Classic Anime Review – Gunbuster

Animation ProductionGAINAX

Director Hideaki Anno

Released in 1988 Gunbuster is a science fiction classic directed by Hiedeaki Anno. Gunbuster was the directorial début for Anno who later became famous for one the defining Japanese animation of the 90’s, Evangelion. The hard sci-fi elements of the plot and beautiful high budget animation has made this OAV a fondly remembered classic in anime history.

The basic plot, which involved aliens coming to attack Earth, while being one that has been depicted many times before was simple yet elegant in its execution. Many questions that we usually just let go in SF anime are dealt with and form a fascinating backbone to the plot. In particular the handling of time dilation are space warfare.

The main character Noriko Takaya is the daughter of a famous admiral that has fought during the war. She follows his footsteps but her talents are not immediately recognisable. Despite this she  become one of the pilots for the military’s key weapons Gunbuster. The full name Aim for the Top! Gunbuster, points out the direct inspiration from the anime/manga Aim for the Ace! which Gunbuster shares similar themes and scenes with, in particular the relationships and school aspects.

Gunbuster ends in a very interesting way and its last episode is almost entirely in black and white still images. It is similar in concept to Anno’s later work in Evangelion but in Gunbuster the ending actually makes complete sense.

Rating – A (Highly recommended)

Genres – Action, Comedy, Drama, Science Fiction Length – 6 Episode OAV series Year – 1988