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shoujoboy's Top o Nerae! Gunbuster Ova Review

Top o Nerae! Gunbuster

Top o Nerae! Gunbuster ova Review

Despite her talent, and her desire to follow her dead father into space, Noriko Takaya is a perennial underachiever at the Okinawa high school for girl pilots. But her life it turned upside down when new coach Ota picks her to go into space along with "big sister" Kazumi Amano. But the enemy that humanity faces is unreasonable and powerful, without being evil. Can Noriko overcome her personal demons and lack of practice to become a key part of humanity's fight? And what if they return? At the speeds their ships go at, what seem like weeks become years on Earth. What might ultimately be the cost of savng humanity?

Gunbuster blends parody, action and drama, and has inspired a (so far, lighter) sequel.

Credits: minebann

Story & Playability

If you were to ask the majority of people that consider themselves "anime fans" to compile a list of their favorite shows, chances are many of them will list stuff only seen within the past 5-10 years. Any avid movie fan will eventually make their way back to watch "Gone With the Wind", "Star Wars", "The Godfather" etcetera; yet anime fans usually just start with the series they started their fandom with and go forward. Our generation of "Gundam SeeD" and "Naruto" fans see this as the penultimate in animation without any knowledge of the history of animation. Well, you have to know where you've been to know where you're going. Time for "Gunbuster".

Take a trip back with me to the year 1988. Hideki Anno hadn't yet directed the mind screw job Evangelion yet, in fact he hadn't directed anything. Gunbuster takes place on Earth in the not so distant future. An alien menace is wiping out much of the universe and is an impending threat to humankind. Noriko Takaya is the daughter of a famous admiral who was killed in action during one of the aliens attacks. She is now a high school student who is studying normal subjects as well as training to be a possible pilot. She and Kazumi Amano are selected to become a part of the elite "Top Squadron" and command their premier weapon; Gunbuster.

Gunbuster proves to be an entertaining enough ride, but one that falls short in the execution department. I personally believe that it's biggest downfall is in it's short (6) episode count. There was very little time for any real plot development, and the majority of the show seemed to contain a bit too much filler. The first 4 episodes are pretty much the pilots getting used to one another and a few minor missions. Then it goes to pilot the Gunbuster, win the big battle... fast forward 15 years (in a world apparently devoid of color) do it again and you're done. I won't take away from the ending, it was rather entertaining albeit a bit on the expected side.

All in all, you can say it was entertaining... that's it.

Rating: 6

Graphics

Animation whores beware!!! Remember this is 1988, computers are still only good for playing that snake game where you eat apples (squares) and if your computer is super awesome... Number Munchers. Anyway, the animation on the whole is rather nice considering its age. Character models are quiet well done and there is a good variety of characters on the whole although it does seem to mimic many of the space shows of years past. Even if you take into account the someone dated look, they are impressive in their detail and color scheme usage.

Action animation is actually quite impressive. There are a few space battles that are well animated with a nice framerate and plenty of action to keep your attention. The view of space is sometimes askewed so as to give a grand scale feel to it all.

Rating: 7

Sound

It takes quite a lot of ear adjustment to go back in time where light-hearted pop music ruled by Herbie Hancock sytle synthesizers ruled the world. All of the music (save the one in episode 6) is sung by Noriko Sakai. Equating the type of music would be like saying she is similiar to Megumi Hayashibara just not nearly as high pitched. If you like old sounding pop tunes, this is gonna work for you. Background music works well with the show although it doesn't seem to ever play unless there is a tense moment or one that is supposed to pump you up. Outside of that the show relies on its voice acting.

Voice acting is good... although funny. Again we are talking the olden days of... wait a minute they still do that. Anyway, they love to yell out "Super Lightning Kick" and "Gunbuster Beam" and other things that just seem overall pointless. I don't know why I still find it humourous when people scream out their attacks, like it makes it more powerful or something. Just me. But outside of the yelling, there is quite a wealth of personality shown by the vast majority of the characters. It's war so there is silly moments to lighten the atmosphere, sad moments, fear and anxiety which is well acted by all characters all the way to minor ones.

Rating: 7

Fun

Gunbuster is a slightly above average show based on it's own merits. I can sit here and say it's because of shows like this that a new genre was created or maybe not created but improved upon due to it's existance, but then I would be giving unjust points to a show that entertains but falls short in the end. I do believe anyone who considers them hardcore enough of a fan of anime should take time to go back in time to see origins and inspirations of their current favorites. It may just give you more of an appreciation of what you are watching now.

Well that'll do for now. Stay tuned, the first disc of Gunbuster II is on it's way to my mailbox right now so expect a review on that in the near future. Let's see how Gunbuster changes after a more than 15 year hiatus.

Rating: 6

Final Verdict

6.33 (average)

Reviewed by shoujoboy, May 22, 2007

Comments

  1. BossMac May 27, 2007

    Looks like nobody seems to care about them oldies no more...

    Here's a nice buttkiss to cheer you up... Nice review.

  2. SchRita Jan 15, 2010

    Thanks for the review!

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