Search - Gunbuster on DVD

Actors: Noriko Hidaka, Rei Sakuma, Norio Wakamoto, Maria Kawamura, Yuriko Fuchizaki
Director: Hideaki Anno
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Drama, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Television, Anime & Manga, Animation
PG     2007     3hr 10min

The directorial debut of acclaimed creator Hideaki Anno, GUNBUSTER is a legendary anime fan favorite that casts pretty girls and giant robots into a moving epic of interstellar naval war. Newly translated and re-mastered ...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Noriko Hidaka, Rei Sakuma, Norio Wakamoto, Maria Kawamura, Yuriko Fuchizaki
Director: Hideaki Anno
Creators: Hideaki Anno, Hiroyuki Yamaga, Toshio Okada
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Drama, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Television, Anime & Manga, Animation
Sub-Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Drama, Animation, Television, Anime & Manga, Animation
Studio: Image Entertainment
Format: DVD - Color,Full Screen - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 02/20/2007
Original Release Date: 01/01/1988
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/1988
Release Year: 2007
Run Time: 3hr 10min
Screens: Color,Full Screen
Number of Discs: 3
SwapaDVD Credits: 3
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 4
Edition: Box set
MPAA Rating: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Languages: Japanese
Subtitles: English

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Movie Reviews

...Ends With a Bang!
Sean Whitmore | Los Angeles, CA USA | 01/11/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The stunning conclusion to Hideaki Anno's little-known gem of an OVA series!Episode 5 - After Nariko's victory in the experimental Gunbuster, the crew returns to Earth. Ten years have passed there, while Nariko and Amano remain the same ages they were when they left. It's great watching the ramifications of this, as well as the burgeoning relationship between Amano and Ota. While Nariko has matured as a result of her adventures, Amano seems to have taken a few steps backwards...which becomes a real mess when the two of them have to pilot Gunbuster together.Episode 6 - 15 years after the battle in the last episode, and Earth has moved from defense to offense against the alien aggressors. This episode is done in black-and-white and in widescreen format, which is very effective for the mood of the piece. It's almost like film noir in outer space. The ending of an anime story is always hard to pull off and sometimes turns out to be the weakest part of a series (like, say, "Evangelion"), but that is not the case here. This is simply an incredible and moving ending, and the kick in the butt is that I can't really say why without revealing anything. But if you've followed through to this point, you won't be disappointed (well, maybe you will...I didn't say it was an entirely happy ending)."
At the End of the Endless Stream.......
Gaijin | Hilo, HI United States | 02/18/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Gunbuster. You've probably heard of it before, even if you weren't old enough to experience it first hand when it was released in 1988. US Renditions blessed would be anime fans back then with VHS tapes in clamshell cases with one of the most engrossing and moving mech anime releases ever. Not to mention the story and whole direction is actually a parody of many of the then current "themes" that were popular at the time. "Fan service", the super deformed characters in the science lessons, the over the top "Super" robots, and the now legendary "Gainax bounce" could all be seen here in this early release. Compared to many of today's modern efforts this OAV remains true to it's original Japanese title, Top O' Nerae! or, "Aim for The Top!". It always has and always will be at the top.

Gunbuster is the story of a young girl, Noriko Takaya who wants to become a space pilot like her father, who was Captain of a vessel that was attacked by large bug like space aliens who are intent on finding and destroying Earth. Enrolled in Okinawa's Space Pilot High School for girls, Noriko begins the training to become a defender of Earth and begins a long journey (though through the miracle of time dilation and space travel hardly ages throughout the series) transforming from a crying nugget rookie pilot to the savior of the world. Along the way, she is befriended by her "Coach" Ota and Kazumi Amano, the super talented and gifted girl who is the school's top student and almost a shoe in for becoming a pilot.

What makes Gunbuster work, unlike many typical, "save the world from aliens in giant robots" shows is the fact that while the show deals with the mechs and science behind it, it is really just backdrop for the character's growth. While we get space battles and action, it is really the filler for seeing Noriko mature over time into the strong character she becomes by the end of the series. The story will make you sad enough to cry at points if you are the type that does (and some people really do I'm told), and it will make you feel like cheering at others. This is one of director Hideaki Anno's first works (Evangelion fame) and it shows how great his early works were. Absolutely top notch. Along the way, take note of the many parodies and references in names to contemporary things like the Sizzler units, or the RX-7 mechs.

Mech fans don't despair, since when the Gunbuster is finally truly unveiled (you don't even get to see it until halfway thorugh and then only for a short period) the real treat begins and it becomes one of the coolest moment in 80's , 90's, or even current anime mech scenes/battles. The music is awesome, every single piece is perfect (note: It is known that for this US release, one piece of music was changed for a training sequence so purists be warned), and the animation even for a nearly 20 year old OAV looks great partly in thanks to character designs from Haruhiko Mikimoto, the character designer for the original SDF Macross series.

