. Everything about it is basically a cheesy 80's movie turned mecha, and the results are as bad as they sound. Noriko is a student at a school training mecha, and is chosen to go into space because her father saved the life of a man who wound up with authority on the matter. In short, he allows a girl with absolutely no piloting skill into a major military division....Yeah.In space, Noriko meets a boy named Smith who she may or may not be in love with. I might be more clear about it if he hadn't spent all of 5 minutes, if even that, on screen. She then winds up completely depressed when he dies, despite them having known each other for like, 5 minutes. Not long after, we are introduced to the antagonising force, which mankind has somehow found out thinks that we are destroying the universe. Considering these alien creatures never show any sign of intelligence or communication whatsoever, it is a mystery how people came to this conclusion.Not long after, in a climactic battle which sees Noriko go into Shinji-mode, angsting and staying away from the battle, she eventually comes to and winds up piloting the titular mecha for some reason. Again, why a talentless teenage girl would be allowed to pilot something like this is a mystery. Nonetheless, she goes out and kicks a large amount of ass. Also, as shallow as this may be, there is one compliment I can give this series: the Gunbuster looks pretty damn awesome.Moving along, the last two episodes are commonly hyped up to be absolutely fantastic, but this is absolutely untrue: There's nothing remotely good about them. Annoyingly, they had the potential to be, especially the finale. The last episode is made in black and white for no particular reason. The only likely reasons I can give are that they were either trying to be artsy and pretentious, or it was to save animation budget. Seeing how this is Gainax, the latter is rather likely. And to add to the damning evidence, what should have been an amazing moment, a battle of epic proportions where robots explode, heroic sacrifices are made, and aliens die, winds up being compressed into a few animation-saving frames. To make this even more infuriating, those frames make it look like something you'd actually want to watch. It's like a friend going to a concert you weren't able to go to, who then raves about it to you, bragging about what you missed.Add to all this the most pretentious, cheesy, godawful, and all-round irrational ending, and you have the formula for a truly terrible anime. I can't name a single thing I like about this, aside from it having spawned an infinitely superior sequel, Diebuster. I mean, for fuck's sake... as much as I hated FLCL, this has truly dethroned it as the worst thing Gainax have produced. At least FLCL had some good concepts and production values behind it. If anything, it was just horribly executed, whereas Gunbuster is just a weak, amateur production in every single way.Final Words: Bad physics, bad logic, bad characterisation, bad writing, bad animation, bad plot, bad directing, bad concepts, bad everything.Animation/Graphics: 2/10Story/Plot: 1/10Music/Background: 7/10Overall: 1/10For Fans Of: Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, Neon Genesis Evangelion.

