Only director Anno Hideaki could possibly hope to make an entire story that takes place in the span of 12,000 years. And make it funny. And make it dramatic. And fit it all into six OVAs.
Well, I’m still questioning that last part. And while Anno did successfully manage to squeeze in the biggest, most important parts of the story, it’s all the “inconsequential” moments (like dialogue that would have provided needed character background) that should have been given time. Because of their absence, this series feels fairly rushed.
But no matter. As is, Gunbuster is a superbly directed anime that, when dissected and its parts examined, has no business being this good. This is, of course, a testament to the director for getting the most out of what was handed him. It doesn’t hurt that he was aided by a wonderful soundtrack that mixes catchy ’80s pop with inspiring orchestral compositions rife with booming drum beats.
Being a parody of the ’70s coming-of-age anime Aim for the Ace!, Gunbuster: Aim for the Top! also borrows much of its space opera plot from Macross, which shouldn’t be surprising since Anno lent his skills to both Macross and Macross: Do You Remember Love?. And despite being a parody, I found quite a few of the dramatic moments to be near got-me-all-choked-up quality.
This anime should find itself on every anime fan’s shelves, especially for Gainax fans who want to be a part of one of the company’s first anime.