Aim for the Top! Gunbuster

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Aim for the Top! Gunbuster

Original Manga N/A
Director/Artist Hideaki Anno
Format Anime (OVA)
Made By Gainax
Episode Length 24 minutes
# of Eps/Volumes 6


Drama, Mecha, Sci-Fi, Action

Sum it up in a Sentence

A six episode OVA that follows the story of Noriko Takaya as she goes from struggling to graduate from Space Pilot school to becoming an elite space robot pilot.

Main Description

In the near future, humans have started to explore the deeper reigons of space, thanks to the ability to travel near the speed of light. When terrible space monsters are encountered, humanity adapts by developing robotic suits to fight them. Noriko Takaya is one of many learning to become a proficient pilot at Okinawa Girls' Space Pilot High School. Struggling to keep up with her class, she finds inspiration in her instructors encouraging words, and, with guts and hard work, she graduates, and becomes a candidate to pilot the brand new top secret super weapon: Gunbuster.

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Personal Opinions


With six short episodes this story was able to develop an unique cast of characters who you cared about. While this is a mecha series it is more focused on the story and motivations Noriko and her perseverance to keep on going. There is a nice mixture of action, drama and comedy that really makes this series shine. While the main attraction doesn't show up unitil the latter half of the series you'll be rewarded for the wait.


To this day, modern science has yet to determine how this show evolved from a goofy cheesecake parody to a balls-tighteningly awesome story of heroism, courage and self-sacrifice. Basically, I'm a sucker for this shit and I'm willing to overlook the stereotypical Japanese-themed male gaze that saturates this series simply because Gunbuster is just so well done. The voice acting cast makes this show especially enjoyable, as aside from the obvious Norio Wakamoto factor, Noriko's VA shows a superb range when she transitions from vulnerable and insecure to major league badass. I'll give you a hint: the Gunbuster's weapons systems are voice operated.


Good character development, great production values, interesting pseudo-science and epic mecha action make Gunbuster an all-time classic. The series takes a while to really get going but the seeds of its later heights were clearly planted early on. Soon enough it goes from little more than lighthearted mockery to meaningful character drama and pure awesome. In several ways, this clearly inspired later works, including but not limited to the generally praised Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. Not to mention that it has one of the few Gainax endings that gets the balance just right.

Bob Smith

This show is pretty much the biggest shift in genre I've seen. It starts out as a high-school drama with robots, which is cool, and then becomes a super robot show which is also cool. Also, it's one of the few bits of sci-fi I've seen which considers relativity and the effects of lightspeed travel. 9/10 (not perfect, but really good.)


Gunbuster is a real classic that starts as a parody and just continually elevates itself to something great. A lot of science in it is made up, but damn does it still have that good veneer of hard science fiction in the classic space opera vein.