Bottom line is this set is a must buy for old anime fans or to new ones who shouldn't miss out on one of the finest OAV's ever to be released. Gunbuster gets a 5 out of 5 no question."
Beautiful ending.
Gremio | 05/25/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"In the beginning of the 21st Century, humanity has begun its quest to explore the outer reaches of the universe. The Luxion, a starship constructed by the Japanese, was the launched in 2015 under the command of Capt. Yuzo Takaya. Then on December 20, upon reaching the Arm of Perseus in the Milky Way, tragedy struck when the Luxion and its fleet were attacked and destroyed by a mysterious alien force, killing Capt. Takaya and several crewmen. This heinous attack gave the Space force yet another mission: to exterminate the insect-like alien force before it wipes out the human race. Enter: Noriko Takaya, who has enlisted as a robot pilot for the Space Defense Force. On her first day, she is given some encouragement from Kazumi Amano, the best robot pilot in the academy. Unfortunately, Noriko is a total klutz when it comes to piloting a Machine Weapon. That is, until Coach Koichiro Ota appears in the scene. He surprises the whole school by enlisting Amano with the underdog Noriko. Many students cry foul, citing the fact that Noriko's father was the captain of the Luxion tragedy. They start ridiculing her during class. But in the end, she proves them wrong by using her intense training and raw talent to single-handedly defeat resident bully Ryoko Kashiwara in a robot fight. And as Noriko, Kazumi and Coach leave Earth to board the colossal starship Exelion, the saga of Aim for the Top! Gunbuster begins. I was a little skepical about this "Gunbuster." Some critized it for it's sappyness, claiming that it failed to touch them and was hard to take seriously. I must dissagree. True, in each episode, emotions are expressed freely and, at times, excessively, but it is extremly affecting. Some also critizied, saying the star of this drama, Noriko Takaya, cries far to much and is irratating. Again, I would like to dissagree. How can one hold back tears when their own loving father loses his life trying to save the planet. Or what if you lost your first love as soon as as you discovered that person? What if your only friend lost faith in your abilities and abandoned you? True, these all affect Noriko heavily, But I have no doubt that you will be feeling for Noriko by the end of this series.But even when Noriko isn't in tears, it is still affecting. Time passes faster in space than on earth, and as Noriko is training so she can learn how to control The awesome mech "Gunbuster",her life one earth is slowly dissapearing. Her high-school buddie, Kimiko, ages considerably and even gives birth to a child,while Noriko,in space,never ages at all. . In the words of Noriko "I feel like I've been left behind".One thing about "Gunbuster" is it's view of ones peers and role models. Kazumi Amano, who is called "big sister" by Noriko, and rightfully so,as Kazumi is the one who guides Noriko and inspires her to believe in herself. Kazumi is flawless in Noriko's eyes. Not so. Kazumi is in love with the Coach, but lied to herself and never revealed to him her feelings. Even the Coach, who instructs Noriko to work hard and almost seems like her father, who believed in her when no one else did, has a depressing secret that puts his life in danger.One of the most interesting aspects about "Gunbuster" is the controversial final episode. This final episode, entitled "At the End of the Endless Stream" is done in complete black and white, letterboxed. Even in the final battle is done in a series of skeches and the like, and resembles a manga more than an anime. At first glance this seems to be a sign of lack of money, but I believe that this was one of the best endings I have ever seen. The ending is just perfect, flawless really. The music for the final scene is wonderful. It is impossible not to be touched by the final scene. I have never shed tears in an anime besides this one. All in all, a masterful final episode."Gunbuster" also boasts nice cel animation. The character designs are good, and the design for the Gunbuster is superb. The J-pop for this anime is strong too. My favorite tunes were the theme song and the song that was playing during the major battle in episode five."Gunbuster", however, is not without it's flaws. GAINAX invented a term call "GAINAX bounce". The definition for this term is, to the very jiggly, fluid, and painstakingly detailed rendering of large breasts in motion.Unfortunatly,"Gunbuster" falls victem to this condition. This is a rather silly attempt at humor, and while its not excessive, it is obvious and at times distracing.Netherless,"Gunbuster" is still a wonderful anime. It starts out rather humorous, but builds into something much more. A very heart-rending anime. If you like Mechs, powerful drama's, or a unrealistic portrayal of bounching breasts, "Gunbuster" delivers. This is a powerful tale of determination, faith and sacrifice winning through impossible odds."
Long In the Tooth But A Solid Classic
H. A Huffman | Mt. Prospect, IL USA | 04/06/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"If you are an Anime fan, then you must see this series. Wade through the bouncing breasts and the sometimes kiddie voice acting and you come up with a very solid piece of science fiction not to mention a great work of Anime. The scope of this series is simply awesome and the last episode (In black and white, letterboxed) will leave you breathless. Some people, like me, think the last episode was the result of funds drying up. Others think that it was done on purpose. The end result is a not-to-miss triumph of animation.Buy this tape."