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Gunbuster

4.3 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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(Feb 20, 2007)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The directorial debut of acclaimed creator Hideaki Anno, GUNBUSTER is a legendary anime fan favorite that casts pretty girls and giant robots into a moving epic of interstellar naval war. Newly translated and re-mastered in HD 24P format, Gunbuster has never before been available on DVD in North America...until now! 2015: Earth's first faster-than-light ship, the Luxion, is lost, attacked by unidentified space monsters in the Perseus Arm. Six years later, Noriko Takaya, daughter of the Luxion's commander, enters the Okinawa Girls' Space Pilot High School, vowing to be a pilot and follow her father's trail to the stars. But is she prepared for the intense training to become a member of the elite Top Squadron? Noriko's fight has just begun and the fate of all humanity depends on her meeting the challenge!

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The OAV Gunbuster (a.k.a. "Aim for the Top") proved so popular it spawned a manga series, the sequel Diebuster (2004) and a theatrical feature (2006). When she was a child, Noriko Takaya's father was killed in humanity's first encounter with aliens from the core of the galaxy. Her desire to follow him into space leads Noriko to the Okinawa Girls' Space Pilot High School, where she meets her future partner Kazumi Amano and Coach Koichiro Ohta. Noriko displays little aptitude for steering mecha, but Ohta sees the potential beneath the maladroit exterior. Soon Noriko is in space, piloting the experimental robot-suit Gunbuster and fighting aliens who look like the monsters in Gahan Wilson cartoons. Gunbuster plays like a mixture of Patlabor, Star Wars, and Robotech, with a generous helping of fan service nudity. In the intervening years, Noriko's mixture of weepy ineptitude and I'll-do-my-best fire has become an anime archetype. And there's simply too much story for a six-part OAV: characters appear and disappear with little effect.

Gunbuster has received a great deal of attention because it marked the first commercial success from the fledgling Gainax studio and the directorial debut of Neon Genesis Evangelion creator Hideaki Anno. It's hard to see much foreshadowing of Anno's later brilliance, except for the dramatic use of a black and white palate and still artwork in the last episode, set 12,000 years in the future. Spreading six episodes with minimal extras over three discs seems chintzy, as the material could easily fit on two or even one. (Rated 16 and older: violence, nudity, minor risqué humor) --Charles Solomon


Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Noriko Hidaka, Rei Sakuma, Norio Wakamoto, Maria Kawamura, Yuriko Fuchizaki
  • Directors: Hideaki Anno
  • Writers: Hideaki Anno, Hiroyuki Yamaga, Toshio Okada
  • Producers: Hiroaki Inoue, Isamu Senda, Minoru Takanashi, Satoshi Kôno, Shigeru Watanabe
  • Format: Box set, Color, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: Japanese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated:
    PG
    Parental Guidance Suggested
  • Studio: Image Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: February 20, 2007
  • Run Time: 190 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000KGH03Y
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #93,133 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Gunbuster" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Therabbitssing VINE VOICE on February 18, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Gunbuster. You've probably heard of it before, even if you weren't old enough to experience it first hand when it was released in 1988. US Renditions blessed would be anime fans back then with VHS tapes in clamshell cases with one of the most engrossing and moving mech anime releases ever. Not to mention the story and whole direction is actually a parody of many of the then current "themes" that were popular at the time. "Fan service", the super deformed characters in the science lessons, the over the top "Super" robots, and the now legendary "Gainax bounce" could all be seen here in this early release. Compared to many of today's modern efforts this OAV remains true to it's original Japanese title, Top O' Nerae! or, "Aim for The Top!". It always has and always will be at the top.

Gunbuster is the story of a young girl, Noriko Takaya who wants to become a space pilot like her father, who was Captain of a vessel that was attacked by large bug like space aliens who are intent on finding and destroying Earth. Enrolled in Okinawa's Space Pilot High School for girls, Noriko begins the training to become a defender of Earth and begins a long journey (though through the miracle of time dilation and space travel hardly ages throughout the series) transforming from a crying nugget rookie pilot to the savior of the world. Along the way, she is befriended by her "Coach" Ota and Kazumi Amano, the super talented and gifted girl who is the school's top student and almost a shoe in for becoming a pilot.

What makes Gunbuster work, unlike many typical, "save the world from aliens in giant robots" shows is the fact that while the show deals with the mechs and science behind it, it is really just backdrop for the character's growth.
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Format: DVD
The directorial debut of acclaimed director Hideaki Anno, Gunbuster is a legendary anime fan favorite that casts pretty girls and giant robots into a moving epic of insterstellar naval war. Newly translated and re-mastered in HD 24P format, Gunbuster has never before been available on DVD in North America...until now!

2015: Earth's first faster-than-light ship, the Luxion, is lost, attacked by unidentified space monsters in the Perseus Arm. Six years later, Noriko Takaya, daughter of the Luxion's commander, enters the Okinawa girls' Space Pilot High School, vowing to be a pilot and follow her father's trail to the stars. But is she prepared for the intense training to become a member of the elite Top Squadron? Noriko's fight has just begun-and the fate of all humanity depends on her meeting the challenge!

It's hard to believe that it's been nearly 20 years when I first discovered "Gunbuster", the awesome mecha anime that has won the hearts for anime fans since its first release back in 1988.

The year was 1992 and I discovered this awesome series through an anime club meeting and I was just enamored by the series so much that I purchased the English subtitled VHS videos which contained two episodes for like $35 through Books Nippan. In fact, when the VHS was re-released in 1996 by another company, I had to buy that because the video tapes have been viewed too many times and started to lose its quality.

It's really interesting how many people I converted to anime fans through letting them borrow my video tapes. "Gunbuster" is one of the few rare series you will find where each episode is well written, gripping and you just can't stop after one episode. You just want to watch the whole series completely throughout.
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Format: DVD
My first encounter with GunBuster was over a decade when I was in high school. I was out of school for a few weeks because I was quite sick. We didn't have a lot of money but my mom took me to the local Blockbuster video store whenever I wanted to grab some movies to pass the time with. I cleared out their section. Previous to this my only exposure to anime was this one-time event the Cartoon Network did in its early days. At midnight they ran Project A-ko, Vampire Hunter D and Robot Carnival. The latter two are still amongst my favorites and from then on I was hooked.

So, when I went to Blockbuster I grabbed such classics as Devil Hunter Yohko, the unedited Vampire Hunter D, 3x3 Eyes, Dangaio, Bubblegum Crisis, GunBuster, and a few others. Each one I've listed is special to me to this day. But GunBuster was unique amongst the bunch because until that point I'd never seen sci-fi done like that. Go out for a 10 minute mission and 6 months pass on Earth!? What was that? And science lessons at then end to explain it all? It was wild and something that colored my own writing to this day.

When came time to talk anime with my friends they often brought up Robotech as one of their favorites. I never saw it and still haven't seen it. My only exposure to anything Robotech was the terrible film Macross 2 and thought, "If this is Robotech then they can keep it." My friends assured me it wasn't and recently we saw Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles in the theater. The highlight of the entire film was me constantly riffing on it to my friends' amusement. The thing was terrible and my friends, the Robotech fans, will only now refer to it as `the film whose name cannot be spoken.' Grumbles about destroying their childhood did occasionally come up.
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