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Gunbuster (1988)

Top wo Nerae! (original title)
A young pilot, daughter of a deceased space captain, is selected to pilot a colossal robot as the key point of Earth's defence in a space war.



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Credited cast:
Noriko Hidaka ...
Noriko Takaya (voice)
Rei Sakuma ...
Kazumi 'One-sama' Amano (voice)
Norio Wakamoto ...
Kôichirô 'Coach' Ôhta (voice)
Maria Kawamura ...
Jung Freud (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Yuriko Fuchizaki ...
Kimiko Higuchi / Takami Akai (voice)
Masako Katsuki ...
Reiko Kashiwara (voice)
Kazuki Yao ...
Smith Toren (voice)
Tamio Ôki ...
Tatsumi Tashiro (Captain of Excelion) (voice)


In the future, Earth is under attack by gigantic aliens. Noriko Takaya, daughter of a famous captain in the battle against the aliens, enlists in the military to combat the aliens, but must struggle with her memories, the pressures of training, the ridicule of her classmates, and herself to make herself ready to be a mech pilot. She is eventually partnered up with her rival/idol, and given control of one of two Gunbuster mechs, Earth's most powerful weapon to combat the aliens. With the fate of the earth in her hands, Noriko flies off to meet her destiny... Written by Jason A. Cormier <wildrose@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


PG | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

7 October 1988 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Gunbuster  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


(6 episodes)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The method of travel is explained in the story as being part of an effect known as the "Tannhauser Gate." Tannhauser Gate was the name of a battle mentioned by Roy Batty in Blade Runner (1982). See more »


Tatsumi Tashiro (Captain of Excelion): Executive officer do you believe in God?
Executive Officer: No, Not me, sir.
Tatsumi Tashiro (Captain of Excelion): Well, I do. Take a look. At this close distance... they shouldn't be able to warp any closer. We'll beat them by 12 minutes.
Executive Officer: That's what I'd call a miracle.
Tatsumi Tashiro (Captain of Excelion): A miracle... That's a word God created for us, just for this moment.
See more »


Spoofs Top Gun (1986) See more »

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User Reviews

25 July 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I rarely deliver 10 out of 10s. Such a work must be ambitious, highly produced, realistic, relateable, emotional. Essentially flawless. So when I say Gunbuster is great, it comes from the bottom of my heart. Its the best anime I've watched, and even beats almost all movies I've seen.

At first, Gunbuster seems like standard fare. Hostile aliens have entered our galaxy, so the nations of Earth must prepare for battle. Noriko is an inexperienced high school student, forced to be something more by a stern, biased coach. Can she succeed - or even survive - in the vast vacuum of space? Alien invasion stories have been done dozens of times, but none are as focused on character, nor have such a perfect aesthetic.

Despite technically a mecha/super robot anime, there are surprisingly few fight scenes. Its a character-driven series, where we see Noriko deal with her hardships and mature. The other characters are also very solid, likable, and three-dimensional. Nobody is annoying or contrived. When they succeed, you are cheering in your seat. When they are devastated, it feels like a jackhammer to your heart.

If you're a fan of 80s/90s anime, Gunbuster's animation is among the best. Especially the detail! The attention on spaceships, mechs, consoles, and aliens is great. If you loved the art of Cowboy Bebop, you should love this. And the score! The pop and "space opera" pieces excellently convey the tone. Gunbuster has the rare moments where the actions and emotion on screen synch perfectly with the soundtrack in our ears. I couldn't image the best moments of the series without this!

I cannot recommend Gunbuster highly enough. Its short length (6 episodes) means you have little to lose, but so much to gain. Its emotional, beautiful, even awesome...and the only movie/anime/television series to make me cry. An unmatched masterpiece

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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