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.




1989   1988  





Series cast summary:
Noriko Hidaka Noriko Hidaka ...  Noriko Takaya 6 episodes, 1988-1989
Rei Sakuma Rei Sakuma ...  Kazumi 'One-sama' Amano 6 episodes, 1988-1989
Norio Wakamoto ...  Kôichirô 'Coach' Ôhta 6 episodes, 1988-1989
Maria Kawamura Maria Kawamura ...  Jung Freud 6 episodes, 1988-1989


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>

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Did You Know?


The title, Aim for the Top! Gunbuster, is a reference to both the 1970s manga Aim for the Ace, as well as the 1986 film Top Gun. 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 »

Alternate Versions

Due to music which intentionally resembled that from Chariots of Fire, the score for the training montage was replaced on the US R1 dvd version of the film. See more »


Followed by Gunbuster 2: Diebuster (2004) See more »

User Reviews

If Interstellar was an anime (Sort of)
5 June 2018 | by ExpNoob19See all my reviews

For a six episode miniseries Gunbuster (1988) is somehow able to cover all of the narrative requirements of a full length anime series. As Hideaki Anno's directorial debut some of the concepts and ideas he is well known for are explored here, though not to the same degree and scale of his more well known show "Neon Genesis Evangelion". Most of the focus of the show is placed on the continuation of the overall plot with a fair amount of time focused on the development and inner thoughts of the main character Noriko. The story is mainly focused on the idea of how light-speed travel distorts time, and based on that the show is able to deliver some memorable and emotional moments typically not found in series' of this short length. Some complaints I have with this show is how the first episode is painfully 80's (if that makes sense) and tonally doesn't transition well into the rest of the series. Another thing I didn't like is how the first instance of nudity felt very undeserved and inserted in for the sake of appealing to an older audience. Gunbuster is still however a great anime that should be used as a reference for future miniseries'.

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Official Sites:

Gainax Net [Japan]





Release Date:

7 October 1988 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Gunbuster See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


(6 episodes)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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