<strong><em>As always, my reviews are spoiler free. </em></strong> With Gainax’s latest release (at the time if this writing) being a show about cute girls playing airsoft, one might start to wonder what happened to all of the daring and acclaimed series that they were famous for. Today, I will be taking a look at the first big Gainax hit, long before Evangelion was even a twinkle in Anno’s eye. Hop into your DeLoreans ladies and gentleman, because we’re going back to 1988, the year Gainax released the second independent anime and first commercial success: <em>Aim for the Top! Gunbuster. </em> **Story** - **8/10** In the year 2023, mankind is under attack by insectoid space aliens. These seems to happen frequently nowadays, but nonetheless it is a threat that the characters of Gunbuster must face. This task falls upon the heroine, Noriko Takaya, the daughter of a famous admiral who went missing in a nearly battle with these aliens. The combat is performed via mechs, which Noriko is learning to pilot at a training school. She is not quite the skilled combatant her father was, however, and she often falls behind the other students due to her clumsiness. However, she is incredibly strong willed, and is determined that she will learn to pilot these mechs and do her part in protecting humanity. She idolizes the seemingly perfect Kazumi Amano, who is the top of her school. After proving to herself and the other students that she is in fact skilled given the right technique, Noriko and Amano are sent on a combat mission against the aliens to save humanity. While a pretty typical setup for a mecha anime, the beauty comes in the details provided. Gunbuster consists of six OVAs, a stark contrast from the generally long series in the mecha genre. I think this is actually a benefit for it, because much of the fluff and filler that plague the genre is cut out in favor of action without sacrificing character development and true detail. This action is not by any means mindless, largely because of two factors: the characters and the detailed “science” which has been constructed to go into the series. I’ll get to the characters in their own section, but I’ll leave a simple fact here: this mecha series is character driven, which is a nice change of pace. As for the science, Gunbuster deals with a variety of complex and difficult topics, mainly time travel, all of which are given good explanation. The time travel is explained in an interesting quasi-scientific way and plays a major role in the series, and I never felt that it was out of place. The story has a very powerful ending, one which I would wager you will remember for years to come. With the combination of a compact and powerful story, good character driven plot, and plenty of space battle action, the story gets a very solid 8. **Animation - 9/10** Gunbuster was released in 1988, and while the animation style is obviously completely removed from the digital animation of today, it still looks stunning. It has a very particular style to it, one which is unique but still shows the character of times. Animation detail is superb for the time in which it was produced. I can’t shower enough praise onto the character designs. Because the series has a relatively small main cast, Gainax had plenty of time to make each and every one of them look as close to perfect as it can get. They often change outfits (or remove them for some early fanservice), but each one is greatly detailed while keeping the personality of the character. Their facial expressions are among the best I’ve seen, conveying emotion in ways I simply don’t see in many works today. The detail in the characters is seen in the environments and mechs as well. It shows that Gainax really poured everything they had into this one, and despite having an aged style, it can still compete with series released today. Fun fact: Gunbuster may have the first "Gainax end." Its entire last episode is done in Black and White with a very slight style change. Actual plot events won't be discussed for obvious reasons. **Sound - 7/10** After you pass the dangerously catchy opening, and then listen to it 20 more times, you will get to the actual series, which showcases a good backing sound track and voice acting. I really hesitate to say they are more than “good” though; they are not especially memorable, but fit well enough. As mentioned previously, the exception would be the opening, which I simply adore. Another factor worth mentioning is the sound effects, which is a topic I don’t often bring attention to. In this case, however, I feel Gunbuster is worthy of some recognition of praise, as it has quite impressive sound immersion when it comes to the battles. **Characters - 8/10** I was thrilled after finding that Gunbuster actually had characters with real personalities and developments rather than the cookie cut archetypes (or those totally devoid of personality) dropped into this type of series today. Noriko makes for a great underdog heroine; she starts off disgraced and at the bottom of the ladder, and follows her idol all the way to the top. Her backstory is filled out remarkably well for a six episode OVA set, which allows a deeper attachment to her. Her emotion is delivered particularly well throughout the series, and I found that I was able to sympathize with her more than most other characters due to her position and attitude. Kazumi Amano could be seen as Noriko’s foil; she starts at the top, and her struggles intensify through the series. She rides in the figurative passenger seat for Noriko throughout the story, with her role changing from idol, to mentor to friend, with more than occasional disagreements. She too is an impressively developed character, although her growth is largely a result of the small yet important side cast. With all characters meshing together to form the perfect group, as well as powerful emotional displays, Gunbuster may have one of the strongest casts in the genre. **Enjoyment - 8/10** While I am generally not a fan of mecha series, Gunbuster won me over with its great characters and stories as well as its classic, yet still awesome, art style. Combined with what I consider to be one of the most memorable endings in anime, anyone should give Gunbuster a chance to wow you with a blast from the past.

