Gunbuster (1988) Series

GunBusterReviewed by: Jason Stillion
Review Date: May 29th, 2012
Last Updated: July 30th, 2016

Animation Studio: Gainax
Director: Hideaki Anno
Japanese Release: 1988
Length: 6 episodes
Version Reviewed: Honneamise (Bandai) – DVD Set (Feb 2007)
Language Reviewed: Japanese Dialogue w/ English Subtitle

How I discovered Gunbuster: I was originally exposed to Gunbuster 2 via an anime music video (Nostromo – Auriga) my friend Chris showed me. This caught my interest so I pick up both Gunbuster series.

Gunbuster “Series” vs “Movie”: There are two versions of Gunbuster, the original series, and the movie. The movie is nothing more then an edited down version of the TV series. to fit in a movie.

Plot: Humanity has just developed faster then light travel and started to explore space. While exploring, humanity discovered an alien race and is now seeking out to destroy humanity. In response, Earth has built up it’s united space force to combat the alien species. This series focuses on Noriko Takaya, a teenage girl driven to become a space pilot, and overcoming the challenges she’s face’s.

Review: This series is very short, yet tries to have a very ambitious plot. They did a good job of developing Noriko from insecure cadet to seasoned space pilot in a war in such a short time. They also manage to do a good job of fleshing out her partner, and to a lesser extent, her partner’s friendly rival. The alien war story, however, starts out normal paced but towards the end, just jumps forward to key points of the plot. One element I did enjoy is the attempt to base as much as possible on hard science and had an extra at the end of each episode to explain it. This is also the only science fiction anime I’ve seen that showed the affect of traveling faster then light (where time slows down on objects traveling faster then live compared to object not traveling at the speed of light) and the emotional effects of the character’s as people they know on earth keep getting older, while they’ve hardly age.

Built in Spoilers: There was at least one “science lesson” at the end of each episode that explained how the science of technology worked from an episode that didn’t show yet spoiling some of the events. I would also avoid the “preview of next episode”. At the end of the 1st disc, it shows the next two episodes, which spoils the entire 2nd disc completely.

My Grade: 3 out of 5 / “Entertained”

Watch online @

Not Available

Can be purchased @

Dvd – Amazon.comebay.com

Caution: If you purchase from ebay.com , please contact the seller to verify which version there selling. There seem to be some listing confusion. It shows the “movie” image with the TV series information.

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