View Full Version : [Anime] Gunbuster and Diebuster

05-03-2009, 05:26 PM
Please give my original posting some love, it's got added screen captures: Link (http://cjblackwing.wordpress.com/2009/05/03/gunbuster-and-diebuster-review/)

Just this past week, I watched a series that spanned 25 years. The Gunbuster and Diebuster OVAs. And now, for those of you that havenít seen these two Gainax works as of yet, Iíll review them for you. Weíll begin at the beginning, Gunbuster.

Gunbuster is the story of a girl named Noriko. Sheís the daughter of a military commander that lost his life in a battle against the space monsters several years ago. Itís at this point, that a note needs to be made about the overarching plotline. Humanity is in a battle against the space monsters, they want to kill us, so we have to kill them. End of motivation. But somehow, it works. A man who the series simply refers to as Coach sees potential in Noriko, and takes her from the freshman class of pilot training all the way up to the special mission to attack the space monsters, with the pilot she looks up to, Kazumi. They acquire a rival/ally named Jung, and the story gets underway.

With a simple premise, the majority of the plot deals with the characterís drama and how the mission affects them. Noriko has to deal with being in the shadow of her fatherís sacrifice, and her own inferiority complex that leaves her paralyzed upon being attacked. Kazumi, on the other hand, has been the top of the class, but now sees Noriko receiving special treatment from Coach, not to mention that she has feelings for the guy. And Jung plays a very minor role of the fourth wheel. To top it all off, these missions take another emotional toll, as traveling at these close-to-lightspeeds causes time on Earth to pass at a much faster pace than their local time.

From an animation standpoint, the series shows its age. It does have some rather over the top animations, which are classic for the super robot genre. The final episode of the OVA is also done almost entirely in black and white, with very little animation, and while it seems like more of a budget/time issue, I actually thought it fit well with the gravitas of the whole thing. The music and voice work is also solid. By todayís standards, the anime is a bit lacking, but this was what put Gainax on the map, and itís definitely worth viewing.

Diebuster, on the other hand, answers the question, ďWhat would happen if Gunbuster were crossed with FLCL?Ē The answer, is pure awesome. The story somewhat replicates the original work, Nono is a girl who doesnít seem that out of the ordinary, she has a big sister figure by the name of LalíC that she looks up to, and eventually surpasses in every way. Thereís a new third wheel, who manages to have a bit of a bigger influence on the plot. The motivation, however, is a bit different, given that Gunbuster has already occurred. Humanity is still hanging on against the attacks of the space monsters, and the Buster program has taken off over the past millennia. But, theyíre going to unearth something that turns it all upside down.

The action is far, far more over the top than Gunbuster could ever have hoped to have been. The humor has also been turned up quite a bit, which is probably a combination of Gainaxís maturing as an animation studio, and the director of FLCL being assigned to this project. It still manages to tell a fairly dark story though, and in the end, when everything climaxes and the final attack is carried out, itís hard not to be moved by the whole experience. Nono is much more hotblooded as well, sheís a mix of the better parts of Noriko and what will be Kamina when TTGL came out three years later, and youíll also notice some influences this series had on TTGL. The story fits in well with the events of Gunbuster, and itís more than a worthy successor to the series.

Overall, seeing these two series, despite the flimsy premise and sometimes disjointed story line, is highly encouraged, and will make viewing other Gainax works more enjoyable. If you havenít seen them yet, go do so.

Series score: 8.5/10 Inazuma Kicks

Objectionable content: Thereís some nudity in both OVAs. Deal with it maturely, please.

05-03-2009, 10:03 PM
Excellent choice Rakuen. Great review, anyone that can handle a little bit of nudity should definitely check it out.