**The Story** It was boring and I was scrolling through anime list and I stumbled upon Gunbuster, a quite anime made by the craziest studio of them all, Gainax so I had to pick it up. What can this be compared to and what is it like? It feels like Tengen Topa Gurren Langann (64.3% chance I spelled it wrong) thrown back into the 80s. The story is quite simple yet really epic, the protagonist is a crew member of a space ship sent deep into space to fight…. You guessed it space monsters. Simple and at the same time somehow refreshing since it is very different from the anime we see today. The story is straightforward, following the protagonist training and going through problems such as low self-esteem and loss of loved ones. While it didn’t have any major plot twists, any deeper meaning or an extremely thrilling plot it was still fun and enjoyable for what it is. **The Animation** Surprisingly I found the animation to be very good considering how old it is. Heck it is better than 90% of recent anime, at least in terms of having its own style and some kick-ass action. The space monsters look great, with the mecha design being interesting and Gunbuster (the super-mecha) looking awesome. **The Music** Just like the animation, the music was great. The opening was good and the background music being super awesome. The voice acting was okay, nothing too memorable but still on a solid level. **The Characters** The part I feel is the weakest, though it wasn’t bad. The protagonist is a young girl with as I’ve mentioned before self-esteem problems. Other characters are a headstrong Russian redhead, kind and worried blue hair sister (with a pinch of yuri flavor) and most importantly, Coach who looks and acts like Wolfwood from Trigun, which makes him a cool dude. **The Conclusion** While wondering what to watch next and craving for some space mecha battles feel free to watch Gunbuster, since it is only 6 episodes of good comedy, action and censure free ecchi.

The story begins in a school, in the first minutes of the first episode gives you the feeling that might be a dull series that could only provide half nakedness, and that boasts to see robots performing training activities that are aimed at developing physical conditions in the indivduo, but in this case would not have much sense, after this point, and as in life itself, innocence and worldview of the protagonist changes dramatically speed parallel to the history, Noriko Takaya will have to face the natural fears of self-preservation only to find other even more deep, dark, those who torment humans since the beginning of time, fear of being alone, fear of being forgotten, and fear to succumb when many people depend on you. Graphically the series has characteristics of anime from that era, but it stands out above all in the ambience of space, technology, clothing is a reflection of what they thought the future would be in the 80s and early 90s, thing that catches the attention. Those expecting a charged realism aspect in scientific history could bring a slight disappointment, I suggest passing these little details overlooked since the popular science in relation to issues of space was not what it is now. The music stands out especially in the battle scenes and the final chapter, I recommend do with the sound of the headphones or speakers to the fullest. Love stories that take place in the series are far from perfect, and this imperfection is what makes them more mature and attractive to watch, especially when compared to the anime of today, the plot follows an almost Aristotelian structure and a "round" finish that moves us and leaves us a smile.

Gunbuster is a anime that i didn't expect to like at all and was pleasantly surprised by how much i enjoyed and got from it. Its a simply show with humanity fighting against aliens to protect itself from extinction and a young girl who is trying to live up to her fathers name with characters that you can easily like and root for. This show gave me this Nostalgic feeling that heightens the shows enjoyment. It will come off very cheesy a lot of the times and even have you giggle at them. The show is also oddly paced with only 6 episodes (hard to avoid that), but there are moments of great excitement and the "feels" this anime offers. To me that speaks a lot for a old looking anime to keep a young buck like me(Born in 95') wanting to watch episode after episode. I think every one should watch this anime just to get a break from today's anime(Not saying today's anime suck just like a refreshing breather), cause it will put a smile on your face and make you want to try your hardest and become the best you can be I mean "Who the hell do you think I am?!**"** Shit wrong show. In short **Watch this Anime!**

Gunbuster is a six episode OVA by Gainax in 1988. Gunbuster is one of the seminal entries in the Super Robot genre, and is also Hideaki Anno’s directorial debut. It’s also QUITE GOOD. Gunbuster set the standard for all SR anime after it, and in my opinion the only show that has truly surpassed it is Gurren Lagann. The animation is detailed and has that splendid 80’s look to it that I love so much. In addition, it has superb pacing, memorable characters, and one of the most iconic mecha poses of all time. The soundtrack is pure 80’s goodness, and is catchy as hell. The ending is great, and with the addition of Diebuster, it becomes one of the best, neatly packaged anime you can watch. Of course, I’m not being particularly objective here, and the show ain’t perfect, but we’ll get into that with my full review, which this is not. In summary: Watch it. Seriously, it’s superb.

It was pretty slow and It was dated but a must watch for anybody who enjoys the mecha genre

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